Can you imagine having to ask someone else to flush the toilet for you because you’re too terrified it will swallow you up? That’s exactly what 20-year-old Ney Decino, from Church Village, Wales, has to go through every day.
“The sound of the water sends shivers down my spine. It’s awful. I swear it will swallow me up. Once I’ve flushed, the sound of it and the look of the water going down, it freaks me out,” Ney says. She has had an irrational fear of toilets ever since watching a scene in the 1990 film Look Who’s Talking Too, starring John Travolta and Kirsty Alley. It showed an imaginary big-eyed, sharp-toothed character called Mr. Toilet Man, who screams it wants the child’s pee. I actually remember that scene, it freaked me out a bit as well, but I got over it pretty quickly. Ney, on the other hand, hasn’t, and she has had to deal with her phobia for most of her life. The young mother says she only goes to the toilet in public if it’s an absolute emergency, and always tries to find work close to home, so she can use the only toilet she feels safe on. And even there, she has problems flushing if she’s by herself. She will use a friend’s toilet if she has to, but only if they or a family member flush for her. Now, she’s trying to face her fear by setting up a Facebook group and getting in touch with other phobia-sufferers.
“Ever since I saw that film, I’ve been terrified. When I was about 11 I wet myself on my way home because I wouldn’t use the loo at school. I was so embarrassed, I’d waited four hours but I just wouldn’t use another toilet. I just wanted my mum to be there so she could flush it for me,” Ney remembers. She says the tension rises as soon as she walks into the bathroom, and builds up until she leaves. “I just flush and run. The sound of the water sends shivers down my spine.” The sound the toilet makes and looking at the water going down just freaks her out. She washes her hands in the kitchen because she can’t even bear being in the same room as the toilet cistern fills up. Cubicles in a row are a nightmare for the mother-of-one, and she never uses old-fashion pull-chain toilets, because the sound they make is just too much for her.
Believe it or not, Look Who’s Talking Too was actually one of Ney Decino’s favorite movies when she was growing up. Her parents videotaped it for her, and she watched it dozens of times, despite her fear. But it triggered her phobia, and from age 4 to 13 the fear of Mr. Toilet Man made her unable to flush unless there was someone in the bathroom with her. The problem caused some tension between Ney and her parents, because they got really frustrated with always having to flush for her. They always believed she would grow out of it, but she never has. In fact, it just got worse with time. Pregnancy only made the phobia worse, because she had to use the restroom more often, but now that she has her nine-month-old daughter Kaydee, it’s gotten considerably better, because she’s always with her when she needs to flush
Now, she hopes the Facebook group she set up will make her life easier and help others with their own phobias.