So basically this is about yet another situation when the fact that I know I’m autistic prevented me from doing the right thing. It’s very difficult, I’m telling you: in one moment the awareness is helping me to keep my mouth shut when it shoud be shut, two minutes later I will not do something that I should do because I am trying to assess if I don’t appear nosy or some other inappropriate things.
To make the long story short, my downstairs neighbours had a fire in the kitchen today. The fire brigade is still outside. I did hear the alarm going off for like 10 minutes and thought, this is certainly unusual, but I tried to come up with the right thing to do instead of just doing anything.
Basically I try to keep myself to myself and don’t have the neighbours’ phone number, I also don’t know much about them. I know the man’s name as I can hear through the floor his wife calling him quite frequently, but I don’t know her name. The man is disabled, he can walk but it’s very wobbly, he never leaves the house and his wife is his carer, she doesn’t come out much at all too.
So basically, when I’ve heard the fire alarm going on, I thought it must be faulty and they can’t switch it off. I did think for a bit to go and check, but I told myself I may look like I’m nosy or possibly, like if I complain about the noise. The floor in the flat is not very good and they know I’m autistic and oversensitive to noise so I didn’t want to appear as someone who’s making problems.
And then, at some point I started hearing swearing, banging doors and windows and just a few moments later I felt a smell of burning rubber and a smoke that was coming from behind my fridge.
It turned out the lady went to the local shop and that’s when the fire started. It remains a mystery to me why her husband didn’t react, as apart from the alarm there was no other noise from downstairs – I guess that is a bit of an excuse in the situation – I really did think they just can’t sience the alarm.
However, I also can see I was overthinking – it was a fire, after all.
I’d like somebody out there to create a list of situations for me, when I have to react, and those when I should keep myself to myself.