Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm scared because it scares me

It it so unlike to me wake up in the middle of the night to pee. I never do, I have a bladder made of stone. Of all the nights to wake up it had to be that one, in that place. I had been awake for an hour fighting off the urge, trying desperately to convince sleep to come back to me. We were camping. No big deal really, to need to pee in the middle of the night when camping, except when it's pouring rain and thundering and lightning like a son of a bitch.

I am petrified of thunder. Scared to tears. Not lightning. I like watching lightning and would sit by the window to catch a flash if it weren't for what came after. So that night I fought the urge. The storm was directly over head and the thunder shook my soul. The ground rocked with each overlapping boom. A contest to see which could be louder. We were in a tiny little tent, with no 2x4's or insulation to muffle the noise. But that tent was my only refuge and I was not giving it up easily to crawl out into the most frightening scene I could imagine for myself. Eventually, it had to be done, I had to go out into the night with thunder everywhere. I ventured no further than arms length then flew back into the tent a shaking, screaming, crying mess. My rational brain thrown far into the woods, not to be found until the sun rose and the storm passed. I never slept another wink.

The memory would be no big deal if it was from our family trip to Toronto when I was seven, or to Keji at 10. This little gem however, was from our family trip to Fundy National Park a few years ago, when I was the mom and my kids slept in the tent next to me, soundly all night.

Fears and phobias have no place in rational thinking. I understand that it's more reasonable to fear the lightning, as it can actually hurt me. Thunder can't hurt me, it's just noise. Someone who knows about these things would tell me I have ceraunophobia, a fear of thunder, not lightning. To be afraid of both would be at least somewhat rational. It makes no sense, it just is. I'm scared of thunder because it scares the shit out of me. It has been since I was little.

It makes me wonder if my boys will outgrow theirs, if it's a real fear, or just a boy thing or what. They are afraid of the toilet. Not sitting on it, or standing in front of it, just flushing it. They will press the handle and run out of the room, for fear if they don't escape quickly enough, they'll be sucked into the swirling vortex. An odd fear I guess, but one none the less. They aren't afraid of monsters, the dark or even thunder. Just flushing the toilet.

I hope this is something they'll outgrow, because I know there is no convincing them with the logic that they cannot physically fit into the toilet and therefore there is nothing to fear. Fear has nothing to do with logic. This has been made boldly clear to me. But as an adult, especially with children, the toilet and all it's wonderful cracks and crevasses is something they are going to have to get up close and personal with. I don't think it will go very far in convincing a 2 year old to pee when dad doesn't dare flush.

I'm sure it's no big deal, but if it were I'm not sure what I would do. When reminded or asked they'll do it. Maybe they're just lazy or forgetful. At least I don't need to worry about catching them surfing with G.I. Joe in there. But until they outgrow it, if it's yellow, it's going to mellow.

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