I dread mathematics, and I believe it's because I have come to associate mathematics with the experience of terrible teachers. All of my math teachers have been grumpy, but one in particular was the epitome of evil. She would take any opportunity to yell and scream at me when I struggled to comprehend the problems given. She approached the kids in my class as if their struggling wasn't a result of a misunderstanding, but rather from a lack of discipline, one that she could solve by being some sort of mathematics drill sergeant. This was when I was a small child, which obviously left an impression on my mind that probably wouldn't have existed had I been older.

Now that I am older, however, I need mathematics. I also have a growing curiosity and interest for it. Right now, I am planning to move out of my parent's house and live elsewhere. However, I have a fear in the back of my mind that my understanding of mathematics is not sufficient enough to do all of this; to handle a job; to handle expenses; to handle day-to-day life. Even the idea of becoming a cashier and having to handle money frightens me into avoiding those jobs; which leaves me (having no formal education) with virtually no options for employment. It's pretty intimidating. I seem to have some problem grasping even the simplest mathematic questions. Come up to me and ask me "What's 8 + 6?" and my mind wanders for the answer as if blindfolded. I would probably resort to sticking my hands behind my back and counting it off on my fingers or counting one at a time in my head. This just doesn't seem normal.

I want to conquer my fear of mathematics and educate myself. I want to approach the field as an absolute beginner, and by that, I mean go back to the very basics and work my way up, no matter how reassured I am of my abilities at times. I know it's impossible to conquer the entire mathematic field, but I want to conquer what is necessary and then some. I *need* the bare minimum, though I *want* a sufficient understanding. Are there any approaches or, what I am specifically requesting, books or courses, that would allow me to to teach myself in such a manner?

Sorry for the history lesson and/or if this is not a legitimate question.