If you’ve been following along you know that two years ago my husband, Gary and I were forced into making a decision we didn’t want to make and that was to sell our house and move further North. Gary had been forced into retirement from the company he spent 29 years working for and he couldn’t find a job that wasn’t physically demanding, so we figured this was our only option. It was a tough decision, but after crunching the numbers we figured it was the only way for us to live in our own house, instead of renting from someone else.
We priced everything out, enlisted the help of friends and family and designed a house that would enable us to live mortgage free. Trouble was, the U.S. decided to put tariffs on just about everything we needed, plus it was a record year for forest fires in Canada, so it ended up costing us quite a bit more than we planned. Add the fact that friends and family fell through and the fact that the weather seemed to be against us, and we ended up going over budget; not a lot, but enough that our plans for Gary’s retirement have been delayed.
It didn’t take him long to find a job, in fact, Gary found a job after his second interview and he started this morning. It was hard. It’s been almost two years since he’s worked outside of the home and I’ve really liked having him around, but as we all know life doesn’t always go the way we want it, and this was one of those times.
…but that’s for another blog.
After he came in and kissed me goodbye, I tried my best to go back to sleep. Part of me felt guilty because I haven’t left the house to work since I got held up, but the other part of me was terrified to be here without him. Sure, he’s been gone for short jaunts to go grocery shopping or pick up stuff for the house, but not all day and the thought being without him was totally freaking me out.
It was early, so it was still dark, and the darkness always made sleep elusive for me, especially when I was feeling this fearful…
I rolled onto my side, pulled the covers up over my head and reminded myself that we’d been here on the property for almost a year and other than some materials being stolen, nothing else had happened, but then I heard this thumping noise…
When I first heard it, it was quite low and I had to strain my ears to hear it, but then it got louder and louder and it sounded like someone was walking around on the veranda that surrounds the house. I pulled the covers off my head and strained my ears to hear where the noise was coming from, but instead of it getting louder, the sound stopped. Again, I told myself to stop catastrophizing and pulled the covers back over my head so I could go back to sleep, but there it was again …thump, thump, thump, thump.
I threw the covers off me once again and sat up in bed like a child waking from a horrible nightmare; afraid to move, but also afraid not to move. I sat there trying to tilt my head towards the sound, almost as if I thought it would help me to figure out where the thumping was coming from, but the incessant pounding had ceased, again, and that scared me even more. My mind kind of got away from me and I worried that whatever was making the noise knew that I was sitting there listening to it, and it was trying to be quiet. I was imagining the worst. In my mind, I could see the dark figure lurking outside my bedroom door bracing himself to bash my door down and as I sat there in the dark listening every pore of my body open up and I started to sweat because I knew I was heading towards a full-blown panic attack.
I reminded myself of the steps I use to calm myself when anxiety rears its ugly head and I listed five things I could see. It was extremely difficult because I just wanted to hide under the covers and keep my eyes squeezed shut, but I turned on the light, quickly glanced around me and said the words out loud. Light, Laddie, cell phone, ashtray, cannabis tin. Then I listed four things I could touch, three things I could hear; not including the thumping, two things I could smell and one thing I could taste.
It was difficult; it always is when I’m lost in the fear, but I went through my grounding list, rolled onto my side, pulled the covers back over my head and told myself to stop being silly and go back to sleep.
Almost immediately I heard the thumping and again I sat up in bed, but when I was met with silence for the third time, I realized that there was no one out there trying to get in, it was my heart thumping in fear.
The thought made me chuckle out loud because I’d terrified myself by being afraid of the sound my heart was making because I was frightened. It was just too funny, and I know it’ll be a good reminder the next time I hear something go bump in the night.
Stay safe and stay strong. Thanks for following.