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Irrational Fears and Library Books

Apparently a 30 year old woman being afraid of the dark is irrational. Puh-lease. I have plenty of irrational fears... down escalators (they are a complete death trap), seagulls (those feathered bastards are the worst and will assault you for a piece of stale bread), and bad numbers (like 13). But I maintain that being afraid of the dark is completely rational and logical.

Well, maybe it's not logical, but I have good reason for not wanting to roam around my house in the middle of the night in the dark AND for leaving a trail of lights on through the house on nights that Scott gets called out to work. First of all, don't any of you have a fear of hearing a noise outside after dark and when you go to the window to check it out a person's face pops into the window? Ugh- just the thought gives me goose bumps. Or, if you run down to the kitchen in the middle of the night to get a glass of water- aren't you afraid of catching a glimpse of one of the assholes from the movie The Strangers standing outside the window from the corner of your eye? No? Your ignorance must be blissful. If you don't know what I'm talking about, google the The Strangers. Go ahead. We'll wait...

Right? Fucking terrifying.

I have good reason for being afraid of the dark, and I blame my mother entirely. Well- it might not be ENTIRELY her fault, but she still busts out laughing every time my traumatic experience comes up. So I have decided to do what needs to be done and publicly shame her for it. That'll teach her.

I think I was around four years old when my mom took my brother, Andrew, and I to the library. I LOVED the library and I still love books. I remember finding the rows on rows and stacks on stacks of bright and colourful pages with whimsical drawings just absolutely magical. Reading books allowed me to be anywhere, with anyone, and go on incredible adventures all from the safety of my room. So, of course when it came time to leave I picked up about ten picture books to bring home with me. I'm sure my mom had negotiated that down from the twenty that I thought I absolutely needed.

On the way home I began reading and rifling through my stack, tossing books all over the back of the van. I think I may have even threw one at the back of Andrew's head for some slight he made against me? But I am sure I had good reason.

When we got home and pulled into the garage, mom told me to gather my books back up to take them inside. I DILIGENTLY did what I was told and was focused on neatly stacking them. I was nothing if not a people pleaser. I was so focused in fact, that I hadn't realized mom and Andrew had gotten out of the car. And, I definitely didn't notice that they had left the garage. What snapped me back into reality was the simultaneous sound of the click of the side door closing and the thud of the garage door hitting the ground. Where did they go? Surely mom would not leave me in the car. No. She must be coming back? Panic began to set into my four year old mind. I had to act. I gathered all my courage and decided to make a move, but it was short lived. I tried to open the sliding door of our van, but it was too heavy (and I am pretty sure LOCKED, which is suspicious as hell), so I crumpled to the floor in defeat. This was it. I was sure I was going to die in that van.

Well maybe that is a little dramatic.... But I started to cry, and cry and cry and cry. I was in there for probably an hour before I was found. Definitely dehydrated and starved. It is surprising that I was ever able to adjust back to regular life.

Looking back on my rescue, the whole situation was not taken nearly as seriously as it should have been (queue mom's eye roll). My sobs were interrupted when the door to the van swung open. My mom looked down at me and said, "What are you doing? Why are you still in here?". In between my GASPS for fresh garage air (I was probably oxygen deprived from the hours of re-breathing the same stagnant air) I explained I was stacking my library books when everything went black. "Well come on then, your fine. My bad. But get in the house, let's go".

And that was it. My traumatic experience ended as abruptly as it began. I grabbed my books and headed inside. My fear of the dark solidified.

So really the moral of the story is, it is definitely my mom's fault I am afraid of the dark. And, to all current parents of toddlers out there, do NOT lock your kids in the garage. Because kids have cellphones and rights now... and it would definitely be frowned upon.


P.S. So my mother says that, tops, I was in the garage for 10 minutes. Riiiiight. Sure.

P.P.S. She also has the audacity to blame my then nine year old brother for the whole debacle. "I told him to help you and make sure you got inside". Sounds like a whole lot of excuses to me.

P.P.P.S. Karma is definitely going to come for me posting this. I mean it could have been worse? She could have left me at the library.... and I was a cute kid so someone would have definitely snapped me up. Then we would have been on the news. I wonder what I will do traumatize my future kids?


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