I am quite brave when it comes to doing things that make others
afraid. I have always been able to stand up in front of a room
full of people and give a speech or whatever without any fear.
I am not afraid of spiders.
I have driven a car in many foreign countries on both the
right and left side of the road without fear.
Once when I was charged by two big Rottweilers who
escaped from a fenced yard I stood my ground and called
to them saying "hi puppies" with a lilt in my voice and in
such a loving way that they stopped dead in their tracks.
They looked at each other and then at me as if they were
thinking "do we know this person"? Then they came
over and sniffed me. I wasn't afraid.
When the skies darken and I can hear a rumbling in the distance,
I start to get nervous. A thunderstorm is on it's way and I get
scared. The first flash of lightning makes me panic.
Years ago my nickname was Flash. I was given that name
by co-workers after my townhouse was hit by lightning and
burned to the ground. It wasn't my first experience with the
force of nature because two years before the fire, the house I
was living in at the time was struck by lightning while I was home.
The point of this is not about the past, but how the past has
effected my present. When the rumbling starts and I can see
the flashes of light I panic. I feel like my heart is going to
jump out of my chest.
Living in South Texas makes this difficult because the storms are
nearly daily in the spring. There is just no escaping them. Big bolts of
lightning and deafening crashes of thunder fill the hours in the middle of
the night and early evening. Sometimes in the morning just before
It's hard not to see the lightning. There are many, many
windows in this house. Most of them are the Southern
Colonial style floor to nearly ceiling ones. The windows
in the family room are 17 feet across. On a storm free
day they are wonderful, but when the lightning is flashing
away, there is no way not to notice the light show.
So when the storms begin, I head for the dressing room and into the master bath
because it is the only room in the house without windows. Day or night I close the
bathroom door behind me and wait until the rumbling seems to be over. The
other night I was in there for two full hours.
It's silly and I hate myself for being such a pansy!
I could have been in bed under the covers, but instead I barricaded
myself in the bath. Silly and childish thats what I am.
So I decided that I am going to face my fear.
I read up on thunderstorms. I learned that I am pretty safe inside.
Yes, the house could be struck by lightning. I already knew that
because it has happened to me twice, yet the chance of me being
struck by lightning while inside is pretty slim.
I learned that I can wear my iPod and listen to music to distract me
from the booming thunder. It's okay to do that as long as I am inside
the house. Just don't connect an iPod to your ear when outside during
a storm. Keep the doors and windows closed and don't stand in
front of the window. I can just find ways to occupy myself and
start desensitizing my fears by facing them.
Last night we had a big storm right after dinner. The lightning strikes
were very close and the thunder was really loud. David and Bentley
sat with me. I said the Lord's Prayer to myself. I survived.
I think I can do this. I really do. And I will need to be brave
because we have thunderstorms in the forecast through this
coming weekend. Wish me luck.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley