P is for Paranoia

PConfession: I take showers in the dark. I don’t have to anymore but by now it just seems normal. After all these years it’s an ingrained habit.

How did it start? I grew up in an awesome house with a big back yard. Beyond the yard was an enormous field. The farmer who owned the land rotated the crops every year: one year it would be oats, the next year corn and the following year wheat. There were a lot of fields and orchards in my little town (Town of Niagara). In fact the high school I went to was called Niagara Wheatfield and it wasn’t until years later that I even saw the connection. Lots of fields in our area. And to have one right in your backyard? Well, that was great for us kids. We’d run through the soft oats one summer and play Hide & Seek in the cornstalks the next. We’d sit at the edge of the yard in autumn and watch the mammouth machines (called combines) harvest the wheat. A few days later we would sit in fascination as the baling machine would make its passes, and every few minutes a big block of bound wheat would pop out of the top of the machine and fall to the ground. By the end of the day the field would be dotted with compact rectangles of wheat straw. In the winter, my next door neighbor would get out his skis and go cross-country skiing to rev up his heart rate in the mornings. And the field served as a virtual haven for snowmobilers in the afternoons and evenings. Late night revelers were also the norm.

There was always activity in that field. That, and mischief too. One morning we got up and discovered that our pool cover had been stolen in the middle of the night. Rumors around the neighborhood pointed to a few kids who decided it was exactly what they needed to make their fort in the woods, the woods that lied on the opposite edge of the field. My brother, who had a reputation for being a hard-ass (he still does), went over to the ringleader’s house. Of course he denied it but my brother is pretty intimidating and made a few “I’ll rough you up and kick your ass” threats to him and anyone else involved, and we suddenly woke up the next day to find our pool cover back in our yard. As life would have it, that kid, Bill, ended up being one of my best friends from the neighborhood. He still calls me to this day to chat and catch up. He often mentions that pool cover incident and we get quite a charge out of it now.

Anyway, like I said, there was always a lot happening in that field. Which led to a little paranoia within me whenever I took showers. Our bathroom had a full-size window and it always freaked me out taking a shower in front of that big-ass window! I was convinced that the snowmobilers could see in or the farm guys could watch as they bailed their hay, or the boys in the woods, who just might have binoculars. Since I often took my shower at night, I started taking showers in the dark.

That paranoia spread to other rooms of the house. Even now I can’t be in a room at night if the blinds in the windows are open. And when I’m sitting in my living room recliner writing or watching TV at night and I have the back door open because I like the fresh air or I want to hear the wind chimes, I have to keep the light on out on the deck so I can see outside the door…just in case someone would happen to be standing there. Granted, a lot of that might have to do with me watching scary stalker shows all the time but still…

I’ve often wondered, am I the only one who thinks that someone could be watching me? But then I drive down the streets in my neighborhood and notice that most people keep their blinds closed too, even in the daytime. Maybe we’re all just a bit paranoid…

Music video by Rockwell performing Somebody’s Watching Me. (C) 2004 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

How about you? Do you sometimes feel that someone’s watching you? Do you have to take showers in the dark?


Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.



7 thoughts on “P is for Paranoia

  1. Your childhood sounds so idyllic! What a wonderful way to grow up! Well, while I don’t shower in the dark, I do have to have the blinds down at night. I don’t relish the idea of being someone else’s entertainment!


  2. I would’ve taken showers in the dark too! As soon as the sun goes down and it’s easy to see into the house, I close my blinds and curtains. No peeping toms are going to see me at night!


  3. Michele, I live in the woods, but I always towards evening pull the blinds at nite in the bedrooms and bathroom. Nothing here that I know of except wild animals, but I have that phobia maybe you never know, and I want to feel safe. Where you lived in Niagara is similer to our valley here.At the bottom of our lane is a couple farms and there are fields we used to ride snowmobiles in them, but now they are fenced off and the owners have sheep and Lama”s my son in law and grandson farm the one field for them. Nothing like living here where in spring everyone is plowing up there ground and planting corn, wheat, barley and whatever else they can. Its a good way of life. Enjoyed reading your article Michele..


    • That is a good way of life! Sounds wonderful. I would love to get out and see you guys one of these days! Your place sounds heavenly. ❤


  4. We went down to see our neighbors that have the sheep farm this past week end, They have 80 baby sheep and they are just adorable. I got to hold one and they are dear. My son in law and grandson got to help deliver one that she was having problems. They were twins. One was 18 LB. and she couldn’t deliver so they had to help get her out and of course that one didn’t make it. And the other one was just fine because she weighed normal weight of 8 or 9 lb. This couple that have the farm, She has the weaver to make the wool and they go to the farm show in Harrisburg every year and she weaves there. They also have Lama’s and they are interesting too..


    • Oh I love farm animals! I would give just about anything to hold a sheep, especially a baby! That’s too bad about the one that didn’t make it. It was eighteen pounds??? Wow! I wonder if the mama sheep go into mourning when one of their babies don’t make it. Those llama are cool too. I just adore farm animals! I really need to come visit you guys!! Love you. ❤


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