When I was about 8 years old, I went to a neighbors house to play (way back in the late 1980s/early 1990s kids still played!). A group of neighborhood kids were there and the kid whose house we were invading, his or her (cannot remember) parent was home. The parent asked if we wanted to watch a movie and we all said sure and piled onto the couch. Now seeing as this was over 15 years ago, I cannot remember if we agreed or selected which movie to view. Regardless, the movie was chosen: Arachnophobia.
If you've never seen the movie or cannot remember what it is about, the title is a good hint! Very brief synopsis: an exotic spider hitches a ride in a coffin and comes back to the US only to attempt to kill off an entire town.
Now you are probably wondering how on earth a movie could have ruined my life. Allow me to explain. Prior to this movie, I have no memory of being scared of bugs. My parents are not afraid of them so it is unlikely I picked up this fear. In fact, a few summers before the viewing experience, I unintentionally "shared" a bed with a spider at sleep-away camp. I still managed to go to sleep every night. Rather, until I watched that movie, bugs existed but did not impact my life.
And then Arachnophobia.
Ever since then, and getting progressively worse, I have an immense, almost unhealthy, fear of bugs. The bigger and faster the worse the reaction. A few years ago I moved into a basement apartment ... only to move out a week later. Or more accurately, after being chased out by insects a week later. Including a 3-4 inch (my dad saw it and confirmed its size!) water bug or roach (debate still remains).
Since moving with D to a new apartment, the bugs are few and far between. And D, fortunately, is not scared of them! Now even though I am scared, I don't need bugs dead. I just need them gone. Out of sight. Away from me.
I have done some self therapy. I realize that the teeny, tiny ones, I can kill myself. Flies and even bees (usually) are annoying, but don't instill fear. Ants I find annoying (and at times fascinating), not scary. In this case, size does matter.
Another part of the fear is the threat of touching the bug. If the bug is small enough and there is no one else around, I can take my shoe and smash the bug against the wall. I cannot, without exception, take a tissue (or equivalent) and scoop up the bug. Cannot. Nope. Not at all.