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.