Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Dark Secret

Last night, I told my 6 year old daughter, S, to put her shoes in her bedroom.

S: "But, Mom! It's dark in there!"

No kidding, it IS dark in there! That end of the house is really creepy and it just so happens to be where all the bedrooms are located. Your room is the creepiest of all the rooms in the house. I try not to go in there alone as much as possible after the sun goes down. Why do you think I refuse to sit on the side of the couch that faces down that hall and directly into your room? I'll tell you why.

I am still afraid of the dark.

I am a 30-something year old mother of two and I am still incredibly afraid of the dark. Not only am I afraid of the dark, I still believe in monsters. All of them. I still hurdle into my bed so the "Under the Bed" monster can't grab my feet and drag me under. Toilet gremlin? Real. I bet you've never noticed that I never turn my back to any closets. I'm not giving that pale, hairless monster with beady red eyes and an oversized mouth full of razor blade teeth a clear opportunity to ambush me. Never turn your back, kiddo. 

Daddy sleeps on the side of the bed facing the closets and the hallway. Always has, always will. If anything is going to slither into my room, it's going to have to go through him first. Then there's the bathroom door situation on my side of the bed. How do I keep the toilet gremlin from getting me while I sleep? Simple. The door is always closed. Toilet gremlins are too short to reach the door knob to get out. For added security, I pull my blankets over my ears, even in the summer. Blankets will not keep you completely safe from the things that go bump in the night, but you will be harder to find. Night lights do not repel monsters. They just help you see where you are going if you are ever chased by one.

There's a monster in the attic. Monsters live in basements, too. We don't have a basement in this house, so that's one less scary place to fear. "But, mom! I thought you said daddy scared away all the monsters in the house before we moved in?" Lies. All lies. Daddy can't scare away monsters. That's ridiculous.

I'm afraid that if I stare into a mirror too long, I will get sucked in. Those beautiful porcelain dolls sitting on the shelf above your bed? I hate those dolls now like I hated them when they sat in my childhood bedroom. But, you like them so I am forced, once again, to be on guard and wait for Chucky to possess them. 

They look innocent... until you turn off the light.

I fear our house will be the house aliens select for their first walk through when they land in our neighborhood. I hate washing the dishes at night because I know, one of these days, a zombie face will appear in the window over the sink. "Wait a minute. I thought you loved zombies. You watch The Walking Dead!" Correction. Daddy watches The Walking Dead. I use The Walking Dead for research. You've got to know your enemy, darling daughter. I figure, if I study zombie films, I can better equip myself against a zombie apocalypse. Same with all the other scary movies your dad and I watch. 

Don't tell your dad this, but I will totally trip him to get away from a zombie. Let's just keep that between us.

I never walk in front of sewer vents. "It" lives in those with the alligators. I am afraid of being attacked by Jaws while swimming in the ocean AND the neighborhood pool. Let me explain: One of these days, a deranged man will wait until I am swimming in the pool alone, go to the pool pump shed, flip a hidden switch, and a secret door will open up, releasing Jaws into the pool. I know the pool is chlorinated. Jaws only needs a few seconds to swim in and devour me before the chemicals kill him. 

These are my childhood fears. Childhood fears that did not fade when I grew up. People say that you grow out of your childhood fears, but I never have. They are as real to me today as they were when I was your age. What's worse is that now I have grown up fears to add to my list. I fear a sick man will kidnap you or your little sister and I will never see you again. I fear you will have an accident and break a bone or worse. I fear illness. I fear bullying. I fear that I will make too many mistakes as a parent and you will have to pay a shrink to discover that I broke you and that explains why your food can't touch or you live with twenty-five cats.

But, the simple fact is, I will never admit to you that I am still afraid of the dark or monsters. Now, I am your first line of defense against the nighttime evil. I will rush into your room the second I think something is in there to get you. You will never know that when I check your closet or lift your bed skirt during our nighttime routine, I am scared that whatever is hiding in there will get me, too. But, as your mother, I would sacrifice myself to your monsters. Because I would rather come face to face with the closet monster than let you spend your life in fear.

Me: "There's nothing to be afraid of, honey. You'll be fine. I promise."



  1. what about the serial killer just behind the curtain? How bad do you have to pee?

  2. OMG! I feel the same way!

  3. just as i finished reading your post, a strong gust of wind made a monsterous howl, turning on the porch light.... can you trust a peacefully asleep dog that there is nothing to fear?
    i am not kidding... all alone here!

  4. I believe in ghosts therefore I am always afraid of the dark!

  5. It would be interesting to poll the family to see if there is an evolutionary component to this. Count me in as afraid of the dark as well.

    1. Dear Brian,
      Brilliant idea! I would rather blame this on genes than admit I'm just a chicken shit.

  6. This was great. Every one of the horrors that you listed has haunted me at one time or another, even the door in the pool with the shark behind it (which somehow seems the most unlikely). And they haven't gone away just because I've grown up either, not completely.
    I still feel like monsters are hiding in every shadow and at the corner of my eye, only now I have others who depend on me, so it's the things that crawl around in the dark that should be afraid. And it seems they are quite afraid of you. After all, even though you know all about them, they haven't got you... yet.

    1. Dear Kelly,
      Yay! I am so glad you understand my pool fear. I thought I was alone on that one. You are absolutely correct - the scariest thing is a mother who feels her child is in danger. Monsters should be scared of us.
      But, I'm still don't trust those dolls or closets.
      Thank you so much for reading!


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