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Katsaridaphobia

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Katsaridaphobia.

The fear of roaches.

When I was younger, I always had a tendency to play with insects and arachnids. I would play with wasps, tarantulas, spiders, beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, one time I even played with a scorpion! This got me into trouble more times than I count, for at the time I didn’t realize the dangers of playing with such creatures. I continued playing with them until I was around nine years old, so I was pretty ignorant for sure.

One time when I was messing with a wasp nest, quite a few wasps flew out. As I had previously mentioned, I didn’t realize the dangers of playing with such creatures. I ran away from them, of course, but I thought of it as a game of tag. I stumbled over a root from a nearby tree, and immediately the wasps began to sting me. I screamed in agony as they repeatedly stung me. If you are allergic to wasp stings, then you know why I was screaming in agony.

The last thing I heard before I blacked out was my aunt screaming at the sight of my scrunched up body being stung by about half a dozen wasps. The last thing I saw before I blacked out was a roach run across my line of sight

A few weeks after the incident, I was ready to leave the hospital. I had developed a severe allergy to wasp and ant stings. The stinging had actually sent me into anaphylactic shock. The people monitoring my condition had stated that I was lucky to still be alive. Most children of my age would have died from that degree of stings.

Throughout those weeks that I was in the hospital, I kept having hallucinations of roaches, and I didn’t know why. It was probably because of the drugs I was given, now that I think of it.

My parents told me that if I was ever caught messing with bugs again, I would get my ass whipped. I would have to assume that it was because the hospital bill was expensive and my parents were very poor.

Despite being told this, I still messed with bugs behind my parents’ backs.

One day during eighth grade, I was pouring some water on an ant bed, and some kids that were playing soccer kicked the ball, hitting me straight in the back of the knees. This sent me crashing down into the ant bed.

A couple of them stayed behind and laughed at me. The rest either rushed over to help me or went to get the help of nearby staff. After being sent to the school infirmary, I was sent home. There it was; it was another roach scurrying by.

I lied to my parents about messing with the ants. I told the partial truth, telling them that I was walking by and the soccer-ball hit me in the leg, knocking me into a nearby ant bed. I don’t think they believed me, but they were most likely too worried for my wellbeing to care about my lying.

That night, I saw another roach. I just kind of froze in utter fear. My mind was telling me that something bad was about to happen, as I thought back to my hallucinations at the hospital, the incident with the wasps that nearly killed me, and when I fell into that ant bed.

Thankfully, nothing happened. It just scurried off.

Nothing happened for about nine more years. I had gotten a girlfriend, gotten my Bachelor’s degree in European History, and had landed a teaching job at a high school in Denmark. Then it happened: the brutal beating of my sister.

She was beat to death by her ex-husband a year-and-half after she divorced. They divorced after she learning that he had been sneaking out while she was at work to “meet up” with some other woman. The woman claimed that she was 19, even though she was actually 16. He was let out of jail after the police said that there was no evidence of sexual relations with the girl.

Upon my discovery of her death, I flew back to Arizona. A few hours after the funeral ended, on the way back to my hotel I watched a couple of roaches scurry down the street. “What do you want with me?!” I shouted, almost sounding maniacal.

Aaht! Aahht! Screech!

“Alex! Alexander, please!” She began shaking me frantically, hoping that I was alive.

“Yes, Lujayn?” I muttered. I noticed the nearby wreck.

“They… they crashed into a building trying not to hit you,” she muttered. At this point, I had just noticed that the driver was… dead. She had so many shards of glass in her face, it almost looked like there were crystals growing out of her head.

“The damned roaches are back!” I maniacally shouted. “They want me dead, I swear!”

After we returned to Denmark, Lujayn told me to see a therapist. After about four months of therapy, I was, for the most part, back to normal. I still had Katsaridaphobia, the fear of roaches, but not as strongly as before.

One night, I was watching some South Park. Then I heard Lujayn scream, but just as soon as her scream began, it ended. I jumped up, got our gun and went toward the area I heard the scream; nothing was there. I was in a completely black and brown room. I saw Lujayn walk up to me. For some reason, she began getting undressed, but as soon as she dropped her clothes, her skin also fell off, revealing what appeared to be thousands of roaches.

The floor began to shift; when I looked down, I immediately regretted it. The floor was made of roaches, and they were crawling up my legs. Some roaches began flying down from the ceiling so that they could get on my head and hit me from all sides. They ended up completely covering my body, head to toe. After they had completely covered my body, they began to tear it open and bite it open.

I finally woke up, drenched in sweat. I was lying in the hall, next to the master bedroom. I got up, and went to sleep next to Lujayn. When I looked next to the bed, I realized that I had lost everything.

I went back to my therapist. She advised that I see a professional, someone who charges more but does better than she could. I decided that no therapy could help what I was going through: my hallucinations, delusions, the roaches, my causing someone to die, and Lujayn’s death.

I was fired from my job. My family basically disowned me for moving to Demark and marrying a Syrian. I no longer had any money left.

I went to my office. That brings us to the end of my story. The roaches are calling me now. Telling me to join them. I will be going now, to live with the roaches.

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