I’ve mentioned before that my mom got an extreme pleasure out of torturing me when I was a child.
Don’t freak out. She didn’t tie me up in the basement, force me to eat raw cock roaches and ban me from a world of TV and Capri Suns or anything. Although, I wonder what I would be like had that been the case. Would I be the inventor of my very own language and get a spread in Time Magazine? Probably.
Alas, I’m not a mutant cellar freak… but I WAS raised by a horror-freak of a mother. My parents never told me what my fourth spoken word was, but I would imagine “brains” was right up there. No horror movie was off-limits.
Not only did I watch every horror movie made before the age of 9, but no one ever made a point of reassuring me that the monsters within them weren’t real. I was often told that the boogie man was spotted in the hallway of my house. Not only that, but he was used as a threat for when I misbehaved. “If you don’t eat your vegetables, the boogie man is going to come after you.” “The boogie man loves to attack little girls who read with a flashlight under their covers when they’re supposed to be asleep.”
This is the reason I spent every night in my room petrified, thinking of all the lies I’d told, just waiting to be snatched from my bed and taken to a dark alley. Because there are so many dark alleys in Waco, Texas after all.
The boogie man wasn’t the only monster who haunted me. There was also the creature who lived under my bed. He was the one who would bite off my legs or arms (without rhyme or reason) if I happened to let them hang off the bed. This monster was an angry little bugger, who was also likely to pull me under the bed if simply stepped on the ground, which is why any time I had to go to the bathroom I would have to jump several feet to the middle of my room.
Going to the bathroom was the worst! After jumping into the middle of my room, I had to worry about the monster who lived in my toilet (thanks to excessive watching of The Ghoulies.) The toilet monster would pull me down into the drains of my toilet if I sat there long enough. He was the reason, that until the age of ten; I never wiped or flushed when I peed in the middle of the night. I would sprint to the bathroom and get my business done as quickly as possible without even turning on the lights. I’m pretty sure my parents thought for a long time that I had severe issues with aiming.
In addition to the monsters who lived in my house, there was always the very real possibility that every animal we ever buried would come back to life and eat me. My grandparent’s have a corner of their backyard with actual gravestones for their animals. Sleeping over there wasn’t even an option. I had to be on the defense all night long.
I’ve mentioned it here before, but my greatest fear as a child were my dolls. One doll in particular. It was large, nearly 3 feet tall and had ratty red hair. My mom picked her up from one of the doll shows she frequented, probably because she knew it would scare the bejeezus out of her child one day.
After seeing Child’s Play several times over, I became convinced that doll was the evil equivalence of Chucky. Soon after I told my mother that the doll scared me, I noticed that it started moving around my room. My parents told me I was just imagining things, so I made sure to pay extra attention to how the doll was positioned. Every time I left my room, I would take a mental picture. Every time I returned, I would find the doll wasn’t where I had left it. I cried and cried to my mom, telling her that the doll was evil.
Rather than telling me the doll wasn’t, in fact; possessed- my loving mother told me that the doll wouldn’t hurt me as long as I treated it with love. That’s how I begin kissing all my of my dolls goodnight, and apologizing for not letting them sleep in my bed with me. For as much fear as I had that the doll would kill me in my sleep, I would rather not actually have it in the bed with me. Besides, my Mork doll took up far less room. The doll continued to move around my room.
Eventually, the doll was banished to my Grandma’s house. My grandma said she would love her and keep her from being evil… which eased my fear until the next time I spent the night over there and woke up to find the living room floor littered with smashed Christmas ornaments.
At this point, I was out of my mind with fear, and everyone tried to comfort me by telling me it was probably the cat.
But I knew better. That doll was torturing me. I begged and begged my mother to burn the damn thing. I think she finally realized that she was doing some serious damage and obliged.
Years later, I came home from school to find the doll sitting on my day bed. For about ten seconds my heart stopped and I was sure I had entered the sequel of my child-hood horror adventure. Then I heard my mother laughing hysterically from the next room.
The moral of this blog? I am a very fucked up human being, and I have my mother and every scary movie ever made to blame for that. But I love it. I still love the adrenaline that comes with fear. I wish I still had the ability to work my self up over a movie… to lie in bed truly believing that the unknown is out there.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever have children, but if i do- I am going to have so much fun screwing with them.
I love you mom… and every ounce of your sick sense of humor that you passed on to me.