All right, all right. I know that this is such a lame fear because everybody has it, but I have it too. I am one of the many who currently suffers from a fear of spiders. I just can’t handle their creeping bodies, their hairy backs, their pinchers, and, sometimes, their venom. It is gross.
While growing up, I, most of the time, had the great fortune to have the home we lived in sprayed for spiders on a regular basis, but, sometimes, they would get into the home anyway, and it was terrifying.
My fear of spiders used to be so bad that I would run out of the house if I saw one. I would just drop everything that I was doing and run. Out the door. As fast as I could.
One time, my sister took advantage of this horrible fear of mine. I was brushing my hair in the bathroom, and she came in and told me in all seriousness that there was a spider on my back.
At first, I did not believe her, but then my irrational fear began to kick in, and I freaked out, tearing off my shirt (luckily I had on an undershirt) as quickly as I possibly could and running into the kitchen where I thought I would be safe.
At that point, my sister started laughing her head off. There was not a spider anywhere on me or even near me. It was then that I realized I needed to get my fear under control.
Fear Therapy at Home
Rather than pay hundreds of dollars per visit for a personal fear therapist, I simply decided to not be as afraid as I had been. It was a conscious decision. I think that anyone could do it. It certainly took some training on my part, but it was completely worth it to at least have myself under control in a situation where there is a spider.
First, I decided to take it one step down. I decided that I would only be afraid of spiders if they were moving. So, that excluded being afraid of dead spiders, which always made me look very foolish, and also excluded stationary spiders. It took some time, and I am not always perfect at it, but it helped.
Next, I decided that spiders as small as the eraser on a pencil or smaller were nothing to be afraid of. That was also another case when I would get fun since the spider was ridiculously small. So, I could handle spiders, even if they were moving, as long are they were small.
I have not really gotten to the next step yet. However, my boyfriend commented on how brave I was when my roommate saw a smallish spider and I volunteered to kill it. I had it under control up until the point when it climbed out of the paper towel that was supposed to squish it and started heading toward my arm. Not okay. I dropped the paper towel. But, perhaps it was brave to volunteer, anyway.
I do not think it is necessary to do home fear therapy to the point where you could hold a tarantula or anything like that. That is a little extreme. It is just nice that you do not have to make a fool out of yourself if a tiny spider crawls into the room.