Gemma Wright, a 42-year-old housewife, suffered from such a crippling fear of spiders that it made it difficult for her to step foot outside of her home, the Mirror reported. This housewife from Chelmsford, Essex, was able to overcome her crippling fear of spiders, which once prevented her from even being able to look at them, by living with more than 50 tarantulas in her home.
Essex Chronicle reports the housewife who overcame her fear of spiders now has 58 tarantulas she keeps as pets. These eight-legged critters are piled up in boxes all over her living room. These eight-legged critters that she was once unable to even look at without freaking out are now a part of her family.
The Mirror reports the reason this housewife was so afraid of spiders was because of her stern father. When she was a child, he would chase her around the house with spiders. After overcoming her fear of spiders, she has taken to keeping them as pets and has turned caring for them into a fulfilling hobby.
“You become sucked into it, but apart from the tarantulas, I’m just a normal middle-aged housewife who likes Dr. Who.”
Like the housewife, her mother was also afraid of spiders. She made the decision to start nursing her fear of spiders by learning more about them. She started researching and reading about spiders in order to learn everything she could about them. She also spent a great deal of time looking at pictures of spiders in order to desensitize herself. She thought that if she spent more time looking at pictures of the spiders, she wouldn’t be so afraid when she saw them. She also felt that learning more about them would help her to better understand them and be less afraid of them.
She decided the next step in the process was to get used to being in the same room with a spider – the easiest way for her to do this was to keep one as a pet. Through her strive to cure herself of her phobia of spiders, she purchased Nightshade in 2013. Nightshade became her very first of 58 tarantulas.
The housewife continued her journey to cure herself of her fear of spiders by purchasing a false widow spider and several more tarantula. Slowly but surely, her collection of spiders continued to grow over the next few years.
It was once the housewife knew she was fine holding a spider that she decided getting one as a pet was the next logical step in getting rid of the phobia for good.
“They are so low maintenance, you kind of forget they are even there, and they are absolutely fascinating to watch.”
She claimed that she had to spend some time at the hospital during the summer of 2014. After she got out of the hospital, she was feeling a little down and ended up purchasing an additional spider as a way to cheer herself up. Before she realized it, what had once been a crippling fear was slowly becoming a passionate hobby.
The tarantula she purchased to cheer herself up after the hospital stay was her ninth spider. Today, this housewife regularly receives spiders in the mail from all across Europe. This attracted her mail carrier, who regularly checks in to see what her latest spider delivery was.
“Some people own lots of snakes or lizards, and it is like that for me with spiders, but because they are small, you can get a lot more of them.”
Being someone who was so terrified of spiders, she completely understands why so many people have this phobia. However, she has learned spiders are not aggressive creatures, they are just defensive. Through her research and stride to cure herself of her phobia, she learned that spiders only tend to attack when they feel threatened.
According to the Mirror, Gemma does not believe her gas man is too pleased with her love of spiders, as he has to walk through the living room to check her meter. She claims he doesn’t look at the spiders while he’s there.
This housewife who overcame her fear of spiders by living with so many of them even has a sign warning potential guests of the spiders inside because she does understand what it is like to be afraid.
Are you afraid of spiders? Do you think living with 50 of them could help you overcome your fear as well?
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