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Natural Disaster Ptsd From Natural Disaster As Child Namely Wild Fire

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EricaP

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I live in Australia where wildfires are common. AS a 10 year old I was home with mum as I was sick and we were caught in a bushfire. Mum attempted to fight the spot fires which occured ahead of the front while I cowered inside waiting to die.We had no way of escaping as the fire moved too quick. I remember standing in the kitchen watching the trees and undergrowth burning and hearing the windows explode from the heat as the house started to burn. Mum seemed calm & in control and had made me get a woolen blanket for protection and to wear old sturdy shoes to protect my feet. I was paralised by fear. We eventually left once the undergrowth was burned and just the trees were smoldering. By this time half the house was completely engulfed in flames. We watched the house burn down from the top of the hill as we walked through the smouldering forest to the closest road & safety.I was sent back to school the next day to'take my mind off it' and never spoke about it with my family because it was too painful. I felt guilty because I didn't do anything to help I could have saved some photos or something like that. I just forced myself to cope as best as I could.afterwards
There were many things which changed after this. Financially we struggled. I moved to an area which I didn't like and had no friends, I seemed to fight with my siblings a lot whereas we had lots of fun together. My parents both developed different physical illnesses which lead to more pressure.
I guess the actual event was extremely traumatic but the negative changes to my life afterwards had a greater psychological impact.
As an adult I .have also experienced several fires which had the potential to threaten our home . including having sparks and embers landing in our garden from nearby fires. This triggers intense reactions. I was advised to start exposure therapy to help desensitise me but that has really stirred things up especially as we have had some really hot weather with high fire danger and some serious fires in the state we live in.
I wonder if anyone has had similar experiences and how they dealt with them.
In particular I am struggling to work out what Is acheivable or appropriate to aim for.
 
I used to have lot of fires, growing up.

But I'm not sure I have a healthy relationship to fire to advise on. I just learned fire can be useful, and put to my uses, 'befriended' that way. And that it doesn't take everything, all of the time.
 
I have met people who were in Ash Wednesday and one of their children has never spoken about that from that day to this. I am thinking of you today @EricaP!
 
In particular I am struggling to work out what Is acheivable or appropriate to aim for.

Can't speak to the fires, I've been in several, but I had PTSD from before that... But as to what is achievable &/or appropriate to aim for?

Being undiagnoseable. That's the whole aim of treatment. To reduce & eliminate symptoms down until without you past history & recovery in front of them? You could no longer be diagnosed. Would you still have PTSD? Yep. Can new trauma or stressors bring back symptoms? Yes, again. But barring those two things, nearly no symptoms whatsoever.

I had over a decade virtually symptom free. To make up an approximate number? Maybe running at 92%. But most of the symptoms that were left? Were left because I wanted them / used them / didn't bother me. My average for a decade was a few nightmares a year, a little bit of anxiety I easily worked around, some insomnia each fall, and really? That's about it. I had a few bad weekends, a few bad weeks here and there. Not even enough to call them annually. Brief little spike, and sorted. Finis. Done. The safety nets I had set up in my life bounced me right back to normal. Took me 5 years to get to that point, and then had a solid good 10 years after that. Really good. Damn good. That's the aim.
 
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