Snakes, Spiders, & Fear

When I was a child I was afraid of everything that I could not control. This included but was not limited to… snakes, spiders, natural disasters, black holes, the space under my bed, asteroids, plagues, public speaking, vampires, murderers, people yelling, and the bottom of the stairs. I lived in terror, and one day I may explain some of why, until then I am going to talk about how those fears changed.

Like most little kids I was terrified of spiders. They had the power to make me freeze in my tracks and yell for my parents until they saved me. I remember my mom used to just kill them then eventually she would catch them in a jar so we could watch them up close for a while then release them in the garden. Between her and my neighbor Linda, who is also my other mother, spiders started being less terrifying. Oh they still scared me, but as I learned about them from Linda and how important they are as natural pest control, that fear began to turn to fascination. I remember one experience with a fuzzy jumping spider in my bedroom window. I was struck by how it stared at me like it understood that I was another living being and was just as curious about me as I was about it.

Now I adore jumping spiders. I think they are adorable with their big wide eyes and their fuzzy arms. I usually don’t kill spiders in my house. I either let them be (depending on what room they are in), or I usher them outside.

I used to be so scared of snakes that I wouldn’t even touch a picture of one. Then when I was in college there was this fair and the halls were lined with tables advertising or displaying things and there was a snake at one table and this woman was showing it off. I decided it was time to embrace my fear and touch a snake. The way that those smooth glossy snakes felt on my skin was so interesting and not scary at all. And just like that my fear turned into adoration. Since then I have been a sucker for all things snake. And skulls. Snakes and skulls, yep that’s me.

In a nutshell, as I learned about the things I was so afraid of I went from fear, to mild curiosity, to fascination to fan. I can’t get enough of weather and disaster shows now. My fear of black holes has turned into a life-long love of all things astronomy.  And I may just be a little obsessed with all things dark and monster-ish. As a stroll through my house will attest…

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