Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm Arachnophobic.
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.


Pet said...

No it is not funny to take something someone is truly fearful of a prank them with it,it is cruel. Oh my goth you don't like spiders,lol. I get that reaction about not being able to watch gore! I just can't do it my imagination takes hold and nightmares!

Kristy said...

My big sister has this problem. Not as bad as YOU, but she went to see "Arachnaphobia" (what was she thinking?) and in the first scene when that spider jumps up - even though you think it's dead . . . SAhe jumped straight up and threw her entire box of Skittles all over the rows behind her.
It really isn't funny. I am sorry you have to deal with this. Aren't there therapies available? It sounds almost crippling!

GainingMe said...

Wow....I wasn't aware that it was possible to be that scared of spiders. Man...I feel for you. I's not funny...and I don't grasp why someone would do something like that to you knowing just how scared you get. People just don't think sometimes.


Kat said...

No, phobias are not funny at all! I feel your pain completely. I have the same reaction to grasshoppers as you do to spiders, (never peed my pants, but I have embarassed myself in many other ways). One jumped up and bounced off the outside of the window right in front of my table at Denny's once, and we were asked to leave because of the fuss I made! I know my fear of them can be traced back to when I was a toddler and my dad used to put them in my bed and in my clothes, laugh when I screamed, and then punished me for not "toughening up" and dealing with it. Knowing where the phobia comes from doesn't do much to alleviate it, but I do hope to one day face the fear and overcome it. I know it is possible.

Anaquita said...

As a fellow arachniphobic, (And I also believe they're evil, and out to get me) I totally feel your pain. I react a bit differently, but for me, even pictures also set me off into a full blown panic attack.

Most of my friends are pretty understanding. Something I'm grateful for. Family however is another story. In fact my mother's attempt to "condition" me to not be scared made things far worse. And that's the thing, if they send you pictures they may be making things worse for you.

All I can suggest is sit down and really talk with the offenders. Let them know how much it hurts you for them to act that way. If they really care about you, they'll listen, and stop it.