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Thank you, kind Canberrans!

By LizSays 23 April 2013 37

I know it’s entirely stupid, but I am terrified of spiders. I mean, properly terrified. Just seeing pictures of them makes me nervous. I’m even scared of them when they’re already dead. Yes, yes, I’m a million times bigger than they are. Yes, yes, they’re more scared of me, etc. But the thing about irrational phobias is that they’re irrational! So just trust me when I say I am properly. terrified. of spiders.

Keeping that in mind, you can imagine how pleased I was to see a very large huntsman appear on the dash in front of me one evening while I was driving home. Luckily, I had just stopped at a set of traffic lights and so I was able to drive through the intersection (when the light turned green, of course) and pull over onto the big grassy median strip. And by “pull over”, I mean “run off the road while screaming loudly”.

However, I was too scared to reach into the car and get my phone out to call someone for help, and there was no chance I was getting back in the car with a giant spider on the loose, so after I calmed myself down a little, and realised I’d be stuck there all night if I didn’t do something, I flagged down a passing car and asked for help.

I was fortunate that the car that stopped to help me was a family, who only laughed at me in a friendly way, and who agreed to help. I only asked for one of them to reach into my car and pass me my phone so that I could call my husband or a friend, but they pulled over and went way beyond anything I had expected. Five of them thoroughly searched my car, using their phones as torches in the dark, shaking out my coat, poking around under the seats, checking the glove box. They were friendly and didn’t once try to make me feel stupid (I was already doing a pretty good job of that myself anyway) or act like I was a nuisance. The spider was nowhere to be found, and eventually they had to carry on with their trip, but not until after they had tried to reassure me that it was gone and ask if I’d be ok to get home.

I thanked them at the time but I really wish I could have done more to express how genuinely grateful I was. I know it was “only a spider”, but it was a pretty big deal to me. To have not just one person but five of them take me seriously and genuinely try to help was such a huge thing. They were so kind.

I want to publicly thank all of them and remind everyone else that there are people out there who will put themselves out to offer help to a stranger, for no reason other than that she looks scared.

So to the woman, two men, and two teenage boys who stopped to help the freaked out lady in a white Corolla on the Barton Highway the other night, you have my deepest, most sincere thanks. You did a lovely thing and made a big difference to my day. Thank you.

What’s Your opinion?


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Thank you, kind Canberrans!
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IrishPete 8:09 pm 30 Apr 13

LizSays said :

Thanks airpoet, I’ll look that up!

try a proper professional psychologist, instead of cult-like shonkiness.

IP (P for Psychologist)

Pork Hunt 5:52 pm 30 Apr 13

airpoet said :

I know the feeling well but for me it’s frogs, yes those sweet little green or brown things that most people think are cute and have as keyrings, brooches, screen savers etc. Trauma everywhere!
I have a suggestion. Try neurolinguistic programming. They have a method of dealing with traumatic events/ situations like yours/panic attacks, that is very effective and very simple. I’ve used it effectively in the past but not yet for frogs. It’s on my “to do ” list. Good luck.

I thought I had issues… 🙂
With me it’s pigs bottoms.

LizSays 3:40 pm 30 Apr 13

Thanks airpoet, I’ll look that up!

airpoet 12:49 pm 30 Apr 13

I know the feeling well but for me it’s frogs, yes those sweet little green or brown things that most people think are cute and have as keyrings, brooches, screen savers etc. Trauma everywhere!
I have a suggestion. Try neurolinguistic programming. They have a method of dealing with traumatic events/ situations like yours/panic attacks, that is very effective and very simple. I’ve used it effectively in the past but not yet for frogs. It’s on my “to do ” list. Good luck.

LizSays 1:23 pm 26 Apr 13

Thanks IrishPete, I will indeed start with my GP.

And Conan of Cooma: See my original post, where I did point out that the thing about irrational fears is that they’re irrational… You are entirely right, of course, and logically I know that. I could probably drive home with one sitting on my face the whole trip and be fine. But that is rational me speaking, not terrified me. Terrified me is not so logical.

But really the point of this isn’t really that I’m an idiot, rather, that nice people helped me out despite the fact that I’m an idiot and they didn’t have to.

IrishPete 1:15 pm 26 Apr 13

Postalgeek said :

IrishPete said :

Wear gloves and the spider on your hand won’t be a problem. Gloves are essential on a motorbike. Then boots. Then long pants. Then jacket. Then motorbike specific clothing. But I really would start with gloves at least.

Hand = Glove my particular instance.

very glad to hear it. The Huntsman probably just wanted to go pillion with such a sensible rider.

IP

Conan of Cooma 10:43 am 26 Apr 13

But… It’s just a spider. Huntsmans can’t kill you unless you choke on them, so you can’t use venom as an excuse, and 99% of the time you can handle a Huntsman and they won’t even think of nipping you.

Postalgeek 10:04 am 26 Apr 13

IrishPete said :

Wear gloves and the spider on your hand won’t be a problem. Gloves are essential on a motorbike. Then boots. Then long pants. Then jacket. Then motorbike specific clothing. But I really would start with gloves at least.

Hand = Glove my particular instance.

IrishPete 4:12 am 26 Apr 13

Postalgeek said :

Yep, sooner or later a spider is going to say hi inside the car cabin.

I had a large huntsman (I don’t use ‘large’ for huntsmen unless they are above average in size) crawl onto my hand while riding the motorbike a couple of months ago. Fortunately for both of us I wasn’t going fast and don’t have spaz-panics in regards to spiders.

Now, if it had been a snake…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8rxJRsINU4

Wear gloves and the spider on your hand won’t be a problem. Gloves are essential on a motorbike. Then boots. Then long pants. Then jacket. Then motorbike specific clothing. But I really would start with gloves at least.

And for motorbike stories, I once arrived at work in London, going up eight floors in the lift, to hear a buzzing inside my shirt. Yep, a wasp (European – there’s no other kind over there) inside my shirt. Quick deshirting in empty lift, and all was well. No sting.

Friend in London claimed he had one inside his helmet once, and had to crush it by moving his helmet around, but I can’t verify that story.

IP

Postalgeek 10:12 pm 25 Apr 13

Yep, sooner or later a spider is going to say hi inside the car cabin.

I had a large huntsman (I don’t use ‘large’ for huntsmen unless they are above average in size) crawl onto my hand while riding the motorbike a couple of months ago. Fortunately for both of us I wasn’t going fast and don’t have spaz-panics in regards to spiders.

Now, if it had been a snake…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8rxJRsINU4

Thumper 9:30 pm 25 Apr 13

poetix said :

OP, perhaps this is a good time to do a little psychological therapy? You may not always find such helpful people, and such a strong reaction could be dangerous if you were driving on a busy road where you could not stop easily.

Not to mention the difficulties if one was in your kitchen or bedroom or toilet.

And to others, there is absolutely no need to kill a huntsman spider.

This…..

It’s a spider. Seriously…..

farnarkler 6:14 pm 25 Apr 13

I had one once appear on the driver’s side window on rainy night. I pulled over on Baldwin Drive Kaleen and had to climb out through the passenger side door, run round to the driver’s side. While getting drenched I opened the door and shook it open and shut as best I could until I saw the eight legged bastard fall onto the road hopefully to drown!!

Zan 2:00 pm 25 Apr 13

I used to have a phobia of spiders until someone tried to get me hysterical with supposedly a spider but it was an empty hand. I thought that this was so stupid to be like that. I slowly taught myself how to overcome the fear of spiders.

IrishPete 12:45 pm 25 Apr 13

Someone told me recently they once smashed their windscreen with a sports implement trying to kill a spider.

For your own and other people’s safety, I really strongly recommend you go to a GP and ask for a referral to a psychologist, preferably a clinical psychologist because they’re cheaper (there’s a higher subsidy) and generally more skilled, under the Better Access to Mental Health scheme. There are psychologists in most rural towns around Canberra – Bungendore, Yass, Cooma, Goulburn.

If you phone around a few psychologists before seeing your GP, you may be able to find one who will bulk bill, i.e. there will be no “gap” – consultations will be free – then ask your GP to refer you specifically to that one. I think the limit is now six consultations per calendar year, with possible extension to 10. But you can do a lot to a phobia in a few sessions, so long as you are willing to do homework/practice. Time it right, and you can have 6 (or 10) in one year closely followed by 6 (or 10) in the next year.

You can find psychologists through http://www.psychology.org.au or Yellow Pages. I’d recommend the former – if a psychologist isn’t willing to join their professional organisation, I have to wonder about them.

IP

Masquara 12:40 pm 25 Apr 13

There was no finding on the cause of a young woman’s death in a one-vehicle car crash on Hindmarsh Drive about 20 years ago – she ran off the road for no apparent reason – I’ve always thought a spider must have been to blame.

LizSays 11:04 am 25 Apr 13

poetix: Valid point, and I am currently considering my options. I do live in a rural-ish area, so I come across all kinds of spiders fairly regularly. I’ve had them all over the house and even on my clothes and in my hair (which was particularly unpleasant). The trouble with the car is being trapped with them, and the possibility of me causing an accident.

Cantabile: Don’t worry about them – they haven’t said anything that isn’t plausible, or that I haven’t already thought a million times over!

Kind of comforting to know I’m not the only arachnophobe driving around Canberra too 🙂

Postalgeek 8:38 am 25 Apr 13

That explains all the burnt-out cars I’ve come across around Canberra over the years. They belonged to arachnophobes.

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