Thursday, July 28, 2011

To Spray Or Not To Spray...

So... I just killed a spider.  It was a really gross, icky, big, black, creepy, crawly thing. Yuck!  I really hate spiders!  Always have. Worse than having to kill it (all by my li'l ol' self, I might add!) was having to watch it crawl across the ceiling above me until it got in a position where I could kill it with my flip-flop without smacking the ceiling too hard and waking people sleeping above me.  Again, I say... YUCK!

'What's the big deal', you may ask?  'So what', you say?  'People kill spiders all the time', you remark.  Well, it is a big deal to me.  A very  big deal.  And that is because as much as I still hate spiders, I am no longer deathly afraid of them.  I used to be horrified, terrified, and petrified by them.  I had full-blown arachnophobia.  But, I'm proud to say that I faced my fears and have joined the ranks of the great and mighty Spider Slayers!

I used to always have to get my dad or brothers, and later my husband, to come and kill them for me.  I couldn't stand to see them crawl and I was always worried that if I didn't smack 'em right, they would scuttle away and maybe end up crawling on me in my sleep later... ewww!!! Finally my fear had built to a climax and become so debilitating that one day I stood frozen with fear, a can of Raid spider spray in one hand and my toddler cradled in my other arm.  I couldn't move.

The spider was sitting still on a stuffed sofa chair, in a spot where I couldn't get a clear smack at him.  I knew if I didn't get him with a first whack, he would start moving (blech!) and then he would go hide somewhere, waiting until I was fast asleep so he could take his revenge on me.  I resorted to the spray because I knew I had a much better chance of getting him.  The only problem was, I had used the spray on spiders before and was well aware that the bigger spiders didn't die instantly.  And this was a BIG spider!  It's body (not counting the legs) was about the size of a pea.  I knew once I sprayed, it would move and it would probably require a few sprays to actually kill the thing.

I stood there, unable to move, for what seemed like an eternity.  I had to kill it... but if I sprayed it... it would move...  The fear inside me was growing.  I was feeling more and more terrified of this little tiny creature.  I knew I was being completely irrational but I couldn't seem to help myself.  After what seemed like hours, finally my 3-year-old son looked at me and said, "I'll kill it for you, mommy!"  My darling little boy was braver than me!  I felt so silly but I just told him we'd do it together and I let him help me hold the can as we sprayed -- and I freaked.

When it was all over, I knew I had to do whatever it took to overcome this irrational fear so that I didn't end up passing it on to my children. I had taken a Psychology class in college where I'd studied phobias and I knew how people developed them, how the phobia can progress and get worse and worse, and how you could overcome them.

Tune in next time to find out how I used this recalled knowledge to help me overcome my crippling phobia once and for all...


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