I am living in a constant state of fear


Sofia Hargis-Acevedo

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my column, it is just really pretty.

Chiroptophobia: The fear of bats.

The night that this fear was unveiled to me was a typical night for my third-grade self. I was playing with my Lego Friends by the fireplace with the movie Frozen playing in the background. I continued to hear a peculiar sound up in the chimney, but chose to ignore it and continued playing. 

Eventually, the culprit of the noise decided to strike. 

It clung against the screen that covered our fireplace, while I sat there screaming bloody murder. Once I came to my senses, I grabbed as many of my Lego Friends as I could, in an attempt to save them. I ran to my mother in the other room, telling her that a rat got into the house.

It wasn’t a rat. 

I slept in my parent’s room that night, and the bat met its fate the following morning with my dad’s tennis racket. From then on, bats have terrified me to the point of tears.

Autophobia: The fear of being alone.

The concept of being alone and I have never fit well together. Throughout the course of the COVID-19 shutdown, my conflict with loneliness has grown more intense. 

The days I have spent home alone doing my online school have been agony. Being by myself makes me feel uneasy, especially when it is silent. I cannot recall a time when I have been home alone without music playing. Music is my safehouse, my comfort sound. It causes all of my fears to melt away like ice cream on a hot summer day. 

I long to live my life without any fear or any worry. I long to be daring, exciting.”

Lepidopterophobia: The fear of butterflies.

I used to adore butterflies.

I used to beg my parents to go to Frederik Meijer Gardens to see if I would be the lucky girl who had a butterfly land on her head. My dad and I would always get so excited when we saw the big blue butterflies; they have always been my dad’s favorite.

Everything changed during the spring break of fourth grade.

I have no idea what happened. My family and I went to a butterfly sanctuary in Cincinnati, Ohio. For the entire duration of the car ride, I was ecstatic to go. 

The second I walked in, I started bawling.

I don’t have the slightest clue as to why I started crying. Butterflies are such delicate, beautiful insects, and they terrify me. We were in the butterfly sanctuary for a mere ten minutes before leaving.

I have yet to step into another butterfly sanctuary again.

Phobias have always been an unsolvable enigma for me. I have always wondered how they form, and why we have them. I don’t relish being scared of so many things. I feel so limited to all that I can do because I’m scared.

I don’t want to be scared.

I long to live my life without any fear or any worry. I long to be daring, exciting. I long to take risks, to “live on the edge.” I long to live a life filled with surprises. I long to live a life with no regrets.

But I’m scared.

Koinophobia: The fear of not living.