Childhood Boogiemen

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by tinyhydra, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Oof, same hat! I can sleep on my front or back sometimes, but if the bed isn't against a wall I can't sleep. I need that security.
    • Agree x 1
  2. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    Growing up, I had to have a nightlight in my room right up until I went away to university and had a roommate (who I didn't want to bug by leaving a light on all night). I was sure that if I didn't have it, then the Things In The Shadows would be lurking and waiting to pounce as soon as I broke the rules by not being under the covers.

    Once I hit 13 or so, I started trying to logic myself out of this, but it didn't really work. Even now, I'm just more comfortable sleeping in a room that's got enough ambient light that I can do a quick scan and see what's around me.

    I never knew what the Things In The Shadows were - I couldn't see them, of course. I knew they were taller than me, and that they were hungry. And that they were looking for any loophole they could find; if the weather was warm enough that I couldn't cope with a full blanket, I'd hedge my bets by pulling the sheet over my head. And of course, Bear (my stuffed bear) was always on-hand to ward them off.

    I'm 31, and I still really, really hate the dark. I'm still pretty sure that there's something waiting in it that wants to eat me.
    • Informative x 1
    • Witnessed x 1
  3. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    I have this problem, and a similar one: I must either be in a booth or in a corner against a wall when eating out, so I can see everything and everyone Just In Case
  4. whyguy

    whyguy blarg

    saaame hat

    I pick the same desk at work every day so long as no one complains about it (since otherwise my coworkers switch desks regularly) bc it's the only one where I can sit with my back to a wall

    I'm certain it's a ptsd thing
    • Agree x 1
  5. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    not exactly a boogeyman, more a childhood semi-belief-and-subsequent-disaster-preparedness: like many kids, i believed it was just maybe possible that i could find a way into a fantasy world where i would be Important and Useful and Not Bullied. unlike many such kids... i therefore carried a swiss army knife, a waterproof film cannister full of matches, another of same containing a small spool of fishing line and a few hooks, a sewing kit, a tiny first aid kit (including an airplane single serving wine bottle filled with rubbing alcohol which leaked and fused the bandaids into a horrible gluey mass), and idk what all other things i thought i might need in a fantasy setting, it varied. (and i'm sure some of it was hilarious nonsense but i can't remember. p sure for a while there was a packet of glass beads for trading with elves.)

    because while book protagonists always fell in with some talking animals or suspiciously helpful wizards or something before they could even get hypothermia, mine was the kind of mind that filled in, "but of course you don't hear about the ones who died in the magic woods the first week, because that'd be a boring story."

    between that and the paperbacks and optional craft supplies, there wasn't a lot of room in my backpack for textbooks until i got old enough that my fear/fantasies switched to cyberpunk dystopias, where i would of course scavenge or steal everything i needed. (the knife stayed until the multitool was invented, of course.)
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    • Witnessed x 3
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  6. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    Judging by how pants soilingly terrifying I find this video even as I laugh along, I'm pretty sure this is an uncomfortably accurate representation of how I dealt mentally with being afraid of the dark as a kid.

    The problem with anxiety is that you can successfully confront your fears all night long, every night of the week, and it doesn't actually change anything at all. Confronting a specific fear doesn't in any way address the root cause of developing fears you know damn well are irrational. Eventually I got so tired of this parade that I was basically daring anything to fucking try it. Come on, give it a shot. No? I didn't think so, fucker. Nothing ever has. I stopped being afraid of the dark because I changed the way I thought about it. I was obviously the worst thing I'd ever met so far, and every time something challenged that and failed on account of not existing, I felt a sense of victory. It wasn't a cure for anxiety, but it was a much improved coping mechanism.

    Honestly, going into uncomfortable situations with cheerful friendliness casually draped over calculated soul weary aggression that still has never met anything as awful as itself has served me pretty well in life. So that's one nice thing.
    • Winner x 4
  7. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    dude gave up on the confrontation too soon. he went back to avoidance and let the fear take control again. he should've sat up all conversational and been like "so what's your name? do you hang out in a lot of bedrooms or just mine? i'm not getting back to sleep any time soon so i'm gonna make some coffee, you want some? i bet i know how you take it -- 'black, like my cursed soul', right? ahahaha yeah, i knew it."
    • Agree x 1
  8. bushwah

    bushwah a known rule consequentialist

    yeah, I've definitely relied on "empirically, has my leg ever been grabbed when I stuck it over the edge of my bed? no? why the fuck would it happen this time," and the wrinkle of "oh, fuck, I hope it happens this time! it'd be such a cool data point!" pretty well killed the remainder of my fear of the dark

    it's the same basic impulse as "no, anon, I am not going to kill myself. if you want me dead you have to kill me yourself"
    • Like x 3
  9. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    i may or may not have spent a nonzero amount of time, in my youth, dangling one foot temptingly over the edge of the bed, in the dark, while holding a claw hammer.
    • Winner x 3
  10. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    Rack me up for 'fear of the dark' that only really broke once I started sleeping in a bed with someone else, and even then I'm not happy about it. Tag on 'fear of mirrors in the dark' (what if the ghost crawls out at me), 'fear of turning my back on dark rooms' (WHAT if the GHOST crawls OUT AT ME), and 'fear of large, silent houses' (WHAT IF THE GHOST CRAWLS OUT AT ME) and you have a cocktail of Leaving A Light On And Ideally A TV/Radio As Well for a good portion of my child/teen years. I did the 'turning off the lights and running' thing, but I also used to perform routine room checks whenever I was alone in a house, along with turning on every television available.

    Semi-related, but I was also, up until I was 19 or so? pretty much convinced I was possessed by a demon. Mostly featured doing a lot of luck rituals and trying to suppress the Bad Thoughts, but it wasn't until (again) I was sleeping in a bed with someone else that I found out I have pretty bad myoclonic jerks right before I fall asleep. It's... a lot harder to logic the demon away when it's picking you up and slamming you into the bed when you're in that half-asleep state, and that + sleep paralysis meant it was a quietly, but firmly, held belief for a long time. (I told my mom about this as a joke last year and she was like, "Oh my god, I wish you would have told me, it runs in the family. :(")
    • Witnessed x 3
  11. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    Is THAT what that is? My brain had me convinced for ages I was turning into a ghoul or something
    • Witnessed x 1
  12. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    Apparently! Moony told me "hey did you know you fucking seize up right before you fall asleep", I learned that I wasn't wildly hallucinating my experiences, and a google search pulled it up when I started looking into it. My mom just confirmed it after the fact!
    • Useful x 1
  13. Lazarae

    Lazarae The tide pod of art

    I'm also on team 'no mirrors in the dark.' I still don't like them. Shit just looks creepy in them. I don't like mirrors much to begin with, but in the dark is hard NOPE.

    I didn't have a lot of the more general fears, my parents taught me a lot of ways to deal with childhood fears (most of which were being the baddest bitch in the room) but some things...

    The room I shared with my cousin as a tiny and when I slept over had a mark on the floor that was apparently from a metal chair? The bottom had tarnished and stained the carpet or something, and the chair was moved when we were born and the room converted to a bedroom. It was a circular mark with other marks on the inside, and my cousin and I were convinced it was a closed gate to another world and we insisted on it being covered at all times so it didn't open in the middle of the night and things couldn't come out and carry us away.
    • Witnessed x 1
  14. OtherCat

    OtherCat a being of mysterious happenstance

    In the first house I lived in, we were not allowed in the basement, and the door down to the basement had some pretty hefty locks. As a small otherkitten I was fairly certain There Was Something Horrible Down There. As evidence, weird noises would come from the grates (probably the heating or something.)

    I had a similar terror of the basement in my grandmother's house that extended to moments of complete horror at the realization that the basement existed, and the floor might open up and I'd fall through. (maybe forever? I don't know.)

    I was also pretty creeped out by train whistles. I think I had some idea that they might eat me? Or "get" me somehow? (Mostly because I didn't know they were trains. Finding out they were trains did not help. I think I might have been fiveish.)

    And monsters my mom would make up because she thought it was funny to give us screaming meemies.
    • Witnessed x 1
  15. Bunny

    Bunny aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    I watched the grudge a little too young. I nolonger find the movies themselves spooky at all but I do still have issues with poking my head up into the attic. And wee me had nightmares upon nightmares about that. Did not help with the fear of the dark and Kayako CAN GET YOU UNDER THE COVERS. One of the meanest things a horror movie ever did to me.
    • Witnessed x 3
  16. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    Remembered a different childhood fear: the Black Eyed Kids urban legend. Shit always fucked me up, especially the mesmerising bit that made it impossible to escape once you open the door. The idea of helping young children suddenly turning on you in a fatal way scared the crap outta me, and low key still does
    • Witnessed x 2
  17. latitans

    latitans zounds, scoob

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
    • Informative x 3
  18. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    • Agree x 1
  19. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    Okay wait, it's just now clicking, that article says bek wear normal everyday clothing. I don't know where I got this from but I always imagined them all done up proper with your generic "Sunday best" kinda style, immediately othering them from a "normal" kid. Just in general more eerie and off-putting in it's unusualness
    • Informative x 1
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