Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Irrational Fears

We all have them.

Things that send your heart racing, start the adrenalin pounding and make what is (on a good day) complete nonsense seem like truth.

I have a few of these. I came face to face with two of them this week and it’s only Wednesday.

I have an irrational fear of thunderstorms with excessive amounts of lightening that last longer than twenty minutes. (Sidebar: the only exception to this fear is if said storm takes place on the North Carolina coast. Then it’s just pure beauty.) I’m not sure where this fear comes from. Maybe I didn’t get enough cuddle time during storms when I was a kid. Who knows? I’m not sure, but I know its there. This fear didn’t rear its ugly head too much when I lived in NC because storms tend to be quite short out there, passing through fairly quickly. Here in Texas, you can see ‘em roll in and they stay for quite a while.

Sunday night, we had a ginormous storm roll in. And it parked itself directly over our bedroom. The hubby and I had just settled in when the storm kicked into high gear. Jason was snoring about thirty seconds after his head hit the pillow while I lay frozen in fear as the lightening flashed over and over again and thunder crackled. I was paralyzed. Couldn’t move and felt like such a dork for being so scared. Finally I rolled over and whispered (knowing full well that he wasn’t), “Hon, you awake?”

“Huh? Wha?” he grunted.

“I know this is ridiculous, but I’m really afraid of this storm. It’s really freaking me out.”

And then he did what all good husbands do. He rolled over, held me tight and said, “It’s ok. That’s just God in the thunder saying He loves you.” BOOM! CRACK! “Hear that? ‘I love you.’”

And you know what? I was asleep within a few minutes.


Nightmares. Talk about irrational fears digging their way into your subconscious and interrupting any chance of a good night’s sleep. Last night’s slumber was fitful due to two, count ‘em, two nightmares. I could only remember one and it scared me all over again as I recounted it to my sister. I’ll share it with you. See if you can spot the irrational fears…

In my dream, somehow Jason and I had become good friends with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and were visiting Paris with them. At some point I ended up in the street with Katie and Nicole Kidman, singing French songs dressed in flowing gauzy gowns. Very Lancome Paris perfume commercial.

(Ok, I realize at this point many of you are saying, “Oh dear Lord, we have seriously got to sit down with Leslie and have some sort of People/US Weekly/In Touch intervention. The girl is addicted.” I know this. I’m working on it. This is not the irrational fear I was speaking of. Keep reading.)

Jason, Tom, Katie and I are sitting in the living room of their Parisian flat when Tom begins to question my loyalty to him and his religious beliefs. He’s not trying to convert us to Scientology, he just wants to know that we support him. I tell him that he knows I don’t agree with his beliefs but that I admire his passion and commitment. He continues to question me. I realize that he has found the prayer list from Trinity School that I printed up that morning. On it, they listed that they were praying for me and Jason since we had been hanging out with Katie and Tom, who they had referred to as “Demon lord of the Underworld.”

I finally say to him, “You found the prayer list, didn’t you?” He nods and looks over at one of his henchmen who have suddenly appeared. The henchman takes Jason by the arm and begins to lead him out of the room. I start sobbing, begging Tom to let Jason stay and all Jason can do is look at me helplessly as he is dragged away to be brainwashed.

At this point, I woke myself up. One of those “This is a dream. You know this. Wake up!” kind of moments. Again, I was paralyzed. I finally fell back asleep only to have another nightmare (that I can’t remember now) from which I was able to wake myself. At this point, I’m afraid to even go back to sleep. I prayed for a while and managed to get a couple of peaceful hours in before my alarm went off.

Clearly, I have some sort of issue with Tom Cruise. I’ll let y’all discuss what they may be in the comment section of this post.

The real irrational fear? The people I love most being taken away from me while I am helpless to stop it. Thankfully, thus far I haven’t had any real-life experience with this. And isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. I know this. But it still creeps up from time to time and scares me so badly that I cry the next morning just thinking about it.


Irrational fears. I’m trying to make sense of mine. Turn the nonsense into truth. Calm my heart.

I’ll let you know how that goes.


  1. Leslie-
    I totally get you fear of storms. I am very much a baby. Have been all my life. In fact, I used to go home in college and sleep in my old room. My dad would always come get me and tell me I needed to not be afraid of the storms.

    Garrett has done a good job of "calming" my fears. However, I cried like a baby Sunday night because Garrett was in Waco for work!

    I say it's ok to not like stomrs!

  2. Ok, so irrational fears...Mine is being committed against my will. Clearly I KNOW that I am crazy and my fear is that others will find out. I tell you this NOT as a joke/funny/haha - but seriously - I am scared to death of being committed to a mental institution against my will - and being buried alive...and drowning...and dying...well...I have a lot...but we'll just stick with these for now.

  3. Anonymous7:50 AM

    You know...totally not irrational to have a fear of Tom Cruise. He's getting so creepy in his middle age. Whatever happened to the hunk from Top Gun?

    As for my irrational fears...try Volcanoes, oh and sinking on the Titanic!

  4. That Tom Cruise nightmare could be made into a pretty SWEET movie! You're going to have to start peddling manuscripts around Hollywood.

    Irrational fears? Yes. Child abduction, rape, car accidents, child abduction. Sheesh.


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