I’ve always been a fearful person. I don’t watch scary movies. I don’t go places alone in the dark. I don’t intentionally put myself in any scenario that resembles an opening sequence from SVU. At a very young age, I realized that I would forever be the one who checked to make sure the doors were locked and the garage was closed. I’ve been on a lifelong quest to find what goes bump in the night, much to my parents’ and now husband’s delight.<
If I had to trace my terrors back, there could be one tale that triggered some of it. And, truth be told, I’d forgotten about it until someone mentioned it at work a few months back. Boom! All of my preadolescent anxieties came thundering back. I honestly started sweating.
I remember it like it was yesterday. We were standing in the bookstore at the mall – back when people went to bookstores and malls – and my mom said each of us could pick out one book. I snatched a small book of stories. I don’t even remember flipping through it. I must have liked the cover.
Once home, I immediately went to my room and started pouring over the pages. And I came to this:
I’m not exaggerating when I say the following: 1) I was so scared that my mom finally tied a string to her finger, ran it down the hallway and tied the other end to my finger so I could tug it if I needed her, and 2) I didn’t watch this video, because I can’t bring myself to do it, so I hope it told the story accurately. I mean … what kind of sick person puts that in a children’s book?
But somehow I’d managed to move on with my life, until it was brought up during a conversation about things that scared the shit out of us as kids. Apparently I was keeping these feelings closer to the surface than I realized.