If the definition of a phobia is an irrational fear of something, causing avoidance or panic, I guess the post should have been called 'phobia' but I prefer to call my irrational fear a 'pet hate' . It's something I can live with and manage on a daily basis - it rarely gets the better of me though it is worse in the summer months and has been aggravated by having three children who do not share the problem.
It's not that writing about it will be cathartic. I have had this irrational fear for as long as I can remember. Even thinking about explaining it is making my skin prickle a bit. Soon, my tongue will start to dry and swell.. it's starting now...
But I've started and so I'll finish. I have to tell you now, though I doubt there will be any understanding of my problem. I have been mocked by friends and family alike for many years now and at times, the lack of sensitivity that, on occasions, has been shown by people who maybe should know better. But I have dealt with it.
It's like this - the main problem is... oh gosh...now I have to say what it is... what it is that makes me feel so dreadful...it's....wooden lolly sticks. I said it!
(No, I don't feel any better).
The pet hate extends to wooden spoons if they are badly made, or made of cheap wood - you know, with a few splinters just beginning to sprout at the edges. I manage these with the aid of a tea towel when I'm cooking although after much searching, I have now got just one very 'nice' spoon that I can use without too much of a problem...until it comes to washing it up. I don't like the sensation of touching it when it's wet. Oh no. Not at all. Horrible.
Moving swiftly on before nausea overwhelms me completely, there is a bit of a list of offending items.... those flat wooden stick things for stirring coffee; those things the doctors (try to) use to look down my throat when I'm ill; toothpicks; little forks for eating chips ... you probably get the picture now and I can no longer continue.
But during the process of writing this, I looked up 'lollystick phobia' on the internet and I found a Facebook page of fellow sufferers. And reading their comments, I know they understand.
Now that makes me feel better!
(If you too suffer from this problem, join this Facebook group.)