My Crazy-Face Neighbor

I moved last week. I’ve enjoyed living in my previous home for the majority of my past three years, but then things went sour when a psycho moved into the other half of my duplex. By the end, she legitimately had me fearing for my safety, so it was time to go.

I knew there was going to be a problem from the start. She knocked on my door the first day to complain that her electricity had gone out like I was her super or something. I introduced myself, but she refused to shake my hand and glared at me rather than telling me her name back. But I was still kind enough to try to play with her fuse box; I’m not an electrician so I couldn’t figure it out, but she could have at least thanked me for my effort. “Not friendly,” I thought, which was a shame, because I was good friends with the old man who lived there for the previous several years.

She ended up being all sorts of loud. She had two kids, an eight year old and a baby. She screamed at the 8-year-old incessantly. Honestly, it was her primary way of communicating with him. Through the walls, I could easily hear her letting out a string of expletives at him on a daily basis. Granted, I couldn’t see what the kid was doing, but I rarely heard him, so I had no idea what was pissing her off so much.

And the baby was crying all of the time. Now, I know it’s a baby and that babies cry a lot, but its mama didn’t help the situation any by ignoring it. For example, a baby cries when it needs a change or is hungry, but my neighbor didn’t care because she was always otherwise occupied on the phone.

For real, the majority of her day was spent yacking (and generally yelling) on the phone; her conversations were all audible to me, too. They fit into two categories: her in a verbal fight with someone, or her complaining endlessly about how someone had wronged her. I didn’t understand how someone who never left her house could have that much drama going on, but then I realized it must be because she actually loves the drama. She was so bored with her life, she was inventing fights to get into.

And so it was only a matter of time before she started drama with my roommate and me – pretty much the only adults she had human contact with on a regular basis. Her first complaint was that we slammed the door all the time. This wasn’t even true, mind you. We had an iron door that made noise even when you shut it gently. I pointed out that she slammed the door on purpose all the time, but she said she didn’t care. So why was she pointing this out, then?

The problem, she said, was that her baby slept in a crib next to the door. She had a lot of space in her home to put that crib, but she put it right next to the communal doorway so it would be as far away from her own bedroom as possible so she could sleep undisturbed. (Again, what a good mother!) We were foiling her plan by making noise going in and out of our door at ungodly hours (as late as 10 or 11pm!) and waking up her baby and thus her, too.

More than me, she shouted at my roommate. She didn’t like that my roommate invited friends to our home. All of her friends were nice, respectful people, by the way, but my neighbor resents other people having fun and said that she had to stop bringing other people around or she’d complain. She then emphasized that we wouldn’t want for her to bring her “friends” around and then insinuated

It’s no surprise that that roommate moved out quickly after that, and I don’t blame her. So I got a new roommate. She was super nice, super quiet, and super respectful, and that’s not even an exaggeration. But my neighbor started screaming at her almost immediately. Her first gripe was that my roommate was taking her parking space. Here are two very important facts that you need to know about this dispute: 1) Our parking was on a public street with no restrictions, so anyone can park wherever they want whenever they want – there are no “spots”. 2) My roommate did not even own a car, so whoever was parking in my neighbor’s non-existent space was not my roommate. But she got called a bitch for it anyway!

Soon after, the neighbor lied to my landlord about how loud we were, which was laughable since she was the one yelling (be it to her child, whoever was on the phone, and us) all the time, and that we had a third person living in our house, which was also false. We barely had two people living at my house since my roommate stayed at her boyfriend’s place most of the time, which made it even stranger that she unjustifiably hated my roommate so much. My landlady threatened me with eviction without even speaking to me about any of this first, and so I rattled off a lot of reasons why these complaints were preposterous. My landlady’s suggestion was to avoid her entirely by only using my side door. (So I was supposed to avoid my own front door to appease a crazy neighbor? Great advice.) That may help her, but I still heard her screaming every day.

Then one day she confronted me. She wanted to have a “discussion” but that meant her yelling at me and cutting me off every time I tried to say anything in response. She declared that I didn’t respect her because she’s a woman, which was funny because I thought she was the one who had a problem with women since she went after both of my female roommates more than me. She also accused me of “taking advantage of her kindness,” at which point I laughed aloud. For that to happen, she would have to show even a smidgen of kindness at some point, right? It just didn’t make sense.

But my neighbor’s biggest complaint of all was that WE were rude because we weren’t friendly with her. I couldn’t believe such a rude person was upset with us. If your first interactions with us are mean and you continually yell at us, how can you expect us to smile and wave when we see you? As I tried to point this out, she admitted that she’s a “bitch”, but “that’s just who I am, so oh well, get used to it.” (Similarly, as for yelling at her kid, she said “that’s just how I parent, so oh well, that’s how he’s going to be raised.) As far as I’m concerned, this woman is nuts, and I was afraid of her, and she was clearly missing some screws if she was accusing us of being unfriendly.

Things took a funnier turn the next week when I heard her outside my door late at night swearing up a storm and threatening to have us beat up. This made me afraid, but I decided to open my door and ask her if she wanted to talk about it calmly. She then retreated to and slammed her own door. She was upset about a noise she was hearing that she was sure we were making just to piss her off. It was the sound of rushing water, to be specific. A plumber was soon able to confirm that we were not the culprit of the noise; instead the pipes under the house had burst and were leaking, thus the rushing water noise.

All of this time, I remained calm around her. I didn’t call her names (to her face anyway) even though she had no qualms about calling me a “fucking asshole” or whatever, but I decided I would not stoop to her level. All the same, she made me mad. Furious even. I didn’t want her to win, but she was making me an angry person like her, and I didn’t like that. So when my roommate, after just a few months, decided she wanted to move out in part because she was tired of being threatened and screamed out (I wonder why?) I realized it was time for me to go, too. Things were not going to get better with a new roommate, and they were getting increasingly worse for me. I realized none of this was normal and that I deserved to live somewhere without being afraid of my next-door neighbor.

In my last week of living at my old home, there was a sudden windstorm. She had left a giant umbrella attached to a table, and when the wind whipped at the umbrella, it caused the whole table to topple over and break. Unfortunately, it occurred during one of the rare moments my neighbor wasn’t home, and when she came home she immediately screamed about how she knew I did it and was banging on my door repeatedly and saying that I better “watch out” because she was “going to get” me. I had already put in notice, but I wanted to get out of there ASAP. This woman was nuts and escalating the threats to something more specific. “Better watch your stuff, it’d be a shame if it broke, too.” I began parking my car a few blocks away because I thought she might slash the tires.

Honestly, I didn’t touch her table. I don’t feel about it happening as it couldn’t have happened to a “nicer” person, but I honestly wish it hadn’t happened because it would have made me moving out way nicer. The only reason she thinks I was responsible was because a) she’s nuts and b) unprovoked, she called my roommate “a fucking bitch” the night before when she was just entering the house, and she probably figured we retaliated. Even her 8-year-old said, “It was the wind, Kevin didn’t do that!” which didn’t make her happy, obviously. The wind was the act of karma, I tell ya.

Moving out was a nightmare in itself. If you’ve ever moved large appliances and furniture through a tiny doorway, you know it’s not a quiet process. It was certainly loud when she moved in! Even thought it was my last day and I was clearly on my way out, my neighbor still managed to flip a total shit about the “noise” and “disrespect.” It was a nonsensical rant that included her calling me white trash and saying that she was “sick of my fucking ass.” The feeling was mutual, but I didn’t say it. The only time I tried to respond, she just mocked me in a funny voice by repeating exactly what I said, which is totally normal behavior for a 43-year-old woman. “You’re fucking lucky this is your last day!” she screamed before deciding, “You know what? It’s too late, I’m having you beat up, you deserve it!” Then she either called someone to come over and kick my ass. I wouldn’t put it pass her crazy mind to actually arrange for that, truthfully. I was gone with the moving truck before anyone showed up, thankfully.

I’m just so happy to be free of this nightmare. True – she wins, she got me to move out which was her aim from the start, but I might win even more because I don’t have to ever see her again. The landlady thinks she’s fixed the problem now that I’ve moved out, she’s mistaken. Because the odds are nearly 100% that she’s going to go psycho crazy on the next people, too, so good luck with that.

And yeah, I suppose I hate my former neighbor, but more than that, I just pity her. It must suck to be so unhappy with your life that you can think of nothing better to do with your time than to try to make everyone else miserable, too. And I feel really bad for her kid who seems pretty nice and has to face her verbal abuse every single day. I can’t even imagine being raised by a monster of a single parent.

If you stuck with me through all of this, thanks. I needed to – now that I feel safe – get out my story. She has been my life’s major source of agitation the past several months. I was filled with rage and hate because of her, but that’s gone. By sharing this story, I’m putting it behind me. Now I have it on record, and now I can move on. Here’s to no more psychos irrationally threatening me!


Unknown said...

So glad you're out of the toxic duplex.

Melinda said...

Great vent post! It's both amazing and sad that it could also serve as a report to Child Protective Services.