Trashcanaphobia and Other Inexplicable Fears

I wonder if anyone but me has a loved one (whose identity I will guard with my life) who suffers from a little known fear I have chosen to call Trashcanaphobia. Maybe it is not your loved one. Maybe it is you. See if any of this sounds familiar. Sufferers of Trashcanaphobia inexplicably leave all sorts of things – used Splenda packets, or even running shoes, for instance – on otherwise spotless kitchen counters for hours on end or until a codependent loved one moves them. Here’s the definitive part of the diagnosis: and all the while with the trash can only a few feet away. After watching this strange phenomenon for a matter of years (I’ll not say exactly how many), I have come to the conclusion that said sufferer cannot help it. Said sufferer obviously has a terror of trash cans.

Here is a recent documentation of this little-explored and afore unexplained phenomenon:

This very morning, my mind was even further expanded concerning phobias when Melissa’s cell phone dropped in the middle of rich conversation as it does every single morning. I called her back and got the usual voice mail, then about 10 minutes later like clockwork she rang my line. I answered the phone with, “I bet anything your cell battery was dead.”

“Yep, it was.” (It almost always is.) “Colin told me yesterday that he can come up with no further explanation for why I constantly have a dead battery except for an undiagnosed fear of phone chargers.”

So, that’s two of them in our family at least. We’ll call that one “Cellchargaphobia.” I think my daughters told you several years ago that I have a phobia of unfried foods. We’ll call it “Unfriedaphobia.” I’ve gotten some victory over it the last few years but it is still my phobia of choice.

So, please say it’s not just the Moores. Any odd family phobias out there?

PS. We’re having fun here today. Those in a mood to take themselves too seriously will want to find a different blog for the next 24 hours. You are dearly loved but we’ll talk to you later in the week.


970 Responses to “Trashcanaphobia and Other Inexplicable Fears”

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  1. 751
    Kathy says:

    When I was in high school, I shared a bathroom with my older sister, and she had the habit of taking off her eye makeup with a tissue and baby oil and leaving it out on the bathroom counter (cringe)! One day, I’d just about had it with the oily mess, so I got out a marker and wrote on the tissue remnant stuck to the counter top, “Please throw me away. I feel like trash.” (subtle, I know.) Well, wasn’t I just surprised when she came to my room a little later and asked, “Kathy, are you okay? Do you need to talk?” SHE THOUGHT I WAS SAYING THAT I MYSELF FELT LIKE TRASH!!! (I’d like to think that if I ever HAD felt so low, I wouldn’t have cried out for help by writing it on a tissue…but I guess if I had done so, someone would have been listening!) Thank the Lord for sisters! I’m just so glad to know that she wasn’t really messy…she simply suffered from trashcanaphobia!

  2. 752
    Angelina says:

    This seriously made me Laugh Out Loud! Its not just your family in my family the “men” my husband his father & my 3 sons seem to suffer from several “phobias” as you put it but we call it “Sandoval syndrome” of which there is no known cure. Fear of not only charging, answering, knowing where ones phone is at any given time, seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. Yes the mystery of the hidden trash can and apparently our laundry baskets & toy buckets tend to run & “hide” as well. Haha! I am hoping this does not pass on to my 21 month old daughter!

  3. 753
    AntSherrie says:

    coolerawayphobia I use it frequently so when I unload it I have a tendency to leave it sitting right beside the fridge in front of the dishwasher. I might need it tomorrow and I need to remember where I put it. Guess this is kind of like the theory of not making the bed because you are going to get back in it.

    This has been a riot and wonderful knowing I am not alone in the many phobia’s we have listed. Thanks you Beth for the good time.

  4. 754
    Sandra says:

    I am still laughing about this post. It has had me in stitches. Beth, you have some great humor.

  5. 755
    Barbara Rutherford says:

    It’s not trashcanaphobia, but my husband says that I fill the garbage up too much whaaatttt? I say whaddamIs’pose to do w/it? Don’t know what that’s called I call it fear of too much trash in the house~~smile.

  6. 756
    JoLene Bensen says:

    Miss Beth~
    yes, we too (here in Blair, NE, just north of Omaha) have been stricken with these phobias. I WILL name the poor victims of TrashCanPhobia, my SONS! (Jamie 20 & Jeret 19).. well, as I do that, God prompts me to point the finger back at MYSELF! 🙂
    As far as the CellPhoneChargerPhobia, that is Momma Jo [me!]…. as my BlackBerry is CONSTANTLY on it’s last bar of energy….. I tell myself that God has BIGGER things on my mind, so He lets that “reminder” slide! :o)
    God’s love to you and your ministry~

  7. 757
    Sandy says:

    My daughter has trashcanaphobia, laundrybasketaphobia, bookshelfaphobia, etc. You know those little wrappers the straws for juice boxes come in? I am collecting all the ones she leaves around the house and am giving them to her along with her birthday presents in December. HA!

  8. 758
    Annette Stonger says:

    My phobia has to do with Starbuck Mochas. I simply cannot drink my coffee without a straw to sip it through. Yes, even my hot mocha drink! I suppose this really has to do with my phobia of leaving a smear of lipstick on the rim of the cup. I must use a straw so that my lipstick remains as perfectly in place as possible. Okay, so maybe it’s a tad bit of vanity, huh? Which is also why I dare not touch my lips to my fork when I eat for fear of lipstickless lips!

  9. 759
    Katherine says:

    So glad this evidence has been documented! In my home, the coke can sits (squished) on the counter next to the trash can. The empty milk carton sits (squished) on the counter right in front of the recycling. Definitely not husband-bashing, as it can’t be him. =) It’s gotta be bigfoot or aliens. I’m sure of it. I’m always a few days behind in seeing the blogs but just had to comment…the subject matter is just so close to the heart. =) Love it! God Bless!!!

    Nipomo, California

  10. 760
    Rori says:

    I would like to add to your list of phobias one that has plagued my household for at least 12 years. I’ll call it – hamperaphobia – as in laundry hamper. When I enter my daughters’ bathroom the laundry hamper can be half full and 3x that amount of clothing is found on the bathroom floor. The clothing on the floor is actually TOUCHING the hamper but somehow just doesn’t make it in.

  11. 761
    Amanda says:

    Dishwasherphobia… my father is 52, for some odd reason it is beyond his capability to rinse his dish (any dish) and put it in the dishwasher… family dinners, afternoon snacks, friday night pizza, whatever it is it will stay ON THE COUNTER until kingdom come if someone else doesn’t rinse it off and put it in the washer.

  12. 762
    Tracey says:

    I have phobia of not closing drawers all the way and not closing cabinets all the way…. once my husband finally had enough of having to shut every cabinet and drawer behind me, and we got into an “intense Fellowship” (an argument) sooo… to lash back what did I do, I OPENED every Drawer and Cabinet in our house & REFUSED to close it!!! So bad and sad, but true!!! 🙂 hahahaha

  13. 763
    One of the Delaware circle sisters says:

    My sweet family members suffer from the “open the closet door and kick your shoes into your very own neatly labeled basket phobia”! Oh how I wish I could add a picture of the closet (with empty baskets) and the very shoe cluttered foyer! And there is also the dreaded “say NO to the free t-shirt phobia” and what about the “new garbage bag in the can” phobia….oh wait you have to get over the “take the garbage out” phobia first!
    But I sure wouldn’t trade my sweet hearts or the phobias for anything! (ok, maybe the phobias)
    (I am taking this time to Praise God we dont have the “throw away the used q-tip” phobia in our house!) Praise You Jesus!

  14. 764
    June Wright says:

    My phobia is I have all way been afraid of shareing how
    good God been to my life.Because then people wont help me.
    is that what you call co-depend on people.I know this dont go with what we are talking about.and my sharing about God’s goodness that it was not good enough.I am take Mrs Beth Moore class on breaking free
    Thanks its awsome

  15. 765
    Sue Bray says:

    Trashcanophobis is absolutely rampant in our home! But I feel so much better now that I know it is a disease and has a name – and all along I just thought I was so holy because I have it not! 🙂

  16. 766
    Brittany says:

    I have found another manifestation of trashcanophobia. A fear of removing the full trash bag and replacing it with a clean one.

  17. 767
    Angie Call says:

    I have foldinsheetsaphobia in which i have a fear of folding sheets, i also have:
    > laundryaphobia in which i fear doing laundry.
    > yardworkaphobia, i fear doing yard/outside work
    > and finally dustaphobia, i fear dusting-i think it is because of my allergies though! ;>)

  18. 768
    Shari Chamblee says:

    This is just TOO FUNNY!! Just last night, I took a picture of our kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and then a picture of our dishwasher…empty!! I proceeded to have a ‘family meeting’ with my husband and five children (one of which is not really our child, but we love him as if he were;), then showed each one the pictures and ask if they could share with the rest of the family what the problem was. Now I know…it’s loaddishwasherphobia!!! Thank you so much for confirming that it’s not just us! You have no idea how much I needed that laugh=)

  19. 769
    Kim says:

    I was looking through older blog posts to find what I’ve missed out on recently and wondered why in the world there were so many comments on this post. After reading it, I can’t believe there aren’t more!

    Thanks to all of you fine women for sharing in such an upbeat way that is surely an example to me; at the same time I’d ask for prayer for my own heart, which is weary and not nearly so kind on this topic.

    Beth commented, “Sufferers of ‘_____aphobia’ inexplicably leave all sorts of things…until a codependent loved one moves them.” I work with my father, which is a blessing. It is also a daily lesson in patience, which I repeatedly fail. Or perhaps it’s another chance to learn the lesson of tough love and not being the codependent enabler, which I constantly fail at because the line of “honor your father” and “honor your boss, who is your father” gets very blurry for me during the working hours.

    My father is a godly man who is brilliant, patient, kind, and enormously generous with people. But paper and any kind of organization is his downfall. He struggles with “I misplaced that 110-page brief that you just printed; please print me another one.” This is usually in addition to the 11 other copies of the same document that he has also misplaced. Unfortunately, this “organizationalphobia” doubles the workload for everyone, including him.

    It’s an incredibly frustrating topic for me, and one that God is asking me to deal with on many levels. I am humbled as He yet again shows me my great need for Him in every single area of my life. I sense a coming season of difficult work as I struggle to submit and let God work His character into mine. But may I say how grateful I am that Beth has gone before us, sharing her journey and shining a light on the path toward Jesus, who loves us so deeply, fully and perfectly.

  20. 770
    Bruce says:

    This is just TOO FUNNY!! Just last night, I took a picture of our kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and then a picture of our dishwasher…empty!! I proceeded to have a ‘family meeting’ with my husband and five children (one of which is not really our child, but we love him as if he were;), then showed each one the pictures and ask if they could share with the rest of the family what the problem was. Now I know…it’s loaddishwasherphobia!!! Thank you so much for confirming that it’s not just us! You have no idea how much I needed that laugh=)

  21. 771
    Aamber C says:

    My family has trashcanphobia, too, but mostly with sweetener packets. It’s been this way for far too long so I just made an adjustment. I put a tray with all the things for coffee/tea – like sweeteners, silver spoons in a glass and small spoon rests, on the counter. Right in the middle of the tray is a pretty glass bowl for trash. At the end of the day I dump the empty packets from the bowl into the trash. (i have foldaphobia and putitawayphobia, too, when it comes to laundry. My laundry room is so scary that I avoid it whenever possible 🙂

  22. 772
    Suzanne Kuchynka says:

    This is a little late, but there is a serious phobia at our house. It’s called trashbaglinerphobia. It’s the opposite of your trashaphobia. The people are actally happy to use the trash can at all costs. It’s a phobia of actually touching the liners. To either re-line the trash can or simply pull up the liner that is falling halfway down the trash can. Or to take the trash out. It results in much garbage overflowing, in and out of the trashbag. Resulting on the floor, then finally making a stack of garbage by the sink until someone without the phobia takes the trash out and cleans up the mess.

  23. 773
    Emily says:

    I seem to know several people who suffer from “THROWPILLOWPLACEAPHOBIA”. Its the phobia of not correctly assembling the throw pillow placement correctly. I’m almost certain that this phobia is a stronghold. I’m going to start using “Breaking Free” books as throw pillows and maybe one of my beloved’s will get the hint hint. Unless of course they also suffer from “BREAKINGFREEAPHOBIA” and are in a PIT wanting me to pull them out, and since I cannot deliver them, I guess they’ll just sit in the pit of throw pillows.

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