1. Cotton wool. I am absolutely terrified by raw cotton wool. Pads are fine, but the cotton balls some use to wipe make-up off… they make me want to be sick everywhere. It’s not just that cottol wool disgusts me, it’s much deeper than that. I can’t be in the same room with it. Somewhere in my past, I suspect I had a traumatic experience with a cotton ball.
2. Clowns, puppets, dolls, and anything which looks slightly human but isn’t. Puppets and dolls are the worst, followed by clowns. Marionettes send me screaming from the room, it’s the jerky arms and the wobbling head, they just send me west. I also hate those statue performance artists who paint themselves silver and wear stilts. They’re horrible.
3. Being alone. Or rather, being alone in social status. I enjoy my own company hugely and find it easy to entertain myself, but I fear being rejected and abandoned by friends and family. Sometimes I worry that they’ll all go away, and I’ll have nothing. Nobody to rely on, nobody to talk to. Considering I’m a bit of a loner, I feel much better knowing I have people out there who know me. Who want to know me. I consider myself to be an intelligent woman, but I still subscribe to the playground popularity belief that you’re nobody without lots of friends. I can’t help it.
4. Being fat. Yes, I’m another woman who is scared of being fat. Now, don’t get me wrong; I find curvy women incredibly attractive and like to see a woman enjoying food. I don’t judge anyone on their weight; except me. I judge myself constantly throughout the day, I find myself glancing in mirrors and sucking my stomach in, I scour calorie content on packaged foods and I console myself after a bad day with mountains of unhealthy food. I worry that I won’t be taken seriously because I’m overweight, I find myself overcompensating for my perceived physical flaws by being outspoken and bolshy. Weight means nothing to me when it involves other people. When it involves myself, it’s the whole world.
5. Never marrying or having children. I have always wanted to get married and be a mother, it’s the old romantic in me. I know the reality is never quite a fairytale, but I’ve always seen it as my ultimate goal. I love babies and children, and I would love to have a child of my own. However, I’m sub-fertile due to polycystic ovary syndrome and untreated infections (get yourselves checked for STDs; it’s the best advice I was ever given). There is a chance I will never have a child. I have also suffered miscarriages, and the risk is high that it will happen again. For the first time in my life, I feel ready to have a baby and, dare I say it, I think I may have found the man I want it to happen with. Not that I’d ever tell him that; I may be crazy, but I’m not freaking him out by forcing commitment on him. I think I may have found the man I want to marry. Yet so much has gone wrong in my life, that I sometimes fear it will never happen.
6. Recovering entirely from depression. Yes, it sounds odd, but hear me out. Depression has been an integral part of my life since childhood. It has shaped me, it has changed me, it has taught me lessons. It’s been my constant companion. Without depression, I simply wouldn’t be the person I am now and, although I have many flaws, I accept who I am. I would like to recover from anxiety and eating problems, but that’s a different issue. Neither of those have ever shown me any respect. Depression has enabled me to be myself.
7. Being seen as ugly. Another womanly stereotype I fight right in to. As with weight, I don’t care what other people look like, but I care intensely about my own appearance. I’m not naturally beautiful; I have a bump on my nose, I tend towards being overweight, my lips are too small and my hair never behaves. My skin tone is very pale, bordering on grey at times. I have a massive collection of toiletries and make-up scattered around my bedroom in an attempt to look like the women on magazines. I fall for every new mascara and moisturiser claim. If I feel ugly, my day is ruined.
8. Never being independent. I rely on others for so many reasons; to keep an eye on me, to make sure I’m taking my medication, to get me out of bed, to watch out for side-effects and breakdowns. I want to be free. I want to be my own person.