Woohoo! We have crossed the finish line! We made it all the way to Day 10… Goal has been met. (That’s from a nursing care plan. The last step of the nursing process is evaluation, and you say something like this- “10 Day Writing Challenge completed. Essays written for every day. Goal has been met.”)
A confession? Hmm… I’m not sure what to confess. I feel like I’ve confessed quite a few things in this 10-day writing jaunt, and I’m not sure what else to share. If it was a secret to this point, it should maybe stay a secret?
How about this? I’ve been very, terribly scared of the dark and nighttime and being alone for most of my life. I’m not just talking about being uneasy when I’m outside alone after dark. I’m talking like frightened to death of being awake alone in a dark house at night when everyone else was asleep. I’m talking like staying awake lying in paralyzed fright for hours, because you feel that you are surrounded by horrors and unseen evils and crouching terrors. I’m talking like having nightmares and waking up and seeing people and evil beings in your room when you’re half awake and needing to convince yourself that they were just dreams and going and sleeping in your sister’s room sometimes when you’re in your twenties… because you can’t shake the feeling of terror and anxiety.
I used to keep my mom awake at night, because I couldn’t sleep, and I would wake her up and act needy and tell her I had nightmares, etc. Mostly when I was about ten. And then I would feel so ashamed and tell myself I was a coward and an idiot and didn’t act my age. It was fine to tell myself that in the day, but then the night would come, and I would be seized with a kind of frenzied panic. More recently, my family has come running when I would wake up screaming or fall out of bed with a thump in some kind of gripping dream.
Mostly, though, these things are all a thing of the past. I very rarely wake up screaming anymore. I hardly ever see “things” crouching in the dark corners of my room or over my bed. I almost never, if ever, get that feeling of dread when I turn out the light at night. I’m not sure what changed. But now the dark usually seems like a comforting place of shelter from the pressures of the daytime. Now it seems friendly, and I don’t doubt that God is there in the dark with me.
One of my favorite verses is this: “…the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you…”