Lightning strikes thrice.

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 🙂

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7 responses to “Lightning strikes thrice.

  1. Cacti Don't Cry

    Oh no — no internet?! How awful!! =OAWESOME job on realizing that you can get through the panic on your own!!I'm glad the cheesecake was a hit — looking forward to the photos when the internet is back up. In the meantime… libraries are awesome! :D<3 ❤

  2. ack, sad about your internet :(we also seem to be playing phone tag but I'm sure I'll catch you sometime!v awesome that you got through the storm on your own…you are so right that it's probably a good thing to 'teach' yourself that it's ok and you can handle the panic. still, I can imagine it must have been awful and difficult to rationalise like that at the time.also can't wait for photos when your internet returns! yay for vegan cheesecake…the baking photos are great btw…you are inspiring me to cook more!x Fi

  3. REALLY?! Half an hour? Wow, and I thought my library was being mean, we get one hour. I hope you'll find lots of cool books to read though! I can't wait to see all of your photos when your internet is back.I'm so glad you got through that situation on your own. I'm scared of thunder and lightning because I was told that it was angels fighting when I was like 6 yrs old. Ever since then, I would sit really straight and not say a word during a thunder storm.

  4. Oh katie…when I got your text on Sunday I had no idea about the whole story- just the internet situation! I'm so glad you were able to get through it 'okay'- panic attacks and phobias are HORRIBLE but the more the 'panic' button is pushed (ie, by a thunderstrom) the more you get to reprogram your brain that thunder isn't as frightening as the other part of your brain believes…hope you are back online soon!

  5. Rose 'n' Coffee

    Bummer about the internet. My provider is rubbish and very slow, so I'm thinking of looking elsewhere.I used to suffer from panic attacks and now I realise the signs and do breathing exercises or try occupy my mind with something else to avoid them.

  6. I'm glad you were able to make a decision that was in the best interests of yourself hunni. Part of me wants to tell you to "Go and get huggles you deserve them when you're feeling scared and vulnerable" and you totally do, but I get the feeling that you were trying to look at long term rather than short term.I wish I could give you hugs NOW and show you how proud I am of you and that you don't HAVE to be alone in thunderstorms when there are people to support you as well :).Sucks about the wireless though 😦 doh! Soon, soon!!! Just don't get so distracted by the outside world that you forget us :), I like you!!! hehe – okay just being selfish here really.Stay safe hunniLove Tellyxoox

  7. Dude… that's creepy… I used to love thunderstorms too! Especially when it got really windy, i'd go to my backyard and stand outside and look and listen. Now I just think, "God, I hope it doesn't start raining too, I need to bike to school…"Hope you can upload soon and everything starts working (don't you just hate it when your pc doesn't work 100% correctly?… we are so dependant on those things…)xxxP.S. Anorexia-induced fur Lolz xD… I know what you mean…

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