I guess every one of you has heard some weird noise or other in the night – especially when you are home alone. If it had been broad daylight or you had company, the brain will show it’s power and arrive at the exact origin, reason and explanation for the noise. After that, you will giggle at yourself for having that panicked, irrational moment. Then you will segue into whatever it was that you were doing before the mysterious noise interrupted you.
Just contrast this to the absolute same scenario when you are home alone at night. You could be the bravest person – not being scared of darkness, solitude etc but then, when you have turned off all the lights, except maybe a single small one and you hear a noise. Just when we need all the forces intact and working, the first organ to desert the battlefront is the brain. Well, to be fair – not the complete brain. The logical and reasoning part goes on vacation and the panicky, worrying part comes to the forefront. The ingenuity and imagination shown in painting different scenarios of terror and hopelessness are amazing. Once you convince yourself that one scenario is too far-fetched to be true, you will see another one that is worse. You slowly pull yourself together and tell yourself to go to sleep, only to find that sleep is the next deserter. Ultimately, you have a patchy sleep with lots of tossing and turning and when the day dawns clear and sunny, you cannot even remember why you were so scared last night.
I am sure that there would be some logical, rational explanation for this – not the noise, for which there definitely must be but the reason we panic. I also understand that some people at hyper sensitive to sounds. But then it becomes a clinical problem rather than a psychological one.
My young son and me used to hear these noises when the head of the house was not around. It would be something really weird like the back-flush of the water purifier starting for no apparent reason, the creak of the steel railing over the staircase as if somebody was using it to walk up or just some tapping noise. Wonder why we never heard it when he was around. One way that we handled it was by referring to it as the ghost of D511 (the number of our house). We would simply roll our eyes and say – the ghost is back. It always used to give us a laugh and that would help ease the panic. When we moved out of our house and still heard noises, we would say – hey, go back to D511, why are you following us here? Of course, this is NOT a good idea if you believe that there are ghosts – in fact, then it would be a very bad idea as it would aggravate the anxiety.
Fortunately, we were able to arrive at explanations soon enough and so made the experience a funny rather than a scary one. The noises were always there but the silence of the night magnified it. That is all there was to it. 🙂 Really.