Poetry

Sidonglobophobia (fear of cotton balls)

other people see soft

plush, fluffy clouds of fiber

used to clean wounds

remove nail polish

keep bottles of pills safe

I see itchy, stringy, nasty

spine chilling

under my fingernails

pins and needles

sound making me cringe

making its way up my arms

under my skin

covering my muscles

feel like I could pull out

my fingernails

and my eyeballs

if I knew they wouldn’t stuff them

with cotton balls.


I have had a pretty bad fear of cotton balls ever since I could remember. I remember getting ear infections and getting my ears stuffed with cotton balls. I remember getting an abcess on my back and having to have that stuffed with cotton to keep it open, as it got a staff infection. I believe that this is what really set me off. Even now, writing this all down, I have to do my cotton ball compulsion of flicking all of my fingernails until I am absolutely sure that they don’t have cotton stuffed under them. There was even a Maury episode  (link here) of a lady who was afraid of cotton balls. Everyone made fun of her, and they even chased her around with a guy costume covered in cotton balls. Everyone laughed, except me. I felt like I was the only person who understood her suffering. Of course, I realized that I wasn’t alone. We never are, are we?