Friday, April 13, 2012

Why I Still Fear Spiders

I do not like spiders. I tried, once, to make peace with and overcome my childhood phobia; I extended the olive branch and tried to get the spiders to accept it for their web-spinning pleasure.

I tried this at age eight. Out in the woods, with my parents but not my brother; we'd taken a car trip and heaven help me if I remember why. But mom and dad left me in the car - yes, by myself; they weren't going far and I was a relatively trustworthy tyke with a disregard for the curiosities and wonders of Outside-The-Car-(And-Into-the-Scary-Woods). Still, when I noticed a multi-legged, swirl-patterned creature crawling over the back of my hand, I though, "Isn't time to be a big girl and not scream? To get over this little-kid fear?"

I let it crawl across my hand, over my wrist, and watched as it began to make its way up my forearm, all without stopping to sadistically attack me like I'd always imagined Evil-Little-Monsters-of-Doom would do. I was feeling pretty at-one with nature at this point.

At this point, mom returned, saw my new 'friend,' and shrieked, "Oh my goodness, you've got a tick on you!"

I have never tried to make peace with spiders since.

Although, to my credit, they haven't tried to make peace with me, either. Ever since the bite on my neck that masqueraded as a hickey for three days during a professional event before finally swelling to the size of an Easter egg, if I catch a spider in my room at night, I do not sleep until it is dead or relocated far, far away.

What childhood fears haven't you put behind you? Have you ever tried to get over a fear and have it turn out disastrously? How did you get over the fears you have lost?

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