My “Fear” of Buzzing Insects

Here are a few facts that everyone knows:
• Bees will only sting you if provoked and they die from stinging, meaning they wouldn’t usually do it
• Wasps won’t sting you unless angry
• They’re more scared of you than you are of them
• They aren’t actually concentrated on you – either they’re finding a way out or just flying around
• English flies are harmless. They can’t hurt you. Seriously.

Now, I know all this: when I’m away from something that buzzes, I’m totally fine. I list all the reasons why I shouldn’t be scared. When I hear one? I completely, completely freak out.

I’m asked a lot why I have such an extreme reaction to anything – literally anything – that makes a buzzing sound. My token response – “I’m blind so can’t see where they are or what they are, meaning it could be a wasp and I wouldn’t realise – works in most cases. However, even when I know it’s a fly or a bee that wouldn’t harm me, I have the exact same reaction. I can’t ignore it; everything in me becomes focused on where it might be, listening out for it and avoiding it.

To illustrate this, a situation happened to me today which brought my fear into sharp focus. I was home alone – my sister and dad went to an art gallery which is pretty much useless to me. I had just finished my lunch when I heard the horribly familiar buzz of something – wasp, bee or fly I still don’t know.

After that, I had one of the worst freakouts I’ve had in a while. Some of it was documented on my Twitter but what happened was that for half an hour – perhaps more – I sat in the same seat, shaking so hard and frantically messaging anyone, just to try and keep my mind under control.

I kept on hearing it. It flew into the kitchen, flew around me once and went towards the window. It quietened for a bit – it just stopped – and every time that happened, I stayed stock still because I knew it was still there. After a few minutes it’d start up again, faintly in the living room but soon coming back into the room I was in. Every time I heard it, I would sob “No please!” and gasping – honestly crying out of terror and not even logical terror. At one point, I thought there were two of them; I was unable to do anything. I called my mum, telling her I was bored and wanted to go to hers, trying to minimise my shaking whilst on the phone.

Now I’m out of the situation, it seems strange to me how terrified I truly was. That is until I remember that all the windows were closed and all the doors to the rooms in my house were open. That meant that the insect couldn’t escape but it was able to fly anywhere; i would have no idea where it was. Because of that, I was so scared that I didn’t want to move and then couldn’t. I couldn’t bypass the fear – what if it appeared whilst I was walking? What if it was just inside the other room and I would be faced with it? What if it was right behind my head and when I moved, it’d continue buzzing?

I managed to run upstairs – I spoke to my dad, barely able to stop myself from shrieking when I heard the thing again. When I got into my room and was alone, having slammed the door, I sat there crying in shock for about 10 minutes because I hardly ever react that badly.

I suppose it was because I was alone. Whenever I’m around people, it’s not so bad; I can just talk to them loudly and try to ignore the buzzing. I don’t want to go out into the garden in the daytime just in case – especially if I wanted to do work out there. When I’m in the park, I’m never alone and the insects don’t bother me because if I hear them, I can run as grass and paths are stretched out before me. It’s avoidance tactics at its best.

Luckily, I know it can’t be a diagnosable phobia: I only display a small percentage of symptoms. One key thing is that when I’m away from them, I’m not terrified because if I hear a bee on TV and am assured it’s not in the house with me, I calm down completely and can carry on as usual. It doesn’t affect the entirety of my life or intrerupt everything I do. However, it’s horrible.

My main problem is that people don’t understand. I’m aware that my fear is illogical but if you put me in the same room as an insect which buzzes and leave me, I’ll scream up a storm and would probably resort to tearing at the walls if I felt like I couldn’t get out. People say that they’re harmless and I know that but that knowledge doesn’t transfer into the situation when I’m in it. There’s only one person I’ve found who fully understands this and that’s All the Jazz who has honestly been a lifesaver to me today. Just no know that there’s someone who gets it and doesn’t think I’m either being pathetic or stupid for crying my eyes out because of a fucking tiny thing with wings is such a comfort.

Apart from forcing myself to be around bees or anything that buzzes, there’s not much I can do about my… Rather extreme reaction. It never used to be like this when I was a child – or I don’t remember it being – but nothing traumatic happened involving insects for me so I have no idea why it’s such a huge thing. Maybe it was because I spent so long avoiding them because of the little fear that it’s now grown into something almost unmanageable.

You’re not an idiot for being scared of something. Only you can tell yourself that your fear is illogical or not because only you can describe and experience your personal “brand” of it. To other people, it might not make sense but to you, the heart-pounding, tear-inducing fright makes all the sense in the world.

From Elm 🙂

Connecting to Myself Again

Lately, I’ve been feeling really “dulled”: my emotions have been dimmer; I don’t know how to react to much any more; I haven’t been feeling things as strongly and can’t express that. It took a walk on Saturday to figure that out and I remember just feeling numbed and blank as I walked through the park with my dad and then scared because of that.

Yesterday, I took a 2 hour walk in the same park, with my dad again. I’d gone home the previous day and just felt like I was floating around – the emotions I’ve been feeling for months finally able to be realised, felt and analysed. It’s not like it’s been constant: I’ve had a lot of times when I’ve felt perfectly fine, laughing and feeling and being happier than ever. This is like when I go to blind camp, when I meet bloggers especially and on days with my friends. When I’m at home, surrounded by people I don’t know, just thinking, existing or not doing much, I don’t feel as “with it” as I used to.

On yesterday’s walk, something changed. In an abstract way beforehand, I’d thought that I needed to really do something about my lack of expression – my quietness and how I’d withdrawn into myself. We went around the pond, walked into a garden in the park, strode along paths and grass; I was exhausted afterwards but it was more than worth it.

It was a beautiful day: the sun was shining, birds were screeching and children laughed. Dogs barked, I could hear my feet on the ground and the air didn’t feel heavy on my skin. Usually, I get guided by my dad and I hold his arm; yesterday, I walked mostly by myself, except when I was approaching a large group of people or when I nearly walked into a stream. It was freeing: I felt so bloody alive. Being surrounded by nature – trees, little waterfalls, bridges over lakes – put shit in perspective.

It was the simplicity of it: too often my head gets so crowded that it can’t process the thoughts and so it just, well, gives up; I’ve never been good at thinking in words but when the sensations that you think themselves aren’t as bright as they once were, everything can get hazy. Imagine nature as having had cleared a little of that fog. I felt calmed: not utterly, as the conversations with my dad were making me feel the appropriate sorts of emotions, but connected with the world enough to properly take in what was happening around me and what he was saying.

After we’d had an icecream and went home, I did some work. The key difference between yesterday and the day before was that I could do my work without my thoughts becoming blurry; I could think about it and not want to throw my computer across the room with frustration. One chapter and a half of Jane Eyre was fully analysed and I got a little inspiration to do some casual psychology revision. It’s remarkable what getting me away from the sometimes stagnant atmosphere of the indoors, the usual, can do to my health.

In the evening for dinner, I went round the house of Rose and Poppy and their family. I’ve known them all my life and I’ve never had to make an effort to keep up conversation with them: I love them like sisters; they put up with me and my stupid younger self. If they can deal with that, they can pretty much deal with any weirdness I display now. I sang with them, laughing with them and insulted them: the usual things we do. It was nothing out of the ordinary but that’s why I liked it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really haven’t been feeling emotions like you’d expect me to. It took Saturday and yesterday – the realisations versus feeling truly alive again – for me to notice that my attitude, my thoughts, have been so… Quiet. So out of place and silenced, shall we say.

It took those two days to know that I could do something about that. Put me in the midst of nature, happiness or somewhere where I feel utterly comfortable and where I love my surroundings and you have yourself a properly connected and self-aware Elm. I think that I need to start finding ways to remember what things feel like without paranoia and worry, like I did in the park.

For me, this is positive. I know how to mend what’s happening, having only come to the conclusion that it was happening recently. However, the fact that I so quickly did something about it – perhaps not intentionally but it was still done – shows me that deep down, I’m not just an empty shell.

From Elm 🙂

The Spirit Animal Blog Award

OH this is so cool!

My amazing friend Shubby created the Spirit Animal Award, and SEEMING AS I’VE DONE NO AWARDS RECENTLY, I thought I’d actually do this one.

The Rules:
1. Put the award picture on your blog. (I TRIED but because of blind power, I can’t because pictures yay)

2. Write a short paragraph (it could literally be about 5 lines) about yourself and what your blog means to you. Oh and if you could be one animal, what would it be?

3. Nominate 10 other bloggers to do this award.

4. That’s it really 🙂

SOOO here we go!

I guess I don’t define myself in a NAME, hence why I call myself Elm on here. I’m a teen, creative I suppose, and I’m just trying to make as many people as happy as possible while I still can. That’s a MASSIVE shift in attitude from when I first started my blog, because then I was angry and I shut myself away, OR I told everyone EVERYTHING depending on my mood. Basically, I was a moron. I can thank my blog and you guys and my real life friends for helping me to realise what an idiot I was being, because if I hadn’t, I would still be spreading rumours and acting stupid when I THOUGHT I was being mature. This blog is my home and it’s where I can express myself and as cliché as it is, I can be MYSELF. I’m not free from judgement, but that doesn’t matter; I’m just free from ME judging myself.

Bloody hell that was deep.

If I was an animal, I would LOVE to be… Oh man, this is hard. A bird. Some kind of bird.

And I nominate (sorry for not linking to your abouts so it will pingback)

1. Unfashionable Cupcake

2. Nikki and Amy

3. Dziey

4. April

5. Colette

6. Xan

7. TopsyTurveyKid

8. L

9. GirlsBlog

10. Tash

And that’s it! I hope you have fun with this 🙂

From Elm 🙂

Clouds are Cute

This post is not about clouds, at all; how do some people see clouds as objects! “That cloud looks like Kanye West!”

Kanye West? Seriously? Or even a tree. (See what I did there?)

I’m getting off track. I don’t even know what track I’m on.

YEAH, so I haven’t been posting because I’m a right bitch. Sorry; I haven’t even got an excuse. Things have SORT OF been hectic? BAH? Nah. Not really, but I’m lazy and a cow. AND I haven’t been reading your posts either – seriously, how are you guys?

Something beautiful and amazing happened last night. I’ll tell you about it, perhaps later; I just need to get my thoughts in order. But I have to thank you for being supportive, and always helping me to feel positive and make ME happy. You’re all great; don’t forget that.

I got nominated for a thingy, so I’ll do that soon. I need to get back into blogging, BIG TIME.

SHIT, I have 670 followers. I think. What the hell? I love you all.

From Elm 🙂

PS: Does anyone ever want to guest post on here? How DO you even guest post?