Saved by a Spider: Connection is Key

Spider with Suicide


A long-legged spider hung

above where I, twenty-one,

lay on an attic cot

in the abandoned house

I’d climbed into—


the place

I swallowed all those pills

but woke up—frightened, disappointed,

baffled really.


Now what?


I touched the cool brick next to me,

remembered ivy choking

the chimney at my parents’ home—the tendrils,

the suckers clinging.


Nauseous and dizzy, an eerie motor

screamed in my underwater brain.


But the spider

beside me, alive with me—


ignited a small spark.


I sat up,

placed my feet on the tilting floor,



So I did.


Often we adults who have Post-traumatic Stress from preverbal trauma are convinced we are different and, therefore, separate from others. It’s easy for us to feel weird and apart from ‘normal’ human beings. Our early isolation due to illness, or other traumas, and indeed, the fact that we may look different because of these early issues–for me, a jagged scar stretching across my belly–brands us as other.  

For humans, connection with other living beings is as important as basic necessities, such as food and shelter. Those with trauma need this connection even more. Sometimes survival hinges on the slightest contact to survive. Thank you, little spider.

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