Real Life is Scary Enough, Thanks

For the last four years, I’ve joined some of my writery friends and their friends in writing a story for 13 Stories Til Halloween.
This year, I struggled. I kinda always struggle, cause scary, creepy, eerie is not my thing. When I was young, I enjoyed horror, but something happened, and now I just don’t.

I’ll tell you what happened — the fiction got too close to my reality.

I was reading a book by Dean Koontz, don’t remember which one, but in that particular book, the villain had gone into the family’s attached garage during the day, while the door was open, climbed up the family vehicle and into the attic to wait for the family to sleep — and then, in the middle of the night, he climbed right back down the family vehicle and walked into the house to kill the girl in her bed. So easy. And y’all, we had a house with an attached garage, and we had an SUV parked right under the attic, and I was, if you can imagine, also a girl.
I started locking that door between the house and the garage to the point that my parents had to yell at me about it, because they’d come home and have to wait for me to let them in. Parental rage be damned, at night, I’d sneak downstairs to lock it so I could sleep. Half the time, I worried the bad man was already in the house.

So my story this year is actually a dream I had, cause without a doubt, I dream the scariest shit that ever there was. I mean, I wake up and I cannot get a grip on what a sick, twisted dreaming brain I have. I often feel cheated that I can’t sell tickets to the show. I know a lot of people who would really love to watch my dreams.

Anyway, for the month or so that I sat around waiting for inspiration to strike, I read Craig’s Idea Mills, I read horror prompts, I asked my family, and I even, in a moment of desperation, considered writing a wee limerick about bats and black cats and witches’ hats. *hangs head in shame*

The Mister, ever supportive, suggested writing about what scares me.


My brain almost short-circuited with the following thoughts from my daily life with anxiety disorder:

what time is it? where is my husband? should it still be dark now? my hands hurt, my head is fuzzy, i’m dizzy, am i dying? where is the baby? is she in those blankets? my god, can she even breathe? THE CHILDREN ARE VERY BIG NOW AND I STILL TURN THE LIGHT ON EVERY MORNING BECAUSE I NEED TO SEE THE BLANKETS MOVING UP AND DOWN BEFORE I WAKE THEM BECAUSE I FEAR THEY HAVE DIED IN THE NIGHT, probably from sneaking popcorn and hard candy and grapes in the middle of the night, choked to death. I HAVE HEIMLICHED MORE KIDS THAN I CAN COUNT, LITERALLY. I KNOW DADDY DOESN’T TURN ON THE LIGHT, I KNOW YOU LIKE IT BETTER THAT WAY, BUT IT’S ONLY BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU AS MUCH AS I DO. is this coffee really decaf? is the furnace running? what if it catches fire? is it going to maintain the temperature? what if we have to have the guy come out again? what if he says we need a new furnace? has anyone taken the dog out yet? are they happy enough? are they having a nice childhood? are they mad i made them eat breakfast? is it safe for her to suck on a cough drop in the back seat? if she keeps coughin like this after the frost, she’s gonna need a doctor. she never coughs like this after the frost, don’t panic. driving east in the morning is fucking dangerous. they should make special glasses for driving into the sun. i can’t see anything. i’m going to run over someone. 



why is that guy in the street? is he a good man or a bad man? i’m gonna get hit by a car and my dog will run off and kill squirrels instead of acting like lassie. lawd why can’t we have more walkways? why the dog is barking? who’s at the door? prolly an axe murderer. she looks like a nice lady, but she could secretly be a witch who cursed my misplaced mail. why is clara eating those flowers? i better see if they’re poisonous to cats. i feel sick. maybe i’m dying. have i slept enough? have i eaten? maybe i should eat. why hasn’t my husband text me yet? omg, did he make it to work? omg, what if he fell in love with the barista? what should i wear? what if i get hot? is there going to be traffic out here? did i leave the iron on? the hair straightener? did i flip the safety switch on the space heater? did i lock the dog in her crate? did i give her a cookie? will she eat shoes? omg, what if she eats my new booties? one day my dog will die and i do not know how i will recover. is she happy enough? is she having a good life? what if a bad man snuck into my house while i was in the back yard? what if mentor isn’t in the office today? will i get my things done? will i get the mail out before the mailman comes? will i have to stop at the post office? why am i always behind the ballet of the gravel trucks?!? one day they’re going to crush me like a bug. i should drive a gravel truck.  i’m hot and dizzy. is it the caffeine? am i dying? is this a hot flash? am i dying? should i take off my sweater? should i eat a banana? why does this printer hate me? what if i can’t maintain my manners one more minute? what if i don’t get home in time to pick moo up? is sassy okay at home? what if the alarm is badly wired and explodes when she turns it off? DAILY, I IMAGINE MY CHILDREN HAVE ARRIVED AT HOME, THEIR HOUSE BURNED TO THE GROUND, THEIR DOG’S CHARRED CARCASS IN HER CRATE, AND AN AXE MURDERER THERE TO COMFORT THEM. did i turn on the answering service? did i turn out all the lights? did i lock the door? is this pain in my chest, or just sensation?



this intersection is stupid dangerous, one day i’m going to wreck here. do all of these have postage? I MUST CHECK THE POSTAGE AGAIN. merrrrrge, omg don’t brake! are you tryin to kill us all?!? why is this pos takin so long? was i supposed to swipe or insert? omg, what if our account was hacked? where’s the baby? she’s too small. the other children look big enough to eat her. what if she went with a stranger? omg, i should never let her do anything without her sister. i should tie them together like mittens ffs. did anyone take the dog out? did anyone feed the cats? oh no, now clara’s puking because i didn’t look the flowers up! hope my husband makes it home safely. i wonder if he’s takin the interstate today? what is this red spot on my pinkie? omg, my father called, what happened? my head hurts, i hope it’s not a brain tumor. is it better for her to be challenged and make Cs or better for her to be bored and make As? what if they mis-marked this chicken and we all get sick? how do we really know where these chickens lived? omg, is the mayonnaise touching the cheese?!? is he doin that to make me crazy? i’m so dizzy. where’s the baby?

Those are the typical ones.
And here’s the truly horrific part — I’m better than I used to be, by leaps and bounds.


So, no, I don’t think I should write about what scares me. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Happy Friday Everyone! May the weekend bring you peace of mind.


About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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54 Responses to Real Life is Scary Enough, Thanks

  1. Not going. You sound so much like my mom that I wish to hug you. I bet your hands are warm all the time too. This is extra healing energy trying to make itself useful. How many have you healed today? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bradley says:

    I love the “Anxiety gives me anxiety meme.” You captured anxiety perfectly. It actually made me kind of anxious, which means a job well done.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Norm 2.0 says:

    Oh my, I’m a bit like this about some things, in fact I think we all are, but it sure must be exhausting to be worrying this much.
    What is it they say about the key to happiness being the ability to let go and not fret about the things we have no control over? Damn, if it were only that easy.
    Have yourself a nice worry-free weekend 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. marianallen says:

    OMG, it’s like we have the same brain! I thought I was the only one who checked for blankets breathing in the night. And the bad man thing. OMG. I am so there.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. orbthefirst says:

    “Hell is other people.” ~ Paul Sartre

    Enjoy your weekend Joey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. eschudel says:

    Sounds pretty normal to me!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This sounds a lot like my day too, Joey. If only we could switch it all off for a while, wouldn’t life be lovely?!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jan says:

    Goodness gracious! You’re almost as anxious as me!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha! Thanks so much for sharing this. I agree that my life is scary enough without scary stories. PS Thank you for sharing the humor in anxiety. Sometimes you just have to find the humor in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear God, that is like a “Worrypalooza”. Sending you virtual hugs, Joey. Deep breaths.Wishing you the calmest of weekends. 💘

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ally Bean says:

    Gracious. I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll keep it short and say: inhale – exhale – breathe. And repeat. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. meANXIETYme says:

    Yeah, that sounds like my brain, too. I don’t have kids, but I often stop to check to see if the dogs’ chests are moving to make sure they’re still alive and haven’t expired since the last time I saw them…sometimes only twenty minutes prior. Other than the no-kid thing, the rest of it is spot-on. Maybe this should be a thing, where we all share our anxiety thoughts like that on our blogs. Scary stuff for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • joey says:

      I think it’s helpful to know we’re not alone. I wonder what it’s like inside peaceful minds?

      Liked by 1 person

      • meANXIETYme says:

        I half think the absolute quiet of a peaceful mind might drive me insane. I used to live a few blocks from a fire station and our house backed up to a major highway. When we went away to a cousin’s house in the “country” I couldn’t sleep because it was too quiet. 😉 That’s kind of how I see it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • joey says:

          OH I LOVE that analogy! Well done! I understand that on both counts. I’m used to the roar of the interstate and trains and crickets and cicadas — not too great at sleepin in quiet either!

          Liked by 1 person

  13. reocochran says:

    Joey, I have lots of worries, I always lock windows and doors at night!! I am one who wants to peek into grandchildren’s rooms if I babysit at their homes and if I am with them, I do feel comforted once chain is on my apt building which my brother says is bad I’m case of fire!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. loisajay says:

    OMG, Joey! I am sorry but I just double-over laughed at this. I mean, it’s great stuff. I am sorry your anxiety gives you anxiety, but this is great. I think I will not clip Parker’s claws tonight just in case someone tries to break into my ATTACHED GARAGE WITH A DOOR STRAIGHT INTO MY KITCHEN!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I’m glad you laughed, it’s supposed to be laughed at, at least in parts 🙂 Yeah, you better get you a chain or a big Doberman cut-out, or somethin 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. OMG…that sounds just like the thread running through my head on a daily basis (Funny but not funny when you’re living it). Farmguy always asks me, “How do you think this stuff up?” And, I answer, “Because I’m creative.” 😉

    Take care and know that you are completely fine, and everything is going to be okay. I tell myself this at least once a day. 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Benson says:

    Lord that sounds like Clara Lee and she hasn’t left the house in about a year. She also has to have everything in their special place. If she ever woke without something to worry about that would make her worry. The part about looking for breathing children I think is universal for parent types. At least I hope so. Oh, and pet owners too. I appreciate your humor I just wish it was all fun for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Well I feel bad for Clara Lee (Fantastic name by the way) and I certainly know how she feels. It’s downright paralyzing at times. (Which is why I keep moving…)
      My husband does not suffer from constant worry parenting. I envy him that.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Dan Antion says:

    Wow – it is scary in there. Still, I was hanging on every word. Maybe you should write about what scares you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Anxious Mom says:

    Your anxiety is giving me anxiety on top of my anxiety. Dammit, Joey 😉

    I still check on my kids’ breathing, too. It freaked Sam out the first time he caught me crouched by Little Man’s bassinet, staring at him all wide eyed, but he’s used to it by now.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Nan Mykel says:

    This is a riot! A scream! At least your husband doesn’t seem be a vampire! (Shut my mouth; apparently you hadn’t thought of that!) Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pistachios says:

    I’ve never had kids, but I imagine I’d probably do the “check for breathing” thing too. Sometimes I look at my watch a bit longer than I need to, just to check that it’s actually still ticking.

    You can see my family’s house from a certain point on the highway, and sometimes when I’m passing this point, I’ll glance over to check if it’s been engulfed in flames or if there’s smoke billowing from it. I think I did that more as a kid, but it still crosses my mind now and then.

    And the “maybe I’m dying” thought – I get variations of that for almost any ailment 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  21. pluviolover says:

    Phone. Hey, Son, wuz up? Dad, I wrecked your new truck. Are you ok? What happened? Some lady stopped in front of me to yell at her kids. I rear-ended her. Was anyone hurt? No, just the truck and her minivan. Why did you hit her? The sun was in my eyes and I couldn’t see. You were driving blind? Yah, I suppose so, but why are you laughing? I just had a vision of me making this call to my father. I’d be dead. You need to call the insurance company and find $500 for the deductible. Steven, we all do it, but this is what can happen if you can’t see. Don’t drive blind. I’ll call your mom when I stop laughing. I’d be dead and you’d a never been born. Lucky my dad never let me borrow his new pickup. Talk to ya later, Son—glad you and everyone is ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Joey))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    I think you could be very grateful just based on the fact that none of these myriad things happened! May the rest of your weekend be worry-free and gratitude & love full!!



  23. JoAnna says:

    I’m sorry you have anxiety but this was hilarious! “What if I can’t maintain my manners one more minute,” has plagued me from my subconscious since I was five. Thanks for uncovering that one so I could laugh at it. I love how you write.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Laura says:

    I SO get this. It’s the reason I had to stop watching Criminal Minds. All the serial killers were kidnapping and torturing 20-30 yr old white women, and eventually the ‘too close for comfort’ factor worked its way into my nightmares. No thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. April says:

    A sense of humor….the only way to make it through some days. Not that I’m happy that you suffer from anxiety as I do, I’m glad my party isn’t a party of one.


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