Please know I'm crying laughing as I'm writing this because it's so ridiculous, but at the same time, it's very real.
I've had the pleasure of dealing with an irrational fear most of my life, and although much more mellow (but not any less confusing) it still gives me the creeps.
I don't like plastic, straws in particular. I don't even like saying or seeing the word, gross. We'll use "S" moving forward..
Any pliable or flimsy dinnerware really gives me anxiety— it sounds crazy, I know.
I could count the number of people who know this on one hand and I keep this a secret because I learned the hard way. There's suddenly a "prove it" mentality when I admit this to anyone and growing up I found myself being "tested" by people who didn't believe me.
I once had a full blown panic attack at work because someone thought it would be funny to throw an S at me. I blacked out, fell over and couldn't breathe. After that, people left me alone and I even got a free dessert out of it.
I've also been trapped in a bathroom because my friends threw a bunch of S's under the door. I was standing on the toilet crying, having trouble breathing and I seriously contemplated exiting through the window. I guess I'm runner.
Obviously this is comical, but this fear is much like any other fear people have- spiders, clowns - the feeling is all the same.
At the height of my fear (high school), I worked in the food industry. The irony. Everyday I would have to shake hands with something that made me want to projectile vomit just by looking at it.
The first question people usually ask is why? What happened to make you hate them? I wish I had the answer, but I have absolutely no idea. I've read irrational phobias sometimes stem from a stressful childhood and that resonates, but I don't have much more to offer.
Let's take you back to 1995 (1st Grade)— my very first memory of being scared of these things. I was at my BFFs house and we put water down the slide to go faster. At the bottom of the slide, there was a S from a juice box. I died. Overwhelmed by fear, I didn't go down the slide after that and I just remember being so repulsed by what I saw.
Growing up, I never had a Capri Sun, root beer float, a juice box (obviously) or bottled beverages. I often avoiding getting drinks altogether because I wasn't sure how they would be served. I'd ask for water and to my horror, a bottle of water would appear. Things got awkward because I wouldn't touch it. I've also never used an S. In college, my friends would take them out of my drinks for me. Thanks guys, you're the best.
Although I've never personally met anyone who shares this fear, a few exist on the internet. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to hunt down the official name, but I came across the Top 10 Most Common Phobias from this sketchy website. Just for fun, I included them down below.
I definitely have Trypophobia (#10). If you don't know what it is, I almost recommend not Googling it. I think it's better that way.
Arachnophobia – The fear of spiders
Ophidiophobia – The fear of snakes.
Acrophobia – The fear of heights.
Agoraphobia – The fear of open or crowded spaces.
Cynophobia – The fear of dogs.
Astraphobia – The fear of thunder/lightning
Claustrophobia – The fear of small spaces like elevators, small rooms and other enclosed spaces.
Mysophobia – The fear of germs.
Aerophobia – The fear of flying.
Trypophobia – The fear of holes
If you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to hear about your fears in the comment section down below!