Talk about your impression on roaches.
I am not sure when this fear started. As far as I can remember, I have never had a desire to touch a roach. The first thing I think of when a person says the word “roach” is its horrible looks. Their prehistoric appearance makes me cringe. The dark brown color reminds me of something dirty and gives me a feeling of disgust, which is exactly what a roach is disgusting, with its long, skinny, black feelers protruding from its head, always moving and twitching in an erratic away, no matter if it is squatting still or scurrying away beneath your feet. This is certainly an immediate cause of my fear.
Maybe the fear stems from the fact that they will eat anything, including the dead body of another, human not excluded. This fact makes them seem disease ridden. Every disease ever known to man or imagined by man can be caught from a roach, or so it seems.
Granted, some of the fear I have for these parasites might be learned from my mother. You would think you could call good old Mom to the rescue when you spot a big two-inch roach on the wall and count on her to take care of it for you, but this is not so with my mother. Oh, she may come when you call her all right, but when she spots the two-incher on the wall she hands me the can of Raid and runs for cover.
Another thing about roaches is that they are nocturnal insects. This may be an indirect cause of my fear of them, but maybe not. A psychotherapist might evaluate it this way. Roaches are nocturnal creatures. People are afraid of the night and associate it with evil things. Therefore, I, ultimately, am afraid of roaches. Now, I do not know how valid this is, for I am not afraid of roaches because of the night. It is more like I am afraid of the night because of roaches. I do not know why, but roaches seem to be scarier at night.
Anyway, it all comes down to this. This nightmare I recounted earlier is just an example of the many bad dreams I have had as a kid, and still do have, occasionally. These dreams are a direct result of my fear of roaches. I imagine them crawling on my bed and over me. These dreams leave me wide awake, scared to the death, and unable to go back to sleep.
I can’t walk into a dark room without some trepidation. I could not stand to touch one of these things. This would leave me a mental case. The only way kill a roach is with Raid. This kind of apprehension makes life very difficult for me when I am roughing it or camping out. I’ll lie there in my sleeping bag in my tent and I will not budge, with my can of Raid by my side and a light on, of course. An actual encounter with a roach, and I lose my sense of logic, I become unable to function in a controlled manner.
In a controlled situation, such as that of a classroom, I am mentally as well as physically agonized. I saw a roach in a class once, about a chair ahead of me. I did not want to make a scene and started screaming, especially since the roach was not that big. My mind was telling me to get up calmly and casually stroll away. However, my body wanted to jump up and run. It was a terrible strain on me. I did manage to walk a far enough distance back without making a scene.
There is one way and only one way to overcome this fear. And that is to walk up boldly to the biggest blackest roach I can find and grasp it with both hands, and hold it firmly. It would only take a minute. Then, all the bad dreams would stop. I would have confidence when I entered a dark room. And my mental and physical state of being would bear no strain.