I have always been afraid of costumes.
Even as a child, I recall my Mother taking me to a local supermarket to see "Peko, the bedtime bear" that wished all the children goodnight at 7pm each night on the television.
My mother and I would visit a shopping centre for a photo with Santa at Xmas and I would make her sit on his knee (feel absolutely terrible about this now!) and I'd sit on her knee.
I didn't really care about Santa, I just wanted the gift at the end.
I was terrified.
Street festivals made me wait on the sidelines, wanting to enjoy the occasion but with baited breath, anticipating something or someone in some form of costume.
The "Itchy feet pep band" was a marching, drumming small group that used to visit our regional town when I was young.
They were popular, played great music, but wore costumes with tall hats and big shoes and fake eyebrows and moustaches that moved far too much for my liking.
The lead of the group made eye contact with me one morning whilst parading up the street, the side walks and roads blocked off for pedestrians to enjoy the parade.
He signalled for the band to start following me as I walked to get away, my steps growing faster, my heart racing.
As I got faster, so did they.
I ended up running down my local street, screaming and crying to get away.
Costumes are not my thing.
Randoms knocking on my door are most definitely not my thing.
And repeatedly and unannounced?
Oh lord, no.
Halloween is a night of terror for me, yes.
The doorbell or the knocking, followed by horrifying costumes that my brain cannot separate reality from fiction from and then to top it all off, the demand of providing something or being 'tricked'.
I'm a 40 year old woman, still afraid of the dark and always on alert, waiting for the things we aren't aware of to get me, rather than actual threats.
Horror movies and themes make my stomach churn and my heart sad over the actual reality of violence.
I know, I know, party pooper! Too sensitive! Lighten up!
I’ve heard it all my life. It’s painful for me too!
I envy those who are able to enjoy these types of events, and I wish I could, but nope.
Not this little neurodivergent, hypersensitive brain.
(But happiness, sunshine and rainbows for me please).
Image: Evie & Adrienne