Along with heights, I know this being a “fear” probably seems silly, but definitely not to me!
Have you ever noticed if you admit you’re afraid of something, suddenly that something is either always on your mind or it’s suddenly showing up in your everyday life? That is definitely how I feel about spiders. I wasn’t always afraid of spiders, but after a traumatic event, which is most definitely coming up soon, I was left with what can only be termed a mental scar. Now that I DO have a fear of spiders, I see them EVERYWHERE.
You know, I read a fact somewhere that no one is ever more than 3 feet away from a spider at any time. No. More. Than. 3. Feet. Talk about a terrifying fact when you are definitely not seeing them as a warm and cuddly critter you want around!
Now, on to my story on the development of what has turned into a terrible fear of spiders.. My dad is an incredibly hard worker. He’s been a firefighter for 25 years this June and for the last, 10 or 15 years, he has maintained his own business on the side. In addition to that, in just the last 5 years he has also taken on a third job. Like I said, an incredibly hard worker.
Well, when I was younger, and sometimes still now, I would go with him to help with his personal business. He did contracting work, some carpentry, lawns, roofs, whatever his customers asked him to do unless it was just completely outside his scope. I was maybe 11 or 12 when it happened. We were all working with dad that day, my mom, Brittany (my twin) and I. He was just breaking down a shed in a backyard and hauling off the wood and metal. He needed help hauling it all out of the tiny gate that led to the backyard. We had gotten a few boards and at least one wall taken apart and hauled off and then the shed just kind of collapsed.
It wasn’t a bad thing. It meant less hammer/sledge hammer work for my dad which meant we would get done faster and get to go get something for lunch. Lunch and bathroom breaks weren’t always “on time” when you went to work with dad, so getting done early would mean we could actually eat AT lunchtime! This was a huge deal to some “starving” 11 year olds.
As we started carting things off and away we were making really good progress! Things were going fast and then.. it happened. A day that has literally inspired nightmares in me for years. I was helping my dad haul off a piece of the flooring. We had picked it up and barely made it two steps when it was like a spider explosion.. They were everywhere.. We had accidentally crushed an egg sack or disturbed it in a way that they had hatched. I screamed and tried to drop the piece, but dad yelled and said we had to make it to the truck then he would get the spiders off of me.
We FINALLY made it to the truck, I dropped the board as fast as I could and tears just ran down my cheeks. I was covered in bites and baby spiders. I kept swatting them and it seemed like more kept showing up. He swore after about 3 minutes of squashing that all the spiders were gone, but for days I could still feel them crawling on me.
I had bites everywhere and they took a week or so to heal. I looked like I had rolled in poison ivy or gotten a really small version on the chicken pox again, but instead of itching, they just hurt.
Once the bites were finally all gone and I looked normal again, I noticed I was very jumpy around spiders. I didn’t like to see them in the zoo, in the wild, and especially not in my house.. I am now terrified. The fear has grown. I can look at them in zoos behind glass, but I won’t touch them, and I do NOT like to be surprised by finding them in unexpected places. I have no idea how to even begin to get over this fear, but are spiders really all that great in the first place? Is it really a loss to not want to see them ever again? I certainly don’t think so!
So unless this fear just magically dissipates, I am not incredibly interested in finding my own way to get rid of it!
Thanks for reading!