The shopping mall-phobia of a shopaholic

I’ve been getting questions lately about my phobia for being in shopping malls, and I believe I owe you an explanation. How can a young woman who is acknowledged by her love for shopping terrified of shopping centers? Well, first of all, those close to me and those having spent a night with me may know that I have claustrophobic tendencies growing by every hour during the evening. The humorous things is that my claustrophobia, fearing being in tight and crowded places, is very sporadic. I love being at concerts with huge crowds as well as hanging out with lots of people either at dinners/parties etc. But shopping malls…. They suck all life out of me. Kvadrat, Norway’s biggest shopping mall, is a constantly crowded place with gazing eyeballs and barely any room to get through. One of the biggest cons of Kvadrat is that it is quite unorganized, so If you want to check out the clothing stores, you still have to take a trip through the entire mall. And the people walking in a snail’s pace have problems with letting you pass. On top of this, the mall is filled with peculiar people staring at you like they want to kill you or something. Being efficient, which is one of my life philosophies, is impossible in that huge box filled with creepy people and women wearing too high heels, which they are unable to walk on.

This may also explain why this love for shopping at Bryne has sprung out. At M44, you have to look in order to find people at all other stores than Coop, the grocery store. It is possible to get from A to B without any problems and the different types of stores are places near each other. So you don’t have to walk half a mile to get from one store to another. Jærdagene made me uncomfortable as well – as Bryne was very crowded. Still, I don’t have any problems with shopping in downtown Stavanger or other shopping malls – only Kvadrat. It may also help as long as I have Hege by my side.

My trip to Kvadrat yesterday was horrifying. It was the first time in several years I went upstairs with some time on my hand. I had 20 minutes alone before Marie showed up. I tried going through some stores, but my body kept freezing and my eyes were all wet. I went in to the grocery store and stayed there for about 15 minutes before I went to BikBok where I was meeting Marie. The tears stayed in my eyes the entire two hours I was there. Nicholas was picking me up after Marie had left, and suddenly I was alone for quite a while. After going back to H&M, alone with huge, watery eyes, I went downstairs where I was meeting Nick. I stood by the entrance door all alone for about 25 minutes before he finally came. That was a terrible experience. But I had chocolate milk, and that made the situation more endurable.

I went to Kvadrat yesterday because I though I had become so strong that I could conquer my fear. Sadly the trip resulted in it becoming worse. I still don’t understand why this fear of being in large shopping centers is so strong, and how it first came to me. All I know now is that I am NOT going back there for a long, long time.

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