For most Americans, today is all about get togethers, BBQ’s, celebrating our countries birthday with a day off and ending the day with fireworks.
For me, this weekend is my annual checking myself into a fancy hotel, spa days and drinking myself sleepy until I’m sound asleep before I even hear a boom go off.
My name is Amy and I am 44 years old and I am completely terrified of fireworks. Yup. There I said it. Sudden loud noises have always been a fear of mine. Fireworks, thunder, cars backfiring, guns, horns, etc. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl and guess what? I never grew out of it as most people would say.
I have always tried to pinpoint where/when/why it started and I can only think of one possible thing. I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to laugh ok? When I was 4 or 5 my mom and her friend would go bowling on Saturday nights and her friends 16 year old son would always have to babysit me. Two single moms did what they could to have a few hours off so we were an unlikely pair. We would always be at our house since I was always sent to bed way earlier I felt probably so his 16 year old self could do what 16 year olds do. I was a pretty stubborn kid so as a punishment he did this..again don’t laugh ok? We had an extremely old microwave in the house. It wasn’t digital and it was a turn dial. And back in the day it wasn’t the little beeps you hear today…it was a super loud alarm and I was scared of it. So if I didn’t go to bed and stay there he told me he was going to set the microwave for 10 seconds and hold me there to watch the countdown. Some savage torture shit for a 5 year old. I called his bluff and the monster that he was did it. (ps. totally not a monster and we joke about it today) He held me still with my arm around my chest and 10. 9. 8. …. I was screaming and then BAM! it was so loud and scary and he know I would run right to bed after that. I mean it totally worked but for sure there had to be other way right. RIGHT?!?!?!
So I’m not totally sure if that was my trigger for loud noises but that’s really all I can remember. Fireworks, storms when I know they are coming I can plan. I’m currently in a hotel drinking my wine and will order a nice dinner then night night and wake up the next day knowing I made it though. There is always the asshole that has them leftover though and like to blow them off in my neighborhood for another few days. Those are the hard ones to plan for. For storms I am glued to the radar on my phone and when I think it’s time to hide I grab my headphones and turn up my music and hide in the bathroom farthest away from any outside walls or windows. Gotta have a system people. My friends joke that I need a human size Thunder Shirt that are for dogs.
I know my fears are not rational or even comparable to our military heroes. I always think of them this time of year as well. Some suffer from severe PTSD and fireworks can trigger so many things for them. I think of all the pets and wildlife that have no idea what the hell is happening as well.
I’m for sure not one of those that are trying to ban fireworks and take away peoples fun (I would do a little dance if it actually happened though). I want everyone to enjoy the holiday and eat themselves silly with BBQ. I am perfectly happy that I just got my facial and nails done and I’m watching bad reality housewives of somewhere with my fave bottle of wine. Oh and my dogs are here too and they get big bones later. We are doing it up people.