Welcome to the fondue party, fellow mavericks.
As some of you may have heard, the region where I live was hit by tornadoes a few days ago. I’ve had friends from as far as Australia inquire about my well-being. I’m going to write about the events in question a bit; I’m sure it’s going to help (writing has always been a tremendous help to me, my entire life). I’m still suffering from increased PTSD symptoms. The night after these storms, I was so exhausted I slept for close to eleven hours.
I watched the news a bit last night, but had to stop because I began to feel ill.
We’d already been warned about strong storms that would possibly occur on Friday. So, naturally, I was on heightened alert (living with PTSD, I’m always on the verge of high alert; it’s there, dormant, beneath the surface). To top it off, I’ve always had an irrational fear of tornadoes; this natural phenomena is absolutely terrifying to me.
Perhaps this is because it reminds me of sperm donor, a.k.a. the man who terrorized me during my childhood: the kind of thing that strikes out of nowhere, with barely any warning, leaving destruction in its wake.
By the time I drove Mr P to work, even though the skies were still sunny, I saw on my phone that the region was already under a tornado watch, and I had a very bad feeling. Something felt very wrong.
So on the way home, I filled up the car with gas, and as soon as I got home, I began gathering my emergency supplies. One of my bug out bags, the bigger one, was already in the basement—I’d put it there before Mr P and I left, and the cat’s carrying case was ready—and I got my portable radio, extra batteries, flashlights, water, I made sure my phone was fully charged. The sky was changing, it was becoming cloudy and dark.
I set myself up in the basement (I had chair pillows), and kept checking my “local” Twitter feed while I listened to the radio. Suddenly, emergency signals started blaring on the radio, messages from Environment Canada: we were now under tornado warnings and being told to take shelter. The radio said that the storm was going to strike in fifteen to twenty minutes.
I put the (unhappy) cat in his carrying case—I didn’t want him loose in the basement at that point—and felt extremely apprehensive. I was twitching, my hands like ice. I decided to try to calm myself by grabbing two IKEA foam mattresses and making myself a kind of fort. It did help a little bit, as did the BOOM FM fellow on the radio, and my Build A Bear William (while I hastened to gather my supplies earlier, I had him on my back, in his BAB bag, and it’s amazing how much this helped. I don’t call him my therapy bear for nothing). Potion, my cat, had been quite vocal in his displeasure after I put him in his case, but then he was quiet, I had his case squeezed against me, the opening against my thigh so he felt safer, and the combination of my cat, my bear, and the radio/phone helped me keep it together as much as possible under the circumstances, hunkered down with the mattress right on top of me.
Writing about this now, I’m shaking.
The warnings and alarms kept coming. I couldn’t see out of the small basement windows, and didn’t want to either.
I kept hoping I wouldn’t hear that “train” sound they talk about when a tornado is coming.
I checked and checked my Twitter feed. Then they were saying funnel clouds had been seen, that tornadoes had been touching down. I stared at my bear, I touched the cat through the carrying case’s openings. I knew Mr P was likely okay, based on what I was reading on my phone; and he was in the basement part of the stone building.
You get in this surreal state where you’re not in touch with anything somehow.
The alerts kept coming, but the places they mentioned were farther and farther away; warnings for my region ended, but watches remained. I stayed in the basement, hiding, for over an hour, and I was contacted by loved ones via text. I saw that places had been heavily damaged, places all around the area where I was, but we weren’t completely aware of the full extent of the destruction at that point, it had all happened so fast no one had gotten their bearings yet (a power station had been pretty much razed; houses were torn up or even destroyed; later on, as I watched news reports, I saw this poor man sobbing as he described holding on to his daughter’s hand so she wouldn’t be swept away while his third story apartment was being shredded by what turned out to be an F3 tornado, and I shuddered from head to toe. Note: his whole family is okay).
So eventually, I emerged from my mattress fort, and slowly came out of the basement, hypervigilance skyrocketing. Areas that had been heavily damaged were Dunrobin in Ontario; that tornado crossed the river into Quebec, and headed for Mont-Bleu, which is, as I mentioned on Twitter, twenty minutes away from here; another, smaller tornado damaged other places, Nepean, Gatineau, a school had caught fire…
In all my years I’ve never seen anything like this.
I got text messages from Mr P, saying his workplace had lost power; the next day, it was still without power and I was excessively glad he was home with me. We did the food shopping together, and he’s been protectively hovering over me.
I’ve been through some terrible situations in life (such as being afraid, for decades, that a loved one would end up getting killed by a fucking malignant narcissist psycho), and the past year and a half, as some of you know, has been fantastically trying (one situation is not yet fully resolved, but should be soon). I’m worn so thin I don’t want much of anything to do with the outside world right now.
While I was reading about the havoc these storms and tornadoes had wreaked, I saw news about Barrhaven: places had been set up there for people to get food and what have you, because so many areas were out of power. Immediately, I thought about this sweet girl who works at the Build A Bear where I like to shop… My Build A Bear having been so helpful to me during this crisis, I thought of her, because during one of our chats—she’d chatted me up a lot on occasions when I was looking around the store at the new items they’d received, she’s such a fun and friendly person, but then everyone at that store is absolutely lovely, great staff—she told me she was from Barrhaven (I’d asked for directions because Carling Avenue had gotten torn up, road crews were putting in new pavement).
So I tweeted a short sentence saying that I hoped “the sweet girl who works at the Build A Bear is okay,” because I knew she lived in Barrhaven.
The next thing I know, right when I was shaking and generally under the shock of everything that had happened, severe shock complicated by PTSD, some sad, random fucknut on Twitter takes it upon herself to declare it was the creepiest tweet she’d ever seen, save for things tweeted by the Orange piece of shit I refuse to mention by name.
To say I was floored would be an understatement. I replied that, excuse me, I’m a woman, I shop there, and the person in question is young, and why don’t you see a fucking psychiatrist? In addition, the person about whom I’d dared express concern had been very kind to me, and go fuck yourself.
This wackjob counters with a weak riposte, why did I “single out” one young person who works in a toy store when thousands were affected by the storm (oh look, a humanitarian who thinks strangers need her permission to be concerned about acquaintances, and said wackjob knows neither of us). She added that my Twitter avi was “intentionally lecherous.”
You seriously can’t make shit like this up.
Incidentally, her own avi looks something like this:
The kind of individual who’d be “creeped out” by a smile, or cake with sprinkles.
She can go right ahead and jump off a fucking cliff.
At that point in the “exchange,” if one may term it that way, I thought, right, we’re done here. I blocked her, deleted my responses—I wanted nothing more to do with this fine specimen of lunacy (thank fuck I hardly ever encounter people like this, oh and please, nobody bother with this individual)—and increased my self-care activities, because as I said, all of this was terrible and my nerves are exposed and raw. I’m functional, but at minimum levels.
So anyway, back in the world of persons who have positive things to contribute, who create, and who enjoy life, I will be resting and recuperating this week, then get back to the Patreon things I was working on Friday morning, before everything went haywire.
Deep gratitude for the support and friendship of everyone who loves me.
Right now, Mr P is making another feast for us, we have cake with buttercream, we’ll drink wine, and I’m going to relax and watch movies and do things that make me happy.
Oh, and happy BiAwareness to all of us who are asexual, genderqueer, and bi-romantic (like I am) or bisexual.