Fires - stress

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We now have a small TV on our computer screen and a TV show tat has been heavily promoted has just begun. It's a fictional account of what serious bushfires would be like in a Sydney crippled by drought, with water supplies down to 10%.
    A few months ago (when tis was being made) this was looking feasible. Thankfully, our dams are now back up to almost 60%.

    I wanted to watch this - Aussies do good TV drama. husband does not want to watch it - his memories of the 1994 fires are still too close. My memories - they were bad, but we dealt with them in different ways.

    Like a lot of people around us, we both went into PTSD over the 94 fires. I had a difficult labour mixed in with it all which only made things worse for me.

    So far it's been a good, well-made show. But they just cut to footage of these fictional fires. Of course they can't light afire and film that - so they're using file footage. And some of the best file footage - it's our area. I was just looking at the screen and saw the road into our village, as it looked in '94. The human stories it's telling - they were our stories. Families trapped away from home, separated, evacuated, health crises, phone calls from relatives trying to find us - it's still very vivid.

    I'm not sure where difficult child 1 is tonight, he's probably with girlfriend. If they're watching this, it will be upsetting him too.

    Amazingly, very few people died in '94. When you see the size of the flames we faced - it was a miracle we didn't lose a lot more.

    The film is dealing with the problem of firefighters not having enough water to put out the fires - we lost our water supply for a week after the fires, we had to swim at the beach then go home to sponge off with a bucket of water from the bathtub I'd filled with the last of the supply.

    In fires since then, we've lost friends. One young man, a little older than difficult child 1, was a volunteer firefighter who died in cleaning up operations.

    I just heard difficult child 1 getting home. This means he has been on the road since this program started (it takes half an hour to drive through the bush to get home). I suspect he won't want to watch this either.

    I think I need to. We took a lot of photos back then, photos of the bush growing back after the devastation. It's the one thing that gives us encouragement - to know that a lot of these plants are designed to survive fire.

  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope this starts a period of healing from the PTSD. Fire can be a very scary thing. I am sorry you all went through that.

    Many hugs,

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You've got guts, Marg. But it sounds like the right thing do to. Incredible.
    You are such a strong person. :)
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    I think it could be very cathartic and I hope it helps the healing process, Marg. Everyone has to deal with this stuff in their own way. For you, I think facing up to your monsters has always been your way. Love, ML
  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    PTSD stinks, between being in NJ so close to NY on 9/11 and having a psychopath stalk and try to assault me on 11/11/2001 (2 months later), I have been an out of control tunning fork for the past 7 years, and difficult child's and S2BX haven't helped.

    Fire and tornados always scared the be-jeebers out of me (STILL DO). Or neighbors house caught fire once, it was terrifying to me!
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We are no strangers to fires here in SoCal. In fact, my own street backs up to a wildlands area that was set ablaze by an arsonist two years ago -- we had water and fire retardant-dropping helicopters flying so close overhead I could see the faces of the pilots as I stood in my yard watching the chaos. We could see 100 foot high flames across the street as the hand crews worked steadily to create a line of defense across the steep terrain. There were firetrucks parked up and down our street 24/7 for several days.

    And of course when our local mountain pine forests went up in smoke a few years ago thanks to a combination of bark beetle infestation, drought and arson, it had the entire region on edge.

    Any time I see or smell smoke in the area, I feel like my anxiety is cranked up a couple notches.

    I'm not surprised that your anxiety lingers from the disaster you lived through! It's good to face these things, though, and just continue to enjoy living in these beautiful natural places but being prepared for the inevitable (which I think these fires here really are inevitable, even if people didn't start them they would happen at some point, and they do serve a purpose, as evidenced by the way many plants have evolved to rely on fires for seed germination).