Thursday, 12 March 2009

The House of Terror! Or Unresolved Psychological Issues.

After four weeks of getting up before 6am, I think my brain is finally rebelling at the lack of sleep I've afflicted it with. For the last few days the nearest I've got to working on Bad Apple Bone is writing strange, incomprehensible notes in my notebook; they often says things that a few hours later make no sense to me, such as "Herded by dogs!" and "mouth leaf". Mouth leaf? Next week I go back to my more usual work shift where it doesn't matter so much that I am entirely unable to go to bed before midnight, and hopefully with a bit more sleep under my belt my writing attempts will make more sense.

On another subject entirely, I was pondering yesterday about my grandparent's house. They moved there when they were a youngish couple, and most of my aunts and uncles, and my mum, were raised there. I lived there myself from the age of about 5 or 6, to the age of about 10 or 11, when my parents split up. It's a very significant place to me, the house that I dream about most often, or if I'm writing a story, I tend to instinctively shape the house I'm writing about around that one. My nan lives there by herself now.

I was thinking about what might eventually happen to the place, in a good few years time. I couldn't imagine people other than my family living there, but it seems quite likely we would sell it, with the money being split between my nan's children. What if one of us moved there though, I thought. I tried to imagine moving in myself, or just sleeping over there to help sort the place out, staying for perhaps a week in my old room.... and I was seized with a feeling of almost supernatural terror. I honestly could not bear the thought of sleeping in that house again.

And this is weird, because I have no particularly bad memories of my nan and grandad's house. If anything, I was very happy, because my grandparents were there, and the place was often filled with most of my extended family too, on visits and friday night card games. So why on earth am I so alarmed by the idea of sleeping there? To be fair, I am often reluctant about going round there now, and rarely do, but I've always thought that was due to the weird sense of vertigo you get from visiting the place you grew up; everything is smaller than you remember, and distorted.

So I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced similar feelings. If you can still go to the place you grew up, is everything still cosy for you, or is it a little strained? If you are unable to get there these days, what do you think about going back?


  1. nup. I like going to the homestead. I gets ice cream. mmmmmmnomnom

  2. Ah, maybe it's the lack of ice-cream.

    I find your lack of ice-cream disturbing.

  3. I don't really get that kind of feeling when I go home, probably because it hasn't been that long since I moved out. I went along with my Mum to the local library the other week though, and I was surprised at how small it felt. It had probably been around ten years since I'd been there last, and what used to be this big building filled with tons and tons of books was... a medium-sized room with a fairly decent selection for the size. It was really quite disconcerting.

    Oh god, it's happening isn't it? I'm growing old! Nooo! You'll never take me alive you bastards!!

  4. The thought of going back to my mum's to stay puts the fear of god in me but that is probably because I like my freedom. I can't imagine living at home again and feeling obliged to tell mum where I am going and things like that. I don't have any bad memories of home but perhaps its the fact I would feel like I was taking a step backwards if i went back for any reason. Food for thought.

  5. It's weird isn't it? I have no worries about staying around my mum's place (although I do agree with Miss Fox- I don't think it'd be long before I yearned for freedom. Say, about 10 minutes)it's just my nan's house that gives me the fear. ;) Maybe it's because its not my parent's home, but it is still the place I grew up in. Or if your mum and dad are still living there, I guess home continues to feel like home.

    I no longer know what I'm on about. :s

  6. I've not had any "homecoming night terrors" though I have felt disorientated by staying over at my parents because it feels both familiar yet wrong.

    I'm not really one for spiritual / supernatural maguffins in real life... Sure I'll watch horror films etc but in the end I kind of innately know that there's bugger all like this in real life.

    Yet despite this I once went to stay over at a work colleagues house for the night because we had to go somewhere early the next morning and it was easier to travel from his house.

    He lives in a ground floor flat, with an attached basement in Balham. That night after some booze and much nerdy chat I decide to turn in. My work mate does the same, but within 10 mins of hearing him wander off to his bedroom and all the lights going out I felt extremely uneasy. Its something I seriously can not explain in any rational terms and I spent the next hour trying to get to sleep but feeling that something wasn't right about the place and it was a feeling that grew exponentially as the minutes passed.

    Eventually, it shames me to say, I freaked out and decided that I would rather catch public transport home (a trip of roughly 2 hours) and get up extremely early than stay in that room above the basement.

    I got dressed went down the hall to my friends room and muttered through the door that I was off... and promptly took so much time to get home that it was almost time to go back to my friends house again.

    The next day, red faced, I admitted the whole freak out episode to my friend who nonchalantly confessed that no one likes sleeping in that room which is why he converted it to an office.

  7. Oooo spooky! :o

    Like you Lee, I am naturally in the "it's all bollocks" camp, but I still love hearing stories like that. I guess there's no explaining the human mind and it's amazing ability to freak out for no particular reason at all (which seems to be the only explanation for my "childhood home" avoidance problem).

  8. I live in the house I grew up in. I was born here and lived here till I got married. At that point I moved out, but within a few years my mom wanted to sell and it turned out to be far too good of a financial move to pass up, I bought it.

    It's a little weird. I DO have some rather nasty memories of this place from my childhood,and I worried that it would mess with my head. What's happened instead though, is that I feel like I've conquered those memories. I've made the place MINE and negated all the bad things that happened by filling the place with the laughter of my kids. We've lived here for 13 years now as this family, and my kids howl at the idea of moving even though the house is really MUCH too small to hold six people.

    Also: it's haunted. Kinda cool, eh?