A mum with insect phobia

Tonight, after I tucked my eldest daughter in bed, I went to turn out the lights when I saw a moth flying about and settling on the door.

For some inexplicable reason, courage took over. I reached for my kids’ little see-through plastic bug container – the one that came with the QX-5 usb microscope we had. I went for the moth, perched on the bedroom door, trapping it in the container. It started flying around like crazy inside in that typical moth-like way that always makes me shudder and feel uncomfortably ticklish. And I thought: how am I supposed to put the lid on?!

Laney (my eldest) was very excited through it all, and so was I! I’ll admit. It’s the first time I’ve dared to catch a moth rather than kill it with a big slap with any random inanimate object I could find.

There were LOTS of giggles between me and Laney when I was trying to figure out how and when to put the lid on the container to seal the moth in. Laney said helpfully, “Careful mum! Don’t let it escape or it’ll fly in your face! (giggle giggle)”

Let me add that Laney too is a bit insect-phobic, so a little adventure with insect-phobic Mum late at night trying to capture a moth was proving to be great entertainment!

I waited until the right moment and then lifted the container off the door and capped it in one swift move. Victorious! 😀 Laney asked if she could take it to show Daddy, and she excitedly did. Then we did the humane thing. I let her go downstairs to the groundfloor front door, pyjamas and slippers, to set the moth free into the darkness of night.

Then when she came back into the flat, another moth came in straight past her. I couldn’t believe it. Another one? By then I have had enough of moth-catching and I just shuddered and switched off the lights. If you don’t see it you won’t think about it that much. Problem solved.

I’m sure this will go down in her mind (and mine too) as one of those unforgettable things in life we’ll always remember.

This is something I’ve always found hard to square since I became a Mum 8 and a half years ago. I’ve always been an insect-phobe, and I knew it could be passed onto my children if I showed it, so I tried not to show it. In the end I ended up killing far more insects than I’d like. Killing them out of squeamishness rather than courage obviously. But after many years of doing so, I’ve been getting more used to them now and feel a bit less uncomfortable when I see them. Nary a day goes by without me seeing a critter at home (after all I do live in a very green, flora and fauna conservation area and there are at least 4 house spiders in our home at any time). Nowadays I usually feel comfortable enough to just let them go about their own business as long as they don’t intrude in mine. Maybe I’ve grown less afraid of insects due to repeat exposure. In phobia therapy I believe they also have a technique where they get the phobic person to repeatedly expose themselves to the phobic stimulus, in order to treat the phobia. Well, I’m quite sure my way of killing insects every time I saw them in the past wasn’t quite the same as therapy! But it must have worked somehow. I’m not sure at what point my phobia started to diminish, but I’m glad it did because I hope it will have a positive effect on my little ones.  Besides, living with a phobia was just *not nice*.


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