First of all, let me apologise for not responding to a number of your posts. This was not because I was sulking, but a simple stupid oversight!
I too am something of an arachnophobe, although, to go by some of the online anecdotes I am up against stiff competition. What bothers me is not the fact that people fear spidery creatures, that I can understand only too well from personal experience, but the apparent tendency to helicopter, reach for the insecticide aerosol, and generally developed a hate for the entire class of Arachnida. This is not good, either for your own health, the health of the spiders, or the health of the environment.
Apart from anything else, by failing to deal with the problem, you not only are complicating your own life, but depriving yourself of many sources of enjoyment. Consider a friend of mine, very sensible and very good-natured, who happened to be a fine calligrapher. I had bought a book on South African spiders for my manager, (no suction involved; he was an old friend!) knowing him to be a keen arachnophile, and I asked her to write a friendly message on the flyleaf. There happened to be an inconveniently placed picture of Palystes, and she was unable to touch the book until I hid the picture. In contrast, a member of my family who has been an arachnophobe all her life controls her reactions, and can benefit from both a more comfortable life and the ability to appreciate these animals where appropriate. For instance, she loves the Salticidae, the jumping spiders, with their engaging big eyes, appealing movements, and amazing biology.
With a bit of patience and good sense one can train oneself, not necessarily to permit giant spiders to crawl over one, but at least to remain calm, in control, and appreciative of the spiders' interesting and often useful attributes.
About the first time that I remember doing this myself, I was on my back in a crevice under a huge boulder, wriggling towards a Pseudocordylus that I was chasing. Suddenly I realised that I was eye to eye with a large Palystes about 10 cm above my nose. Any kind of helicoptering would only have made matters many, many times worse! I reflected that if the spider had not moved yet, it probably would continue to stay where it was, so I continued on my way, secured the Pseudocordylus, and came out by the same door as in I went, saluting my lady friend as I passed her. After all, she had done me something of a favour.
You no doubt we'll be happy to hear that the Pseudocordylus settled down comfortably in captivity and shortly afterwards produced two beautiful young.
You see, never mind the question of whether you can learn to control yourself in the presence of spiders, to mean a far more important point is the very idea of finding any group of living things evil or ugly in their own right. Those photographs of the tarantulas, though I could not easily bring myself to handle them, did not strike me as ugly at all, rather as touching, much like a kitten or tortoise. They are beautiful living creatures. As for the non-reptile lovers among you, consider say the Gaboon viper; it is deadly, but it is very beautiful, and it's camouflage is almost unspeakably beautiful. That is just one example among hundreds. As for most lizards, they are not merely beautiful and touchingly so, but nonthreatening to boot.
Pardon the sermon, but these are really are things that are worth some attention and some dedication to master.
Go well, and enjoy the living things about you,