Me And EmetophobiaMy name is Annie, i'm 15 and I have emetophobia. You know those random vivid memories from early childhood? I remember a cot full of white fluid and I remember the words of my childminder 'Dylan's been sick again'. I was childminded until about the age of 4. One child there, Dylan, was sick every time he cried. Almost every day he stayed he would go home having been sick. At first, i didn't think much of it but then it really started to get to me. I started avoiding Dylan and when he started to cry i would run out of the house and sit in the garden. This was where it all started.
I remember very vividly each time i was sick. In my life (for as long as i can remember) ive recalled being sick 4 times. Its bizarre yet upsetting that these are the memories that i keep from my early childhood.
In my primary school i also remember memories of people being sick. At one point it got completely out of hand. In about year reception a boy in my class, Brandon, said he felt ill but he wasn't going to tell the teacher. I went up to our teacher and instead of saying 'Brandon feels ill' i said 'I feel ill'. Yes. I thought that instead of doing something productive, i would just escape the situation. I remember sitting in the corridor with an old wash basin in front of me. I felt perfectly fine though i was still nervous because the classroom brandon was in was right next door. Every time a teacher passed by i had to move the basin closer to myself. I was avoiding it, i remember looking into it thinking 'i wonder how many people have been sick in here'. Overtime i started to regret my decision. What if Brandon was sick and had to come sit out here with me? Occasions like this happens twice or three times later. I have so many other memories from primary school. When my friend louise was always sick after drinking milk, when a guy called shaun was sick outside of the entrance and the guy in front of me trod in it and this horrifying moment when my friend isobel was sick in the changing rooms. She went home, me and my friend bonnie were doing some drawrings when she leaned forward and whispered to me 'Izzy wasn't sick, it was me but she said it was her because i didn't want to miss art.' it was that moment when i realised she was breathing in my face.
When i moved up to class two (yr3 and 4) i remember being petrofied because i was going to be in the same classroom as a yr4 named lewis who had a history of being sick. It was a similar case when i was yr4 and the new yr3's joined us. Here there were two twins, Brandon and Robin who also had a reputation of being ill. I even once considered not inviting my best friend to my birthday party because there was a 25 minute drive and she gets travel sick.
I have not had this many problems in secondary school though i have a few at home. I used to go to sleep in fear that someone in my family would be sick. Mainly my little sister. I would wear earplugs ( so i cant hear the vomit) and an eyepatch (so the turning on of the bathroom light when someone is about to be sick wont wake me up). Whenever I would hear any sort of movement i the night i would hide under my coveres thinking 'oh my god theyre gonna be sick, theyre gonna be sick'. Now ive moved into a sort of bed sit in the garden. As well as having a lovely space of my own, its a place when i am free of vomit. That was probably the main reason i've moved in, i can have nights free of worry although at least once a week I have a nightmare about vomit. The most recent about a boy with some sort of gagging syndrome whilst eating a meal. I awoke with the sound of a revolting gag so i had to listen to music and remind my self that the closest human being was about 70m away from me to calm myself down. I hate winters because of the fear of norovirus. I go everywhere with hand sanitiser, i cut off my fingernails and avoid close contact.
My worst nightmare is being stuck in a tiny room with many vomiting around me. My phobia of hospitals has also rooted around this. I was in a and e once getting my ribs checked out. I heard a distant phrase from a teenage boy sainy 'I dont feel too good'. Before i could put my hands to my ears and my jumper over my face, i heard this guy throw up. It was so revolting i don't even want to describe it. I remember my sister and my mum sitting there as if nothing was happening. They still don't know about my phobia ( i keep it very quiet)I wanted to run but i had nowhere to go, instead it sqiushed into the wall furthest away from the noise and i dug my fingers so hard into my ears i thought they were bleeding. Im in constant fear that something I own will be cobtaminated. My old bedroom door is always shut and i will never ever ever have someone sleep in my room if im away. If someone ever feels ill in my house, I want them out. I once stayed round my cousins and i heard her coughing in the night. I ran straight into the living room and slept on the sofa as far away as i could from her. She wasnt even being sick.
In july last year, my worst nightmare almost became a reality. I went to an army camp with my friend and the scool ccf. There were many other schools and possibly about 700 other people. Each four rooms of 14 shared one bathroom. Thats 56 people per bathroom & toilets. It was about three days in when we were told about this outbreak of v&d (vomiting and dihorrea) around the camp. I utterly freaked. I avoided food (surviving snacks i had brought from home), i avoided our rooms and especially the loos. My emotions were all over the place and I was literally counting down the hours until i could go home. Luckily I didn't catch it and neither did anyone from my school. My stories go on. I have only just realised the full extent of my emetophobia I realise that it is ridiculous and irrational yet i cant get over it. I have just started telling my friends and they dont quite understand why im so scared. I thought that just telling people that understand about my experiences will make me feel more at ease and less of an outcast. I should probably start seeking help now, i recognise that my phobia is getting out of hand and is controlling my life. Its nice to know im not alone.