Monday, May 23, 2011

The Storm Coward



by Kate Collins

I don’t like thunderstorms. Don’t like the noise or the lightning or the dark skies or the fierce wind or the driving rain. I don’t care how many good things they do, I am not a fan. When I was a child, I ran and hid in my parents’ bed. When I had young children, I took them to the basement whenever a violent storm came through, especially because the Midwest is so prone to sudden tornados. Yet, despite the possibility that by doing so, I scarred my children for life, my son loves storms, and, in fact, would be a storm chaser if he could. My daughter is ambivalent. Neither understands my fright.

It usually hits me when I’m home alone. All I can do is climb into my bed, turn on the TV (barring a power outage, of course. I can’t even describe the panic that thought causes) and try to distract myself.

I don’t know where this anxiety comes from. I’ve never been hurt by a storm. I bear them no grudges. Yet there it is. I’m certain there’s a Greek word for storm phobias, but I don’t want to know it. My other fear is that some pharmaceutical company will try to develop a pill for it.

Oops. Gotta go. Storm coming.

17 comments:

kissablesweet1 said...

I'm terrified of storms as well. I have always kept an eye on the sky when dark clouds start forming. I know where mine started...grade school. Those stupid films they show about tornadoes, floods, fire, and all the rest. Those only served to make things worse for me. Then at about 11 I was up close and personal with a tornado. I was about 1/4 mile or maybe 1/2 mile from it. Saw it, Felt it and experienced it. Watched it skirt around the building my sister lived in and then went inside and prayed like I've never prayed before. Now..all someone has to do it mention rain and I've got my ears and eyes wide open looking for trouble. We didn't even have a basement, so that made things really tough. My kids think I'm silly too, but I can still close my eyes and see that tornado right in front of me.

Min said...

The entire time I lived with my mom, if there was a storm at night, I'd sleep in my mom's room. When she was married, I'd sleep on the floor next to her bed. After her divorce, I'd just crawl in bed with her.

She often told me she had visions of me calling her years into the future "Mom? My husband, three kids, two dogs, and cat are all coming over to sleep in your room tonight. Storm's a-coming!"

Oddly, though, tornadoes don't bother me. I guess it's because I grew up in the Midwest where they're just a way of life. Ten o'clock the first Wednesday of every month is a check of the city tornado warning system, which meant a tornado drill in school. Knowing what to do in case of tornado is second nature, just like if someone asked me my name, date of birth, and address.

But when the thunder starts? Aye yi yi! Sometimes I still call my mom. And she now lives half a country away!

(It doesn't help that she's been zapped by lightning - once through a phone line and once when she under a table that was by an outlet during a storm.)

Sue said...

I loved storms as a child growing up in virginia...especially when I was at my granny's house. She had a well house that was built right under my bedroom window. It had a tin roof on it and when it would rain I would open the window and listen to it hitting the roof. When it would thunder I would count until the lightening struck and I would know how far away the storm was. Now that I live in the midwest, I still enjoy a good thunderstorm, but not the kind of weather we had yesterday with all the tornadoes that were around.

Tonya Kappes said...

I hope you made it through okay!

Anonymous said...

Never had a problem with storms. As a kid we had neighbor that would hid in the coat closet whenever there was a storm, always seemed weird to me then but I do know that it is a big problem for some so just do what you need to do.

Debra said...

I experienced a tornado last summer for the first time - in New York City! We rarely get them. I was home alone but for the dog and good old Sparky followed me from room to room as I checked the windows. The sky was such a sickly color, I'll never forget that.

Kate Collins said...

Oddly, tornadoes don't frighten me much either. However, my house has never been hit, so I'm sure if that were to happen, I'd be petrified of them, too.
Last night's storm was mild, thankfully, and my daughter was home. We lost our internet connection --and that's what terrified my daughter. LOL

signlady217 said...

Not crazy about storms myself, but don't usually need to hide, unless it's specifically a tornado warning. Lately the storms have been so bad I've been a bit more nervous about them, though. Glad your kids aren't bothered by them.

Aurian said...

There is not always a logical reason for being scared. I don't mind storms, but only if I am safely inside my home. I hope you are alright, and the storm has passed without damage.

Barbara said...

The Storm Cowards would be a good title for a book about the Great Danes I had years ago. Both were terrified of storms and would both try desperately to get under the bed. Too bad if you were in that bed; it was like being tossed in a stormy sea. :D Failing to get under it, they would pile into it. Personally, I enjoy watching storms but not tornadoes. I've been through 2 of them and I've seen 2 others in the distance.

Bella said...

I hope your storm passes through okay :)

I grew up in Australia and it seems to get hit with quite a few cyclones so storms dont bother me. I usually just curl up on the couch with a good murder mystery and wait for them to pass.

Dru said...

I don't like the aftermath of some storms.

Vickie said...

{HUGS} I used to be sleep through storms, still do. I love the sound of thunder and I used to sit under the static B-52 at Lowry AFB when I was in tech school and watch the lightning roll in over the Rockies. (I know, I know....)

My 8 year old is getting used to thunder and lightning. DH doesn't like storms and Lady K has picked up on that. She used to ask who was she going to be sleeping with in the night during the storm. Now she just gathers a flashlight in case of a power outage and seems fairly matter of fact.

Kate Collins said...

A flashlight beside the bed is a great tip. I have an emergency candle and matches in a cabinet, but I'd have to feel my way to get to them. LOL. The storm was uneventful, btw, except for a gigantic oak on the next block that came down.
Bella, I like your style. Thunder, lightning, and a murder mystery. Yes!
Vickie, you're a brave woman. lightning freaks me out.

Min, thank you for verifying for my daughter that it is possible for lightning to strike through a phone line. She didn't believe me.

Barbara, I think I'd welcome the dogs' company, scared or not. LOL

Anonymous said...

for some reason the other day I did not notice the pic of the radar or the hurricane. Is that Frances or Jeanne? I was in town for Frances, at a shelter and will never do that again, and on the West Coast of Fl for Jeannie. We only had damamge from Francess and a few more tree limbs down for Jeannie.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kate. Sorry my response is so late. Count me among the big chickens during a storm. I don't remember exactly when it started, but I do know that doctors telling you when you are 10 to stay out of thunderstorms because you have nuts and bolts in your back from back surgery does NOT help matters. Problem made worse, actually, even if they were just joking.

I used to always call my aunt to come in to stay with me if I was home alone during a storm. Then about 14 years ago, we got a dog who was TERRIFIED of storms...even more than me. She's lay on my bed and shake so hard that the bed shook. When she slept with me and we had a storm during the night, forget trying to sleep. Not only would the bed be shaking, but it would also be wet with dog drool from her panting. Since she was so scared of the storms, I quickly learned that I had to be the brave one and comfort her. So that helped my fear of storms a little bit. Both my aunt and dog are gone now, so I'm basically on my own during storms. They still bother me, but not like they used to. At least during the day, you can't see the lightning and at night, you can pull the covers up over your head. :)

Anonymous said...

I love thunderstorms. And by the way, it is Astraphobia which is the fear of lightning