My Christmas tree fear

Phew! Christmas is over for another year, and my eyes can stop watering.

Now, you know people have phobias? Some people run screaming and wet themselves when something a million times smaller then them walks into the room, like a mouse or spider or earwig. I’ve never understood this. I mean, I don’t particularly like the idea of looking down and suddenly seeing anything walking up my leg, but that’s more to do with the surprise and unexpected aspect. Ok, if it was Kylie, it would also be a very very pleasant surprise. Sigh. Pause for an opportunity to picture the scene.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. See, it’s not logical to have a phobia about something like a spider unless it’s one of those spiders that bites you and you die. I can sort of understand that kind of phobia, but not a phobia about something that can’t harm you. For example, I don’t have an actual phobia about hungry lions, but a logical reason why I’d avoid them and would be somewhat more than nervous finding one walking up my leg.

So, were a mouse to make its way into my living room, you wouldn’t find me standing on a stool screaming.

However, I can reveal a phobia that I have tried to get to the bottom of. My parents can give me no clues. There doesn’t seem to have been a childhood incident to explain it. But, it’s a phobia of Christmas trees.

This is genuinely true.

Designed to kill Mr England?

Stop laughing.

It’s not real Christmas trees. It’s the metal ones with a core of branches based on the twisted metal that looks like cheap coat-hangers. As soon as one of these is in the same room as me, my eyes start itching or streaming. I can’t sit next to one without becoming extremely agitated. Honest, I’m not making this up. Oddly, real Christmas trees make me think of metal Christmas trees, and so they can annoy me slightly by association when I’m trapped in a room with them.

Analysing the phobia more fully, it seems to be based on somehow assuming the metal Christmas tree is going to leap at me and stab me in my eyes. Again, logically this should trace back to an incident when I was a baby or toddler and attacked by a metal Christmas tree, but there is no record of such an event. There should be a memory of running into one, or it toppling over onto me. Yes, it’s possible that the trauma of being attacked by a metal Christmas tree has been erased from my mind, as apparently happens as part of post traumatic shock syndrome. My family could also be denying it in order to protect me, of course.

Over the years, fake Christmas trees have moved from being the silver tinsel covered ones that look like a bunch of petrified metal coat-hangers, to ones which have a sort of green plastic finish with what looks like almost real branches. These have caused less grief, which again points to the problem being fairly and squarely in the hands, or branches, of the coat-hanger ones.

I have to stop writing now. I can’t see properly. Even the thought of metal Christmas trees is making my eyes water.

If ever I am captured behind enemy lines and they start to interrogate me, I’ll be fine through the torture with parts of my body being crushed, or being subjected to the bamboo under the fingernails, electric shocks on the testicles, the mask with the hungry rats eating my face, and so on. They’ll not get the secrets out of me. Unless they bring on the metal Christmas trees. Then I’ll squawk like a baby.



Categories: Behaviour

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