That's what they call it. Or astraphobia, but my fear is more extreme than that. My heart rate gets a jumpin' when I feel the energy of a storm approaching. I get nauseated hearing or feeling the winds pick up outside, and then blow branches against the siding of my house. My mind bounces terrified thoughts around every corner of my brain while I pace from room to room, fearing that sitting down would keep me from a quick response if a tornado was to hit. I constantly look out windows up at the sky. I check weather.com's radar image consistently, about every 5 or ten minutes. It's gotten really out of control. I especially hate it on days like today. Easter Sunday. When the whole family is around, here I am quietly doing breathing exercises to keep my paranoia at bay. It didn't work though. It never works. They never say anything, but they can always tell. If I was at home with my boyfriend, I'd be in the basement, on the couch surrounded by about 20 pillows, laptop at arm's length, and attempting to fall asleep in order to "sleep through it all." And then, when the wind comes to a lull, and the clouds are no longer heavy grey or dark, or at least when I can see patches of blue sky between the clouds again, I feel like the biggest fool having reacted the way I did in front of everyone.
I don't understand why I have this fear. I've never experienced any kind of weather phenomenon, or have people in my family who were freaked out by storms when I was growing up. I did, however, grow up in Southern California, where the weather was pretty much the same year around. We had earthquakes here and there, but those haven't scared me at all. I just wish I knew why my body reacts so frightfully and uncontrollably to something that is such a necessary part of nature.
My boyfriend hates it, and can't understand why I can't just "get over it." To tell you the truth, I don't know why I can't either. He says if I educated myself more about why thunderstorms happen, and how tornadoes are formed (I.e. only under certain circumstances can there be tornadoes), then I shouldn't be scared. However, I HAVE educated myself, and I DO know how things form and under what circumstances they form, yet I still have this relentless fear every time the sky is overcast. Yes, I said "overcast." Sometimes that's all it takes for the anxiety to begin.
I'm happy to know that there are other people out there with my same fear. But, there must be an easier way to cope with it. Does anyone have any ideas of how to eliminate this fear from my life permanently?