Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself

My best friend is petrified of spiders

Like, really, really afraid.

He once jumped into my arms like someone in a cartoon when a mouse appears.

I left a dish upside down on the living room floor once, and he didn’t touch it for a weekend in case I’d trapped a spider underneath it.

And yes, I did that on purpose.

The oddest thing about his phobia, though is that he ought to be afraid of daddy long legs. Which, as far as I’m concerned would be worse than a spider, because they are pretty much the same as spiders. But with WINGS.

Flying spiders. Just think about that for a moment.

But he’s not. Because they only have six legs – which is really interesting. What is it that makes him scared of spiders? Because it’s clearly not their size or general insect-like appearance.

Let’s face it, a bug with six legs isn’t much different to a bug with eight. So, it seems the thing that he doesn’t like about spiders, is that they’re spiders. Like they’ve personally offended him or something.

It’s just the very idea of a spider that he doesn’t like. Presumably something bad happened with a spider in the distant past which makes him scared, rather than the physical presence of a spider.

Which brings me to what I’m scared of.

You have to understand that what scares me stems from two very traumatic incidents which occurred fairly closely together. I’m not scared of either event happening again, but I was scared enough at the time to still make me look back and shudder a little bit.

Moment 1: Tyrannosaurus Rex bursts out and roars at Jeff Goldblum

Moment 2: Ursula comes out of her underwater lair surrounded by eels

I’ve truly never been able to bring myself to watch either Jurassic Park or The Little Mermaid ever again.

I will not be scared by them now (probably) – but the fear in those moments has led me to be conditioned never to watch them again.

So, when we’re frightened – what are we truly frightened of? A scary thing, or simply our own past?

Prompt: The things you’re most afraid of

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