Fear of Plumbing and Strang Bathrooms

by J. O.

I have had a fear of plumbing and strange bathrooms since I can remember. A dark and/or dirty bathroom, especially a public one, makes my heart race even now, and as a child I would refuse to even use one.

As a kindergartener, I had such a fear of the pipe that led from the tank to the bowl in our classroom bathroom that I once held it until I had an accident. And it wasn't "number 1"...After which, I had counseling and got to pick a close friend to come in there with me. This helped. (I don't have a friend with me now, though LOL.)

Even now I will have dreams about bathrooms, large, dimly-lit ones with dozens of toilets placed everywhere in no particular order or organization, usually not inside a stall/cubicle, often just there in the middle of the floor.

Sometimes, there are other people there, and in my dream I am wondering how they can remain so calm and take their time in there. Nothing has ever happened to my knowledge that would create this fear in me. Toilets which are metal, black, white ones with black seats, old ones, those wall-mounted ones with all the chrome piping right behind you (these used to be the worst), dark bathrooms, any exposed plumbing, especially black or dark-colored pipes freak me out.

I have gotten SO much better since I was a child, so much so that I can use most toilets now, but they still must be examined, and I keep my eye on any odd drains and plumbing, and get out ASAP. I have gotten better through force and necessity (when you're traveling on the interstate for hundreds of miles, you have to use the public ones at rest stops) and breathing and telling myself, 'it's ok, it can't hurt you, what can it do to you? It can't get up and attack you or hurt you in any way.'

For the longest, I wouldn't flush the toilet while sitting on it, but courtesy flushes are sometimes a necessity, so I finally worked my way through that, also. So, there's my odd story. For all you pottyphobics out there, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

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