Friday, September 5, 2014

Fear of the Dark

I have been watching this change in Raghav, slowly over the last few months. But I didn't talk about it with him. I just waited and watched. Until he was ready to talk about it today.

Raghav has had this extreme fear of the dark from when he was a baby. He would scream his head off every night, and we would get so frustrated because we had no clue as to what was bothering him. He would have just had his feed, and dozed off to sleep, and I would put him down on the bed. A little while later, he would scream and scream. We would walk him, hold him, sing for him, take him out, but nothing would work. For a long time we thought it was something to do with colic, until I mentioned this in conversation very casually, to a colleague and 'boss' of mine at the special school I used to work in. She asked me to try leaving a light 'on' in the room. As simple as that! And it worked like magic! Raghav slept much better after that. That was when we first realised that he was perhaps scared of the dark. He spoke about it many years later to me as you can read in this old post. (

This fear has stayed with him ever since. And we have learned to sleep with the light on ever since! :) Not a dim zero watt light, but quite a bright tube light (dim for him, but bright for us)! We have carried torches and emergency lights on our many trips, just in case the power went off somewhere :) Those were on the list of  most-important-things-to-be-packed always. Only many years later (actually quite recently) was he okay with just candle light to light up the room.

So this evening, when we came back to a dark house, and he said to me: " Amma, I think I have overcome my fear of the dark," I was almost in tears. Tears of joy. Yes, it is such a huge thing to overcome the simplest of fears, because that holds us back so much. It is such a freeing feeling to look at one's fear in the eye, and not run away from it or push it away, to be tackled some other day. I knew he was happy and so was I.

"I don't know how, but I think Mine Craft helped me get over this fear," he said. " See, earlier I would not even go into the room without a light being on.....I would stand and scream asking for the light to be switched on.....but today, I went in on my own, did not turn on the light, and am quite okay without that.....maybe, just maybe we can even try and sleep without the light tonight in the bedroom," he added.

I was quietly happy. Happy with where he was today and the journey he had made to get here on his own. We didn't do anything. We acknowledged his fear of the dark and talked about it off and on when it came up. That's all. And we let him have the light on for as long as he needed.

He must have faced and vanquished his demons on his own somehow. I have no clue how. And I am quite okay to not know. Maybe it was Mine Craft. Who knows? Who cares? :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your thoughts are please do share them....