Monday, August 22, 2011

I have only two cheeks

The story of Rocky's breakdown started with him not sleeping. He then was bailing out of his window to walk up and down the street to make himself tired. Eventually, after a week of this and sleeping about two hours a night, he was so exhausted that, when he came up to the house to climb in his bedroom window, he got our house confused with the neighbors' house. Yes, the handgun people. So, then, since he thought his contraption to get back in the window was missing, he went to get the ladder next to the garage and propped it against the neighbor's house. Since the ladder was closer to the second floor, he managed to maneuver to their upper level, which happened to be their fourteen year old daughter's bedroom window. He reportedly went in, but he went right back out again.

Thinking about this objectively, I think that, if he really did get in, he realized he was in the wrong place and went back out right away. However, the woman next door, who has made it perfectly clear in person, via phone call, and by letter complaints that she doesn't want us there, and since we aren't complying with her wish that we would move, would give me parenting and life directives, has gone off the deep end. I do understand her fears--after all, her husband works every third night, and she is alone in the house with her kids. However, what I don't understand is her continuing hatred.

This woman called me on Thursday and told me there were some things she needed to feel safe. She obviously had gotten my cell phone number from the police report, and I was on the road. When I told her Rocky was scheduled to come home Friday, she about flipped. Trying to take the high road, I asked her what I could do to help her feel safe. I offered to move him to the basement, with one access, and put an alarm on the door. That wasn't enough, I guess, as she called the principal, had her daughter's schedule changed so there was no chance of passing Rocky in the halls, requested that Rocky be let out of class at a time to ensure this won't happen, have Rocky sit at a specific place at the lunch table, and wants a different bus to pick up her daughter. I offered to have Rocky sit up front with his sister, to get off first, and to have Kiki walk the kids home. So now Rocky is ostracized.

I tried to explain to her that his reaction was caused by his grief, and Neighbor, who studied social work in college and who is apparently an expert on mental health issues (in others, as she cannot recognize her own neuroses), said, "This is beyone normal grief." Some day, I would like to check in with her to determine what exactly "normal grief" is. She also refused to acknowledge that Rocky was confused about the houses by lack of sleep, saying, "That's kind of a far stretch." I tell you what, Lady, try sleeping two hours a night, for a week and tell me how you function.

The capper was that I got a call from the psychiatric hospital where Rocky was staying. Neighbor called there to talk to the staff about some concerns she had about him coming home. The therapist said, "She is overstepping some boundaries." Of course, they refused to talk with her. The scary part? Neighbor works in a medical office and should be able to understand privacy laws.

So, after five years, I am done with her. I think she'd only be happy if we'd move away, burn the house down, and cover the property with pesticide so nothing will ever flourish here again. I do understand that this death has most likely brought up issues from her past, and Rocky's alleged invasion has made her aware of how vulnerable she (and the rest of us) just might be. But I am taking care of me now. If there are concerns, she can have her husband bring them over. I have tried to work with her, I have constantly apologized, and I have offered to make restitution for real and imagined offenses. However, she operates under the "no thanks, I am going to be mad" approach to us living here. She professes to be a Christian, but I see absolutely nothing in her behavior which resembles the Jesus Christ I know.

I have only two cheeks, and since she has so little respect, understanding, and regard for anyone other than herself, I have decided she is toxic, and frankly, I am tired of letting her poison my life.

So, now, she doesn't exist. I will talk with her husband, who is trying to be kind and work with us. I will be pleasant to her children. But she can stay over there and fester in her own venom. Shoot, she can put up razor wire and searchlights, for all I care to try to keep us out. She'll have to let me know how that works out for her, but she'll have to do it by mail, as I don't want any more interaction with her.


maeve said...

Oh, you are so smart! There is nothing you can say to her and nothing you can do that will make her stop. She might be educated as a social worker or something but she is not in touch with her feelings and has no idea about boundaries. Razor wire and an electric fence won't help her because she's not rational. You know my (and Wendy's) ideas about the motivation and I still think we're right.

My Miss K didn't talk to anyone for about six months after her Bop died. Every kid deals with grief in a different way.

Anita said...

Pray that they move.