anxiety, anxiety attack, life, ptsd

Fire Alarms Galore ! My PTSD Cannot Tolerate This…

Okay, it is 8:26 am here and my alarm clock is set for noon. I would not be awake, if it were not for the fire alarm having gone off. The one in this house goes off with an alarm and a recorder female, business like voice saying “FIRE FIRE FIRE….FIRE FIRE FIRE…”

So, even though someone apparently burned popcorn in the microwave, it is still a bit disconcerting. But more so, because of the fact that it is the 3rd time I have heard a fire alarm in the past 2 days.

The day before yesterday, this alarm went off for a similar reason to now. But 2 nights ago, at work at the nursing home, the fire alarm went off for real. The incident extremely frightening, being as I was in the dementia unit on the 2nd floor of a building and there are no ramps to get the residents down!

There is a lot more to the story and I will write it up later on today. I had so much anxiety for the first 24 hours after that, I could not even write about it here, I had been planning to write it out, when I got home from work that night, but the anxiety over the experience was incapacitating to do that.

Anyway, as I was still recovering from actually evacuating residents in a less than safe, less than ideal, situation of real fire, this fire alarm at 8 ish in the morning, was not pleasant to wake up to. Holy crap!

Not only that, I get ptsd symptoms about fire. Other stories from my past …to tell another day…

I felt extremely nauseated when I began writing this post and now it has passed. I actually thought for a minute that I was getting the stomach flu, on top of everything else. But it must have been a PTSD symptom that I have not experienced before.

Fire is a terrible fear for me. Which reminds me of the time that I explained about my fear of fire to my ex, when we were newly dating. We were going to spend the weekend together and we went to check in at a hotel in Manhattan.

I told him that I do not feel safe above the 7th floor of any hotel. I watched a fire documentary once, and it said that firemen do not stay above the 7th floor, when they go to hotels.

The reason for this, is that the ladder on a firetruck is not designed to reach above the 7th floor. They cannot get you out by ladder, if you are above the 7th. The fire chief in the documentary, said that he would never stay that high in a hotel.

When I heard him say that I thought to myself… “If the fire chief isn’t staying above the 7th floor, then neither am I.”  Ever after that, I always have preferred the 1st and 2nd floors of a hotel, and never above the 7th.

Back to the hotel story…I told my ex all of this and that I was afraid of being trapped in a fire. I have had some terrifying past experiences with fire and I feel safer on a floor that the fire chief would deem safer. How can I sleep, if I am worried about this kind of thing?

I was already scared because I had never been to Manhattan, NY before. The city is really big, scary and full of people everywhere. I was having anxiety, just walking through all the people on the sidewalks.

But he was worried about the street noise.

He lived in an apt. that was on the street in NY and he was tired of hearing street noise every night. He wanted the hotel night to be a break from the street noise. The person at the front desk told him that we had to get a room at least 20 floors up, in order to not hear any street noise.

The 20th floor ! I had never (and still have never since then) even been in a building that had 20 floors! I could not even imagine 20 floors. I am afraid of heights that high, in addition to the whole fire thing. Just looking out of a window that high, will give me an anxiety attack.

So, what was the compromise?

He took the 20th floor room. I wonder if I should have considered this a red flag ?

2 thoughts on “Fire Alarms Galore ! My PTSD Cannot Tolerate This…”

  1. Fire is the most terrifying thing; when it is out of control the most you can do is GET OUT. My father was nearly burned alive in a boiler explosion. His skin looked like bacon and he couldn’t even feed himself. My father’s friends came every day and cared for his wounds and used tiny cuticle scissors to cut away the dead flesh after there was healing underneath. Where I live in Jersey, I occasionally get the odor of burning wood and it freaks me out – even more so now that I am disabled.

    I stayed overnight in Manhattan many years ago and when I looked out the window the next morning I got dizzy. I forget how many floors up we were but the yellow taxicabs looked like ants. Believe me, I am a one-floor person. 🙂

    I hope everything is alright. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand anxiety and PTS because I struggle with these things too. I would take these fire alarms as omens, not of an actual fire though, perhaps a warning so that you can begin praying for protection from something else. It may not even be for yourself but for someone you love. I pay attention to things that repeat like this in my life as signs from God. I will pray for you and advise you to pray through until you start feeling peace. Pray specifically for protection.

    Liked by 2 people

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