I'm not crazy. Sure I feel like it sometimes,  but I'm not a raving psychopath. Not to say that people with different disorders are raving psychopaths, butI digress. I've been through hell in my life due to 7 different disorders I've been diagnosed with. Recurring depression with psychosis, ADHD, BPD, BIpolar Disorder, Insomnia, Adjustment Disorder and GAD. It always just seemed like I drew the short stick of the genetic pool. I've gone through 5 therapists, 4 psychiatrists, 8 short-term hospitalizations on mental stabilization floors, over 20 different kinds of medication, 5 different group therapies, and god knows how many different "coping skills". I've researched all of my diagnoses to endless hours, I've studied my symptoms, and I've double-checked all psychiatric diagnosis manuals out there, but not a single one can help with with one unexplained thing: the noise.

It's not an auditory hallucination. It's not brought on with anxiety. They're not self-destructive voices. They're not controlling my mind. And no, they're not CIA secrets. The only way I can describe it is a crowd of people screaming mixed with white noise and some undefined frequency. I've gone from 20 Hz to 20 GHz and none catch the frequency.  I've sampled all different types of white noise and even pink noise, but none are close enough to be exact. I've listened to millions of recordings of crowds, from baseball stadiums to what some people think hell sounds like. Nothing can quite describe the noise, but I know it's there. It's always in the back of my mind. Sometimes it's a hushed sound that taps at  the fragile framework of my remaining sanity, and other times it's a piercing decibel that shatters the fabric of my being. Even my worst panic attack can't touch how this noise deeply disturbs me. The one problem, however, is that I've told no one until now.

This isn't some cry for help, nor is it a simple story to satiate a creepypasta addict's fictional bloodlust. This is the one place I'm safe from judgement and the authorities. This noise has driven me to do things that I can't even speak about. I could never hope to explain my way out of the trouble, hatred and despair the truth would bring me. So as a result, I sit in silence and suffer, stoicly bearing my curse instead of living a life of straightjackets, daily injections and patronizing shrinks. After all, I'm not crazy. It's all the noise.

The first time I heard it was during a car trip to visit my grandmother and cousin. They live out of state, so 10-year-old Danté (that's me) had to endure a 12 hour car ride filled with Gameboy and cassettes of my parents' country collection, a road trip that made me hate even the name George Strait. My batteries had died and my headphones were useless as a result, so I was forced to endure singing about country roads and six-strings. Then it happened. It was quiet at first, but it steadily grew louder. I asked my parents if they heard a rumbling noise, but they shook their heads in confusion and blamed it on the engine of our van. Once it was too loud to bear, I was practically clawing at the backseat as they sang along to the noise pollution they call music. I couldn't take it anymore. I had never experienced anything like it, but it was the worst suffering I could have imagined. Not long into the pain, I passed out, seemingly from my body going into shock, and when I woke up we were there. I wasn't the same for the rest of the day. My poor cousin was left alone playing house by herself while I sat in quiet contemplation staring off into space on the porch. When I asked my parents if they saw anything unusual in the car, they said no, but noted that I had gotted bored and nodded off into sleep to make the trip quicker. I told them I was tired, they said. I used a blanket for a pillow, they said. I even buckled in, they said. I remember nothing but the torment and misery.

For weeks and weeks theese noises continued. Sometimes in short spurts, sometimes in long, agonizing hours. Each time it always ended with a blackout and events that I never recalled. They always were such simple events, too. So predictable and calm. Asking to take a nap, asking for alone time in my room, even excusing myself in school to go to the restroom and waking up on the cold, hard, tiled floor. I had endured this for years, but no one else seemed to notice.

Fast forward to age 16. I was having a particularly bad summer day. The sun was shining outside, summer break was still in full swing, I was to become a junior in high school in a couple months, and I even had a girlfriend who was understanding of my sudden fatigue. It was all a very nice, calm day until my father got home. It turned out that he was laid off permanently from the company he had spent thirty plus years with, and as a result both of my parents were devastated. Just like that, we hand no income, no healthcare, no insurance, no anything  that his job supplied us with. It all hit me at once like a pile of bricks. Rather than staying with my parents, I stormed off to my room as any hormonally imbalanced teenager would. I didn't know how to accept it. As I laid there in bed, deciding between school and getting a job, the noise hit, and it was the worst one yet. The screams turned to screeches, the frequency was deafeningly high, and the static took over my every sense, It was almost immediately that I had blacked out once again, but I didn't wake up on my bed like usual. This time I woke up outside in an empty field, save for trees, grass etc., and my shirt was covered in blood with a razor blade from a pencil sharpener clutched tightly in my right hand. When I was finally fully consciousand out of the haze that the blackouts always left me in, I was able to notice that I was about 5 miles from my house, my legs ached from running, and it was around 8 o clock in the evening. I stood up to examine my surroundings when I felt wet and cold. Turns out the blood came from my own body, and the culprit was the blade. My whole left and right forearms were covered in deep cuts that were still seeping out blood, and it was safe to say that they were there for a while, because they had already started clotting to prevent further loss. Naturally, I panicked. The black outs had always been so calm before, so seemingly innocent despite the hell they put me through prior to each one, but this time it seemed to explode. I sat down to rationalize what happened and thought I should tell someone, but I knew it was impossible. That realization hit me harder than my new life in a minimum-wage apartment fueld by welfare did. I knew I had to make up an excuse, but I had to make it quick. I needed medical attention, I needed my girfriend, but most of all I needed my parents. That was when I knew my fate and plan. I called my parents to let them know I'm alive, but needed a hospital visit. They were worried of course, but I explained to them when they got to where I was. I didn't tell them the truth, however, that would have been the biggest mistake of my life. As I've said, I'm not crazy. I deserve a chance at a normal life. I had told them that the job loss and massive change to my life was far too much to handle, let alone comprehend, and I panicked. I did what I felt was right in my mind at the time, but I regretted it afterwards and wanted help. after that, I lost my girlfriend due to her misconceptions about my sanity, we moved to a much smaller and very run-down apartment, and I started my life of therapy, medicine and hospitalization all to keep up the ruse to cover my terrible secret. Things were never the same after that.

Due to my newfound stress, my blackouts had remained in their recently settled state of disturbing and harmful happenings. I've trashed my bedroom multiple times, I've screamed profanities at friends and loved ones, and even been physically violent towards the people I love most. As a result, I've never been able to keep a relationship or steady home with others, nor have I been able to keep my sanity. That was, until she helped me.

On my 21st birthday, my father and I reconciled our differences and decided to start fresh. He wanted to take me out drinking to have a father-son night, also hoping for the alcohol to dull my senses and make me open up to him. We, instead of going to a bar, decided to have mixed drinks at the old family apartment while my mother spent the night with my aunt to give us time and space. I can still remember the child-like wonder of that night and how normal I felt while inebriated. I was able to laugh, make jokes, share stories and have fun like I had always wanted to, and the drinks appeared to bring the noises to a shocking silence. It was the first time in my life since the road trip that I had felt like a real human being again, and I cried from the happiness, even slurring clichéd "I love you, man"s to my father. He was having a great time as well, even happy enough to call me son for the first time in 5 years. It was pure bliss. The morning that followed was a different story.

The hangover I had experienced brought the noise back, and at full force once again. I was desperate to make it go away, but the liqour cabinet had been emptied. As a result, I had taken several sleeping pills claiming that I wasn't feeling well, and my father agreed to let me rest and recuperate. Once I woke up with the hangover passed and the noises back to the typical whisper, I felt normal at least to me. Once I set foot out of the bedroom, though, I was met with eyes I was not familiar with. There was a shorter woman standing there in a simple sundress with long black hair and bright blue eyes. My father introduced her as Tiffany, my cousin. Everything stopped. I couldn't believe that the girl I played with as a child was now a fully grown woman with  a life of her own, and even more so that after all my troubles she still wanted to see me. We sat down to talk, and I found that she wanted to visit me of her own volition and make sure that I was alright. The visit went by quickly, though we talked for hours, but the whole thing had an eerie feel to it. I was happy, but something was missing. It wasn't until late afternoon when the sunset painted the miniblinds orange that I realized the noise had stopped again. I knew it could be a cure, nor could it be that I was drunk again. I put the pieces together and realized it was her that brought me to peace. Maybe it was that she was from a happier time in my life, or maybe even being near people I cared about without the looks of fear and hatred stinging me like thorns on a rosebush. All I knew was that she made me happy and made the noise stop, and that was all that I cared about. after so long, my father had to work, so she and I left to continue catching up at her one bed apartment across town. I can remember it so vividly: the sofa that was so soft you could sink into it like a cloud, the faint smell of vanilla and coconut in the air, the pleasant smile she wore proudly, the floral print on the dress she wore, the comfort of the warmth in the spacious apartment, everything was divine. I could have sworn that I was normal. We talked into the early hous of the morning until she had realized it was so late. She wasn't holding down a job at the moment, but instead was being helped by my well-off aunt, and she was so lonely in her new home. as a result, knowing I had no place to call home, she invited me to stay with her and I gladly accepted. The following years with her were better than I could have imagined. We were happy as could be, my family was coming back together and accepting me again, and the noise had completely left me. I could feel it was all building up to something though. Something big, something great.

About couple years into my stay with her, we had decided to have yet another movie night, which we looked forward to on the weekends. This time we had rented a couple rom-coms to wath, enjoy and laugh at occasionally. Afterwards, we were energetic for once instead of our usual feeling of sleepiness and contentment, so we decided to talk until we were ready to sleep. As such, I had worn pajama pants and an old t-shirt, and she wore a shirt of mine that was large on her and underclothes so we were comfortable and ready for bed. The conversation, as inspired by the movies, was about relationships. We shared past experiences, discussed what we wanted, even made a few dirty jokes here and there to keep the mood light. The tone of the conversation was changed completely after so long, though. We had talked about how lonely we were, but how we didn't find much of anyone attractive or interesting, then joked about how we really only enjoyed each other's company. We got closer to each other, smiled more, shared more intimate thoughts and feelings, and after so long we woke up the next morning on the floor holding each other in a happy, tangled mess. We had done the unthinkable, but to us it was happiness. From that point on we were even more inseperable, rarely leaving each other's side other than bathroom breaks and such. We never told a soul, but instead enjoyed the privacy and intimacy ourselves. It was heaven on earth until my mother made an unexpected visit.

For three years we had this bliss, but in late winter my mother decided to surprise us with a dinner invitation. We had given her our spare key because we trusted her and she helped us with groceries from time to time, but this was the one time we regretted it most. She opened the door and didn't see us, but instead heard faint sounds of my lovely Tiffany, though they were indistinct. Curious, she ventured into the apartment to find us in bed together.  For the next several hours, we all dealt with yelling, crying and arguing that would lead to the entire family swearing us both off altogether. We were both devastated. We couldn't even touch each other for weeks. Then two months after the incident, we had argued about our loss of intimacy when the dreaded noises had come back. At first, they were an unnoticed murmur amongst the eye rolls and dismissive comments, but once they were loud enough to hear, I knew I needed to get far away. The only problem was that she followed me.

If my mother had left, If my mother hadn't gotten a simple gift card, if I hadn't offered her the spare key in the first place and put it under the doormat instead... I could still be happy. We could still be in love. We could still have each other. She could still be alive. I woke up in our bed, feeling like a fever dream had passed me over and I was finally recovering, but I knew something was wrong. I was once again covered in blood, but this time it wasn't mine. I scrambled around the apartment, praying to god or zeus or anyone that my dear, lovely Tiffany was safe and sound, but then I found her, rather what was left of her. She was in pieces scattered about in the bath tub with her head mounted on the spigot like a tribe of savages rapaged though our home. I knew who did it, I knew what had to be done, and I knew what was to happen afterwards.  I cleaned up, disposed of her carefully, and created an airtight alibi as well as a perfect story for her, with immaculately crafted "evidence" to cover my tracks. But I never felt the same. After that I never touched another human being. The sounds have been too much to handle, and I always wake up with a new mutilation. I've attempted suicide multiple times in a desperate effort to end my suffering, but they never succeed.  I live in a world of endless torment and regrets that I will never forgive myself for. 

So I warn you, reader. Next time you hear your neighbors conversing or a ringing in your ear, be sure that it's exactly what you think of it. Never take a chance on sleep when the monster within is ready to wake up and take over. After all, I'm not crazy, am I?

Written by dhamb18

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