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A minor freakout - Elf M. Sternberg
A minor freakout
So, I have a phobia. (Have I mentioned this before?) Knives. Just knives. In other people's hands. I can handle a knife without a qualm, and have actually taught my kids good knife habits in the kitchen. I can watch people swing swords or handle guns without a twinge. Forks and spoons, don't make me laugh. But if someone else picks up a knife I have this strong reaction to back away very fast. It can be any knife, even a simple butter knife.

Obviously, I've learned to control this reaction in public or I'd never be able to eat in a public restaurant.

Last night, at an auction fundraiser for Kouryou-chan's school, we won second place in the dessert contest, Omaha ran and got a delicious fruit tart thing, and the staff brought us a long, broad serrated cake knife.

I was already exhausted. Whatever is the brain chemical that lets extroverts enjoy this sort of event, I had long run out of it. It was a chaotic, alcohol-fueled mess, the speakers were too loud, my right ear canal had long ago collapsed in self-defense, the audience was still screaming. School auctions are like that.

I was doing okay as long as Omaha held it. I've been with her long enough, experience with her experience with knives helped. But then the guy to my left, who I'm sure is a nice guy, picked it up.

My chair and I jerked backwards about three feet and ninety degrees toward escape. I'm lucky I didn't knock over a waiter. And then I caught myself. "Are you okay?" Omaha asked.

"Knife," I muttered.

"Oh," she said. I got my reaction back under control, came back to the table and settled back in, apologizing. I don't think that's the greatest first impression I'd like to leave these people with, though. Sigh
4 comments or Leave a comment
mouser From: mouser Date: April 5th, 2014 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just being nosey, but is there something that happened to create the trigger, or is this "just one of those things"?

Or, none of our business?
elfs From: elfs Date: April 5th, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's just one of those things. I've never had a bad encounter with someone with a knife, at least not since my circumcision.
From: anthologie Date: April 5th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you didn't already, you could have had "sorry, I have a knife phobia! I know it's irrational. I'm okay." Lots of people have phobias or know people who do; might strike up a conversation that helps you feel calmer. :)
solarbird From: solarbird Date: April 6th, 2014 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I react exactly the same way to bees - jerk back a metre, ninety degrees toward escape, keep moving if it does.

So, yeah. Empathy.
4 comments or Leave a comment