Ever since I was little, I've had nights where I got scared. At my youngest, I'd flee to mommy and daddy's room. After we moved, my sister and I shared a room, and things were easy for me.But when my sister was older she began to take showers in the morning. I used to follow when she went for her shower, make a bed out of towels on the bathroom floor and sleep for a little while longer.
We aged further and were given our own rooms, but still, a few times a year, I would wake up so scared that I would take my blankets to her room and sleep on her floor. Sometimes, though, I would be too scared to move, and would lie in bed in mute, catatonic horror.
She graduated and I tried to make due for a year. When she was home for christmas I crashed on her floor again.
I graduated, and was sure that such childish concerns were far behind me; yet my first night found me curled in a ball on my new bed, in a new city, crying my eyes out, desperatly trying to phone my sister to come home and save me from a faceless horror I didn't comprehend.
Eventually I cut horror movies and books out of my life, but the problem persisted. They did not produce the feeling, they just gave a vision to focus my terror.
I took on a night shift, to attack the dark, own it, and for a while it worked. I was a warrior hidden, using the shadows.
When that job ended, I took a more aggressive one. Now I was a creature to be feared; my mind to protect me from the non-factual horrors, my gun to protect me from the realistic ones. Striving to become an officer so I could control the night, I felt arrogant in my efficacy. Fear was a toy, meant for children and lesser beings. I would use my strength to protect others.
Until I find myself, curled again, on my bed, a grown woman, terrified.
There is no happy ending to this post.