Afraid of the Dark


From 2000 to 2005, I lived alone. I had a series of apartments in different places and I lived completely by myself. This was a revelation for me after years of living with roommates. The liberation from sharing a shower and dealing with other people’s dirty dishes was intoxicating. I didn’t have to compromise on tv! I could make pop-corn at midnight! I could get a cat!

For all those years, I live alone with incident. It was all good – I spent evenings curled up on my couch with a book or my tv or on the phone and not a worry in the world.

So can you explain to me why I’ve been a neurotic mess, jumping at every shadow during the week that my husband has been away?

I’m a mess. I’ve been sleeping in the guest room next to C’s room and tip-toeing around listening at all doors and windows. I damn near wet my pants when I saw a shadow moving at the bottom of the stairs. It was the cat. Of course it was.

I also have no idea how to entertain myself after C goes to bed. I’m finding that being a paranoid wreck is not a very good way of passing the time.  Here’s a basic rundown of how my evenings go:

6:45 Arrive home with C

7:00 Give C dinner while he watches Fireman Sam

7:20 Announce that bathtime is coming up

7:22 Chase C into the kitchen where he’s hiding from the threat of bathtime.

7:27 Wrestle C out of his clothes and into a bathtub

7:28 Allow C to be bathed standing up

7:35 Wrap C in towel

7:36 Turn back on C

7:37 Chase C out of kitchen where he has run to avoid bedtime

7:40-8:30 Stories, cuddles, lie on couch in Cs room wile he goes to sleep

8:30 Emerge into living room

8:31 Survey toys scattered about

8:32 Decide to ignore toys, make my dinner

8:40 Jump at noises

8:45 Jump at shadows

8:50 Turn on DVR’d episode of Kardashians, become totally engrossed

9:25 Hear noise, freeze on couch, mute Kardashians to listen, determine that it’s cat licking wet toys in the bathtub

9:26 Wonder why I have a cat

9:28 Remember laundry is in the dryer in the basement

9:29 Stand at top of basement steps

9:30 Listen intently for noises in the basement

9:31 Walk down one step toward the basement

9:32 Back up the step, decide laundry can wait until daylight

9:33 Find another episode of Kardashians to distract me form imaginary noises in basement

10:00 Give up and go to bed

The good news? I only have two more nights of this before my husband gets home. Until then, you can find me in the guest room, jumping at shadows.

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7 comments for “Afraid of the Dark

  1. August 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

    That’s funny, I’m just writing a post with the same title (I’ll send a link). I have always been scared of the dark (have never lived on my own).

    I hate it if my OH goes away. I’m okay until I go to bed but once it’s all quiet on the street and the planes stop flying overhead that’s when I get scared. I usually bring my 2 year old into bed with me, turn the TV on and all the lights in the house too. Then I sit there quaking all night. I don’t sleep, so I usually go away when he’s away.

    My post is about being burgled a year ago when we were all a sleep. This took my fear to another level!

  2. August 17, 2010 at 10:10 am

    You know what’s hard when my husband travels for work? Watching TV by myself. Because it’s so much less fun to make sarcastic comments to myself.

  3. adventuresofamy
    August 17, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’m in London this year, away from my other half (who is back in NZ). I only lived with him a few months before I left, but since I’ve been over here, I’m terrified at night! Every little noise wakes me up, and anything I can hear in the evenings freaks me out. It’s even worse cos there’s a mouse problem here so they scrabble in my room and in the walls around me 🙁 I hate it, and I can’t wait to get back home. I’m so glad I’m not the only one!!

  4. August 17, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Which is why I sleep with the night stand light on when the hubs isn’t home. Lame? Yes. But everyone knows the monsters come out when the lights are out and you are totally alone and you leave a limb dangling outside the sheets.

  5. August 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I am the SAME way!!! It’s like I get used to having him here and when he’s gone I’m a wreck. And I, too, lived by myself for quite some time. It’s ridiculous.

    Glad I’m not alone. 🙂

  6. August 17, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    You aren’t alone. I don’t sleep well at all when my husband is gone. I had no idea other people had this issue also. I feel slightly less stupid now. Slightly.

  7. August 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I once, idiotically, watched a very scary movie while both the husband and the girl were out of town. I slept with EVERY. SINGLE. LIGHT on in and outside the house. I also kept both my cell phone and my landline on the bed with me, one in my hand at all times. And I had to keep getting up and walking around the house because those fucking cats made me think someone/something was trying to get me.

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