When I was a kid we lived in a small town by the sea, and we had thunderstorms all the time. My family lives ten miles inland now, so we don’t get as many – but the ones we DO get are always memorable, and usually for all the wrong reasons. Three in the seven years we’ve been living in our current house have been literally right over the roof. One, about five years ago, fried the motherboard of the family computer. A variation on this theme happened a couple of days ago: our broadband/wireless hub got hit. We have no internet. My mum called the telephone company this morning and they are mending the line and sending us some new equipment (free of charge too, since our contract had just ended) – but this won’t be until the 16th. The horror! What am I going to do with myself for the next eight days? Thank goodness for the library (which is where I am now!).
When we discovered this on Sunday morning I was particularly frustrated because I really wanted to get online. You see, the third thunderstorm to hit right over our land happened the morning after I was raped. I was in the car with the people who did it at the time, they were driving me home. The car was going down my drive when a bolt of lightning struck a telegraph pole nearby and arched onto the car. As if I really needed anything else to make those 24 hours MORE memorable, eh? When I was a kid I loved thunderstorms. I used to sit by the windows oohing and ahing over the lightning and shrieking in delight at the deafening thunderclaps (I particularly hammed this up at school, where I’d be watching the storm with the boys while more of the other girls in the class were hiding under tables. Honestly). But since that day six and a half years ago, every time there has been a storm I’ve had a panic attack right on cue. To start off with it wasn’t the storm I was scared of, it was just that as an associated event I always got horrible flashbacks of the night in question whenever the thunder started rolling. But after a year or two the anxiety started becoming associated with the storms themselves, and now I have a fully fledged paranoia of being hit by lightning. It’s terribly irrational, and very annoying, because I KNOW it’s irrational and I know exactly how and why it developed – but when I see thunder clouds my heart starts beating faster just the same. I was lying in bed on Saturday night with the storm right overhead (literally, since it managed to knock our broadband hub out) trying to keep a lid on the panic. My heart was going crazy, my mouth was dry, there were chills going up and down my spine, all the anorexia-induced fur was standing on end (bahaha that’s quite an amusing image 😛 ), I couldn’t get warm, I had pins and needles…all I wanted to do was to go downstairs with my duvet and find somewhere ‘safe’ to curl up. Somewhere which felt less exposed to the lightning. Failing that, I wanted to tell my mum how scared I was.
But I resisted all of this. Even though I was having trouble hanging on to the sensible thoughts in my head, I realised that if I went and hid somewhere I would be reinforcing the idea in my mind that there was something to be scared of. Support is always good, but I also need to know that I can get through these situations on my own. And I did. I lay in my bed shaking and forcing myself to keep breathing properly, and tried to get my body to relax. And eventually I went to sleep. I did not get hit by lightning (although our internet did!). The world did not end.
Yesterday my uncle came over for dinner – the vegan cheesecake was a huge hit, I’m so glad it worked! I wish I could post photos but they are saved on my phone and I’m just not that technologically minded. I also wanted to post photos of the package that I got from Islandgirl from the secret blogger swap, but again, I just can’t work out how to upload photos using the library computers, so I will just have to settle for saying thank you for now!!
I will be reliant on the library internet for the next week, so I won’t be posting every day and I won’t be commenting – the library has a half hour limit, doh. But I’ll be back soon 🙂