Updated: Aug 13
Grief writing course - Entry 4
It's 4pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, we just pulled into town after 5 1/2 days of driving across the country for a mandatory military move and are looking at the house we want to rent. The sense of sound tells the truest of stories when neighbors are nearby.
I hear a toddler babbling and ask the landlord, "the neighbor has a baby?!"
"Yes, there is an 18-month-old boy and a 1-month-old baby."
In the background, loudly, I can hear mom next door outside between the two houses teaching her toddler son how to talk.
That should be us and OUR son. Miles would be 11 months old now, just 8 days before his 1st birthday.
Anxiety sets in. The neighbors are SO CLOSE to the back of this house. I feel a rush of panic and sadness.
My husband looks at me and can tell immediately, "Are you ok?".
"No" I say.
The landlords are seated at a table outside with the lease papers out, ready for signing.
"I need a moment," I say. "Ok, no problem", my husband says.
I walk through the house and I hear the baby start to cry. I walk into what would be our master bedroom, the landlords have the windows open. Damn, when that baby is crying it sounds like it's literally IN our bedroom.
I don't know if I can do this. I walk to the guest bathroom, also on that side of the house. The window is closed but I can still hear that baby crying and it's piercing. I can't escape it. I'm panicking now, full-blown. What do I do? I need to talk to someone else NOW, I need another perspective. My husband really likes this house and wants to sign the papers to rent it now.
I call my sister. She answers immediately thank god. I'm freaking out and crying and saying "I don't know if I can do this. I don't think I'm ready for this. Why is the biggest trigger I could encounter have to be RIGHT NEXT DOOR?" The sound of babies INSIDE my home? The home I am supposed to be excited about on a brand new move, to a beautiful city. WHY is this who lives next door?
I can't escape the sounds next door. I try to be open-minded, the sounds might make me stronger. Maybe this is what I need?
But, will these sounds break me? Why is this happening to me right now? I'm exhausted and hungry, and I just want a new homestead that will be peaceful and comfortable.
Sound is everything. Long story short, we decided to live there anyway, because I asked the neighbor, and he told me they were moving in 2 months. Long story short, we listened to a lot of loud music for two months.
Long story short, the new neighbors also have a little boy and a baby, but somehow they are much much quieter.
I cannot escape sound, and I cannot escape babies. I cannot escape my trauma and triggers.