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a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.


I went camping this last holiday weekend, and as a mode of therapy, I will write about my experience having what seems to be the most severe case of arachnophobia, know to man.

I had not thought too much of my paralyzing, irrational fear of our creepy crawly eight legged friends since moving out of the suburbs after high school where I had been terrorized by them on a daily basis in my basement oriented bedroom with a window just a foot above ground level. When living in the suburbs I would be on a daily manic swing from mild comfort to extreme paranoia of being in the proximity of my sworn enemies. In the spring, when the air would burst with speckles of their wretched offspring, my attempts to condition my response to the creatures would involve me inching closer to them and killing the smaller ones with my fingertip rejoicing in the power I usurped from their arachnid kingdom with my crushing might as I laughed, maniacally. As the summer turned cold and the air filled with decaying leaves, only the hearty and stout of the species would hide among the foliage, among the folds of my clothes, and in my closet - where I grew decorative plants. My interactions with the things would lessen, I would forget to stay upon my toes; relinquishing my mental domain over their kind. They would appear when least expected, in the photos of biology books, at which I would shriek and drop loudly - my mind going to a place much like my mind goes to now when one of those U-Haul trucks rolls by with a giant green spider on it, the size likening it to be more like a squid.

Writing the paragraph, having to recall those visual experiences and my physical reactions to them has now caused me and maybe this buckeye coffee helped a little to become hyper sensitive, causing my nerve ends to tingle as if I had small insects crawling on me, and my heart to palpitate far too rapidly for comfort.

THIS organization tell me that if I do not alter my lifestyle in order to avoid the thing that I fear most - ie. live in the city, far away from my "animal phobia" - I need not worry. But considering my knowledge of such a phobia and my choice in moving to a city, after living in a city, after living in the suburbs and traveling through rural areas horrified, I would have to admit that my lifestyle was altered in a much grander sense than just staying indoors. Luckily I also happen to prefer city life socially, so my fear has yet to present a problem - other than when I agree to go camping for the first time in years. In these cases, this website suggests I try CBT [cognitive behavoiral therapy] sometimes also an acronym for "cock and ball torture", but I tried that with the whole squishing them with my finger bit, and it proved to only be a temporary modification. This mean only one thing - IT'S SKINNER TIME.

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PS check out THIS list I found while researching treatment options


Curious Wednesday is a weekly column written and driven by the personality of Ms. Marquise discussing the insides of her head in relation to things around her. New topics can be found on the Bushwick Daily every Wednesday, while you can find her productions listed on False Aristocracy.


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