What makes something truly frightening?
Last night I was really scared. This post isn’t just for Halloween, but considering it happened last night it seemed fitting.
I have shared with you some of the strange beliefs I had when I was younger and struggling with psychosis. Sometimes I was just afraid of the dark and had to have every light in the house on. Other times it was a little more bizarre such as thinking the vacuum cleaner angered my hallucinations or that a man stood next to the piano as I practiced for my lessons.
(If you are new to my blog, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in my 20s and have been on medication for nearly twenty years now. Psychotic symptoms have not impacted my life for a very long time.)
One belief I had was that ghosts would become active in my house at 3:48am, so I always had to be asleep by then. (Again, this was a very long time ago.)
Fast forward to last night. I have a habit of waking up once or twice at night to get a drink of water and use the bathroom. Well, last night I woke up at 3:38am thirsty and panicked. I was awake and it was almost that time. It was like the last twenty years of recovery never happened.
After a few seconds, I realized I was half-asleep but safe. However, a few doubts tend to linger after experiences like this so after getting a drink of water and using the bathroom, I went back to bed, covered my head with the blanket leaving a small hole to breathe, and tried to get back to sleep as fast as possible. You know, just in case.
Obviously, I was fine in the morning but that fear hit me like a ton of bricks. I was really scared.
I had this fear based on past experiences. Psychosis was frightening and confusing. I spent every day thinking my hallucinations were real.
So what makes something scary? Is it uncertainty? Is it the possibility that it could be real?
I’m sure fear is very personal, but what makes people scared? I always seem to be a little confused at Halloween as to why people want to be scared. How does that somehow become fun?
Last night surprised me because in the last few years, I’ve developed a fascination with the paranormal despite my experiences years ago.
But Halloween doesn’t feel like a fascination. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of fun dressing up and trick-or-treating with my daughter, but I just don’t understand wanting to be scared. Scary movies fall into this category as well.
What do you think? Do you like scary things? Explain it to me.