Photo credit: A. K. Azad / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
I have no idea why, but I am petrified of sudden loud noises. Most especially the following things:
- Exploding balloons
These are the worst possible aural torture for me.
I used to even have to avoid parties in case there was a chance of there being balloons. I am somewhat calmer about that particular prospect these days, but I still don’t participate in any balloon games. I still hate the noise a balloon makes if it’s getting twisted and squeezed as its often a prelude to a sudden burst.
Similarly with fireworks. I can just about cope at organised displays if I have my earplugs and I have someone’s hand I can hold. However that couple of weeks around Bonfire night is a very unpleasant one as I fear youths letting off rockets at random. In my opinion rockets make the worst of all the firework noises.
Thunder – the worst noise
Thankfully in this country (the UK) we don’t get those very often and usually, if we do, it involves a couple of just about tolerable rumbles and that’s it. Thursday, Friday and Saturday just gone were, sadly, not confined to tolerable rumbles. I was awoken by loud thunder on both the Thursday and Friday nights. Friday was the worst of the two.
I could see brilliant flashes of light outside my window. The lightning was near.
I flinched and screamed with sheer shock of the ferocity of nature.
The weather outside starting to resemble a scene from the Old Testament. I panic realising that the timing between the flashes and the thunder were very short. The danger was close – the next unsettling tumult was only seconds away.
My frightening experience with panic
On both the nights the lights started to flicker, you could hear those electrical noises like in some of the arty scenes from one of David Lynch’s films.
The pit of my stomach fills with nausea, my heart starts beating fast, I feel a flush of heat and energy in my body as the adrenalin floods through.
My mind starts racing.
“Make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop, make it stop”
The power suddenly went out – and I was left with one glimmering bulb and, curiously, the internet.
The desire for comfort
I wanted comfort. A warm caring hand pressed against my own. A chest to rest against. The soft rise and fall of another’s breath. No words necessary. Just the almighty power of touch.
But no one was there. I am alone and I have been alone for quite some time. This in itself was a terrible thing to me right at that moment when I really needed comfort. However, my mind raced on. I had lost those that I had truly loved one way or another. My family, my previous partners, my best friend – unjustly taken away from me at the tender age of thirty-five.
The uncertainty of things scared me.
There was a possibility that I could be alone for ever. After all, who would want to date a plain girl with mental illnesses (possibly with a hint of autism). I would never be normal. Everyone likes normal. Normal is safe. Normal is good. Normal is easy.
Oh the injustice!
My thoughts whirred and were triggered again and again by each successive thunder clap. I rocked myself back and forth under my duvet. I sent messages of my distress on-line, but no one could really help me as I wasn’t in the necessary receptive state of mind. I had blocked out most of the reasonable and rational, clinging steadfastly to the mental sackcloth. I beat myself again and again with a succession of negative thoughts until at last the storm subsided and I passed out exhausted on my pillows.
The aftermath and a possible solution
The next day I felt foolish for what had happened, but I realised that the reason why I couldn’t cope with that situation was simply because I hadn’t previously acknowledged it as a trigger and therefore I was ill-prepared for the onslaught.
I decided that I would have to create an emergency box which I could easily find and open in times of trouble. It would contain those things that would provide me with immediate solace and restore feelings of safety in me.
If you are keen to know the contents, please check out tomorrow’s blog post where all shall be revealed!
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami