Later on this afternoon and into this evening I’m working a Halloween Event and my job as a makeup artist is to turn the attendants into Clowns.  A lot of people who know me when they found this out had basically the same reaction along the lines of – “seriously but you hate clowns they freak you out”.  To some degree they are right I totally dislike clowns but I’m not actually phobic about them a distinction people often get wrong.

  • Dislike – a feeling of distaste or hostility
  • Phobia – an extreme and/or irrational fear or hostility to something

Technically I don’t actually have any phobias and I can relationally explain most of the things I dislike and what caused me to dislike them.  For instance I dislike Clowns, Ticking Clocks, Shoes Squeaking on Linoleum and Blood Test because they all remind me of unpleasant stays in hospital.  I dislike being on boats because my oldest cousin attempted to shove me off a ferry in the middle of Sydney Harbour at age three and might very well have succeeded had my older sister not pulled me out of her grasp then punched her in the face splitting her lip open.

I know what a Phobic reaction looks like because my older sister is phobic about the site of blood.  I have no idea if before my ability to recall memories from childhood something happened that created her phobia but for as long as I can remember at the site of blood (99% of the time it was my blood as I was and still am a klutz) she would go sheet white, her eyes would roll back in her head and she’d pass out, occasionally she vomited first.

In an attempted to cure herself of her phobia she voluntarily worked with the Red Cross Blood Collection Service for 3 years and it kind of worked she still goes sheet white and looks like she wants to vomit but she doesn’t pass out.  Raising 3 active boys who like their Aunty tend to be a bit klutzy has also helped her learn to deal with her phobia in a new way she goes into clinical assessment of injury mode and only after it’s stitched up and they’re back home does she fall apart.

However I have some dislikes that I can’t rationally explain but they also are not clinical classifiable as phobias so what are they?   On reading blogs about Aspergers and talking with my friend R who’s youngest is on the ASD scale  I’ve discovered that they are common traits of  people on the ASD scale so technically neither a dislike nor a phobia.  The list below is just some of what I thought of as odd dislikes but are apparently behavioural traits of ASD

  • Socks & Sock Seams – I’m actually not a big fan of anything on my feet but if I ware socks they must be cotton or bamboo and they have to be turned inside out so the seams don’t press into my toes.
  • Thong (flip flops), toe socks, to Barefoot running shoes – anything that goes between my toes creeps me out
  • Foot Massages – I actually really really really dislike anyone touching my feet
  • Food Touching – I hate with a passion when food on my plate touches other food on my plate.  If I’m out somewhere I will rearrange my food so there is a gap between each peace of food on the plate.  At home I only put one thing on my plate at a time and once I’ve eaten it I’ll get the next item (my family thinks it’s hilarious)
  • Fruit Salad – I love fruit but I hate fruit salad because all the fruit is mixed up and touching (I’m also not good with stews)
  • Crowds – I really don’t deal well with crowded environments it creates over stimulation
  • Flying – it’s not the flying part I dislike it’s the being trapped in a small space with large amounts of total strangers.  If I could afford it I’d by the seats next to me , in front of me and behind me just to have space.
  • Touching People or People Touching Me – I know it’s the social norm to shake hands on meeting people but I really don’t like doing it.  The European habit of getting all up in someones personal space and cheek kissing even if you barely know each other make me break out in a cold sweat.  Oddly if I know you and like you I’m going to be the first to give you a hug both on seeing you and when you are leaving but

Other things are harder to explain like I have to like the feel of the material clothing is made of or I can’t ware it.  I have to sit with my back to a wall facing the door so people can’t walk up behind me.  Once I find a movie I like I’ll watch it a million times to the point I can virtually quote it by heart.  My day to day life has to have a routine and I get upset when that routine is interrupted.

My family and friends could probably add to the above with what they call my “quirks” but I’m leaving this post here as I now need to go get ready to face the clowns.