Irrational Fears

I don't know if any of you have ever experienced an irrational fear of some kind?  I know that many people have phobias, such as spiders or clowns etc, but my fear is slightly different,  and probably sounds very stupid to most of you.
I am afraid of "upstairs".  To be more specific, I have a general fear that the upper storey of a building will collapse on me.   It is the thought of the weight of all that heavy bedroom furniture , baths, showers, bedding  clothing etc etc supported by what, to me,  seems a flimsy structure of joists and boards.
When we decided to move house I was set on buying a bungalow as, in the back of my mind, I knew I would feel more comfortable without that potentially unsafe structure overhead.
Of course,  we now live in an old property that has had an upper storey added by means of steel beams supported by the stone and rubble walls then boarded.  
I have been able to suppress my fear so far but yesterday we went to the bathroom suppliers in town to order a replacement shower surround for the guest bathroom.  We found what we needed and ordered it,  to be delivered in a week or so.  The salesman warned P that he may need help to get it upstairs as it would be very heavy.
This has been preying on my mind since then and I had trouble sleeping last night, thinking about that additional weight upstairs.
I understand that such irrational fears are usually a sign of underlying anxiety and I have always been an anxious person. My early family environment made me an anxious child and I don't seem to have grown out of it, although I have managed to live with it.
I think I need reassurance from someone who understands house construction methods and engineering!

41 comments:

  1. I assumed you were going to say that in conclusion you have put the house on the market and are now looking for a bungalow.

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    1. Not yet Rachel. I do love this house so must learn to live with my anxieties.

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    2. Check out your RSJ's or get your husband to point them out to you to put your mind at rest. If there are no RSJ's then your fears are justified.

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    3. Check the deeds of the house for the building regs certificate for the alterations. This will show that the alterations were approved by the local authority or whatever the equivalent is on the Isle of Man and probably with a bit of luck will include the spec of the alterations. I had some alterations done in my previous house and all the documentation was passed to the new owners whose solicitors asked for them. My neighbour had similar alterations that they did themselves and had no RSJs put in. Their house was unsafe in my opinion.

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    4. Thanks Rachel. There is a completion certificate with our Extract of Title but we need to visit Government Office to view a copy of the plans.
      A little trip into town coming up methinks.

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  2. Mr B has 3 daughters who all suffer from anxieties they acknowledge are irrational but that doesn't make the anxieties go away. Professional help is recommended - or get a purring companion. xxx Mr T

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  3. Hi. I feel for you. Would you get a structural engineer in to reassure you? Might be worth the expense for your peace of mind? I'm sure you've thought of this. I have a fear that if I put too many plates in a kitchen cupboard the whole lot plus wall is going to come crashing down. Husband goes mad when crockery is spread out between cupboards!

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  4. I am sorry you are having anxiety, JayCee. Hope you can get the reassurance you need to calm your fears. Sending a hug to you!

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  5. You need to find youself a friendly civil engineer who can bore you with weightings. Your property has had its upper floor added in very recent times, when building regs are in overdrive on safety. You are perfectly safe!

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    1. Deep down I suppose I know that is true but the anxiety still bubbles away under the surface.

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  6. Can you not make your home into an upside down house where you live upstairs and sleep down stairs? If you are still worried find a structural engineer to reassure you and confirm you are perfectly safe.

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  7. A check from a structural engineer would be the best way to ensure that the bathroom floor will take the weight of the new shower tray. That, or a reliable plumber who will check thoroughly before fitting it.
    I can understand your worries, especially with an older property, but hope it all works out with no problems.

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  8. Thanks to everyone who has suggested consulting a structural engineer. That was one of my thoughts, however there are only four reputable companies here: all seem to be busy with lucrative commercial contracts and don't even bother to respond to an enquiry.

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  9. This is not a laughing matter and I think your idea about having an articulate builder or an architect explain the mechanics of it all to you is a good one.

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    1. I would be very embarassed to ask. They would think me quite stupid.

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    2. Selecting the right person would be important.

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  10. Having had similar feelings about things in the past I really feel you need to consult your doctor and maybe he/she could recommend somone you could talk to about "irrational fears" - people like this would take your fears seriously whereas I am sure the people others have recommended may not. Irrational fears can be very real and very disturbing.Good luck.

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    1. Thank you Weaver. I think that seeing some form of proof of how absurd my fears are would also go a long way to allay them. I have thought about trying to access a copy of the developer's plans for the conversion ...if we can get hold of them.

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  11. Now you have got me thinking about similar possibilities. Can I send my psychiatrist's bill to you, JayCee?

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  12. I think we all have an irrational fear, some bigger than others and they can really intrude on peoples lives. I know I can’t say anything to alleviate your fears but, our late Victorian house has four bedrooms upstairs, all of which have heavy, cast iron fireplaces, concrete hearths and a couple have original cast iron radiators all of which have been there for over 120 years !!! Maybe ask a builder to set your mind at rest and don’t be embarrassed. I dread September coming round when those big, fat, hairy spiders come into the house …. I know it’s irrational and that they are more frightened of me but, I spend a fortune on that chestnut, minty spray that they hate !!!!! XXXX

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    1. Thank you Jackie for your reassurance regarding heavy objects upstairs in your old house. I know that it really should be fine I just need to sort myself out.
      By the way, does that spray work on your spiders?
      XXXX

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    2. It really does work J ….. you have to do it regularly say every three weeks ish in September/ October around the skirting boards inside and outside around doors and windows ….. it only takes a few minutes. Might see the odd one but I think it’s got into the woodwork now as we rarely see them now !!! You watch, now I’ve said that , I’ll get a zillion of them 😂🤣😂 XXXX

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    3. Sounds promising though. Thanks for the tip xxx

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  13. I have little experience with contracting work so sadly, I cannot offer reassurance; however, I can relate to anxiety as can many others (including my two adult children). One of my favourite quotes is "clarity is the antidote to anxiety." I offer this in any way you might be able to use it; it seems to me you're already applying this principle by seeking reassurance and gathering the clarity you need to feel more comfortable. Sometimes that's the best we can do.

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    1. Many thanks, DBS.
      I may even try Google and YouTube!

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  14. Was your house inspected at the time of purchase? Does it feel shakey when you walk on the floor? Is there a reason that this is on your mind? A second opinion might be warranted. I guess unless I noticed instability I wouldn't worry too much about it. Here when structural renovations are done, they are required to be inspected. Not sure about there.

    I guess my fear is always that people do not like me. I can talk to anyone easily, but in one on one situations, I'm terribly self conscious and convinced that I am unlikeable.

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    1. Debby, yes we did have a building survey done but they can only do a superficial inspection and cannot see what lies beneath.
      All building works here require an inspection and completion certificate to show that works have complied with current regulations so, again, that should reassure me.
      Oh Debby, from reading your blog I don't think you need worry about being unlikeable!

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    2. Jaycee - it just occurred to me. When we went to Gainsborough Manor, we were there on a windy day. Those timber walls swayed in the wind and creaked most shockingly...yet that house has stood for 800 years and counting!

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    3. Well, that is very reassuring!

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    4. Does your house wobble to and fro? Does it creak in the wind? If a wobbly house can stand 800 years, I'm sure you'll be fine.

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    5. No wobbling, thankfully!

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  15. As we live where hurricanes have visited I always fear trees falling on us. . . . as they did, twice! Roof damage, but our small home stood strong under the weight of large oaks falling and nothing on the upper level fell to the lower!!! My car didn't do so well in the driveway, completely 'pancaked' by a huge oak in Hurricane Fran 1996, luckily I was not in it! Now with fewer trees - some lost in the storms and more taken down for safety's sake, I still have the same fear of the remaining trees falling when I hear the wind in the tall tops, and guess I always will.

    I hope so much you can get help for your fears - anxiety can be so debilitating, however, remember most of what we worry about never ever happens.
    Chin up and keep smiling JayCee.

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    1. Thank you Mary.
      Just off now to chop down our trees!

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  16. On a more flippant note, maybe a hard hat would be reassuring. Sorry about that!

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    1. I knew I could rely on you Cro for good advice.

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  17. The older I get, the more I realise that everyone has some phobia or worry about something. You are not alone. It probably stems from something you read or overheard as a child and your mind has twisted it or never forgotten it. As others have said, maybe a structural surveyor could appease your mind and help put the matter to rest. Short of an earthquake, buildings are meant to withstand weight and your chapel has been around for years so why would it cave in now?

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    1. You would think I should have grown out of it by now at my age!

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Although I am quite used to talking to myself, any comments on my posts are very welcome, provided they are not abusive. I do reply to them so please check back. It's good to talk (!)