After my harrowing bee adventure the other day I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with bugs in general. I have always been really really really scared of them. Completely and irrationally scared of them. Flies excepted, any other varietal of insect or arachnid will probably have me running away and squealing like a proverbial "little girl."
When I was younger I would do pretty mean things to bugs that dared enter my home. Not because I was a budding psychopath delighting in the torture of young creatures, but because I was terrified of them. So terrified I could not simply walk away and abide the presence of these creatures of darkness in my home, and yet so terrified that I could not bring myself to get close enough to them to administer a swift and humane death blow. I distinctly remember once, finding a spider on the wall beside my bed late one night that resulted in my perching, petrified, on the edge of my bed for a good 20 minutes before I got the gumption together to smack the living daylights out of that spider with whatever oversized killing object I had acquired.
Often, however I would find other methods of killing to avoid getting so close. I would do things like find an aerosol hairspray can and spray them continually until they stopped moving, or if not aerosol hairspray was to be found, any other poisonous cleaning product would suffice. I recognize now that this was not kind and I that I was not treating God's littlest creatures with the respect and love they deserved. As a pacifist, I am truly horrified with myself (well, not really, but I should be). Lucky for me, I have a scientifically sound argument to back up my behaviour: the cold hard fact that fear will turn a regular person into a monster. Can't argue with science.
Unfortunately, my fear of bugs was severely complicated by a horror novel I read as a child. As an imaginative and overly empathetic youngster, I should not have taken in any unit of culture with "horror" as a descriptor. I knew this, as did almost everyone who knew me, all the same, I made the poor choice to read a horror novel about a little boy who liked to collect moths. He, like me, made a poor choice. His poor choice was to collect one particularly beautiful moth, despite an old man's warning that this moth was some kind of special King of the Moths and should be left alone. Then the rest of the moths rose up to avenge the death of their King Moth and the story ends with the overwhelming sound of beating wings and left me imagining the horror of those fragile little wings beating the life out of the little boy.
So now, not only am I deathly afraid of bugs, but I am deathly afraid that I will kill the wrong one and an army of bugs will rise up to avenge the death of their King. This is especially likely in light of the ridiculous size and gumption of the giant killer bee I disposed of just the other day, in a fashion rather reminiscent of my younger psychopath-similar days.
I think that's a lot for one person to be deathly afraid of.