Monday, February 21, 2011

The Color of the Night

Recently, Indigo asked readers to share details about their relationship with the dark. I have thought that along with falling, fear of the dark is one of the fears that as humans we are all born with. Could I be wrong? Sure!! Still, my being wrong does not diminish how commonly held that fear is. A lot of people are afraid of the dark. Night is often used to convey menace and foreboding. No one ever worries about the things that go ‘bump’ in the light of day (but many times, they should!).

I have memories of being afraid of the dark but my Mother had a novel (if trauma inducing!) way of helping me to overcome that fear. There are two sides to that story, but I am going to stick to one side of it, the one that helped me overcome my fear of the dark.

A true fear doesn’t entirely disappear from a psyche. I think that you can manage them and use them for whatever you want. Have to be careful, though. Sometimes fear can galvanize a person and be the fuel that they burn for motivation. Or it can sit and become so unstable that when you try to inject it for combustion it gums the works, rendering the entire unit useless. Or even worse, it could cause an explosion that sprays out shrapnel as it inflicts collateral damage whoever is anyone in vicinity when it detonates. But the biggest thing about fear is how it can stop one from living their dreams. Because there was a lot of darkness around my youthful pursuits, early hockey practices, roadwork and newspaper routes, I would become seasoned by the early morning darkness.

Now with all of my various complications to my condition, fear is something that I can’t allow to get comfortable at all. So I go out late at night and train at nearest gym, which is a 35 – 45 minute walk from my apartment, just so that I can continue to repeat to myself that I ‘face my fears to live my dreams’. Still waking up before the sun to do my roadwork and passing shadows that could conceal the things that haunt nightmares (as well as dogs… which I have not seen running loose in Omaha so far). I haven’t told Nebraska, because I don’t want to feel compelled the ‘you do know where I am from, right?’ card. It really doesn’t matter where you are from as it does what you know, and I know two things about me -- I ain’t scared of no ghosts and I ain’t scared of the dark!!


That corgi :) said...

I think you are doing the right thing, Mark, to "conquer" your fears. I have a healthy respect of the dark, LOL, but do enjoy having some background noise on when home alone. do be safe when you are out in the "wee hours" of the morning


* Ashleigh * said...

It is in darkness that I feel the most alone but most at home with my heart and thoughts. In darkness I feel more alone than in the light, because I wish someone could see me in the dark. At night I do things I don't want to admit.

"You know night the right be...with the one you love" - Ray Charles
**I guess the night time is when I should love myself the most since that's who I'm with every night :/ **

Toon said...

I think our fear of darkness is partially a remnant of our old caveman brains. Prehistoric dudes had very good reason to fear darkness!

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Mark, I used to be afraid of two things. Thunderstorms with the threat of tornados and the dark. After my husband died of cancer (after 3 years of horror) I found that those things don't bother me anymore. I welcomed the dark and I didn't care if a tornado took me away. That was twelve years ago but I still don't worry about those things.

Indigo said...

I think sometimes we need to give our fears a healthy respect. We're aware they're there, but never to the point of being controlling.

Thank you for sharing your dark with me. Having left home at 16, I was very much familiar with the night time shadows of the streets. I don't think the dark really bothered me, so much as for the sensory deprivation it puts me under when I close my eyes. It's one aspect of my deafness I'm still learning to deal with.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Glad you are not afraid of the dark and are confronting your fears. Being here in the country, I have gotten over the dark thing.

Anonymous said...

The darkness sort of reminds me of how small and insignificant I really am in this huge world. It's easy to forget isn't it?
It's also a good reminder of the need to constantly evolve. So I believe the fear of darkness is a good thing, as long we don't allow it to conquer ourselves.

Good to hear you're dealing with it nicely.