Let me tell you the story about why I hate strobe lights.
This story takes place sometime in the 90s when I was maybe four or five. Suffice it to say that I was young and excited to be in Ocean City, Maryland. It was approaching evening and we were approaching Pirates Cove, the fun house in Trimper’s Rides.
I love pirates and was looking forward to this “ride”. While my dad opted to sit this one out, I went in eagerly with my mom in tow. I only vaguely recall the things I saw inside, but what matters most is that at the very end was a maze.
This maze is made from plexiglass walls and the ceiling was lined with strobe lights. While this would be mildly disorienting for an adult or older children, it scared me. I was instantly triggered into fight-or-flight. I chose flight.
Unfortunately, going through this maze was the only way out and I wanted out fast. So I ran. But in my panic, I forgot that the maze required navigating. So when there was a turn…BAM, I ran face-first into the wall. This startled me and caused me to run even faster. BAM, BAM, BAM. Meanwhile, my mom was laughing so hard she couldn’t catch me to get me to calm down and stop.
By the time I got out, I had a headache and was upset, my mom nearly doubled over. To this day, bringing up this story around her causes her to laugh.