Monday, October 29, 2012

Don’t be afraid of the dark

When I was a kid I was deathly afraid of the dark.  I was so fearful that I would stay in bed, buried under my covers and not move all night long.  My mother didn't coddle me by allowing a night light and we lived on the top of a mountain so there were no street lights.  The only light was the pale moonlight which only served to create vague and ominous shadows that only spurred my fear should I venture a peek. 

So afraid was I that I would be covered from head to toe even on the hottest nights . . . no air conditioning either . . . and I would be dripping with sweat and still be to frightened to move.  So terrified was I that I wouldn't even get out of bed to go to the bathroom no matter how urgent or painful the situation became . . . to the point of bed wetting on occasion.

Yes, I was that terrified.

I've since overcome that phobia . . . though I sometimes feel a twinge of that old fear.

Halloween is coming so I felt the urge to watch a horror flick.  Ironically, I chose “Don’t beafraid of the dark”.  Not the best or scariest movie but it hit the mark on one of the things that I was so afraid of as a child.

Basically, the movie revolves around little troll-like creatures that terrorize a poor little girl.

When I was in bed, covered with blankets a cardinal rule was never ever allow any appendage or body part to stray from the bed . . . not an arm, not a leg, not even a toe. Lest some evil creature lurking under my bed reach up and grab me.

It was an unfounded fear but gripping and unrelenting nonetheless.

I don’t know how or why I developed this complete dread of darkness.  I couldn't pinpoint any specific moment or event that would cause such fear.  But it was very very real and I knew deep down and with great conviction that there was something lurking in the darkness that would maul me, shred me, consume me.

After watching that movie . . . which I thought had no real impact on me other than mild amusement . . . we went to bed.   At some point in the middle of the night I had to go potty . . . so I hopped up and went.  No fear, no stray thoughts of creatures lying in wait.  Coming back from the bathroom, however, as I was passing the end of the bed to get to my side I got the strangest feeling that some creature with sharp claws and razor teeth would lunge at me from beneath the bed and get me.  I shrugged it off, of course, because I’m all grown up and I know there are there are no such things.  But I did shorten the trip slightly but climbing onto the end of the bed . . . instead of walking all the way around . . .  and crawling back under the covers.  I didn’t lay awake or even contemplate my sudden irrational fear . . . I fell right back to sleep

What can I say?  Irrational fear is exactly that . . . if it made sense then it wouldn't be irrational now would it?

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