Astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightning)

by Cameron
(Atlanta, Georgia)

I am deathly afraid of thunder and lightning.

I'm 19, male, and I've had this fear for as long as I can remember. I haven't met anyone who has this fear as bad as I do. It's really led to some terrible conflicts in my life.

Once it was storming really bad outside and my mom tried to talk me into getting the mail. I refused because I didn't want to go outside and touch the mailbox (it was metal).I didn't even want to go outside period, but she forced me to. She told me my fear was silly and locked me out the house during the storm. Truly fearing for my life, I ran out to a friends house (which was about 15 minutes away) and stayed there until the storm passed. The whole time I was running I thought I was going to get stuck by lightning. This happened about 3 years ago.

Just recently I got a job as track attendant. This is someone who runs the outside attractions at theme parks (go carts, bumper boats, etc.) I work outside all day and even though I didn't really like my job that much, I did my best...except for when it started storming. 2 times, it started to storm and I had to clock out early cause I couldn't take it. Luckily there was more than one person running the outside attractions, so it wasn't that big of a deal that I went inside and left, but it still makes things hard at work. I was teased and laughted at by my co-workers for this fear.

Now, I've been promoted to mechanic, which is great cause I make more money, but being a mechanic means working outside around metal all day, which doesn't bother me at all cause I love my job...but I don't know how I would handle it if it started to storm. I couldn't just clock out like I previously have done cause there's only one mechanic at a time.

I've been searching for a long time for a solution to this fear. I can't be outside, drive, or be inside without music or the tv up load during a thunderstorm.

I've been doing better in trying to over come this fear on my own. I use to keep my eyes shut and listen to my ipod really loud when I was in a car... now I feel safer and can sometimes even watch the lightning when I'm in the car (as long as the windows are all the way up). I use to bury my face under a pillow, shut my eyes tight, and blast my music on my ipod or laptop when I was at home during a thunderstorm...now SOMETIMES I can just sit and watch tv or stay on my laptop with the sound normal during a storm and feel safe (as long as I'm in the house).

I'm really trying to over come this fear, but it's hard. People always think they can help by forcing me to do stuff. My mom tries to force me to drive during a storm. And other people try to force me to sit outside during a storm. I need help, but not that way. I don't want to live like this anymore. I'm going to buy this phobia package and hopes that this will finally be the answer I've been looking for. I'll keep everyone posted on if it helps me.

Thanks for taking the time to hear my out. Feels good to finally get everything out. ^_^

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