Updated: Oct 1, 2018

Don't let my truck-driver sized shoulders fool you. Despite being larger than the average middle-school linebacker, I am a complete and total wiener-head when it comes to a lot of things.

--Needles - No thank you. Ever. Avoid at all possible cause. Thank you and Amen.

--Dental work or even routine dental cleanings cause me to sit in the waiting room staring in amazement at my Fitbit wondering if it's normal for someone's resting heart rate to reach three digits.

--Flying - I have to mentally prepare myself for any ride via airplane. Mental preparation, in my case, includes pacing frantically around the airport, drinking copious amounts of coffee (followed by wishing I hadn't drunk coffee) and saying every prayer I was ever taught and then making a up a few in between.

--Heights - its not so much that I'm afraid, its that looking at anyone "up high" (i.e. Jess' brain identifies as an extremely dangerous situation!!) causes pins and needles in my legs. Not kidding you. Like the feeling the average person gets when their leg "falls asleep" - that is what both of my legs (and feet - lucky me!) feel like when I see someone in a whoa-you're-very-far-off-the-ground situation. (You can only image how fun the family trip to the Grand Canyon was for me - and my children who I had tied to me via a rope made out of my backpack straps.)

--The final chapter in the things-that-should-not-be saga would be called snakes. Vile, putrid, legless creatures of the ground. Uck - I literally get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about them. Seeing one (like in person, for real, as I'm just minding my own gol darn business in my garden) will cause the loudest shriek of horrifying words any one person can put together.

I am not even kidding you here. When I see a snake - other people run, not because they're all afraid too but because one can only assume when someone is yelling in that way, that abject horror will soon ensue and they're only hope of surviving is to run. Run far, run fast.

The only thing that seems unfazed by the ultra loud, ultra foul, sailor-worthy words coming out of my mouth is that stupid snake.

True story: the last house that I lived in was on a block filled with families. Lots of families. Lots of kids. Three houses down from us was a little boy the same age as my youngest son. In the years that we lived there, this little boy (I called him O.T.) spanned the ages of five to 10.

During that time, whenever I would have a snake in my yard and my husband was not home to take care of it, (stop the caterwauling) O.T. would hear me screaming and come tearing down the yards that spanned our houses, shovel in hand. He'd look at me yelling incoherent sounds, pointing frantically at some space on the ground and he'd take his shovel and rid my yard of the beast.

You're probably thinking of how sad it is that a five year old could handle this and I couldn't.

You're right. That is sad. I need to remind myself when O.T. graduates to put a verrrry nice gift in his Graduation card.

Anywho.... why am I telling you all of this? You're not my therapist, (although I'm guessing after reading this some of you might feel differently and send me a bill) you're not probably all that interested in my likes and dislikes (oh no, I don't just dislike things. Disliking is for people with luke-warm feelings. I'm a hot or cold kind of person) but what you should understand is that fears and anxiety - that's real stuff.

It doesn't matter if someone is brash and boisterous or quiet and shy, everyone has fears (they're lying if they tell you otherwise. In fact I'm pretty sure those people are most scared of THE TRUTH, OBVIOUSLY!) They might be curl-in-the-fetal-position-on-the-waiting-room-floor kind of reactions or they might be scream-so-loud-a-five-year-old-neighbor-boy-runs-out-of-his-house-to-stop-the-noise. Either way. Or somewhere in between. Fears are for real. Don't pretend otherwise (of your own fears or someone else's.) Don't make light of them or reactions to them.

And whatever you do, don't ignore me if you see me outside screaming like a Banshee, practicing my high knee running. That is not a fun form of exercise (for me, or anyone within a 2.4 mile radius.) I am really and truly scared. And I need assistance. Don't just point and laugh and walk away. I can run very, very fast in this weird position and I will lower my middle-school linebacker sized shoulders and pummel you to the ground. And hey, while you're down there, could you find that snake and dispose of it?