There are men who stare at goats and those who having suffered a childhood trauma become furtive and fearful in their presence.
Even the sound of distance bleating can send them into paroxysms of panic characterized by effusive sweating, unsteadiness of gait, and nervous tremors.
A fear that is commonly addressed as goataphobia, an often times debilitating condition no less so than the fear of clowns or ventriloquists dummies often portrayed in movies and largely ignored by both the medical and psychiatric communities.
I know there are more than a few who will snicker at the idea but for those whose dreams are haunted by visions of long bearded billy goats and their fiendish offspring it is no laughing matter.
There have been no organizations where fellow suffers can gather to share their fears, no Goataphobics Anonymous, no twelve steps to recite or introduce oneself in saying “my name is ….. and I am a goataphobic”.
The lack of which has been a societal failure all too often accompanied by public ridicule.
Tales abound, perhaps merely urban rumors, of goataphobics being hidden away in cellars or attics, some chained and destined to live a life of confinement wallowing in their own excrement, unbathed, and fed only scraps from the family table.
I can think of no greater injustice, for all people have fears, some they will admit, others they will not. And who is to say one fear is more reasonable than another?
Change occurs incrementally and often driven by forward thinking compassionate individuals – finally in the twentieth first century closet, cellar, and attic doors are being opened and the problem is being recognized for what it is, a treatable condition.
Hopefully legislation will be passed to fund such centers as the one in the below link, and in a country so attuned to “political correctness” disparaging remarks directed at goataphobics will be classified as hate speech with stiff associated penalties.