- Family and Parenting
Scaring Siblings Have Long Lasting Consquences
My Sisters and I
Fear the Dark
The dark… let’s put it this way, I’m 29-years-old and I still have a hard time convincing myself that the boogie man isn’t going to come popping out from under my bed, or a ghost isn’t going to request long silent conversations with me. It didn’t help that as a young girl my step-dad thought watching America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries was a fantastic idea. Like a child’s imagination didn’t run rampant already with horrifying thoughts of having friends, spiders, and other creepy crawlies. Now we have to throw in robbers, rapers, ghosts, and unexplained occurrences. Tell me that won’t mess a kid up.
As a child I can only describe my dark fear factor as - amplified! Shadows crossed the walls and made weird shapes that somehow took a scary human forms, creeks in the floorboards made my skin goose-bumpy, and I swore a few times that I felt a cold chill sweep over me. Our room, which I shared with my younger sister Nicole, was located in the back of the house far removed from the main entry, and had only one exit - the window. The possibility of bad guys entering the house seemed all too logical after watching Home Alone and I was convinced that we were the next target, and kidnapping was a pretty high priority on the ‘to do list.’
I’d lay awake for what seemed hours, mulling over how on Earth I could keep both my sister and myself safe… The solution I came up with was simple: covers would hide Nicole, I had wicked sharp teeth and if anyone dare take us I would unleash the rabid dog I had in me. If that failed, I’d make a deal that I would go with them as long as Nicole got to stay. Now all that needed to happen was getting her into my bed.
“Nicole?” I’d call down to the bottom bunk.
Ugh… was the usual response. At the time I hadn’t instilled my fear of darkness into her yet. She still doesn’t know where her fear of dark came from. Sorry sister.
“Come sleep up here.”
“Come on. You have to…”
My heart was racing with panic. The thought of sleeping by myself the whole night through sounded terrible, and worse, what if all my fears came true. It was settled, once more I was determined she must sleep with me. What better way to get a 4-year-old to do my bidding then saying, “Bad guys are coming… They’re going to get you!”
Slowly I hear a rustling, and she slowly makes her way up the ladder. Her cute brown flecked eyes that now are owl-sized peer into my bed, “Bad guys?”
“Yeah.. you better get in,” I lied all too well. Curled up next to me was my security, and I slept peacefully the whole night.
Many years later Nicole can’t go to sleep unless the TV is on, she constantly carries around a pepper spray gun and she has her husband meet her outside so she doesn’t have to walk in the night unattended.The Dark