We moved house when I was 7. Mother had somehow managed to find someone who was on the same batshit crazy level as her (what are the odds?) and re-married.
Nothing special about it, average sized, built in the 70s and my bedroom was the box room. Due to new stepdaddy not being the kindest bloke in the world and now having double the shouting and whacks, the fear and anxiety levels were high.
Genuinely can’t remember how old I was when it started but I think I was 8 or 9. Lying in bed at night and the light would turn on. My first instinct was always to dive straight under the covers and shake with fear. I could feel someone in the room. After what felt like forever, I’d lift hand out of covers, reach up and turn off the light switch which was on the wall above my bed and dive straight back under the covers again. It would happen once or twice a night. Found it hard to get to sleep anyway but this only added to the insomnia.
Why didn’t I tell anyone? I don’t know. I never told Mother anything because whatever it was would always ended up being my fault or “you’re lying!” Fall down in the street and cry? SLAP! Don’t embarrass her in public! In my 40s I found out I wasn’t clumsy after all, I’m hypermobile. So I never told her anything. Easier to keep quiet, stay out of her way. “Children should be seen and not heard” was her motto. Still is.
Ahhh it was probably dodgy electrics, right? Dodgy electrics that also caused the light switch to move as well…
It carried on until the day I left home (one month after my 18th, a day I’d been waiting for my entire life) and that was that. No more dodgy electrics. No, this time it would progress to voices instead.
I’ve just messaged Hannah:
Nothing for a couple of years but that’s probably because I was mostly drunk 24/7. Then early twenties I moved to a flat above a hairdressers. Again, nothing special about the building, not particularly old. One morning I woke up to hear…yes you’re going to think I’m nuts, I know…two voices, right by my eyes. A girl one side, boy the other. They wanted to take me in two different directions and were arguing about it. “She’s not ready yet!” The girl kept saying. The whole time I was punching myself thinking fucking hell, I’m awake! This is real! I’m awake!
Never happened again. Age 27 I moved to London. Shit was about to get real. And very dark.