love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

Holy Arachnid

I mentioned in an earlier post that in my childhood I attempted to conquer any fears/phobias that I had.
One that I seemed to have utter fail on is known to me now as “arachnophobia”. I have no explanations for it. My father has always loved them, my mother never showed fear of them…My father in fact took every effort to teach us that they were are friends. Creatures of beauty. Protectors of his beloved garden…(along with the snakes). I have no fear of snakes…and yet seeing multiple appendages , especially eight,
makes my knees weak, sweat beads form on my forehead, and nausea strikes my stomach.
I remember the horrid feeling of guilt, that i “hated” spiders. And I could not explain why. Bigotry? irrational fear? yes…but WHY? I had read Charlotte’s Web and realized how lovely and empathetic Charlotte was, but there was no hope for me. I even had a dream, of how horrid i was. The Dream:

My father and I were walking to church in my dream. He was holding my hand. We were singing. We passed by a spider. I looked away. My father invited the spider to church with us. It seemed excited and said YES! I would love to come, but how will I keep up with you? I had a horrid evil sinister thought. I offered Mr Spider to ride in my shoe, thinking i might…squish it when i walked. The spider said, “why thank you!” and hopped in to my proffered foot. when I attempted the squish, he jumped out, informing my father what I had attempted. To my fathers grave disappointment. And my shame/guilt. And then the spider climbed up to ride on my shoulder instead. But even in my guilt, I could not shake the ick i felt.

The phobia continued (and grew) as I grew. Though my sons have helped my “jump/scream/shock” reaction by placing “fake” spiders in various places throughout the house, (laundry, bed, sink, dishwasher, computer, etc) For now I nearly expect them, though I fear that when I reach down to make sure it is a fake one, it will move….and life will be over…

I still cannot explain this irrational fear. I have never been bit, and know that there are very few in my area that could even hurt me…

I have often wondered if some phobias could be instilled, or leftover from some evolutionary “stuff” genetically…Don’t know that there is any scientific evidence of that though.

So anyone who knows me personally, knows my Achilles heel is…the eight legged beast. (no matter how small) And I was not surprised in the least to have this picture posted to my facebook. It was to be expected. Thank goodness for snopes….sigh.



  1. Wooah. Have you ever had a bad reaction to a spider bite?

  2. Being Australian my fear of spiders is very, very real. Apart from the real nasties like funnelwebbs (which kill you) we have huntsmans who just LOVE being inside…. bedrooms. These things are huge, the size of your hand in some instances… and fast… and they fall off the ceiling with alarming regularity.

    Now, this is a true story. In my family home i did the mowing. It was a huge yard and the mower was, of course, kept in a darkened shed down the bottom of the property… home to a million huntsmen. Emtying the trimmings tray and returning the mower on the other side of the house i felt an odd sensation from inside my shorts. I scratched but paid it no further attention. The sensation continued… and then i looked down. Sticking about from my 1980’s styled short-shorts were three enormous, black, pencil sized legs. The rest of the giant creature was where it really shouldn’t be. I will not proceed to tell the rest of the story except to say that the neighbours are probably still recalling that summer morning when the Zande kid went completely insane up and down the street. šŸ™‚

    • Really? I spent some time in Australia living with an Australian family when I was 20. They lived near Brisbane (in Eudlo, which is somewhere up in the Sunshine Coast.) One day I saw this huge, huge spider on the wall and I told my friend: “there’s a huge spider on the wall.” He nodded. Then I asked: “is it poisonous?” “Probably.” “Does it kill you?” “Very likely.” “Should we, like, kill it?” He shook his head. “Poor bug’s done nothing to ya!”
      Next day I found it on my shower towel, just before I dried up. I was pretty scared.
      So I just assumed Australians were completely fearless when it came to spiders…

      • Not this Australian šŸ™‚

        That said, i wouldn’t call it a fear-phobia-fear, rather a healthy respect to stay the hell away. Snakes don’t bother me, though. Odd.

  3. Mercy John ! I shuddered just reading it. I wish I had some reasonable explanation for my bigoted irrational fear. It would help me feel justified to some extent. ::hangs head::
    Although I must say at least it brings some small joy to those who enjoy watching me scream. Coworkers attached a nice realistic looking fake one to a string on my locker…
    Upon opening the door to my locker , the spider “leaped” upon me, and I am told that along with my screams I apparently went “Kung fu” on the spider. My son thinks they missed the YouTube opportunity of a lifetime. šŸ˜‰

  4. In honour of this post I have done one over at The Ark’s spot just for you and John.

    • I am honored…Ark. (if not respooked…) šŸ˜€ involuntary shutters

  5. … one can see that spider is a fake… only 7 legs. šŸ˜‰

    • Wrong! The spider is real, a victim of some rotten spider-baddie who pulled one of its legs off.
      It is the house that’s fake, you can just make out the barbie doll in the window if you blow up the pic and squint.

  6. You weren’t squinting properly. Come on…sqiiiiiint.

    • evil…….i tell ya….pure evil…..

      • I found another photo of ‘Bert’. I’ll post it if you fancy a look?
        I won’t if it makes you squeamish. I’m not a cruel man,honest. šŸ™‚

  7. lol..your blog or mine?

  8. I’m have a phobia of cockroaches. Which is actually a pretty absurd fear to have. It’s stronger than me, really. Spiders… nah. They don’t crawl and convulse and climb on your leg.

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