Confession time. I am afraid of the dark. But a very specific kind of dark. The 5pm, middle of winter dark is totally fine. It’s safe…cozy even. But the 2am, home alone kinda dark?! Scared shitless. So much so that last week when Marco went out of town for work overnight, I packed up both kids and slept over at my parents house. At 30 years old, I still had to go sleep at my parents house because if I am left home alone, I don’t sleep. Every noise is a murderer trying to get in. Every creek is a robber in our house. I check 5x to make sure I turned off the stove. I check 10x to make sure all the doors are locked. I worry I won’t wake up if there’s an emergency (I’m the worlds deepest sleeper!)
Marco usually laughs it off as a silly quirk of mine, but this time he finally asked, “what is it about the dark that scares you so much?” I didn’t have an answer ready for him. Every answer I could give him, there was a situation I could name where I wasn’t afraid. The dark can be fun in large groups while camping. The dark makes Trick or Treating much more fun! It also makes sparkler photos at weddings so amazing!
BUUUT when you’re alone, at home, or camping (oh gosh especially in the woods!) there are murderers and cougars waiting around every single corner, or tree waiting. They know my fear, and they know I am finally alone and they’re waiting. Trust me, I know how full on ridiculous this sounds. The logical part of my brain constantly goes “what the heck is wrong with you?!”, but the non-logical part of my brain is TERRIFIED, and therefore fully dominates the entire thought process.
Probably the most ridiculous and unreasonable part? Those murderers? They only try to get me when I try to go to sleep. If I were to stay up and watch movies all night I’m pretty much fine. The noises and creeks still make me nervous but nowhere close to the same degree that they do if I’m trying to go to sleep alone.
And don’t get me started on the forest at night. I LOVE camping. The week we go with my family is one of the highlights of my entire year! And honestly, I love it when it starts to get dark. The stars up there are AMAZING, the campfire is the best part of the day, and the kids go to bed! haha we all get a chance to wind down, have some wine, and relax while the kids sleep!
But once it’s time to go to bed. Even with Marco there it freaks me out a bit. I have to do a big long slow flashlight sweep of the forest surrounding the campsite to make sure there’s no cougars hiding and waiting for us to go to sleep. Once I’m snuggled inside the tent, safe I am fine. UNLESS….the dreaded 2am pee break happens. That’s the worst. I actually used to wakeup Marco so he would be awake and ready should I be attacked, but now I realize this is insane, and I suffer alone.
The campground we go to has a indoor, plumbed toilet literally less than 200m from our campsite, but there isn’t enough money in the world to get me to walk up there alone, at 2am. Forget it. I will get mauled by a cougar for sure. Or die of a panic attack from the fear haha. So I have learned to pee in the forest. Literally feet away from our tent to make sure that I can make a quick return should I need. And before I start to go, I always do the same slow sweep of the forest, just knowing one of these times there’s going to be a pair of eyes staring back at me.
Although I fully acknowledge how crazy, and hilarious this fear is I am convinced I am not alone in having a healthy, strong fear of something. I have seen how my brother in law reacts when a spider gets even in the same room as him, I have seen my sister react to watching a horror movie at a sleep over, and I have many many times seen my Dad’s reaction when you sneak up on him and jump out at him. So please, help me feel even more normal by sharing your deepest, most embarrassing fears!!
** because so many people have asked previously, I am not scared of bears at all for some reason. For two previous jobs I attended bear aware programs and training, and feel somewhat confident in how to react should I come across a bear. It’s never happened though where a bear has been dangerously close though so when the time comes, bears probably will be added to the cougar and murderers list haha ;)