When I was a little girl I watched a Disney Channel movie called Don’t Look Under the Bed about imaginary friends turning into the boogieman who lived in the wasteland under the bed. It was cheesy and campy and terrible. It scared the living hell out of me.
My ever supportive and helpful mom tried to explain fearing things under the bed was totally normal and that when she was a kid she had fears about hands reaching out from under the bed and grabbing her ankles.
I spent the next few years jumping the last foot to my bed to keep the hands from getting to me and pulling me under to a certain hell realm. I was never clear on the type of hell that existed under there, it was the idea of someone grabbing me and pulling me under that terrified me.
Recently my daughter has taken to sleeping on a pile of pillows on the floor beside her bed. Since we recently moved, weaned, and moved her to her own room we’re still laying in bed (on the floor) with her at night as she settles into sleep. This means I’m laying with my back to her toddler bed and the big space beneath it.
Every night I’m struggling not to cry as I think about the growing darkness and the idea of those hands wrapping around my neck and chest and pulling me backward into that space. For over twenty years I’ve had this irrational paranoia and I have no idea how to get rid of it.
I’m a rational person. I know there aren’t people/demons/whatever under my bed waiting for me but I still can’t convince my mind that I’m safe laying there with my daughter.
Sometimes being crazy just really sucks.