***WARNING: this post may make your skin crawl…***
I have been having trouble with the air conditioner in my house lately. The AC unit does a great job of cooling the air in the vents, but a terrible job pushing the air out of them. A couple of days ago I got fed up and shut it off, opting to open the window in the hope that I could get some better air flow that way, and maybe neutralize the stuffy feeling that was present in my bedroom. I left the window open all day, and it worked like a dream.
A side effect of this however, was that a large number of flies decided to take up residence in my room. Now, I’d like to state before going any further that I am not typically afraid of flies. If I see them in the wild I tend towards a live and let live policy. I know that the typical house fly is a non-threat, and that their larvae, despite being disgusting and creepy, only eat dead things, and are therefore similarly benign.
That said, I am extremely paranoid about creepy crawly things attacking me, and crawling inside of me to lay their eggs, or to eat my squishy insides, particularly my brains. To clarify, I have spent most of the morning trying to determine if what I’m experiencing is a paranoid delusion or an intrusive thought caused by my OCD, and according to my research it could be either, or both. I’m still having some issues determining the difference between paranoia and anxiety, although the best gauge seems to be whether or not you believe it’s true.
Anyway, getting back to my story, the night before last I spent the whole night tossing and turning. Every time I closed my eyes it seemed as if there were flies landing on every inch of my exposed skin, and covering myself up with a blanket only made the sensations spread. I got up several times to shake out my blanket and check the sheets, to no avail. Eventually I did manage to get some sleep, but the sensation came back virtually the instant that I opened my eyes in the morning. I was able to distract myself periodically, and as long as I wasn’t in the room it didn’t bother me, but every time I went back in, I would see the flies and the sensation of being crawled on by tiny legs would come back.
I tried my best to shoo them out the window, or just out into the rest of the house, but they refused to stay out. I did kill two of them, but killing them is awkward for me because my husband has a compassionate soul, and the deaths of such harmless creatures weighs heavily on his conscience, even when he is not directly involved.
Last night after turning out the lights, one of the flies flew right into my face and I smacked it. I don’t think I killed it because I immediately turned the lights back on and searched around for a body, but there was none to be found. Immediately I became convinced that the fly had crawled into some orifice or other to lay eggs that would hatch inside of me and eat me from the inside out. I don’t know how I got to sleep last night without checking inside myself to the best of my abilities, but you can be certain that that is the first thing I did this morning.
Even though I have confirmed that all of my body’s openings are clear, I still feel like the fly is crawling around in my ears, or nose. I distract myself for a while, and then the feeling comes back when the distraction is gone. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me, admittedly it’s also not the worst this fear has been either. I would say that on a scale of one to ten my level of belief that this is actually happening is about a four or five. I know it’s probably irrational, but it won’t go away no matter how much I try and rationalize it.
My brain keeps trying to counter my rationalizations, too. I tell myself that if there was a bug inside of me I would feel it moving, and it would probably hurt. Then my brain argues that there could be a property in it’s spit that numbs the area to keep it from being detected. I know that’s stupid, it’s just a house fly, but I can’t stop thinking that maybe it’s a rare species that the government doesn’t want you to know about because it would incite panic, or a completely new mutation that feeds exclusively on human flesh. Ok, maybe my belief level is more like a six or seven…
It’s tempting to draw a bath so I can submerge myself, and drown the suckers out if they really are in there. Maybe I will later, but I have a phone interview for a position I applied for today, and I can’t afford to be preoccupied by dealing with a threat that is probably all in my head. I know if I let myself get too carried away, I’ll miss it, and I really do need this job.