I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always liked bees and haven’t been afraid of them. I even took a beekeeping course in college.

This year, I’ve been scared of them. It’s a dramatic difference. I used to enjoy sitting on the deck or walking around in the woods, even after the one time I got stung, and now I don’t. I’m always on edge. I’m listening.

It’s obvious to me why, also. The only warning I had before I turned last year and found Kiddo#4 covered in wasps was the buzzing of a hundred bees’ wings, a sound I’d heard but discounted because when I’d looked up, I hadn’t seen a beehive, and I knew I wasn’t doing anything to disturb anything. Except for the fact that I was.

So I’ll be outside, and I hear a buzzing, and I go tense. Even when I can place it as an airplane, which probably has no intention of stinging me or my children. (And, to be honest, if it does come close enough to do that, a sting will be the least of our problems.)

But the other day, I needed to go inside because of an incessant buzz I’m sure was a lawn mower a quarter mile away, but I couldn’t convince myself. I kept looking for the yellowjackets.

I’m not sure how to get past this, whether I need to habituate myself to them again. I used to be able to sit with a yellowjacket on my arm, just watching it and totally confident it would leave when it discovered I wasn’t that interesting. And now I just want to stay inside. And not even because I got stung, but because it happened to one of my children.


  1. Lorraine E. Castro

    Hi There. You sound traumatized. If you want to contact me, I can give you an easy to follow excercise to eliminate the traumatic charge from this experience and others you might have. I am a licensed therapist and have used this method with many successfully. This eliminates the emotional charge and leaves just the memory or information. It’s a combination of EMDR and NLP.

    I really enjoy your blog!


    1. philangelus

      Thanks — you really think that’s trauma? Can it show up a year later?

      I’ll email you. I’ve read a bit about EMDR, and it can’t hurt, right?

  2. Ana

    After you get past that initial triggered reaction, hang out there and get to know whats going on in front you of at that time. Little by little, it isnt a trigger from your mind, but whats really going on “now”.

    1. philangelus

      So you think I need to habituate to it again? The stupid lawn mower incident was what threw me for a loop because logically I knew it should just be a lawn mower, but in the back of my mind I kept saying, “but what if, what if, what if?”

      1. Ana

        Habituate SLOWLY, yes. What happened to you really left a mark on you… but it doesnt necessarily reflect of the “reality” of whats going on when youre triggered. Sort of take-it-as-it-comes type way of looking at it, maybe? You appreciated them for a reason.

        1. philangelus

          I can still look at them without any problem. A few weeks ago I posted about watching a singularly gorgeous bee on the windshield of my car, only inches away, and I didn’t feel any fear whatsoever. And if I’m sitting outside and one flies by quietly, I flinch but I’m okay. *Hearing* them is a problem.

          I hadn’t thought of the sound as a trigger, but I will now. (Criminy — I’m just realizing the same thing happened with the mosquito hell night last month, that I couldn’t sleep until I put in ear plugs because I could hear them through the windows.)

          I feel silly, though. The kid was fine an hour later, and as far as I know, flying insects, making sounds or otherwise, don’t bother him, and he’s the one who got stung.

  3. cricketB

    Sounds like a normal reaction to me. You got back on the wagon, then there was the entire cold season with no wagon to stay on. Ana’s approach makes sense. Feeling silly about it is normal, too. Do what you need to solve the problem.