Jack,

I know about phobia... I'm severely clausterphobic. I can't get into some small darkroom because of that.

There's an easy remedy for your problem though. To process film, the only part that require complete darkness is when you open the film canister and load it into a development tank. You can do that in a changing bag (I think that's what it's called) which is like a giant light proof long sleeve t-shirt with the body opening closed shut. You stick your hand into the sleeve backwards. Inside remains dark and you open the canister and wind the film into dark by just touch. You, on the other hand, remain in a lit area. Once that's done, everything can be done in a lit room. When you get to a stage where you are going to print your images, you can get a pretty bright safe light. It's a bit expensive but there are some that are quite bright, almost like night light bright. It's called "Thomas safelight" and you can buy them second hand. It's so incredibly bright. So there are ways around your problem.

This is what chagne bag looks like:
http://www.freestylephoto.biz/25001-...-Changing-Room
http://www.freestylephoto.biz/322730...n.?cat_id=1603

You'll find APUG forum and members are usually quite helpful and willing to help you in more ways than you'll encounter on a typical Internet forum. We have members sharing "stuff" if someone needed an obscure part to fix something. Personally, I've given away some of my stuff and also received some. Also, we communicate via personal messages if something cannot be/should not be discussed openly. Stick around and you'll enjoy it.