Posted by: suekenney | September 9, 2011

Of Course It’s Irrational!

I was raised in a large family – four brothers and three sisters, plus me.  Of course brothers, as a distinct subclass of humans, love to tease and bother any unfortunate sister with whatever is within reach.  Mine were no exception.  So I got rapidly

a miscellaneous bug

accustomed to bugs and critters of all kinds thrown at me (we grew up in the country, so bugs and critters were overly abundant).

I’ve always been rather proud of the fact that snakes have never really bothered me.  I was the only girl in my high school biology class who would hold a live snake on the biology field trip.  True confessions here:  I brought a couple of my college friends home with me one weekend, and my youngest sister and I took fiendish delight in catching garter snakes and waving them at my poor, terrified friends.  I don’t recall that they ever came back to visit…

Bugs, as a rule, don’t bother me.  I take exception to house flies: they’re filthy and annoying.  Mosquitos whine obnoxiously, especially in the middle of the night when you’re just dropping off to sleep and here comes one right in your ear.  Plus mosquito bites itch.  Horse flies and deer flies bite painfully hard, but fortunately we don’t get too many of them around my house.  And slugs – EWWW!  At least they move slowly.  Other than that, I can usually deal with bugs and other small critters.

garden spider

The big problem comes when you add a leg pair and come up with – spiders.  Oh my.  Can NOT deal with them.  I’ve been afraid of them since childhood.  The large black and yellow spiders that lived in many of the bushes around our house gave me the chills; I avoided bushes.  It was a real challenge when I was dating my husband-to-be and he would take me into the family’s cow barn, where of course there were spiders EVERYWHERE.  As you can imagine, going into the barn was NOT my favorite activity. 

I honestly tried to get over it.  I would FORCE myself to look at the creatures with what I thought was scientific coolness.  I would even let some crawl across my arm without screaming (on the outside, anyway), and brush them off almost politely, rather than squashing them in utter panic.  I even got up enough nerve to go after a few of the bigger spiders that scurried out of corners in the house, rather than insisting that my husband or my sons attend to them.

But lately, I’ve been regressing.  Spiders are giving me the creepy-crawlies again, and I’ve even been having nightmares of spiders.  I have a hard time going under the supports for the pole beans in our garden, because I just KNOW there are spiders hiding in the upper leaves waiting to drop into my hair or onto my shoulders.

The latest blow came last night, when my husband and our younger son brought home a spider that someone had found in a pile of bananas at a local grocery.  A LARGE spider.  A LARGE, BLACK, HAIRY spider.  Oh sure, they had

this is the "little" fella - now identified as a Venezuelan Suntiger Tarantula

it in a plastic container with a lid, and my husband even taped the lid on.  But it took me half an hour to even go look at the thing.  And this morning, puttering in the kitchen, I couldn’t decide which was worse:  looking at the horrid creature, or turning my back on it and imagining it getting out of the container and coming at me.  Shudder.

It’s gone now – one of my son’s friends is taking it to a biology professor to see what kind of spider it is.  But the memory lingers – and I’m “seeing” spiders of all sizes lurking in every dark corner, under every piece of furniture.  I can “feel” them crawling on me.  Help!


  1. […] Of Course It’s Irrational! ( […]

  2. I can definitely relate! Although I think there may have been a role reversal between my brother and I! Lol.

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