A woman who was afraid of tinsel and said she used to throw up just looking at it shared how she overcame her worst fears.
Hannah Slater, 26, says she struggled to breathe and felt so queasy at the festive decorations that she threw up
She suffered from her extreme phobia for 20 years and it got to the point where she was no longer able to go Christmas shopping or invited to Christmas parties for fear of seeing tinsel.
But this year, in order not to let her boyfriend down for another year, Hannah made it a point to seek professional help to deal with her phobia – and successfully overcame it.
She told the Mirror: “The anxiety gets worse every year. My heart is racing, breathing becomes difficult, and I feel nauseous just thinking about tinsel touching my skin.
“It has gotten to the point where I dread Christmas every year.
“I feel terrible because my boyfriend is the most festive man I’ve ever met – he’s practically Buddy the Elf – but I refuse to decorate the house and there’s no way I’m ever going to go to Winter Wonderland with him .
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“My family and friends no longer buy me presents and I no longer get invited to Christmas parties after refusing to attend Christmas Springer Day.”
Hannah first developed a fear of tinsel after she threw up on her family’s Christmas gifts at the age of six after a “tinsel-related incident.”
Her cousins were at her family’s house on Christmas Day and decided to wrap her in tinsel for fun.
“I don’t know what happened but I panicked when they started wrapping it around my head.
“I hated how scratchy it felt on my skin and the loud noise of the slide was driving me insane.
“I didn’t want to ruin the game so I stayed calm at first but when they wrapped my whole body and I couldn’t move I started screaming.
“My mum had to come and unwrap me and I was so excited I threw up over the presents under the tree.”
After the incident, Hannah’s phobia became so debilitating that tinsel was banned from her family’s home — and after years of being dubbed a “real Grinch” by friends and family, she’s had to spend Christmas Day alone for five straight years.
“I can’t even be in the same room with tinsel without feeling the urge to run away,” Hannah continued.
“I know it’s irrational and a lot of people think it’s silly, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling real to me.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve gotten less and less Christmassy every year. I don’t put up decorations, I don’t eat Christmas dinner and I hate Christmas music – Christmas is strictly forbidden in my house.
“Usually my boyfriend goes home to spend Christmas Day with his family while I stay home and watch TV.”
But this year, Hannah wanted to try to make a change, knowing how important the season is for her boyfriend.
Wanting to surprise him by confronting her fear head-on, she turned to therapist Christopher Paul Jones for help.
After her therapy sessions, Hannah explained, “I really wanted to enjoy Christmas with my boyfriend without everyone having to hide the decorations.
“I went from shaking to giggling at the thought of it, and it made me see my phobia in a new light.”
Hannah now wants to make up for lost time with “the most festive Christmas ever.”
“I realized that I was deflecting my feelings about the event by blaming tinsel for irresponsibility instead of my cousins — once I had that realization, it was easy to think of tinsel as safe again,” she added.
“I feel free now. I’ve already done some Christmas shopping and on Christmas Day I’m going to surprise my boyfriend and tell him I’m going to have a proper celebration with him.
“I want to decorate my house with tinsel every year now – I’ve even put it in my bedroom.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/25/a-woman-spends-christmas-alone-because-she-throws-up-whenever-she-sees-tinsel-17994959/ A woman spends Christmas alone because she throws up when she sees tinsel