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When friends from heaven are neighbours from hell

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  • When friends from heaven are neighbours from hell

    One of my old neighbours was a lonely, single 50yr old man who suffered from depression and severe migraines. So the first time i met him was just two days after i had moved in to the flat above his, when he came banging on my door, saying that i had deliberately been noisy, just to upset him. This was untrue of course, because i did not know of his illness and the 'excessive noise' had simply been me banging my fist once on the table in frustration at some work i had to do for Uni.

    Anyway after him threatening to knock my door down if i did it again, i informed him that i would report his behaviour to the Landlord Agency and then did just that. Several days later, there was a knock at my front door and it was my neighbour who had been reprimanded by the agency and had come to offer an apology. I gladly accepted.

    After that we would often stop for a chat when we saw eachother and i would make him the odd cup of tea. When i was sick he went to the shop for me and we really became good neighbours. But eventually he liked me so much that i began to feel disturbed by it. He would know what times i went in and out of my flat. He would listen out for me when i came home. Within 10 mins of my return he would be upstairs banging on my door with any excuse to come in. Like, can i use your toilet?!!!!! What? He didn't have one of his own?

    I noticed that sometimes he was really smelly as well. His breath could knock you over at ten paces.

    Not being a fan of the great unwashed, advice from a friend was to invest in a bottle of febreeze, but it really wasn't funny. I once had to race to my bathroom wretching from the smell, whilst he remained seated in my living room drinkng my tea.

    The conversations that we had then started becoming increasingly personal, which i hated. He would ask me about boyfriends and whether i was in to having one night stands etc....

    In the end he would be knocking at my door about three times a day, which i found really intrusive. It got to the point where i would creep in and about my flat to avoid my prescence being detected. Sometimes I would sit in my kitchen simply acting as 'lookout' for when he might call. I couldn't relax and would often decide to complete my work at university rather than at home - just so i wouldn't have to worry about being disturbed by him.

    When i was at home, sick of making polite excuses as to why i couldn't chat to him, I stopped answering the door altogether. It got to the point where calls by some of my friends and other neighbours would go unnoticed! I realised that he was beginning to control my home life.

    Anyway, I'm not quite sure when or why things changed but perhaps ignoring his knocking did the trick, as he eventually stopped calling (maybe he found someone else to fancy). Things returned to almost exactly the way they were before. Neighbourly 'Hello's' and the occasional chat on the door step. Only this time i stopped myself from inviting him in for a cup of tea.

  • #2
    Welcome to the board Stephanie, good to have you here.

    What a different story that is and very interesting indeed, thanks for outlining it with us

    It's really harassment isn't it in one sense? This guy's 'attentions' turned to unwanted harassment and you had to resort to extreme measures (e.g. reporting him) to rid yourself of the attention. You could also justify sexual harassment there too - when he started asking you about one night stands, etc. Sad in one way, as he sounded like a very lonely, quite isolated individual? But totally unacceptable to 'hound' someone (i.e. you) in a manner like that.

    At least things returned to some 'normaility' afterwards and you and your neighbour were on speaking terms, that's unusual in a lot of NFH stories, as things tend to degrade even more between neighbourly relations. But for you personally that was definitely a plus, although I'd imagine it may have been hard to even say "hi" with him after that, for fear of encouraging him again.

    Does it make you less inclined to get friendly and get to know current or future neighbours do you think? I think if it was me, there would always be a nagging fear of "crikey, I don't want to get too familiar with him/her as they may be around all the time like he was" etc!


    • #3
      Phew, Stephanie! That could have turned into a nasty situation, happily it didn't.

      I agree with Matthew, it sounds like your neighbour was lonely and took your kindness as some sort of interest in him. But this in no way excuses his behaviour. A man of that age should know better!

      I'm glad to hear he took the hint and no nastiness ensued. Hope your experience hasn't put you off making friends with neighbours.

      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


      • #4
        Well Stephanie, i have had a similar experience when we got our first flat, i was sitting watching the telly when the door opened and this woman walked in!!! She was from the downstairs basement flat a hopeless alcholic and was saying she had just lost a baby, it wasnt true, she was looking for attention and was very lonely and depressed, i found myself avoiding her when i was going out coming in etc because she would collar me all the time and plead with me to talk to her in her flat, it got really bad, her father told me he couldnt cope and in the end she took an overdose for attention, she got moved out eventually though, poor B*gger.


        • #5
          welcome to the board Stephanie,

          That could have been a nasty, stalking situation.

          I am glad it worked out in the end, how long did you have to put up with that situation?

          I can imagine it would be quite scary (you sounded like you lived alone at the time)

          and these days you just don't know who is around or what they moght try and do.

          A few years ago people wouldn't of thought twice about letting their neighbours in for coffee with out worrying,

          Ahh..... the days of leaving your back door open.

          these days it is a different story, we see everyone as a threat and treat our homes like fort knox to make sure we are safe.

          ....does anyone know what went wrong?......when did we lose our trust in each other??

          feeling sentimental and sad



          • #6
            Hi Stephanie,

            A disturbing tale and im sure you felt quite uneasy about the whole situation!!.

            A NFH but at a slightly different angle one might say.

            Glad for sharing it with us all and by some of the replies it is a more common "problem" than may seem.

            keep in touch


            "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

            apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

            Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!