Mental Health Support
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Please help

I've been bullied by neighbours since my husband died 15 years ago. I live in a street where a lot of neighbours seem to think they and their street are 'special' and I don't belong in it. After my husband's death, a neighbour one side would lean over the garden fence and cut my plants and shrubs right back. I said nothing as I didn't know how to deal with it. He would also sometimes shout abuse over the fence. When I was at work, his wife would look through my windows and open my side gate and then report to others on the tidiness of my home and garden (I had three teenage children at the time of my husband's death, plus I worked from 9 to 5.30 and sometimes the kitchen was still messy when I left for work and yes, the garden probably was neglected as my husband used to do the gardening and I didn't have the energy to be bothered with it for a while). The woman also once asked a workman to let her in my home to nose about while I was at work. He refused and told me about it. This couple's sewage pipe is on my property. They had mentioned a few times that they knew it was blocked, yet let it get so bad that I had to pay to get it unblocked for them. The Dynarod guy who flushed it through told me that I shouldn't be paying for getting it cleared as it was my neighbour's responsibility. At the time, a decorator was doing some work for me and he told me that the neighbour was outside grinning and saying he was pleased that I had paid to have his pipe cleared (it cost around £100). I got angry and went outside and asked him why he thought I should pay for his problems and he was all cocky saying it was on my property so I should maintain it for him. I told him he was a miserable git and went indoors. Next thing I know, I am sent to Coventry by all my neighbours! I believe this pair told everyone my house was messy (thus letting down their street) and that I was aggressive - they may have even made up other stuff, as I wouldn't have put anything past them. It was horrible being shunned and people I had considered to be friendly with, just turned their backs on me. I realised then, just how horrible and cruel people can be. Some of them positively embraced the silent bullying campaign and I saw them all in a new light and from that time on, despite them eventually acknowledging me again, I never trusted them and tried to keep my distance. Who wants to be friendly with people capable of such cruel behaviour. Over the years, more silent bullying would spontaneously happen - I have no idea why and I kind of got used to it, rationalising that I didn't want anything to do with these capricious people anyhow. But over the past few years, they haven't confined their nasty, spiteful silent bullying to just my street. Some neighbours belong to groups or clubs or go to church and they have spread their venom far and wide - even to the common where I walk my dog. I recently discovered that they still spread the malicious lie all around town that my home is dirty (its not - they've never been in it and if the woman next door still looks through my windows when I'm out, then she will have seen that its clean) but now they are also saying I am horrible to my son who lives with me (which is totally untrue. I don't know what sick mind thinks these things up, but the others who unquestioningly believe it and spread it about are just as bad) and this nonsense has now evolved into me hurting my dog! After my previous two dogs passed away, I now have a rescue dog. He had been badly treated and is wary of people he is not used to and he doesn't like it if people stick their hands out to stroke him; you have to let him come to you. He sometimes doesn't want to go out for a walk or he wants both me and my son to go. I've realised the reason for this (he's afraid of boisterous dogs and if one has approached him the previous day, then he's reluctant to go again the next day). I made the mistake of mentioning that he sometimes doesn't want to go for a walk to a busybody over the road (she's friends with the woman next door who started off the bullying after my husband died. She only ever acknowledges me when she wants to find out something, e.g. who visited me or why I'm looking after my brother's dogs) so now they have spread the malicious lie that I'm hurting my dog and this is why he sometimes doesn't want to come for a walk. I've had other walkers shunning me and others following me about on the common (I imagine so they can see if I am hurting him). They can only be doing this in order to have him taken away from me. It wouldn't surprise me if they just make up something so he's taken off me. Its making me so depressed, paranoid and anxious. They don't seem to consider that I have any feelings. All this because some horrible couple decided to bully me after my husband died. There's lots more I could write giving examples of their nosiness and lies, some of it is unbelievable (even watching when I turn my condensing boiler on... and getting some Jehovah's Witnesses to worm their way into my home on the pretext of being cold so they could check my home and dog out and report back to the busybody opposite...). I'd like to move, but I don't have the strength to. I'm sure they would be over the moon to hear how run down I am.

10 Replies
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I've just read this and I'm so sorry for what you've been going through. If it's any consolation there are four people in my house; the garden is rarely tidy and the breakfast dishes are often left unwashed until tea time. What are you describing certainly does sound like bullying, although not having the energy to move house must be incredibly hard for you. Do you think it really is everyone in the street? I wonder if there are other people who are perhaps feeling like you? Perhaps other victims of these horrid people. You can always contact the police or your local CAB if there are specific incidents you want dealing with, but this sounds more like generalised behaviour.

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Thank you for responding. In the past, they sent another neighbour to Coventry for putting in a planning application they didn't agree with. They are well connected and managed to get a story about it in the local paper, complete with a photo of them looking disgruntled. They had meetings about it and knocked on everyone's door with a petition. Me and my husband had nothing to do with their campaign; I've always hated bullies and people who think they are somehow superior or special. The woman and her young family ended up moving away. They obviously believe that shunning people is the way to deal with people that they take a disliking to, despite it being something that belongs in the playground. These are well to do people; councillors, ex-bank managers, people who have owned their own companies, and you would therefore imagine them to be respectable and intelligent and above such nasty, childish behaviour. I may well speak to CAB as it's making me reluctant to leave the house and I don't know how much more I can take.

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Put up a camera so if they trespass you have evidence, shut your curtains or blinds so nobody can see in.

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Thanks for your suggestion. I do sometimes leave my blinds closed and I do have a camera, partly due to the busybody over the road asking for the bulb to be changed on the lamppost directly outside my house about 18 months ago. She said it flickered when it came on or went off (although I hadn't noticed it doing this). A council worker removed it but didn't replace it and left us in pitch darkness. The council claimed to know nothing about it when I rang them (at the time, I had no idea she had asked for it to be changed). Not knowing when or if a bulb would ever be put back in, I had to install two lights outside, as well as having a camera in my bedroom window, as my son has a van and thieves often break into them, believing they contain tools. He had over £1000 worth of power tools stolen once. The neighbours know the camera is there (but aren't happy about it), so hopefully this will continue acting as a deterrent (although as the bullying appears to now be a 'free for all' I don't think the truth matters at all and I doubt she even bothers looking in my windows any more - she just simply makes things up and everyone goes along with it). I just wish I had put a camera looking out into the back garden too, as my neighbour had someone doing work in her garden and this workman thought it perfectly okay to remove a fence panel and come into my garden, without asking, and nail some ugly bits of wood to my side of their fence! Because I am now seen as a joke and someone to make fun of or make up stories about, they just do what they want. The neighbour at the back, power washed his side of my fence and then painted it without consulting me, and both he and the one next door have erected some wooden structures that might look nice their side, but are an eyesore my side as they are taller than the fence. Neither thought to tell me they intended doing this. Sorry to prattle on....

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Hi Bakedbogey, and welcome to this caring forum. I am sorry to hear you are experiencing this. Other members have given some helpful advice. As Suzie40 has mentioned, you may like to contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau citizensadvice.org.uk for help and advice regarding this. Please stay on the forum for support and remember that you are not alone. Thank you and best wishes

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Thank you for your welcome. I shall contact CAB and hopefully they can help. Various contacts of the bullying neighbours aren't even hiding the fact that they are watching my every move when I'm out with my dog and surely this is stalking or harrassment. If it isn't, then it should be. They seem to think it's funny and just smirk if I stop and look at them and are obviously enjoying getting to me.

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I'm sorry to hear your story. Do you have and family or a friend that could stay over or help? You need someone on your side I feel. bullies bully when your vulnerable alone and when they get away with it. You do need the cameras / citizens Advice but also someone to support you talk to. I'm glad you got on here and raised the issue. There are horrible people in the world but good ones too. Your a good person try find like minded people even someone to go for coffee now and then to talk. Try to document all those bullying incidents you have gone though for evidence and date them were on your side good people. Stay strong sending love

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Thank you for your reply. I have supportive family but they don't live near me - apart from my children and they can't understand why I let these people get to me. They say, "Who cares what they say or think?". I think it's the unfairness of the situation that gets to me more than anything. I've done absolutely nothing wrong. My wider family keep telling me to move away from here, which I would love to do and hopefully I will do so at some point. If I do ever find the strength to put my home on the market, I know full well that the bullies will send their friends round to view so they can nose around my home and find fault, but I guess I'll just have to put up with it. I have no friends here as I have lost all trust in people. Even someone I worked with for 10 years and considered a friend joins in with them, telling them private stuff about me. I approached someone else who I'd been friendly with, and on a one to one basis they seem supportive, but then repeat everything I say... I can't win and feel like I am half the person I used to be. I used to work for Victim Support and also a charity that helped lonely or depressive people. I helped children reading at two local schools. But now I daren't go out and only venture out because my dog needs his exercise. After having at least three people watching me along various routes to the common today and not even trying to hide what they were doing (one of them was a man who kept jerking his dog on it's lead, shouting at it and giving it a bit of a kick to make it sit down - and he has the cheek to check on how I treat my dog...!!), I think I'm going to get my son to take our dog out in future. It probably doesn't sound like much of a problem having people keep watching you or following you, but it's really horrible. I shall document what they are doing, as you suggest, but I don't know these dog walkers' names or addresses unfortunately. Perhaps only the instigator's details are needed though and I can supply those.

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Hey just read your post and oh my goodness.. shocking playground behaviour by grown adults!!!

Firstly sorry to hear about your husbands death xx

Secondly what you describe is normal sometimes dishes don’t get washed, gardens sometimes are untidy... its life!

They are probably bored busybodies with no lives !

I went through something similar but with my in laws ( we had to live with them for the first year of our marriage) they made me feel like I’m the worst person on earth ... I kept on smiling and living my best life (they hated that) and now they’re completely cut off from our lives they’re sat at home twiddling thumbs not knowing what to do with themselves..crying and begging us to go over 🙄

Best thing to do is get advice like someone said earlier ..

Theres this device called ‘Ring’ in the uk you can keep an eye on your property from your phone .. you can hear and speak through it too ! Give them a GOOD SHOUTTTTT through that and set the alarm off .. that’d scare them off 😀

Get blinds or curtains to shut while you are all out

Maybe big gates etc locked so they can’t go in

That’s awful being terrorised in your own home who do they think they are!!!

I pray this gets better for you soon xx

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Thank you for your comments and support. I'm amazed at how much this behaviour goes on. That must have been awful living with your in-laws with them treating you badly and no escape. At least they are out of your life now. Yes, I agree it is people who are retired and have too much time on their hands that are doing it. I just don't understand how people join in with it and obviously really enjoy making someone miserable. I would never dream of organising a bullying campaign against someone, nor ever join in one. I don't understand the mentality. They are either too stupid to realise the damage it does or, worse, they know exactly the harm it causes and that is why they do it. Horrible people.

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