A while ago I read a blog post where someone mentioned a phobia by a term that I didn’t recognize. So I looked it up in Wikipedia:
Trypophobia is an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes, or bumps.
This affected me in ways that are hard to explain.
I don’t have Trypophobia and never heard of it before, but the mention of this term led me into the internet rabbit hole where I did some deep digging into other phobias, and aversions. (Sorry, wasn’t meant as a pun…)
Several things popped into my head:
Years ago, I stumbled onto a blog of a young woman on the threshold of getting married. She was living in San Fransisco in an apartment building where the tenants set up a table in the hall for the purpose of exchanging unwanted items. I don’t recall her name, or the name of the blog, but one thing did come up: wooden spoons.
Someone had placed some wooden spoons on the exchange table and she launched into this huge thing about how they gross her out.
I was perplexed. I’m more of a natural product person than a plastic person, although I own both wooden and plastic spoons for cooking (spatulas are plastic)…
It never occurred to me that you could have an aversion to something like wood.
Then I read the comments. OMG…there are tons of people who have the same aversion.
Isn’t this fascinating?
So, me being me, I dug deeper. I researched the aversion of holes and bumps and wondered where, or how, such a thing is developed. At one point, my research indicated that back in the day before modern medicine, people might have developed deep feelings of aversion toward wounds, the type you might incur during war. Wounds that would get infected, filled with pus, or maggots…
But how does one develop this fear of holes, or irregular patterns, today?
I am not unfamiliar with this topic. I have my own, strange aversions…
I remember back a few years ago I was sent a picture of baby bunnies in a hole. Rabbits live in holes in the ground, hidden behind bushes or foliage. The picture of these furry little creatures inside their hole caused an immediate reaction of aversion in me.
But why? I’m seriously confused at the strange, psychological reaction this image evoked in me.
I like bunnies. I like watching them hop around stealing my kale and lettuce in my garden…I think they’re cute and cuddly and the delightful shrieks of small children add to the joy. (Never mind that I no longer plant eatable gardens in my backyard…)
But the baby bunnies in the hole…
I continued with my search of phobias and came across Steve Jobs. Did you know he had an aversion for buttons? The kind that are on clothing I believe, not computer buttons, although perhaps there is something to be said about those, too. I mean, his products are all swipe style…
The Spectator posted an article by Anne Jolis who interviewed Steve Jobs about his aversion:
‘I wouldn’t call it a phobia,’ he said, ‘but I don’t like to look at them, don’t like them touching my skin or knowing they’re even there. I don’t run away screaming but it gives me a general level of the creeps that I have to think about it to not let it bother me.’
The official term for a fear or aversion to buttons is called Koumpounophobia. You can google the term, there’s quite a bit posted about this, but don’t bother with Wiki, there isn’t much there.
Something happened to me when I was a child that involved buttons. I wrote a story on this which I may include in my memoir.
Side note: I will post the first chapter of my memoir soon, as promised, for those of you who have expressed interest. Thank you for your comments. ❤
But back to my topic of aversions and phobias. They are real, and more understood today than in the past. They are classified as part of the mental health spectrum. The internet has many examples, explanations, and offers of cures or treatment for people who wish to address their phobias. Yet, they remain, to degrees, a shameful part of one’s existence. Sometimes, people go to great lengths to hide their phobias from the people around them.
Perhaps more needs to be written about this to better understand.
Tell me, do you have a fear or aversion of something? Have you been teased, or called names because of something that may appear weird to others?
Do you have a phobia?