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Does being home alone ever freak you out?

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Nick took Alex to Michigan for a boys’ trip last weekend and Nora and I stayed home. In our house. Alone. At night. This is not something I am accustomed to doing. For one, Nick doesn’t do a lot of traveling for work and for two, when he is out of town, I usually have a friend (or my mommy) come stay with me. Or I sleep at my parents’ house. It’s not that I have a scary house or a scary neighborhood, it’s that I have a very vivid imagination. And, despite being a cancer survivor, a mother of two, a professional, a homeowner, a wife, a 33 year old, etc., etc., I am still afraid of the big bad wolf. Or, more specifically, Freddy Kreuger. That’s right, I am not really worried about intruders, I’m worried about monsters and ghosts and creepy clowns that are there one minute and under your bed the next.


I have seen exactly three scary movies in my life: Poltergeist, Watcher in the Woods and The Sixth Sense. And all of them still haunt me. As does every trailer to every scary movie I’ve accidentally stumbled upon. I am totally that person who plugs her ears and sings la la la la la at the movie theater—or when someone wants to talk about a scary movie they’ve recently seen. Still, chill-inducing images get branded into my mind and conveniently pop up and play on repeat when I’m home alone lying in bed unable to find sleep. But over the weekend I was strong and didn’t let my imagination get the best of me.


Of course Friday afternoon I did accidentally catch a glimpse of a scary movie preview while watching Bravo and, naturally, it had something to do with a creepy shadowy man hiding in a kid’s bedroom as the mom tiptoed in. The second I saw it I knew it would come back to haunt me—literally. And it did. But I survived and actually slept quite well that night. In fact the most heart-pounding moments of the weekend were in the middle of the day when Nora was napping and I was in the shower. I kept thinking I heard something. And isn’t there a creepy shower scene in like every scary movie?


Overall, though, I’m proud of myself. Pathetic? Probably, especially given that I have friends who are alone for days on end on a regular basis and don’t seem phased. But I do feel like I conquered my fear—sort of. In the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that Saturday night both Nora and I slept at my parents’ house. But that wasn’t because I was being wimpy, it’s because Nora was already sleeping there—I was out late with girlfriends for a bachelorette and my parents were babysitting. I just wound up crashing there too so I could be lazy the next morning. 


All in all, I fared pretty well. And I very much enjoyed being alone in my house(when I wasn’t imagining a creepy shadowy man). I can’t tell you how neat the place stayed for four days straight! But I’m wondering if I’m alone in my childish fears. How do you do when you’re home alone overnight? Am I the only wimpy mom? (Please say no!)