Oct 20, 2010

Telephobia

It’s a forgotten fact about my forgettable past. Yes, I used to be an introvert once. My tenure as a medical student and the responsibilities related to my sister’s marriage, which, in turn, was a result of the sheer ineptitude of my father in tact and intrafamilial affairs, had allowed my de-cocooning and metamorphosis into a social butterfly.

Most of my current friends haven’t a clue about this dark aspect of mine. Let me try to put it in a rather complex way: my past is not present in their past related to me because I was not present in their past at that stage. Anyway, my introversion remanifested around the time I had to deal with the mental trauma related to Vinokur’s illness/visit and the eventual separation; it has now established itself to be the primary trait in my present day life.

One of the characteristic features of this shade of my personality is my fear to have phone conversations. A Google search tells me that this is a prevalent, relatively well-known phobia and is referred to as phone phobia, telephone phobia, or telephobia. My telephobia is currently rooted in my fear to have conversations with people who I have a difficult job convincing my side of things in traumatic topics, which include my career choices, familial duties, and depressive tendencies.

Although my best friends (Chuck, Ray, and May) have the level of understanding with me that should enable a conversation, I still fear the trauma associated with the reestablishment of a torn umbilical cord — nature lets the umbilical cord atrophy, we try to put it back together. What I’m trying to say is that - it's that hard for me to speak to anyone, even my best friends.

My telephobia, which is an element of the broad umbrella of social phobia, is acute with my family, relatives, and friends from my past. Please note that the modifier ‘from my past’ was not initially meant for the former two items in my three-item list, but can encapsulate them as well, because of the obvious — I have honestly moved on from my family and relatives, haven’t I?

Thus I don’t take calls from my past and definitely don’t make calls to those associated with it. Simple. Avoid trauma — the reincarnations of the past that I have left behind for good, even though a very tiny part of I may still want that past to be a part of my present.

When not at its inglorious best, my telephobia manifests as rudeness or curtness. Sometimes my perplexity as to what necessitated a phone conversation in the first place, when we could have perfectly avoided it, seeps through, you see. I often forget to sugarcoat my words in the social context and I misunderstood as the consequence. People fail to understand that I’ve never had that part in my machinery to start with — so how can have the oil to lubricate it?

Maybe this post is not cogent and is rather disoriented. But the final message is this — for telephobic folks like me, SMSes, e-mails, and even face-to-face conversations work better. There it is for you; that little snippet of me is out.

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