Will I ever be 100% free of it?

KJE

Arachnoangel
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Oct 21, 2004
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Just a few years ago I was a major arachnophobe. I don't like being afraid of things so I forced myself to take steps to help my phobia. I now have around 50 tarantulas.

Occassionally the fear returns. Today it came back at the most horrible time. I was feeding my t's. I got to one of my 1.5" A. purpurea and it decided to make a run for it. It was pretty quick and ended up going onto my hand and not stopping. Well, you guessed it, my phobia returned and I screamed a frantic scream and flung the t onto the floor.

It only took me a second to figure out what I had just done. I am now beating myslef up about it. The t seems perfectly fine. Thankfully, it was a small sling with a small abdomen.

I'm just in shock that this happened out of the blue! I have held t's in the past without problems. I actually choose not to hold them for their protection. I just can't believe I freaked over an Avicularia!

Does anyone know if you are ever 100% cured of a phobia?
 

Scott C.

Arachnofloater
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Sep 17, 2004
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I don't know if you can ever really get over a true phobia..... Aside from that though, I think even the most relaxed person can get startled given the right circumstance.
I know I have been startled by my T's sometimes, while other times I have been totally relaxed in the worst of cases....
I wouldn't worry about it. Look on the bright side... The T is alright, and so are you. Definitely nothing you need to beat yourself up over.
Cheers,
Scott
 

edesign

AB FB Group Moderatr
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well...my A. metallica was a mean lil bastard...and I think my A. braunshauseni is following in the same footsteps. My mature male A. huriana does not want anything near it otherwise it will give a small threat display, will slap at the tongs and even occasionally bite at them. But as slings...I wouldn't worry too much but I know what you mean by reacting how you did, i don't like em on me much either lol
 

Midnightrdr456

Arachnoprince
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Jan 17, 2006
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you can overcome phobias with work. What you described isnt so strange, when a T decides to venture onto my body, my heart skips a beat just out of shock, and Ive never been scared of spiders. Since you have a fear (whether you've improved or not) when it shocked you, the reaction was more severe. I dont think its anything more than that personally. Although im far from an expert, only a couple college psych courses (then i changed my major, so who knows if my opinion can even be considered valid ha)
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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Feb 13, 2006
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I dont think you ever can really...... under the right conditions even I will get a good jump. Perfect example...... I have a calm vagans female she is mature and a little over 6" very very beautiful. I use her the most to illistrate how big and beautiful yet harmless they are...... well I had just finished breeding a female curly hair and I noticed that the vagans female was answering back. I chuckled and went to scoot her onto my hand,
Well it seems she was in a trance thinking she was going to get some and she whipped around so darn fast and struck and I almost had a BM. :D
I have never had a fear persay of anything alive, but sometimes I still can get spooked.......

Caught off guard I think is different then having a full blown phobia.
 

Mina

Arachnoking
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Oct 4, 2005
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I think you were startled, and people react without thinking when they get startled. I'm scared silly of any of my Ts escaping. I nearly had a heart attack when my juvie GBB escaped, I had no idea they could move that fast and after a pulse pounding twenty minutes he was safely back in his home, and his Mom was a basket case. I was afraid to feed him any of my T's after that. However I realized that what I was afraid of was not recapturing him and him getting hurt. Look on it as a lesson, be very careful and respectful any time you have an enclosure open. Always give it your full attention, and act as though every T is waiting to escape and run, because some are!!!! Don't beat yourself up, you can't still be afraid of them or you wouldn't care about them, and you very obviously do.
 

jr47

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was attacked at the age of six by a rabid dog. i had bad dream's for years. still do now and then. was terrified of dogs. im 49 now and though ive gotten over this awfull fear i still have times that it gets to me. but its possible to get over these things with some effort.
attached is a pic of my mother, who was deathly affraid of snakes till she had cancer and moved in with me. it was about 2 months till i got her convinced to touch one, the picture says the rest.
 
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mr_jacob7

Arachnoknight
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Jan 20, 2007
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i just want to say that it's great that you're overcoming your phobia. many people even without phobias are just so closed toward the creatures, and won't even look at them. that is so kewl that you entered the hobby, and i'll bet u love, it, huh?

btw, i love the pic, jr. {D
 

cacoseraph

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Jan 5, 2005
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of course you can

humans are the most mutable and adaptable animals there are. we can learn the most, reprogram our selves the most, grow to be the greatest of any animal.

basically you need to learn as much about how fear responses work in your body to know how to change them.

properly motivated a human can change virtually anything about themselves
 

T-chick

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Feb 11, 2007
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I think we have an instinctual fear of things that could harm us.
I love T's but do get the heebie Jeebies from other spiders, or if something jumped on me with out knowing it.
We tend to shake and dance around to remove the "offending" thing that got on us. Its instinct..
 

arrowhd

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Dec 22, 2006
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I believe you can overcome it, but that doesn't mean it will totally disappear. What happened to you sounds pretty normal to me. You just got spooked and reacted. You can use this to help you move forward. If not, just send me all of your T's! ;P Just a joke. Good luck.
 

TJPotter

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Feb 1, 2007
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I think you can, just takes time, and knowledge.

I have a good friend who is an (ex?)arachnophobe. A year ago, we were getting coffee, sitting outside, and talking, next thing I know she is in the middle of the parking lot, jumping up an down, crying. There was a 2" crabspider 8 feet up the side of the coffeeshop that she caught sight of. Fast forward- Last weekend, she held my 3" B. albopilosum and would not stop going on about how cute it was, and was mad when I thought it was a good time to put it away. Last night, she brought me the vial my A. versicolor is in, so I could get her out so she could sit on the floor and let it walk on her hands. She also has started saving the spiders that she finds at work, and taking them outside and releasing them, rather than calling a co-worker to kill it.

I don't like the common brown housespiders that live in every house. They give me the creeps, and I won't go near them- I don't kill, torment or maim them, but I can't even look at them with out getting a tinge of anxiety (Same goes for any spider I can not readily identify). But a tarantula... I dunno, I guess they just don't seem like "spiders" to me.

Congrats on your effort, and your progress, we all get spooked sometimes. I doubt there is a person on this board that has not gone through what you did-even if they haven't a bit of arachnophobia in them. Who doesn't jump when they are doing maintenance on a pokie, or a tap, and the think teleports across the cage?! Or walk into their spider room, and hear a C. crawshayi's hiss. That sends chills down my spine for a split second. Fear is normal. I would say you are beyond arachnophobia. You don't seem to have that irrational fear, you just got spooked for a second (normal!)

Tucker
 

phil jones

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hi i think you will allways have the phobia and at times will get to you but if you can keep on top of it good on you i hope you can good luck keep your head up and do not beat your self up / as for me i keep ( t ) and when i find a house spider in it goes to my leopard gecko:} :} :drool: :drool: one happy gecko and i do not care goodbye spider and i go to fuss over my ( t ) lol -- phil
 

monitormonster

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Mar 12, 2007
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I think you can totally get over a serious phobia....and one way to do that is what you already did. By getting several T's and seeing that they arent blood thirsty monsters, you took a major step in the right direction.

I did the same thing; I was pretty scared of all spiders until my friend dumped off their G. Rosea on me. After getting to know the little guy, I was fascinated....hence owning several more T's now.

Anything that is unpredictable and quick like your Avic is likely to give you a jolt when they start heading for you. Same thing happened when I was trying to get mine to go into the tupperware so that I could drill some more holes in its terrarium. It's just kinda unexpected when they dart around really fast, so I can totally understand where you are coming from.
 

Daniel_h

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Nov 28, 2006
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i think the problem with some people is when they have a fear of spiders and try to overcome it with tarantulas sometimes they can stop seeing them as spiders because of their sheer size...

i have read about people that are afraid of spiders that have T's such as fully grown blondi's and are not scared of them but are of little house spiders.

maybe its because they are so small and quick and can crawl out of gaps or shoes etc where with tarantulas they mainly just sit ther doing nothing lol
 

KJE

Arachnoangel
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Oct 21, 2004
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Thanks everyone! It's nice to hear other people's stories.

My phobia was so bad that I once watched a movie that had some robot spiders in it. I had horrible nightmares for a while.

Also, there use to be an arachnid store at one of our malls. One side had scorpions, in the middle were millipedes, and the other side had tarantulas. I couldn't even go on the side where the t's were. That's what ultimately made me want to overcome my fear. I gradually started looking at that side of the store from a distance. Within a couple of months a worker there got me to hold my hand out and let an A. avic walk from his hand accross my hand and back onto his hand. I did that with my eyes closed. I use to visit that store pretty much every day. Then, before you knew it the store owner would allow me to get A. avics out and hold them. He said I was one of his greatest success stories. You see, he wasn't making much money, but he was educating people, which is the most important thing when overcoming a fear.

I truly love my t's. I started breeding some of them a couple of years ago.

The funny thing about this circumstance was that I knew it was going to end up on me because it ran around the outside of the container so many times as I was holding it. It ran back inside once, but I couldn't get the lid back on before it ran out again.

I have worked with some of the fasted t's there are, but this little one was right up there in speed!
 

phil jones

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you are brave i have never held ANY ( t ) i never have and i never will well done :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: phil :8o :8o :8o
 

Leiurus87

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Jan 17, 2006
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Ive never been shy around alot of animals(except jellyfish), but even I dont hold Ts, out of fear of harming them and out of fear one of them might decide to poke me with its fangs. Youve made better progress than i :p
 

sstellw

Arachnopeon
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Feb 6, 2007
Messages
26
It's only natural to be afraid of something unexpected that can harm you. If someone came flying at you with a knife in each hand you would freak out too, but you wouldn't say that you're a peoplephobe. If a kitten ran at you unexpectedly, you would probably be entertained, but because how much damage can a kitten do anyways? And yeah, they might be able to scratch you a little, but that's something we've all experienced and so it's not scary. A tarantula bite is something we experience very seldom, if at all. Your reaction wasn't because you're afraid of your spiders, it's because your natural instincts told you to flee a potentially harmful situation. Don't beat yourself up too much thinking "how can I be afraid of something I love so much?" Your reaction, while not too good for the tarantula, was natural and healthy, as it would be for any living thing, because it keeps us away from critters that could potentially kill us from a bite. I'm so glad you were able to face something that you were afraid of though. I feel so bad for the people so afraid of spiders that they never get to appreciate how incredibly beautiful they really are.
 

Xochie

Arachnopeon
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Mar 22, 2007
Messages
44
I love my 'T', had her between 9-10 years (can't be for sure on her age, but bought her fresh from a pet store when she was smaller than a penny) I had the 'phobia' all my life, but since owning a 'T', it brings me to a new perspective on arachnids. I still don't think i wanna do any handling of the spiders, but she is very fascination to watch!!
 
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