Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Big FAT scaredy CAT

That's me.

(Although, this scaredy cat is a little on the skinny side)

I've known it for years, but haven't always been this way.  I used to think of myself as pretty tough.  After all, I'd lived on my own for quite a number of years.  In the big city of Atlanta, along the bay shores in Alabama, and even down at the beach for a short time.  I was never such a ninny then, as I am now.

But after living in a house with a man for all these years, it appears that I've become a complete sissy.  
A wuss.  A total wimp.

I've turned into a 
damsel in distress.

Hear a bump in the night?
. . . . . . 
You'll find me buried under the covers - heart pounding, listening intently for footsteps that never come.  (Thank God!)

A sudden bang, thump, crash on the rooftop?
I shake and panic thinking 'What could that be?!'
. . . . . .  
Until I remember we have two peacocks that sometimes stay up way past their bedtime; abandoning their usual roost high up in the leafy oaks for hunting whatever tiny nocturnal creatures that may be scampering around.

Whew!  That was a close one.

Oh, no.  The dogs are barking again.  Fiercely.  Angrily.  What could it be?!  A prowler?  A peeping-tom?  Or worse - someone lying in wait for all to be still and quiet inside so they can break in, take all our goodies, give me a heart attack and abscond into the dark, anonymous night?  

I pace the floors and look out the windows until the dogs are calm and quiet again.  Then, sometimes, I go out onto the porch and have a talk with Beau and Hoss (our yellow labradors) about keeping quiet unless it's a TRUE emergency.  I explain to them just how much their 'angry bark' scares Mamma and that I do not appreciate it one bit.  They listen attentively but, just like children, it's in one ear and out the other.  They're back at it the next night.

I lovingly refer to them as 
my 'alarm system'.

I can't even take a shower at night.  I have to do it in the morning once there's light outside.  How pitiful is that?  I'm a grown woman!  Thirty-six years old!  This is ridiculous.

Crazy thoughts go through my head that keep me from feeling safe to bathe in the night.  
Thoughts such as:

'What if I'm in the shower and someone breaks in?  I won't be able to hear anything because of the water running.  The kids are asleep.  They could take the kids! Or hurt them!  And I won't hear a thing.  Ohhh - I'll just shower in the morning.'

I know why I'm thinking this way - but it's no comfort.

After living with a man around for many years, it's clear now that I'd become dependent on the fact that he would 'take care of things', as far as safety in the night goes.

  Truth be told, there are many, many things he did that did NOT contribute to me feeling safe here.  
Also - I can't count how many times I was scared by something in the night and would try to wake him up to check things out...only to have to nearly beat the fire out of him to get him alert.  And then listen to him berate me when it was all for nothing.  It did not make for very sweet dreams.

Nonetheless, I felt safe because he was a HE.  Even though he didn't like it, he would get up and check things out when I needed him to.  If for no other reason than so I didn't have to.  
That was comforting, of course.

Plus - he knew how to use the gun.  I was always afraid of it.  If I was faced with an intruder in the house, I'd be more likely to shoot myself in the foot than hit the target.  So, there was that, too.

Me + gun = certain injury or death 
for anyone but the bad guy.

Now I'm suddenly the one solely responsible for not only the feeding, clothing, education and general well-being of three little people and myself, but for our SAFETY, as well.  At night.  When I'm already scared myself.  This is not fair.  Or fun.

Hopefully, the longer I'm on my own with the kids, this feeling of insecurity after the sun goes down will fade.  I want to be strong and sure for both my kids and myself.  I want the old me to return.  The one who never gave it a second thought to hop in the tub before bed.  The one who wasn't afraid by a knock on the door at 8 pm.  The one who was confident in her ability to handle the unexpected.

So, here's to showers after dark!

They're highly under-rated.  I do recommend them.  Maybe by the time I remarry 
(like 40 years from now)
I'll be past all of this and no longer 
go to bed stinky!  My future husband will thank me profusely, I'm sure.

Happy bathing in the dark!


Stacie's Madness said...

I get this...100%

I don't like security lights for this reason...cause if they go off my overactive brain starts thinking of the evil that could have set the darn thing off.

I'd rather live in denial. ;)

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