Spider therapy- part two
In Australia I met my Nemesis head on. Panic mode so often my flight /fight instinct gave up in exhaustion. These hairy beasties could kill. These then were the avengers waiting patiently for me! Lurking in the outside dunnies, in the bush, in and under the house, on the underneath of firewood, inside the flowers, everywhere.
Red backed , funnel webbed and a million others (I know, I know - not a million!) I arrived in Australia when I was 27 and stayed for 5 years and during that time I was eyeball to compound eyeball with my enemy so often.
Do or die therapy!
In the bush when out collecting kindling one hot sticky day, a spider dropped onto/into my shirt and I fled screaming frantically ripping off my clothes as I fled shouting, panicking. I had nothing on my top when I reached friends and safety - needless to say the spider was long gone! I was 28.
In the house one day, and I was minding my own business, for goodness sake I was folding ironing, a spider nipped my toe and refused to let go. I am going to die far from home I cried in my head as I called my friend for help. She chatted to the poisons folk at the hospital and declared all was well -I would live to see another day.
She lied. Asking me a few hours later how I felt - fine why? - there had been a warning from the hospital that some people reacted badly from the bite of that particular spider. Symptoms would show in a couple of hours, be ready to rush me to hospital! Wise friend who knew I could kill myself with fear! I was 29.
While working in the outback as housekeeper in a motel one of my duties was to de- spider a plague of the beasties. They were of a harmless disposition the locals assured me. Armed with a long handled broom and a packet of cigarettes (it was a long time ago:) I managed to rid 2 rooms of about 10 long legged creatures, stopped for a ciggie to calm my nerves, did another couple. By about the 10th room I cracked- a total and absolute wreck shaking, sweating, knees a wobble away from disaster.
I had removed approximately 80 - 100 spiders at the end of that broom. I was finished. My girls sent me away assured me they would finish the job for me.
Staggering to our quarters I knew I would need the loo first, then a cool, dark, lie down. Our washrooms and loos were in an outside block guarded, that day, by a solitary jumping spider. He did not seem to approve my creditials, and refused me entry with such a determined display of mighty athletic feats, I conceeded the battle.
I was defeated. Sliding down the wall, sitting, watching him watching me. If I moved he jumped ‘It works’ I told him ‘you have intimidated me’. I cried until I was discovered and rescued. I didn't care. I was 30.
In Therapy one would be exposed to ones fears bit by bit until they can be controlled - mine was a disordered therapy but, to a certain extent it worked, I returned to the UK less fearful. I had entered the jaws of my partiuclar hell and emerged damaged but alive at the leaving.
I still cannot tolerate them in the house but in the garden - now I sit and admire, I chat to them as I carefully move their webs away from my destruction as I weed and prune. I tell them, almost affectionately, they are beasties. Explain that I need the ladybirds more than they as I remove them; tell them they can have the flies and aphids. As I sip my coffee I watch as the wolf spiders hunt amongst the cracks. Reason has almost won. I am too near 70 to care much now!