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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Afraid of the Dark-

Something tells me in the back of my mind that I am not supposed to be afraid of the dark anymore. I'm a grown woman now,and its not like when I was a little child around five or six years old, and I laid in my bed, with my blankets pulled right up to my chin, and my little heart pounded as I would whisper across the room to my sister

"I think there's a monster under my bed"

My sister, if she were awake would whisper back

"No there's not silly, go to sleep before we get in trouble."

In my five to six year old mind, my sister was my hero, the wise one, who could rationalize everything, even though she wasn't that much older than me-ten months older to be exact. The dark was always ominous to me, not only as a child, but continues to be to this day. I don't know exactly why the dark or the imagery of darkness scares me, but there are plausible memories that make it a little clearer to me.

I think that if I were to dig far enough into the recesses of my mind, many things would come up to explain this fear. As a child, I recall for one of my many punishments being placed inside a walk in closet. I had a sleeping bag and the only light that shone in would be the small fraction of light that came from under the door. I remember to pass the time away, and to quell my fear of this little prison, I would make a game out of counting the shoes that were so carefully placed where I tried to lay my head down.

There there are the times as a teenager, from the lack of nutrition, I would feel the world spinning around me, and see nothing but stars as I laid on the dining room floor of my foster home, waiting for my head to clear, or the time I passed out from doing step aerobics in my gym class, the exertion too much for my malnourished body to take. Lastly another image that pops up was when I was immersed in the depths of despair from the chronic depression I battled, and I would take so many pills that I would black out, and find myself much later, laying in the emergency room of the local hospital, with tubes coming out of me every which way you could imagine.

The dark, though I have a fear of it, I find that I am also drawn to it. It's odd that for some reason, I like dark subjects, whether that is in the form of the Max Haines or Ann Rule books I read on true crime or the television shows I watch like Criminal Minds, Law and Order, X Files, all shows that have a certain element of dark to them.

Something tells me in the back of my mind that I'm not supposed to be afraid of the dark anymore, but I am. Every night before I settle into my bed, there is a routine that I must follow. This routine involves making sure that at least one or sometimes two lights remain on throughout the night. I don't care that I almost thirty eight years old.

The thought of darkness enclosing around me frightens me to no end. The anxiety that threatens to engulf me when my light switch turns off keeps me afraid of the dark.

When I settle into bed at last and pull my blankets around me, I am comforted by the one light I leave on because I don't have anyone beside me to tell me

"There are no monsters under your bed" or a reason for you to be afraid anymore. It is through this light, I know I am somehow safe.

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