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Nettles; A phobia of mine.
Topic Started: Aug 24 2017, 08:28 AM (271 Views)
Laurie P
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I have to confess that I have a complete aversion to nettles.

I always shudder when I see photos of nettles and have anxiety attacks if I have to be anywhere near them.

I think it stems from my childhood. We used to live in a small rural village called Great Ayton, North Yorkshire and I would have been about 8 years old at the time. I fell into a clump of nettles in a field and got badly stung.

Then a bit later when I was in junior school we had what was called a 'green' day, where we had to bring in any item that was green. Some moron brought in some nettles and was chasing after kids with them. On that occasion I managed to run away untouched.

But those incidents have left a lasting impression to this day.

Kathy was aware I didn't like them but she didn't realise how much of a phobia I had until we went for a walk in an area called Puddletown in Dorset a few years ago. We had Pixie with us and we came to a grassy path that had waist-high nettles either side of it. I just stopped in my tracks, wondering how we could get around them to be able to continue. Because of the nature of the terrain, there was no alternative route. This is when Kathy realised the true extent of my phobia, and it brought back all my childhood fears - big time!

Fortunately, I'd brought a walking stick with me, just on the off-chance it would be needed for something like this, but not really expecting to encounter such a mass of them. I picked up Pixie and Kathy walked ahead using the stick to push the nettles away from the path whilst I followed closely behind her. It took about 5 minutes to walk along an area of about 20 feet before the path cleared of the nettles.

After about 5 more minutes of walking we realised the path we were on was taking us in the wrong direction, and there was no option but to return along the path of nettles again. Once again we repeated the procedure that got me through the first time.

At another point along this walk we were following, we encountered more nettles on either side of the path, with no alternate route to take. The path was over a stile, and although it was shorter to reach a clear field ahead the nettles were much taller and closer to the path. These nettles were head height ahh

This time I went in first with my stick to push them away, then we repeated the process as before, and only took a couple of minutes to get clear.

Matters were made worse as it was quite a breezy day, so the nettles were being blown from side to side, making the task of avoiding them that much harder.

Thankfully, for the rest of that walk we didn't encounter any more nettles.

Does anyone else have a dislike for specific plants or weeds?

The odd thing is I could encounter a similar path shrouded with brambles and I wouldn't give it a second thought. I can cope with scratches, but stings are another matter entirely.
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AnnB
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I knew this was going to be a great story when I saw the title, we really need to hear more of your adventures Laurie (although I shouldn't laugh at your misadventures).

It reminded me of a narrowboat holiday I had on the Stratford-on-Avon canal. I was working the locks while my boyfriend steered the boat and I'd volunteered to walk between two of the locks. Unfortunately I hadn't known that the towpath was blocked by shoulder high nettles. I called out to my boyfriend on the boat, chugging away ahead of me but he couldn't hear me above the noise of the engine so I had no choice but to get stung all over. Thankfully no lasting effects and I can still walk through the occasional patch of nettles if I have to. I am a bit careful with plants though as I suffer with a number of allergies. Putting up a live Christmas Tree can leave me covered in a rash and I had a similar rash when I dug up a Pampas Grass.
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JennyWren
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Sorry :bag: i don't seem to have any phobias :think: I grow nettles for the insects and i pick them to eat .

I'm unhappy about large spiders but it's not a phobia . As far as i know my children don't suffer from any either , they know i'd tell them to not be so silly and get on get on with it .. get used to them ;) I'm afraid i never made much of anything :thinking:

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Pam M
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Hi Laurie, an interesting tale. I can understand your fear that stems from a childhood encounter.
Like Jen I grow nettles in the garden, they are now head height & do have quite a sting, but they are potted to contain them.
When I was little I fell into the Roses at a great aunts house. I remember being cut & bleeding, but no fear emerged as I got older :)
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Laurie P
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Thank you all :)

Maybe I should precede my topic titles with "True Confessions."

Ann :lol2: I know you wouldn't laugh at other people's misadventures. As far as me though, the nettle 'thing' is my most extreme dislike. My other 'adventures' would most probably pale in comparison :giggle: Do I go back into the mists of time or focus on present day adventures :paul:

You were definitely brave to continue through those nettle Ann. Well done you :cool4:

As far as I am aware I don't have any allergies, so I suppose that's something to be thankful for.

Jen, that's a very admirable attitude, and one I wish I could have adopted :rolleys:

We don't have any nettles growing in our garden, but you seem to have a healthy symbiotic relationship going on with yours there Pam, just like Jen.
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Jane
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I guess you don't drink Nettle tea then Laurie! :outtahere:

I'm not too bothered by nettles, I get stung quite regularly. I'm sure I read the sting is good for arthritis? But I might have imagined that!

Not a phobia, but I can't stand Himalaya Balsam. It's such a thug and there is masses of the stuff on all the paths around here and it stinks, a horrible sweet-sickly cloying smell! Gives me a headache.

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Laurie P
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Jane
Aug 24 2017, 11:47 AM
I guess you don't drink Nettle tea then Laurie! :outtahere:

No way Jane :panic: :run2:
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JennyWren
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Quote Laurie ........... Ann :lol2: I know you wouldn't laugh at other people's misadventures................

Me , on the other hand ;) ...... you wouldn't have the phobia if i was ya Mum :bag: .......... Posted Image
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Laurie P
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JennyWren
Aug 24 2017, 02:23 PM
Quote Laurie ........... Ann :lol2: I know you wouldn't laugh at other people's misadventures................

Me , on the other hand ;) ...... you wouldn't have the phobia if i was ya Mum :bag: .......... Posted Image
Jen - oohh, I'm so scared. You would probably smack my bare bottom with a bunch of nettles and literally beat it out of me :rofl:
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JennyWren
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:cwl: yep !
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Eric Hardy
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Just found your nettle thread, Laurie. That must be terrible to have that phobia, luckily I don't have the aversion you have. As kids, my friends and I were often getting stung in our short trousers. Our standard remedy was find a dock leaf, spit on it and rub it on the affected area, it seemed to help. Kids can be cruel though, bigger boys would find horsetail plants, chase us and whip them across our calfs.
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Jane
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Blimey there's a lot of smacking and whipping going on in this thread :scream:

:giggle:

Agree Eric, Dock leaves work well on a sting :yes:
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earthdragon64
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My husband gets worse than normal reactions to nettle stings, the stinginess seems to last a couple of days, whereas if I get stung I don't notice it after a couple of hours at the most.

I do sympathise Laurie, whilst not phobic, I'm pretty scared of wasps, and bees to a lesser extent. The only reason I can think of is that in my early teens a group of my friends were playing football and accidentally kicked the ball into a wasps nest. A couple of my friends got badly stung, one of the younger ones got stung over a dozen times and needed hospital treatment. I wasn't there at the time, but only because my bus was delayed, and I arrived just as the ambulance was taking my friend away, he was fine in the end, but it's since then that I've been scared of wasps.

I'm not too bad if I see them outside, as long as they don't sneak up on me, but I panic a bit if one gets in the house. Our house gets hot in summer and we have to leave the door open or it can get unbearably hot. This was a problem for me due to bees and wasps coming in, but we've managed to get a removable fly screen for the door, which is in 2 halves, hangs up with velcro and shuts up the middle with magnets.

I have been stung by wasps a couple of times, once on the ear, and the pain isn't that bad, so I really don't know what it is that scares me so much about them. I think I'm probably better with bees as I know they won't sting unless provoked and I certainly won't provoke them!
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Laurie P
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As you've mentioned wasps Audrey, that would be the next critter on my hate list.

I have never been stung by a wasp so my dislike is not through a stinging encounter. I think, just knowing that they can get quite aggressive and will sting you is enough to avoid them whenever possible.

I've heard that you shouldn't swat a wasp as that would cause it to become aggressive and try to sting you. That is a natural reaction though and difficult to do nothing when they're flying around your face.

I'm not so fearful of bees, but I still leave them alone and have a healthy respect for them.

Anyway, fears of insects sounds like it could be another topic for discussion if anyone wishes to start one off ;)
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Tabatha
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Sorry to hear about your bad experience Laurie.

When I was a child I was climbing on a large tree trunk. I fell off and got very badly stung. It was horrible at the time, but I don't have an aversion to nettles as such, I just try and keep away from them.
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Night Owl
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An interesting tale Laurie and it's easy to see how your phobia came about from you experience as a child :yep:
I get quite a bad reaction to nettle stings but they don't bother me, which is a good job as we encounter them on most walks and reserves we visit :yes: so avoiding them must be quite a challenge!
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Pam M
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Daddy Long Legs in the house :scream:
I`m fine with them outside & enjoy trying to get a photo of them, but inside is another matter :run2: They always want to dive bomb me, my husband has to catch them & put them outside :lol2:
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Davebutterflyman
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A really interesting thread this.

That sounds like a really serious phobia, Laurie and it obviously impacts on you in an alarming way, it must be very hard to deal with.

I don't have any phobias that i am aware of. The only time i was slightly wary of something was at a reserve in Florida where Black Bears were present but having seen one and then just watching it go about it's business, any concerns were put to one side and now it wouldn't bother me in the slightest.
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Laurie P
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Davebutterflyman
Aug 25 2017, 11:27 AM
...That sounds like a really serious phobia, Laurie and it obviously impacts on you in an alarming way, it must be very hard to deal with...
I just tend to try and not put myself in situations where I have to deal with them.

The real problem is through farmers' fields or following public footpaths out in the countryside. I don't tend to do those types of walks any more though.

On my walks through the Forest I don't come across them so they're not an issue, which is great.
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Davebutterflyman
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Sounds like you manage to cope well with the issue Laurie.
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