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  • In Need Of Support

    Dear All



    This is hard for me to write, but I am doing so and making my first contact with you, because I know how seriously depressed I am, and how much I am in need of support now. Tomorrow, my NFH will receive a letter from my solicitors, and although I know I am doing nothing to them, and have damning photographs to prove their guilt, I am terrified of repercussions. Please don’t say this will just be more ‘power to my elbow’ – I cannot take much more, and I just want to be left alone, to get on with my life.



    I am an intelligent, professional woman, happily single and living alone, and I bought a ‘home for life’ 10 years ago – I absolutely love my home and garden, but four years ago, NFH moved in above me, and I am not the same person I was. I have good, long-standing friends, but they don’t live too close, and it’s all become too much for even them. I am not the person I used to me, and my health is suffering.



    There has been a whole category of events, stemming from nuisance, noise, slander & lies spread by NFH around the neighbourhood (which has resulted in other neighbours turning on me, and lead to physical assaults), harassment, assaults from NFH (both verbal and physical), criminal damage to my property (and that does not include the £5k damage caused to my dining room!), I cannot have a conversation on my ‘phone or in my garden as they go silent and listen to everything – it is just like being stalked. If I laugh, she complains!?!?!?!? Strange how my enjoying myself on occasion upsets her!? And last weekend my two cats were threatened, and this was the final straw for me. Another report sent to the police – for what good it does! I could go on ….. This summer has been ruined for me.



    I continue to ignore NFH, but it just makes them worse. In 4 years, they have not lifted a finger to pull a weed out of the common parts, indeed, they litter them up. I cannot approach them about property maintenance – if I send them a note about any building works needing doing, I am accused of harassment!?!?, so I now just get all the necessary jobs done and pay for it all myself now.



    My friends all say they would have moved long before now, but I have invested too much and love my home too much to give it up. But I continue to be afraid of what I return home to every night. Since they moved in 4 yrs. ago, I have not left my home empty for a single night.



    I have tried long and hard to understand their mentality, just what they believe their problem is. They cannot see their actions for what they are – if I did just one thing to them they had done to me, there would be hell to pay! Mum calls them “pack animals”, as they gang together with other neighbours. There are two sides to every story, but the street has only listened to theirs. My friends feel it’s all jealousy. But it’s very nasty now. I am hoping a letter from my solicitor will make them back off a bit, at least. But it’s not that simple with them – they want a row, and I won’t give them one. I feel the letter will make things worse, but I cannot go on living like this – they clearly think I have ‘rolled over and died’ and are seriously pushing me now, so I have no choice but to act, and try to put a stop to some of it. If only I had someone living nearer who could call in when that letter arrives – if I had just one decent, civilised neighbour, I could just about bear this.



    Any words of encouragement or support would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.



    Lisa

  • #2
    Hi Lisa and a big welcome to the Forum



    It sounds like you have really been throught the mill with your neighbours from hell (NFH) and I could feel your desperation in reading your post.



    If I ask questions, it's just so we can get a clearer picture of your situation - please feel free to respond however you want, there is never any pressure here to give information away that you don't feel comfortable with.



    Do you know whether your nfh are owners or renters, and if so who their landlord is? I take it that you are in a ground floor flat, how large is the block?



    Have you involved other agencies over the incidents you mentioned? Places like the Environmental Health (EH) about the noise; the Police about the assaults, harassment and damage? If so, what has happened with that? How did they manage to cause £5k worth of damage to your dining room ?



    Do you have any idea what triggered their behaviour in the first place? With many stories on this board, we often read that both parties started as friends/ acquiantances and then things turned horribly wrong after one particular incident. Is there anything that you can pin this down to?



    It is awful living with such animosity, as many of us know. You are in the situaiton now where you don't know what their response will be to your Solicitor's letter and are obviously concerned about possible retaliation/ escalation of their behaviour.



    You mentioned to begin with that this whole situation has led to depression - it's understandable, as especially so if you are having to deal with it alone, without support of close friends, another neighbour etc. Have you spoken to your GP at all about how you are feeling emotionally? It may be worthwhile thinking about, if you haven't already. Joining this Forum, was probably the one best thing I could do in terms of coping with my NFH - you will find words of encouragement, support, hints, tips and coping strategies.



    Living with a NFH can drain you, it is difficult to stay strong, but stay strong you must. We are all here for you. Welcome again.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you receiving this - cannot see a way to reply to your message to me, Lisa

      Comment


      • #4
        Lisa, your situation sounds a little like mine and, whilst my NFH is still being obnoxious to the entire street, I'm the one that seems to bear the brunt of his anger. I've reasoned that, like you, I'm a single woman. Single women are perceived as being easy targets for NFH which is probably why you are continuing to receive this abuse. You won't be seen to be able to fight back just because you're a woman. And, sadly, they're right. I know that, if my NFH decided to throw a punch at me, anything I'd throw back would be laughable. It is alarming knowing that, if it came to it, you couldn't defend yourself against an attack and they know this. They're just bullying you and keeping you in your place. Jealousy plays a big part too and there are so many people out there who simply can't stand to see someone living independently and doing well by it. Especially a woman. To them, it's not fair.



        If you had a strapping bloke in the house with you, the situation might be different.



        I know from what you said how awful the fear is of coming home and not knowing what to expect. It's tiring and mentally wearing as it's constantly on your mind. It would be easy to say ignore them but, in your case, you can't. Many NFH cases are fought by ignoring the offending party and I believe that, a lot of the time, this simply fuels the antagonism. They're just bullies that keep on and on and on. If they don't get a reaction, their behaviour gets worse. I'm not suggesting stooping to their level but to confront every issue they throw at you with a query as to why they've done it. Let them know you are counting the attacks. If they're listening to you on the phone, walk right outside to where they can see you and carry on talking. If they want to eavesdrop on half a conversation, let them. They're going to do it anyway so you may as well show them you know and don't give a fig.



        You are doing the right thing by contacting your solicitor and you are lucky to have the evidence to back it up so you just have to take a deep breath and try and ride this out. If you have any friend at all that is able to stay for a few nights (male or female) then ask them to, for your own peace of mind.



        Finally, try and behave as though the whole thing is having no effect at all on you. Don't let them see you're upset and don't hide from them. You say that your NFH complains if you laugh (!!) so you have been driven inside and to hiding away. Don't let them turn you into a prisoner in your own home. Talk, laugh and be visible at all times. Throw the doors open into your garden and put a radio on. Nothing loud or interfering but enough to create that sense of "your home". NFH hate that as it shows you have confidence and no-one is going to control how you live your life on your property. You might be shaking at the knees but you have to show them you're not scared. I have found this to be the best advice I was given. I didn't want to go to my shed to put rubbish away because my NFH would be staring but I made myself and I made myself look over at him as well and then give him a dismissive look away. I'd fiddle with the shed, potter in the garden even if nothing needed doing and whistle or hum a tune at the same time just to show how un-bothered I was by his puffed up attempt at malice. I know this drove him mad as he was getting the desired effect - i.e. that I would stay away indoors where a good little woman should be. He didn't want me in my garden and wanted to control me enough so I'd be scared about going outside. I stuck two mental fingers up at him and, if you've read my posts, it does seem to be winning the day. I do, however, have other neighbours that detest him so I'm not as isolated as you.



        Hope things go well and keep that camera handy for any repurcissions. You may need it and, if you do, you go back to the solicitors again and again and again. Your NFH will then have to face the decision of whether to back off or get a criminal record.



        Keep in touch and the very best wishes.



        Jeannie.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Lisa and Welcome



          I can relate completely to your story. The only thing that has kept me sane is being a mother to my children. I too have a similar situation to you, which is a long way from being resolved. I may not be able to offer much in the way of advice, but I can tell you how I dealt with this when I had to face it.



          As you have done, I went to a solicitor and panicked when I knew my NFH was going to get a letter. I just hoped that it wouldn't make matters worse. I remember the morning of the letter arriving and waited for the explosion, but it didn't happen!!! They did, however, retaliate, but the retaliation was very short lived, and not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, as they realised that they were making fools of themselves.



          I dealt with this, by keeping a very low profile, as I have done from the start, and having the least contact with them as possible.



          I know that it hard to do, but keep your chin up, the solicitor has probably told you, that this letter may make things worse, but generally the NFH will be shocked into behaving. It has, as my solicitor told me, worked in the past. I'll be crossing my fingers for you in the morning



          You have found the right place to be and am glad that you now have.



          Tri

          Comment


          • #6


            Lisa you have doine a good thing by coming here. The people here will help and support you through this. We know how you feel.



            It takes guts to stand up and say I am not taking any more of this, so dont be scared tomorrow, be happy that you are making a stand at long last. I think Jeannie has it spot on, with the 'little woman' thing. They are just bullying you. They have got away with it for 4 years,and if you are determined not to move then why not send a solicitors letter warning them of the further consequences of their behaviour.



            I am having to follow a process of ignoring our NFH's obnoxious carryings on as I am trying to sell my house and dont want to do anything to jeopardise it. But if I was intent on staying , I would be seeing a solicitor as well.



            Keep coming back here to let us know how you are as you can get a lot of advice here.



            http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



            I decree today that life

            Is simply taking and not giving

            England is mine - it owes me a living

            But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye

            Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye ~ Morrisey/Marr




            Politics is Showbusiness for ugly people ~ Jay Leno



            I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullsh***ters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like ar*e-lickers. ~ Sir Alan Sugar



            "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." ~ Samuel Johnson



            The secret of success is the capacity to overcome failure ~ Noel Coward



            An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today ~ Laurence J. Peter



            Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine ~ Lord Byron



            Better bread with water than cake with trouble ~ Russian Proverb



            There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux



            Carpe Diem



            Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne

            Comment


            • #7
              Dear All



              I am absolutely stunned by your responses - that someone actually truly understands how I feel. My friends are great, but don't understand this kind of behaviour - we are all too decent and civilised, but I have learned NFH and I are world's apart. I cannot thank you enough for your time and trouble. Yes, I do believe that keeping a high profile would help, but the "knees knocking" is a real thing for me!



              My solicitor has sent the final draft, I have put off calling her and saying "Send", but I am now going to do precisely that. If you hear a lot of yelling tomorrow, it's my NFH!



              Thanks so much again. Will let you know how it goes. All the best, Lisa

              Comment


              • #8
                Lisa,



                A very quick reply from me as I am shooting out the door in a minute, but, I am in the position whereby solicitors letters are being fired off. It's is not a nice position to be in, but, you are getting the best advice by employing a solicitor to take the stress - both emotional and physical - out of this.



                When NFH's receive these legal letters it tends to put them on the backfoot a bit and as in my case it has left Madhatter realing somewhat, however, I will try and post some more info for you later on when I come back tonight.



                Try not too worry, I know the knotted feeling in the stomach well, but, sometimes you have to do these things and put them in place in order to make your future a better one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Lisa, had to write when i saw your post.



                  First step done - like you, many on this board could not contain their relief that someone ACTUALLY understands, not ust the usual "ignore them, they'll go away" platitudes.



                  The sense of despair hit me - you're right, NFH do target "soft" ones, such as OAPs and single females. Its basically an inferiority complex these folk have that they've gotta get at someone else.



                  I watched a program on TV last night about kids being bullied. The bullies said they looked all cool and "hard" in front of their mates, but when they went home felt nothing but shame and sorrow at having caused their victims such grief. Products of their upbringing, and I really believe that in 99% of cases NFH actually know full well what they're doing but are too skewed in their thinking to stop it.



                  I think you've done the right thing in getting the solicitor to handle things now, any interaction with them from yourself would just antagonise them and they dont appear capable of conciliation.



                  Its a horrible position to be in, a lot of folk here are suffering in the same way (some to a greater/lesser extent) but know we're all together in solidarity with you!!



                  There are some good posts re. dealing with NFH, I've almost perfected my mad singing out loud, even improvising into a little dance now and then. Jeannie's right, it absolutely drives them mad, but so what? It works for me, but depending on your NFH, it might do better to completely blank them.



                  Lisa, come back and tell us more, I'm intrigued to find out more about NFH, maybe one day I'll write a book (keep threatening that!! )



                  COME THE REVOLUTION -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Lisa,

                    welcome to the group!



                    I am so sorry to hear you have been through all this, at least now you have us to talk to, as you have already seen we really do care about each other.



                    we have all been there and we know how it feels, the sickening feeling in your belly, the not wanting to enjoy your own home for fear you are being watched, waiting the the noise to start....etc.



                    This group was started so we could talk to others who would understand.



                    I wont ask you any questions at the moment as I see you already have a lot to answer!

                    it helps knowing the full problem so we can try to give the right advice, we all have a little to give which relates to the situations we have been in our selves.



                    good luck and please keep coming back!



                    if you would like to talk to any of us in real time we do a chat session on tuesdays and sundays night!

                    click the blue mega phone top right of your screen, you will be made more than welcome!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dear All



                      Again, I am overwhelmed by the support I have received today - this is tough (you will hear NFH yelling when they get the letter tomorrow!), but you all actually understand what I am talking about and how it feels. I have felt so alone in all of this, despite having good friends, but one has to live through it to truly understand. I had to force myself into the garden again tonight, and it's hard for me to stand where I can be seen - I have done my utmost to block ALL views of me out. What do they want???? It would help to have a BIG SKINHEAD along side me, but I actually do enjoy living alone!! Perhaps with your help, I can get through this. Many thanks again for your time and taking the trouble to respond. Lisa

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lisa,



                        Many years ago I used to be a big skinhead but changed my ways. Sorry, I can’t help you in person only in spirit.



                        The advice you have been given, I won’t repeat any of it, is all excellent and very supportive.



                        Like you I sent my neighbour a letter. The one I wrote, I wrote myself. After I posted it through his letterbox I must have reread the copy a hundred times.



                        “Maybe I should have left that out, maybe I should have put this in, this sentence is too long etc etc”.



                        I must have walked up and down this room hundreds of times waiting for the response .I, like you imagined the worst. It is because you have sent a letter that you know there will be a reaction; I hope the reaction for you will be one of reason and mediation.



                        Please try not worry too much at what you have do. All you have done is to try and resolve this issue in a reasonable and civil manner. Please try to relax and put it out of your mind.



                        Hope all goes well Kevin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Lisa and welcome



                          There's not a lot I can add to what other people have said except, I know that feeling of not wanting to go home yet not wanting to leave the house empty in case something happens.



                          I know that cold grey blanket of depression as well. Unlike you I have my family around me but sometimes even that is not enough. You have a right to enjoy your home so hold your head high and be glad that you are not like them.



                          Come back often and let us know how things are going. If you need to rant we have a folder for that as well Good luck, I hope the solicitor's letter works



                          MIsty
                          "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

                          Comment


                          • #14




                            Lisa, it hasnt been that long since I found this forum and I totally know how you feel, the sense that at last someone really understands and can offer real words of support. When I posted my stories and got such wonderful responses, I cried from sheer relief. And I have coped much better with my NFH because of it. Like you say you friends will be very caring but unless they have experienced the dread and despiar of having an NFH affecting their lives, they can never totally appreciate how you depressed you can get.



                            It seems you have already gathered some strength just by your last couple of posts!!!



                            If you get a chance to read Jeannie's messages, I think you will be heartened; she has been through unbelievable persecution by her NFH, and yet she has managed to turn a corner and the NFH has far less power over her. Hopefully this will happen for you.



                            In the meantime, keep on posting and I wish you all the best with that solicitors letter!!!!

                            http://bestsmileys.com/sparkle/1.gif



                            I decree today that life

                            Is simply taking and not giving

                            England is mine - it owes me a living

                            But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye

                            Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye ~ Morrisey/Marr




                            Politics is Showbusiness for ugly people ~ Jay Leno



                            I don't like liars, I don't like cheats. I don't like bullsh***ters. I don't like schmoozers. I don't like ar*e-lickers. ~ Sir Alan Sugar



                            "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." ~ Samuel Johnson



                            The secret of success is the capacity to overcome failure ~ Noel Coward



                            An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today ~ Laurence J. Peter



                            Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine ~ Lord Byron



                            Better bread with water than cake with trouble ~ Russian Proverb



                            There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a cup of tea ~ Bernard-Paul Heroux



                            Carpe Diem



                            Give Yourself to It ~ Sue Gadenne

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lisa,



                              I am more than a little concerned about your situation given that you are a single woman living on her own which appears to NFH as easy prey.



                              There has been a whole category of events, stemming from nuisance, noise, slander & lies spread by NFH around the neighbourhood (which has resulted in other neighbours turning on me, and lead to physical assaults), harassment, assaults from NFH (both verbal and physical), criminal damage to my property (and that does not include the £5k damage caused to my dining room!),[/b]


                              I am hoping here that you have got a diary of events and that much of this has been logged by the police along with the criminal damage.



                              If you look at the physical assults and criminal damage alone, this constitutes enough of a serious offence to be able to pursue and push for the 1997 Protection From Harassment Act. I have this against my neighbour and although things are still tricky things are starting now to tick over nicely.



                              Since Madhatter and the criminal damage that we suffered, I have started studying and reading up on law - especially criminal law and in particular cases appertaining to situations such as this.



                              See how you go with the solicitors letter tomorrow, try not to worry too much I know its easy for me to say this but, we have all been in a similar boat and sleepness nights creates even more pressure on you.



                              Feel free to PM me anytime and I shall see what I can do. I have made substantial contacts with those in the positions of power from the police through to a good friend who is a chairman of the magistrates bench. I cannot give you all the answers straight away but I will go and search them through for you and give you an honest answer, without you having to incur too many costs through your solicitors.



                              Finally, please don't worry, a good friend of mine said at the weekend that most worries are future based and when it comes to it the biggest majority actually never come to fruition.



                              God Bless

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