My Fear Of Spiders Has Made Me Completely Embarrassing

fear of spiders

Pretty much me. | Source: ShutterStock

There are a lot of ways I embarrass myself on a daily basis – falling, crying in public, saying awkward things – but I think some of my worst embarrassing moments have happened due to my fear of spiders. I know that everyone says this, but guys, seriously: I’m really afraid of spiders.

This fear is nothing to joke about. When I say I’m afraid of spiders, I don’t just mean that they gross me out and I don’t really want to get close enough to one to kill them. No, I mean that spiders literally give me major anxiety, even enough for a panic attack or two. I’m not just afraid of spiders – I am genuinely terrified of them. From the way I feel about them, you would think they’re giant monsters taking over the world (actually, don’t even joke about that).

How often have I made a complete fool out of myself thanks to creepy, crawly spiders? Um, I lost count when I was, like, 11-years-old. It’s bad. My friends and family pretty much hate me for it. In my defense, I can’t always be held accountable for my actions. Most people don’t understand the anxiety spiders give me – they think my fear is more about dramatics. It’s hard to explain that knowing a spider is near me makes it difficult for me to breathe or think in a rational way. I literally have no control over myself. I’m giving you a rundown of my worst moments in the hope that I realize I am not alone.

One of the first times I hung out with my boyfriend, I spotted a spider on his ceiling while we were making out. (Side note, I have a sense about spiders. I ALWAYS know when they’re around. It’s terrible.) For 1.5 seconds, I contemplated attempting to be cool about it since I was still in that stage of trying to impress him. Then the spider moved closer and I decided, nope, being single isn’t so bad. I literally pushed him off of me, rolled/fell off the bed half-naked and started crawling towards the door, shrieking “Spider! SPIDER!” I might have started crying. After he killed it, things were weird, as he tried to decide whether or not I was clinically insane.

There are two times I can remember that I’ve managed to get my normally calm best friend seriously mad at me. One time, I was innocently driving home at around 2 in the morning when, BOOM, a freakin’ spider fell from the ceiling right in front of my face. I swerved my car to the side of the road, screamed my head off, jumped out of the car and danced around shaking my head and freaking out. When I looked in the car, it was crawling across the dashboard. I was in a terrible neighborhood but couldn’t imagine getting back in my car – so I called my best friend.

She trekked out into the freezing cold night to find me standing outside of my car considering whether I would rather be in the car with a spider or get mugged (getting mugged didn’t seem so bad). When she couldn’t find the spider, I made her drive my car back to my house so I could drive hers so I didn’t have to get in my car. She did it, vowed to make fun of me for the rest of my life, but on the plus side, won Best Friend Of The Year.

I don't know how to deal. | Source: ShutterStock

I don’t know how to deal. | Source: ShutterStock

Another time, we were in the middle of a long car ride when I spotted a spider crawling towards me faster than anything I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even know how to handle myself as it came closer, so I started hyperventilating and moving away until I literally was sitting on her lap… while she was driving. She screamed, “Jessica, GET OFF OF ME, you’re insane” and pulled over to yell at me. I deserved it, I almost killed us all. She barely spoke to me all weekend.

On a more serious note, I once had a legitimate panic attack thanks to a spider. I was home alone when I saw a huge, fuzzy black spider making it’s way across my bedroom ceiling. I ran out of the room screaming for help until I realized there was no one. I called my mom at work, hysterical. She tried to calm me down, but nothing was working. I have literally never felt so panicky in my life. I finally called my brother and begged him to come home from work to kill the spider for me. Once he got home, he found me crawled up in a ball downstairs, crying and shaking. It was so bad, he couldn’t even make fun of me. That’s a big deal for my brother.

Then there was that time I embarrassed myself in front of my entire homeroom class. In high school, there was this guy we’ll call O who thought my fear of spiders was hilarious. He tortured me constantly and loved to make me look like an idiot. One day, he put a very realistic looking fake spider in my desk. I sat down, opened it, saw the spider and all hell broke loose. I didn’t know it was fake, screamed like I was being murdered, everyone stared at me then started laughing, I immediately started crying and then I ran out of the school and went home for the day.

The weirdest part of that story? A few years later, O got in touch with me through Facebook saying he wanted to take me out. I still sort of hated him for the infamous spider incident but hesitantly agreed. O acted like a perfect gentlemen, and at the end of the night, he told me he had to take me out because, even years later, he still felt horrible about the spider prank. I guess it was kind of sweet.

I could go on for hours telling you about my embarrassing spider stories, but I won’t. I’m sort of getting creeped out – I keep looking around making sure there aren’t any watching me. I wish I could say my fear is getting better… but it’s totally not. So I want to know: have you ever done anything similar thanks to your fear?

What are you afraid of? Are you terrified of spiders also? Has your fear ever totally embarrassed you? Do you have some crazy stories? Tell me in the comments!


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  • Hollie

    I have been terrified of spiders my whole life. It had only gotten worse. The most awful thing happened when I was 22. I had left my mop one the porch to dry. Went out and grabbed it and started mopping the kitchen. Had the tv on watching someting while I mopped. All of a sudden I felt little bits of fluff on my arm. Looked down to brush them off, it was like 200 baby spiders all over my arms!!!! Mom crawled out of the mop, SHE WAS HUGE!!! I usually can’t even get close enough to kill a spider but this time I had no choice. I was slapping all the babies off my arms whe trying to kill the mother, I was screaming and crying hysterically. I must have been looking around the kitchen for an hour to make sure none escaped. I am absolutely positive that if I would have been an older person, my family would have arrived home and found me dead from a heart attack on the kitchen with baby spiders crawling all over me:( it was horrible. I was looking this up because tonight there was a mama and a bunch of babies on my doorstep when I came home from work tonight. I almost vomited. I feel like they follow me! It’s like they know my fear!

  • Morgana5953

    I have severe arachnophobia too. Just as bad as yours. At least nobody teases me for it though, so I have that going for me.

  • IHateSpiders!

    Oh god… Reading this, I just can’t stop looking around if there isn’t a spider anywhere… The worst part of my phobia (it happened just now) is that my mom doesn’t believe me and yells at me to grow up and stop being like a baby… She was cleaning the house and in a glass she had 2 huge spiders… She went towards me and both of them almost were on me… I screamed so hard and hid under the blanket, crying like for 15 minutes. I still can see the two spiders walking towards me… The worst is that my mom did it on purpose and laughed at me… She knows about my fear, though she tortures me like this anyway, yelling at me to stop behaving like a baby… :'( Why does she do that?! 🙁

  • HereIamAsking

    There is something I am scared of. Not spiders but these freaky mini caterpillars that hang from strings of web from trees. They bite you if you walk into them and last summer I went for a walk in a popular park and I walked through some trees. Next thing I know I am getting bit like crazy. There were dozens of these crazy caterpillars all over slithering around biting. ickk never never going back to that park.

  • Hannah

    Oh I had the Most horrible thing happen to me! It was late at night and I really needed to pee so I go to the bathroom sit down and suddenly a HUGE spider landed on my back it was three inches big and I literally ran out the bath room screaming it was horrible!

  • LalaRocks

    ohh god! sound like the freak out i had doing Sex Ed. in pse! The boy i have to sit next to loves spiders and had one in his pocket (why?!?!) and i majorly freaked out because it started crawling up my arm after only being at that school for 5 minuets :/

  • Jady

    My fear of spiders is probably on par with yours, quite possibly worse. I have had a number of encounters with spiders, all of which leaving me hysterical with fear. I always end up screaming at the top of my lungs, hyperventilating, crying and shaking with sheer terror. One time I was sick through being so traumatised.

    My most recent encounter was on my way to work, my grandparents were driving me and as my nan just pulled out on to a roundabout, this humongous black house spider was crawling towards me on the ceiling of the car. I was screaming so loud, my grandmother said anyone that could have heard would have thought I was being murdered. She had to pull over into a side road and I crawled across the floor to get out of the car and ran away. At this point I was hyperventilating and crying, I was absolutely hysterical. My grandad was saying I needed to calm down because he thought I would have a heart attack. I found it near impossible to get back in the car but they finally managed to get me back in once it had been killed and thrown out. The whole time for rest of the journey I was searching around every few minutes to make sure there weren’t any more waiting to appear. I still search around every car I go in now to make sure it won’t happen again. I have noticed, how it has made me too frightened to get in that car since it happened and have since booked a hypnotherapy session to see if I can cure it.

    Even now writing this is freaking me out, just remembering what had happened.

  • Annette

    Ack! Bugs!

    When I was 18 there was a big gross molty moth/beetle/creeeeepy thing on my wall and I was alone in my house. I freaked, hyperventilated, calmed myself down, grabbed a frying pan and walked right up to it. When I swung the first time, it flew towards me and I screamed bloody murder, so I had to repeat the first process. The second time I managed to smack it, then proceed to smash it to bits! I then covered it up with a box till my brother could come and take it awwaaaaaay from me…. but (even though I couldn’t look at it) I felt so PROUD of myself for winning! It was like exposure therapy plus a nice outlet for my rage that anything with more than 4 legs would dare enter my house!

    It’s really nice to have someone else who understands just how intolerable a phobia about living things can be. At least I can just not go near deep water!

  • tanlegsxx sorry,it’s kinda funny.but tell you what,I’m afraid of house used to have a giant rat that ate all of our,I was on my computer,just mindin’ my biddness,then all of a sudden I hear a tap,tap,tap.i look over,and there is the rat.its just sitting there,STARING at me.i nearly brake my computer,and I then jump up and I run.i run until I’m like “mooooooo-ooom!m-mo-mom-mommy!THE RAT WAS IN MY ROOM!IN m-my r-r-room!it w-was j-j-j-just staring at me!”and I nearly start crying.i will never forget every time a hear a sudden noise,i think it’s the damn rat!D;

  • Arielle

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely LOVED your spider story. And my boyfriend and I can totally relate, we have a serious case of arachnophobia. He once fainted because our friend set his computer homepage to thousands of spiders crawling on the desktop. I guess I can’t call him to come kill one for me… I’m worse.. Once, my downstairs neighbor came out at night to get something from her car, and my mom, brother and I were just coming home. My mom and brother went up the stairs leading to our door, and I stood at the first step frozen and gazing to the sky. A weird, poisonous-looking spider built a huge web across my stairway all the way to the other side. I refused to take a step forward. When my neighbor came by, she politely asked what was I looking at, and I told her there’s a poisonous spider above our heads. At that moment, she screamed “WHY DID YOU TELL ME?! I’M TERRIFIED OF SPIDERS!” We both did a lot of screaming until my mom came out and removed the spider & the web with a broom. My neighbor and I exchanged a few laughs, and still a bit shaken, went into our houses cautiously looking around… apparently, the other neighbors weren’t very happy.

  • Nobody

    You CAN get over it, it isn’t easy but force yourself to kill one. I’m serious, it’s terrifying and you will panic but you have to do it if you wanna get over it

  • Alison

    LOL. if you ever feel scared of bugs u cant possibly be as bad as my friend…we were in the lunchroom, and this little tiny teeny little weeny fruit fly buzzes past her like 3 feet away. she FREAKED. she jumped up and sceamed like crazy. lets just say im never eating lunch with her again.

  • amy

    Hahaha im so scared of spiders…once i was sitting o the hard concrete padio on a chair. i was on my brothers brand new ipod. i was just sitting there when a huge spider-like the size of the circumference of a golf ball!!- started crawling up my back and around my armpit up to my chest. when i saw it i SCREAMED and jumped up, and you guessed it, threw my brothers ipod high in the air. i didnt even notice, i was scrreeeeaming and running around…until i heard it hit the ground with a SMACK!! i totally freaked out!! there ahs been a huge spider on me and i didnt know where it went!! plus i had just smashed my brothers new ipod and we were on vacation for another 2 weeks!!!! Good news…i picked it up and it worked fine…if it starts not to work i just wont tell him about it…

  • Perfection-NOT

    With me, its reptiles. Lizards and turtles are the worst…. its true… and i feel so lame for even writing this

  • Jessie

    I feel the same way about caterpillars ick!!!!

  • LittleRedWolfGirl

    I used to be way more scared of spiders, but not quite on that level, and it’s gotten better over the years. I still jump a bit when I see a black widow, but the worst was about a year or so ago. I was sitting in my kitchen one evening when I noticed movement across the room in the shadows. I figured it was one of the small house spiders we get frequently, but no. It was a GIANT wolf spider (over an inch with its legs), and the thing ran right at me and stopped under my chair. I’m not a girly girl, nor a screamer, but I screamed and sat up on the table, pulling my legs up. My mom freaked, my dad freaked. We were all pretty creeped out. My dad killed it (I refused to look until it was all cleaned up, because my dad is notorious for making the biggest mess when he kills spiders or bugs).
    I have a much bigger issue with heights, though. I can freeze up pretty badly when I’m up really high and look down. I have to crouch low and move slow. When I’m super high and look down, it feels like the ground is just rushing up at me.

    • Jessica Booth

      Wow! Reading that comment literally made me shudder – that sounds TERRIFYING!

  • Gabby

    Ooh, I HATE spiders too! I remember once I was on a Team Leadership Retreat thing in Alabama and I was rowing in a canoe on and brushed past a couple trees. When I did, a big spider fell into my canoe so I screamed, tossed the paddle and jumped into the lake fully clothed. Yeah, my group chaperone was still a bit confused…

  • Rose

    While I feel the same way about spiders I’m scared of bugs PERIOD! Here’s probably my WORST moment:

    I was home alone with my older sister, I was sitting at my desk on the computer. My desk is umber in in wall AC which unless it’s summer is covered by plastic.I started hearing this buzzing sound then I looked up… a bee or wasp or whatever was in the plastic trying to get out, I just kept watching it frozen with fear. Then it happened. within about 5 seconds; the thing zipped down and broke through the plastic. I screamed and pushed back my chair, I jumped out of it so hard it fell over and sped out my room into my moms room told my sister, she couldn’t reach it and well I basically hid in my mom’s room for over a half hour waiting for my mom to come home and kill it. She was mad..but understood. Oh by the way, it was a wasp!

  • Indigo

    I hate spiders. Hate them. Not as much as you, it seems, but I always freak out. Yesterday I was on the floor, petting my rabbit, when I felt something on my arm, and freaked out when I saw it was a spider. It crawled into the blanket under the chair as I ran out of the room screaming. My rabbit looked at me like I was crazy and my dad made fun of me for freaking out over a tiny spider…. But they have so many legs! Not as many as the silverfish and millipedes I have at my house, which oddly don’t scare me as much as spiders do, but enough to scare me. What bugs me is that they move so fast and drop out of nowhere.

  • Janice

    I’m totally astonished because I feel exactly the same way about spiders. Actually, about all kinds of insects. I thought I was the only person on Earth who was so scared of them. I identified myself with every single word of the article.

    I’ve also had lots of embarrasing moments due to insects. A few weeks ago, I was in Literature class when suddenly, I found a tiny (diminute, in fact) spider climbing over my leg. I went crazy. I began screaming and running all around my classroom. After one of my classmates killed the little monster, my whole group was laughing and making fun of me. I ran outside the room and cried for about half an hour until the teacher found me.

    I just felt so alone about this fear until I read this article. Thank you so much. And, trust me, you’re not alone.