Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My fear of small spaces...it's all Fred Flinstone's fault.

When I was 7 or 8 or 9 - the memory is the first to go, they say - my parents finally moved my bedroom to the attic of our Cape style home in Waltham. The smell of the paint and the glue from the linoleum - what, who could afford hardwood back then - seemed so fresh. It was my own room. My own closet. My space to find comfort and joy!!!

Until I had a nightmare. A horrific, awful, larger than life nightmare.  In that safe, wonderful room I was being held hostage by Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble. Go ahead...laugh. You can do it. But it was terrifying.

They were laughing these evil laughs and every time I reached for the door they stood in the way. And when I screamed for my parents, my voice was empty and silenced. Oh the fear!!! There was no escape and suddenly the room seemed so small...and was shrinking.

Now, I don't know if I ever shared this story with my parents, but the memory followed me for 29 years (see how I just reduced my age by 15).  And I think that, in some weird way, it played into my fear of small spaces as an adult. Which brings me to another post for another time...my upcoming trip on a cruise.....in an inside cabin.......think about that for a while, will ya? If I see a turkey leg in someone's hand, or a shirt made of animal hide, I might just jump overboard.

What scared the poop out of you as a kid? My guess is it wasn't a killer cartoon character...