punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Spin cycle aftermath

Well, the house fared okay. We lost some siding and the gutters are down on the other side of the house (opposite side of these). There are a few large downed limbs in the street, but nothing one or two people can't haul away. Everything is plastered with bright green leaves and small branches. I don't think my neighborhood actually got hit by a tornado, but we got hit by some of the huge cross winds that Ivan brought in its path.

We were at the Outback, about the get our food when CR called and said tornadoes had been sighted. As we were driving home, people were calling into the radio with sightings, and several were within a mile of my house. I never saw one, because the sky was a dark gray like a mountain was looming over us. As I mentioned before, one hit the Cineplex where we were going to see "Hero." I heard on the news that our main Dulles building had been hit, there was some damage with shattered windows, torn trees, and just a lot of assorted debris the tornado had sucked up before it got there. But nothing that can't be fixed in a week. There was supposedly a gas leak, and they had to evacuate the whole campus (I thought, "We have gas?" I guess the cafeteria). They were lucky, because once that tornado continued on and hit Frederick, it was over a mile wide and tore apart whole buildings. There was one guy who had a Saturn where the whole side of the car had been torn off (Saturn cars have plastic panels), the car lifted off the ground, turned 180 degrees, and was dumped into his yard. Another family's whole second floor was torn to shreds, with no debris left larger than a yard long.

The whole thing ended around 10pm, and the Tornado Watch ended at midnight. I was so nervous, so broken down from everything else this year, I had to stop watching the news around 7 and let CR and Christine tell me when to duck and cover (the den where I was online is right next to out "sheltered area" in the house). We had to have the dogs penned up and cats locked up in their travel crates, and they were all panicking and freaking out over the noise and the smell of human fear. We sounded like the pound, with "Meeeeooooowww!! [whimper whimper] yap yap yap MEOOOoowww!" For hours. I couldn't take it.

I tried to eat the Outbacks food we bagged up with us, but my stomach was so knotted and in pain, that it made me sick, and I have spent the last 6-8 hours in gastric distress, with spells of vomiting, and my ulcer is obviously flared up. I really should not have, "tried to return to normal and eat." I figured I hadn't eaten since noon, and I should eat, and I might calm down.

All night I dreamt that huge black things with long elephant-like trunks were floating like evil super blimps in the sky, chasing my family through some dark woods, and all I could think of was that it was all my fault. These dreams stem from my deep childhood fears that my presence on this earth is why everyone was always so miserable, like why my parents fought, why adults were always so awkward around me, why I didn't have many friends and so on. The whole, "if you hadn't been born, no evil would be in this world" thing abused kids get told in various ways. Fear is a horrible thing, and since no one was there to comfort me as a kid, I don't have much resistance against the free-falling of doom and gloom. There is actually a part of my brain that goes, "You are being punished for daring to enjoy your recent success at work!" I wonder how many of my friends also suffer this? A symptom is when you say things like, "Enjoy it while it lasts," or "people are nice to me until they come to their senses." I figure it comes from people with unstable lives, who have short-lived happiness, and see joy as a vulnerability for "the forces against me" to attack. Children of alcoholics, for instance.

But we're fine, and once my stomach stops cramping and I can eat again, everything will return to normal. Christine is calling the insurance company on Monday to explain the damage. We're going to have to go into the back yard, assess real damage, take photos, and so on.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000607.html
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