The other day I thought I had cracked it. My son picked up a spider outside. I was so proud of him. So proud of me. So proud that I had hidden my spider fear so very well for the past six years. Okay, so there may have been a few blips, one of which I wrote about previously, but largely I had done it. I had succeeded it not passing on my fear. My pride lasted until the spider ran up his arm and under his sleeve.
"Mummy, can you get the spider out please" he asked, sounding a little apprehensive.
"Um, no, I'm sorry, I can't." I gingerly replied.
"Mummy please. I don't know where the spider went and I don't like it". He was starting to panic.
"Well, um, you just take off your jumper and shake it" I said, backing away from the scared looking child.
"Help me mummy"
"Um, you can do it, really you can" all the time my brain thinking 'just hurry up and take the jumper off, I want to know where that spider is.
He started to peel off his jumper.
"Oooh, hang on" I practically shouted. "It's there, on your arm, it's come out of your jumper".
He promptly took the jumper off and left it on the ground, where it stayed for a couple of days, with me being too scared to pick it up.
This was a smallish spider. Nothing big, nothing too scary, but I just couldn't handle it.
Cut to this morning and the children making a noise in their bedroom. I stormed to the stairs to tell them to get back in bed. Halfway up the stairs I stopped in my tracks. There was a monster of a spider cowering in a corner of the stairs. I stepped over two steps so I didn't go near it and then checked my clothes to see it hadn't jumped on me (because that is obviously what it wanted to do).
The children reason for being out of bed was, of course, the giant spider and they had bravely chased it to the stairs (hence it cowering). I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to go back downstairs, because I couldn't remember which step it was on. I didn't want to stay in their bedroom in case it came back upstairs. I stood in the room at the top of the stairs waiting for around two minutes to compose myself. Then I raced down the stairs. Turning at the bottom to discover the spider was nowhere to be seen! I went into my room and got into bed without opening the curtains. That way I couldn't spot it and I wouldn't panic!
You see my fear stems back (as far as I remember) to sitting having tea after school one summer evening. I was distracted by two large black things in front of my eyes, a spiders front legs. A huge spider. On. My. Head. I lost it big time and haven't forgotten it. I have been a wreck around spiders since.
When I first had children I did a really good job of keeping my phobia hidden. I was hoping I could hide it for a little longer, perhaps until they were old enough to get rid of spiders for me. What do I do? Is there anything you are scared of? How do you explain it to children without them getting scared? I feel like I am failing them by them knowing I am weak.
Gah! Stinking spiders.