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Mr. B

Sunday, March 04, 2012

To explain my status update from earlier, in case I haven't mentioned it or you don't want to go that far back:
I am absolutely petrified of bees & wasps. I'm scared of pretty much all insects & arachnids, but wasps fill me with complete, unreasoning terror. The reason I didn't get enough sleep on Thursday night is because I had a nightmare about a giant wasp (it was about 12" long). And that was just because a FB friend I haven't seen in about a decade said she'd found one in her house.
I'm the only person I know who dreads spring. The closer we get to long sunny days and temps above 40, the more my tension level climbs. It's a serious problem. It's been getting progressively worse as the years go by. Last year, I finally broke down & attempted to seek professional help. I started seeing a psychologist, but she had problems of her own; she had lupus, & ultimately cancelled more appointments than she managed to make it to. We were supposed to meet weekly; in 3 months, we met 4 times. & we hadn't worked on my phobia at all. So I stopped seeing her, & tried to find a replacement. Health insurance being what it is, my options were pretty bloody limited; I was unsuccessful. So I went through last spring & summer in terror. It was almost fortunate that I was so sick; it gave me an excuse not to go outside. Pretty much at all. The only exception was the family trip to Lake Placid. I'd been assured that it's usually pretty cool there. Nature decided to mess with me - we didn't get a day with a high below 90 till it was almost the end of the vacation. Since it's usually so cool, the house we were staying in wasn't equipped with air conditioning. I'm probably one of the only people who would choose to sit in a sweltering house rather than outside on the lakeshore, simply because of fear.
I hate this. I'm so tired of being crippled by this STUPID phobia. I'd hoped that maybe, for some reason, maybe I'd be better this year. The fact that I'm currently afraid to go to sleep because I don't know where the light fixture mystery bug that MAY have been a wasp ended up, plus my nightmare from the other night, pretty much proves that's not the case.
Thus begins the 7 8 months out of the year that I never feel completely safe. When the only way I get any sleep is on drugs. Where my friends ask me to do things with them, & I have to refuse, because even though it's not safe in my own home, it's less safe elsewhere.
I am so tired of being a crazy person.
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  • JKM822
    Oh, I've been stung. Several times. And you're right - it's not that bad. It's not PAINLESS, but it's not bad enough to cause the phobia. I really have no explanation, other than their fundamental aggression, and the fact that they really DO seem to have it in for me. This has been noted by others, so it's not just paranoia.
    My mother blames herself. She's afraid of them, too, & thinks her reaction to them informed ours (my brother isn't as bad as me, but he's definitely scared of them).
    2602 days ago
    Have you ever actually been stung? I was petrified of bees and wasps for most of my life. I don't know that I lost sleep like you do, but at the appearance of any stinging flying thing I would humiliate myself by literally screaming and flapping and running away - once even while walking out of a job interview. I kind of think that my unhinged behavior had something to do with why I didn't get an offer. I also refused to go on any rides or eat anything at theme parks in the summer because of the bees and wasps flocking around the trash cans in line and near the snack bars or whatever.

    Anyway, at age 30 I was walking through a field in sandals when I thought it was too cold for the little nasties when, yep, I got stung. For me, the fact that it was nowhere NEAR as painful as in my imagination (in fact, it was almost comically painless) has been a huge help in controlling my behavior. I'm not suggesting you go out and get yourself stung or anything, but I wonder if you can get closer to the essence of your fear... Is it the unknown-ness of their presence? The potential pain of the sting? The unpredictability of how they move (that gets me about some bugs)?

    At any rate, phobias definitely need professional help, and if you're losing sleep over this, I'd agree that it's time to get your health plan on board with another counselor. No matter what, it sounds like you've got the introspective ability to get to the bottom of this if you really want to. You can do it!
    2602 days ago
    Oh bummer on the relocation. I assumed they would just crawl inside my neighbors house and bother them! LOL

    I guess if I relocate them they have a chance to find shelter but if I kill them dead is dead. Maybe? Idk but good luck with that app. I hope it helps!

    2602 days ago
  • JKM822
    See, I'm frightened of spiders, but I CAN kill them. I don't go out of my way to do it, but I figure it's a personal space thing. As long as they stay out of my personal space, they get to live. Once they enter my personal space (or threaten to do so when I'm in a vulnerable position, like in the shower or something), then... death. And I read that you're not doing them any favors, relocating them - most of the indoor spiders you find are just that - indoor spiders. They die if left outside.
    As far as the not being able to look at a book with a picture of a spider in it... yeah, I'm like that about bees and wasps. Except that if I try to catch one in a jar and relocate it, it's just going to sting me when I let it out of the jar! LOL!
    I downloaded an app this weekend that's supposed to help. We'll see how that goes. It's cheaper than therapy, at least, and it can't be any less effective. ;-)
    2603 days ago
    You are not a crazy person.

    I am terrified of spiders. Terrified. I have been my whole life. I can't kill them. (for 2 reasons 1 it isn't fair to kill something simply because I am afraid of it. It has just as much right to be here as I do. 2 because they are gross and I don't want near them)

    It used to be so bad that I couldn't look at a page in a book that had one on it. In fact I wouldn't even touch the page. I have had nightmares where one is coming for me and literally in my sleep, jumped out of bed and landed on the floor. Landing wakes me up btw. It also amuses whomever gets to witness it. lol I don't find it very funny. I have cleaned homes for a living for the last 6 years. My old partner was hilarious. She knew of my deep fear of spiders. The make me shriek when I am surprised by them. Sometimes we would have a 3rd person with us and they would hear me scream and ask if I was ok and Sheri would say "Oh Carrie is fine. That is her spider scream." LOL So yeah, I apparently have a specific terrified yell that indicates a nasty spider is lurking about.

    Many years ago I decided that I was ridiculous. So I started giving myself behavior modification therapy of sorts. I do my best to remain calm. I implemented a "catch and release" program. I catch them if I can in a jar, take them outside, across the street (to the neighbors lol) and let it go. It is extremely stressful for me to do it. My heart pounds for a couple minutes after it's gone. I still check my clothes to make sure it didn't hitch a ride. But I FORCE myself to have contact. I have not died yet and I have saved many gross 8-legged nasties lives.

    I am not over my fear but it is a tremendous amount better. I just decided to stop being a baby. Enough was enough.

    My best advice is to simply decide not to miss out of life.

    You have all the power you need. You are a woman after all and we are awesome!

    2604 days ago
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