There are just some people in this world who you simply can't seem to get around. You have to face them square in the face and deal with them because they REFUSE to let you ignore them.
I have a neighbor who has been a little less than amicable to say the least. When I first moved into my house, some 25 years ago now, I tried to make friends with my neighbors. After all, they are the very people who can make your neighborhood life either a really pleasant experience, or an absolute NIGHTMARE. Nothing is worse than having a bad neighbor. It's kind of like having a menacing toothache that never goes away!
Being a very friendly person, it wasn't hard for me to make friends with pretty much everyone around, including this one particular neighbor. I tried talking gardening with her because that is what her passion was. I even took her suggestions on what to plant in my garden and how to take care of it. That seemed to "cement" our pleasant acquaintanceship.
Then, my daughter was born and that was the beginning of the end of a rather cordial relationship. This woman hated children! She detested children and she made no bones about letting me know that much.
As the years went on and my daughter grew enough to be able to play in the backyard, this woman took great pains to make it near impossible for my daughter to play out in her own backyard, even by herself. "Children should be inside, helping with the housework, not outside playing!" this miserable woman would yell over the fence at both me and my poor daughter who was absolutely TERRIFIED to be playing where this woman could see her at this point.
It was only THEN that I found out from other long time neighborhood residents that this woman had been a menace for decades in the area with ALL children. One in fact, had lived there her entire life, living in the home directly below mine from the time she was born. Now a grandmother herself, she recanted stories of how my whacky neighbor used to take her hose and literally soak all of the children playing in her backyard with her and yelled at them to go inside where she "didn't have to look at them!"
At that point, I had figured that perhaps, for this woman to seemingly hate children that much, there must have been something horridly traumatic happen in her life to have caused such distain for children. Perhaps, she had lost a child, or been unable to have one? So, I tucked my pride into my sleeve and attempted to broach the subject with her in extremely friendly terms the next time she yelled over the fence at my daughter.
There was no trauma behind this behaviour that I could find. The woman hated children. Plain and simple! And, trust me when I say, I wanted this woman to have a reason so that at least, I could understand in some way, her horrid hatred for children. There was none. She simply couldn't stand the sound of children playing or laughing, or even the sight of them. To her, the world should only be occupied by adults and children should be kept behind closed doors until the age of 25.
As the years have gone by, this woman has aged. She is now in her early 80's and trust me when I say that her demeanor and beliefs have only gotten worse. While my daughter is now in her 20's (the legal age for her to come out of hiding, according to this woman's beliefs), the problems have not ended. As a matter of fact, they've become even more intense as senility has created even more weird thoughts and behaviours.
I have been sprayed with a hose through my kitchen window while doing dishes, had my almost dry clothes (hanging in my backyard) soaked with a hose every time I put them out (I now only use a dryer no matter how hot is out), had guests yelled at for being there and insulted, had police called on me for allegedly "sinking her backyard in the middle of the night with pressure hoses) and so many other absurd things that I can't even recant them all.
Last week, after a rather harrowing week with work and friends and family members in hospital, I tried to get a few moments to myself to relax a bit. As I went to sit and read for a bit, there stood two police officers at my door, asking me if I had poured chemicals on her lawn. That was the last straw. Both officers were smirking, knowing full well that this woman is not in her right mind, but had to check for their report. I'm sure that I may have come across as somewhat insane myself when I listed just some of the other complaints that this woman had called police over but, thankfully, they understood when I told them that although I'd like to be sympathetic to this woman's plight, I'd had over 25 years of it and can't be "understanding" anymore. Unfortunately, she's just sane enough that they cannot do a thing about it.
While I'd love to find some excuse or another with which to dismiss her behaviour, I've completely run out of them. Yes, she's older and yes, she's senile and mentally unstable. I've tried to simply "ignore" her by staying clear of her but, she's not letting me. She's finding ways to engage in wars of her own making.
It's not that I'm heartless. I've had 25 years of this. It's not new, just getting more complicated now with these senile delusions that she's now creating. My heart breaks really for her. I feel sorry for any person who is that unhappy or that disturbed, but it's come time now to do something about it. I just don't know what yet.
In the meantime, it's challenging to hang onto my own sanity! Perhaps, it'll be my luck to end up in adjoining rooms with her in the psychiatric ward!
Hope your neighbors are better than this one of mine!