I need silence. I’ve always craved it and now I need it more than ever.
I’ve no idea where my need for quiet comes from. I hear of students who study with the radio on and I think that’s weird. I find sound muddles the air. It create confusion. When I need to think, I need a clean, clear ambience around me. Like a lake without a ripple or a crisp winters morning.
At night, my sound tolerance is even worse. My neighbours (the bane of my life) are very noisy. The man can’t speak normally, he booms when he talks like a foghorn of annoyance. The parties are one thing and my anxiety takes a battering over those, but even when they sit on their back patio at 11pm chatting with a glass of wine it takes all my strength not to run downstairs and scream “shut up” at them over the fence. Although I did do that once, a few years back, but it was a group of teenagers out there, loudly chatting at midnight on a Wednesday. Little shits.
I’ve taken to checking on them from The Monster’s bedroom. In the dark I can gauge the level of chat. If they are there when I go to bed, I use wax earplugs. Not ideal with 2 children to listen out for, but so far I’ve heard the children when they’ve called out. The earplugs aren’t perfect, but they drown that low-level murmuring, dull the occasional high pitch laugh and therefore allow me to drift to sleep. Often the sound of my blood rushing around my head is amplified, but that’s a bit of white noise I don’t seem to mind that much.
Heaven forbid my husband comes in late or worse, that he has someone staying at ours. Our room is at the top of the stairs, so every click, every scrape can be heard from my bed. If I’m not yet in a deep sleep I will be woken up. If they then potter about downstairs I’m left upstairs waiting for them to go to bed because I know, once they are up the creak of the floor in the spare room and the click of the light in the bathroom will jolt me from that place between awake and asleep. I will be annoyed. That point of annoyance where you can’t blame anyone else but yourself.
It’s gutting really. I’m a cantankerous old woman about sound and it’s really starting to have an impact on my life. It’s me, it is completely me but it’s hard for others not to feel that it’s them and I’m blaming them.
Hubby is probably the most silent, late night creeper there is, but he is still capable of waking me. He feels terrible, but it’s not his fault.
I have a spare mattress under Pickle’s bed with a sheet on it and a rolled up ready-made duvet in her cupboard for late night speedy moves should a party start up next door. I have my wax earplugs at the ready. I suggested that my brother-in-law slept on the sofa downstairs (a bed he prefers anyway) the last time he visited and went out with my hubby. They didn’t wake me. They both used the downstairs bathroom. They didn’t wake me.
I can only do so much. Oh for a life of peace and quiet. This is what I crave.