As we left, my father drove north but this time on the Atlantic side. We stay by Arcachon, he found a camp ground. We set up our tent ready to enjoy a couple of days by the ocean.
It was a good camp, a lot of people where still there. We were at the end of August; the weather was nice. We had to climb the huge dunes in order to see the ocean, the side we were on felt like being in the desert.
At night was another story, my parents would sleep in the truck while the three of us would be in the tent. In order for me not to have a claustrophobic episode, I needed to sleep with the tent wide open. But since there were a few mosquitoes we decided to close the zipper.
While everything seemed OK at first, we all fall asleep peacefully. At about 3:00AM while everyone in the camp were asleep, I awoke screaming my lungs out, waking up the “Little One” who was sleeping in the middle. She sat down while I was by the front of the tent trying to open it. She was calm and composed she found the zipper, opened it. I literally jumped outside to take a fresh breath. We stayed up for a few minutes until I could calm down. Than we went back to sleep with the tent opened.
The following night my sister left the zipper open until I fell asleep. But at about 2:00Am I woke up screaming again. She reached again for the zipper, I jumped out to take a breath of fresh air, then I went back into the tent and we left the tent open and unzipped.
The last night at the camp ground, they again let me fall asleep. Repeat, at about 2:00AM I woke up screaming, this time the “Little One” tried to reach for the zipper but couldn’t find it. She tried for about 30 second then she started to panic. I was still panicking, but something came upon me while I was watching my sister. I looked at her with a calm voice told her to move. She complied. I reached for the zipper, I found it and opened the tent. Both of us jumped out to take a breath of fresh air.
It was pitch dark outside, but we stared to laugh trying to make as little noise as possible, realizing that I had been waking up the entire camp ground for the past three nights. As you know noises at night travel further than during the day. It was an extremely quiet camp at night.
When we left the camp, we were laughing thinking most people had been awaken by me. I felt sorry and a little ashamed about it, but I couldn’t control those panic attacks.
We came back home, my father, for at least 6 months talked about moving. By the grace of God, my mother put her foot down. I think we came close to moving into the middle of nowhere….