Phobia of loud noises and blinking red lights

by Anna
(Cape May County, New Jersey)

Well, I have always thought I was a brave girl. However, I was wrong.

For one thing, I am TERRIFIED of loud noises. Popping a balloon, turning on a chainsaw or blender, or even vacuuming SCARES me. I mean, it's a little childish, but my heart starts to race and I start to panic whenever there is a loud, sudden noise. My most known object I am scared of for this reason is automatic toilets, or actually any public toilet.

Whenever I am using the bathroom during gym or in public, I have someone check to see if it is automatic or not. Then if it is, I still walk hesitantly into the stall where I cover my ears and try to go as fast as I can. I always jump up when I am done or someone else flushed and actually tried to avoid flushing my entire childhood. Then, when automatic toilets started getting popular, I figured I have to flush myself since it is better then having it do it itself. I never liked autoflush toilets.

I know it's because of the loud noise and blinking red light combined, but for many years I could not figure out why. All I knew was that I could NOT use the toilet. And I know someone could hold their hand over the sensor, but in school or in public, it's a little embarrassing to have your mother, sister, or even friend walk into the stall with you. And it's not just with automatic toilets; I am scared of automatic sinks and Xbox 360's "Ring of Death".

When I was trying to fix my Xbox 360 a few months ago, I tried restarting it to make it work, (since it was frozen). Well, as I was on my hands and knees a foot from the Xbox, its Ring of Death showed up as it powered up. It was dark too, so it made it look scarier. I mean, my sister was with me, but I just could NOT hold it in. I screamed.

I thought I did not have that bad of the phobia, when I looked back. So I looked it up on Google. When I saw the images of the Rings of Death, I literally almost had a heart attack. Instead I had a panic attack. I almost stared crying because of how scared I was.

Even though these are childish fears, I know I still have them today, (actually the incident with the Googled Ring of Death's happened last night, sadly). I am pretty sure that I will have these fears for the rest of my life. And I have had them for the past 14 years of my life.

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