Phobia , Phobia, and Phobia

Phobias are irrational fears of people, places, and things. There are several common phobias that plague millions of people. Agoraphobia was once known as “the fear of public places.” Research revealed that agoraphobia is the fear of the “unknown”. It can refer to anything that someone believes is unfamiliar.

An extreme fear of heights is called Acrophobia. People who suffer this way stay away from planes as well as  any moving contraption that has the capacity to take flight. As a man with a developmental disability, I have had many phobias about people and situations.

I thought I would never drive a car. I thought I would never appreciate traveling. I’m happy to report that I’ve been to Arkansas, Oregon, Florida, Texas, South Carolina,  Ohio, Washington,  and Indiana. Achieving the peace to travel followed confronting years of anxiety and depression.

I still wonder how I did it. I had to overcome being worthy enough to travel and look beyond my Cerebral Palsy and my past pain.

American people have many irrational fears or phobias, —- that keep them from moving beyond their own disabilities.

Some Americans fear that gay people are a virus that might threaten happy heterosexual couples. That idea formed after years of phobia and hatred. It continues indefinitely into the present.  It was enough to incite violence in places where the GLBT community found safety and respect. The answer isn’t black and white.  People have used faith as “divine retribution” to justify killing the innocent. Even though, the Ten Commandments say “Thou shall not kill”, many people still die.

However, some people feel so threatened that would rather kill people than address what really frightens them. The idea of fear isn’t just in the GLBT community. The GLBT community has also started a journey confronting internal fear.

Here are few of these phobias:

There’s the fear that character isn’t as important as visibility and false pride. There’s the implied idea that the entire gay community is ONE thriving unit, when the truth is: The gay community is as diverse as the flag that represents it. There’s also the implicit prejudice that goes unidentified in the gay community, because some gay people still are new to the idea of “Transgendered rights.”

People are still threatened and phobic of the mentally ill and those with special needs. It concerns me that we haven’t reached a place in American progress where a special needs person is a person without a wheelchair or machine.

In many communities, the mentally ill are identified as “WEIRD” people. Many people haven’t gone far enough to show them the grace that they desperately need. As a result, you hear about them killing others and killing themselves, all because the right to bear arms is being misused.  Some of us have a phobia of education, because we are afraid that if those we fear know the truth, we will lose the loose grip that we have on our own sense of what is “RIGHT”.

That, my friends—-is a BIG PHOBIA!

I’m a special needs person. However, I don’t appear to be so. A person with a unique skill set identifies my Cerebral Palsy and chooses to not be an asshole. It’s a blessing and a curse. Some people ignore it because it makes them uncomfortable. Others are afraid to ask me why I look “a certain way” because they are afraid to offend me. All of this occurs because people are AFRAID.

I needed to leave Louisiana to understand that in the South, we are still phobic. Some of us are hazards to ourselves. I went to Portland, OR and saw a very small black community. You can’t tell me that the community isn’t small because of some unacknowledged phobia. That being said, Portland is a wonderful place.

I met a comedian by the name of Jeremy Eli, that made the WHOLE trip worth it! Maybe, the black community there is small because it’s NOT Atlanta. (Cue the crickets!)

(I’m black and don’t eat Collard Greens with hot sauce) – inside joke… you have to had been there!

A weird thing happened while visiting Seattle and Portland. I wasn’t afraid to be a 31-year-old disabled man who knew some shit. It felt liberating for once to just BE. I could take a mental break and stop over-preparing myself for the next PHOBIC asshole around the corner. That was weird!

I was able to be a tourist discovering a new place. I’m aware that was only there a short time…but it was LIFE-CHANGING.

Maybe, I’m biased but I hope my experience begins a dialogue. It’s weird and frightening—-and STILL EXCELLENT—-how just a few days in TWO really different places changes your mind about your outlook!

I stopped fretting over the judgment about the fact that a nerdy black Cajun guy and his nerdy Cajun-French friend took a cross-country road trip. Imagine that!

Finally, it’s important that we, the people understand how toxic phobias perpuate idiotic ideas. We need to work our fears out. Stop accepting the idea that there aren’t COMPLEX, SPIRITUAL, FORGIVING, UNDERSTANDING people ready to meet you where you are. The journey is difficult and it takes much hope and patience.

We need to be on the look out for people who haven’t asked themselves enough questions because they aren’t comfortable.

I’ve gone through much. I’m still figuring out my life, but I still don’t blame others for my shortcomings. I blame myself more than anything. I blame myself for the crazy irrational shit I dreamed up, all because I was too scared and afraid to question things.

Be very afraid of people in your environment who don’t want to learn! Someone wise told me:

Great people talk about ideas; ordinary people talk about things; small minded people talk about other people.

Thank God… I’m not a small-minded person!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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