May 24, 2019


by Bronwyn Jameson

I am a bonafide scaredy-cat. With a bargain basement threshold for pain, both physical and emotional, I am a wimp. There is no denying it.

With that out of the way, I herewith present a non-comprehensive list of things I fear:
  1. Mice. In fact, any small rodent that moves with speed and stealth. Or just sits in the corner twitching its whiskers at me. 
  2. The big three c’s: conflict, confrontation, criticism. (One of my top strengths is HARMONY. Big surprise, huh?)
  3. Having blood taken (I just can’t.) 
  4. Spiders. Sooo. Many. Legs. 
  5. Driving onto railway tracks and getting stuck (a new fear, brought on by last night’s techno-vivid dream.) 
  6. Social media. This used to be my happy place but now…no.  Refer #2. 
  7. Snakes. 
  8. Dentists. Or, more accurately, dentists’ chairs. 
#8 inspired this post, courtesy of last week’s toothache. Why do these always come a’knockin’ on weekends? Or, in this case, on a Friday night? By Monday I was a quivering wreck. I called my dentist, who gave me that day’s emergency slot. No time to reconsider, to dose myself on heavy-duty painkillers and tell myself I could live with the pain.
*Not actually me!

To be honest, my dentist is super-lovely. And kind. She has a knack for distracting me with engaging conversation and before I know it, BAM! I’m in the dreaded (although, really quite comfortable) chair and being handed the sunglasses and asked to open wide. The soothing hand on my shoulder suggests that fear is clearly visible in my posture, my expression, my five-fingernail grip on each chair-arm.

Oh, yes. The terror is real. Even before there is any diagnosis, any prodding, any of that intense cold thingamy used for diagnosis. You know the one? When it hits the sensitive tooth, you lift a foot out of the chair and the dentist says, “Found it!” After some discussion, I left with a prescription for Panadeine Forte and an appointment with an oral surgeon.

I am now minus a tooth, minus the pain, and listening to a voicemail from my dentist checking up on the surgery. She is super-nice but I don’t want to see her again any time soon.

*Not me either!
I mentioned HARMONY as one of my strengths, as per StrengthsFinder. Also in my top 4 are INTELLECTION, INPUT and ANALYTICAL which means I was pathologically obliged to google Most Common Fears. And to read somewhere around 35 different lists. I can report that I do not fear any of these common phobias:
  1. Flying
  2. Thunderstorms 
  3. Dogs 
  4. The dark 
  5. Germs and dirt 
  6. Needles/injections (except when that needle is drawing blood.) 
Do you have any fears or phobias?  Have you recently had to face one?  I hope you didn't end up a quivering wreck like me!


  1. Hi Bronwyn

    I too fear the dentist after having a very bad experience when I was a young child, but I have gotten over that and found a nice lady dentist, and even though I still do not like to go I visit every 6 months for a check up and had to have 2 fillings last check up not good, but there was no needles and she got them done very quickly for me, the only other thing that I really fear is having tradesmen in my house I need to go out when a plumber or anyone need to come my hubby is very good and is here while I go out LOL and I have no idea why,

    I do love harmony though as well

    have Fun


    1. Helen, it is no surprise that you are a fellow lover of harmony. You have that aura ... and perhaps it explains your aversion to having tradies in your home. There is always the possibility of conflict, or having to solve a conflict or problem, which we harmonies prefer not to face.

  2. Bron, hope you've fully recovered from your trip to the dentist. I have a truly lovely dentist who does his best to make a visit as relaxing and pain free as it can be. He often asks my why I don't write a dentist as a hero in one of my books. Well, er, difficult to answer that one as so many people fear them. If I wrote medicals perhaps? I'm not too fond of snakes and hate it when pictures of them are posted on social media.

    1. Kandy, my dentist is absolutely lovely as well and does her best to make me comfortable. Funny you should mention the dentist-as-hero. One of my early-days heroines had a dentist-ex and I had reader mail asking for his story. They wanted him to have a happy ending, so obviously they loved their dentists. (PS: I never did write that book.)

  3. Hugs on your trip to the dentist, Bron! This is a fear I too share. I try to make myself go regularly (but I confess I haven't been for two years). Will try and screw up the courage to go this year.

    I used to be scared of spiders -- but my yard is so full of them, and I've lived here for over 20 years now, that I no longer shrink from them like I used to. And speaking in public was something that almost made me faint. The very first uni paper I gave during my Masters was the most agonising experience ever. That too has gotten better over time, but I expect it will never be a comfortable experience.

    1. Michelle, I admit that I am marginally better with the dentist these days. Mostly through finding an empathetic dentist who doesn't try to administer pain (I'm certain some of my dentists in long-gone decades were borderline sadists!) but does everything in her power to make me comfortable. I have actually just made another appointment as follow up to the extraction. There will be pain. It will be worth it if I keep my remaining teeth.

  4. OMG Bron. I laughed and emphasised during this whole post. I'm scared of everything, although not the dentist (strangely) and I love thunderstorms. But flying - so terrified, and I used to have to fly all the time for my job. I once jumped into the lap of my neighbour in terror when flying into Hong Kong. He laughed so hard I thought he might die. Snakes - hate! Had one guarding the back steps when I came home last Thursday night. Not fun. I won't list the rest of my fears or we would be going all day. But, I do try to face them. No point in letting fear rule my life.

    1. Oh, Jen I so admire you for facing your fears. Especially one as debilitating and unavoidable as flying when part of your job. Pretty sure I would not have faced your snake either!