By Jennifer Richardson

I have a fear of octopus. I am not entirely sure when this fear started but, it is a well-known quirk of mine. I am sure that an early childhood trauma with water, and a fear of spiders have combined to create this fear of “spiders of the sea.”

I distinctly remember watching a video where an octopus was placed in a jar and the lid was screwed on the top. I watched in horror as the creature was able to open the jar from the inside, and free itself. Another video pictured an octopus climbing out of a tank and walking across a surface.

No. Just no.

My daughter, entertained by my “irrational fear of octopus” has taken it upon herself to perform a type of immersion therapy. Fortunately, there is no tank of octopi to throw me into so the immersion has been limited. For years, every birthday card drawn included an octopus. Little octopus Knick knacks have appeared in the bathroom, kitchen, and my bedroom. Most terrifying is this stuffed octopus my daughter likes to place in various places in order to surprise me. I climb into bed…terrifying octopus. I open my dresser drawer, terrifying octopus.

I hate to admit this but, the immersion therapy has worked a little. I will never want to crawl into a tank with octopus, nor do I want to watch an Animal Planet special on the critter but, I no longer cringe at photos or avoid octopus paraphernalia.

I am not sure there is anything I can do about the spider issue…

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