Fear That Goes Bump In the Night

by Ginger on January 2, 2013

in Day in the Life

Around 2:30am on New Year’s, I was awake. My heart was racing. I felt that cold/hot/shaky feeling that happens with a rush of adrenaline. I felt sick to my stomach.

Because someone was trying to come in our front door.

.

.

.

I’m not imagining this event. I woke up from a dead sleep to hear someone opening our screen door, and jiggling our doorknob. The dog heard it too, she was up and on her feet, on high alert. She’s not a great guard dog–she doesn’t bark, like, ever–but she knew something was up.

So did I.

I was groggy, and afraid, and it took me a while to figure out WHAT was up. I knew something wasn’t right, but it took me a bit to place what I was hearing. By the time I figured it out, it was over. In my mind, it felt like it was 20 minutes, but in reality it was probably only one or two. Even after the sound stopped, I was terrified, my mind going through a zillion scenarios of “what would I do if…”

And yet, I was incapable of moving, or speaking, even enough to wake N.C. up. I felt paralyzed, with only my mind and my fear operating. The dog was pacing–she went into Jackson’s room (which I can see from my bed once the door to our bedroom is open), back to ours, to the patio door, back to my side of the bed, to the stairs, back to our room. And I couldn’t do anything.

***

When I was at the height of my anxiety, one of my recurring thoughts/fears was what I would do if an intruder came into our home. Would I try to get to J? Would I just run? Would I be incapable of doing anything? If someone came in upstairs would I do something different than if someone came in downstairs? Maybe I could get to him and we could go out his window?

Could I protect him?

***

Well.

Hmm.

***

For maybe an hour after the doorknob stopped jiggling, my heart and mind kept racing. The dog kept pacing. My ears were on high alert, straining for any kind of sound, anything that was out of the ordinary. My adrenaline and my fear kept me up. My anxiety filled in the silence with every terrible thought I could supply.

I finally fell back asleep, still feeling sick to my stomach with fear. Still laying in the exact same position I had been in when I was originally woken up.

***

In the morning, N.C. told me that the screen door had been open, and there was a set of keys on the porch. Our assumption is that it was a drunk NYE reveler, someone who was either a guest or house sitting for a neighbor, and ended up at the wrong house–all the town homes in our subdivision look exactly alike, particularly at night. I had even thought that the night before, in the midst of my freak out, but you know logic really doesn’t stand a chance against that kind of adrenaline.

N.C. was irritated with me (rightfully so) for not waking him up. I was irritated with me for not waking him up. And even though in the light of day everything made sense, I still spent the day jumpy at every little noise.

Fear is a tricky bitch man.

Tragic Sandwich January 2, 2013 at 9:53 am

How terrifying! I have dreams like that, and to experience it for real is so much worse.

I’m glad all of you are okay.

Keely January 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Good LORD, is that a scary story. I live in fear of that happening…and prolly would’ve done the exact same as you.

April January 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Yikes! Glad everything was okay!

Brooke January 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm

After the fire, I had ridiculous anxiety, and when Dan went out of town I was faced with the choice of: 1) Let K sleep in his own room but worry if there was a fire how i would get to him OR 2) Let K sleep in my room and worry about what he would do until Dan got home if I died in my sleep (this was when I was sick with no diagnosis). It was crazy, but it was so real and freaky for me. I’ve learned to stop the What if thoughts so that I can have a productive life, but I know that it would take one small trigger to get the fear dialed in. Glad everyone is ok.

craftyashley January 2, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Once my Mom saw a random man just walk into her house when she was alone. It would have freaked me out too. She put up cameras outside her home after the incident. The cameras are kind of awesome, wish we had them on our house!

Charleen January 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Once there was a fire in my apartment building in the middle of the night. My husband and I both woke up to the sound of our door being smashed open. It felt like forever — but was probably actually about three seconds — before they announced who they were and that there was a fire and was there anyone in here and we had to get out now . . . and as weird as it is, I was SO relieved that there was a fire. Because for those three seconds that felt like forever, I was positive that I was about to be killed. (I suppose I could just as easily die in a fire, but it was pretty obvious, even to my half asleep self, that there was no IMMEDIATE danger from the fire. Turned out it was completely confined to the unit it started in. But they still had to clear the building and it was a whole big thing.)

Long story short . . . I am so sorry this happened to you. Absolutely terrifying, I know.

Mama Bub January 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

Once, in our last house, we had chained the front door, but not locked it. In the middle of the night we heard a pounding on our door, which was someone opening the door and slamming it into the chain. It turned out to be a drunk girl looking for her friend’s house, but those moments while my husband investigated were truly terrifying. Now, if I’m the only adult in the house at night, every single noise makes me freeze with fear. I truly don’t know what I would do. Which kid would I get first? Where would we hide/go?

My parents have cameras at their front door and in the two rooms where my kids sleep when we’re there. I’m not sure if that would calm my nerves or terrify me more.

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