I have a tenuous relationship with spiders. I’m petrifyingly phobic of them It took me a while after I moved out of my parents’ house to come up with an agreement that seemed to work for us both:
They leave me alone, I leave them alone.
They come near me, I scream like a little girl and hide in a corner.
(for the record it’s now been two hours since I started this post. I found “picsthatdon’tsuck.com” and sat slack-jawed clicking through them. Totally lost my train of thought. Oops.)
Just the other day I was in my room setting some painted items down to dry on a box. Just as I put another piece down a black stain moved and
tried to kill me scuttled across the cardboard.
I promptly shrieked and threw myself back to avoid the menace, tripping over a pile of items I had been putting off organizing, and falling flat on my ass.
It sat, and it stared. I sat, and I stared. I realized with dawning horror that it was close enough to touch my project and it might get stuck in the paint and then I would have to start over because every time I saw the piece I’d be like “SPIDER IS IN THERE OH GOD.”
So, doing what any rational person would do, I kicked the box, jostled the items away from the spider, and then swept them all to the ground as my heart tried to strangle me.
The spider seemed unperturbed. Feeling a sort of mutual understanding now I tiptoed around the long cardboard box, and then hoisted it up. The spider didn’t like that. It immediately
attacked. Set off a small bomb. ran at me harmlessly.
I dropped the box, panicked over the spider potentially getting into the carpet, and scooped it up again. The spider, dazed by my inventive intimidation methods, froze.
I tiptoed from the room trying not to jostle the spider, snuck (is snuck not a word? Firefox thinks it isn’t. Sneaked?) down the stairs, and headed to the front door. I should mention I spent the whole time whispering, “hey, hey, hey, you stay over there. HEY. HEY. You know the rules. Fuck you, stay there. STOP IT. NO. DO NOT MOVE. I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU MOVE DO NOT MAKE A MURDERER OUT OF ME!” <– okay, maybe I didn’t whisper the whole time.
When I got to the back door I ninja’ed it open, and scampered outside. I bashed the box against the ground until the spider fell off, and then bolted back inside before it could get me… feeling triumphant. I had taken care of a spider all by myself and it only took me half an hour to stop trembling and feeling itchy.
It took me 10min to deal with a spider the size of a key on my keyboard. Somehow I’m responsible for feeding and dressing myself and keeping a dog alive, as well as the two kids I nanny for. I cry when I’m confronted with spiders, I faint when someone comes at me with a hypodermic, and I can’t be in a dark room with any limb over the edge of a chair or bed.
I think I’m failing adulthood.
Updated: Also, in my psychology class a few years ago, my teacher was talking about phobias and how the truly difficult ones to treat would be afraid even if there was, say, no actual spider.
Then he held his hand up and said “pretend this is a jar. There’s a spider in here.” And he took a step toward me with his arm out.
I’m relatively sure he had no idea I’m phobic which explained the look on his face when I leaped out of my chair and scrambled back over the desk behind me, blurting “get that fucking thing away from me!” in my most
adult thoroughly terrified voice.
It happened so fast I didn’t have time to process “I know there isn’t a spider there he just says there is.” which of course was his whole point. So I made an ass of myself and got to sit red-faced for the rest of the class.
Touche’ psychology, touche’.