I think I’ll forego exposure therapy.

I have a confession to make: I am petrified of garbage disposals, and nothing I do to try and erase, or to at least minimize, the panic I feel when I flick on the switch allows me to enter my walled off, inner townhouse, where the persuasive Ms. Terror lives with her eloquent companion Mr. Delusion. If I could just get in the front door, maybe they would let me talk some sense into them.

Of course it is possible to argue that the fear is necessary because, without it, I would have pulverized a hand and a forearm long ago had I not known to flick off the switch prior to thrusting them down a slimy grinding chamber to retrieve rattling bits I well knew didn’t belong anywhere near the disposal’s most fearsome part: its blades.

And it’s those blades, you see, that terrify me most because I have this belief that there is nothing I can do to prevent my hand from finding its own way down an activated disposal even if I don’t give consent. So each time I discover that my digits and limbs are still intact after I’ve used a disposal, I breathe a sigh of relief and think I’ve forestalled calamity once again.

Perhaps I won’t tell you about my decades-long fear of driving next to cement retaining walls.

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