Thursday, September 07, 2006


I think I have a problem with paranoia. What that means exactly I am not sure. All I know is that when I am alone at night I feel exposed, and I feel almost terrified. It’s not only if I am outside in the dark, even if I am locked in the house but in a different room from my husband. If I go to sleep before him, I keep the lamp on and I have to keep the door open, so I can hear him moving in the other room. I close all of the blinds at night so not to look up and see someone staring in at me, as if that would happen! But I do it anyway!

I don’t know why I get so scared. I have never been able to understand where this fear has come from.

Is it the warnings that my mother when I was a child that has made me so scared of strangers, and who/what is out there? Could it have been the scary movies that I watched when I was in my early teens? The ones where there was always someone hiding in a corner, behind a door, in the back of your car, outside the window, staring.

Could it have been those dreams that I had when I was a kid, when I would wake up screaming silent screams. When I woke up from those dreams my head would still be inside the dream, my voice wouldn’t work so I could never scream to my parents. My legs wouldn’t work either, it was like I was frozen and I was too scared to move, so I would just lay there alone in the darkness.

And that’s how I feel every time I am out and about at night, or even stepping out my front door, alone in the darkness, but I feel an expectation that something horrible might happen. I wish that I could let it go, it is so limiting, it stops me from enjoying myself in certain situations, or maybe it keeps me safe.

I wonder if it is a female ‘thing’ to feel so venerable in a situation that could potentially be dangerous. I wonder if all women feel this way to varying degrees? Maybe I will get over it one day, or feel more confident, or am I destined to end up like my Grandma, dragging her dressing table in front of her bedroom door when she is alone at night? Come to think about it, maybe I got it from her?

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