the monster under the bed

17 09 2013

I have an innate fear of The Monster Under the Bed. This Monster is very dangerous, especially if you are toes or fingers. It eats toes and fingers. It’s fussy though – the toes or fingers must be dangling over the side. Oh it loves danglers. Being quite tall and a possessor of toes and fingers (still), this makes  me an easy target for The Monster. So I keep myself well within the boundaries of the mattress. The Monster cannot be upon the mattress. The mattress is A Safe Place. The Monster also cannot eat toes and fingers that are in contact with The Ground. I have no idea why.  

I don’t think I am alone in this. If I am, humour me. it’s not the Truman Show. Now, I don’t actually believe there is a monster, but that doesn’t stop the tricks my mind plays on me in the darkness. I genuinely do keep my toes and fingers on the mattress. The fear of what cannot be seen, when allowed to fester, can grow and grow. 

Last week EastEnders took this idea and applied it to real life in a scene between Cat and Ronnie. If you don’t know the background, stick with me from a brief summary. A couple of years ago Cat and Ronnie both had babies; Ronnie’s died, and in a fit of madness she swapped hers for Cat’s, so Cat thought hers had died. However, she was found out, and went to prison, but it pretty much destroyed Cat and her husband. Ronnie has just been released from prison, and is the Pariah in the Square. Nobody wants to know a baby-snatcher. Convoluted plot I know. But…

Cat went to meet Ronnie from prison. Cat offered her a place to stay on her first night. Cat was the one person who showed Ronnie kindness. 

Ronnie: Cat, why are you doing this?
Cat: I don’t know, I don’t get it either. I s’pose it’s like when you’re a kid, and you think there’s something under the bed, and the more you think about it, the bigger and scarier it gets,  and when you finally get the guts to have a look, it’s just a pair of old socks [smiles]. You’re just a pair of old socks. 
Ronnie: What about everyone else? Do they think the same? 

I know it’s hardly Shakespeare  But the point is that when you actually look the monster in the face it turns out not to be so scary after all. When you see those who have done bad to you not as people to be angry and bitter at, but simply as on old pair of socks, the fear may simply vanish. Is this forgiveness? Not quite. But it is so much better than Cat going with her claws out to get revenge. 

The story of EastEnders will move on. No doubt there will be more claws and tears. But so many people get their role models and moral philosophy from soaps sometimes it is good to pause and think – that’s a good bit to remember. Instead of focusing on the fear, the hurt, instead of growing the monster under the bed by our own inaction, let’s see it for what it is. An old pair of socks. Harmless unless we feed it with our fear, with our endless cycles of revenge. Break the cycle. Stare down the monster. There is no monster. 

That said, I’m still keeping my toes in, because the kitten genuinely does eat dangly toes. That’s my excuse.  

(watch the scene here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b03b2hct/?t=17m44s)

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5 responses

17 09 2013
Scott Davies

grace breaks the cycle?

17 09 2013
Kevin

Absolutely. Grace breaks the cycle. Give me more grace!

17 09 2013
carol

Kevin this has reminded me of a chinese proverb I heard…

There are two dogs at war inside you..(you give them a name that fits your state of mind) ie one named anger… one named forgiveness OR one named fear…one named calm..etc etc

Which dog wins the war?
Answer…the one you FEED!

19 09 2013
Scott Davies

I think the cat wins!

27 09 2013
Overcoming Fear… | My Blog, aka, Sorry My Mind Must Have Wandered

[…] the monster under the bed (theblogofkevin.wordpress.com) […]

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