Written by Margarita Morgan
July 11, 2014
Fearless fantasies dominated most of my younger days as I was extremely afraid of darkness well into my adult life. I dreamed of a brave version of me who would fall asleep without a light on in my room. Yes, what most people take for granted, to me in those days, was an act of great bravery. One curious fact is that I’ve never been easily startled. I don’t jump and never have when people try to scare me. It did give me an advantage when, as a kid, I played with my relatives to try and ambush one another for the purpose enjoying each others’ hilarious reactions.
Fear of darkness was a debilitating weakness that gave many sleepless nights in the company of imaginary foes. Dark creatures seemed to lurk in shadows waiting to ambush me for evil purposes. The most vivid memories that remain are the aftereffects of watching movies like The Exorcist or The Omen. You would think that common sense would prevent one from engaging in situations that aggravate ones fears, but to a teenager eager to keep up with her friends, the tradeoff seemed acceptable. That is, until the night brought with it a score of imaginary tools of torture.
My fear of darkness didn’t just stem from watching or hearing scary stories. It was an irrational fear that would overcome my faculties whenever the lights were turned off. Even as an adult married woman, some of my fondest memories of invigorating discussions with my dear husband are those times we spent coloring our expletives with many loving variations of commonly used four letter words. One day, however, I had a rather intense somewhat supernatural experience that left me completely devoid of fear of darkness and as I later learned, of fear at all, but I’ll tell you about that some other day.
The trouble with lack of fear is that you tend to make, to put it mildly, silly decisions like taking the trash out at night in a rural area known for rattle snakes while paying no heed to rustlings in nearby bushes. How about walking into a public restroom where the lights don’t work, there are no windows and you didn’t even checking for other people in the other stalls while doing your business in total darkness? While it may not seem like much, the potential for encountering life threatening situations grows as you get accustomed to darkness with out a thought of concern.
While I do appreciate my current lack of fear, it has invariable left me with a lack of common sense to balance some decisions I make. It becomes painfully apparent when I expect my young daughter to feel as comfortable as me in total darkness. It is remarkable how quickly one can forget about the days when the approaching night and its darkness were a real source of apprehension. For that reason, I am grateful that I didn’t get over it sooner in my life. I can only imagine what fateful situations I might have encountered when my lack of common sense in my younger days was much more pronounced.
Others following today’s prompt: