What is that?
Yeah, that thing on your shoulder.
Creeping its way toward your neck…
Did that scare you? Probably not. Do you think it was nonsense? Probably yes.
Don’t be so quick to judge because our topic is fear of spiders, in other words, arachnophobia. I thought it would be best if someone who is afraid of spiders wrote this, so I held myself responsible. It will be very personal but fears are also personal after all.
Perhaps we should take a look at Greek mythology. Here is how the spider was born:
Arachne, a young girl and a talented weaver, challenges Athena who is the goddess of handicraft. Athena rips off Archne’s tapestry according to some sources because she was jealous of its perfection and according to others because she was offended by its story. Arachne hangs herself but Athena doesn’t let her die and turns her into a spider so she can continue weaving forever. In Greek, “Arachne” means spider.
Why does this eight-legged animal scare some people so much? I don’t know.
I don’t even know why I developed this fear. The oldest memory of myself with a spider is from when I was about six years old, I guess. I was eating pine nuts in the garden when I felt a tickling sensation on my right arm. I looked down and saw a spider walking on my arm. I ran away. I still don’t know why a spider walking on my arm caused me to develop a fear or if there was another reason.
I avoided questioning this to avoid spiders, so I can only guess.
I know one thing for sure. That people who are scared of spiders, including me, experience their fear differently at different rates. I can say these for myself:
1-Spider photos? No.
2-Spider toys? No.
3-Being in the same room with a spider? No.
4-Touching a spider? N O.
5- Touching an object, which I somehow find similar to spiders, such as a pencil? Good guess, no.
I can even say that every time I type the word “spider” my fingertips tickle and the image of the animal that flashes before my eyes creeps me out.
What are some problems people like me face?
Let’s starts with one of the most common reactions. “Why are you afraid of it? You’re ten times bigger.” Those who have arachnophobia will find these sentences quite familiar. The thing people don’t understand is that although small spiders may sometimes be less intimidating when it comes to being close to them, size does not matter.
We are also very used to being called “spoiled city people.” In this case, we struggle with trying to explain ourselves while being scared.
Despite what most people think, these do not encourage us and make us come over our fear.
Quite contrary to fear of heights and small spaces, which people accept easily, people tend to belittle arachnophobia although it is well known.
Arachnophobia, which will cause more problems for us in the summer, fits right into our fear theme that we chose for our summer issue. I wanted to portray spiders and arachnophobia from a point of view of an arachnophobe.
The reason why it was quite personal was that I wanted to portray it as best as I can.
Special thanks to Uzay Koldemir who drew “FEAR: Arachne”s featured image. They balanced graphic details in the best way possible, still managed to creep me out and saved me from searching up spider photos.