Things That Make Me Anxious: BUGS!

March 15, 2016

I have this reoccurring nightmare that I’ve had since childhood. In the dream I usually wake up suddenly from a dead sleep with an overwhelming sense of dread. It’s like something terrifying has woken me up, but there is no loud sound or anything—it’s more of an intuitive feeling. So, anyway, I wake up suddenly (in my dream) and I am on a big bed in a wood room, like in a log cabin or something. The walls, ceiling and floor are all made of wood. There is little else in the room besides the bed I am sleeping on, a door to exit, a door to a small closet, and a wooden chair with a coat or blanket draped over the back. There in the center of my vision is a smart spider.

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This spider is the first thing I see the moment my eyes open and I am aware that it was the spider’s presence that woke me. It doesn’t say anything (because spiders can’t talk dum-dum) but it is perched on the floor only a few feet away from me and IT IS LOOKING BACK AT ME!!! This spider is probably the size of a generously fed robin (why did I think of that animal for size reference?) and it is most definitely looking straight at me. We are making eye contact. And I know that the spider has intelligence—the spider knows that I am afraid. We are in a stone-cold stand-off—me knowing the spider is smart and just waiting for me to make a move, the spider, well, just waiting for me to make a move.


Can you think of a single fucking thing that is scarier than that dream?! I’ve had it so many times and it never fails to ruin my night. The most that ever happens between the spider and I is that a couple of times I have moved suddenly as if to reach for the door and the spider instinctively jerked in my direction. That’s when I wake up because… well that’s all I need to see. This is without question my scariest dream and I almost always have it when there is a lot of conflict in my real life.

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I have a really big problem with bugs especially when they get on me. I cannot tell you how many times I have been doing something completely benign and caught the slightest glimpse of a spider or some other crawly dude out of the corner of my eye causing me to scream uncontrollably. I just lose it. My reaction to bugs is so physical, so immediate and visceral in nature that I can’t even stop myself. And it doesn’t even have to be an actual bug. Just the suggestion or implication of a bug on me can result in a cardiac event.


Very recently we discovered that our indoor cat had fleas. Yes, I know, this is disgusting…but its life. We bathed the cats, treated them with flea killer, and washed every bit of fabric in our apartment. Of course knowing that there were fleas running around made me itchy, twitchy, and spastic, and when John pointed at a bit of frosting on my shirt (left there from an earlier cinnamon roll) and said, “What is…” I jumped three feet in the air and screamed before he could say, “…that?”

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Get it? The stinger is a sword…cuz it stabbed me…

This has also happened in the car, once when there was a teeny tiny spider on my foot, and my sudden audible gasp caused John to swerve into the on-coming lane. Thankfully we didn’t hit anything, but there was another time… Summer 2011 I was driving my mom’s brand new Jeep Patriot when I was stung by a bee. My friend, Rachel, was in the passenger seat and we were stopped behind a row of cars at a red light with our windows down. I felt something brush my left shoulder and mindlessly swiped at it with my right hand. When my fingers brushed against something fuzzy, a little honey bee immediately began to buzz and wriggle so I screamed, clamped down, and took my foot off of the break. It all happened very quickly but I remember Rachel yelling, “Car! Car!” and pointing, and I yelling, “It’s stabbing me! It’s stabbing me!!!” just before I rolled heavily into the car in front of me. My muscle instantly tensed up as the bee’s venom worked its way into my shoulder, and I pulled slowly to the shoulder (of the road) to address the upset woman from the other car. She got out and put her hands up in a shrug, “What happened?!” I was nearly in tears blubbering about how I had been stung by a bee, clutching my stiff and aching shoulder…

Let’s just say bugs and I don’t mix very well.

By Courtney

Author of PrettyRX, a lifestyle blog.

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