Craig73’s Tarantula Diary

Craig73

Arachnobaron
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Jun 2, 2016
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548
Reflecting on my 13th month of diving into the rekindled interest of keeping tarantulas I want to journal my experiences; reflecting on the first attempt back in 2016, my reintroduction into the ‘hobby’, and my experiences from sling to adult from an arachnophobic perspective as well as one in which my collection has grown at an accelerated pace.

By sharing my story, my truth if you will, I hope others find inspiration, self-reflect on their own journey, and acknowledge those that have paved the path before us that take time to mentor and guide us.

Temporary Note:
Please refrain from commenting or posting pictures. Once I‘ve established as much of the backstory as possible comments are welcome, but may take me several days to build that out and come up to current day.
 

Craig73

Arachnobaron
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Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
548
The Beginning: 2016
For as long as I can remember I have been terrible at recollecting past events and those I could are vague on the timeline, but here I go...

I’ve always had a fear of spiders, but a burning curiosity and fascination as well, at least for tarantulas. A friend I had met through an unrelated forum had mentioned his collection, and man was it big. So big his basement was practically dedicated to them. Long story short, weeks later I had found myself searching for T’s online and soon had my first T, a C. versicolor. I was terrified unpacking this .5” T. Feeding and watering was equally horrific, yet my addictive personality found myself ordering three more T’s (C. cyaneopubescens, D. diamantimensis, and G. pulchra). The colors in the pictures and videos I had seen were out of this world.

I was in over my head, bad this time like no other. I had joined AB, but for the sole purpose of sharing a few pics with my friend; I didn‘t view AB as a resource. Not only could I not find the courage to tell my friend I was terrified, I did not tell my partner I had the T’s.

I kept T’s behind books on a shelf; a hidden taboo that I was now faced with. I’d occasionally looked at them in amassment, contained behind a shield of plastic in their amac boxes. But I knew that feeding day was coming and those plastic containers would have to be opened.

Ill equipped with any form of sound husbandry and crippling feeling I began to lose the T’s one by one until there none. I recall feeling free from the fear, from the secrecy, from this horribly unthought out mistake.

Now as I reflect on the events that unfolded I fall deep into my thoughts of how horrific of a person I was at the time. It wasn’t reflective of me as a nurturing human being that is kind and empathetic, yet it was me, I was the monster not the other way around. My eyes well up with tears every now and then when I think about it.

This is my past, and will always be a part of my history as a T owner. I bare my truth in hopes I can find some sense of solice in growing as a person. I don’t know if there will ever be redemption, or if that is even what I’m looking for. I think that being honest with my past, sharing my story, my journey, and accepting that I am human and not perfect is certainly a step in the right direction.

To Be Continued...
(Four Years Later: 2020)
 

Craig73

Arachnobaron
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Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
548
Four Years Later: 2020
Well more like 3.5 years later, but for the sake of keeping 2019 short and sweet, I began seriously researching tarantulas. Not in the academia sense by any stretch, but you get it.

My prior chapter was behind me and I was ready to move forward, but this time with some valuable lessons learned. I read articles and watched videos almost non stop for a good four, if not six months. I started compiling a list of what I liked and didn’t like from physical characteristics to behaviors. I still came up with three of the four I had kept before.

In March 2020 I purchased a tarantula, it was a .5” C. Versicolor. I remember the adrenaline running high when I hit the order button. As the arrival date approached I was super excited. Arrival day came and anxiety was high. A box, how was it going to look inside? As I cut the tape and opened the box I had this fear the spider would be loose and jump out. I was staring into a box filled with packing materials, lots of it. I slowly pulled each piece out until I got to a small vial.

This tiny vial has changed my life in so many ways. I vividly started to recall the fear the very first time I had opened a vial like this in 2016. I paused and out loud in a low quiet voice told myself, “You got this”. If anyone knows versi’s they know they can be a challenge wrangling into an enclosure. I ended up with a spider on my hand, I was proud I was able to somewhat remain collected.

About 3-4 weeks later I was feeling good in my growth and ability to care for a T without fear overtaking me. Don’t get me wrong, I still jump scare easy. I found myself with three more T’s soon after (A. Kwitara, A. Minatrix, C. cyaneopubescens. I can’t really recall the order in which the remaining T’s came, but it was pretty much monthly for the next dozen or so.

I don’t really think I realized the magnitude to which my collection was growing and how fast. I want to say between 20-25 T’s it sunk in that I amassed all of these T’s. Space wasn’t an issue, at least not with slings. We’ll figure that out later. I had my head in the game. These T’s had grown on me, I was emotionally attached. This was new, I saw them no different then my dog or birds. I found myself really protective of them.

I was clearly mentally vested in my T’s to the point that I had started to change how I interacted with them. As time went on I found myself becoming more confident in how I fed and watered them. I went from barely cracking the lid open to being able to take the lid off the enclosures. For a person with straight up fear of spiders this was huge. One
day I realized what a good portion of my fear was, the fear they would jump at me. After observing all of these T’s I realized that was not going to happen.

I remember in the June timeframe timeframe I had started to tell myself this is it, slow down and stop for Christ sakes. I have an addictive personality. I tend to go overboard and I clearly starred to acknowledge it at this point.

I’m going to pause at this point. It’s been a blur, a lot happened, and happened fast. I’m sure there’s a ton I have left out, but this really isn’t about trying to capture every single event. I know I want to cover phases I’ve gone through like dwarf species and ow’s.
 
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