A terrified Leah Inwood wants to pack up her family and leave their Kaiapoi home for a safer place.
The married mother of three small children said in a thread she posted on Trade Me six months ago that she was too afraid to leave her children to return to her job as a nurse aid at Christchurch Hospital - fearing she would never see them again.
"I just want to go. I don't feel safe any more. It feels like I'm buying time just waiting to die," she said.
After the latest string of quakes she is on edge more than ever.
Yesterday she was asleep in her bed with her husband, Rhys, and two of her sons Toby, 3, and Blake, 2, when a violent 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck 20km northeast of the port of Lyttelton at 5.45am.
After calming her crying children, Mrs Inwood added to her Trade Me thread: "So here I am six months later, feeling exactly the same."
Since first posting online about her predicament, she's put on 20kg, has had to take extended leave from her job, is on medication and drinks alcohol to help her sleep.
Her two youngest boys have suffered from constant illnesses and are traumatised to the extent that they won't go outside alone.
One of the children wets his pants when bigger aftershocks strike and both run for her crying when a car drives past with a trailer attached and makes a loud bang.
"I can't say to them it's okay because it's not," said Mrs Inwood.
"People keep saying it's going to get better and we've held on to that but it's not. They run to me for support but I'm terrified too, they can sense it."
Mrs Inwood said she wanted to leave Christchurch for Brisbane, for good, and join the nearly 9000 people who had left the city to the end of June last year.
She's confident both she and husband Rhys, a panelbeater, would find work but their house, which is held in a family trust, is not red-zoned and needs work to cracks in the exterior caused by the quakes.
"I have family in Australia who are saying 'just come over here' but it's a complicated situation," she said.
"Who would want to buy a home that is damaged? I just don't think that anyone would want to buy a house where this is going on."
Clinical psychologist Richard Wheeler said Mrs Inwood's story was typical of an increasing number he is hearing, with many people close to breaking point.
"It's like a piece of rubber, how far can you stretch that rubber before it breaks?
"I think the overall feeling that I have at this stage is that that rubber is overstretched. People are feeling exhausted and demoralised."
Mr Wheeler said that before the Christmas earthquakes people had been "coping pretty well" and referrals to the Canterbury Charity Hospital, where he works part-time, had dropped off.
"But I don't know what will happen now that we have had these last two earthquakes when we go back to work and find we are in crisis again.
"I'm hearing more people saying, 'that's it, we've had enough and we are going to leave'," said Mr Wheeler.
"That's one version but on the other there's that sense of optimism that [Christchurch Mayor] Bob Parker represents which is saying, 'we can get through this'."
Mr Wheeler said in times of disaster communication channels were normally severely disrupted but he advised those affected to seek a doctor.
"The doctor should be the first referral point for any problems ... the primary health care services available throughout the city centre need to be the first port of call."
Yesterday's tremor followed a similar pattern to the latest bout of aftershocks kick-started by the swarm of December 23 shakes that included a magnitude 6.0 earthquake.
GNS duty seismologist Caroline Ashenden said there was a 22 per cent probability of another earthquake measuring between magnitude 5.0 and 5.4 as a result of yesterday's shake.
She said Christchurch had suffered more than 9400 aftershocks since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the city on September 4, 2010.
Mr Parker said the latest quakes had rattled residents but they needed to "remain calm, and be assured that everything was being done to ensure key services remained operational".
"It's not a great start to a new year, but everyone is working hard to ensure we have a resilient and safe city in the future," the Mayor said.
- additional reporting: APNZ