Okay. Let me set the scene for you a little bit. I was in my own bedroom down the hall from my parents' bedroom. All of a sudden I wake up and start screaming.
My parents both rush down the hallway into my room like I have never remembered them ever doing before or after that time. "What? What's the matter? What's wrong?" my parents ask in their own way. Meanwhile, I am still crying hysterically.
What could the dream be about that would cause such hysterics? And, actually, I am not even sure you could call it a dream. I don't remember if I actually had a dream or not. I was totally awake for most of this.
What could cause such a reaction? SNAKES!!!! To me, it felt real! And, it wasn't just a dream! They were everywhere in my room and I was mortally afraid of them.
No matter what my parents did, they couldn't convince me that it was just a dream. Snakes were everywhere and they frightened me.
"Where are they?" my mother would ask.
"On the wall," I would say.
So, my father would run his hands up and down the walls. "See? There are no snakes," my mother would say. No matter where my father or mother ran their hands, I would not be comforted or believe that there were no snakes.
That is the part of the event that I don't remember. I don't remember how I finally got comforted. I think I was brought into my parents' room and fell back to sleep from exhaustion.
I have never had an experience quite like that one since… THANKFULLY!
Sometimes I look back and wonder what that experience meant. (I have a psychology degree now. So, it is interesting to look back in terms of meaning.) Yet, I still have no idea what it meant.
I do think that this event helped form me into the person I am today with my fears and preferences. I still do not care for snakes. I know that not all fears in the night are not real. However, I still do have them at times. (I am have always felt some sort of fear about night time things, whether it is snakes in my room or the monster in the closet sort of thing. I have insomnia at times, probably because "bedtime" is not my favorite time of the day.
Who knows? This childhood experience could be the seed that made me think of a children's story that I wrote. It is awaiting to be re-illustrated and re-published. I can't wait to share it again some day!