We are on flood watch again. Last time this happened, due to Cyclone Debbie, we ended up with thigh-high water through my son’s garden-level bedroom: photos and story are all HERE. Nearby towns were devastated, and are literally only just recovering after 11 metres of brown filthy water rushed through the entire CBD.
I hardly slept last night. I lay wake from 1.30 till at least 4am, tuning in to every increase or blessed pause in the rain’s fall. I kept picturing my garden 2 months ago, over and over, drowned by floodwater. I’d moved my car at midnight back then, just in time before the water went over the bottom of the doors; last night I kept worrying if I should get up to check it.
Early this morning friends texted or called to see if I needed a hand, and I decided to keep ’17’ home from school. I’ve noticed I’m chewing on my tongue or my inner lips, and feel so on edge (plus exhausted).
I’m kind of hyper-vigilant, yet also numb.
Expecting the worst.
Feeling out of control.
Scared. Angry. Wanting to flee.
And I thought: ‘Wow, this is like a domestic violence nightmare- walking on those damn clichéd egg shells, waiting for the emotional explosion. Or like living in a ghetto, where you never know who’s going to be shot next. It’s like living in Syria, waiting to be bombed. It’s like being a refugee, in camp or detention centre.’
Except it’s fucking Not.
I’m still surrounded by intact walls & roof; electricity; internet; food and fresh water. Emergency services and Council trucks. Hourly updates on local radio with friendly voices and familiar tunes.
Yes, I’m feeling pretty anxious, and definitely a bit re-triggered by memories of the last flood. But nothing, NOTHING, like a woman being beaten by her partner in her own home, or having her children shot at, bombed, or drowned in rough seas fleeing political persecution.
I hang my head at my simple lack of resilience, and wonder if I’d ever be tough enough to survive a genuine traumatic situation?
I pray I never find out.