Motherhood Uncovered: Fright Night

In honor of Halloween, today’s Motherhood Uncovered post celebrates (freaks out about) the things we fear. Boo!

My recurring nightmare is back with a vengeance.

I’m at school – usually the corridors of high school, but occasionally college if my subconscious wants to change things up a bit. I’ve missed most of the semester for one particular class. I know I’m going to fail. If I fail, I won’t graduate. If I don’t graduate, I’ll likely lose my job. Why didn’t I just go to the blasted class?! Everyone is going to find out that I’m just a phony.

This plotline has played out in various scenarios throughout my nights for decades now.

My daymare is slightly different. It’s any variable on the phrase, “Can I speak with you for a minute?” My heartrate spikes, my blood pressure plummets, my palms are sweaty, my knees are week. I can feel my pulse throbbing in my temples. And worst of all – I can’t pinch myself awake. I’m certain I’m likely about to lose my job. Everyone is going to find out that I’m just a phony.

As a child, my fears were much simpler. I dreamt I was abducted by a green van. To solve this all-encompassing terror, I came to the conclusion that no green vehicles could be trusted and I should always fall asleep on my right side. (It made sense at the time, but just to be safe I still insist on falling asleep facing right.)

Also, I was terrified the house would go up in flames. If only I could stay awake, the house wouldn’t burn down.

Since I was never big on the spooky stories told at childhood slumber parties (and I still can’t watch scary movies), I thought I’d inquire about some other terrifying frightful spooky scary thoughts to send shivers down our spine this Halloween?

So I asked, “What childhood fears did you/your kids/followers have?”

  • Slumber parties: They do tell spooky stories. I still don’t like those.
  • Clowns: A common theme. My very first job was as Gymbo the Clown. Kids are right. Clowns are scary; I was paid to traumatize children with songs and facepaint – don’t worry, I wasn’t paid much.
  • Claustrophobic: Tiny people and tiny spaces don’t mix.
  • Roger Rabbit: Clearly a creepy cartoon. Don’t you remember that acid?
  • The sound the garbage bag makes when you shake it to open it up: Wow. Some kids really despise chores…Don’t want to take out the trash. Do. Not. Want!
  • E.T. and the Wicked Witch of the West: I’ll get you my pretty! And your Reeces Pieces, too!
  • Flowers: (“Apparently my mum (seamstress) used to place fake flowers all around her material so he’d leave it alone.”) Seriously? Well, that’ll certainly become a terrifying therapy bill someday.
  • Ghosts: Who wants to socialize with grim grinning ghosts?
  • Plant life: “There was a man with a long sharp nose and a top hat that lived in the tree outside my bedroom window…but only at night. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized it wasn’t a man, but rather a shadow…” Well that puts a whole new spin on Peter Pan now…
  • Spiders and snakes: I don’t trust anything with that many or no legs at all.
  • Sharks: After unintentionally seeing JAWS at an inappropriately young age, I was terrified of sharks (specifically great whites) in my swimming pool. For years. Those things will come up out of NO WHERE at you!

I know. Terrifying, aren't I?

We may laugh now, but these crazy fears are always with us. Today, a friend of mine was startled by a motion-activated cackling witch animatronic Halloween decoration. She screamed and engaged in battle. I don’t think that witch finds surprising unsuspecting employees quite so funny anymore…

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

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