Sunday, June 1, 2008

What is Brontophobia?

Anybody know? Brontophobia is not the fear of a Brontosaurus or Brontosaurus burgers (any Flintstones fans out there?). It's what you call the fear of storms. Lilapsophobia is the fear of tornadoes (or hurricanes). A fear of thunder is Ceraunophobia. Besides Brontophobia, thunder and lightning phobias are called Astraphobia or Astrapophobia, and Keraunophobia. I don't know why they need all those different terms, but... there you go. I also don't know what a fear of hail is called, but we're just going to keep it simple and say it's Hailphobia. How's that? Maybe there's a Smarty out there who can give me the actual name, if there is one.

Anyway, it would appear that our family has developed all of the above.

Ever since our adventure on May 10th, we've become a bunch of pansies when the clouds start rolling in. Even Darrell, who has always been one of those idiots standing in the yard looking up at the sky when everyone else is taking cover, seems to have acquired a new "respect" for storms (he'd just argue with me if I used the word fear). Michael is the only one who seems to be unfazed by the weather we've been having. Notice I said seems. You know how teenage boys are... For all I know, he could be shaking on the inside and he'd never let me know it. After the May 10th storm, he briefly wanted to become a storm chaser. That has passed, thankfully (Now, his new life goal is to be a "Pyrotechnician." You know... One of those idiots who blows stuff up. He'll come home for Christmas each year missing one more finger. I'll be so proud. Does anyone know if Harvard has a Pyrotechnics program?). Alex is now seriously considering a Meteorology degree, though- so it has affected all of us in some way.

Last night Darrell and I had the kids up at 10:30 getting dressed and ready to drive to the storm shelter, if the need should arise. It didn't. Then we both stayed awake until 4:30 this morning, when the tornado watch expired. Can you say paranoid? We're exhausted, but neither one of us could sleep knowing things may get crazy and we'd have to act fast. Poor Tucker (who was Severely freaked the night of the tornado) was gathering the family together for a group prayer like every 20 minutes. Evan is nervously hovering around a TV or computer all the time, wanting to get a weather report. It's not healthy. We've all gone nuts.

Right now, it's raining and thundering. We're not under any watches or warnings, but I still have a knot in my stomach like you wouldn't believe. It's just rain! Oh, wait... We are now under a Severe T-storm warning. YEAH!!!! Now at least the knot has a reason to be there. It's supposed to get pretty bad today- more storms, more winds, more huge hail. I can't predict the weather, but I can predict with incredible accuracy that Darrell and I will both have ulcers, uncontrollable vomiting, permanent eye twitches, and be calling for our mommies by 5 p.m.

Darrell has been looking at in-ground storm shelters on the Internet. We are getting one. We'll go pick it up as soon as the storms subside. We won't be driving in them anymore, if we can help it.

I just hate this. I hate feeling afraid. I hate knowing that fear has control over me in any way. I believe that fear is the opposite of faith. Fear is a faith killer and a doubt builder. Fear is giving in to the enemy, when faith is trusting in God. I do have faith in God's ability to protect us. I've seen the evidence of His protection, and have no reason to believe He'll start slacking off anytime soon. Yet, I'm afraid. I hate knowing that I have absolutely no control over what happens with the weather. I feel helpless. I hate seeing fear attack my children, and knowing that they are also picking up on what I'm feeling, regardless of what I may say about faith and trusting God. What's wrong with me? Chelle is feeling just a tad traumatized, guys.

Incidentally... This has nothing to do with anything, but when I was looking up the names of the phobias, I discovered that the fear of venereal disease and prostitutes is called Cypridophobia, Cypriphobia, Cyprianophobia, or Cyprinophobia. The specific fear of syphilis is called Luiphobia or Syphilophobia. Should we really need words and names for such things? I mean, aren't some of these so-called phobias things we should all naturally be afraid of? Shouldn't we all already have a fear of VD and Prostitutes? I know I try to avoid both as often as possible.


Christina said...

I think what you all have is a very normal, very healthy post-traumatic reaction to what was the freakiest experience I've read about in a long long time! I would also be diving for cover at the least rumble of thunder, were I you. We had a big ol' earthquake that didn't do a lot of damage but had a good number attached to it and freaked me out (as in "God please don't let me and my 3 year old son die here and ow") and 8 years later I am still rather paranoid about earthquakes and have an annoying tendency to imagine them anytime I hear a rattle or sense the floor shaking. That good ol' fight or flight thing doing it's job, I think.

And yeah, I definitely have a fear of VD... not actually afraid of prostitutes, unless they're like really high and carrying a knife or something...

Christina said...

ooops, that's supposed to be "here and NOW" not "here and OW". Though, it probably would have hurt if the concrete building had fallen down on me...

Lina said...

I just posted on this yesterday! And, thank you - now I know that I have Lilapsophobia! I didn't even know there was a name for it. You can buy underground tornado shelters on the internet??? Leave me a comment with the web addresses if you get a chance, will you?

The tornado I was in was many years ago - I was 5 months pregnant with my first child when it hit houses only 2 blocks from my own. I saw it, I heard it, I sat under the steps of my town house's basement shaking and praying when we lost power. I feel your pain. Here it is more than a decade later and I still get that knot in my tummy.


Elaine said...

Like Christina said, it is a totally normal post-traumatic reaction. In my not all all professional opinion, that is. For a good couple of years after the last time the stalker showed up at my window (very drunk, when it was still mostly dark out, and I had to actually run toward the window in order to then run away from it)I couldn't be around windows at night unless the blinds were completely closed and my husband was home. Luckily that has gone away, but I didn't think I was ever going to get over it. See, you're not crazy at all. 'Cause if you were? You'd probably be rip roaring drunk at 7 a.m. on a January morning with your nosed pressed up to the glass of some unsuspecting woman's back door.

Laura L. said...

Wow! I just read through your post about what happened on May 10th. What a terrifying experience. I'm glad that you all were safe.

Before I read others' comments, I was thinking that you have a post traumatic thing going on. So it might well take quite a while for this to lessen. Yes, absolutely God can help with this too. I'm glad to read about your faith.
I'd pray for everyone in the family and ask others to do so as well. Will everyone wake up tomorrow and have zero fear, no. It will get better over time.

You made me laugh with the Cypridophobia thing. :)