Trauma responses typically make sense when you understand their origin. Several years ago, during the ice storm we had here in Fort Worth my pipes froze solid. It took over 10 days for the ice to thaw and the multiple pipes to be fixed. During that time I was stuck at my apartment. Running water, which had always been something I took for granted, was not existent.
Fortunately, I had a couple cases of bottled water I could use while the water was out. As time went on the water began to run low. You don’t realize how important water is until you don’t have any. Think of all the times a day that you use water: drinking, washing, shaving, flushing the toilet. I got a hotel room for a couple days just so I could take a shower.
About the third day flushing the toilet became the priority. During this time, I found out that it takes 20, ½ liter bottles of water to flush my toilet completely. This was shocking. Thankfully I didn’t need to flush the toilet very often.
I made it through the ice storm without any major injury. In fact, once the ice had thawed, I assumed any after affects had melted away with the ice.
And then I started to order water.
Once things got back to normal, the following week I ordered my groceries with one exception. I ordered two cases of water. At the time this made sense. I needed to replenish the water I had used in the freeze.
But then the following week when I ordered groceries, and I ordered more cases of water. I continued to do each week I ordered my groceries for the next 2 months.
Before I realized what was happening, I had 12 cases of water in my home.
Ordering the water was an overreaction in an attempt to protect myself. Trauma does that to us. When we understands our trauma response as a natural way of our bodies protecting ourselves we can be more understanding to ourselves and our reactions.