I was talking to my friend Sally the other day about a blog post I had read about childhood fears. I started thinking about my fears from childhood versus now.
Sally also shared with me one of hers. It seemed she had a reoccurring nightmare in which Danny Partridge covered her with leeches. To this day she has a dislike of leeches and is leery of red heads.
I don't have anything quite that good.
1. Tornado's - Growing up in South-Western Illinois there was a lot to be afraid of in the spring and summer month's. We had no basement and my mother took the "if we're going to blow away, we're going to blow away" approach. That didn't work so well for me. Luckily my grandpa would come pick me up, take me to his house and sit it the basement and play cards or Yahtzee with me until the storm passed. I loved my grandpa, he was the greatest.
2. Demon Possession - I was 9 when the Exorcist came out. Normally a 9 yr old wouldn't come into contact with the Exorcist. With 3 older sisters and a brother ranging from 10-16 yrs older, I came into contact with many things I probably shouldn't have. I would lay awake at night waiting for my bed to shake and levitate. Living in front of a train switching yard my bed shook any time a train hooked up. I had some rough nights. I would lie in bed and blow out my breath to see if the temperature was dropping in my room. I knew that should I become possessed my mother wouldn't be able to handle it so I became my sister Claudia's shadow. She was tough, she could handle a demon possession. That next summer my dad moved into a new house, a big white house, that to my by then 10 yr old eyes looked just the the Exorcist house. YIKES
3. Sharks - I remember standing in line at the theatre to see Jaws. It was sold out and this was back in the day of large theatre's with balconies, not the piddly cineplex of today. I remember sitting in the dark, duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn duhn, all the gasps when the chic gets pulled under water and the screams when it chowed down on the little boy. My stepsister and I took turns reading the book on the long trip from Illinois to Boston. By the time we arrived the fear of sharks had taken firm hold. First to be tested when my brother took us to Salisbury Beach, there was no way I was getting into the water.
My dad had a vacation place in the mountains on a lake in Maine, I was convinced there was an outlet to the sea and a shark had swam up and was at that moment cruising the lake looking for me. Did I mention we also read When Sharks Attack, lots of sharks moving up tributaries in that book. Of course we were in the corner over by New Hampshire and Canada, that shark had a heckuva swim.
4. Vampires - My sister Claudie gave me Salem's Lot to read. That book scared the crap out of me. Thank God by that time my dad had moved back to Indiana and we didn't go to Maine that year. Because according to Stephen King, Maine is rife with vampires. I wore a cross for 2 years.
5. Nuclear Winter - I don't know why I was scared of this just that I was. Growing up in the 70's the arms race and the USSR was big news on TV and in the movies. I just knew they were going to bomb us and I'd get radiation poisoning, my hair would fall out and I would get pus filled lesions all over. Or I would have to escape the zombie people. Either one a no-win situation. Dawn of the Dead another movie I shouldn't have watched. Zombie people really freak me out.
Looking back it's funny to see how stupid the stuff that used to terrify me really is. Today about the only thing is Death either mine or The Little Buddy's. And a fear of heights that has developed as I've gotten older.
Although I did have a night last week I didn't get much sleep because of the extreme wind we were having during some storms. Sometimes at night when I go to the kitchen for a drink and look out the window into the dark I still expect to see Danny Glick hovering outside. Even though the scare of nuclear war has diminished, Bio-terrorism could probably produce pus filled lesions or zombie people. And when I woke up one morning last year right as the earthquake hit and my king size bed was jiggling around, earthquake wasn't really the first thing I thought of(in Indiana). I knew I was going to start levitating any minute.
Oh well at least I'm not scared of Danny Bonaduce.