How I Went From Being Petrified of Spiders to Actually Quite Liking Them
Here’s a little story that might well resonate with you if you’re reading this and have a fear of spiders (as I used to). Along with a phobia of undergrounds and flying, spiders were particularly awful because whereas with flying and undergrounds I could avoid them, I had no control as to when a spider would visit the house – even just a black thread or speck on the carpet, ceiling or wall would have me experiencing the full symptoms of the fear, until I realised what is was, but even then, it would take about half an hour before I calmed down. Crazy huh? But if you have a phobia, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And the more you think about how scared you are of something, the more you will notice spiders in your house (or whatever it is you fear).
[This picture of me holding Cruella the tarantula was taken in 2008 after Paul McKenna worked his magic with NLP and hypnosis to overcome my fear of spiders]
Looking back, I always felt that wherever I lived, spiders (and particularly large ones) would always come in and scare me as if they knew I was scared and the more I thought about it, the bigger the spiders became. I would explain to friends that the spiders in my house wore large boots on their feet and when they dropped onto the floor, it was a loud heavy thud and they ran like Olympians – all the while the panic was doubling in size and more. Sadly, the spider always had to have an early end to its life. There was no way I would be able to stay in the house, if I knew it was still alive. If I didn’t have someone else around to do the unfortunate deed, then once I plucked up the courage, it would take up to an hour if not more of spraying deodorants, hairspray or ant killer, throwing yellow pages (in the days when yellow pages was a big thick and heavy yellow book) and squishing it with a long stick or extended vacuum pipe until it was definitely not moving and incapable of ever moving again. Sometimes it was just very white from all the aerosols it had been soaked in so I knew that it would take a little longer for death to kick in and I would stand and wait for as long as it took and then vacuum it up. Even though it was dead, I still couldn’t pick it up with a cloth or tissue. I’ve been known to even call someone to come to the house because I was trapped in the bedroom as the spider was lurking above the door watching and waiting for me to walk under it so it could leap out, jump on my head and wrap its long hairy legs around me. Errrgghhhh!
Isn’t the imagination a great thing (or not, when it imagines things like this!)? But that’s fundamentally what this is all about. The experience I chose to remember (finding the first, worst or most recent experience) was when I stepped barefoot onto a spider when I was a child (obviously it got squished) and from that moment, I was scared, petrified, terrified of spiders, large or small (and any black specks on the floor). From that moment, I attracted spiders and they loved me so much so that they would visit me in bed, jump out at me in the shower or even hide in a white fluffy bath towel so that I would get the biggest fright of my life when wrapping myself in said towel after a relaxing bath (note, the relaxation totally undone at this point). And it’s not only in the house – they like travelling in cars as well, the little buggers!
But, that was then and this is now. Now that I don’t give spiders a second thought, I rarely see them and on the occasions that I do, I calmly pop a glass over them and take them on a journey out into the garden full of other lovely creatures. Or I quite often just leave them be and let them enjoy exploring the house. If they are really really big (and none have been as big as they used to be – I mean, back then, they were the size of elephants!), then I may have to compose myself, take a deep breath and then approach with a big enough glass. But I certainly wouldn’t kill a spider now (at least not in the UK, my reasoning may differ in a foreign country as they may not be as friendly over there). I just know that my unconscious mind was keeping me safe then and is now and I still have that awareness that some spiders can be poisonous but I’ve removed the ‘way over the top’, exaggerated reaction that accompanied that positive intention, allowing me to take control of the situation, calmly and rationally. I dread to think how many hours I have wasted in my life staring at spiders and working out how to kill them and so on! You get the picture by now (and if you do, then remove it quickly and replace it with a tinsy winsy picture of a cartoon spider that talks like Mickey Mouse and runs away outdoors as soon as you see it!).
Now you know that it is possible to overcome a fear of spiders, right now, as autumn approaches (and to arachnophics this means “the season of spiders in da house!”) it is the best time to book an appointment with either Chris or myself. Since having my phobia of spiders removed, I’ve learnt NLP, Hypnosis and The Havening Techniques so that I too can help others with their fears and phobias. Wouldn’t you much rather enjoy everything that autumn brings hardly noticing whether there are any spiders in your house and if you do, you’ll enjoy seeing them in a new and different light, feeling so incredibly proud of yourself for being calm and in control? Like me, you might actually quite grow to like them!