Monday, June 3, 2013

More Creepy-Crawlies of Hawai‘i

So about fifteen minutes ago I was sitting at my computer, trying to come up with a post idea that wouldn't have me up till all hours past my bedtime writing it, when I noticed a cockroach in my room. This was rather disturbing, both because I've never seen a cockroach in my (new upstairs) room before, and because from as far as I can remember I've had a near crippling irrational phobia of cockroaches, along with spiders and centipedes.

Of course, since I've already encountered both of those here already (and both in my hair, what's up with that?), I suppose it was only a matter of time till the trifecta of creepy-crawlies was complete.

This time, however, the thought flashed through my head that I had but a little over two weeks previously attained the lofty and grown-up age of four-and-twenty years, and it came to me that I could slink away, try to deal with it like I always had by simply trying to avoid it, or that I could exercise the higher-thinking areas of my brain, deal with the situation rationally, and overcome my phobia. I resolved to grasp the bull by the horns, or the cockroach with the hands, which come to the same thing in the end, really.

Let me be perfectly clear: when I said phobia, I meant it. Just seeing a cockroach is A Big Deal for me, causing an immediate spike in anxiety levels, pulse rate, breathing, and circulating blood adrenaline, and a strong urge to put enough distance between me and it that I don't need to worry about it any more. I can't remember any specific incident that caused this response; I just can't remember ever not having it.

So anyway, despite fighting off a minor panic attack, I decided to overcome the irrational terror and simply grab the thing and dispose of it. I still couldn't bring myself to just grab it (the thing was probably less scared of me than I was of it), but I chanced upon some discarded plastic wrapping which was just enough prop – barely – to shore up my rapidly-waning courage to the point where I was able to make a few ineffectual swipes at it before finally encompassing it in my hand.

That moment, when I had it, helpless, in hand; it was...perhaps “liberating” would be a good word. Those of you without phobias (you lucky people) might not be able to appreciate what a deep personal triumph overcoming one is, but I'm sure all the rest of my readers can relate, in some manner. In all honesty I love cockroaches' overall design-shape (so sleek and smooth) and I like looking at them safely contained behind glass, though that didn't stop me from offing this particular intruder; trespassers of that sort cannot be tolerated!

Anyway, if this post seems somewhat less lucid than is my wont, it might have something to do with the not-inconsiderable levels of stress hormones still making their way out of my bloodstream. But until next time, a hui hou!


  1. Hooray! I don't have a cockroach phobia (mine is, ironically, bees), but I still screamed every time I saw one. And ran away. I'm not ashamed.

    1. That sounds rather like a phobia to me, but if you don't want to call it that...


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