There are many things that I don’t like but there are not many things that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, a chill run down my spine and a shiver wave through my body.
Hairs and fluff make me cringe – I remember when I was about 3 years old, we were at a caravan park staying in one of the static vans and my parents took us to the swimming pool. I refused to go into the pool because when I looked to the right of the steps, I could see a snake under the water. I remember it vividly, I think it more likely to have been a hose pipe used to clean the pool but neither of my parents could see it and they believe from their memory, it was a hair. This is my first memory of hating hairs.
I can go in the shower and wash my hair without any problem, gently clean the plug hole but make sure not to pay too much attention to what else is attached. I can dry my hair and collect all the hairs that have fallen to the floor, or clean the wheels from the Hoover where my long hair has tangled. Yet, I can’t put my hand in a sink with small hairs from my husbands head or fill up the sink and tip in a tub of things needing to be washed where small bits of hair or fluff fall in. It almost makes me gag, makes me shiver and I have to close my eyes and spray water over to wash it away. However, if I were to find a piece of fluff on my clothing, that’s perfectly fine and I can remove it without a second thought. I can’t stand small hairs on work surfaces or on pillows, yet if I were to see small shavings in the sink that’s okay! I swim away from hairs and fluff seen in the swimming pool – even today it makes me shudder, and I have to tip toe and try not to shiver when walking through changing rooms in bare feet.
Would you call this a phobia of sorts? How can you justify what is or isn’t a phobia? Who decides if this just falls under the umbrella of hate and dislike?
Another hate of mine is a similar thing from childhood: seaweed and beach worm holes. I used to refuse to walk over any of it and at one point was sent back by my father in the direction of where my mother sat, only to walk off at an angle and get lost. They had half the beach looking for me and a kind man with binoculars leant them to my mother to help find me almost a mile away crying but luckily my hair stood out from the crowds!
I was told many times that the seaweed won’t hurt me and the worm holes were just mounds of sand, yet they resembled worms and in fact are created my lugworm. To this day, I wouldn’t walk on them unless necessary, but I am happy to tip toe over the seaweed.