Saturday, 5 November 2016

Phantom Phobias

Living in the UK, Halloween has never really been a big deal to me. I was quite a sheltered child, and I didn’t have a lot of friends when I was little. So trick or treating was never really something that excited me, or something I ever considered doing? I never liked to play dress up as a kid either. I didn’t have a huge imagination; the most I ever got to pretending was picking out a life from the Argos catalogue or playing schools with my siblings. 

And then Halloween just got annoying for me; kids ringing the doorbell all night, my dog barking, eggs being thrown about…. I never associated it with fun.


At some point in my life, I developed a phobia of people in costumes. It got to the point where once I was leaving the supermarket and someone was standing by the door (collecting for charity i think?) in a bear costume, and I physically could not walk out the door.

It’s become less of a problem in recently years. Maybe because I acknowledge it more and just avoid those situations? Generally those people are in the street, and if I don’t look and just keep walking, I’m mostly fine. It reared its head at YALC this year though. For those of you who don’t know, YALC is the YA Literature Convention and it takes place at London Film and Comic Con. Where, of course, people love to dress up as their favourite film or comic characters. In costume. In the whole building. 

And I was already tense at the thought, but I told myself it would be fine. I was just walking along the corridor with a friend and some people in costume were standing nearby having a conversation, and i just turned away and kept walking, and then one of them came up behind me and BREATHED IN MY HAIR. 

Before we even approach how creepy this is anyway (just because he’s wearing a mask he is suddenly allowed to invade my personal space?) but there was no reason for him to do so. I hadn’t made eye contact, it wasn’t someone I knew, or anything. Cue massive panic attack in the floor of the arena.

So for me, Halloween is a time of stress. Yay, people in costume everywhere. Yay for living in London where there are literally people, everywhere. I guess kids bother me to a lesser degree, but its still an issue. 


My ideal Halloween involves locking myself indoors and not having to deal with any surprises. Luckily I live in a flat, where the chance of getting trick or treaters are pretty slim, so I don’t even have to deal with the guilt of that. But if you do encounter me at Halloween, don’t be surprised if I run away. And, for the love of god, do not sneak up on me with your mask.


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No judgment, no hate, because it is already tough enough being a girl.