hit between the eyes
Make someone suddenly aware of something, have a sudden impact on. For example, News of their divorce hit me right between the eyes. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.