‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark’ Episodes I Still Talk About In Therapy
Are You Afraid of the Dark? is a Millennial touchstone. The series—from Nickelodeon’s golden age—told a different spooky story every week, and was essentially our generation’s The Twilight Zone. And boy did it do a number on me! There are fears, phobias, and anxieties that I trace back to that show on an almost daily basis, and I’m currently putting in a lot of work with my therapist to move past it. It’s a process, but I’m committed. And in the spirit of owning my shit, here are the top episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark that I’m currently still working through with Sandy (she prefers clients use her first name because Dr. Goldstein feels too formal).
“The Tale of the Midnight Madness”
I’ve officially been diagnosed with nyctophobia, which is a literal fear of the dark. Several consistent months of talk therapy revealed that it’s because of that Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode where the movie vampire crawls out of the screen into the movie theater and tries to drink those kids’ blood. Sandy thinks I need something called “exposure therapy,” but I’m not sure I’m ready.
“The Tale of the Super Specs”
Sometimes I feel like it was me who wandered into Sardo’s Magic Shop and bought a pair of magical glasses that reveal all the horrible things other people can’t see. Except I don’t need glasses to see it. Sandy says I have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality, and while I know she’s right, I also know it’s in large part because of this episode.
“The Tale of the Night Shift”
Sandy says she thinks I’m afraid of death and that’s why I didn’t visit my grandma when she was dying in the hospital. On the contrary, Are You Afraid of the Dark? showed me that death is no big deal. But hospitals are a nightmare. Remember that episode where the girl works in a hospital overnight? And it’s full of vampires, and they almost throw her off the roof? I’d be insane to not be afraid of hospitals after that. But again, I’m really trying to put in the work on this one. Meditation helps.
“The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”
Sandy used to think I had low self-esteem because I’d say, “If I look in a mirror, I’ll die.” However, the reality is my self-esteem is fine; I just haven’t looked in a mirror since I watched “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost.” Remember? A girl died in her bedroom and then becomes a creepy ghost girl in a mirror. I know it’s an irrational fear and sometimes our minds lie to us in a misguided attempt to keep us safe (Sandy says that all the time), but what if that’s not true this one time? I really don’t want to die inside a mirror.
Images: Pixabay, Nickelodeon