“Pantophobia. That’s what it’s called. Pantophobia. Not fear of pants though, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s fear of everything. Including pants, I suppose.” – Doctor Who “Night Terrors”
Although I have a lot of fears, I don’t technically have any phobias. Nothing keeps me from leaving the house if I really, really want to. I’m lucky this way, because deep inside I know… I can do whatever I set my mind to do.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t things that don’t give me the willies or the heebie jeebies or just generally scare the bejeezus out of me. But, if pressed, I will face them. If I have to. Because I have no other choice. And believe me, I will look for other choices. I will make excuses. I will most definitely trap that creepy crawly bug under the cup and leave a note on it asking my husband to kill it before he goes to work the next day. I’m lucky, because my husband will kill the bug, and not the cup, because he loves me and knows I will not stand for that smart ass shit when it comes to a bug.
Another thing I will do is hide in my new apartment in my new city until I absolutely, positively NEED to leave it.
That’s right. I am so completely not interested in learning how to get around Chicago right now, that I have been here for four weeks and have only left the apartment by myself once. And it was terrible.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I needed to go to IKEA (because I FINALLY live in a city with an IKEA, so I don’t have to set a whole day aside to drive there and back, and I don’t have to have a humongous freezer to store a supply of meatballs that will last until I can get there again). I also needed some other household items and groceries, so I decided to hit Walmart on the way back. To complicate matters, it was raining, so I was in a Fibro flare. My husband later told me he never expected me to go to either IKEA or Walmart that day, much less both. But I was determined, so I did. My Garmin Lady got me to IKEA without issue. Yay! My Garmin Lady was slightly less helpful getting me to the Walmart, because she insisted that the direct route just HAD to include a roundabout, where I nearly caused a pile-up because I am an American and we suck at navigating roundabouts. Just admit it, Yanks. We don’t understand them, we don’t like them, and we will do anything to avoid them. I’m reasonably sure that the other cars I almost hit in the roundabout were also surprised to find themselves in a roundabout, and were also cursing their GPS systems for making them go through one.
I finally got to Walmart, I got my shopping done, and I am EXHAUSTED. I’m close to exhaustipated, if you know what I mean. (You know, so tired you just can’t give a shit anymore.) I didn’t care what I had to do to get back to my new home, I just wanted to be there. Sometimes, this is a miraculous time for me. My body has long since told me that we just aren’t going to move another muscle, so we might as well just sit down now and take a nap, and yet I’m too tired to listen to it, so I just keep going. That night, and it was night by the time I left Walmart, I was running on fumes, and by all accounts, I shouldn’t have been upright. The brain wasn’t functioning, I was completely on autopilot, and the Garmin Lady was basically driving the car.
Which is why I missed my exit.
And I realized it as I sailed right past it. And then had to drive 5 more miles to the next exit, where the Garmin Lady took me through a lovely little neighborhood in her fancy way of getting me to do a U-turn. I seriously thought, “I could live here! If I lived here, I’d be home right now, and I could take a nap in my driveway. (Because there were some nice driveways attached to the nice houses.) These houses look nice. I bet there’s not a lot of crime here. Why can’t I just live here? Just for tonight, maybe?” But, I knew I couldn’t. Hubby and kitties and my very own bed were waiting for me, one exit back on the highway.
Well, sort of.
See, there’s no exit for my road going the other direction. So, I had to go past my road, to another exit, make another fancy U-turn, get back on the highway, and try my luck at not missing my exit again.
I didn’t miss it. Pat on the back for me!
I finally got home, called my husband to come help me unload the car, we unloaded the car, and I don’t remember much else from that evening. I do know, however, that my husband did not bring up the fact that I was half an hour late getting home because HE KNEW what I had done before I told him. And he didn’t laugh at me, though he had every right to laugh and tease me mercilessly. He’s a god among men, my husband. He just helped me put away the groceries, let me babble on about my day, told me how proud he was that I left the house by myself, and said that he was very impressed at how much I did and how well I did it in spite of being in a flare.
And that, my friends, is why I’m not afraid to leave the house. He believes I can do it, and he tells me that I can do it, and when I manage to do it, he tells me how proud of me he is that I did it. You can’t buy that kind of support. I can only hope that I’m half the spouse to him that he is to me.
Now, about that whole public transportation thing… Yeah… not doing that. Well, not yet.