My shrink has a theory. She says I have a 5 year old child “part”. It’s not another personality, and I’m not exactly sure I understand it, but it has something to do with parts of us getting stuck when trauma happens. If that’s true, the 5 year old is out in full force tonight. We lost power. It had been going off and on all evening, but by 8:30pm, it looked like it was going to stay on. I fell asleep.
I had a nightmare, one of my usual ones. It was around 1:00am. I got up, played around on the iPad, and still couldn’t fall back asleep. I gave up, and got out of bed. I did the dishes, cleaned up a little and came back to bed. I feel like I don’t have to hide anymore. I can get up and just “be”. If hubby woke up, I could tell him the truth– “I had a nightmare, and couldn’t go back to sleep.” I wouldn’t need to make up something, and I no longer need to just lay in bed trying to calm myself or waiting for morning to get up.
Just as I was about to lay down and close my eyes, we lost power. It was pitch black. Instant terror on my part. And so, I’m up for the long haul. No night light, no sleep. It stinks, being this afraid of the dark. It’s a fear a child should have, not a grown woman. I hate power outages. Some of it is the unpredictability, but a good amount is the darkness.
Just like a child I imagine monsters, and other terrors awaiting me. As an adult, I’m aware it’s insane, irrational. But I can’t stop the fear. I can’t make my heart stop pounding, or my mind stop racing. I can’t stop thinking about what I can’t see in the darkness that could be out there, waiting. Even now, I can’t convince myself I’m safe.