I have recently discovered that I have topophobia, the fear of certain situations. A bit vauge, I admit, but let me explain. At first I thought I had glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. However, I have no fear of talking in front of people, but I do get stage fright in certainsituations. What are these certain situations? Well, I’m afraid of anything that includes performing on a piano. I know it sounds strange, but it's legite. I tried to find a cooler name for it like Beethoviphobia but I pretty much just made that up.Anyways, I realized the symptoms last Saturday at a Baptism. I got called last minute to play the closing hymn. I figured I would be okay because I’m usually pretty good at playing the piano, at least when no one is listening. So I started to play the hymn and the hymn book closed on me and I definitely messed it up and it just went down hill from there. A girl helped me keep the book open and I tried to keep playing but I was already behind and I just kept messing it up worse and worse. The entire program was a perfectly spiritual baptism, and I managed to end it on bad note. [Pun intended]. The most ironic part was the title of the hymn, “There is Sunshine in my Soul Today.” Not me. All I felt was physical distress, nausea, and feelings of panic. I finished the hymn in embarrassment and practically ran out of there after the closing prayer, before anyone could give me pity compliments. (You know what I’m talking about). It was possibly one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. When I got home I sat down at the piano to try to play the song again and I played it perfect. So I have to conclude that I have a fear of playing the piano in front of an audience. This was not my first experience like this and it won’t be my last. I can play many songs in the comfort of my own home, but in front of an audience I tense up. And when I say tense up, I mean my entire body starts shaking and I break out in cold sweat. It's not a pretty picture... or smell.
Moral of the Story: Don't complain to me about having a low self-esteem until you have had a couple dozen kids under the age of 12 laugh at you.