I can remember it like it was yesterday; there is a reason my horrible mother wasn't letting me watch Pet Cemetery and it was only to make my life miserable. After all, I was 12 years old and surely I could handle watching this rated R horrific tale of dead animals coming back to life as zombies. I mean, why not?
But, I found a loop-hole. And that was spending the night with my friend Nicki, because her mom was going to let her watch it. I as so smart!
After the soft, grey, nice, sweet kitty came back to life and went for the jugular of the former owner, I was out of there. I walked home in the dark and those 3 blocks felt like miles.
I sat in my own bed, heart racing, as I replayed the scenes in my head. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe! I now understand this as a panic attack, but at 12 I didn't know what was going on and for sure my poor parents didn't know as I ran into their room at 3:00am proclaiming I couldn't breathe. It bought me a trip to our local ER where I was admitted overnight to make sure this wasn't some asthma attack that had come and gone. Strangely, I had to go see a shrink shortly after because then I started worrying about being buried alive. I knew these were irrational fears, but they were there. And frightening.
Fast Forward 22 years. Maysen is a bit sensitive when it comes to movies. He watched the end to "Signs" about 3 years ago. You know, the one with Mel Gibson? To this day, he doesn't like to be upstairs by himself. Sleeping upstairs without his little brother? No way. He gets creeped out very easily. So when I saw him sleeping with his head on the end of Griffin's mattress and his body on the hard hope chest nearby, I figured he'd gotten himself creeped out.
Later that day, I'm folding socks in the laundry room as Maysen walks in and sits down on the cold travertine tile near me. Say what?
"Whatcha listening to on your iPad?"
"Horror stories. This one is about ...."
Once I was clued into what he was listening to, it was stopped but the damage was done. That night he asked to sleep in my bed. As I laid with him asking him to tell me what he was afraid of, he broke down and explained he was terrified that someone was going to break into our house and watch him sleep.
He knows it's irrational. He knows he's safe. As he cries because he feels silly, but yet so scared, I'm immediately taken back to Pet Cemetery (which, to this day I can't watch ... even though I know it's the hokiest movie out there) and that night in the ER.
And although I know it's just as silly, I'll ride this terror storm with him, supporting him along the way. I know he'll be over it likely in a few days, but until then we have this in our room and I'm A-Ok with it:
Nate on the other hand, wants to stand above him and stare at him while he sleeps wearing a unicorn mask. "Do you think that'd make it better?" he asks. No. But that would be a sight! I'm sure if he could find a stuffed gray cat to attach to his jugular he'd take every opportunity to chase me around the house with it. And I'd run like the wind, even at 36 years old!