July 1, 2013

I Can Still Smell It

Dana's last post had me thinking a lot about...well...barf.

As far back as I can remember I've had a paralyzing fear of vomit. It's not an "EW! GROSS! BARF! ICKY!" feeling...It is more of a legit "PANIC! CURL-UP-IN-A-CORNER-COVERING-MY-NOSE-EARS-EYES-AND-MOUTH (so I don't taste the fumes, duh)" phobia status. 

For a long time I tried my hardest to avoid fairs and amusement parks and large groups of children because I was in a constant state of anxiety, looking for puke at every corner. I was SURE I would stumble across someone with their head in one of those giant garbage bins or that if I saw a child jumping around, it would spew or even worse, that someone would blow chunks while upside down on a roller coaster and gravity would force the barf down to land on me.

When I was little, I couldn't even read books where there was a puke scene without my mouth drying up and getting the cold sweats and feeling betrayed by the author. To this day when a character spews in a movie, I impulsively yell at the television which makes everyone else in the room jump and look at me funny.

Phobias, by definition, are EXTREME and IRRATIONAL fears. 

Check and check.

Most people don't really take me seriously when I disclose this...fun fact...about myself. I don't even think my husband really understood the severity of this issue until we were in Target about a month ago. 

It started out as such a nice Target run. Usually when we go together, he wants get what we need and get outta there as quickly as possible...while I prefer to take my time going through every aisle, admiring and window shopping. On this particular day, he allowed me to peruse every aisle...it was wonderful. 

Until we turned into the mirror aisle. 

I noticed two Target employees with rubber gloves on, cleaning up what I assumed was a broken mirror. I start to steer our cart into the aisle when one of the employees points at the ground and says, "Um...that's uhh...throw up." I look down and see that I've rolled my cart over a large pink splat on the floor covered in powder and LOSE. MY. SHIT. 

Joe moseys away LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED while I spend the rest of the shopping trip shaking and rambling all, "Oh my god I can still smell it" "Oh my god did I step in it?" "Oh my god do you smell that?" "Oh my god the cart wheel is making a barf trail" "Oh my god the smell is in my hair" "Oh my god I have to get rid of these shoes" "Oh my god the pink splat is en-grained in my line of vision" "Oh my god I can taste it" "OH MY GOD I STILL SMELL IT!!"

I talked about it the whole car ride home.

Even after we got back and showered, I could STILL smell it.

I dreamt about vomit that night.

I think that's when he realized this shit is REAL.

Or maybe it was when we moved into our new house and I requested that he never vomit in our en-suite bathroom. Every time he says his stomach hurts, I make sure he knows that I expect him to leave our bedroom and vom in the guest bathroom if he feels the urge....and definitely not to get his hopes up that I might rub his back or hold his hair back. 

Sometimes I worry that he thinks I'm kidding...

I'm definitely not.

PS: I googled "vomit phobia" and IT IS REAL. I AM NOT ALONE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emetophobia

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