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A Victory Story about Spider Fear I

(This is a guest post by Christian C.)

If there are things that I wouldn't be able to forget in my life, then perhaps one of it is the fact that I was an arachnophobic. It was probably three years ago that I would hysterically react if ever I would find a spider that would thread along my presence. Even if the spider is meters away from me, but still in my line of sight, I would freak out and would immediately get out of the house or anywhere to avoid the its presence. The thought that it might eventually come close to me already shrinks my heart into absolute fear. I could not also forget how things were each time I get into a place and feel within me that there's actually a spider presence inside, I would feel relentlessly uptight, even if I'm not seeing any spider at all. The thought alone degrades me and would sometimes find myself screaming out of imaginary fear. My mentality is so much hinged in the idea that spiders are scary creatures and I think it all started out when I was five years old. Since then everything in how I see spiders
changed until three years ago that everything fortunately went well; that I didn't get to fear any spider's presence at all or at least I've learned to control my impulses whenever I see one. I could really not forget how things turned out just fine eventually. I thought there's absolutely no hope for me anymore, until I was introduced to an exposure therapy three years ago.

I knew that I had to do something about my debilitating condition towards my fear on spiders. It's considerably hampering my day to day activities already and I have been becoming quite unproductive because of it, especially when I started to work at the office. I am hesitant to go into certain places in the office which I think is inhabited by a spider and I'm even afraid to go under my office desk to throw trash into the basket because I fear that I might get bitten by a spider just lurking beneath the desk. It's a good thing that my superiors understood the state that I'm in and have given me ample consideration so as not to put me into a situation wherein I would irrationally freak out. This is how impeding my fear is for some time.

I do know that my fear towards spiders is irrational and compulsive and I'm very much aware that the fear is only a state of mind. However, I find it very difficult to do away with it once and for all. Every time I personally attempt to get rid of the fear, so as to force myself into encountering the spider (not even personally touching it), just by the mere presence of it, I would immediately withdraw from my resolve and go back right to where I was. I shrink in fear before I could even come close to that place where the spider is. Still I know that I have to get rid of it at some point. I know that I must not let things go the way they are right now with spiders or else I would direly suffer from the consequences of these compulsions. I have been considering medical help since then because I was already thinking that I couldn't handle these things on my own and the fear is growing in me and I'm beginning to think that it may reach a point of no return soon. I had to go and get some help to someone who really knows how to handle things like this.

Let's go back first to where it started. I remember that it was summer of the year when I was still five years old when I watched a horror movie about oversized spiders taking over the world. I could not remember the title of the movie as I was careless of such things before, being a five-year old and all, the only thing you would probably care about it the special effects you get out from the movie and the awe you would feel watching them. However, in this particular spider movie I have watched, I was in for more than just the feeling of awe in watching its special effects as I would contract a far worse feeling of fear out of it. I watched the spiders in the movie rampaging in the cities and tearing all the people in its way into pieces. It was a gore-ish movie and I believe I should have not watched it but apparently my elder sister's friends did not care about the sensitivity of a five-year-old's perception. After seeing the movie, I started to feel a sense of fear as the images of the movie scenes are constantly recurring in my mind. It went on that way for the following days until three days later, I was at the lawn of our house, playing underneath our big sycamore tree, when I suddenly noticed a glistening threadlike thing above me, and somehow it was reflecting the sun. And I eventually came to notice the X mark in the middle. I looked even more to discern what it was when suddenly I felt something dropped on my face and started to crawl. I could distinctively remember the furry, rough, pointy texture of its limbs as it crawled into my face for a second or so. The images of the spider move I last saw recurred like flashing images in my mind. And then I realized that it was a spider, I swiped it off my face as fast as I can and ran back home to hide. I dreaded the presence of a spider ever since.

So, until I grew up, I carried the fear within me, haunting me like some childhood ghost that's not letting go no matter what I do. I would really want to get rid of it but I don't how just yet.

to be continued...
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