It was a dark and stormy Sunday(ha, how cliche is that opener!). The only indicator that it was afternoon was “Bill Kennedy at the Movies” was on WKBD Channel 50…the UHF channel back when we had dials on our televisions (omgI’msofreakingold).
We lived in Southfield so I was around 4 or 5. Let’s say the year was 1974. A LONG time ago.
My sister and I were sitting on the couch in the living room, separated by our dad who sat in-between us. Most likely, he was doing a combination of cuddling and peace-keeping. We fought a lot. We still do.
The movie was the 1944 Oscar nominated “The Uninvited”. It was an old black and white movie, very Hitchcock-esque and probably not the best choice for two young children.
It was really petrifying.
Everything is more disturbing when it’s in black and white.
Between the storm, getting sent to my room for sneaking candy from the pantry and that scary movie…
I became afraid of the dark.
I remember it happening. The quick transition from footloose and care-free to having some darkness issues. I remember back when I wasn’t afraid and then…poof…I was petrified to have the lights off.
I remember hiding under my covers until I would finally fall asleep. Yes, I know it’s darker under the covers but there was something safe about being hidden. I remember being sure that there were creepy crawlies and nighttime visitors waiting, watching, hiding in my tiny room.
I began to dread nighttime and bedtime.
Secret. Come close because I don’t want the whole world to know. I mean…it’s bad enough that my husband torments and tortures me about this little ditty…
I’m STILL scared of the dark.
I still sometimes have to hide under my covers because I get creeped out.
I still don’t dangle arms or legs over the side of the bed at night…just in case someone is hiding under my bed.
I know…it’s silly.
But I can totally and completely relate to my youngest son and his newfound fear of the dark.
He watched a cartoon that flipped him out. It had a vampire in it that appeared in a window.
He can’t go into a room alone right now. He can’t go to the bathroom by himself right now. He doesn’t like to be anywhere that doesn’t have noise and people. Because a cartoon that I deemed appropriate for young children to watch…for MY youngest person to watch, scared the bejeezus out of him.
I totally understand. I am completely sympathetic and somewhat patient with having to be closer to him than usual.
I’m just not loving the night terrors in the middle of the night.
Because…I’m scared to walk to his room.