Trigger Scale: (3.5/5) ***½

Pink Tipped Tarantula

I have always had a disproportional fear of spiders, (arachnophobia) one that I could never really explain until I got older, which I will try to illuminate in this post. There are particular spiders that I am afraid of, most of them the hairy large variety, with the worst of them all being the pink-tip tarantula.

I will attempt to put a picture with this post, but just looking at pictures of spiders makes my skin literally start to crawl away from my hands and face, and I want to run from the image. I understand now that I was running from the memory that the image invoked. Here is my second earliest abuse story I have recollection of, although I am not sure when it became part of my conscious memory:

When I was 2-5 I lived (I use the word ‘lived’ loosely) with my biological mother. Oh, how to ever describe this demon of a women? I call her my “biological womb-donor” or “biological egg-donor” and I believe this allows me to disconnect myself from her. Technically she is most definitely a diagnosed sociopath, and I believe she is also schizophrenic (I know her mother was diagnosed with both).

She has done and said the most terrible things to others with not a blink of the eye, with a cutting accurateness that would make you think she was a psychic. She has lied to me about who my father might have been, playing with my emotions while going back and forth. She has stolen things from me, including but not limited to shoes, clothes, pictures, treasured mementos, inheritance, a tv, money, I could go on, but most importantly, she stole my CHILDHOOD and INNOCENCE.

This women has also physically abused many, spending numerous nights in jail, and causing others to as well in defending themselves against her. She is wild and ravage when angered and will come at you like a rabid dog. Or she will lock you up to shut you up, or maybe drug you up. How do you feel about valium for a 4 year old? This was no issue for her, along with many other drugs including cocaine.

I think you get the point…I am trying to say my biological mother was a masterpiece abuser, making abuse into an art form.

On this particular day she was hell bent on keeping me shut up and not in the way of her life. She knew that I was kind of afraid of this pink-tip tarantula that she kept as a pet. She kept it in on of those small aquariums, and I would sit and watch it move around. Before this day, it didn’t creep me out to watch him, I think I just liked the way it moved. Slow at first, then so fast when catching prey, like a lightning bolt…But when she would take it out – that always made me nervous so I would leave the room…she must have taken note of this.

All I remember is her coming at me, fast like a line backer, scooping me up and carrying the aquarium in the other hand. She was screaming that I was “making her crazy” and that she “couldn’t handle me anymore.” Her favorite line is “you’re making me crazy.” She carried me downstairs into the basement and into the laundry area, dropping me on the floor. She opened the aquarium into the dryer, then picked me up and shoved me in. I don’t think I fought because at a certain point in her rage, you don’t want to put up any physical resistance, or she will really lose it.

I remember it being very dark, and very very hard to breath. But that didn’t bother me, it was the spider, that tarantula. I will never be able describe the horror I felt, knowing that it was poisonous and could kill me (or at least, that is what she told me). Upon writing this now, I wonder if she was trying to kill me! Oh my, from doing a little research I have now learned this is the most common of “pet” tarantula’s and is only mildly venomous, and not really to humans. She was just trying to scare me!

But back to the emotions of being that little child thinking it WAS poisonous and deadly, reminds me of the famous art piece “The Scream”. I had a scream of horror in my throat, but was too afraid to disturb my mother or the spider. So I sat perfectly still. I could feel it crawling all over me, slowly, looking for a way out. Now that I think about it, I could probably have pushed the door open, but I never tried…I don’t know why, I was very defiant, except against her…

She used this tactic many times I think, maybe with my brother too, simply because it worked. It accomplished the goal of making her temporarily free from us. I still cannot stand anything crawling on me and WILL freak out, no matter what the circumstance, if something does. No matter where I am at or what I am doing, the physical sensation is just too much. Please, do not lock your children in the dryer with spiders! It is not nice!

Over my life many people have tried to show me that spiders are helpful and not harmful, and I do now respect their place in the natural order, just not in my home! There were many signs as I grew up after this abuse that hinted at it, like the memory of the abuse was trying to surface, or that the memory was at least affecting me, even though I had no conscious recall of the events. Here are some examples:

  • When I was about 7 there was an abandoned house next door to my friend’s house and a black widow took up residence in the car-port. It made a huge web that was probably about 4-6 feet wide eventually. I watched it kill many mates over the weeks, and it was getting fat and was so shiny and black. I remember being fascinated with it (I call it my morbid fascination, because it is so compelling that I know these certain fascinations are related/linked to my abuse history). I started poking it with a stick, day after day, until one day it jumped down on me, bitting my arm. This made me very sick and I had to go to the hospital…
  • I was probably about 12 and had just gotten home from school. I went into my bedroom, shut the door and sat down on my bed, besides all my stuffed animals. I remember slowly turning my head to the side, and there on one of my blue teddies was a brown wolf spider (another gnarly, hairy spider) that was quite large. I remember my body convulsed off the bed, almost throwing me into the wall, and I screamed without even knowing I was doing it. My step-mother came in a rush, and when she saw it, she just looked at me and shook her head, saying “Oy vey” under her breath, taking the spider outside. She said she thought there was a dead body in my room!
  • This one is probably delusional, but I can swear when I meditate the spiders come out of the walls. I distinctly remember that two days in a row while meditating, I attracted a spider to crawl on me, nearly scaring me to death! On numerous other occasions, I can recall getting up from a meditation session to have them hanging out near me, or hovering over me from the ceiling, etc. However, the apartment I lived in at the time did have a bug problem, but it has made it hard to meditate while lying on the ground to this day.
  • I cannot kill a spider or get close to one, unless it is very tiny. I always have to ask my roommate to take care of them, because I also cannot stand knowing that one is in my home! (Even though I logically know there are many, and all the time). I do prefer they be put outside, instead of killed now though.

Whew…that has been on my little one inside’s heart for so long. Any spiders around me? Nope, okay…all good here!

My Monster Has A Name… actually many. This blog is a safe place for me to share my healing journey from childhood abuse. The topics covered are at times controversial, offensive, horrific, and hopefully sometimes inspiring. Thank you for sharing in my journey.