Dating : The Night is Dark & Full of Terrors: A Nightmare in the Genes

h2>Dating : The Night is Dark & Full of Terrors: A Nightmare in the Genes

The night is dark and full of terrors. Or so acolytes of the Lord of Light would have us believe. Whether or not it is actually full of terrors depends on how much your imagination takes over after the lights go out.

For some, nighttime is a matter of physics and planetary motion. For others, the night manifests itself in sinister ways, and within the subjective caverns of the mind, it can both be a time of wonder or intense, sheet-sweating fear.

Ah, sheet-sweating fear. The imagery brings back memories from my youth. The night always had added experiential value for me. My imagination would stop cooperating with conscious control, literally coming alive.

I should thank one of my aunts and best friend for this. They got me started on Stephen King at the tender age of nine. ( Eyes of the Dragon was such a classic, then It followed after). Nights have never been the same since.

Tossing and turning in my sleep, I’d lie awake for hours waiting for the monster under the bed. The 1988 version of “The Blob” had me in a panic every time I took a shower or went to the bathroom. For months.

Even today, I still consider it a possibility that an insatiable and omnivorous giant bacterium may emerge to pull me back down the drain.

Maybe an early education in horror was only the trigger, though, and a penchant for vivid nightmares is written into the fabric of our DNA. Just like hair, skin, eye color, talents, and so on, dreaming is passed on from generation to generation.

I want my daughter to have an active imagination-a sense of the macabre even (because we make interesting people), but I would withhold the darker bits. No dark strangers or visitations from Cthulhu for my daughter.

I would withhold the same waking nightmares I’ve had, on and off, since childhood: a presence, sometimes malevolent and other times indifferent, that appears after failing to wake up from a dream. It’s a dream that’s recurred often during stressful periods in life. Probably no more than a manifestation of subconscious anxieties and worries. Whatever this night terror is, I now see it as an old friend now — an unwelcome friend.

Yet, I’m not the only one. I thought it was a fluke of my imagination but several family members have confirmed the same experience. And if talking, walking, driving, and cooking in our sleep are traits expressed through generations (maybe not the last one), then the proclivity for nightmares and terrors isn’t far behind.

Maybe what Bruce Lee was really haunted by his entire life was a curse of genetic dimensions, not supernatural.

A little research can tell us that nightmares, or an outbreak of night terrors, is common in toddlers. We all know what sort of acid trip is going on in there-even if most of us, maybe not all, don’t remember it as adults. Stress and periods of transition can bring them on, but it seems that if you were/are prone to them, then your children might be as well.

I guess family curses can be real, in a manner of speaking, but best we don’t talk about it, lest we conjure something.

Since that last day-terror, we’ve had no more — just a few bad dreams that were quickly forgotten.

I’ve had a few bad nights, though…

From time to time, I wonder what she was reaching for and what she saw. Maybe it wasn’t some dark stranger or monster, but something else. Maybe the propensity for sheet-sweating nightmares is broken with her generation.

I can only hope the darker parts of my imagination didn’t lodge themselves in hers, and she’ll get no visits from “It.” At least not for a while.

Sweet dreams, fellow parents.

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