All right. I don't really like one of my fears, but it's good enough. Number one. Bedbugs.
Number two. Heights. It is a heart stopping, you know, my heart is pounding, I start perspiring, all of those things you associate with phobias. And I didn't know I had this fear until I climbed to the top of Chichen Itza and turned around. And to get back down… I couldn’t get back down.
Number three. Bankruptcy.
Number four. Serial killers. Now you’re really getting me to dig. I forgot about this. I was so afraid at night I would run into my parents room almost every single night and wake them up. It seemed like the journey from my bedroom to their bedroom was a mile and a half. It was like running the Central Park Loop to get to their bedroom. I was going to be murdered. By the time I got from my room, down the little hall, past the closet where we kept the towels, past the hamper, and into their room. I think it was eight feet or ten feet or maybe twelve feet. We lived in a tiny apartment in the projects on the Lower East Side. There isn't a lot of space between my room and their room. And then the fear of having to wake them up. Because, you know, they're not going to be happy. But what choice do I have? I got this far. And I remember once or twice just sleeping on their floor because I was afraid of the serial killers coming to get me. The killer who sings. He sings under your bed at night. It's creeping me out just to think back on it. So I became obsessed with crime and killers, and I became a criminal defense attorney because you can either run from your fear or run toward it.
Number five. Swarms of anything.
Number six I think I'm up to? Early onset dementia.
The death of my children before me terrifies me and always has. My daughter was born first and I did not have this irrational fear about my daughter. I had what I think were rational fears about my daughter. I was worried that she might suffocate on all those pillows. So we removed all pillows from the house. No pillows in my house. But when my son was born he had an incident. What we now refer to as his sleeping incident. He was in the E.R. and nobody could wake him up. We pricked him with needles. They stuck a thermometer up his butt. They had a heart monitor on him, and a brain monitor, and suddenly he just woke up. We never found out what was wrong with him. But, you know, for months, probably a couple of years, my husband and I would wake up every hour to check on his breathing. Of course now he's a strapping mouthy healthy pain in my tuchus.
Number seven. Am I up to seven? Wrongful conviction.
I'm losing track. Being buried alive. Yeah, I saw a movie about it when I was a kid. Never got over it.
And then number ten. Dying in obscurity. Well, as I get older I'm really, truly much more concerned with doing good in the world and making the world a better place. But I still would really like to not die in total obscurity. At least I'm honest about it, right? Did I do ten? Bedbugs. Heights. Swarms. That's three. Bankruptcy, four. Serial killers, five. That's five. Death of my children, six. Early onset Alzheimer's, seven. Being buried alive, eight. Not dying... excuse me I only gave you nine. Oh, wrongful conviction. That's ten.
My name is Jami Floyd. And here are 10 things that scare me.