Hi everyone! My name is Chris and this is why I am here.
I have an extreme phobia of worms and especially, parasitic worms.
Linky from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoleciphobia
I am not sure when I developed this phobia, but it has gotten worse and worse since I have gotten older. My education and my job only make this worse.
TRIGGER WARNING! If you are afraid of worms and similar creatures, my story may trigger you. I'm sorry! It makes my skin crawl just to type this. Don't read further if you are as scared as me. Unless you want to and maybe can help?
I'm very much embarrassed by my phobia. My family and friends find it hilarious, but of course, I do not.
I don't know how or when or why I developed this phobia. This is my story:
I remember when I was a little kid and went fishing with my family. I was not afraid of worms or maggots when I was a little kid. I clearly recall baiting a fish hook with worms or grubs with no problem. My dad used to send me out into our yard after it rained to dig up fishing worms. I'd dig them up, pick them up with my hands and put them in a bucket for our next fishing trip. No problem. My dad bought little styrofoam containers of maggots for ice fishing and put them into our refridgerator. That never bothered me when I was a kid, but just the idea makes me want to vomit now!
Somewhere during my mid 20's I started to find worms to be disgusting. I don't recall any specific incident or anything that caused me to become to grossed out. I just started to find worms unpleasant to look at. I disected earthworms in biology class in high school with no problem. I went into the army after high school. I remember in basic training digging a fox hole and there were earth worms in the soil. They were no big deal then either.
After I got out of the army I started having nightmares about worms invading my body. I thought they were just nightmares. After I got out of the army I went to college. I have always loved animals and I wanted to become a veterinarian. I started college. My classes were mostly biology. That's when the phobia really hit me.
I started off doing very well in college. I had a 4.0. Until zoology and parasitology class. When I started to learn about all the worms in our environment, all the microscopic worms, all the parasites, all about how the worms live and mate and everything, I started getting really freaked out and paranoid. I tried to ignore it. I worked for about 2 years in a wildlife rescue center when I was in college. It was part of my education to become a veterinarian. I loved helping the animals and I was good at it, but I was always freaked out by looking for worms. Some of the birds ate worms for food. Lots of animals were infested with parasitic worms. It became intolerable.
It became so bad that I dropped out of college. I gave up on my dream of becoming a veterinarian because I was so freaked out by just the idea of worms!
Well, I dropped out of college and worked for about 5 years at a desk job. Despite being as far away from worms as physically possible, my phobia got worse.
I eventually went back to college and got a degree in geology. There were times during geology classes that I had to dig into the soil and so forth. I managed to play it "cool" and ignore any possibility of earth worms. I saw earthworms during a few field classes but managed to play it off so no one caught on that I was ready to pee my pants and puke my guts up!
Well, I have been working as a geologist for several years now. I do have to deal with earthworms sometimes when I need to dig or drill into the soil. I'm about half ok with earthworms, so long as I have rubber gloves on. I dont like to even look at them, let alone touch them, but I do, so long as I have gloves on. I use a shovel or something to get them as far away from me as possible when I encounter them. It's the parasitic worms, maggots, and other worms in the world that really freak me out.
I'm constantly in fear that I will get infested with some bizarre parasite. The TV shows like "Monster inside me" on animal planet only make it worse, yet I can't help but watch. My cats are indoor cats but I constantly get them checked for worms several times a year. I look for worms all over the place, even in places where they would not possibly be. I'm totally obsessed and freaked out by just the idea of some worms. I have a true phobia and it sucks because I know it is not rational.
What makes it worse is that I recently had 2 incidents where my worse fears came true. I can't even talk about them right now. Even though I know they cant hurt me I totally freaked out. I ended up moving to a new house and completely abandoning my old house because of it. I'll talk about those 2 incidents if people really want to know but it will be hard for me.
What sucks is that I KNOW that phobias are not rational. I KNOW that what I am afraid of cannot hurt me. I am fearless in so many actual dangerous situations, yet encounters with freaking little worms and other similar creatures make me cry and run away!
Well, that's why I am here.