Part of the problem with the house is its almost non-existent sound-proofing.  On my side of the house we are right on top of each other bedrooms-wise and the floorboards creak when you move.  This can be heard in the next room.  My next door neighbour/fellow patient can hear when I move and I can hear when she moves.  I get nervous because of the door slamming and wonder what her movement means all the time.  The other lady doesn’t even acknowledge me when I say hello.  The door slamming started 2 days after I got there.  I had told the staff this was a pattern that was following me, but previously it has been insisted that this belief is all a part of what I believe to be my non-existent mental illness.  At the moment I feel weak and tired and my chest hurts.  My blood pressure was taken this morning and a stethoscope held to my back, because I told them I wanted to pass out when I was outside.  She told me to take deep breaths and when I did I started to cough, clearing my airways.  She commented and I felt inhibited.  Coughing and clearing my airways would have been a good start to deep breathing.

I have been afraid/reluctant to write like this about the new place I am in because I don’t want to stir up bad feeling.  But I think the building is largely responsible for the tension in the house.  Doors are made to slam which would not slam left to themselves, and they should be slam-proofed anyway.   It looks as if nothing has been done to make these buildings, which used to be offices, apparently, suitable for the purpose they are now used for.  Also even the largest bedrooms are really small.  Mine is one of the smallest.  It is 2 or 3 paces from my bed to the door.  One of the staff who spoke to me acknowledged that the unit was not fit for purpose, but the acknowledgment doesn’t make it any easier.

It is exactly the same with social housing.  The sound-proofing is appalling. I heard a story on Radio 4 recently where it said that thin walls made bad neighbours.  That is true, definitely. They also make angry, desperate people.  I don’t like to sound strident and political, but the truth is that in the places I have been in we can hear so much from each other’s space it is humanly indecent.  It really is like being packed together like farm animals.

I’m saying all this stuff, but sometimes, when it comes down to it, I feel as if I am being precious and giving myself ‘airs and graces’.  Really I am no different from anyone else except that I have been silenced by intimidation and vigilantism, delivered subliminally.  Knowing that is what is happening makes me too angry to speak.

Advertisements