I want to get over this so bad!


Hi. I really love your Alice books. They’re the best ever! Anyway, you obviously know lots of everything, so I was wondering if you could help me with something. I’m fourteen now, and I’ve never really had nightmares or anything, but lately I’ve been just scared all over the place and on overdrive. Like, I’ve watched dozens of horror movies over the years, but none recently, I’ve made sure. And I mean, I thought that was the way to stop freaking out and to not have nightmares, but the past few months now I can’t even go into the house’s basement without seeing Mike Myers from Halloween. I can’t go into the dining room without making sure the back door is locked, because I’m afraid a killer or someone will burst through it. If it’s evening and I see the front door is unlocked, my heart starts beating really fast when I go to close it. Sometimes I can’t sleep at the edge of my bed, because I’m afraid someone will break in the window. Writing this right now, I’m feeling really scared. I mean… I’m really just worried. I want to get over it so bad. I can’t even look at a doll without thinking Chucky, or something else horrible. What do you think? I want to get over this so bad!

Phyllis replied:

I’m trying to think of something that might help here.  You said that it used to be that horror movies didn’t bother you, and you haven’t watched any recently, but that “lately” you’re scaring yourself silly.  Can you think back to when these “lately” ones first began?  Can you connect it to anything at all?  First thought that comes to mind?  If making the connection to something doesn’t solve it–not to get too psychological here–is it at all possible you are feeling guilty about something and this is the way you’re punishing yourself–by thinking up all the scary things that could happen to you?  I could also ask “why are you so intent on scaring yourself?”  Whatever, try getting control of your imagination this way.  Start out by imagining Chuckie-what’s-his-name crawling through the window.  And just as his foot touches the floor, he slips on a skate board, flies across the room, turns upside down, and the skateboard hits him on top of the head.  Whereupon you stand over him and order him out of the room and he can’t wait to leave.  Do this over and over, the creepiest scenes you can imagine, and turn them into a ridiculous comedy.  It’s worth a try.

Posted on: May 12, 2009


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