Ophélie: “I see a rat in my street, I plan to move”

“My first memory of anxiety about mice dates back to when I was six years old. I know I’m already afraid of it, but I couldn’t really tell where it came from. That evening, we are in an old country house of friends of my parents. With the other children, we sleep in the large dormitory. I hear noises in the room, I remember it preventing me from sleeping. I know they are there, earlier today I heard the adults mention that there were mice in the house. I don’t think I ever saw one in real life at that age.

When I was 12, my parents told me this “big news” as they called it: we were going to buy a house in the country. I’m going to have a little sister, our apartment in Nancy is no longer big enough. Suddenly, we buy and we move away from the city. Beyond the fact that it does not really connect me and that I will have to make all my friends again, I immediately say to myself, country house = mouse. I told my parents who reassured me by explaining to me that it is not such an old house, that they are going to fix it up… But during the visit, I comb it through, I look for the holes , I scan the potential droppings.

My fear does not get the better of the project. We’re moving in. Very often, from my room (refurbished), I hear them in the evening. And each time, it brings me back to that childhood memory in the dormitory. But I never see them. When I turn the light back on, they’re never there. At least not until I was 23. That evening, the noise alerts me, I tell myself that this time, for sure, I will fall on it when the light goes on. I have flair, it is not lacking, I light and I see her, she walks on the baseboards stored in the room. She goes behind my sofa bed. It is 2am, I have a huge hot flash, I tell myself not to scream, everyone is asleep. I start to cry. I finally manage to get out of my bed, I run and I go to wake my father in the room opposite. I sweat profusely. He tells me to come down and take care of it. I brush against a piece of furniture, I jump, I am on the alert. And boom, I hear a loud noise. He goes downstairs and tells me it’s done. I ask her to swear to me that she is dead. He offers to show it to me. I answer no, obviously. The following nights were complicated.

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