How would you have reacted? WIBU?

(42 Posts)
WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:24:51

A few weeks ago I was in a supermarket café when a boy sitting in a trolley - aged about 3 just suddenly threw up on the floor. Now I'm emetophobic...

I was just frozen to the spot, like a statue, not knowing whether to carry on with my order or what to do (I've been emetophobic since around the age of 3) and then he threw up for the second time!!
I didn't have an immediate reaction there and then, just calmly walked out of the shop - but it really affected me quite deeply for the rest of the day.

With hindsight, I think the poor mum dealt with it really well, and I really felt for the little boy and his slightly younger brother (who was screaming - can't blame him - it affected me and I'm over 21 - just !! ) - no seriously though - I think the mum dealt with it great (sorry for bad grammar) - she took the little boy's hand and was going "Come on!" as she was doing her best to usher him into the toilets nearby - with the younger toddler screaming, sat in the shopping trolley.
I felt really sorry for all 3 of them - and it effected me too - aargh - this is the sort of situation I hate!! Luckily, I haven't seen it happen very often at all!!!

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:25:46

affected****

apatheticfallacy Tue 23-Aug-16 18:27:19

I'd have offered her some baby wipes but I'm not bothered by a bit of vomit.

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:32:27

Yes that's sensible apatheticfallacy - I didn't have any on me at the time - this wasn't just a bit of baby sick though iyswim

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:36:36

I'm such an emetophobe I can remember back in 1995 - we were in Pil's house with my OH, his sisters, niece, Bil, various pets (uncle Tom Cobbley and all...) - and my OH suddenly announced he was going to be sick after an evening's drinking, and it's like:

ME - (breaks world land speed record to get out of room.......and as far away as poss. as I just can't bear it)

mrsfuzzy Tue 23-Aug-16 18:38:15

apth op is scared of vomit, she would hardly want to stick around to help. must be horrible for you woburn not too good for the ill person either.

Goldenvalley Tue 23-Aug-16 18:39:22

I'm severely emetophobic too and I think I would have run.

Titflaps Tue 23-Aug-16 18:40:32

Cripes op, you did well. I'm so bad I would have run. I don't mean to be horrible when people vimit, I just can't deal with being around it it in case it's something contagious.

SquidgeyMidgey Tue 23-Aug-16 18:40:52

To answer the thread title I would have offered help if the mum looked like she needed assistance. If you're emetophobic then clearly you can't, you did the right thing in walking away and not making it about you in the café.

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:41:57

That's the thing mrsfuzzy - I felt so sorry for the 3 year old boy who was sick as well because I'm scared of being sick myself after having such horrible episodes as a child - a few in nursery when I would've been around his age (must've been lovely for people in my immediate vicinity..)

Goldenvalley = there's quite a few of us around..

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:44:19

The mum, to be fair was amazing and replaying the situation in my mind I don't know what I could've done as she seemed to be dealing with it well - the café staff were there to clean up and keep an eye on the other (younger ) child I suppose - but what a nightmare for the mum ( and the boy and his brother)!

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:46:12

Ive been in a job where I've had to clean up vomit as would be seen as part of the job description - I managed - somehow - but one particular instance was really difficult sad

VioletBlue101 Tue 23-Aug-16 18:49:47

this could have been my eldest. he is still sick at the drop of a hat. I'm also emetophobic but manage to cope with my kids sick ok most of the time. I prefer ppl to just walk on as I get very stressed and flustered if I feel like I'm being watched and judged!

Horehound Tue 23-Aug-16 18:50:30

I have never heard of this condition before. I just dont like vomit. Who the hell wants to be touched by someone elses vomit? God no. I don't have kids but when oets have been sick i can clean it up. I expect youll have to deal with it when you have kids (im assuming you dont have them and assuming you will want them!)

Horehound Tue 23-Aug-16 18:50:53

But no i dont think ywbu smile

ReActiv Tue 23-Aug-16 18:51:58

I've been the mum in a similar situation (in a restaurant, unfortunately!) and an onlooker in many other similar situations.

As the mum, you just try to ignore everyone else around you staring and whispering (as I was rather mortified), but thank anyone who offers assistance. You clean up as quickly as you can, offer to pay for any additional costs due to damage (e.g. fabric sofa in the restaurant, as per my situation) then get the ill child home asap.

As the onlooker, if they look as though they require help, i'd go and offer it. If they seemed to be coping fine, I'd maybe give a sympathetic look or sentence walking by e.g. "hope he feels better soon". If there was already lots of people around, i wouldn't want to join the mob.

Of course, I'm not phobic of sick. If I was, I'd likely just do nothing as you did. And on the off chance the mum asked me for help, I'd probably explain my condition and offer to find someone else to help her.

Floggingmolly Tue 23-Aug-16 18:53:46

I'm not emetophobic but a stranger's vomit would have me heading for the door too. I'd feel a bit queasy mooching round a food shop while someone (even a child) spews vomit in a corner.

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 18:58:29

ReActiv - well if it's any consolation - if my experience is anything to go by - the onlooker regardless of their outward behaviour inwardly feels that the mum/caregiver etc of the child is doing brilliant in coping with the situation (sorry for bad grammar) - I did anyway...

To be honest - I used to be horrendous on nights out - when I was younger - hated nightclubs where there was sick etc etc....

CalmYaTits Tue 23-Aug-16 19:14:36

off topic...but if your emetophobic, how do you react when you are sick yourself? I've always wondered thisshock

Titflaps Tue 23-Aug-16 19:21:14

For me that's the whole reason behind my emetephobia - being sick is a full-scale emergency for me. I'll have a proper bad panic attack which makes it worse. That's why I'm afraid of vomit because I hate being sick so much myself, and have to get away from it in case it's a bug I might catch.

Goldenvalley Tue 23-Aug-16 19:26:53

calm most of us are hardly ever sick. I've not vomited since I was child and I'm in my thirties now.

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 19:28:42

CalmYaTits - very good question - the last time I was sick was 2004!! - So luckily, it doesn't crop up very often.

The last time I was sick - not through drink was when I was 13! Since I've been an adult - the only time I'm sick is when I'm drunk - I never appear to have stomach bugs or the like! When you're drunk and you're sick - in some ways you don't mind - so much - in some instances - you don't even remember.!!

Emetophobia affected me much worse when I was a young child. - under 8. But I still get nervous if other people are sick - it's the sight, the sound and the smell - yuck!! Proper assault on the senses.!

WoburnSands Tue 23-Aug-16 19:29:36

Cross post with Goldenvalley - but yes I echo a lot of what GV says.

HornyTortoise Tue 23-Aug-16 19:30:04

I would have left as swiftly as possible. I am all for helping others during stressful times when possible, however I am a fellow emotophobic and can barely deal when my own kids vomit. I have never yet been in the situation where one of them is ill when DH isn't here, and I am not even completely sure I could handle it. Baby sick I was ok with, but normal puke..no. Even the thought of it actually makes me break out ina s weat and makes my head feel funny.

I would have been (stupidly but I couldn't stop it) replaying it over and over in my head if I had been in a situation like yours OP. I would also have been jumpy for ages incase it was a bug and mine were suddenly going to start vomitting...

Silvercatowner Tue 23-Aug-16 19:30:09

It is 35 years since I last vomited, I would panic and lose it if/when I next throw up.

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