For the first time, the nightmares were engaged in open conflict. New and interesting creatures were faced, but The Boy matched them with something of his own making each time. He didn't always win, but he didn't lose very often. What had once been a night filled with terrors...was still a night filled with terrors. They didn't stop being terrifying, they just got manageable.
The hunted feeling never quite went away. At times The Boy might go to the bathroom across the hall from his room, and would feel as though there was something in his parents' room watching him. He would pause, and look right at the thing. For a moment, he would think he saw something, but then it would pass. He couldn't explain what it was that had him so worried, but he knew there was something. There were rooms in any location you could name that he would not go into unless there was a pressing matter that required it. At least not without a careful strategy, a potential weapon, or at least someone else to watch his back. He soon realized that part of him wanted to be exceptionally paranoid, but there was no explanation for why. He was part of an upper-middle class family in the suburbs, completely normal and serene. There were no monsters here.
He would look into the mirror, and say to himself "There are no monsters here." It didn't feel convincing. It continually amazes his future self how well The Boy could compartmentalize things. When dealing with people and friends, it was obvious that there were no such things as monsters, and the world was a wonderful thing filled with video-games and wonder. It was only when he was alone that he became evasive. Only then did he know full well monsters existed and that preparations were called for.
Since age six, the boy had been taken to half-a-dozen different developmental psychologists. Everyone agreed that there was something up with this kid. Nobody could figure out what. For a while, he was given the blanket diagnosis that every strange child of that era was given: Attention Deficit Disorder. Yeah. That's the ticket.
The Boy has since gotten over his hatred of psychologists. He will tell you there are good psychologists. You just need to create a mountain of skulls and a river of blood before you find one.
He might even stop being a wise-ass long enough to give you a straight answer.
They started him on Ritalin to deal with what MUST have been ADD around age 13. This was not a good thing. Things got worse, fast.