I’ve always had an overactive and vivid imagination, and am easily affected by all I see, hear, and read. I pretend bravery in the daylight but am defenseless at night when shadows grow eyes and claws, and the Cucuí (the boogie man) waits for just the right moment to pounce on the unsuspecting.
As a child I begged for a night light but was told my fears stemmed from my naughty nature – the guilt from all my sins accumulated throughout the day and manifested itself in my dreams. I was told to pray for forgiveness and maybe God would keep me safe throughout the night. I should also consider changing my ways.
Even then I knew that my fears were not because I was mean to my younger sister or from all the sass I was storing to unload one day on my elders. My nightmares came from the world around me – in what I witnessed in my family and in the nightly news.
I realized early that children are not immune from torture or death. I saw that many married couples lived together but not exactly “happily ever after,” and very few adults can be trusted.
My fears and nightmares were not because I lived a sinful life, read a disturbing book, or watched a horror movie.
My nightmares are based on reality and all the night lights on earth cannot keep them at bay.