I used to love thunderstorms.  Rain remains my favorite kind of weather, thunder, not so much.

One of my PTSD things is a pronounced, and I do mean pronounced, startle reflex.  It’s called hypervigilance by the people whose job it is to name such things.  It’s utterly ridiculous and it’s so exaggerated that I go around making other, perfectly normal people jump with my jumps. I jump when somebody walks in the room. I jump when the phone rings. I jump out of my skin at night if my husband turns out the light without warning me. I do it again when he turns it back on because I scared him.

There’s this one dumb commercial on VIKI that has some dude jumping out of a window. I’ve seen it a hundred times. I know it’s coming, and I still jump every. single. time. Sometimes that stupid commercial is on 3 times in a row in a back to back to back loop,  and I still jump three times. The only thing that helps is if I remember to mute the sound, but I have to remember to do that the first time, because after missing it the first time, I’m usually too focused on clutching my chest and gasping to think about muting the sound the next two or three runs through.

In short, everything makes me jump. And then the more I jump, the jumpier I am.

Here’s your brain. Here’s your brain on PTSD.

And right now we’re having one of the loudest and closest thunderstorms we’ve had so far this year.

I made myself jump just turning on my own music in an attempt to distract me from the thunderclaps (didn’t work).
One of the grandbabies clapped her hands in time to the music and the sound of her little hands, about as loud as the wings of butterfly passing by, made me jump.
I startled myself just opening up a new window in my browser.

I really hope all this accelerated heart rate stuff counts for aerobic exorcise rather than contributing to my untimely death by heart attack.

I feel a little less silly than I did fifteen minutes ago, though.

Shasta and Equuschick were over here with the kidlets. Mrs. Shasta was out taking care of the horse, and had just come in when we had a really booming clap of thunder.   Shasta, my fellow PTSD sufferer (except I feel like he deserves it as a war veteran while I am just defective), was upstairs and didn’t know his wife was inside. He thought she’d been struck by lightening. So, sensibly, he went to the deck and started yelling her name out into the storm. Equuschick says she guesses that he expected her corpse to answer and get up and come inside.

He was yelling loudly enough to wake the dead.

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