to be an adult and be scared of the dark

(64 Posts)
zerominuszero Wed 02-Jun-10 07:10:33

Not so much AIBU and more like 'am I completely mental'. I'm in my late twenties and lead a reasonable normal life - good job, happily married etc (no kids yet). But there is one thing about me and I'm slightly worried that it means I am totally bonkers - I am scared of the dark. Or rather, I get scared when I am left in the flat on my own in the evening and find it extremely difficult to get to sleep on my own (which is thankfully a rare occurrance). Sometimes even when my partner is around I can even feel a bit wimpish getting up in the night to use the bathroom. The thing that scares me is that I imagine (and bear in mind that this is going to sound very strange) that there are ghosts lurking behind every corner. I know, it's crazy, but I've had this my entire life. I suspect it might be something to do with growing up in a big family and virtually never being left alone until I was a teenager.

My partner is the only person I have ever confided in and they can barely even believe that I really have this, so weird it is. I just wonder if there is anyone out there in the universe who can empathise at all. Or am I completely on my own on this one?

thanks for your thoughts

MY mum is 58. When she stays over, I have to leave the hall light on for her as she is frightened of the dark.

angelfire Wed 02-Jun-10 07:31:02

I am 43 and always have to have the landing light on at night. My family and friends are used to it.
Don't worry.
You really aren't the only one
And as idiosyncracies go, it ain't a biggy

biddysmama Wed 02-Jun-10 09:18:41

yanbu, you are allowed to be scared of anthing no matter what your age... after ds was born i couldnt sleep with the light off as i needed to be able to see him at all times...

ChocHobNob Wed 02-Jun-10 09:30:47

I'm 27, mother of 2 children and I'm also scared of the dark. My husband works night shifts and I absolutely hate it. I'm getting better though. I can now sleep without the light on (only because it was disturbing my 2 yr old and that was enough to get me to overcome that part of the fear lol)

I find distraction helps. When you start imagining there are all sorts in the dark, think of something else. I take my phone to bed with me as a light and something to read until I'm settled, close my eyes and turn it off!

zerominuszero Wed 02-Jun-10 09:36:15

Thanks for the support, I really did think I might be the only one in the world. I suppose the point is that weird little foibles are fine as long as they don't stop you from living a reasonably normal life, but I was concerned that I was nuts. I feel less nuts now.

YANN (you are not nuts)!
Ever since I watched paranormal activity about 3 months ago I have to have the lights on sad
I was fine before but every time it's dark i think of ghosts and things and need to turn the lights on, so now I just leave them on all night. If the lights are on the film doesn't even cross my mind.
I'm hoping the fear will soon wear off because the lights do actually keep waking me up at night and I don't think I've had a full nights sleep in all this time!!

ooh no, i am exactly the same as you. in fact when i was about 7 i remember not wanting to go upstairs alone to the loo as i was afraid and my gran stupidly made things much worse for me by saying if you imagine it is there it will be. i still think this when i have to cross the landing in the dark, do you know just how hard it is to try NOT to imagine something?

lolapoppins Wed 02-Jun-10 10:12:58

I have to sleep with the tv on.

Even if dh is with me (he works away sometimes) I have to fl asleep with it on, and if I wake in the night I scrabble for the remote as i get so afraid.

I have to have the landing light on too incase I need to use the loo.

I am a big wuss.

RockSteady Wed 02-Jun-10 10:14:23

YANBU i'm still a bit scared, when i was little i used to sleep on the bathroom floor sometimes because the light was left on there at night!
brightyoungthing - i was really bad after paranormal activity! hated it

AKMD Wed 02-Jun-10 10:15:48

YANBU, I posted aqbout being scared of the dark before I had DS as I was worried about getting up in the middle of the night if he started crying! Lots of people said they had 'dark' issues too, it is very normal.

insertwittynicknameHERE Wed 02-Jun-10 10:17:47

You are so not alone. I have always slept with the landing light on and the bedroom door ajar. My mum and dad do and my brother does. It took my DH ages to get used to it. I hate, hate, hate the dark.

Dollytwat Wed 02-Jun-10 10:17:56

I'm the same you're not alone!

I have to leave the bathroom light on all night so it gives some light.

My friends won't share a hotel room with me because I insist on having the bathroom light on!

I used to listen out for burglars too, but I feel safe in this house!

WellMeantHellBent Wed 02-Jun-10 10:21:04

Poor you! You are not alone, I also hate sleeping in the dark by myself, if I ever had to stay at a hotel for work I'd keep the table lamp or telly on until I finally went to sleep. I get used to it after about 3 nights if DP is ever away but it is hard. I don't like shadows in the dark either.

I was at my worst when I watched the ring (don't laugh!) and was scared to look in the bathroom mirror in the morning before everyone else woke up and have been known to shower with the curtain open so I can see if anyone is there! I am not normally this weird honest

biddysmama Wed 02-Jun-10 10:22:39

wellmeant .... i have a thing about mirrors!

Morloth Wed 02-Jun-10 10:23:48

Very natural to be afraid of the dark I would think. We are not nocturnal and lots of predators are. There is a reason we look for "defensible" places to sleep when we can't see, i.e. caves, houses etc.

i am also scared of the dark. I'm nearly 30 and have a dd. My fear got a lot worse after I watched paranormal activity but I have always been afraid of monsters in the dark.

I put a post in mental health a couple of weeks ago basically asking for advice because I was getting really terrified on my own with DD at night imagining that she was going to be taken from me by demons.

So you are not alone. The only advice I have is to avoid all exposure to any sort of scarey films, books, tv shows, conversations etc.

zerominuszero Wed 02-Jun-10 11:38:02

To the person who watched the ring - my sympathies. My fear was made a lot worse by me watching Drag Me To Hell, which I found absolutely terrifying - but I'm told that the ring is much more scary, so I am definately going to steer clear of that one.

TubbyDuffs Wed 02-Jun-10 11:41:45

Amother one here! I tend to be worse if I'm over-tired and my imagination gets the better of me.

I'm 37 with 3 children fwiw.

You're definitely not alone.

Flossbert Wed 02-Jun-10 11:47:26

Me too. When DH is away for work I just accept that I will be awake between 3 and 5, walking around and doing jobs in every room of the house with all the lights on, just in case any burglars are watching the house. It's a fear of crime more than ghosts, but I still feel a bit crazy about it. Glad to see lots of others are the same

BritFish Wed 02-Jun-10 16:23:19

you are not alone, i hate the dark. i KNOW there arent monsters or murderers there, but the fear is there anyway!

this is why i point blank refuse to watch any scary film. friends try and cajole me into it by saying 'you can close your eyes at the scary bits' etc etc 'its not real' etc.
i dont enjoy them, and i cant sleep easy for WEEKS after i watch one, i hate it that people dont realise that NO means NO with me when it comes to these things!

lazarusb Wed 02-Jun-10 20:30:57

I'm 38, married with 3 dcs and very scared of the dark. All blinds and curtains have to be completely shut etc. I was pushed into a wardrobe as a joke once and the door shut so I couldn't get out. Cue full on panic attack- I was 23.

Gauchita Wed 02-Jun-10 20:45:42

Another one here! I'm 29, married with 1 DD. Oh, and I can't watch horror movies, that would directly prevent me from closing my eyes at night grin

I can sleep with the light off if DH is with me; when he works late I leave a tiny lamp on until he gets home.

Someone mentioned being afraid of going to the loo upstairs in the darkness when she was little... I'm like that now when I'm in other people's houses. I do go but I can't help being scared!

lulabellamozerella Wed 02-Jun-10 20:49:53

Flossbert I am completely the same!! I hear the tiniest sound and I am straight awake checking the whole house!! I sleep with my bedroom light on as am scared of the dark and a fan on - i cannot sleep in silence blush. I have seen Paranormal Activity and haven't been that much worse its always when crimes happen nearby that I am the worse blush

Im ok if im with DH or other family but if im on my own I get really nervous. It all started when I was in college and my parents were on holiday I was all alone in their very large and oddly shaped house (2 knocked into one) and was reading Hanibal. I'd finished reading for the evening and hadnt realised how dark it had got, the whole house was pitch black! I was terrified, going room to room turning all the lights on!

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