My world was rudely interrupted on Sunday morning at 5.55am when a phone call from my neighbour woke me. Looking out of my window I found myself literally surrounded in water and within ten minutes my downstairs was flooded. ‘Turn off your electrics’, instructed the local Fire Brigade...
Since then I have been in shock, denial and anger as I realise my lovely little house I moved in six years ago has been quite literally ripped apart. By Monday lunchtime contractors had ripped out my flooring and skirting. By Tuesday lunchtime my beautiful oak furniture I had selected carefully and with thought had been thrown out. By Wednesday my fridge freezer and washing machine had gone to the tip too.
I am lucky. My Mum is local and has accepted me with open arms despite my messy ways and mad dog!! My kids were at their Dad’s for a week and so weren’t with me when submerged with water.
In shock I posted on Facebook and got so many messages of support. My boss who I was a bit scared of was so kind I almost cried. I have found a house for six months while repairs are carried out.
How is my mental health? I am very stressed. I have so much to do and I have a demanding job to hold down... It’s been so hot I have sweated buckets and each day I return to my house full of heaters and dehumidifiers and sweat some more.
Each morning I get up and drive to the estate. I take the dog and I then walk to the park. I have grown to love and see the dog walking friends who listen to me. Yesterday it was cooler and the dog loved the freshness and freedom off the lead, as I tried to take some deep breaths. My Mum lives in a beautiful part of Brum. When eating dinner I see the green parakeets who inhabit the local park. It’s a novelty for me... an everyday occurrence for others.
Leah blogged about losing her home and business to the bush fires. I only have to worry about my home.
I am writing this in the middle of the night. I hear my Mum creeping about. We have both woken up at the same time. I consider whom from all the offers of help actually means it. This sounds harsh but some have come good. The jogger whom I vaguely knew who stopped to ask how she could help and came back 20 mins later with three flasks of tea and croissants for me and my neighbours. The friend who told me the boxes I asked her to get to help move were full of her husband’s stuff and couldn’t be used.
My two amigos who cycled on Wednesday evening through a tremendous thunderstorm to see me, arriving sodden to the skin, and were welcomed with towels and a beer.
I apologise if this is self-indulgent. How have you coped with major trauma? How has it impacted your mental health?
I end with these roses. Planted last year behind a bin store I turned up yesterday to them. They told me that I would return to my lovely little house. I had loved them and they loved me back.
A Moodscope member.