I think one should be honest about their weaknesses, and I consider an irrational fear of spiders to be a weakness. I want to rationalize it; spiders CAN bite you and some are venomous. I don’t think the fear of snakes, Ophidiophobia, is irrational at all, do you? Yet I’m not scared of snakes.
But I’ve never been bitten by a venomous spider; I don’t even know anyone who has been. I’ve tried to analyze it: why am I afraid of spiders? Hairy-legged ones are much scarier than skinny-legged ones…I think it’s the way they seem to be crouching, ready to pounce, like footballers at the line of scrimmage. I tried virtual aversion therapy. I could control how close a virtual spider could approach me. I couldn’t even stand the virtual spider being in the same virtual house with me.
The bravest thing I may have ever done was save a baby mockingbird from a spider web. The spider, a large, colorful, crablike thing had webbed up THE WHOLE PORCH! He was creeping up on the baby mockingbird! I, of course, was terrified but I said, “Oh, hell no,” and ran for a can of Raid. I snatched the bird and threw it into the living room and attacked the spider with Raid. I actually drowned it rather than poisoned it and it fell to the floor with an audible clunk. It was that big!
The bird was not grateful and ran behind the couch, hobbled together with webbing, and then bit me when I tried to take the webbing off. But I was proud as I let it fly away.
I take statistical comfort in the fact that arachniphobia is somewhat common, like fear of heights or speaking in public. Here are some weird phobias. At least I’m not that weird, she said, trying to make herself feel less weird by comparison.
Anthophobia- Fear of flowers.
Pteronophobia- Fear of being tickled by feathers.
Sesquipedalophobia- Fear of long words.