Me

Eight Isn’t Great

Many people have fears. They can be anything from fear of heights or roller coasters or failure or death or leaving their house and a thousand things between. If someone happens to have a fear others don’t understand, it can feel isolating.

I have many fears. There’s one that affects me more than others though. Mostly because it’s embarrassing and I hate it. I usually feel silly for even talking about it, but at the time I’m completely unable to control my actions.

My fear has eight legs. The mere sight of it, even just a picture, makes my heart race. I begin to sweat. Panic quickly sets in. Then my behavior from that point is beyond my control. (Trust me, I’ve tried hard to fight it.)

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A small glimpse into the life of spider fear…

The visor.
We left a restaurant after church one sunny Sunday. I pulled down the visor to block the sun from my face. There it was, dangling by its sticky string, staring right at me. After a moment of complete inability to move, breathe or speak, the screaming began. Maybe I should say shrieking? My husband, who didn’t see the tiny culprit, was trying to pull over to figure out why his wife was suddenly acting like she’s on fire. I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. In the process of getting out, we lost it. Determined the sneaky sucker was still in there, I spent the rest of the ride home hyperventilating and swatting at myself. It wasn’t at all embarrassing.

The wolf.
There was a wolf spider in my house. They like it here. I find them often, usually already dead or outside. I know they’re not harmful, but do they have to be so giant? I mean, I could seriously charge them rent. It was above a door. All I had to do was hit it with a broom, but that handle still wasn’t a long enough distance between me and hairy Henry. My husband wouldn’t be home for hours, I couldn’t risk losing it in the house. If that happened, I’d have to relocate. Henry could just have my bedroom.

15 minutes. That’s how long it took to gather enough courage to smack it. When it fell and scurried along the floor, the chaos that followed is too much to share in detail. Things were broken, furniture was moved with hulk strength. I had to sit down with silence to recover from the stupid insanity.

The van villain.
After 3.5 hours of waiting for service on our vehicle, with an antsy child, I was beyond thrilled to leave. We barely left the parking lot when my girl let out the most horrifying scream I’ve ever heard from her. I’m trying to turn into traffic and make sure she’s ok when I see it. One of those giant body, long leg creeps. It was huge and it was crawling up the door in front of her. I pulled over and thankfully leggy Larry made it to the top of the window, so I cracked it and he crawled out all creepy style. Otherwise, we were walking home.

There are so many more I could tell you, but I’ll stop here. I’m already gearing up for some great dreams tonight just thinking about it.

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I’m constantly looking for them, checking shoes, looking above my head, swatting my arms around like a crazy, ineffective mating dance while on hikes or just outdoors in general. I spray under outdoor tables with water before sitting at them (or have anxiety the whole time if I can’t.) It’s stressful and exhausting and embarrassing. I even broke out in a major sweat watching Charlotte’s Web with my kids. I mean seriously, how dumb.

The worst is when I’m in public and one comes near or (gasp) is on me. I typically start with some stellar ninja moves, followed by a shimmy shake walk, a squeal, shudder and kick manuever, and finish with a fancy river/ floss dance. That’s on a good day.

I get it, they’re helpful and most are innocent. They also sneak around at night, hide in clothes and corners and cars, crawl on you unoticed, hang off stuff at face level, and some can seriously hurt or even kill you.

If you have this fear too, I get it. It’s a tiny jerk that takes over your life, but you can’t seem to overpower it. If you don’t have this fear, please keep the laughter and judgment to a minimum. We already do enough of that to ourselves!

Are there any others with this fear? How do you control it?
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