I am scared of spiders.
Yes, yes, I know the irony: An admitted "goth chick" who is afraid of spiders. I mean, aren't I supposed to love everything creepy, crawly, and Halloween related?
No. I don't. I am afraid of spiders and anything related to the arachnid family. This includes scorpions, ticks, crabs (not arachnids but scary nonetheless), etc.
Now you might think that when I say "scared", I mean something to the effect that I see a spider and say "eek!" and run away or grab a shoe and kill it.
Not even close.
Let me explain to you what happens to me when I see a spider. First of all, I lose the ability to speak. You ever have those dreams where something bad is happening to you and, in the dream, you try to scream, but nothing comes out? That's what happens to me in real life. Secondly, I lose the ability to move. My legs lock and I cannot run, walk, hop, skip, or jump away from the thing that is frightening me so. My hands also will clench into fists to the point where I have made my palms bruise and bleed from my nails digging into them. I will begin to shake uncontrollably and hyperventilate. Crying hysterically is also part of the deal. But the "best" part of my fear of spiders is that lovely fact that I lose all bladder control. It doesn't matter if I am in private, in public, with friends, with strangers, children or adults, I will pee my pants.
This has happened to me in the middle of Target, in the privacy of my own home, in a park, at birthday parties, at work (before I was a mom), and everything else in between.
It's not funny.
It's humiliating and embarrassing.
Let me reiterate in case you didn't get it: I PEE MY PANTS and I can't control it.
This doesn't just happen with actual spiders in front of me. It happens with pictures of spiders, movies with spiders, real spiders, fake spiders, and even the robotic spiders from the 80's movie "Runaway" with Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons. In fact, I had to skip the entire chapter in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets dealing with Aragog. Those pages are actually ripped out of my Harry Potter book. When I saw the movie, I had to leave the theater and come back when I got the "all clear". And to tell you the truth, just writing this blog has made me uncomfortable.
So, to the people who giggle and laugh and think it is funny to send me pictures of spiders or walk their fingers on my shoulder and say "oooo I think there's one on you now!", I would like to say, very politely, and with love, "STOP IT".
Do you think I like being like this? Do you think it is enjoyable to feel this way? Do you think it is fun to turn down trips and gatherings with friends because I know there are spiders there? Do you think I like being laughed at? Do you think I enjoy knowing that people can lose all respect for someone after seeing them act in this manner over a spider? Do you think it is funny when people exploit this weakness and think it is funny to hide toy spiders knowing that they will scare me?
I don't. Not one bit.
So here's a memo: It's not fucking funny.