What goes bump in YOUR night! …what is truly, truly scary to you?!
Where I live, in the United States, we’re about to have two really fun holidays. From our European heritage, we have Halloween, and from Mexico, we have Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Both involve decorations with skeletons, concepts of the dead coming out of their graves… ooh it’s enough to make anyone go “Yikes!”
About a week ago, I wrote a letter to my Pack members, asking what gives them the willies. The responses were… well, read on!
Like most people, eiei hates public speaking; so does cinderrella (along with creepy sounds at night and vampire movies); Peace_Dog is worried about True and False Prophecy; Astrid is scared of paranormal TV shows – especially since she saw one where a ghost robbed a girl out of a bed that looked just like hers! — and angelbrat,my kind of human, said that what scares her the most is CATS! “They are weird, ugly, disturbing and most of all they are associated with witchcraft. They remind me of deaths especially when they growl its as if they are talking to each other.” Exactly how I feel (but angelbrat, I think your friend must be making up that story about a cat strangling a person! I mean, those paws are awfully small!!)
You know, when I was giving examples of what might scare a lot of my Pack, there was one thing I thought about mentioning but didn’t – and then two letters came in about that! Brittany wrote, “This morning at recess at school I leaned up against the corner of the kindergarten building, and my friend Emily said ‘Um…behind you?’ and I walked away and saw a huge yellow and black spider going insane. That scared me to death!” And PurpleHaze pointed out that she knows they’re good for the ecology, so she doesn’t kill them (good for you my dear! You’re so right!), but that “It doesn’t matter if they are little bitty teeny spiders that build little bitt y teeny spider webs between blades of grass, or big hairy Wolf spiders that carry their babies on their backs or giant fake spiders in silly movies, or pretty garden spiders with pretty colored stripes that build big beautiful webs between two trees, or the small fuzzy ones that seem to hop from place to place… I get itchy all over like maybe something is crawling on me. I have to look behind me all the time, like maybe there’s one sneaking up on me. And it takes me hours to make the feelings go away.”
Wow, PurpleHaze, I think you’re a poet! That’s so well-written it gives me the creeps… and I don’t mind spiders at all!
But there’s another letter that I really want to share with you all. I expected most of the letters to be creepy fun, and maybe even funny. And they were. But this one made me cry. I think it’s one of the most sensitive, beautiful things I’ve ever read. And I think it says, in an incredibly honest way, what I and most of my Pack friends often feel.
“I’m fond of talking, like chatting, or in person. But I usually get worried when I talk to boys who I don’t know online and when they want to see my photo. I think this is because I wanna be something special in their mind even I don’t like them. At those moments, I am worried if they don’t like me. I don’t mean that like between boys and girls, I mean like between a person and a person.
“As I am a teenager, I also care about how everybody sees me. In fact, I am really scared that someone thinks ‘she is nothing, just forget her.’ So, I try to meet people, but sometimes, it doesn’t work out. Actually, it (not working out) happens a lot these days. I am so depressed, and now I am a little scared even to try. In education, and in community, if I make a mistake, I feel like everybody I love is blaming me. And even when they are wrong, they act like their mistake is nothing compared to mine. So, sometimes, I lie to cover my fault. I know its wrong, but it makes me feel better.
“Well… enough of my feelings. FINALLY, the thing that really scares me is that someone I love or someone I care about thinks of me as a jerk and being a failure in my own mind, no matter how I try.
“Therefore, I would like to ask you a favour. Right now, I need a place to let go my mind. If you have a network address or something to help me share my feelings or forget them, I would like to know that. I really wish you won’t ignore my mail and I am hoping for your reply.”
Well, Erin, I can tell you right away – that’s so beautiful and sad, I can’t ignore it at all. And here’s my reply: You Are A Member of Our Pack! And you can write me anytime you want with your feelings, and I’ll be honored and thrilled to hear from you. And if you want to share your concerns with everyone else, I’ll post them just like all the other hundreds of questions I do; or if you would prefer it stays just between us, that’s fine too.
Now, what scares me?
Let’s see… skateboards, loud noises, my veterinarian when she has a needle… but when I really think about it, there’s one thing that scares me the most. And that is Rage. When a stranger doesn’t want me in their yard, and screams at me to get away, or when dogs get into a fight or are barking at me furiously, or (worst of all) when Handsome gets really angry and yells out bad words – I get really scared. Oh sure, I know I can outrun that stranger, or avoid that fight, and I know Handsome will always calm down right away and pat me and say he’s sorry that he got so upset. But still, lots of times, I’m still trembling.
So give me a speech to make in front of a thousand people, give me a whole web full of spiders, even give me a night full of the yowling of cats! I’ll take all those, if I can just not get yelled at.
Because, you know, it’s when I’m yelled at that I feel most alone. And that’s when I have those feelings like
Erin wrote about. Those feelings we all know all too well.
But hey, Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are not about bad hurtful feelings! They’re about fun scary stuff! They’re about ghosts and goblins and skeletons and vampires and those amazing “Scream” masks with the fake blood squirting inside them, and zom bies and glowing monstrous jack-o’-lanterns… and lots of candy that makes your next trip to the dentist TRULY scary!
So here’s hoping that for this month, and forever, your scares – well, most of them – are the fun kind. That’s what this Pawprint is here to celebrate!