G-uno, I’m going to lure you into posting one on this one as well. I don’t know why this is what is sticking in my mind for some reason, so I’m going with it to purge it from my system.
I am an only child, I spent a great deal of time by myself and I had/have a very vivid imagination.
The earliest fear I can remember… windows.
Most especially the windows in my own room and playroom. They were low, on the same side of the house and the curtains were always pulled back which means when the light was turned on in either room, especially at night, the windows displayed only a black abyss, but anything in the room would have come into brilliant focus to anything standing outside of it looking in through those windows. I’ve always been a night owl as far back as I can remember and I just hated the feeling I got of constantly being watched when in either of these rooms.
It wasn’t the dark I feared, it was something being able to get close to me, to watch me, and I would never know it. For some reason, even the box bay window at the back of the house never bothered me like the ones on that one side did. Perhaps because it had curtains in the lower half of it…
I felt most comfortable in the back of Grand’s walk-in closet, my closet, under the bed, the crevice between the wall and the piano where Grand kept their violin and viola, behind the couch, in the bushes in the middle of the night, a crevice of the woodpile and the like. I even have a distinct, though blurred, memory of trying to silence those damn bells parents would put on children’s shoes to pinpoint their location. I didn’t want to be found until I was ready. If you’ve ever seen Silence of the Lambs, that moment when the bad guy is just about to touch her hair in the dark because he could see her but she couldn’t see him… that resonated with me more than anything else in that film.
I’ve come to realize that I have never really shaken it either. I refused to ever sleep in either of those rooms. Until I moved out, I slept on the couch or bunked with Grand in my younger days. My favorite spot, the couch, was in the center of the house almost completely surrounded by walls and in a corner.
Even living on my own, I usually picked the room with little to no windows. When my mom died and I moved into her house, I slept in the basement (this was a four bedroom house, mind you), on a mattress and box springs tossed directly under the one window it had because this was the only place where you couldn’t be seen if looking in through the window and I had not yet figured a good way to cover it.
Even now, My room lets in no light and I call it my bear cave. My curtains are plastic backed and always closed. I’m more likely to use a thin rug to cover a window than to leave it open and put the rug on the floor. The only exception being one tiny window over the kitchen sink… but it still is mostly covered. Houses with lots of huge windows freak me out. I don’t really fear it anymore, but I get anxious and feel exposed with open or uncovered windows.
On a subconscious level I suppose this might be why I’ve become very sensitive to sunlight, my night driving is better than my day, I don’t turn a lot of lights on in my house and I can usually get my eyes adjusted outside pretty quickly. The funny thing is I don’t really have a particular problem with general voyeurism, I love to just people watch sometimes too. I think its just when its a strategic advantage that it bugs me. So far it’s only come in handy when someone is at my door I don’t want to talk to. They can’t see I’m on the other side giving them the finger.
Sidenote: when I was still in elementary school and I would sneak to the back of the house to watch Mtv like I wasn’t supposed to, the door leading to the attic would rattle from how to Grand would set up the fans in the house to cycle air through the house to keep the temperature down. It rattled bad enough it sounded like something(s) trying to get out. Instead of logic kicking in, my imagination told me it was a pack of angry leprechauns with metal fingernails that would claw the shit out of me when they got out and it sounded loud like that because could smell me nearby. Didn’t take long before I would race back to bed and hide.