We can’t always predict or even imagine how our actions may affect someone, somewhere.
What is fun for one person can be a nightmare for someone else.
Fireworks are like that for me and my husband.
I love them, always have. I remember being no more than 10 and begging my Dad to drive to the next village on a rainy evening because they always had fireworks on Canada Day. I didn’t care about the rest of the festivities, but the fireworks were special.
I even remember when I was first married and lived on a military base and what seemed liked hundreds of couples and families gathered on picnic blankets on the golf course to watch the fireworks.
But after his tour Afghanistan, fireworks were never the same.
It seems to be ok if he is ready and watching for them, he even enjoyed them at Disney World as he was ready and watching for them. But when we are in our living room and all of sudden we here a huge bang, his brain immediately goes into fight or flight mode. Even when he knows there are likely more of them to come, if the noise is different from the last, or seems closer, louder, or anything different from the last one, his brain goes back into panic.
Someone without PTSD might still be startled for a second or two, but would quickly realize what the noise was (because it was Canada Day, or New Years Eve) and would quickly go back to whatever they were doing.
Unfortunately, for many veterans with PTSD, their brain goes into a primal mode and prepares for battle. This is obviously takes much longer to recuperate from.
I should be used to this after 14 years, but its not easy.
Our daughter jumps too, but not because of the noise, but because of seeing her father panic (literally like a bomb has gone off). This definitely takes the fun out of fireworks for us.
So although we can’t always predict how our actions may affect others, we can try to be aware and respectful. If you know your neighbour is a vet, maybe let them know if you are planning on setting off fireworks. Or maybe just go and watch the ones put on by the town and away from residential areas.