I'm going to tell something about myself. Something I wish I could get over. It's something that I have passed down to my children and they have probably passed it on to their own children.
I 'm afraid of the dark!
My home is never, ever dark. There are always flashlights nearby just in case.
My children's homes are never dark.
Nor their children's.
Now...I know this is a BAD thing...but ..they were never told my story!
Not until they were grown adults.
Not until they were grown adults.
Sometimes if have to go out into the garage at night, I fight the urge to look under the car. For one thing, it's not so easy to get back up, once I'm down and besides, it's a matter of pride not give in and look. I admit that I usually give in and look. I simply have to.
My sweet husband now goes out if we need something..and I love him for it.
When I do brave going to the second refrigerator to get some bottles of vitamin water..or clothes out of the dryer I prop the door open so it cannot close behind me. It just depends on how I am feeling at the time...whether I even go out there at all. When I do go, I do alright until I get to the door into the kitchen..then SUDDENLY it hits me!!
My back is now to the garage and all the night terrors I experienced as a child, suddenly wash over me and panic sets in! Pure stark fear!
I reach for the door handle and I can feel the hair raise on the back of my neck and I zoom in the door,close it and LOCK it as fast as I can. It's a terrible feeling.
I simply cannot control the fear that sweeps me. I'm a little better now, but not much. I must tell you that I slept with my head covered up throughout my life. I finally stopped when I got married and felt safe with my husband right beside me.
But it's always there.
I know full well what happened to make me so bad, or at least worse than I normally was.
It seems there have been incidents concerning the dark all my life.
When I was about six or seven years old, we lived in Portland Oregon.
My bedroom was quite a distance from my parents. Theirs was in the front part of the house, and mine was next to theirs, but to get to mine from theirs, they had to go through the living room, through the BIG country kitchen, sort of around the stove and gas heater to the side of the kitchen and that's where my room was.
One night when I was about to go to sleep, or had just awakened, I heard something. Beside my little bed there was a double apple box. On top of the box was my favorite little set of Blue Willow china dishes. I had begun to sleep with my head covered up and I don't even remember when or why such fear began.
I could hear something and as I strained my ears trying to figure out what it was, the dishes on my little box night stand jiggled. I carefully peeked out and saw someone standing beside my bed and I froze! Again,...my dishes moved and something touched my bed. I peeked again and the bottom part of what appeared to be a man, moved away..I listened. I didn't hear a thing. I waited..nothing.
I wanted my Mommy. I was too terrified to move and suddenly I threw back my covers, sat straight up in bed and screamed! I could hear my father's feet hit the floor and heard him and my mother running. When they ran into my room and turned on the light, I just kept saying "there was a man in my room, there was a man in my room" over and over and over.
They calmed me..and finally took me with them into their room and I slept between them for the rest of the night.
I shadowed my mother the following day. I remember that. I didn't let her out of my sight. This was during World War II and my father worked nights at the Ship Yards.
It was a night or two later...and I had gone to bed. My parents convinced me I was dreaming, or tried to. I knew I was not dreaming but I was not the sort of child that argued with my elders.
I obeyed and went to bed..and lay quietly refusing to go to sleep. I waited. I listened. And I listened..
The moon was shining through my pink ruffled bedroom curtains...and then I heard it, and as I looked I saw the door knob of my bedroom door slowly turn and my door open.
There he was..for just a few seconds and then he quickly walked silently through my room and into my little closet. It didn't have a door and the opening was very small. Not the size of a usual door.
Our home was very old and inside the closet on both sides were shelves where my toys were kept.
As soon as he disappeared into the closet I sat bolt upright and screamed!!
NOTHING CAME OUT OF MY MOUTH!
I tired and and again, NOTHING and then it came. One LONG horrible scream and I could hear my mother's feet hit the floor and I could hear her running through the living room and kitchen into my bedroom! She reached up and pulled the chain that turned on my light and I screamed "There's a man in my closet!! There's a man in my closet!!"
Then my mother did something that horrified me.
She put her finger to her lips in a "shhhhhhhh" sign, nodded her head while saying "Honey, you were just dreaming" all the while shaking her head, yes. Then she got up, pushed me back onto my bed and walked to my bedroom door saying she would leave the kitchen light on. Then I saw her RUN like I had never seen her run before. She litterally flew on her bare feet back into her room, grabbed the shotgun and just as I heard her running back, the man bolted out of my closet, out of my room, through the kitchen and out the door, then through the back enclosed porch and out the back door! My mother was screaming "Stop!!! Stop or I'll shoot!"
My mother was a crack shot and had been raised with rifles all her life.
Then I could hear her slam and lock our back door and then she ran into my room and picked me up.
She called grandpa first who lived just a short distance from us, and then called the police.
I don't remember much of what happened after that.
I do remember my granddaddy sitting at night on our porch, which was shrouded in Lilac's, with a rifle across his lap.
I remember that.
We slept very uneasily for a long time. There had been other reports of prowlings in our neighborhood.
I've never been the same since. I never will be.