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Crazy neighbor, need professional advice.

Ara Ann

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 5, 2009
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1,204
So, our immediate next door neighbor is causing trouble again. I'll call her "X" for now.

It's a long story and X has a long history of causing a lot of trouble with our other neighbors. A LOT.

We all built our homes new, this is our 10th year here, so we've had a long haul dealing with this woman.

When we all moved into our new homes, there was a group of about 6 or 7 families that got to know each other (immediate neighbors on our block), we had the typical house warming parties, ladies get togethers, etc., and most of us stayed close in the first few years except "X" - she kind of remained aloof and seemed very self conscious. Her husband had told the guys she was embarrassed about her weight. Nothing to be embarrassed over, since none of us were model thin or anything. :rolleyes:

After a couple of years, her reserved nature morphed into aggression toward the other neighbors, she felt left out and like no one liked her, however, she was only 'left out' because of her own choices, she declined every invitation...no one disliked her at all and we tried to include her.

We (my family) remained on friendly terms however, because our sons were best friends at that time (they haven't been friends for the last 4 years or so). But then she began to lose weight (rapidly) and the more weight she lost, the more sanity she lost as well. She became very hyper, pacing the sidewalks and shouting obscenities at the neighbors, etc. - especially picking on the other women about their weight, (because she was now thin herself, she could taunt them about being heavier than she was)... I mean, the taunting got BAD, they would stand in the middle of the street, ranting and raving and pacing.... the police were called many times...X and her husband would call the police and try to blame the other neighbors for things they started themselves. It got so bad a couple of years ago, the police told X and her husband they would be arrested if they called them again. PPO's were also granted to the other neighbors, etc., BAD situation.

They did this stuff in front of their young children as well...it broke my heart to see this, but I did not want to become involved, as we lived right next door to them. I avoided any confrontation with her, she did try to start in on me too one time, I was outside working in my front garden and she started a seemingly friendly conversation and then she turned... I could literally see a mental switch flip, her features changed even and she started screaming at me. I didn't react, I did try to reason with her at first, but she became more irate and screamed over what I was saying...so I simply went inside my house and closed the door, she continued yelling after I went in. She hasn't done anything else toward me or my family since then and we say hi to each other, etc., but are not close, at all.



So, the next year, she became pregnant again...and gained a lot of weight back and hadn't lost it until now (2 years later)...while she was heavier, she quieted down for a time...but this summer, she's back at it again, she lost weight over this last winter. I have noticed X is outside all the time again, flaunting herself in tight clothing, etc. I was hoping she would be normal this time, as she lost weight, but nope.... This morning, as my DH was getting into his car, he heard X ranting at the neighbor across the street, telling her "I'm HOT and you better better get used to it, because I am going to be out here every day!" :roll: She flaunts herself all over the block, including bending over in miniskirts (to pull weeds) as cars are going by. :oops:

I do believe she is on drugs of some kind. She gets very thin, very fast and acts very bizarre, including mowing her lawn late at night and mows it about 3 times a week, like she can't sit still. And like she said, she is always outside, to show off to the neighbors and hurl insults to anyone outside. I also believe there is some other underlying psychosis involved as well.

Sorry that was so long, but I had to give enough back story to ask for advice.

My DH wants to go and speak with her directly. Ask her why she is so unhappy, that she has to act out this way. He also hates this conflict and hates for me to feel like I am trapped in our home all summer in fear of her verbal attacks. I explained to him that he can't deal with someone who is obviously either on drugs (hence the weight loss) or mentally unstable. What makes things worse, is that her husband is right there with her, so he's not any help either.


And I feel SO bad for her kids. Her youngest is about 2.5 now. Can her kids be taken from her for acting this way, if the authorities find she is on drugs?

I don't think the police will even come out anymore, they are protecting X's freedom of speech and said she can say anything she wants to, as long as it doesn't get physical, they can't do anything to stop her...and she knows it.


So, IF DH does try to speak to her, any advice on what he can say, that won't inflame her anger?

For the record, DH is VERY good with people...LOTS of people, I mean LOTS come to him for advice, etc. and he always has the right things to say, to soothe and calm hurting people, this is his inherent personality and gift I guess...people are drawn to him almost...but this is totally different, since she is so unstable and unpredictable.

I am concerned she will retaliate on me/us if he approaches her. They had 'reached out' to us before, in the midst of this stuff last time, they wanted someone in their corner and thought we'd be it. :| My DH listened to them at that time, trying to keep the peace, but never condoned what they were doing, etc., so he does have that previous experience with trying to reason with them.



Any advice on this very touchy situation? I really really HATE the thought and feeling that this is going to be another long summer of putting up with her antics if nothing is done...but am concerned he could be adding fuel to the fire by trying.

As a side note, I have also lost weight over the last few months...and in her twisted mind, she may see it that I am trying to compete with her, or that I am following her example because she has lost weight...I know she does think this way, she has said things like this to me before...that just adds another level to this, since she is SO hyper focused on weight, hers and everyone elses too.

Thanks for reading.
 

iheartscience

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Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
Good lord...that sounds like a nightmare. I don't understand why the police refuse to get involved. Standing outside shouting at your neighbors seems more like harassment than freedom of speech. I'm not a lawyer so have no idea what the laws are regarding this kind of behavior, but have you considered contacting a lawyer to see what your legal options are?

I'm not sure if your husband talking to them is a good idea. Does she harass you as much as she harasses everyone else? If so, he may as well try talking to her. If she mostly leaves you alone then it might be better for your husband to just stay out of it. It sounds like she has some sort of mental illness so I doubt he will be able to reason with her. And if you feel like the children are in danger I would absolutely call Child Protective Services.

So when she yells at the neighbors, what do they do? Do people yell back at her? Do they ignore her? Does either tactic seem to work? If I were you I would go about my business and if she goes crazy and starts harassing you, I'd either yell back or just completely ignore her until she stops, depending on what has worked in the past with her.

Have you considered building a privacy fence in your yard so she can't see you when you're outside?
 

dragonfly411

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Ara- Ann - Has anyone tried speaking with her husband? It seems like he was reasonable at first. I would voice concerns for her health first and foremost. If your DH talks to her, tell him not to mention it in a "Why do you go after people way" but more like "X, do you feel like you've been more angry, or upset recently? I'm worried for you"
 

Ara Ann

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Thanks Thing2.

Nope, she hasn't attacked us, just that one time with me, a few years ago and things have mostly smoothed over since then, we say hi coming and going, etc., but that's the extent of our relationship.

And nope again, our sub has no fences, so yeah, can't block them out that way either.

From what I understand from last time, from the people who were her direct targets, the police can not stop her ranting, especially if she's on her own property. And believe me, the obscenities and crude comments flow. Her new target does not have a PPO, so this is going to continue unabated I am afraid. The people who did get the PPO said she could not speak to them anymore, but that took MONTHS to obtain and they had to gather proof, they video taped her from their window, etc. X even put stuff in their mailbox, but was not charged for that.

And yes, the others have yelled back, which only escalates the situation. The police advised us all to ignore them and go back inside if they act up...which is NOT fair for all of us to become prisoners all summer. We have a beautiful neighborhood and I would like to walk and be outside and enjoy our summer, not be afraid to even have the windows open!



And yes, I also suspect meth abuse. :roll: Fits that better than cocaine, IMO, just based on income. I also know she drinks a shot of whiskey at least once a day, to calm her nerves...so she's used to turning to substances for 'help'.
 

Ara Ann

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dragonfly411|1306242968|2929029 said:
Ara- Ann - Has anyone tried speaking with her husband? It seems like he was reasonable at first. I would voice concerns for her health first and foremost. If your DH talks to her, tell him not to mention it in a "Why do you go after people way" but more like "X, do you feel like you've been more angry, or upset recently? I'm worried for you"
Oh, my DH would never be inflammatory with her, or anyone...the others all have been and have made it worse...which is why he thinks he could approach her to help. But I had mentioned, her husband is right in there with her, saying some horrible stuff that I can't even repeat (about how all the guys are hot for his wife, that is the clean version)...so yeah, he's not stable either. :rolleyes:
 

Guilty Pleasure

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Messages
1,114
If you suspect drug abuse, then call CPS. It sounds like the husband and wife are both doing drugs. Your husband should not talk to this woman because it can truly do no good and will only serve to drag you into her drama. Protect your own family.
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
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GP is right, Ara Ann. Your DH talking to her will only escalate her aggression -- and aim it at your family. She is not in a state to hear what he says. Nor to evaluate her own behavior. Nor to change it without help. Definitely sounds like drugs -- meth, maybe combined w/speed for her weight loss.

Also -- I would video every rant. Everyone she harasses should be doing so. You'll be VERY glad to have that evidence down the line, because something is bound to blow in this situation. Ideal would be if someone neighboring their house could put in video like they have in parking lots to catch other activity at their home.

For those kids, if it were here, I'd definitely call Child Services. Even if they're as passive as the police seem to be, you will feel better having tried.

See a lawyer. Whatever the cops say, there has to be some way to skin this cat -- at least if you talk to an atty you'll know for sure one way or another. Maybe all who feel haranged by her could pitch in for the fee.

Would it do any good to have a conversation w/the HOA pres?

Good luck -- please keep us informed as to what happens. Horrid situation! I'm so sorry you have to go through it.

--- Laurie
 

VapidLapid

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Messages
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Send her chocolates, lots of chocolates. Then when she fattens up a bit send DH in to talk to her. with a witness, perhaps an undercover shrink.
 

Ara Ann

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
1,204
JewelFreak|1306245444|2929058 said:
GP is right, Ara Ann. Your DH talking to her will only escalate her aggression -- and aim it at your family. She is not in a state to hear what he says. Nor to evaluate her own behavior. Nor to change it without help. Definitely sounds like drugs -- meth, maybe combined w/speed for her weight loss.

Also -- I would video every rant. Everyone she harasses should be doing so. You'll be VERY glad to have that evidence down the line, because something is bound to blow in this situation. Ideal would be if someone neighboring their house could put in video like they have in parking lots to catch other activity at their home.

For those kids, if it were here, I'd definitely call Child Services. Even if they're as passive as the police seem to be, you will feel better having tried.

See a lawyer. Whatever the cops say, there has to be some way to skin this cat -- at least if you talk to an atty you'll know for sure one way or another. Maybe all who feel haranged by her could pitch in for the fee.

Would it do any good to have a conversation w/the HOA pres?

Good luck -- please keep us informed as to what happens. Horrid situation! I'm so sorry you have to go through it.

--- Laurie
Very good thoughts and replies everyone...thank you. It helps to be able to vent a little, as I have my own anxiety issues sometimes so this just adds to my over all stress level.

I may try to contact my neighbor (who got the PPO) and see if she knows if CPS was contacted last time. I've lost touch with her over the last few years and she just went through a divorce.

Also, the main previous target of X WAS the Assoc. President and is also the one who just divorced...he's moved out, so I have no idea who our new president is at this time...but yeah, nothing they can do.

This is just bringing back a lot of very distressing memories...I had been so hopeful that we were past that...to see it happening all over again, with a new target, is just very upsetting. We do have other good neighbors and like I said, a beautiful country subdivision, with lots of nice features, etc., but I am so hesitant to even go get the mail these days.
 

Ara Ann

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
1,204
VapidLapid|1306246735|2929073 said:
Send her chocolates, lots of chocolates. Then when she fattens up a bit send DH in to talk to her. with a witness, perhaps an undercover shrink.

This is the best advice yet... :)) Except I'd probably have to hold her down and shove said chocolates into her mouth. :| Might be worth a try! :mrgreen:
 

Ara Ann

Brilliant_Rock
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Also, wanted to add...

A lawyer was used previously when things were SO bad before...a group of about 5 neighbors went in together and hired one, but again, not much could be done except for getting a PPO. They had to go to court and testify to get that... It kept X quiet for about 2 months, but then it continued again...not at the same level as before, but bad enough to still be very uncomfortable.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,782
Guilty Pleasure|1306244362|2929045 said:
If you suspect drug abuse, then call CPS. It sounds like the husband and wife are both doing drugs. Your husband should not talk to this woman because it can truly do no good and will only serve to drag you into her drama. Protect your own family.
I agree 100% with this. The real victims here are the children who are dependent on her.
 

somethingshiny

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6,746
Agree about CPS. Your DH should stay far far away from the crazy! CPS will protect the children and begin investigation if they see signs of substance abuse.

Sounds like Ritalin to me.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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8,087
In this economy, I'm guessing moving isn't an option?

I've had crazy neighbors, though none on quite this level, and in my experience, there's nothing you can do. I would NOT advise talking to this woman or her husband: crazy has a magical ability to twist the sanest of exchanges into yet more crazy. It's like the Midas Touch, sort of.

You've received a lot of good advice about documentation, etc., but in addition ... what I WOULD do is approach the association and reconsider the whole "no fences" thing. If I lived in your neighborhood, I would have a pretty 5-foot tall fence up so fast the crazy neighbors head would spin ... and I have the sneaking suspicion most of your neighbors would agree. Wonder what the legality of JUST fencing in the bits that border their property would be?
 

Ara Ann

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Messages
1,204
Circe|1306249282|2929093 said:
In this economy, I'm guessing moving isn't an option?

I've had crazy neighbors, though none on quite this level, and in my experience, there's nothing you can do. I would NOT advise talking to this woman or her husband: crazy has a magical ability to twist the sanest of exchanges into yet more crazy. It's like the Midas Touch, sort of.

You've received a lot of good advice about documentation, etc., but in addition ... what I WOULD do is approach the association and reconsider the whole "no fences" thing. If I lived in your neighborhood, I would have a pretty 5-foot tall fence up so fast the crazy neighbors head would spin ... and I have the sneaking suspicion most of your neighbors would agree. Wonder what the legality of JUST fencing in the bits that border their property would be?

I tend to agree with not being able to reason with her...I hope DH will see that too...ugh. :???:

And nope, we can't move...we'd lose way too much if we could even sell our house. They actually have tried to sell their house several times, to no avail.


And no fence would even help...their driveway is right next to the side of our house, there isn't enough space in the front to put up a fence...and all the action happens in the front, sometimes in their driveway...where my dining room is. SO not pleasant.


I agree about checking with CPS, but is every call 100% confidential? They can't find out who has called, correct? I also know if CPS comes out, all hell is going to break loose...they will really go wacko on everyone. Not that I would let that stop me from calling them, but if CPS can't find anything and they do get more violent as a result, their kids will be in an even worse situation, with them being more aggressive. It's not just backlash against the neighbors I am concerned about, the kids will suffer more too, if they aren't removed from the house...and if they weren't the last time, when things were SO bad, I don't think it's going to happen now either. :nono:
 

VapidLapid

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I think that if CPS comes out you would WANT all hell to break lose. The bigger the show they put on for them the better.
 

Italiahaircolor

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I would just ignore her and carry on with your life. Really. As tempting as it may be to 'get to the bottom of this thing once and for all'...it's not going to work. YOU CANNOT REASON WITH CRAZY.

First of all, it does sound like she in on some drug--and I'm guessing it's probably not legal.

Secondly, Whether she's unhappy or not, who really knows--who really cares? It's not your problem. You can choose to ignore her or just wave when you see her, and so what if she starts yelling and carrying on. I think by trying to talk it out, you'd only end up on her hit list, which I assume would lead to more yelling.

Just worry about you, stay clear of her as much as you can, and keep your kids away from the madness...outside of that, let her be crazy because it won't effect you directly.
 

Ara Ann

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VapidLapid|1306250265|2929109 said:
I think that if CPS comes out you would WANT all hell to break lose. The bigger the show they put on for them the better.

No, I mean after the fact. They are VERY good at kissing up to the cops and playing the victim...they really should be professionals. They'd never act that way in front of the authorities...but we'd pay afterward.
 

iota15

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
1,278
Goodness! Do not approach her. You'll only be dragging your family into the choas. No good can come from reasoning with her or her husband. Plus, neither of you have built a foundation upon which you can cause any real change in them anyway. If a drug addict's own mother can't cause someone to change, what makes you think you can. This applies to people who may or may not have a psychosis too.

Only have third parties approach her - CPS, other neighbours, a community priest, etc. They do not live literally next to her. Your family should never get involved. As you stated earlier, you'll likely have difficulty selling your home and you seem to love the area. If things go ballistic against you and your family, you're stuck with it for the long haul.
 

movie zombie

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Messages
11,879
no one should be alone in private with this woman. who knows what she will do? she might actually make a false accusation of rape. any and all conversations if had at all need to be done in public in front of at least one witness not related to either of the talkers.

there is no way that your husband should get involved in this. if the concern is for the children, call CPS. if all shell breaks as a result of the CPS visit, perhaps that's a good thing.

the woman may have a hormonal disorder. and she certainly needs mental health treatment. but i doubt she'd check herself in willingly. however, a public display in front of CPS might earn a stay in a facility for observation.

i don't envy you or your neighbors. my recommendation is to stay the heck out of it...especially your husband. make an anonymous call to CPS if you need to but you're going to need to be specific re the type of abuse you have witnessed. i'm not sure if mom being mentally unstable but not harming the kids physically will be sufficient. but its worth a try.

MoZo
 

TooPatient

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Security cameras on the homes near her is a great idea. They aren't all that expensive and I'm sure CPS or the police will find them helpful at some time.


I know it sounds over the top, but..... is there any way that the HOA could purchase their home so they can move?
It might actually be nice for your community -- like a guest house for out of town visitors that you can all reserve or even as a community activity house (like sewing groups, b-day parties, etc)?
 

Miss Sparkly

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Video or cell phone camera....
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

Mental illness--bipolar? Extremes in behavior can be very telling....

Sharon
 

MichelleCarmen

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somethingshiny|1306249200|2929091 said:
Agree about CPS. Your DH should stay far far away from the crazy! CPS will protect the children and begin investigation if they see signs of substance abuse.

Sounds like Ritalin to me.
She sounds like she's on drugs, for sure, but if it's a prescribed med (and her dr. did prescribe it) like Ritalin, CPS won't be able to do anything about that portion...if she's neglecting her kids, I guess that's another issue. Maybe she's on some other weight loss drug that's wacking her out?

Either way, it sounds like things have spiraled out of control and calling CPS won't make things much worse. I would get a video camera and point it outside my yard/car though, so if she does enter your yard and does something, you have evidence it was her.

And FWIW, I've had SO MANY neighbor issues and can say among them only ONE had been resolved. That was with a new neighbor who moved in last week and decided to block my stairs to my apartment and drink a beer and smoke a cigarette only 7' away from my front door and my deck. I told her to smoke somewhere else (she has her own back deck), and she got up and walked off! Since then I've seen her walk her two dogs around w/out a leash while drinking a beer and I just give up. Only so much can be done!

Sigh!

Good luck.
 

rubybeth

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Ara Ann|1306249777|2929100 said:
I agree about checking with CPS, but is every call 100% confidential? They can't find out who has called, correct? I also know if CPS comes out, all hell is going to break loose...they will really go wacko on everyone. Not that I would let that stop me from calling them, but if CPS can't find anything and they do get more violent as a result, their kids will be in an even worse situation, with them being more aggressive. It's not just backlash against the neighbors I am concerned about, the kids will suffer more too, if they aren't removed from the house...and if they weren't the last time, when things were SO bad, I don't think it's going to happen now either. :nono:
Every call should be 100% confidential, and you could withhold your name until you confirm this. You could just say you've observed erratic/intoxicated behavior and not indicate the circumstance. Teachers among others are mandatory reporters, so it really could be anyone who reports them, though they may still lash out against the neighborhood in general, since that seems to be their MO. I could be wrong, but I think CPS does an initial visit and follow-ups. I'm sure they're used to people 'putting on a show' of good behavior, but looking for evidence of neglect/abuse nonetheless.

Honestly, it sounds like a mental illness/personality disorder, AND it does sound like she is using something, could be illegal, could be legal. My MIL was (IMHO) misdiagnosed with ADHD and given a stimulant which made her act very erratically. Luckily, she's bad about staying on her meds so she's off it now, but she would go on marathon rants to my DH about random stuff, and get upset even more easily than usual. I can't imagine a young child having to deal with that. :blackeye:
 

Ara Ann

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MC|1306257588|2929196 said:
Ara Ann|1306241716|2929022 said:
PPO's were also granted to the other neighbors, etc., BAD situation.
Oh, also what is a PPO?

A Personal Protection Order...it give her rules she has to follow (stay a certain number of feet away, no contact with person, etc.). Who knows, maybe it has expired? How long do they typically last?


I had a long reply but my computer froze (frustrating!)...

But what I said was, basically, there are hours and hours of footage of them on film. Our neighbors had their cameras set up all day every day and X knew it and would perform for them... She would even wave at the camcorder and went so far as to dress up in a costume to boot. They also got their own camera out and started recording people driving up and down the street...and even went to the neighbor's front door with their camcorder. All this craziness, led to nada. Even with all this ON TAPE, the courts wanted them to try a mediation, before the PPO would be granted! :nono:

With CPS, like I said, if they didn't act on this proof before, I don't think it's going to change this time...but I am going to look into it.



And since the legal avenues had been dead ends before, this is the main reason my DH wanted to speak with them now. He wanted to talk to both X and her husband together, to reach out an olive branch and be a sounding board so to speak. His intentions are commendable, but again as we all have stated, you can't reason with crazy or drug influenced.

We do have a close friend who is a drug/re-hab counselor and I am going to insist DH speak to him before he tries to approach them. Maybe he can talk him out of it, or suggest another way.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Not sure how long a PPO lasts. Maybe call the courthouse or go down there and find out?

You need to hide your camera better! We have one set up on our building and our kids started DANCING in front of it. lol Ugh! It has to be very concealed. They say that people act entirely different when on camera, so unless you can hide it, then there is no point in having one.

Oooh, and the mediation. We've tried that with multiple situations and it's a waste of time, IMO. The one for my county is run by volunteers and they don't know anything about law except for basics and then they refered me to the attorney general who said I have to contact a lawyer. Can you do that? I guess that's your next step?

Not sure about CPS, but do know a friend who works in social services and their goal, she says is to keep families together. If they DO make an unannounced visit and the house looks clean, etc., and children are fed, it seems like it takes MORE for them to do anything. It's like when you watch "Hoarders" on TV...some of those houses should be condemed and it takes THAT much before kids are removed!
 
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