Just a few short days following my report of my own, personal, HSP nightmare, yet another one occurred.
This time it was auditory.
With very few exceptions, auditory stimuli don’t really trigger much of an HSP response for me. This was pretty extreme, though.
My security system contract had run out, so they sent a technician to do some updates and install some new sensors.
I thought this would take about twenty minutes or less. I certainly hoped so, since I was taking a nap when he arrived.
I didn’t take into account that new equipment must be…tested.
So. He trips the alarm.
“Great,” I thought. “It works. Now disarm it.”
This is not what happened. Instead, he let the incredibly loud, shrill, nerve-wracking alarm sound for what had to have been at least ten minutes. And I was pretty much a captive audience.
By the time he disarmed the system, I was on the verge of tears, shaking, trying to calm down.
I gave him a “friendly reminder” that he may want to warn people about this aspect of the installation process.
He replied, “I do this so much that I don’t even really hear it anymore.”
Small consolation. Very small.
At least he warned me when he had to set the thing off again. Although I had warning that time, my nerves didn’t fare much better.
When he left, all I could do was sit on the sofa and try to calm down and un-verge my tears. I was meeting friends earlier that night and was in no condition to socialize after that alarm trauma.
I would really like to know some “in the moment, flight-is-not-an-option” coping tips for situations like that. It’s in fathomable, though, what could possibly work.
Do you have any suggestions?