Silent Night or the Horror of Being Home Alone

I’m alone in the house overnight with only two kids, three and under. This hasn’t happened since, 2004 or something. My oldest two are off camping in Upstate New York with their father,  and #3 is spending the night with her grandparents. The youngest two went to bed by 8:30 and now the house is blissfully quiet.

How to celebrate?? I could watch a movie, read a book, eat the kid’s candy; the possibilities are endless. But ultimately, what I’ll wind up doing is tossing in turning in bed half the night worrying and fretting about all sorts of horrific calamities.

I can’t help it. I’ve always had an overactive imagination. It’s great for impromptu story times, not so great after watching say, “The Ring.” I was in my mid-twenties when I saw that movie and seven days after I saw it, I was terrified every time I woke up at night and had to walk past the TV to get to the bathroom to pee. It got to where I formed a strategy in my head so that if/when the girl appeared I would close my eyes, jump on her head and beat her with a children’s book (hardback of course) in order to protect my sleeping newborn and unsuspecting husband.  (You don’t even want to know what happened the time I watched “The Shining” the weekend I was home alone in high school.)

Now that I’m in my thirties, I’m not scared of fictional horror movie characters when I’m at home alone…usually. I’m dwelling on more serious matters, like the possibility of a horrible car accident on the way home from the camping trip that leaves me a widow and without two children. That was the scenario that kept playing over and over in my head last night (mixed in with a fear of this being the weekend someone decides to break into our house and steal our priceless heirlooms…of which there are none.) Becoming a widow is my number one fear. Every time my husband is late from work, away at late night adoration, out with the guys-anything, I’m convinced he’s been cut down in the prime of his life and I’ve been left alone. Laying alone in the dark, blanket pulled up to my ears, I started making a mental list of my job skills, experience and whether or not I would keep the house or sell.  When I started thinking about seeking out a potential sugar daddy, I knew it was time to start saying my prayers and really try to go to sleep.

And zombies. Every shadow on the wall looked like a zombie staggering down the hall. And I had to think, do I just yell to wake up Edie, or do I go and get her, or do I try to get to the shotgun first? What if there’s more downstairs? How quickly can I reload? What if the zombie apocalypse is upon us?  They’ve got limited cell phone service in Upstate New York; Tony and the kids are doomed!!!

Last but not least, I almost got out of bed and tested the smoke detectors. What if this is the night all that shoddy wiring goes kaput and catches these tinderbox walls on fire? Maybe I should put pajama pants on.

Needless to say, it was a fitful nights sleep. I awoke at dawn and was glad to see the sun streaming in on the bed and not a serial rapist hovering over me with a dagger, which is what I convinced myself would be there if I breathed too loudly and took the covers off my head too soon.

I’m hoping tonight goes better, though I’m pretty sure I can feel strangers watching me through the windows as I type. And damnit ever since The Crescat wrote about her fear of mirrors years ago, I’ve been unable to look in a mirror, or any reflective surface,  after dark. I’m pretty sure the Candy Man or Bloody Mary herself is in there waiting for me if I so much as take a casual glance.

I do miss my kids and especially my husband. Without him here, there’s no one to check on that weird sound downstairs (watch out for booby traps!) or hide behind when Jason Voorhees shows up. Thankfully he’s patient with me and only has amorous thoughts when I snuggle in close to avoid imminent death. Yes, our bed feels big and empty and downright dangerous without him here.

I’d better wrap it up so I can start locking and re-locking all the doors. What was that sound?! Oh wait, just my stomach. Good grief,  Sunday can’t come soon enough.  St. Giles, pray for me!


  1. This is hilarious! Though I know it’s not hilarious living through it. Thank God my husband is finished with overnight on-call shifts, I wouldn’t sleep at all with my hearing on high alert and my heart pounding. You need to write that funny horror book!! Incidentally, I stumbled on The Evil Dead movie last night & my hubby & I laughed our way through it…till it was time for me to use the bathroom…not so funny then lol

  2. I love this. I am the same way. I don’t sleep for a week when Joe goes to Germany. I am completely convinced someone is going to break into our home, or Joe will die in a plane crash or some other German “incident.” I’m not even really sure what a German “incident” is, but it seems scary.

    And you do live in Zombie territory. My brother has outlined it on the NJ map, and your town is on the border of the zombie zone.

    BTW, How long did the Sugar Daddies list get before you realized you needed to stop? Just curious.

  3. @Jenn I still can’t watch horror movies. Thankfully, my husband isn’t a fan of them either. A zombie homeschooling book is about as scary as I can handle!
    @Kellie I will admit to nothing in regards to my imaginary love life.

  4. > “What if the zombie apocalypse is upon us?…Tony and the kids are doomed!!!”

    What?! This is complete nonsense. I would thrive in the zombie apocalypse. You obviously haven’t been taking note of my Doom 3 skillz.

  5. My husband is not away from home often, but this is EXACTLY what happens when he is. Our floorplan is split so the kids’ rooms are on the other side of the house from the master. So I try to think how I would get to the kids if such-and-such happened, and what do I have nearby to use as a weapon, and what’s the quickest way into the attic, and…and…the list goes on. I have a dimmer switch on my bedside lamp so I sleep with that on when I am alone. It helps…a little.

    And seriously, what is with the zombie stuff?? I think about that, too. It’s like, that would never happen, but…And then my mind won’t stop. Oh, and the resurrection of old horror movie fears. I haven’t watched a horror movie in forever but they never fail to come to the forefront of my imagination on those nights.

    Hang in there!!! And stay up until you can’t possibly keep yours eyes open another moment!

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