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
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?