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Entomophobia is the irrational fear of bugs. Symptoms include anxiety, dread, and extreme measures taken in order to avoid any encounter with a bug. I’ve had Entomophobia ever since I can remember, but recently, it’s been worsening.

It’s as if my worst fear is after me; appearing in corners, in the bathroom drainpipe, and even on my pillow. Last night, I woke up to a clicking noise and found a giant cockroach 1 inch from my face. I screamed like I had never screamed before, and believe it or not, I called 911 to have them dispose of it. The rest of my night consisted of the police offering to have me committed, and me begging them to kill the awful creature. I’m not crazy for not wanting a strange, disgusting looking thing in my house in the middle of the night. I would honestly rather Hitler pop up unannounced on my bedside then a bug.

It’s not just cockroaches I’m frightened by, it’s every kind of bug; ants, spiders, butterflies, you name it. Whatever the bug is, if it is a bug, I do not want it anywhere near me. Merely looking at an image of a bug makes me sick to my stomach. The other day I had been tidying up around the yard for the first time since I’ve moved in, and I found an earwig had climbed onto my shoulder and was making a beeline for my face. I screamed and thrashed about until the neighbors came out of the houses, and I was retching into the street, doubled over in sickness. I had never felt so sick in my life except for that time when I was 5 years old.

Daddy and I were in the garden, playing a game of hide and seek and I was hiding behind a tall tree that I assumed would provide a great cover. I hugged my knees to my chest and waited, giggling silently over my triumph. Only a minute passed by and I was struck with an agonizing pain in my ear. Daddy quickly came running to find me half-conscious on the ground, face pale white. I woke up in an emergency room. I was told that an ant had crawled into my ear and they were able to remove it before it ferretted its way into my brain. Needless to say, I was mortified; as a young child, the mere thought of a foreign creature crawling into my ear as I played an innocent game terrified me, and I never went into the garden again. That day when I encountered the earwig was my attempt to overcome my fears and go out into the dirt for the first time since. I quickly learned that it was no use trying, and I’ve given up on making amends with the wildlife. I’ve neglected my garden and the grass has been piling up quite high, growing to about 3 feet. The neighbors look at my house funnily and don’t talk to me because of it; they think I’m insane, but I don’t care. It’s better than them thinking I like bugs. I stare out my window, filing my nails, and looking past the grass to the street. It was a quiet, lifeless day. I let out a sigh of relief as it was better to be an eventless day than the opposite.

Suddenly, I was greeted with a familiar buzzing noise. Fear immediately set in and my heart raced double time as I searched the room for any trace of an insect. I went bolting into my room to hide under thick covers, protecting me from anything that may be. I whimpered slightly, and I knew it wrong because it would attract the bugs—and I found myself wiping away tears.

I heard a creak of the door. This struck me as odd—there was no bug that had the strength the open a door, and there was no one else in the house. Now I was sure I was going to have a heart attack, and I was almost afraid to peek. I gathered up my courage and lifted the covers ever so slightly, and what I saw still bewilders me. There was a black figure hovering before my bed. I couldn’t see its face, but I knew it was a bug because I could hear its buzzing. I tentatively lifted the covers higher and I was greeted with a hideous face that belonged to a hunched over creature; huge scorpion-like talons, and dark red eyes that stared through my soul. It was like something out of a really bad acid trip although I’ve never tried drugs in my life. I drew the covers back and screamed, letting out all of my fear until I fell unconscious from exhaust, and I awoke later at night.

Everything seemed normal, although my heart was still beating wildly, and I thought about whether I had fallen asleep under the covers and had a bad nightmare. After all, 10 foot bugs with huge features didn’t exist, did they?

I cautiously made my way into the kitchen, scanning every room before I entered to make sure everything was alright. I wished to call my ex-boyfriend, but we had broken up after he was unhappy with my phobia. That nonaccepting, narrow minded bastard. All I had done was call him at 3 AM, so that he would kill a spider perched in my bath for me, but he was furious when he found out what my emergency was. Just like other people, he didn’t understand, and he left me for my enemies—bugs. They’ve always been ruining my life, starting from my childhood.

I went to sleep expecting insomnia as I always had when I was distressed, but I surprisingly fell asleep quickly. I drifted off into a deep slumber and had a dream of walking into a turquoise beach. When I was about knee length into the water, I was awoken by a mysterious buzzing noise.

I was almost afraid to open my eyes, but I did. I was glad to find out that nothing appeared to me in the room with me, but something was knocking on my closed bedroom door. It was a muffled knocking, but loud.

I sat up in my bed and yelled for it to go away, but the door was suddenly smashed down and the impact sent me flying back into my bed. I didn’t even have time to look at what had come through before I felt the feeling of a millions little bugs crawling under my skin—my arms, my legs, even my head and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I scratched and clawed at my skin in attempt to rid the creatures, but the feeling only intensified until I was doubled over, thrashing about as my internal organs were invaded by the things I hated the most. It was uncomfortable and painful at the same time. And the feeling of bugs crawling about inside my skull was excruciating.

I couldn’t bear the intense torture anymore and I forced myself to stand but I quickly fell to my knees. I couldn’t tell what was going on in front of me because my eye sockets had been infested by bugs and I was blinded, but I could hear the sound of incessant buzzing that had been formed into a monotone hum that sickened me to the point where I was vomiting violently. I scratched at my face with all my might until my skin came peeling off and blood came pouring onto the hardwood floor. I ripped out hair from my skull, and forced off fingernails. I didn’t mind the pain, it was much less that than enduring bugs inside of me. I imagined all of the bugs falling out onto the floor as I tore off more flesh, and I continued. I clawed at my skull until almost all of my flesh was gone and I was left with a hollow skull and eyeballs dangling from torn apart sockets. I preceded to yanking out my teeth. This was the hardest part I endured for the sake of removing the bugs, and I collapsed from dizziness when I was halfway done. I could hear the sound of ambulance sirens as I lay on the floor, drooling out of my mouth, tongue lying in front of me, ripped off. I didn’t need to have sight to know that I had passed out, and I awoke in a padded room.

A straightjacket bound my existing limbs together, and I still wasn’t able to see or speak, even though I assumed I looked like a wreck. I occasionally heard the nurses snickering at me, as if they didn’t know I still had hearing. I couldn’t eat so I had to feed off of a feeding tube, and I was always totally aware if I heard the sound of buzzing. Too bad I didn’t take off my ears, huh?