Fear of insects touching my fingertips.

by Holli
(Northern Ireland)

When I was a child I was fascinated with picking up all sorts of bugs. Caterpillars, beetles, spiders etcetera. I never had any fear, I had no reason for it. Nothing I had ever picked up had bitten or stung me.

One day I was out in my street, I was by myself on this day. Bearing in mind I was about 5 or 6 years old at this point but anyway, I was doing my usual. Digging for worms or picking up any spiders, centipedes I may have come across.

I found this small, pretty little spider. It was like the tabby colour you would find on your average pet Cat and it had a large abdomen compared to the rest of him and spindly legs but really it wasn't that big at all.

I was holding him for around 5 minutes just watching him in amazement as he ran between my fingers and around my hand spinning his little web (take "he" lightly, I didn't know the Gender).

Not long later I saw my friend's mom approaching in her car and when she pulled up and got out I proudly showed off my find to which she responded "You should put that down, it's going to bite you". I just laughed and said "I have never been bitten before, he's fine", and walked off with my new friend.

It was seconds later when I ran after my friend's mother holding out my hand showing the little devil who had latched onto the tip of my middle finger just piercing his little fangs through the surface of my skin.

The woman turned around alerted by my screams and grabbed my hand flicking the poor little guy off into the grass. "I told you so" she said. I sobbed and ran home.

For the next 10 or so years I reluctantly handled spiders, putting them in a glass and setting them outside rather than handling them when one got stuck in the bath or found it's way into my sisters room.

At the age of 16 or 17 I bought myself an Emperor Scorpion. Beautiful specimen he was. Jupiter was his name and I loved him to bits. He was the first I'd ever held after I went to visit the newly opened Exotic Pet shop in town and the experience just told me I had to get him.

He was a docile critter and much to my desire. I was fine handling him, I even let him crawl up my arms and sit on my shoulder. Neither of us had a problem with each other.

My collection grew. I now had 4 scorpions of different breeds, a Tarantula and a Praying Mantis. I loved them all! I always gave them the love and attention I felt they needed and they got my whole room to explore as I often let them out of their Vivariums.

Even though I loved them all and I could hold them, when they neared my fingertips I freaked out and flinched and on several occasions dropped them, feeling incredibly guilty afterwards. Luckily none were injured and I learned that when holding them in my hands I should suspend my hand only a few centimetres or flat on a soft surface just in case.

Anyhow. I have never gotten over this Phobia. It still haunts me today despite my love for the multi-legged creatures. I know it was that one event when I was young that created this Phobia. I have never heard of anyone else with it.

I would like to get over it but even with the frequent handling of insects and spiders I still feel the same fear when one gets too close to my fingertips.

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