I had to write about this, a wonderful woman I know from volunteering at a hospice called me the spider man.
We all know someone who is scared of spiders. In my time as a software engineer I remember an 18 stone colleague who was sitting at his desk one minute, and the next moment he was thrashing the floor with a ruler and jumping up and down like a dervish. It was something to behold and in that case something to keep out of the way of for safety’s sake.
It was funny, this huge guy scared of a tiny, tiny spider that he caught sight of crossing his foot. It was funny and I knew no better.
I know now that a fear of that proportion can be debilitating. It can impinge on all parts of your life because you never know when a spider will turn up.
And at the same time, many chronic sufferers get teased and frightened and assume that there’s nothing that can be done. OK, I’m a hypnotherapist and I think I can help in most cases, so let’s put that aside for a moment. It’s the same level of mental trauma in many cases as agoraphobia that stops someone going out of their house, and yet the sufferer has come to the conclusion that it’s stupid. That they are stupid. And that they will cope.
They get terrified time after time and people play pranks on them and they are truly scared out of their wits. And still they don’t see it as something worth fixing.
The woman at the hospice had to go in to people’s houses to help. She could hardly touch the door when she had seen a spider in the house previously. So I defy anyone to say that’s not serious. We worked for a short while and she responded incredibly well. Then she tested it and found she could actually help spiders to get out of the house. And she called me the spider man.
Sometimes it takes longer than others, there is no guarantee, but for most people there is help. If only you can see it as serious enough. Not being able to work would qualify for serious enough, but how about a lifetime of being teased and taunted? Surely that’s worth fixing, isn’t it.