A BIG Spider Nearly Killed Me!

I’m going to share with you one of my biggest fears… large spiders!

In fact, they’re the only thing to send me in such a panic that it has me racing the other way, unable to talk, heart palpitating, and in so much fear that I burst into tears. I’ve always been that way… since I can remember.

In my part of the world (Australia) we have these huge, fearful looking spiders – the Huntsman and the Wolf (apt names, I reckon!).

The Huntsman likes to crawl up walls and peer down at you from the ceiling (not a nice sight to wake up to!), whilst the Wolf will stalk you on the ground.

To put it into perspective, when their legs are extended some Huntsmans can be the entire size of a large hand, and the Wolf as big as the palm of my hand. Not what you would call tiny!

Well, last week a Wolf Spider decided to see what was available in my house.

When I saw it stealthily making its way across my dining room floor, what did I do? Yep, you guessed it. Ran.  Picked up the phone to tell my dad there was an emergency and he better get round pronto to get rid of it! Thing is, I couldn’t talk! Didn’t matter anyway; no answer!  DRATS! I would have to get rid of it myself!

So fly spray hugged to my chest, and my dog worriedly watching from the shadows, I bravely approached Wolf and, standing as far away as I could, promptly proceeded to empty half  the can onto its body. It ran around going mad and I felt so sorry for it, I thought to myself “I’ll have to put it out of its misery and give it a quick death.” Out came the broom and, BAM,  it was flattened. And I know, that sounds very terrible. In fact, I started feeling like a murderer.  I’m not used to doing this dirty work myself.

For the rest of the night I had visions of it being Mummy Wolf and Baby Wolf Spiders fending for themselves out in the backyard. Then I envisioned that flattened spider as a REAL living species… it had a heart and, no doubt, it had feelings too. I felt awful, to say the least.

Let’s fast forward.

As I wandered into my kitchen last night I was greeted by another Wolf Spider… no doubt Daddy Wolf! It was standing right in my doorway, ready to pounce! I scuttled backward to  grab the fly spray, heart pounding, when this voice inside my head said “Murderer!” I stopped in my tracks and wondered what the heck I was going to do! I just couldn’t kill it like the  last fiasco!

I knew then I would have to conquer my fear and get it out of the house; alive! Either that, or live with this horrible feeling of murder on my conscience (I even hate squashing or killing bugs!).

And you know what happened? As soon as I thought that, I looked down at Daddy Wolf and thought to myself, “Well, I can run quicker than you can! I’ll just get a little  closer and take a look at you.”  So there I was, inching closer on my heels and I was starting to break out in a sweat.  I actually felt physically ill. But I kept on going… inching closer and closer.

I was thinking for awhile I was a pretty good “spider whisperer” as he wasn’t doing a thing! All calm and just sitting there watching me… patiently.

I got a little closer. Then suddenly, he hunched up on all hairy legs ready to pounce! You can well imagine that I had a heart attack. Where were my ‘whispering’ skills? I grabbed the big broom and dustpan I had next to me, and making a little dance (I didn’t want it running up my leg!) I flicked it into the dustpan. Whilst it lay there stunned marveling at my Ninja moves, I slid the dustpan out the door with the long end of the broom handle! PHEW! Done!

And you know what? It felt SOOOOOO good! When I was close to Daddy Wolf, I could see so much to admire and it wasn’t really as scary as I imagined. And to top it all off, I didn’t have to kill it to get it out of my house.

I can tell you, I’m still not a big fan of large hairy spiders and will be taking measures so they don’t get in the house… however, if they do get in, I know that I can deal with it and they aren’t going to gobble me up and I die a grisly death 😉  The thought is freeing and liberating.

Afterward, these questions popped into my mind that can apply to anything in life:

  • What are you missing out on because you don’t have the courage to face the fear head on?
  • What would happen if you DID have to face the fear head on? Go on… flip the fear and imagine THAT in your head. Would it be as bad as you think it is?
  • Are your fears real or imagined?

Sometimes, we live out these fears in our head and we’ve never been in the ‘place’ where that fear is imagined.

For instance, with the large hairy spiders, I’ve never had to worry about ‘getting rid of it’ myself… I’d always imagined that it would jump on me and bite me and so on and so on, thus I ran the other way, with no thought whatsoever to what the spider could REALLY do. Or even to the fact that it is a living species that I give a life sentence to, instead of thinking of ‘rehabilitation’ outside the house 😉

When faced with my fear head on, I realized it wasn’t really as frightening as I imagined. Still frightening, yes. But not on the scale I imagined. Yes, the BIG spider DID nearly kill me… but only in my head. That spider was more scared of me than I was of him! I reckon I would get ready to pounce and attack too if a big giant suddenly appeared in front of me, looking all menacing! 😉

This is what our fears are in our head. Big giants, standing over us; that in all reality are like fairy tales that will disappear as soon as reason and ‘proof’ steps in.

So, I have a question for you…

… What one fear are you going to eliminate over the next 2 days? Are you going to take the challenge and stand up to it and fight the big giant?

Why not leave a comment right now to ‘put it out there’ on what fear you’re going to conquer. Then in a couple of days, drop on by and share with us all your experience in fighting the giant! I’d love to share in your excitement that YOU conquered the fear 🙂

PS: No, Daddy Wolf hasn’t come back into the house – YET… I reckon he’s learned his lesson 😉

A Big Spider Nearly Killed Me
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7 Comments

  1. Rowena Coshan

    Hi Tara,

    Glad to hear you didn’t kill the second wolf! We regularly have them in our house, usually I cover them with a clear round container and slide a flyswat under them and carry them outside or chase them to the front door and flip them over the ledge with the fly swat. I did that one night only to have a big lizard dart out and gobble it up. My husband said I’d killed it, but that’s just the order of nature and I was happy the lizard got an easy feed.

    Years ago I did the whole empty a can of flyspray onto them thing, but moving to acreage and having them become a part of daily life desensitised me to the point where I only freak a little bit if they actually land on me now. I guess this is true of most of our fears, if we confront them and continue to deal with them regularly they become nothing.

    I think my fear is getting started, I spend too much time learning and preparing. Now it’s time to get on with it and see if I can find a big lizard to feed instead!

    Take Care

    Rowena Coshan

    Reply
  2. Robin

    OMGshshsh! Those suckers are BIG! Two years ago we moved from California to Colorado. The spiders in CA are much smaller. I mean, sure, we had black widows, but they tend to stay outside, and they are much SMALLER. Because of their fuzzy exterior, wolf spiders have a sort of “teddy bear” quality to them. I would go so far as to say they are pretty (for a spider, that is) but LARGE… I am debating weather or not to “relocate” the WS on our deck, as it is just outside the door, and I don’t want him wandering in, unannounced.

    Our rule of thumb with spiders is: If you stay outside, you get to live. If you come into MY DOMAIN you die. (Unless you are really, big. Then I will relocate you because the big *CRUNCH* from squishing the big ones is more than I can bear!)

    My big fear (I am tackling now) is blogging. I have one, but I don’t like it! It is essential (so say the Social Networking Experts) for a successful website. So—ugh—I am off and blogging. I am truely a blogging idiot! What do I have to say that anyone would want to read? Yikes! I don’t know how you do it. I sit at the keyboard (except now, of course) and my mind is blank. 😯

    Blessings to you on your journey.

    Robin

    Reply
  3. Static Brain

    Nice photo of the spider. I was looking for a picture of one to match the one I just killed on my recliner. It is definitely a wolf spider I killed. Looks exactly like the picture you have here. Interestingly enough while I was looking for information I found the bite they cause is considered harmless, swelling and itching about like a mosquito bite, however they still scare me. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  4. Allan R

    I have always caught and relased these scary as hell looking bad boys. I live with a Kiwi who was arachnaphobic and had endless fun catching them and getting as close to him as possible. But tonight I saw the biggest one ever. SO bog I didn’t have a clear cup or plastic tumbler big enough to get it in. I eneded up using a salad bowl, a large one. and a pizza box lid for sliding under. Unfortunaeley this didn’t go so well. He still lost a leg wehn I had my 2 goes at it. Then after the second he cornered himself in the stairs I needed something flat, The top half of a 2L juice bottle done the trick. He would have been 5″ leg span at least. Oh I’m a 30yo grown man and as i said I have always caught them, but on my 1st attempt with a smaller container (Tupperwear) He made a move towards me and I lept blind and backwards the 3m or so from the top to the bottom of the stairs scaring my son out the door. Was hilarious (not so much when I realised I wasn’t going to land well). Anyway well done, No way in hell I’d use a dustpan thats insane.

    Reply
  5. Shannon

    Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this. I’ve got a fear of spiders, and since my bedroom is in the basement I tend to find a lot of them. My grandmother gets great fun out of telling the world how I end up calling her to come and take care of the spiders.

    Someday, I am going to learn to conquer to my fear and not end up sleeping on the sofa because we can’t find the spider in my room.

    Reply
  6. jf

    Right on Tara! I am a 40 year old guy and in my early years was a hunter. Killing anything never feels good. trapping and releasing outside always feels like I did the right thing. Putting the spider outside is never the easier method, but always the most rewarding.

    Nowadays I live below ground so I run into a LOT of insects. Ive probably “rescued” about 500 so far lol. My fiance has a friend she goes outside and talks to every morning. I was like WHAAA? OMG! when I met “Gerimiya”! Hes a MASSIVE wolf spider that lives in our side yard, in the railroad ties. It was my fiance that showed me how everything has feelings and feels pain and pleasure. Gerimiya ran into his ‘crack’ when I walked up. He stays out and seems to like my fiance’s visits though. This proves he can recognize a person over someone else. Even at a distance. He kept hiding from me until I finally said hi to him and sat there a minute. Now he stays out and says hi 😀 Im sure he looks forward to our visits lol.

    Reply
    • Tara

      I’m not sure I could sit next to Gerimiya 😉 I had a visit from a Huntsman the other day… my first one in many years… it wasn’t a nice experience! lol Thanks for sharing your story – it was interesting to read! 🙂

      Reply

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