This will be a brief post, and I don’t want to descend into a moan about how hard my life is – these feelings and thoughts and emotions are trauma-based and not entirely related to my actual, current life anyway – but I am really struggling at the thought of how I am going to survive the day, and the next few weeks and months. Somehow I’ve ended up sorting out legal stuff and the practicalities of a house move at the same time as work goes insane every year and it is Nina’s birthday also.
My anxiety and overwhelm levels are absolutely through the roof. I am exhausted as a I barely slept last night and apart from Friday that has been the pattern for a week now. And I have to work today, and also the next 13 days in a row, because it is the absolutely manic season at work. I could do with a nap before working but I am too tightly coiled inside to achieve sleep. My body is screaming at me that something is really wrong and I know sleep is what I need to make things feel manageable but it proves so elusive at times.
Yesterday we viewed two houses in the morning before Nina’s party in the afternoon. One was completely gross and much too small, the other was really nice and I have put an offer in. It is not my dream house, far from it, being a new build and open plan downstairs, but having trawled rightmove for a year now, I don’t think we are going to get anything better in the right location and within budget. It is semi-detached so only potential neighbour noise from one side, it has a garage, and it has a third bedroom so I can work at home without sitting on the sofa. This will be hugely helpful when I am working when Nina comes home from school, or at weekends or school holidays – I often end up working with my laptop on my bed when she’s home which is just plain rubbish, especially when I need books and papers spread out around me. The second and third bedrooms are really tiny, so Nina will be quite cramped, but to be honest what do teenage girls do in their bedrooms – sleep, dance around in front of the mirror, use devices… With a study I’ll be able to write in there or do craft things in the evenings too, so she can have the living space. And in terms of making my life easier in practical terms, this house is right because of where it is. And there is loads of green space around and lovely cycling and a nature reserve, and only a 20 minute drive to my favourite beach. It is not my dream house or my dream location, but it is much better than where we are now, and in around 4 or 5 years we’ll be able to move again and get something bigger in a different place.
I’ve not heard if the offer has been accepted yet, but I am able to increase a little if necessary. I am also going for a second viewing tomorrow to check out measurements a little more and to see if any neighbours are around to get a sense of who they are and what the quality of those particular new-build properties is like. We drove and walked around a little yesterday evening and the area was really quiet, eerily quiet almost. I’ve heard good things about it from people who live there. I did talk it over with my Dad and he thinks I am doing the right thing (he came to the viewings), but I just hate being solely responsible for such a big decision.
None of this explains why I am so incredibly anxious. So what is it? Mostly it is about noise. I am completely petrified that we will end up in one of the new builds with atrocious sound-proofing and I will lose my mind because we’ll hear every sneeze and door-opening and murmured conversation from next door and I won’t be able to sleep or relax or work at home. I’ve done a lot of googling and it seems some new builds have wonderful sound insulation and others are shockingly bad. The level of anxiety this is provoking is really quite ridiculous and I don’t know what to do about it. I’m anxious about other things, and I know the passive influence of young parts worrying about things like getting a dog, and how stressful it would be if we did, is not helping, but the potential noise is definitely the worst. If it was a bigger house I guess it would be less important, but the house is only one room wide so there is no potential for a different room configuration if noise is a problem. The experience we’ve had with our neighbours for the past 18 months has made me totally neurotic, and the children there are at their Dad’s every other weekend so it’s not even like they are there all the time.
I don’t know what to do about these anxieties. There are parts feeling desperately suicidal today because life is so hard, they are not old enough for these worries and for parenting and adult life generally, and the next weeks and months and years feel unmanageable. The party yesterday was hard because teen parts get triggered when Nina has friends over and one of the friends is such a catty bitch (Nina is trying to let her friendship with her go, but it is tough doing that when they are together at school every day) and we felt quite intimidated by her. And Nina has a cold and this has triggered all my health anxiety because I just can’t get a cold at the moment with the amount of work that needs doing. If I take days off sick I will just have even more to cram in to the other days. (My union is calling for a strike on workload so I am not exaggerating how ridiculous it is in the field I am in, even relatively robust people are buckling under the pressure).
I realise a lot of these worries are very normal for people making such a big decision which involves a lot of money and will affect them for years to come. I do think they are amplified by PTSD and parts though, and everything gets tangled together into a general feeling of ‘I can’t cope’ which is just a non-specific body memory of overwhelm and panic. I am going to try and get my sleep-deprived brain to do some work now, and try and drink water and eat good food today to try and fight off any cold germs that might be coming my way. I just really want someone to look after me and tell me if I am doing the right thing. I wish I could see 3 months into the future and know everything will be okay and the house move will be a positive one and that life will get just a little bit easier.