I have always wondered how someone handles phobophobia – the fear of being afraid. I mean, after all, wouldn’t that fact that you have the fear be a problem for the fear itself?
Well, my fear is not that unique. I happen to have arachnophobia. Yes, I, a former Marine, a 2nd degree black belt in TaeKwonDo, who is 6 foot 2 and weighs 260 pounds, have a fear of a little tiny insect. And while I am not 100% sure where it started, I have a sneaky suspicion that the blame lies with my little sister.
When I was a young boy, my sister and I were outside playing with some friends when we had come across a daddy longleg. My sister has always had little fear and an intensely evil wicked sense of humor and she grabbed the spider and put it on my leg. I freaked out and my fear of the little critters was born.
Well, at least I think that’s how it happened. My memory of this is vague and of course as the years go by that daddy longleg gets bigger in my mind and my sister becomes more and more mischievous.
My fear intensified as a young adult when I did an extremely stupid thing (of which I am infamous for doing from time to time). I was a new Marine, and had some time to kill so I went to see a movie called – wait for it – Arachnophobia. Now, why in the world would someone who has Arachnophobia go see a movie such as this? Because the previews made this terrifying movie out like it was a COMEDY! Well, some people may have laughed but I had my eyes closed through about 50%, no 60, uh, well 98% of this flick! After the movie was over, I had gone to a convience store and was looking for something to drink when a bug flew by me and I nearly dropped to the ground in fear!
Move on several years, and I’m a newly married man with a beautiful bride who begrudingly puts up with my irrational fear. One night we were asleep and I had a horrible dream. In this dream, my father had moved down south to study, pink spiders. (Why pink? I don’t know. Ask Freud.) Anyways, I come down to visit him and see all these spiders and I jump onto his bed. This boy appears out of nowhere, grabs a spider and puts it — in my mouth.
I woke up my lovely wife with a scream as I ran from our bedroom into the bathroom and started splashing water in my mouth. I have no idea what a spider tastes like, but that taste in my mouth is one I will never forget.
I am sure there are many others who have to put up with this fear in a much more crippling manner than myself. But I’m sure my embarrassment is right up there with the worst. Because of this fear, I have a wife who has to kill all spiders we come across and I have two beautiful little girls who look up to me for all other things but mock me by playing with toy spiders, drawing spiders for me to look at, etc, etc. My shame knows no bounds.
And all because of my evil little sister…
NOTE: This was originally published by myself on my old HubPages account on 12/25/2008.