When I was a little boy, I remember watching The Chronicles of Narnia and being absolutely terrified of two of the characters in the film. To this day, I don’t even like to think about them, their names, appearance or even the sound of the theme song that played at the start of the first film, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
I’m 36 years-old, 6’3, 200lb. and have the appearance of a strong man. However, my mind is still shattered from the repeated trauma that I experienced whenever I watched these films. To this day, I cannot google the images of these characters without having to look away from the screen, and it admittedly sparks fear in me as I write this blog.
There’s no amount of consolation that will help me overcome this fear, because it is so deeply rooted in my conscious and subconscious memory, even as a grown adult.
Why do I share this with you? Because we’re about to ‘celebrate’ a day that is associated with frightening characters, horror, make-up, blood and terror; Halloween.
We’re about to ‘celebrate’ this day by bringing young children out into the streets at night, where they will be subjected to these scenes of terror. And, in many cases, these children are too young to give proper voice to the things that scare them.
For what? Candy that will rot their teeth.
I share this with you not because I’m some religious zealot that believes Halloween has far more nefarious undertones than the ‘lighthearted’ way we present it to children (it does) but as somebody that as a grown adult, still suffers from the traumatic memories I experienced as a child when I was exposed to a single movie that was meant to be watched and enjoyed by children.
For a brief moment, I considered posting images of the characters that scared me, before chills ran down my spine.
It doesn’t make me a weak person to admit that I still feel repercussions from experiences that scarred my mind as a child. Rather, I’m somebody that has gone my entire life carrying the weight of these experiences and now have the proper voice to share my experiences that I had as a child who was too young to properly articulate these thoughts at the time.
There are a lot of things in the world that are disguised as being fun for children. However, I remember what it was like to be one of the children who screamed in terror when they saw something that frightened them, and it deeply saddens me to see countless boys and girls who bite their tongues when they are afraid, because they are too embarrassed to be seen crying.
Those tears will fall – when nobody else is around.
Those terrors will resurface, late at night when Mom and Dad go to bed and the child is left in an empty room with nothing but their imagination.
As a child, I suffered from countless night terrors, and many of them were because my mind was frightened at an age where I didn’t understand the difference between ‘fake’ and ‘real’ in life.
As an adult, I still suffer from the ripple effects of these moments, and as a concerned parent, I urge others to read this blog and ask whether or not a bag full of candy is worth breaking the glass of a young mind that’s still its early stages of development.