*(Please note…this post is more of a long and oddly-worded question…)*
Okay, hands up if you aren’t afraid of, or actually like spiders…! Good…good. Now, if your hand is up, keep it up and very slowly (but without dawdling) move to the back of the room. And by ‘move to the back of the room’ I mean check yourself…take a good long hard look at your life and realise you need to re-evaluate several things, we can’t trust people like you here. Having said that…I may or may not be joining you. I don’t know yet. See I’m terrified of spiders and as you would expect get panicky and lightheaded when I see them…except for those times when I’m not terrified of spiders, and I’m fascinated by, and will happily manhandle them.
Confused yet? Ok, good.
There I was minding my damn business laying on the sofa watching ‘The Good Place’ eating Nutella straight out the jar – you know, just your standard Saturday breakfast routine, when a tiny blur of motion caught my eye, and the next thing I know, I’m drawn into the battle of my life with this huuuuuuge MoFo of an arachnid. I leapt up from my sofa in shock at its size and rotundity. This thing was about 2.5 inches across (if you don’t know that’s huge), and most of it was just body. Hairy body too. I got the sweaty palms, racy heartbeat and all the other typical phobia symptoms while I watched it watch me before it made a quick retreat to the back of my radiator to continue planning its assault…and then pop back out to watch me some more.
I could feel it daring me to move, and whenever I moved, it moved. I’d step left, it would step right, I’d move back it’d scurry forward…normal spiders don’t behave the way this one did, this one had an agenda. I leapt to the other side of the room, we slowly circled each other, I tried to mentally convince it to back up, scurry up the wall and out the open window, but unfortunately it turns out I’m not telepathic. Instead it reared up on to its hind legs, waved its front legs at me menacingly…then shot webbing at me…I even heard its tiny spider voice screaming ‘you shall not pass!’ while it slowly began backing me into a corner (okay there’s a very slight chance some of this is exaggerated, but who knows for sure?). Somehow, after the mini panic attack I managed to pull myself together which it sensed because it rushed back behind my radiator (in that way spiders do where all you can see is two or three legs sticking out) …and there was my chance to make a break for it. Since there was no one around, I chose to gift this thing the house. It could keep it. And then I realised I had the choice of becoming a spider’s bitch…or trying to calm myself down enough to do something about it.
I decided to do something. I ran out of the room for reinforcements and when I phobic-walked (don’t tell me you don’t know the fear-walk!) back into the room in a makeshift hazmat-suit (elbow-length rubber gloves, wellington boots, an apron, and for some reason a hat), carrying a can of Raid in one gloved hand, and a handheld vacuum in the other…
…this thing was dead.
It was laying on its side right by my jar of Nutella (damn it).
I didn’t touch it on my way out (it was behind the radiator!).
It was just dead.
I feel like that was it’s plan all along…to screw with me psychologically (and, also does Nutella kill spiders? Cos I can totally get on board with that). I felt relieved, and cheated, and it took another 3 hours before I could vacuum away its body after pouring myself a stiff drink and spraying it with half a can of Raid from a long distance away just to make extra…extra sure it was not just sleeping).
The thing is, about a week before, I found a spider in my bathroom (of the daddy long-leg variety – this is why I hate the time of year, these feckers are everywhere), and I picked it up and put it outside. With my bare hands. It didn’t illicit any kind of fear response in me. At all.
And now for my question(s)…is this normal? Sometimes, spiders terrify me, other times they don’t – I have zero phobia of tarantulas…but I can’t be near a tiny money spider, or any with a round body. Is there such a thing as being halfway, or selectively arachnophobic? I thought phobias were absolute – because that’s the way it seems to be for everyone else, and what the damn hell am I supposed to do about it? My long-term aim is to desensitize myself to eight-legged things, but what happens if I sign up for something like the Friendly Spider Programme at my local zoo and I have no phobia of the spiders there? How do you treat a half phobia? Is it still even classed as a phobia? I guess there’s only one way to find out for sure, but I just feel like it’d be better somehow if the fear was constant.
I don’t know. Does anyone else have this problem or am I just odd? All answers on the back of a postcard please (or you know, the comments section), and have a happy spider-free day! 😊