Sunday, March 6, 2011

Brave or Stupid?

I'm not usually a moper but last week I found myself hosting a few pity parties for myself. Good thing Ewan was away at camp. I don't think I could have managed his vegetarianism along with my self pity. It's not that I was looking for sympathy but when neither my mother nor brother called me after my day in Christchurch, I was a bit sad.

My husband is a good person to have around during these times. He is sympathetic to my need to hash it out, but also does not let me dwell on things that I cannot change. He does not enable me. He reminds me that life is imperfect, people don't change and there isn't a doggone thing you can do about Mother Nature. So, basically, you have to get over it. Your family needs you to function.

I am all for getting over it. I love being strong and independent. I am proud of the fact that I moved out at 17, went to college, paid my own tuition and landed my dream job the day after I graduated. I don't sit around. I get stuff done. When I decided to start my business, I simply did. No fuss. Sometimes I make mistakes but when I fail, I try again. I NEVER give up. It's in my blood. So, this misery I am experiencing is driving me crazy, mostly because I cannot make sense of it.  This is the seismic activity for one 24-hour period in NZ.
So, we have earthquakes, what are we going to do? Emergency kit is packed, phones are always charged, water stored. It is just exhausting being "on alert" all the time. We have had 4 shakes since the big one in Christchurch. There is no guarantee that the next one won't be the big one. It can come as I type this blog or it may never come. But, I will be as prepared as I can be. I now sleep fully clothed. I don't wear shoes to bed but they are right beside it. My keys are always accessible, since you need a key to unlock our house from the inside. No key, no getting out. I even take my cellphone to the bathroom with me.

What else can you do? I feel every vibration when we have an aftershock and even when the wind blows a bit too hard and rattles the windows. I suppose I will feel that for the next 18 months. When I spoke with the psychiatrist she said that I have to weigh the risks because everything we do has risk, whether it is driving in a car, walking across the street or living on a fault line that is currently moving. That makes no sense to me right now, but I will do the deep breathing exercises, meditate (with one eye open) and learn to live in my new environment.

If a giant volcano that was dormant for 200 years suddenly erupted and wiped out Auckland and then our dormant volcanoes started grumbling and letting off steam, would she tell me to hang tight and be strong? Meditate? I am not suggesting that everyone who lives in an earthquake prone zone should move, but, when you live in an area with high recent seismic activity, and the ground continues to shake every day, at what point do you  cross the line from being brave to being stupid?

I am not looking for sympathy, words of encouragement, statistics regarding earthquakes or asking for any special attention.  I am merely venting my frustration on my own personal blog.


  1. You went through a scary, scary experience. And as long as the earth keeps shaking, you can't really even try to put it behind you. Give yourself time, and be kind to yourself.

    (I know, I know: you're not looking for words of encouragement, yet here I am, spewing them in your general direction. Sorry.)

  2. I agree with Donna. It was a very stressful experience, and you need time to heal as anyone would!