My parents did not show me any sympathy. The policy was that if it was bothering me, it was my problem. My dad would take care of removal only if the bug in question was on the ceiling or high on the wall, in a part of the room that I legitimately couldn't get a chair under. Otherwise, I just had to deal with whatever came my way.
This may seem a little cruel, to leave a child to a fear that made her sob and shake and liquified her bowels. I certainly thought so at the time. However, I did learn some control and the ability to deal with the offending intruder first, then freak out afterward. None of them scare me any less, but at least I can usually remain functional. And I learned eventually to wall off the fear and just pretend I didn't see anything. And yes, I can miss a friggin' enormous shark right in front of me, but I can also spot a 2 cm beige beetle on a beige wall 20 feet away from me. So there's a lot to ignore.
I learned in my early twenties that the reason my parents wouldn't help me out is that both of them also have fear of spiders etc. I was staying at a guesthouse with my mom, and we both spotted something unfortunately large and creepy (we didn't count legs) in the sink. She screamed and ran in the other room. I grabbed a nearby cup and trapped it, leaving it for the cleaning staff to deal with the next day. When she calmed down, she said, "Good thing your father wasn't here to see that." I had to have her explain. I had no idea.
So, present-day, here at the office. As I mentioned last week, the ladies' room has gradually acquired half-a-dozen or more spiders as residents. There are always at least a couple. It's in a basement, in an older building, and that just happens. The entire office is prone to bugs, generally, and especially the basement. And for the most part, as long as they stay in areas I don't need to access (like the corners behind the toilet), I'd rather have the spiders because they get rid of the other stuff. This had gotten to be a bit much, however. Pretty much every corner was occupied, and there was a distressingly large one which had set up shop in the middle of the wall beside the toilet. And then that one disappeared, which is what prompted my post.
Monday, the large spider had moved to a spot near the door, and another one had taken up its previous location. And I tried very hard to convince myself it would not jump on me, and continued to pretend none of them were there.
Yesterday morning, the ability to Not See Certain Things failed on me abruptly. And the visceral reactions cut in. And I realized that from where I was sitting, I could see SEVEN spiders. And four of them were less than a foot away from my naked legs. In terms of "too many legs," there were fifty-eight legs in a one-seat bathroom. Fifty-eight that I knew about, and there could be MORE where I couldn't see. And that's when I panicked. And I ran upstairs and posted about the gibbering. Because I was.
Now, despite my declaration to the contrary, I didn't manage to stay out of that room. It's not one that's really avoidable for a full day. It was on one of my return trips that I did the counting and the math. I also noticed that the big spider was doing what looked like building an egg sac. *shudder* Which was gone this morning, and there are little specks throughout her web. I have this sneaking suspicion that I don't even want to know how many legs that makes.
She's way too large and creepy, but there's an even bigger one near the door to the storeroom. Its body - just the body - has got to be almost an inch long. I know it's not big enough to catch me and eat me. But I'm not entirely convinced that it knows that.
I'm seriously considering advertising on a local bulletin board and paying some ridiculous sum of money for someone to come spend half an hour and remove all the spiders I can find. Thank goodness I'm not expected to sleep in this building.