The Girl in The Bubble

So, I’ve been having a few problems with our neighbours. They like loud music played late at night. I don’t. We have an arrangement where I ring and tell them to turn it down and they do. And they are usually decent about it. The trouble is, I am beginning to get very anxious about it. My highly stressed nature is anticipating the problems to come. I am already fed up of having to phone them every weekend to tell them what they must surely realise – that they are playing their music too loud. Again.

So, I went to see my psychologist yesterday and I mentioned the problem I was having with my neighbours and how anxious it was making me. We then proceeded to have what I felt was a very combative session. She basically said that I was not dealing with the problem and that I was being ‘too reasonable’. I disagreed. I AM dealing with the problem, every week actually, and as I said on many occasions during our session, I had every intention of trying to find a better solution with our neighbours, the next time I spoke with them. I was merely expressing my fears that it could all end badly. I found the session quite stressful. Rather than helping, I felt she added to my already stressful situation.

The problem is that I CAN see things from other people’s point of view. From a very basic perspective, it is MY problem because I’m the one that doesn’t like the loud music. Sure, they should be aware enough to moderate their behaviour and take other people’s needs into account – but they don’t. I can’t change them. I can only change myself. My psychologist thought it was silly of me to think about having triple glazing put in when I shouldn’t have to. Well yes, I SHOULDN’T have to but, as I can’t really see this situation getting better over time, I need to think about ways to keep my sanity and not have to move house. This is a solution. It may not be a great one given the cost and inconvenience and it doesn’t replace my need to talk to the neighbours honestly about my concerns but what it all the talking doesn’t produce a change? What then? That was when she suggested that I was trying to ‘control’ my environment. (Well, duh!) And that I was living in a bubble.

Personally, I think that whatever gets you through the night (without being adrenalised and upset) is a good solution. Bubble is fine with me if it means I get to live my life undisturbed. I will still continue to dialogue with our neighbours but I have to do what keeps me stable and able to sleep at night. Am I wrong?

I spent all day yesterday looking into soundproof windows and triple glazing and acoustic technicians to help me figure out the best solution for our problem. It could be costly and yes, I do resent having to think about these issues at all. Before they moved in, I didn’t have to. All was well. However, I am dealing with the ‘what is’ of the situation. Or trying to.

This got me questioning the nature of reality. Mine to be specific. Warning: This may rub people up the wrong way.

I have always believed that we have a reasonable amount of control over our own reality in a ‘create your own reality’ type of way. I have seen it work time and time again in my own life (for good and bad) and I have clearly seen the way it works in other people’s lives. I do not, though, believe in Destiny necessarily. I think that we all have free will and that we can choose to work with or against or in spite of, the prevailing winds and/or the gentle ministrations of Spirit. Now, I am a bit of a pessimist by nature. Actually, this is not true. It is not by nature. It is by experience. Anxiety, fear and constant dread were the prevelant emotions for the early part of my life. This has definitely affected the way that I view the world when the shit hits the proverbial fan. I get into disasterising, even though I know it won’t help and isn’t healthy. Yes. It’s annoying. I know. It’s also frustrating because it’s like I can’t let go even though I know I need to. So, the anxiety levels rise and the body gets flooded with adrenaline and I go over and over and over the problem until I want to scream. That is what I mean when I say that I am pessimistic. I know that I can’t accurately predict the outcome of this current difficulty. But I can look at it logically and say if it was going to improve, it probably would have with the first of the numerous phonecalls I have made.

I have run the entire gammut of emotions really. I have felt punished by adding yet another noisy neighbour to the two we already enjoy. I have felt totally depressed by the thought that my every weekend will be peppered with stress and anxiety as I anticipate and then deal with the inevitable noise pollution. I have felt unbelievably wronged and angry. I am concerned that my whole philosophy of life is completely wrong and that has caused a somewhat existential crisis. Well, perhaps that’s a touch over dramatic, but that’s what it feels like. Like I am in crisis. I feel like I should be able to look for the lesson and ask myself what I am supposed to learn by this. Why have I attracted this situation into my life? And I am asking that daily, believe me. Maybe it IS all about sticking up for myself and my needs. Maybe it is all about learning to ask for what I want and being prepared to be unpopular in order to get my needs met. I know other people who would just call the cops. However, I think that in order to get a good result for everybody involved, their has to be dialogue. There has to be at least an attempt to resolve the situation to everyone’s satisfaction. I don’t want anyone to lose. Least of all me.

Then there is the whole ‘what if I’m totally wrong about life, the Universe and everything?’ dilemma. What if I AM wrong about the way I view life. What if I am just shit out of luck. If it’s just bad luck that I am living in a noisy beautiful area, then what do I do now? My belief’s help me to deal with life, the shit and the good stuff, they give me an understanding of things, they help me to make sense of it all. That’s normal for a spiritual belief system isn’t it? So, if I AM right, I do create my reality, then why did I create this? Why couldn’t I learn this particular lesson in some other, less stressful way? Like I said. Existential crisis. Oh deep and unadulterated joy.

So, as Michael directed, we are dealing with it nicely first off. We have met them, we have introduced ourselves and our daughter to them, to let them see the ‘real’ family that they are impacting. I have explained our needs and asked them to keep the noise down after midnight. I have since phoned on three occasions to ask them to turn it down and they have been sweet about it but it doesn’t stop them from banging up the volume every weekend. So, now I have to think about how to approach it when it inevitably happens again this weekend. I have to be much more direct and explain about the impact it is having upon me and upon us as a family. I have to do all of this and it causes me great anxiety. I hate confrontation. I still do it but I hate it. It stresses me out and taxes my already tired adrenals. I don’t want any of it and yes, I’m bitter about it right now. Tired and bitter and not very hopeful.

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. And if anyone has any suggestions on how to tackle this problem constructively, i.e. not just reporting them to the police (that may come later!), then I’d love to hear them.

I’ll post Day Seven of my 30 Days of Happiness in another post. There’s not much happy in this one!

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5 thoughts on “The Girl in The Bubble

  1. Thing is, if you see it as a confrontation, then you may well take that attitude with you. See it as resolving a problem.Arrange to talk with them and say how you feel, calmly and rationally. Tell them that you understand that sometimes music feels so good you want to play it loud, but it is having a negative impact on you. Perhaps there is a way they can listen to their music without it causing that effect. Your reaching for an explanation of your having somehow caused this is understandable, but untrue. You didn't turn the music up. You didn't ask for the music to be turned up. You don't ask for other people to affect you. You can only control your own actions that is true. But you can persuade others to see your point of view also. So persuade, use your lovely sense of humour and wit, be your sparkling self – charm them into understanding your point of view. And try not to over-think it all. Sometimes it's just misunderstanding and nothing more.

  2. Maybe you've already done this, but have you told them your limit? Like–no later than 10–or whatever it is? Obviously, there noise tolerance/limit/need is different from yours! So, maybe if you are really clear about your limit, you can come to an agreement. It sounds like you don't like having to call them (like a parent) to ask them to turn it down. It would give them the chance to take responsibility for themselves. Yuck. Confrontations are so hard! Best wishes to you.

  3. Oh honey, this is such a tricky one. I know the impact this is having on you. Your green sanctuary has become noisy and traumatic. A pox on your death-metal-gorging neighbours and their volume button!I think you've been extremely reasonable, and it shouldn't bloody well have to end in moving from your beautiful home. How was the weekend just passed? Did the yuck confrontation/amiable dialogue happen? I have nothing constructive to suggest, other than the pox, and demanding they pay for your quadruple glazing if they can't keep a lid on it!Yes, hard to know how much we draw to ourselves for growth and how much is just senseless crap courtesy of aggressively annoying dolts … love you, I hope many more things are making you happy. XX

  4. I so sympathise. We moved house last time to escape noisy neighbours; we lived in a mid-terrace house, admittedly, but they used to play it SO LOUD that you could hear word for word the lyrics when you walked eight or ten houses down the road, and it was clearly audible waaaay further than that. Plus, they were aggressive and unpleasant about it from the very outset. The real pisser is that, while we escaped physically, it has had a genuine long-term effect on Quercus, who gets super-anxious if he hears loud music now – occasionally the village hall (about a mile away) or our neighbours down the road (about a third of a mile off) have a bash which generates loud noise, and he just has to take himself off out because it makes him despair. I really hope you find a solution to this; you're quite right when you say you shouldn't have to deal with this shit, but I do understand your attempts, and the triple glazing? Well, if that's what it takes to keep you sane, then hey.

  5. yikes how awful! 😦 you poor soul~~ and i agree with griffin, i completely understand the thought process of "what did i do to deserve this" but definitely it is not you who is being so inconsiderate with your volume. my what rude neighbors! i'm afraid i have no wisdom to share here either. nothing helpful i'm afraid. just some sympathy and sincere wishes that they quiet down soon. oh, and this – a little something for you. http://writingforreallife.blogspot.com/2009/10/choosing-happiness.html

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