The upside to living in apartment style condos that share common walls is that your neighbors can hear a lot. The downside to living in apartment style condos that share common walls is that your neighbors can hear a lot.
On one hand, one might find comfort in knowing if something happened and help was desperately needed, shouting for help would elicit responses from those nearby. Or if there was an overflowing toilet or a broken pipe or something, neighbors would notice the noise, and get in touch ASAP, with either you or someone who could help. On the other hand, privacy?
Babysat the peanut the other night, getting home at 9:30. Chilled for a bit, crawling into bed around 10:00, and snuggling in for some reading with the Pup before drifting off to dreamland. I had just fallen asleep, so comfy in my bed, when I heard the buzzer of a door. A glance at the clock said that it was 11:24. I figured it was in my dream, so I stayed put. But the door buzzer kept buzzing. And it was definitely mine, based on the loudness.
My heart stopped for a moment, I'm sure, as I started panicking. I mean, who on earth would be ringing my door buzzer at that late hour?! Everyone knows I'm an early-to-bed kind of girl! My heart continued racing as I got out of bed to peek out the window and see if there was anything out of the norm in the parking lot. Nope. More panic.
More panic followed by loud footsteps thundering up the stairs. And the the knocks came. On my door. Inside the building.
Mind you, part of why I like my condo is because the exterior door is there. It means anyone getting into the building has one safety feature before getting into individual units. So as I stood in the hallway in my pajamas, clutching the Pup, I desperately wished I had fastened the chain lock before I went to bed. I've gotten lax on doing so since the scary neighbor moved away.
After the knocks grew more persistent, I held my finger poised over the "emergency" dial on my phone. I had to do something. The knocking wasn't going to stop. I was frozen in panic. And then to make things worse, a flashlight started shining in through the crack by the door handle.
My mind was racing with every single bad thought possible. Literally. From the cereal rapist to the drunk neighbor to the pissed off parent and everything in between. I can't begin to explain how freaked out I was. So I was kinda shocked when I called out and asked who was there without screaming or crying or vomiting.
Turns out, calling 911 wouldn't have made a difference. Cause they were at my door.
Guess one of my neighbors heard my water running, and was worried because it had been running for over an hour. So apparently she called the police to come and check. Ironically, (or not) I had been in bed for well over an hour when she called, meaning she only *thought* she heard my water running. It wasn't.
Maybe I should feel grateful that she was looking out for me. That would probably be an easier feeling to stomach than the fear and anxiety I've been swallowing instead. Being woken up like that completely freaked me out. I didn't get much sleep afterward. I was flooded by fears - imagined and real - that kept playing over and over and over again.
Why did this warrant a post? Cause my therapist and I have been working very, very hard at helping me find safety in my world, a world that I find to be far too unsafe for me. I have found safety in teaching, in my classroom at my old school and now in my building at my new school. I've always felt safest in my teaching world. The rest of the world, my house included, doesn't always feel so safe. It's going to take a lot of effort to not let this incident derail the progress. (And maybe because I'm still feeling *that* unsettled and needed to share. Either way.)