Posted by: illinigirl | June 27, 2010


I am pretty shocked that I have not written about this yet. . . but I did a search, and it doesn’t appear I have.

I have a phobia. . . of lightning.  It’s called, “astraphobia“. . . this is me to a tee.

Luckily, my phobia is not so bad that I have to check the weather anytime I leave the house or have a fear of not leaving the house. . . BUT I will not leave the house during a storm. . . or leave work or anywhere else during a storm.

Houston was particularly bad because the storms are so nasty and frequent.  So many sleepless nights. . . so many late nights at work because it was storming so badly when I wanted to go home. . . and a few days in EARLY at work (like 4:30 a.m. early) because there were storms that were hitting from 5:00-7:00, and I was not willing to drive in then.  Luckily, most of the storms were in the afternoon/evening.

I really don’t think about it as much here, but it’s been a bad week.  Not Houston bad. . . but annoying.  Also, last weekend at home was annoying, as storms kept me up there, too.

Like wikipedia says. . . I do better with other people around.  When my friend Ryan was staying with me for a month, I could sit out in the living room during a bad storm and have a conversation and be fine. . . when usually, I’d be ducking for cover.  I told him about my issues so it wasn’t as though I was being tough because I was embarrassed. . . I guess he just took my mind off of it.

I haven’t always had this problem.  This started in 1998.  I have always been a freak about retreating to the basement and stuff during storms and not being a big fan of them. . . but they didn’t rule my life before then.  I remember driving through a TERRIBLE storm in 1997 (the night the tornado hit Urbana and Ogden).  It was freaky as all get out, but there is NO WAY I would even think about getting in my car and driving somewhere now. . . and I’d probably have to pull off and go inside somewhere or chill in my car somewhere if this happened today.  That’s how I know I didn’t have a problem back then.

I am 90% positive this freakishness started when lighting struck fairly close to me on a walk to class in college.  No, no, it wasn’t so close that I felt any effects. . . it just scared the living crud out of me (and everyone in the area).  Everyone literally screamed.  Weird how such a small event can mess up your brain.

The thing is, I know this fear is irrational. . . but it is a thing that is actually dangerous.  I have thought of getting help, but it’s really not that life-limiting.  Even in Houston, it mostly caused me to lose sleep. . . as it is tonight.

And that is another interesting tidbit about illini_girl!

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