For a while, after my first year of college, I had my own apartment and lived by myself for over a year. I was never frightened or afraid.
Now, here I am, almost thirty, and I feel like things may be changing a little bit.
Ever since Richard graduated and got his first "grown up" job, he has worked the night shift. At the hospital where he works, employees are paid a little extra to work the night shift, and with us being young and with no children, this has always worked for us.
For the first few years we were married, we lived in an apartment with good neighbors, and no major problems.
Then, last summer we moved into a house across town. The neighborhood we live in is in a pretty good neighborhood, but it is in between a not-so-good neighborhood and downtown. Because of this, on our street, we have a lot of shady and questionable foot traffic going to and from downtown. No one has ever bothered us, nor do I know of anything bad happening around here, but sometimes, I just get a little uncomfortable, especially when I am home alone late at night.
Generally, my nighttime routine consists of me taking the dog out one last time, locking all the doors, getting a shower, and reading in bed for a while. Usually, while I am reading, the dog goes to sleep on the end of the bed and eventually I doze off as well.
Well, two nights ago, things went a little differently. I was laying in bed reading and my dog went all "crazy guard dog" with barking and jumping, and growling. It is not uncommon for him to growl a little bit as someone walks by our house during the daytime, and every now and then he has let out little barks at night when people walk by, especially when we are in the back of the house and he can't see out the front window. But, he has never done this. Seriously, he was in attack-dog mode. This was around 1:30 in the morning and he would not stop barking and growling. For nearly ten minutes he kept on and kept on. When I could not get him to be quiet and lay back down, I started to get nervous. I have never called the cops or 911, but at this point, I was seriously thinking about it. I really think that dogs can sense when things aren't right. It isn't uncommon for our dog to bark or yelp a little bit when the pizza guy comes to the door, or when someone pulls into the drive way. But, once he sees them, he usually calms down. But, this was totally different, this was not the "pizza guy" bark, or the yelp that acknowledges someone walking by. This was a "something is out there that isn't supposed to be" type of bark.
Then, once the dog did calm down and get quiet I started to get myself all worked up. I started thinking about all of those horrible scenarios of things that could happen and I could not go to sleep.
Guys, if you know me, you know this is not typical of me at all. I have never had problems sleeping, I have never been scared in my home, and I have never been nervous about the things that go bump in the night. But, this experience really made me feel uncomfortable. It made me wonder what was actually out there that the dog was going crazy over.
I don't want to be a scaredy cat and I want to continue to enjoy time at home by myself, but I don't want to feel like that again. I think this bothers me most because this is so unlike me. Do you think my thoughts here are unreasonable or unnecessary? Or am I just overreacting?
What about you? Have you ever had anything happen that really frightened you?