My Heart, Your Home: Things that go bump in the night   

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Things that go bump in the night

On Sunday I left the house, without Evelyn and without Anthony, for just a few short hours to just... be. I am forgetting how to just be myself and so I am trying to teach myself again that it is okay to leave the house without Evelyn, it is even okay to go and do something just for myself. I havent quite got that point yet, finding that I spent the entire time shopping for Evelyn and Jelly. 

While I was walking around the shops I saw something that really made me laugh. It was a woman in her late 50's who had to count to three before she was able to step onto the escalators. Like she was working up the courage to take that first, terrifying step. Her husband was behind her and seem completely oblivious to his wife's phobia. I have a friend who happens to do the same thing and so when I saw this woman I though to myself... it is never going to get any better! I had a giggle to myself and went on my way.

When I got home I started to tell Anthony about this woman and how funny it was. I asked him if he has any irrational fears and we began talking about fears, phobias and frights. Neither of us could really think of a fear that has stayed with us, but had a lot of fears that we seem to have outgrown and overcome. 

My biggest fears as a young girl were dying in a tsunami. I used to wake from nightmares about this giant wave that took out all of Forster/Tuncurry. I used to stay up until the wee hours of the morning mapping out escape plans. It used to terrify me that I lived in Tuncurry and that there was not a single hill in that town... how was I to get to higher ground? How would I survive? Would it be best to just run straight to the wave and take the brunt of it, over quick and easy? Or should I try to outrun the wave?

My other fear has always been contracting HIV. To the point that even while I was not sexually active I would still take myself to the Drs every couple of months and ask to be tested. I used to have nightmares about how I would tell my family. Could I not tell them? Would they notice? Could I ever have a child if I had HIV? How would my life change? HIV haunted my deepest thoughts and dreams. 

Luckily, both those fears have never come true and I seem to have outgrown them. I didn't think that I had any true fear left. After living in a house with no fly screens I have become accustomed to big hairy spiders and creepy crawly bugs. Cockroaches, although disgusting, no longer make me scream. Im not afraid of heights or deep water. There really was nothing I could come up with. So, on that note, we went to bed. Never to think of this conversation again.

I was exhausted after my day out and so fell into a very deep sleep very quickly. The windows were open, for the very first time in this house over night, to let the cool breeze in. While we were sleeping the winds picked up and the rain fell heavily. I always sleep so peacefully in these conditions, wrapped up in my cosy warm bed while the outside world is wooly and miserable. Like I am in a cubby house. Stormy nights are the best nights for a good solid sleep. 

Until, things go BUMP in the night and then you realise that you do have a fear! As I lay soundly sleeping the winds took control and blew over one of the photo frames that usually* sit on my windowsill above my bed and knocked it right off. That photo frame landed just centimetres from my head onto my bedside table making a god awful racket. Before I had even woken I was screaming and climbing all over Anthony. It wasn't just any scream. It was blood curdling screaming. It was screaming until I ran out of breath, took a breath and then continued to scream. My scream is what woke me, more so than the bang. I woke and I was sitting on Anthony and I was crying and I was shaking.

My body went into overdrive, switching from crying hysterically to giggling hysterically. I was terrified. Never have I been so terrified. At first I thought there was someone in our room but once it became clear that there was no one there I was convinced that a possum had jumped through the window. It took me HOURS to calm down enough to sleep again. 

I have not screamed since I was a teenager on a ride. I forgot what it was like to scream. I cannot believe that I did actually scream so dramatically. So, it became apparent to me that I do have an irrational fear... things that go BUMP in the night!

*Needless to say, there are now no more photo frames on my windowsill!

What is your irrational fear?

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