I expected to see this.
"How's Pete doing?" I asked.
"Are you sure he's dead?" Chris said.
"Yeah, trust me, he's dead. Look at his rotting carcass! He's obviously dead!"
"Really? He's still in his web though..."
As Chris ran back upstairs to grab something he'd forgotten, I realized what he'd been looking at, and it wasn't Pete. There was another, bigger, badder spider living in that windowsill. He had probably commandeered Pete's web like the thieving bastard he was.
This is what he looked like.
I involuntarily released my Spider Yell, which is the noise I make upon seeing a spider (similar to a Rebel Yell). It's a cross between a cow mooing and a village idiot yelling. Yeah, for some reason I scream like the exact opposite of a little girl.
It's okay. I got this. I thought. The Scrubbing Bubbles were still right there from the last time I had had to protect my home from spider takeover. I could easily grab the can and spray Pete 2 to smithereens in a matter of seconds, and we could go on our merry way.
Remember how Pete struggled to overcome the rapid foaming action of the Scrubbing Bubbles before ultimately succumbing to his tragic demise? Well, Pete 2 did the same, only he managed to drag his bubbly carcass out of the suds and make a soapy escape.
I screamed again. "GET BACK IN HERE!" I yelled to Chris. "It's ESCAPING!" If I'm not mistaken, it was also getting bigger and faster by the second. "Chris! Come kill it for me! NOW!" I started to panic. He wasn't running back fast enough. Pete 2 was scampering away. My hand that held the can of Scrubbing Bubbles shook uncontrollably.
And I couldn't help it. I started crying. I cried as one might cry when someone breaks into their house or tells them their pet has been hit by a car. I panicked like I was stuck in a fire or on a doomed airplane. I couldn't catch my breath. I was snotting and sniffling like Adele at the Grammys. The cry was not proportional to the cause.
Chris finally came back in, valiantly saved me from the spider, and sat me down on the couch. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or be concerned, so he opted for both.
"You need therapy," he said, half joking. Well, maybe 25 percent joking. Okay I just checked with him, he said "Three percent. I would go with you to therapy if you wanted."
After therapy, maybe spiders would look like this. All spiders, not just this kind.
And I briefly considered it. I believe my employer offers some sort of mental health benefit. And honestly, my fear of spiders is starting to impact my life. I won't go camping because of it. I avoid kayaks and canoes, and pretty much all nature-y things because of it. When I think about my peers' world travels, all I can think about is the myriad spiders they probably encountered, and how I'm better off sticking to America.
But then I thought What's a therapist going to do about it? If my therapist was bad, I would have wasted time and money. But what if my therapist was good and able to cure me? What would it take to cure someone of a spider phobia?
This is what it would take.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I don't know much about behavior therapy, but from what I can discern from AP Psych, therapy would probably involve:
- Letting spiders crawl on me.
- Petting their furry legs.
- Fostering a pet tarantula and possibly taking it for a walk on a leash.
- Being locked into an iron maiden full of spiders.
- Lying down on a couch to talk about my childhood, with the therapist concluding that I have mommy and daddy issues, and they are to blame.
- Writing therapeutic poetry about spiders named Pete and how they have to go home to their children after work just like the rest of us.
- Being made to feel incredibly guilty about all the spiders who have been killed on my behalf.
- Learning to refer to spiders as "who" instead of "that."
- Eating chocolate-covered spiders.
- Watching videos of spiders preying on other terrible creatures, such as mosquitos. Doing so with my eyes propped open, à la A Clockwork Orange.
Okay, but serious question time: Has anyone ever done behavioral therapy? If so, what was it like?? And what are you afraid of?