Melissophobia, A Confession

As a horror writer I’m often asked what scares me. Unfortunately for my inquirers, I always give the same unexciting answer. No, not snakes, spiders, clowns, or tightly-confined spaces. I’m not afraid of heights or the sight of blood. I’m afraid of bees. Buzzing, stinging bees. Like, seriously. I will scream like a 4yr old girl and run for dear life if one lands near me. I will hesitate for 15min before entering my apartment if a hornet’s nest is above the doorway.  When I flee, I squeeze my eyes shut while shrieking and flailing my arms. I’m paranoid something will sting me. And the most ironic part of having this phobia is that I’ve never been stung! Not once.

Melissophobia is the phobia of getting stung by bees and wasps. I’ve harbored this irrational fear since I was 4 or 5 years old. As a cruel joke on my brother, I kicked a trashcan over that had a hornet’s nest so they would swarm him. He was stung so many times he was rushed to the hospital afterwards. From that moment on, I’ve been terrified of bees. Perhaps it’s residual guilt from a childish prank gone wrong. Who knows? All I know is that I’m more afraid of bees than my little brother is. He will waltz right up to a nest and smack it.

How has this phobia impacted my life? Well, it limits how much time I spend outdoors. Sometimes I get the urge to roll my desk onto my patio and write. However, if a bee meanders nearby I will abandon my laptop and run back inside, haha. It may take an hour for me to work up the nerve to gather my things on the patio again.

So I’ve told you my phobia. What’s yours?

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