Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Facing My Fears


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.

However ....


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
sunrise too.  



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


20 comments:

  1. I will be praying for you as you face your fears. It is a terrible fear. My Mom and Grandmother were both in a horrible tornado that literally wiped out part of my little hometown. I grew up going to the cellar in the back yard every time it got cloudy. We had cots in there to sleep, lanterns, and did many night's homework down there. When John and I got married and moved to Texas, I freaked out because we couldn't find a house with a cellar. As the years went by, I got to where i wasn't so afraid. But, after the storm two weeks ago, I'm seriously debating a storm shelter.

    You can do this.

    Judy

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  2. Having had such up close and personal meetups with storms would make it a real challenge to be calm when you see them approaching. It is wonderful you have decided to work on your fear...I will say a prayer for you, too. xoxo
    P.S Your home is really lovely...

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  3. We haven't gotten those storms in my part of town in Houston. I heard from the weather forecast that they were rather big boomers. I think anyone who had houses burn from lightning has a rational source for fear. However, I agree that a fear like that can be a drag. It can control you. However, I think it is wonderful that you are brave enough to research it and work through it. I have a bit of claustrophobia and it especially limits my flying and that is a dra. All we can do is know that this rational irrational fear was brought about by life's challenges. Do your best and be proud of every little step you make dealing with these boomers. I'm proud for you.

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  4. Baby steps and you have taken the first big one. Good job.

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  5. I jump & shiver in fear every time I hear thunder. I don't know why, nothing has ever happened to me to cause this fear. It's just there. Luckily in Washington state where I live thunder storms are few & far between. I'll say a little prayer for you Susan. I totally sympathize.

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  6. OH- Those fears are so real, aren't they? I am so sorry that you suffer with that fear of thunderstorms. Especially where you are they are much more severe than they are where we live. When I was a kid lightening struck our house at least three times---but it was strange it came in through our phone and would burn it out every time. I don't remember that anything else was ever affected by it.

    I hope you can work through the fear. I do believe just talking about it and putting it out there takes away some of the fear, too. Sounds like you are brave person overall-so you can conquer this,too.

    This was a wonderful post, Susan. xo Diana

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  7. I think you will face this fear successfully, just like you faced those two big dogs. You are taking good steps in facing lightning storms. Your house is very pretty by the way. And if you lived near me you would face NO thunder and lightning storms!

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  8. I totally identify with you...we lived in tornado alley for all of my younger years...going down to a dark, damp crawl space so often, it felt regular.

    To this day I have to be home when there is blackening skies. I have candles and flashlights at the ready. We go to the basement when the skies turn that ominous green and we are so grateful for the better weather tracking.

    A few summers ago at the lakehouse I forced myself to sit outside while a huge storm worked up, It was liberating. Still, it's hard. My last post was about a tornado that hit a town 80 miles east last week...so so scary and sad.

    I pray you get better with that fear.

    Jane x

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  9. We get some pretty scary storms here in North Georgia, but not as often as in Texas. I have family there and know that it is a common occurrence. I'm scared during bad storms, too. We've had tornadoes come only miles from our house, so I totally get your fear. I like Jane's idea of facing a storm to help alleviate your fears. Might help!

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  10. After going through the tornado that went through El Reno Oklahoma a couple of years ago, I know what you are going through. I grew up in Oklahoma and am familiar with the drill. But sitting in a friend's "fraidy" hole (storm shelter) and hearing that unending roar about did me in.

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  11. My daughter moved from Texas recently and I now know what massive thunderstorms they can have there. It took her a while to overcome her fear of the incredible lightning and noise!! Your fear is understandable, given that and your history. Do what you have to do and hunker down with husband and Bentley. Hang in there!!!

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  12. Huge displays of Mother Nature's power ARE frightening--no need to think you're weak. But it sounds like you also have a workable plan to ease your terror--good luck!

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  13. Susan, you are not a weak person when you are afraid of something. I think you are very brave to even think about facing your fears. I have a fear of birds, so wierd, I know, and I have tried to face them but if one were to fly near me I would (almost) die, I'm sure. For some reason, I love thunder and lightening storms. To be safe inside, turning out all the lights and turning off any sounds and just listen to the intensity is very calming to me. When our Buddy was alive, he had a horrible fear of loud noises, especially gun shots and thunder. It was so hard going through a storm with him because there was nothing that would calm him He would try to hide in places that a large dog couldn't fit.. I felt so sorry for him and I can relate to your fear and does Bentley get through it OK?. Hope your reading and learning helps..Judy

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  14. Susan: Good for you to be facing your fears! It's not easy.

    - Alma, The Tablescaper

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  15. You certainly have good reason to feel fear! Good job dealing with it! It's not easy! I know! From great experience! Trust God! Ask the Holy Spirit to comfort you! You will be fine!

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  16. Thank you for sharing truth and honesty. You will overcome this. Proud of you! I'll keep uou in prayer.

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  17. I certainly understand your fear ~ and I know you can work through it. We lived in Amarillo 10 years and in the spring we had tornado warnings/watches most every evening. One came down our street and it was horrific! Baseball size hail and that ominous sound of a train was much too real. I had both kids in the bathtub and thank God, we were ok! Water was coming in as the roof was almost gone, windows were shattered and curtains/drapes ripped apart, trees were stripped of bark...I could go on and on. Anyway, it's difficult to move past that apprehension and I admire what you're doing! My daughter was the most traumatized as she was so small and she has such fear still.

    Hang in there!!!
    xo
    Pat

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  18. I agree being afraid of storms seems silly, until I read your house has been struck twice! I am sure you can get over it but it will take steps like you have already taken. I have a friend who was terrified of storms but she was a mom so she didn't want her kids to grow up with the same fears. She would tip the sofa over and create a tent like area and they would all climb under it during a storm and pretend ed to be camping. In time she didn't have to do that anymore. Good luck, you have lots of supporters.

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  19. It's okay to be afraid ... tell yourself that. If you're okay with waiting out the storm in a dark place, that's okay too. If you feel like you want to change, it's possible. You can do ANYTHING!

    Here's an idea. Plan ahead ... get yourself something really special and promise yourself that you will save it for whenever the next storm comes. It has to be something that you REALLY want, something that you look forward to. It could also be special play time with Bentley. Now, instead of dreading the storm, you have a reason to look forward to it ... making a storm a bit more positive.
    -Connie

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  20. You are fearless in ways that would paralyze others (2 Rottweilers=heart failure). We all have fears we just need to give them to God who has not given us a spirit of fear. You will overcome this in time.

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Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.

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