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Fear of being alone at night

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I have always had this fear and I don't know why. It's completely irrational.

If I am left in a house at dark alone, I am unable to sleep because of the fear of someone breaking into my house. I have had this fear ever since I can remember and it is only present if there is not another adult in the house with me. My husband leaves for work at 4ish in the morning and I am unable to fall asleep after he leaves until close to daylight breaking. He is a police recruit so soon after he graduates the academy I will be forced to sleep alone at night while he works. I have a gun that I keep at my bedside for protection in a locked safe, but this doesn't really calm my fears any. As soon as I am alone and it's dark out my mind starts racing with unrational fears. I could write books or movies with the thoughts that enter my head! They always seem to conform to whatever situation I am in and play into my fears. I have 2 children and also fear of someone coming in through their window to hurt them or kidnap them. I check every lock at night and window lock in the house, however this does not ease my fear.

My mother seems to think it comes from the fact that I've never really been alone at night. I was raised in a big family where someone is always home at night. I left home at 18, and moved in with my grandma because she enjoyed the company. For a few years it was just me and her, and I was never scared even though she slept on the other side of the large house. I was married at around 21 to my first husband who was in the Navy. If he were to get deployed I would always move back to my grandmothers to stay with her until he returned. When he worked nights I would often lay in bed awake, getting little to no sleep even though we lived on base. He passed away in the service not long after we married and I moved back home with my Grandma until about a year later when I met my now husband. He knows of my fear of course and is trying to help me get over it by trying to get on day duty when he graduates the academy even though he would prefer to work nights, and also once we buy a home installing a home alarm system with video monitoring. I'm not sure if the latter will help much!

Is there anyone else out there with these fears? How do you manage them? Is there anything that comforts you and allows you to sleep at night?
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First Helper JennD26
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replied December 30th, 2011
My adult daughter does....I wish you two could connect
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replied May 1st, 2012
so do i dont know what to do
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replied May 14th, 2012
Hi, I have exactly the same problem and have done all my life. I'm 42 and have had a pathological terror of being alone at home at night. When my husband would go away on deployments if I was unable to have someone stay over I would stay up for nights at a time until sheer exhaustion would make it impossible to remain awake. In addition, over the last few years I have suffered from occasional sleep paralysis which means I not only fear an intruder but also fear being asleep. My few, rather poor suggestions are: have a radio or tv on at a low volume - there's something comforting about it. Drink warm milk or chamomile tea before bed. Talk to your doctor about having some sleeping pills prescribed; the fact that you mention a checking ritual may suggest OCD? Reading or knitting sometimes make me start to nod off. Sadly, I often use alcohol to help me deal with the fear. It's a matter of preference but I always lock my door if alone at night, although unlike you I have no children. I hope some of these suggestions help. You have my sincerest sympathy. All the best,hope you get some rest! Kate
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replied September 23rd, 2012
I absolutely know how you feel! I pay $500 a month in rent and spend maybe a week sleeping in my apartment. My daughter sleeps in my bed because I can't stomach the idea of someone getting to her faster than I can. I don't want sleeping pills because if she wakes up at night, I need to be alert. I moved into this apartment in hope that I would get over the fear, but I just haven't. I don't think being alone more would have prevented it for you because being alone certainly isn't helping me. My mom has suggested praying more. Sometimes that helps enough for me to get an hour or two.of sleep. I think of one short, simple prayer ("Jesus, Mary, I love you, save souls") and say it over and over and over until I fall asleep. I feel safer knowing that God is keeping me and saying the prayer a hundred times over keeps my mind busy enough to not.concetrate on what could happen
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replied December 2nd, 2012
Fear at night - OCD
What you are describing sounds exactly like me, and I was recently diagnosed with OCD. My psychologist helped me realize that it's stemming from a fear of being harmed and a fear of harm coming to others. I have started on Zoloft and it's helped tremendously. I've had this problem since I was about 10 years old, and medication is the only thing that's ever helped. I suggest you meet with a psychologist and go from there.
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replied March 30th, 2014
I know exactly how you feel. When I'm alone I get terrified and I do not understand why. I've had this fear ever since I could remember. If anyone else is in the house I'm fine, no problems at all. I get scared that someone is going to break into my house, and find myself checking to make sure the doors are locked several times, even though I know they are. I have no clue where this fear comes from, no one has ever broken into my house before. It seems like a traumatic event could have happened to cause this fear but I have no clue what it could be. I've wondered if it could have been something that scared me when I was too young to remember it. I hope that the people on this post, anyone else who feels this way, and myself find answers and peace and overcome these issues. May God bless us all.
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replied September 7th, 2014
I have this fear even with other people in the house. I need mental help. Sad
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User Profile
replied July 3rd, 2015
sleep deprivation
I have dealt with this all my lf, and now that I have a place to self, my fears get worse, and doesn't help that I live in a not so great neighborhood. I'm not sure what to do, but when I'm up all hours of the night, I find it helpful to talk to someone.
maybe we can help eachother
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