The Great Escape

Garden Spid (531x800)blogIt’s commonly known that the only fears we are born with are the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. Any other phobia is learned..

My phobia of spiders can’t have been learned from my parents as neither were afraid of them. However, I do remember my brother screaming like a girl at a One Direction concert at the sight of the teeniest one on his bedroom wall..

So I’ll blame him.

My earliest memory is when I felt one crawling around in my nightie. Long story short, I screamed the place down, My mother ran in and mashed it into the carpet. Hello, phobia!

Every time I screamed at the sight of a spider, Mum would storm in, grab it with a piece of bog roll and fling it down the toilet. With each flush, I felt a pang of guilt that a life had been ended because of my irrational fear. At least Dad used to liberate them back into the garden.

Spray it. Swot it. Annihilate it. That was Mum’s motto.

Rumour had it that my mother had had a bit of an unfavourable experience with an Alsatian once and it made her intolerant to anything with more than two legs. Also, she couldn’t be arsed coaxing insects into glasses when Corrie was about to come on. No live pause in those days!

But karma is a bitch because one summers day, Mum had been gardening and she’d kicked her slippers off in the garage. Task completed, she went to put a slipper back on and was stung on the toe by a startled bee who’d crawled inside. We heard her shout ‘YOU LITTLE SOD!!’ (which instantly put us kids on the defensive) and then she went Chuck Norris on it with the other slipper. My mother would have had a shit load of apologising to do before she got to go through those heavenly gates, eh?

But THE incident which still leaves me cold is this..

Tarantulas first came into my life in 1987 when ex-hubs bought one after his father had died. Despite being phobic, I didn’t have the heart to argue. Sadly, after a few years of trying to cope (and the knowledge that females can live for 25 years) my anxiety got the better of me and hub’s brother adopted her.


Fast forward to 2007 where in a cruel twist of fate I discovered that the new man in my life had FOUR of the bastards In his BEDROOM!

I had a choice. I could either put as much distance between him and his crawlies as possible or I could try to conquer this phobia once and for all. Again, I tried but despite my best efforts, the anxieties crept in and the paranoia of one of them escaping and suffocating me in my sleep terrified me. Obviously I wasn’t the spider’s biggest fan but it was a sad day when I saw that one had joined the choir invisible. There was no chance of me putting my hand in and fishing it out but I did feel a twang of sadness that this little creature’s demise.

We lost another after we moved house. The shock of being carted about may have proved too much for it or maybe it was a male who had simply come to the end of his life as they have a significantly shorter life span compared to females. My bet was the years of trauma on having to see OH’s arse peeking out from under the duvet had finally seen it off?

By the time we had The Boy we were down to two spiders (in tanks) still in the bedroom. I piled books onto the lids to thwart any attempts at escape and slept with one eye open. All was well. As well as it can be in a room with fucking arachnids, that is. Except that OH didn’t quite close the lid properly one night and I woke up to the sight of a couple of tarantula legs doing the can-can through the smallest of gaps. I was rendered motionless with fear. My WORST nightmare was coming true…

It was ESCAPING!!!

Before long, there were SIX legs poking out and I broke all kinds of world records getting out of bed. I grabbed The Boy out of his cot and on last glance before slamming the door shut – the cheeky sod was legging it along the bookcase. The spider, not my son.

Hysteria kicked in and I kept slapping my face to make sure I hadn’t actually died? I was on my own, with a baby, and OH was stuck in a meeting miles away so I phoned the only other spider appreciator that I knew.. ex hubs!

The spider was now at large in the bedroom but EH strode in there like Bear Grylls. Granted, he almost trod on him as the spider was the same shade as the carpet, but he captured him and bunged him back in his tank. For this, I am eternally grateful for him and his lovely partner for coming to my rescue.

OH got the bollocking of his life when he got back home..

I named the spider, ‘Cooler King’ after Steve McQueen’s character in the Great Escape because, as escapes go, it’s up there with the very best.

I don’t know if it was the excitement of the escape or the shock of coming into direct contact with OH’s dirty undies but Cooler King didn’t live much longer before scuttling off into that big old web in the sky. The ultimate escape, bless ‘im.

Having faced my worst nightmare (sort of) I’m not as scared of them as I was but I’d probably still die if one dropped onto my face.

Not to mention the dreams I occasionally have of spiders escaping from tanks…

Hopefully, this post wont give YOU nightmares?


25 thoughts on “The Great Escape

  1. I don’t mind spiders but I don’t think I would be keen to share bedroom space with them. I’m amazed you hadn’t compromised and moved them to the living room. By compromised I obviously mean thrown a tantrum of epic proportions.

  2. Tracy, your writing in your blogs are always so powerful by your use of humour, even writing about phobias and bloody spiders is funny! What’s the chances, two fella you fancied both enjoy having the eight legged hairy things in their bedrooms! Maybe by that thought, you don’t have to shave your legs to often, hairy legs good enough for spiders, then must be good enough for you. I’m not scared by *homely* spiders but I do ask hubby to remove them from bedroom! don’t want the thought if them crawling over my face or even worse dropping in my open gob during sleep time!
    Don’t understand *keepers* of the weird & wonderful pets, ie spiders, lizards etc, what can they offer you back? A dog or cat can offer love and you can give them love and you can see it’s a two way thing. Ever seen a spider run to the front of the glass cage and smile when it’s own walk in….no, I thought not!!! *smug face* here by what I just wrote here!
    My phobia is things that dive bomb your head, moths, butterflies, birds, bats and things with similar traits *shudders*. This was half and half taught by my mum. She had the phobia of birds. However she was fine with moths, when living at home and going to the bathroom at night, when some idiot had left the light on and window open, she would come to my screams and rescue me by catching them from bombing around the light, in her hands, throwing them out if the window and shutting the bloody thing.
    I do remember a few years ago hubby coming upstairs and woke me up to tell me what he had been doing for the last hour. He had chased a bat around the kitchen for a hour, finally catching it by throwing the tea towel over it……..OMG , I WOULD HAVE DIED IF I HAD KNOWN AND BEEN DOWNSTAIRS!!!
    Another great blog Tracy, love you lotsies xxxxx

    • LOL!! I love reading your comments Sheerie..
      A BAT in the kitchen? OMG!! πŸ˜€
      I do remember you mentioning something about you nearly swallowing a moth in your glass of water lol
      Love you loads, dear lady! πŸ™‚ xxxxxx

  3. That’s flipping bad luck to end up with two partners who love spiders! I’m impressed that someone as terrified as you could share a room with them. I’m not even afraid of spiders, but this post made me a bit jittery!

  4. Ok my skin is slightly crawling now… Tarantulas in the bedroom!!! You are a stronger woman than I… I wouldn’t say I have a full on phobia of spiders but I’m really not a fan. Pretty sure it’s my mum’s fault for being vociferously terrified of them when I was young. And bats. I’ve grown up convinced that whenever I’ve seen a bat it’s mere seconds before it tangles itself up in my hair (I’ll blog about that incident one day…). Now that I have a little person to be responsible for I try to be super cool about everything in the hope that he grows up fearless, but he appears to be developing his own irrational fears anyway. Ho hum… xx

    • “I’ve grown up convinced that whenever I’ve seen a bat it’s mere seconds before it tangles itself up in my hair (I’ll blog about that incident one day…).”
      I’ll look forward to reading that. πŸ˜‰ X

  5. This did make my stomach feel a bit funny. There is no way on this earth I could sleep in a bedroom with tarantulas in, no way. My eldest daughter started having nightmares about spiders when she was about 3 and guess what, it was after seeing my mum attacking one with a broom in an hysterical fit. The only way to tackle this fear was to show her that they weren’t scary, or so we were told. That meant facing my own fears by catching them in a glass and pretending I wasn’t having a heart attack whilst doing it. I can now catch those horrible big ugly ones that we seem to get a lot of in our house. Only by trapping them in a pint glass and getting a bit of card under it before turning it over, not picking it up with hands like my husband does. If I saw anything bigger than those though I would die on the spot.

    • That’s how OH gets them, with a glass and some paper. I can see to the small ones now but sometimes we get those ones with MASSIVE legs and I sit shaking in a corner. NOT that I let my little boy see me…he has enough to cope with without picking up on my fear X

  6. As someone who’s never been bothered by spiders, I did have to laugh (very much out loud) to this. A lot! You conjured all sorts of hilarious images in my head. I was talking to our little bear about poisonous spiders just the other day (trying to stop her being scared of them by being all matter of fact about it and to avoid the poisonous ones!) and hubby says tarantulas are venomous. “why do people keep them as pets then?!” I retorted. “They take the venom out” came the lightning reply. Who knew? You probably… πŸ˜‰ #theprompt

  7. Jeez. I’m terrified of spiders – there is no way, no how I would allow tarantulas in my room – you’re way braver than me! No idea how people can see spiders as pets…Oh my goodness I would be tormented by nightmares such as the ones you describe if that happened to me! xxx #ThePrompt

  8. I don’t mind spiders too much, and can just about manage the glass and paper rescue thing, but I’m not a massive fan and I certainly couldn’t have tarantulas in my bedroom! (I can’t quite believe that two partners had them, what are the odds?!) For me it’s wasps. And, despite trying very hard to not pass this phobia on to the kids, the younger two have an irrational fear of anything that flies at them! I’ve had to do some bee rescuing recently to try and show them that not all flying insects are bad (and I’m about as keen on that as I am rescuing spiders…). Thanks so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  9. I’m not a fan of spiders either! I come over all girlie and OH has to evict them. I swear the ones we get round here have tattoos and a bad attitude! Phobias are weird though – mine are clowns and balloons – if a clown ever came towards me holding balloons I’d die on the spot …

  10. This made me giggle and shiver at the same time! Having moved out to the countryside we’re surrounded by spiders now and thru my desire to be ‘brave’ in front of my children I’ve become braver myself, harnessed my fear almost, of Spiders. So I so get this, they’re crawly and horrid, but with a big, deep breath (and a big dose of humour ) I get just about get thru it!

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