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My Phobia Fear of Heavy Rain

Urenui River

This is the river beside my house that causes me so much heart ache. It is beautiful when not in flood. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

This is the river beside my house that causes me so much heart ache. It is beautiful when not in flood. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Urenui River Taranaki NZ

Urenui flooded river, it runs beside our home. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Urenui flooded river, it runs beside our home. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Every Phobia Has A Name.

For rain phobias:

Pluviophobia - Fear of rain

or Antlophobia -- Fear of floods

I'm not sure what my phobia is called, but I do know that I have a fear of heavy rain warnings.

A person experiencing Pluviophobia may be on high alert regarding and obsess about weather forecasts.

I only need to hear "MetService has issued a severe weather warning and is forecasting heavy rain over the next 24 hours as the front approaches New Zealand and I have that terrible feeling in my chest, shortness of breath and feeling "Oh not another storm".

As of April 20 2013, my phobia is getting worst, those rain days are here again.

New Zealand has been in a drought, to 20th April we have only 280mm of rain for the year.

Our usual rainfall for this area is 3000mm, that means a lot of water to fall in the next 8 months.

As the months are passing by now middle of July (mid winter) there has only been 1000mm of the 3000mm, we have been getting for the last 10 years I have been recording the rain.

I am getting very concern about this big change in the weather, 5 months left of 2013 and 2000mm of rain still to come, I hope not.

River over flowing its banks

Flooded paddock beside our house.Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Flooded paddock beside our house.Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Heavy Rain Causes My Phobia To Increase.

Retiring from milking cows nearly ten years ago my husband and I brought a farm in eastern Taranaki about twenty kms inland from Urenui on the banks of the Urenui River and that really brought home to me about my fear of heavy rain.

We have a rain recorder, average yearly rain-fall 3,000 million meters (120 inches) of rain.

Shifted here May 2002, start of winter, that means rain, and we sure got rain, never dreaming that we would have that much rain, we were told the rainfall was about 1800mm a year.

When the rain does arrive, I can cope with it if it is during the night as I cannot see the river rising.

But heavy rain in the day-time river rising, I can only close the curtains, go to my little corner in the lounge and work on my computer, until it stops raining,or bedtime and then I do not sleep, only doze and have nightmares.

I remember when we first move on to this property, we had so much rain the river was up and down, had to wait to cross the bridge before we could feed the cows, we are surrounded by ranges, my nightmare where so bad, I dreampt that even the mermaids had had enough rain and vividy in my dreamt I saw the mermaids jumping of the ranges into the river and swimming out to sea.

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I have never liked a lot of rain growing up as a child, there is something in my early years, that happened, but cannot account for it, only dread the words "severe weather warning" especially if heavy rain.

 Urenui River banks, beside our house when it isn't raining.Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Urenui River banks, beside our house when it isn't raining.Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

My Nightmare for this Phobia

I commented below about what has caused me to feel worse about this phobia, so now I will put it in writing.

We had been having a bad time trying to get a shearer to shear the ewes (that were feeding lambs) they hadn't been shorn in the autumn, which meant that they were being dragged down by their wet wool.

We manage to get one but he was unreliable and never turned up to shear them, (now if you know anything about this you get the sheep in the sheds the day before for them to have dry wool) now they had young lambs on them, we had to let them out of the shed to feed their lambs that afternoon and lock them up for shearing the next day after feeding their lambs, but would you believe it he never turned up until 2.00pm the next day, (he had problems with alcohol but we didn't know that when we asked him if he would shear them).

Later that afternoon the poor hungry sheep and lambs were put into a paddock with plenty of grass to get a good feed before dark (the one you can see in the photo that's on a river bank) it wasn't a bad evening September 27th, no sign of rain, so we thought we would leave them there so they could go on feeding during the night, as if we had put them on the hills behind that paddock there was no grass.

Well this is were it all when terribly wrong, after 2 days of trouble with not getting the shear, 2am in the morning 28th September a terrible storm broke out and did it fall down 43mm of rain, and those river banks you see in the photo where those beef weaner heifer are grazing fill up the river.

In the intro photo that is the same river full to the bream with flood waters.

Our house is on side were I took the photo, we had a very low bridge that when we have heavy rain the water and rubbish that the heavy water drag down the river goes over the top of the bridge and we can't get to the other side until the river drops.

That morning of that big rainstorm, I got up early, as soon as it was getting daylight to shift those sheep and lambs up on the hill, but it was too late the river was fall, no way of getting across the bridge.

The sheep had gone down the river banks to try to shelter from the rain (when sheep are first shorn they have no oil on their hides to stop the rain seeping through their skins) but as the water in the river came up, they had got trapped as there is only a couple of track to the top of the banks, and couldn't get back up.

I will never forget that terrible morning watching those ewes struggling trying to get out of the water and disappearing down the river, even now it's bringing tears to my eyes and i feel quite sick.

We lost 29 ewes, out of 60, I had 16 pet lambs that year to feed that lost their mothers.

This was one of my trauma why I have this terrible phobia.

Heavy rain causes flooding in New Zealand's Whanganui

Lightening - Thunder Storms

Broken Power Pole after an electric storm. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Broken Power Pole after an electric storm. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Electrical Storm Damage

Another electrical storm, causing so much damage, that is one of my dreads because every time we have heavy rain there is so much damage to clean up after, without the anguish I go through because of my phobia of heavy rain.

11 July 2011 a bad storm hit The Piko Valley where I live, loss of power for 2 days, before the power board got a helicopter in and put new power poles in the valley.

The photo above shows the power pole that caused the lost of power.

This is now ten days of terrible lightening, thunder and heavy rain.

MetService says another couple of days it should be clearing, cannot wait for that to happen.

Poor animals, I don't know how they cope with it, but no loss of stock yet, just mud everywhere, no place to feed out hay or silage, feed gets tramped into the ground, go off the track and the tractor is stuck.

Feel a lot better now I have written this, good way to release that pressure value.

Dairy Cows Grazing After Storm

Cows grazing just after the electric storm, lucky they were not there in that spot when the Power Lines came down. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Cows grazing just after the electric storm, lucky they were not there in that spot when the Power Lines came down. Photo Credit - Elsie Hagley

Rain Gauges

A rain gauge is one thing that I have been using yearly for the last 15 years, and I wouldn't be without it

Where I live now, I have been using it for the last 10 years, our yearly rainfall is 3,000 mm a year, that's a lot of water.

I read it every 24 hours, and keep a recording of it, to keep a daily report on how much falls each month, and at the end of the year, the total matches the total rainfall on the rain gauge.

It also has a temperature gauge, for inside and out, I love my rain gauge.

© 2011 Elsie Hagley

Do You Like Stormy Weather?

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on September 11, 2016:

Oh, Elsie, I hope that time has healed your wounds.

If it is any comfort, I'll share something from my spiritual studies. Jesus once said that he would remove fear from the elementals (animals) during their death transition.

We had cows on our farm in Michigan, so I apologize for not being able to relate well to sheep shearing. I do remember a story my dad told be about getting ticks from having to carry a blind sheep. My grandmother once made lamb for Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, I couldn't stand the taste of mutton. (I'm vegan today.)

Why I don't fear storms and other natural disasters perhaps is because I believe/realize that these happenings are transitional phrases from which new, better things evolve. Just as new forest growth rises up out of the ashes after a forest burn, so do our lives adjust and even improve out of trials and hardships.

Please do not feel guilty or hurt any longer about those lost ewes! Take a deep breath and visualize a loving light surrounding the group soul of that animal. Realize nature (God) holds the balance of all energies of the universe.

Be happy. Be healed. Your joy is the greatest gift you can give to life--and to those animals that you lost.


P.S. I reconnected with you through LinkedIn where your birthday of yesterday was noted. Happy belated birthday wishes!

Lucy Camp on July 16, 2016:

Having just moved from South Australia, where we lived with the threat of bush fires, I'm now living in Brisbane with the threat of heavy rains leading to flash flooding - a few times a year with a major flood event usually every ten years or so. Yes it is a scary thing to live with. Sorry to hear of your experience with it - terrible

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on January 03, 2016:

gerimcclyn: Thanks for visiting. Yes heavy rain is still a problem with me, it will never change while living in this beautiful valley beside a river, it will become easier in April as we have bought a house in town (simi retirement), and won't be able to see the river rising.

Will still have the farm, at least, I won't know how much rain and flooding until we came back to check and feed the stock.

Geri McClymont on January 03, 2016:

Elsie, I can only imagine it was very traumatic watching those ewes struggling to get out of the water, so it is understandable that you have a fear of heavy rain as a result of this terrible experience. I am very sorry this happened. Thank you for sharing your story.

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on June 27, 2014:

@TanoCalvenoa: Thanks for the visit and the question. Is it a phobia? Interesting point. Maybe some other readers could comment on that.

TanoCalvenoa on June 26, 2014:

Is it still considered a phobia if it's linked to a traumatic event from the past? I suppose so, but it's perfectly understandable that someone would have such a reaction. Dreading something will happen that has happened before and could possibly happen again (or something similar) sounds pretty normal, actually. I think preparation, knowing what to do is the most important thing.

Kate Fereday Eshete from United Kingdom on September 11, 2013:

@Elsie Hagley: I woke up this morning thinking of you and your lost sheep. When I suggested the trees, I meant fruit trees. An orchard of 29 apple trees, for example. You would enjoy the beautiful pink blossom and the fruit crop. Thinking about a memorial orchard gave me the idea of doing the same thing for my poodle. I have a lens called 'Judy Poodle of Ethiopia' which celebrates the life of my poodle. I have her bones in a casket and wanted to build a stone tomb in which to put the casket but hadn't got round to doing anything about it, partly because I have not yet chosen a spot. Now I'm envisaging a tomb surrounded by many apple trees... Anyway, I hope you give the orchard idea some thought. I think you would feel better about the ewes if you did it.

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on September 10, 2013:

@KateFeredayEshete: Thanks you are a special person, that is a great idea, we have lots of trees growing on our farm, so a few more wouldn't hurt.

Like that green image feel.

Kate Fereday Eshete from United Kingdom on September 10, 2013:

@Elsie Hagley: Elsie, I wish there were something I could say to make you feel better about the loss of your ewes. When I feel sad about the death of an animal or person, I plant a tree in their memory. Why not plant 29 trees on your land in memory of your 29 ewes? In that way something positive comes out of the tragedy. And you will, I hope, begin to feel better about it.

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on September 10, 2013:

@KateFeredayEshete: Thanks for this very special comment, I can actually feel your stress that you are talking about living in your mud hut in Ethiopia when you are having a storm, it's not nice.

Actually I enjoy the sound of the birds singing even when it's still raining, because it usually means the rain is stopping, birds seem to know.

I realize that humans and animals lose their life in stormy weather, but these animal were ours and it should never have happen, if only we hadn't had all the bad luck with the shearer, the weather had been fine for days when we required the shearer, but by the time he came the weather was closing in, we took the gamble that evening to let the ewes and lambs have grass after not eating right for two days, and we lost. So sad!

Kate Fereday Eshete from United Kingdom on September 10, 2013:

I spent my childhood in the Orkney Islands (off the north coast of Scotland), a very windy, stormy place, especially around the vernal equinox (21 March) and the autumnal equinox (22 September). There my family lived in a stone house so that I felt safe and snug inside while storms raged outside. Now I live in the Ethiopian Highlands with a dry season and a season of heavy rains, the latter lasting from June to September. Most houses in Ethiopia are built of wood with a mud-straw mix plastered over them, and corrugated-metal for a roof. When it rains heavily or hails, the sound on the roof is thunderous. Although Orkney gales and hurricanes never bothered me (and were even rather exciting), I feel vulnerable in our mud hut in Ethiopia and am always anxious when a storm is raging. Whereas Orkney storms would last for days, here they're over in an hour, although they recur almost daily during the rainy season. I always get a great feeling of relief after a heavy storm here. Then I sit and listen to the dripping of water and the birds beginning to sing, and, if we're lucky, the sun comes out. Thank you for a super lens, though I'm sorry to read about the loss of your ewes. Here, every year during the rains there are cases of animals and people being swept away in flooded streams and rivers. I can fully understand your anxiety about heavy rain.

Kerry Voronoff from Sydney, Australia on September 03, 2013:

It must have been awful watching those poor sheep drown. I'm not surprised you have fear of heavy rain after that.

Erin Mellor from Europe on August 29, 2013:

What a terrible thing to watch. I wouldn't call your fear a phobia, it's perfectly rational for you to fear rain in the circumstances.

Anja Toetenel from The Hague, the Netherlands on August 23, 2013:

@Elsie Hagley: I am so sorry this happened to you Kiwinana! I can imagine this is still a big nightmare memory for you :( I feel so sad for you and those poor ewes and lambs. We can't change what happened to us, but you can overcome this. It will never be a nice thing to look back at, but it is possible to heal from this trauma. I'm working on a few Lenses that cover this, and will let you know when I finished them. Maybe they'll help you, be patient, I've been very busy ;-) Have a lovely day (or evening, I think it's evening in NZ already isn't it?)

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on August 22, 2013:

@darkflowers: Thanks for visiting and commenting.

You have covered a few subjects here, but one I agree with you that is very terrifying, Wasp!. They are one insect I cannot stand either and I can understand you having a fear of them.

As for stormy weather, you would have some very interesting scenes living close to the sea, but I don't think I could tolerate stormy seas either.

One of the reasons I have this phobia is because of a storm which happen 2am in the morning with the lost of 29 ewes and many lambs.

I will cover this storm in an update of this lens, I think I can now some eight years later, after watching those ewes struggling in that flooded river and being washed out to sea, it was a real nightmare.

Anja Toetenel from The Hague, the Netherlands on August 22, 2013:

I am so sorry for you about this phobia! I know phobias can be terrible, I have a totally different one for wasps, I can't even look at a photo of one and my BP rises, my heart pounds and I start heavy breathing. So I can imagine a little bit what your biggest fear must feel like! Personally, I hope you don't mind me saying ;-), I love stormy weather, I live close to the sea and it is fantastic there when what you dread so much happens here. In the Netherlands we have a lot of rainy and stormy weather. As a kid I loved hiding under my blankets and then pretending I was on a ship in heavy weather ;-) Well, I don't hope I made you feel panicky now, think of Sun, dry, nice and warm! Thanks for sharing this great written Lens with us!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 21, 2013:

Not a fun of storms at all. I have had my share when I was growing up.

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on April 20, 2013:

Nope! Not a fan of stormy weather either. Usually the weather is much milder where I live now compared to where I grew up, but we can still get some high winds and a lot of rain at one time. I don't mind the light rain we get throughout most of the year. It's the heavy rain and high winds that I don't like. :)

Karnel from Lower Mainland of BC on October 07, 2012:

I don't mind stormy weather as long as there's no wind. I'm not a fan of wind, here where I live every fall we have huge wind storms and usually at night.

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on September 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks for visiting my lens and commenting. I feel for you, I know what it's like. But I think it's great that you have acknowledge it, even if it's only on this lens, it may help you to know that you are not the only person feeling bad about heavy rain and stormy weather, especially lightening and thunder. It has helped me a lot since I wrote this lens, I seem to be able to cope with it much better.

anonymous on September 23, 2012:

I Have Flood Phobia Im But Really Really Scared i sometimes cry im scared of thunder and lightning

poutine on August 28, 2012:

No, I do not like stormy weather. I like a gentle rain where I can walk with my umbrella.

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on August 19, 2012:

@iamraincrystal: Thanks for visiting liking and commenting. Nice meeting you, fancy meeting through a raln lens on Squidoo. Have a nice day,

Rosyel Sawali from Manila Philippines on August 19, 2012:

I love the rain! But not when it causes floods. I recently made a lens about one incident in our locality. Thanks for pointing me here so I can add this as a related lens. ^_^

anonymous on August 16, 2012:

I love rainy weather; not so much stormy weather. It's beautiful to open up the windows and light candles while listening to rain patter. The only thing I do worry about though, is my neighbor's Big Oaks. I hope they do not fall over onto my house one stormy day. That would not be pretty.

Elsie Hagley (author) from New Zealand on August 08, 2012:

@kburns421 lm: Thanks for the nice comment.

kburns421 lm on August 08, 2012:

It's funny how animals seem so unaffected by the things we sometimes fear most. I'm glad writing this helped you at the time. Phobias are tough.

tfsherman lm on July 27, 2012:

I live in St. Petersburg, Florida, the lightning capital of the WORLD! Our thunderstorms in the summer usually last 20 minutes of thrilling downpour and then it's rainbow time. I tried to slit my wrists when I lived in Oregon's drizzle -- no wait, I DID slit my wrists in Oregon's drizzle!

Lori Green from Las Vegas on July 14, 2012:

I am a nut. I love stormy weather. Even Hurricanes are exciting to me. Bring on the rain.

stevebrown75 lm on July 02, 2012:

No ways..I always prefer staying back home..

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on May 16, 2012:

I'm the opposite, I do like stormy weather (though, not all the time). I've always enjoyed playing in the rain when I was a little boy. My mom, on the other hand, is terrified of stormy weather, especially thunder. I think you meant 3,000 millimeters (not "million" meters) :)

Terrie_Schultz on May 03, 2012:

I love rainstorms! I have a fear of fires because I live in a hot, dry, rural place. Any rain is always welcome, and flooding would be impossible here. I grew up in a place near a river, though, and there were periodic floods.

Linda Hahn from California on January 08, 2012:

I worry about the animals too.

EMangl on October 19, 2011:

Never heard about it before .. cannot feel nice

scss on October 11, 2011:

I had no idea!

Helene Malmsio

Gerald McConway on October 06, 2011:

Definitely love the storms, and we get a ton of them where I live. During the summer, I will just sit on my deck and watch them. In the winter, I open up the deck blinds so I can sit on my sofa and watch the light show.

efriedman on August 22, 2011:

Childhood in the tornado belt in United States taught me to fear heavy rain when there is wind. I respected the danger of thunderstorms but found them thrilling, same for heavy rain, but if wind/ tornado like conditions occurred, I felt truly afraid.

anonymous on July 25, 2011:

Stormy weather hasn't ever bothered me in an unusual way. Your fears sounds like they are based in experience, I'm glad to hear that writing about it was helpful to you.

happynutritionist on July 24, 2011:

I can so relate to this...we have a drainage problem that causes flooding on our property on occasion, it used to be a rare occurrence, but changes in terrain and drainage have made heavy rain that most would just take for granted a fearful thing. Hopefully they will be coming to fix this problem before the end of the summer...but until then....

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on July 23, 2011:

I am not afraid of heavy rain...but I have this crazy fear of flooding...seeing those photos of homes that are completely under is very scary! I remember, as a kid, seeing a neighborhood bridge underwater several times, it scared me a lot!

Cinnamonbite on July 10, 2011:

no, not at all. I sleep pretty well during hurricanes too

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