Having a ‘Healthy’ Imagination: Two Sides

by Lori, @lorisizemore on 04.19.2011

in I'm kind of a big deal. not really.

Having a healthy imagination - two sides. Do writers have more vivid fearful momentsMy friend Carole wrote on her blog yesterday about being scared of the dark.

I’m terrified of the dark. Actually, I’m terrified of a lot of things. I had a very over-active imagination as a child. Basements horrified me, giving me recurring nightmares where I was stranded in a basement for no apparent reason, with a door behind me that was going to open at any second and reveal the creature behind it. I would scream for help, and the tiniest squeak would come out. My movements became futile, I moved as if underwater. Unable to scream, unable to move, and then the door would start to open…And in it was the guy from the Micheal Jackson video Thriller. He scared the living shit right out of me, the guy that does the talking at the end and then the maniacal laughing. I still hate that song.

You can read the rest of her hilarious entry on her blog, Carole, Bendy Buses, and Life.

I was rather high strung, myself, as a child.  Okay, I totally still am. If my husband is gone, I sleep with the lights on and I may or may not slip a kitchen knife between the mattress and box springs.  If I walk down a dark hallway, my steps get faster and faster because I know there’s something behind me, reaching out, and I’m just a finger’s grasp away from a horrible death.

But, I’ve always attributed this to a healthy imagination.  A writer’s imagination, even. Of course my nightmares, sleep and waking, are more vivid.  I’ve got a stellar imagination!

So, you creative types–do you experience this all-too-real fear of dark places and what’s hiding under the bed? So, you creative types–do you experience this all-too-real fear of dark places and what’s hiding under the bed? Is it something you suffer through, wondering how many years fear has shaved off your life, like Carole, or do you smile with the knowledge that you’ve hidden a kitchen utensil under the mattress and, really, this is why you can make up characters and plots and conflicts?


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mallory Snow April 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm EDT

Oh, so THAT’S where my craziness comes from! Lol! Yes, my imagination does get the best of me. That’s why I don’t let my husband watch scary movies when I’m in the house anymore.
Mallory Snow | Researching Character EmotionsMy Profile

April 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm EDT

The worst part, for me, was my mom was a horror junkie. All she had in the house to read were Stephen King books and she watched every scary movie ever made. I read The Shining when I was 11 and watched my first Jason movie when I was 4. Not a shining mom moment, for her. Anyway, why watch? I couldn’t help myself! Like a train wreck.

Carole April 20, 2011 at 9:50 am EDT

Yes! My mum had every Stephen King book (and Bachman book) written, and I read them at a very early age. Was terrified, but too curious to leave them alone.

April 20, 2011 at 9:54 am EDT

It’s Stephen King’s fault. Of course.

April 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm EDT

I completely agree. I mean, I do love having the house to myself and everything, but whenever I hear the slightest bump or oddity, my mind’s working on overdrive on all the truly horrible things that it could represent. It’s definitely a writer thing; we’re always looking for fodder, even if it’s a risk to our physical or mental safety!

April 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm EDT

I agree. I’ve decided Carole is actually a writer and just hasn’t realized it yet.

Michele April 23, 2011 at 11:15 am EDT

YES! I attribute it to my overactive imagination sprinkled with my perverse love of horror movies (I can’t help it! It’s the adrenaline rush).
I do rationalize these fears, though, and tell myself that I’m being overly cautious. You know, checking the back seat of my car AND under my seat (Chucky can fit there). ;-)
I am thankful for it, though, and would rather have it and spend some time checking behind shower curtains and doors instead of not having it.
Michele | Happy Hour Dance Party- B52sMy Profile

Brian April 25, 2011 at 10:36 am EDT

Hi Lori –

Spiders! I do not like spiders, and all creatures that have more than 4 legs, period. My big fear, just saying. Have a nice Monday. :)
Brian | The Three Old Men of the Fox River ValleyMy Profile

April 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm EDT

I almost did a spit take on the thought of checking for Chuckie, mostly because I always check the back seats (minivan here–not easy) and checking for Chuckie seems so reasonable!

Michele April 26, 2011 at 10:10 am EDT

Thank you! That’s the first time I’ve been told checking for Chucky seemed reasonable and it makes me feel better! lol! I’m more open about this practice of mine, btw. I used to not admit to it! ;)

Amanda vd Westhuizen
May 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm EDT

I’m 41 and I still am afraid of letting my arm or leg hang over the edge of my bed. REason? I’m afraid the shark will bite it off! (Had traumatic experience with Jaws age 4. Deeply scarred).
Amanda vd Westhuizen | Hey Oprah! 15 things I know for sureMy Profile

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