Last night I had a remarkably disturbing dream that woke me up with a severe case of “the willies.” Try as I might to roll over and go back to sleep, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was right behind me with evil intentions. So, I called Dave at work to cry and recount the horror that was my dream and ask him to somehow cure “the creeps.” Without sounding the least bit bothered, he talked me through the dream, then led my sleepy mind to a happier place where The Sandman was waiting.

The first thing I thought when I awoke this morning, after “Thank God I’m still alive,” was “Gosh, my husband is great,” and then, “I am such a scaredy cat.”

Seriously, I am. I have two especially convincing pieces of evidence to prove this statement.

  1. After begging my mother to let me watch The Afternoon Movie one Saturday, from the age of 4 to 6, I refused to use the bathroom with the door closed or place any part of my body under the running water from a faucet for fear that The Blob was going to get me.
  2. I spent the majority of my high school years living in fear of being possessed. I had used a Oujia Board with my friends, against my mother’s wishes, and felt certain that I’d opened the door to my soul and pretty much gave demons, or even Satan himself, an open invitation to take me over. I slept with a night light and with the radio on. (Although, I had the radio on just in case The Rapture happened and I was left behind – I would want to know right away.)

Sure, everyone has fears when they’re 4 or 5 or even a teenager, but then you grow up and realize monsters and demon possession are nothing to fear, right? Well…although I may not fear the exact same things I did then, I am still a scaredy cat.

I dread the day Julia comes running into my bedroom, frightened and shouting, “Mommy, there’s a monster in my room!”

How will I ever mask my fear? I’ll have to fight my natural reaction to panic and scream, “ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!? What did it look like? I’m sure glad it didn’t follow you in here. Oh my goodness, you better sleep with me. We’ll protect each other. And we’ll keep the lights on, okay?”

In truth, I know that when Julia has those fears of ghosts and monsters, I’ll overcome my own fears and be able to help her deal with it. That’s the amazing thing about parenting – it isn’t just about helping your child to grow, it is a growing experience itself. Again and again, I am able to become what my daughter needs, probably because I’ve never had such selfless motivation. So when she needs me to be strong and unafraid, deep down I know I will be able to do it.

Until then, I’ll continue to avert my eyes from mirrors I walk by in the dark so as not to call on Bloody Mary, just to be safe.

*Submitted to Scribbit’s Write-Away Contest