Up in flames

This is my first post on my new blog. I started writing a blog because I didn’t know how else to deal with my anxiety after the Christchurch earthquakes. Writing about my fears helped me immensely. It was an awful time. I couldn’t sleep at night and I was always on edge, waiting for that next aftershock. And there were so many aftershocks. Writing a blog was a form of therapy for me.

Earthquakes are different to other natural disasters because they don’t stop with the first big shake. There are aftershocks and with each subsequent large aftershock, the chance of more large ones increases. Imagine you are robbed at gunpoint and suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result. But then imagine that just when you start to feel “normal” again, you are robbed at gunpoint a second time and then a third and this goes on for hundreds and hundreds of times. The frequency does not desensitise you to the event. I can attest to that. The best treatment is to remove yourself from the trauma altogether and to write about it and/or talk about it. I did all of these things and although I think the earthquakes have changed me forever, I feel pretty “normal” again now. I don’t feel quakerattled anymore. I’m rachelsquirrel now.

Rachelsquirrel does fun things like accidentally setting herself on fire. This morning I was lighting the stove to boil an egg for Elizabeth and I waved the match through the air to put it out only it didn’t go out, it just transferred the flame to my dressing gown. I didn’t notice that my gown was on fire until Daniel pointed it out. Then I completely freaked out, screamed and somehow managed to remove the burning gown – my default response in these situations is to panic and freak out. Fortunately the fire went out and the gown was only slightly singed. Daniel thinks he saved me now.

I can’t believe how quickly the flames spread though. My gown is cotton, so not as flammable as synthetic fibres, but still the whole left front from my chest down to my waist was alight. It was lucky my hair didn’t catch on fire.