I did today's 10K training run around the Dale Meadows loop . It's not my trail, but Prairie Valley sure is pretty. And the hills are probably better race training, anyway. Sigh.

Thank you so much for your comments and messages and support and prayers and everything. I want to reply to every one but we’ve had (two) dance recitals (plus a rehearsal) and three hours of soccer and a garden to plant and work to be done and I’m ten steps behind on everything but I need to just sit and get it out and I hope that will take the edge off.

We’re under siege.

Redneck is trying to intimidate us. Why? Well there are a number of reasons that have come up, as (friendly) neighbors have approached us. He was a bully in high school, and harmed neighbor kids. His dogs, both his current two, and a prior one, have attacked other people (but nobody reported it). We have been advised by people out here who have known him since he was a kid to never, ever engage. The word from a few of those people is that he is (apparently) a drug dealer and so us calling the police rattled his cage.

His response has been to stalk. Being “unemployed”, he has all day to sit at his window and watch us.

On Thursday night, I took Emily to her dance dress rehearsal, and he was sitting on a rock, staring at our house. On Friday morning, Matthew was working from the kitchen table and then had to run into town to do a few errands. I locked all of the doors and held my breath until he returned. Once he was back, he told me that he hadn’t wanted to scare me before he left, but that Redneck and his brother had been pacing on their deck, watching our house with binoculars. (They can only see a side window, which shows them the side of our fridge. BUT STILL.) When Matthew drove by, they yelled obscenities at him. I don’t even.

I had promised the kids that I would pick them up from school that afternoon. As soon as I hit the bottom of our driveway, he appeared on his deck. He placed his hands on the railing and just stared at me. I stared straight ahead, tapping my hand on the steering wheel to the music. I hung a left, and when I glanced in the rear view mirror, he had moved to the side deck to continue to watch me.

Matthew watched this all from our kitchen window.

I returned home from picking up the kids, and he came back out on the deck to stare at our yard. Matthew was mowing the lawn, and once he got to the front lawn, Redneck and his brother drove their ATV’s to the edge of their (Mom’s) property and just sat there and watched him. A friend down the road called to tell me what she was seeing, that the dude with him was his brother, and filled me in on what she knew about him. She advised us to never be alone with them. Matthew just kept mowing, did not engage, and carried on.

I took photos of it all. Document, document, document.

I also called the neighbor across the street, whose kids are friends with mine; she’d witnessed him on the rock the night before, and she has started documenting, too.

Saturday morning, the kids had soccer. Matthew left with them; I locked all of the doors, and did my thing. He called at 11:50 to say that they’d be on their way soon, and asked if I’d seen anything crazy. “Nope!”

A few minutes later I stood up, and through the office window I saw Redneck, and two others, on ATV’s. They were lined up, smoking a joint, and looking at my house. I sat back down, and called Matthew. He was on his way. I took photos, despite the fact that I was shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t stop shaking. I can’t stop shaking.

(While we don’t talk about it in front of the kids, Graham has noticed Redneck’s behavior and asked me about it. We talked about bullies, and I told him that we’ve talked to the police (That’s like talking to the teachers on recess duty!) and I’ve assured him that it’s all fine. That it is illegal for him to come on our property, that he is just a messed up punk, because I want him to feel safe.)

Matthew called the police station when he got home, and the woman he talked to was amazing. She advised us to do what our pastor did: Write a complete report and include photos and video, so that everything’s on record. We’re working on that and will bring it in soon.

In the meantime, he or his brother watches us every time we come or go. Matthew is angry, and is not at all afraid. He’s doing the smart thing and staying away, and doing things to make us safer. I am a woman, however, and am wired differently. This morning, as the kids and I got into the van to go to church, as soon as I started the ignition, I started shaking. I packed my running gear to train in town (see above photo), and even as I got changed, I started shaking. I spent the bulk of my run feeling anxious or getting nervous tingles. I was scared to run, you guys.

I want to be living my usual It’s going to be okay! mentality, but I can’t. I feel completely stripped, and vulnerable, and nervous, and shaky, and not me. I’ve tried praying about it, and talking through it, and I don’t know what else to do. It has to get better. It has to.

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Comments:

  1. Carla May 27, 2012 9:43 pm edit

    Oh my goodness! I can not imagine….how completely aweful. I’m praying for you.

  2. monstergirlee May 27, 2012 9:51 pm edit

    Oh hon, I am praying for your whole family every day until this is over. Be strong, be safe, take care.

    One thought, since his Mom is the owner of the property – is she aware of his behavior? If he’s a renter, then maybe you can complain about him and… I don’t know. Just a thought.

  3. Ashley S May 27, 2012 10:11 pm edit

    Praying

  4. sherry May 27, 2012 10:13 pm edit

    Putting you all in my thoughts and prayers. And does it make me a person if I throw in a prayer that he rides his damn ATV right off a cliff? (I kid. I think.)

  5. Mrs. Wilson May 27, 2012 10:41 pm edit

    So. Frustrating.

    I hate this. I hate that you (and your family) have to deal with it. I hope it ENDS.

    GET A JOB, LOSER! ONE THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE STALKING!

  6. Amy May 27, 2012 10:41 pm edit

    This scares me to death for you. I’ll be thinking about you and your family. Please be safe!

  7. bethany actually May 27, 2012 10:42 pm edit

    I hope all this documenting, and the detailed report you’re going to fill out, are going to help get this bully OFF YOUR BACKS.

    Still praying!

  8. Bon May 27, 2012 10:44 pm edit

    you named it. he’s a bully, and i am so very very sorry that he is interfering in your lives right now. it’s unfair and it’s wrong and i hope you find resolution and peace soon.

  9. bethany actually May 27, 2012 10:45 pm edit

    Also: of COURSE you don’t feel okay right now. These guys are harassing you and going out of their way to make you feel unsettled and freaked out. The fear and anxiety you’re feeling are the natural, normal response to being stalked. It doesn’t make it any better, but maybe keeping in mind that the way you’re feeling is the way you’re supposed to feel, that those feelings are keeping you cautious and smart and safe. You know? Don’t feel like you’re being weak. You’re NOT. You’re worried about keeping your kids and yourself safe. There’s nothing weak about that, at all.

    1. bethany actually May 27, 2012 10:47 pm edit

      *but maybe KEEP in mind…

      Sorry. Typing quickly. :-)

  10. Marie May 27, 2012 10:50 pm edit

    I just don’t get how law enforcement can’t and hasn’t done anything about this punk/bully. But keep documenting. It seems like he’s trying his best to scare the living crap out of you and it’s unfortunately working. At the same time I’m guessing he knows the law and knows he can get away with intimidating you guys so he hasn’t crossed any legal lines (that’s what the police keep saying I’m assuming?).

    I’m hoping all goes well for you and your family and that law enforcement is able to do something. Keeping my fingers crossed for you and sending good thoughts your way.

  11. Hannah May 28, 2012 2:56 am edit

    I’m praying for you, and I love you.

  12. Danica May 28, 2012 9:09 am edit

    Oh my friend, I am so sorry this is happening. Praying for it all to be over soon.

  13. Eric's Mommy May 28, 2012 9:31 am edit

    I’m thinking about you guys and I hope this ends soon. You shouldn’t have to deal with this crap :(

  14. Kami May 28, 2012 10:16 am edit

    I echo Bethany’s 2nd comment. I don’t know who wouldn’t feel like you are in this situation. It is all so unfair and I hate that when you finally get back to working at home, this has come up. (insert profanity here)

    Praying he gets what is coming and this can all END for you and your family.

    xoxoxoxox

  15. Sizzle May 28, 2012 12:04 pm edit

    A bully drug dealer with time on his hands is a bad combo. Be very careful and keep documenting! I’m so sorry this is happening.

  16. Amanda Brown May 28, 2012 12:27 pm edit

    Want to come and crash at our place for a week? We could hike Giant’s Head and drink wine and eat popcorn in the evenings while Steve and Matt play with the kids in the orchard?

    You are handling the situation so wisely, but that doesn’t make it any less unnerving. Thinking of you!!!

  17. hillary May 28, 2012 1:20 pm edit

    I HATE that this is happening to you guys. I hope that the police take you seriously and DO THEIR JOB to keep you safe. Thinking of you guys. xoxo

  18. ChrisB May 28, 2012 2:06 pm edit

    I know it is always easy for us, who are standing on the sidelines, watching this mess play out from afar, to give sound advice and give suggestions on how to act and react. Your fear is understandable, so are the symptoms of said fear. But PLEASE keep in mind that this is exactly what this dude and his buddies are up to: mental intimidation and holding you hostage with that intimidation. People like this are usually cowards and count on the fact that their stalking has the effect it is having on you. Just try to carry on with your life as much and as normal as you can. Go run in different places, even if you have to drive there. And NEVER engage him in conversation or even look in his direction. EVER!!!
    HUGS!

  19. Ruth May 28, 2012 3:43 pm edit

    Praying for you guys! Isaiah 41:10-13

  20. Tanya May 28, 2012 5:44 pm edit

    God Angella, this is really really awful. Since I wrote on your wall last week we actually had someone break into my spouse’s jeep and in our garage and my husband caught them. He tried to get in his jeep and leave the situation to call the cops and one of the guys tried to drag him out through his window. I wasn’t home at the time and there was no one to help him. We definitely know what it’s like to not feel safe, to always be on edge and always looking over your shoulder. It’s very sad that deadbeats that do this to people like you and I are not put in a cage in a zoo so people can walk by, poke them with sticks and through stuff at them and teach our kids, these are dangerous creatures you dont want to encounter!!! Stay strong, the biggest thing is to stand your ground. Don’t let them run you out of your happy place!

  21. Jessica May 28, 2012 8:09 pm edit

    Still praying, still sending you all the strength I can muster from here… Wish there was more I could do. Hang in there… *hugs*

  22. Elaine May 29, 2012 12:04 am edit

    I’m just so sorry you’re so scared and that he has put you all in such a horrible state. I hate to sound un-Christian but I kinda hope he gets his.

    still praying…

  23. christy May 29, 2012 2:33 am edit

    Ange,
    I’ve been following your story for the past few days. My heart just POUNDS as I read what is going on. I con only IMAGINE how you must be feeling. I think you and Matthew are being very wise about it all and cautious but still…so scary! I pray for a peaceful resolution and that Senior Psychopath decides to chill out and let go of his anger and bitterness so you can all just live in peace. This is obviously beyond his confrontation with you. There is obviously so much deep wounding in his heart and he’s taking it out on your sweet family. What an awful way to deal with his issues. I also hope this all resolves itself soon. We will pray for you. Wish we could do more. We just love you guys.

  24. Sherry May 29, 2012 12:15 pm edit

    I was reading about your recent run-ins with the redneck and I echo the sentiments of the other replies that it isn’t fair and that it is a scary, unsettling situation.

    I was praying for you, for protection, for peace and for favor with law enforcement and the Lord just put on my heart to also pray for your enemies too. He obviously has issues and I just prayed that he could come to know God’s love and that the lord reveal to him that his actions are not appropriate.

    Where there is light, darkness can not exist. I would encourage that when you encounter him the next time (hopefully you don’t and of course in a safe manner) and if you get into a verbal discussion, that right in front of him you just lift your hand to the lord and pray out loud for him. Pray that he can accept Jesus into his heart, that he can know God’s love. He is comfortable with the 4 letter crap and that is what he expects and can tell that he has pushed your every button and likes it, but what if you make him feel uncomfortable and take him out of his comfort zone. Those words will replay over and over in his head and will work on his heart. I know it sounds crazy – but that is what the lord put on my heart so I wanted to share it.

  25. Ninabi May 31, 2012 8:47 am edit

    I am praying for you, too.

    I was wondering if the police could come by every so often so the bully knows the law is keeping an eye on him, too.

    What about getting security cameras for your house? Aren’t there ones you can use to check on things remotely, by internet, for when you all are away?

    This is really awful. I know how much you love your precious family and your house- for a bully to steal your sense of security is frightening.

    You are doing all the right things. I just wish there was a way for this creep to just go away.

  26. Ninabi May 31, 2012 9:32 am edit

    I had another thought.

    The police seem rather nonchalant about your situation. Years ago, my quiet, studious daughter was threatened by a guy in her high school. He’d corner her in a dark hallway and say frightening things no male should ever, ever say to a young woman. Things that involved hints of doing her harm.

    I called the school. Assistant principal said he’d look right into it. So he did and called me back with the startling report that after talking with the young man, all it was was a “slight misunderstanding” between two kids who were, you know, friends who got into a tiff.

    They were not friends. She didn’t know this young man at all. For him to threaten her with rape and bodily harm was not “a tiff”. My daughter was truly terrified of this punk, who had the ability to turn on the charm with the school officials.

    I took a deep breath and said slowly, “Sir, I am making a note of the date and time I spoke with you. And if anything happens to my daughter, I will hold you personally responsible.”

    The assistant principal changed his tune and said he would speak with the kid again. Shortly afterwards, I got a return call, an apology and the promise that the other student would never bother my daughter again.

    So if you must meet with the police again, quietly do the same and make it known you hold them responsible for the safety of your family.

    1. angella May 31, 2012 9:38 am edit

      We have talked to them a few times, and they’ve encouraged us to call at ANY time we feel fearful. Matthew also had a long chat with a friend of ours, who is RCMP, and works at the station that covers our area. He’s keeping an eye on things and checking on us, too.

      And, yes. We’re going to install motion sensor lights and a motion detector camera. A lot of people have them out here because of wild animals, so it will be a good idea all around.

      I’d like to think that he’s smart enough not to step onto our property, because if he does all of this documentation will get him into deep trouble, but you never know when drugs are involved.

      1. Ninabi May 31, 2012 1:51 pm edit

        You have really done everything possible. I agree with you on the cameras- with someone who is unstable, you don’t know what they are going to do. I’m praying that he has a short attention span and finds something else to fill his days other than making life awful for your lovely family.

        If all else fails, you can ask us online to raise money to send your neighbor a plane ticket for a surprise vacation. The surprise being 1. It’s one way 2. It’s to Somalia.

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