Scuttle ye not

Posted: July 3, 2015 in Personal
Tags: , , , ,

I’m currently on edge. Overly tense and alert, despite attempting to relax at home. There’s no rational reason for feeling like this, other than a small creature that invaded my peripheral vision and drew my attention, before scuttling into some unseen crevice around my computer before I could act.

A phobia is like having a psychosomatic disease. It can make you horribly ill for no physical reason, but your mind convinces you it is a real threat. I suffer from claustrophobia and social phobia, though I have conquered the worst of these in recent years, but I consider both of these rational. The one completely irrational fear I can’t control is another of the top ten reported UK fears: arachnophobia.

I believe it was passed on by my mother in childhood, as I have no recollection of that classic “trauma” moment that normally precedes a lifelong phobia. Coming into close contact with them causes anxiety and a need to kill or eject the intruder immediately.

My partner has a phobia of sharks. Not the practical fear when you see an approaching Great White swimming your way; she can’t even stand seeing pictures of any kinds of shark. I envy her phobia. How I wish my phobia was limited to something which couldn’t exist on land; let alone my living space. That’s the worst problem: spiders are like all-terrain vehicles. They can move upside down, on smooth or rough surfaces, and are small enough to clamber inside nooks and crevices to avoid detection easily. That’s when they’re small. When they grow larger is the problem, and they tend to only show themselves at this stage, as if to taunt me.

My paralysing palpitations correlate directly with the speed and size of the arachnid. The slow, lumbering harvest spiders and domestic ones that resemble water-boatmen make me uncomfortable rather than panic-stricken, but eventually they need to be moved. People who don’t suffer this affliction can mock, and I understand why. It might not make sense, but I would explain it the way you’d explain someone you were attracted to that I wasn’t: you can’t imagine picturing them in any other context.

So I spray strong scent around windows, leave conkers in corners of my room and avoid clutter, but still they emerge periodically. It’s not as if my room ever contains flies, why can’t the things get the message and stay out?

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