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Not sure what this is - Busy day, change of plans, neighbors, smoke detectors, childhood fire killed 200.


I had plans for the day--Quaker classes, then couple of hours with my mom (only a couple, because I don't like spending all day out)--we were going to go out and find me a small vacuum cleaner and a new pillow. Quaker classes were good (despite having to get up early on a Saturday), and my friends who invited me to them and were also there asked me to join them after for lunch. That was also nice.

On my way to my mom's--a little later than I had intended--my neighbor texted me, "what's going on with the alarm system?" We live in building with six condos, and the only alarms are the smoke detectors. I panicked. I knew that there was likely just a battery change needed, but I panicked. I turned on the cameras and checked them from my phone--I could hear the occasional beeping, but it was hard to tell where it was coming from. I talked to two neighbors--who were, like, *shrug* "yeah, the alarms are beeping," and decided to come home to change the batteries. It's about a 30 min drive. Mom came with, and we changed them, went to a store here for the vacuum, and I took her home. I was gone ten hours.

There has been an issue with the smoke detectors since a massive fire in our neighborhood when I was in high school that killed nearly 200 people. It's not my only issue related to that, but it is the one that creates the most ongoing anxiety. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because I am terrified they are going to go off, even just because they need batteries. I have to sleep with a radio on--people talking over any other noise, even though that's just stupid and doesn't make sense.

So initially I thought this was directly related to the smoke detectors and fire. I am a bit hypervigilant wherever I am about exits, fire doors, sprinklers, sirens, etc. But this seems to be more of a "bringing attention to myself" or "making noise that other people will hear" or...I don't know, something.

Anybody have anything similar or any insight?
i have a similar residual from being raised with sound sensitive people. not the fire alarm part, but the worry that other people might hear me. i was one of 11 children and either of my parents could emerge without warning from behind closed doors in raging fits. i got to where i was off to my campsite as soon as my sibs started making noise. i stayed quiet at my campsite for the sake of not being found.

there has been no shortage of sound sensitive people around me since then. deathly quite puts the fear of deafness in me. total deafness is an all too real possibility for me. after i escape a tomb-like silence, i go through a period of making random noises, just to make sure i haven't gone deaf --yet.
Sounds like a cocktail of stressors, rather than any one thing.

Makes sense the combination of them would create its own thing, in addition to the sum of it’s components. But that’s still more pieces, not less. 1+1=3.
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