My other phobia usually only manifests itself during the hot summer months. Thunder and lightning. I literally shake in fear, frozen on the couch, while the storms rage outside. It's worse when I'm alone because I don't have my kids for whom I have to be brave.
It wasn't until tonight in therapy that I've realized part of why I'm so deathly afraid of storms...
When I was little, we'd get humongous storms. Living in the valley of a mountain (actually more like a big, glorified hill, but whatever), we'd get pummeled by the lightning and thunder nearly every night during the summer. The windows would be open...and the curtains would start to blow inward from the force of the wind. Suddenly my mother would come to life and yell, "Shut the windows! The rain's coming!!!". My sister and I would immediately snap to and rush around shutting the windows, hoping we were moving fast enough to avoid my mother's anger.
One night, when I was probably seven or eight years old, I fucked up.
I forgot one of the windows in my parents' bedroom.
My father had gone upstairs during the middle of the storm and screamed my name. I ran upstairs and froze at the doorway. The look on his face was that of a rage-filled monster. I just stood there and started crying out..."I'm sorry.!! I thought it was closed!"
He slammed the window shut and in two strides was standing in front of me. He grabbed me by both of my upper arms and threw me forcefully across the room onto the bed.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MATTER WITH YOU, YOU STUPID BITCH?? THE CURTAINS ARE SOAKED AND THERE'S WATER ON THE CARPET...YOU GODDAMN FUCKING IDIOT!!!"
Then he left. And locked me in the room.
That night taught me a lot. I learned to move faster. I learned that I hated thunderstorms. I learned that I never wanted to show anger because I didn't want to be like him.
I learned that I was trapped. Not just in that room...but in my life.