Monsters Are Real

I have a 4 year old son who is having trouble sleeping at night because he is going through that phase where he’s afraid of the dark and the monsters lurking in his bedroom. He frequently gets up at 3 or 4 am and comes to get me and every time I sit down with him and ask him what’s wrong he says, “I’m afraid of the monsters.”

Only in my mind

I was plagued by nightmares as a young child and they morphed into terrifying nightmares when I was a teen – so bad I couldn’t sleep at night, so I was seriously sleep deprived throughout my last couple of years of high school. I’m 43 years old now and I sleep like a log thanks to MS fatigue and I rarely have nightmares anymore. I spent years convincing myself that the monsters were only in my mind – they weren’t real. And I tell my children that as well.

I posted an update about the kids on our family Shutterfly page and my husband’s aunt commented on the post about Jacob being afraid of monsters and she said that adults have monsters to contend with as well and I have given that a lot of thought. She is absolutely right. Our monsters follow us throughout life, and they morph and change so they look very different during each life stage.

It follows me and snarls

Right now, my son thinks his light fixture and all shadows in his room at night are monsters. And he has an imaginary monster living behind his bed that he calls a “Nicklet” – but I have monsters too and the biggest one I call “MS” – it follows me around and snarls at me from time to time. We never really grow out of that monster phase, do we? We just learn how to tame the monsters around us and power through the fear.

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View Comments (2)
  • DarlaKaye author
    3 years ago

    I guess not everyone understands a metaphor when they see one. My son will get over his fear of monsters just like you did, LuvMyDog. The monster in my life is MS – you can call your MS whatever name you want – mine is a monster. Thanks for your encouragement though. Monster is the word I use for anything you are afraid of. Sounds to me like the monster in your life was your father.

  • LuvMyDog
    3 years ago

    I remember being 4 years old, being put to bed, the light turned out and the door closed over.
    I started out being afraid of the dark but that soon ended with finding out for myself that nobody was in the room, nobody grabbed me, I’d fall asleep and wake up in the morning, safe and sound.
    My father was very strict, I was brought up the way he was, no babying, straight talk and the threat of discipline. And discipline then was not the namby- pamby discipline of today.
    I remember one night, my mother and grandmother had friends over, they were in the living room, one room over from where I had been put to bed in my room. My father was not home so I felt safe in screaming my lungs out to be let out of that bed and dark room.
    It didn’t work. I was ignored. I fell asleep. I got up the next morning, again…safe and sound.I don’t remember bothering to try that again.
    Another incident showing me that the dark was not something to be afraid of…
    my father told me to go into my parent’s bedroom and get my mother’s sweater for her.
    It was early evening, already dark, the long dark hallway I had to walk down to get to my parent’s bedroom was very dark and I was a “little” apprehensive.
    But, I would rather face the dark than my father so I went down that dark hallway.
    I got there, no bears or monsters confronted me…I learned from an early age, the dark itself is nothing to be afraid of.
    A child or an adult being confronted with “monsters”, nightmares and such, should be getting some serious psychological help, straight talk, tough love, etc..

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