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Author Topic: Bad Neighbors; how to be charitable?  (Read 1780 times) Average Rating: 0
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si2008
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« on: April 21, 2009, 10:53:18 AM »

My downstairs neighbor plays his music so loud that our floor vibrates.  We have asked him more than once to turn it down.  Never mind all the nocturnal yelling and banging around I hear from his apartment.  So before the midnight service on Saturday he's up to it again, and I (unwisely) thumped my heel on the floor since my husband told me never to go down there alone to confront him.  (He was napping before the service.)  Next thing I know the neighbor is banging his ceiling and yelling at me.  So, hormonal pregnant woman that I am, I throw on a sweater and go downstairs and knock on his door.  I didn't get a word out before he whipped the door open and started berating me for "disrespecting" him.  He said if I had a problem, I should come down and tell him.  I said he plays his music too loud every night, and my husband is trying to sleep, etc.  Then he told me to "Get the *%#@ out" of his face and slammed the door on me.

Add to this an incident where he yelled something vulgar at me a couple of weeks ago and I have since felt unsafe living in my apartment.  However, the fact that this took place right before Pascha is very upsetting to me.  Maybe I DID disrespect him, in my general attitude of disgust toward him and his behavior.  How can I be a Christian while feeling dread and fear of my neighbor?  Isn't perfect love supposed to cast out fear?  My husband and father were both upset with my dumb behavior and told me to call the police next time.  Isn't that taking revenge though?  Is there anything besides praying for this neighbor that I can do to make this situation better?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 10:54:09 AM by si2008 » Logged
EofK
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 11:02:08 AM »

Considering this person's rude behavior to you, I agree with your husband that you would probably be safer not confronting him face to face, or at least not alone.  To me, his continued loud music and thumping around is disrespectful to you, not your requests toward him.  I'm not usually one to take things to the next level, but I would talk to your building manager about it and if he continues to behave this way, call the police.  Seriously, it's not taking revenge when you have legitimate reason to believe this person could harm you (and by your description, he sounds like he's being unreasonably angry and persistant in his behavior). 

You say perfect love casts out fear, and this is true, but to me we experience fear for a good reason.  Don't let your anger and frustration at this man tempt you into sinful thoughts or actions, but your fear of him does not sound unreasonable.  I agree with your family that the next time he acts this beligerent to you, you should call the police.  I'd first call your apartment manager or whomever supervises your living situation, though, since they also need to know if one of their residents is becoming a problem.  Explain to him what has happened and that you don't feel safe and that if it continues, you will call the police.

By the way, don't feel bad about being a hormonal pregnant woman.  Once you have your baby, you'll probably feel even more protective of your home and family than you do now.  I think if this guy had said the same thing to me or threatened my husband or daughter, I would have a hard time not snapping him in half in a fit of mommy rage.   laugh
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 11:03:58 AM by EofK » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 11:05:19 AM »

Do you rent?  If so, try calling the property manager.  Talk to the other neighbors who share walls/floors with the guy downstairs.  They may have issues, too.  Ask anyone who is annoyed by his behavior to complain, first to the property manager and, if nothing is resolved, call the cops.  Most municipalities have noise ordinances that make it illegal to be a auditory nuisance after 11pm.  The more neighbors you have complain, especially at the same time, the more leeway the police have to deal with the situation.  While such calls are better than dealing with a violent domestic disturbance, it's also doubly annoying for cops to have to repeatedly come to a dwelling where the resident won't act like a responsible citizen.

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 11:07:00 AM »

Do you rent?  If so, try calling the property manager.  Talk to the other neighbors who share walls/floors with the guy downstairs.  They may have issues, too.  Ask anyone who is annoyed by his behavior to complain, first to the property manager and, if nothing is resolved, call the cops.  Most municipalities have noise ordinances that make it illegal to be a auditory nuisance after 11pm.  The more neighbors you have complain, especially at the same time, the more leeway the police have to deal with the situation.  While such calls are better than dealing with a violent domestic disturbance, it's also doubly annoying for cops to have to repeatedly come to a dwelling where the resident won't act like a responsible citizen.
Very true. Well put.
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 11:09:22 AM »

Do you rent?  If so, try calling the property manager.  Talk to the other neighbors who share walls/floors with the guy downstairs.  They may have issues, too.  Ask anyone who is annoyed by his behavior to complain, first to the property manager and, if nothing is resolved, call the cops.  Most municipalities have noise ordinances that make it illegal to be a auditory nuisance after 11pm.  The more neighbors you have complain, especially at the same time, the more leeway the police have to deal with the situation.  While such calls are better than dealing with a violent domestic disturbance, it's also doubly annoying for cops to have to repeatedly come to a dwelling where the resident won't act like a responsible citizen.



Yes!  That's what I was trying to say but you said it much better.  Thanks!
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 11:13:31 AM »

Yeah, we rent.  The way the building is constructed, you can only hear your up and downstairs neighbors' sounds, though.  I've never heard a peep from anyone but this guy, and let's just say everyone else who lives on his floor probably has their own reasons for not wanting the police to show up.  So the people who lived in our apartment before us may have complained, but I'm not sure anyone else has.

I'm also reluctant to speak to our property manager; I believe she is friendly with this guy.  Also, her father is the chief of police.  I don't want to have my complaint backfire on me; I'm alone at night while my husband works and don't want my neighbor retaliating or anything.  Basically, I know it's a problem situation, I just want to know what I should do as a Christian to help overcome my anger at my neighbor. 
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 11:28:42 AM »

Hmm... I think I would look into getting a different apartment, then.  Really, if you don't feel safe then don't write that off as just being paranoid or unfriendly.  Those feelings will only multiply when you're home by yourself with a baby and the kind of environment you've described is not one I would want to be in at home alone and especially not with a newborn.  For one, the loud music and thumping on the ceiling  will probably keep the baby awake and you're going to need sleep yourself when the baby is asleep.  In any case, just to cover the chain of command, I would mention it to your property manager, even if she is this person's friend.  That way if you do have to call the police then you've already gone to the manager and if she doesn't do anything about the situation then it's her problem.  If the police don't do anything, I would seriously consider moving. 
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 12:10:12 PM »

Yeah, we rent.  The way the building is constructed, you can only hear your up and downstairs neighbors' sounds, though.  I've never heard a peep from anyone but this guy, and let's just say everyone else who lives on his floor probably has their own reasons for not wanting the police to show up.  So the people who lived in our apartment before us may have complained, but I'm not sure anyone else has.

I'm also reluctant to speak to our property manager; I believe she is friendly with this guy.  Also, her father is the chief of police.  I don't want to have my complaint backfire on me; I'm alone at night while my husband works and don't want my neighbor retaliating or anything.  Basically, I know it's a problem situation, I just want to know what I should do as a Christian to help overcome my anger at my neighbor. 

It sounds like a dicey situation.  We were embroiled in a noise war with the young girl who lives downstairs for some time.  She's finally quieted down (although my wife still swears our neighbor is noisy). 

I can be quite a hothead myself when my temper finally flares; I have a relatively long fuse but a big bang once it runs out.  The best thing you can possibly do is just to pray.  The Jesus Prayer is a great way to fill your heart with the love of God and cast out the demonic hate that can overwhelm you when you're ready to burst.  As you've well discovered, confrontations with incredibly inconsiderate and rude people in situations like this often resolve nothing and only serve to make you feel even more helpless, angry, and just plain hateful.  I can't tell you the number of rude and honestly shameful retalitatory things that crossed my mind on my way back upstairs after my one and only confrontation with the girl downstairs.  After prayer you realize it's just not worth it.

Even if the property manager's father is the local chief of police, a call to the cops can still work.  She may (or may not) be friendly with the guy, but that doesn't mean she wants to put up with cops showing up at her property in the middle of the night, especially repeatedly.  The fact that you're pregnant and don't feel safe around this guy can easily lead to a restraining order if need be which is granted by a judge, not the cops.  If you choose to go this route, it will undoubtedly take some work on your part, but no one should feel unsafe in her own home.

If you have the means, I would definitely look for somewhere else to live as soon as you can, too.

Lord, have mercy!
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si2008
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 12:24:34 PM »

I say the Jesus Prayer often, but for some reason forget the words when I'm angry like I was on Saturday.   Smiley  I appreciate the support.  We are NOT renewing our lease in October, so we will most likely move then, when the baby will be about 2 months old.  I too, have hateful and retaliatory thoughts, right alongside thoughts that this man must be a really sad and lonely person to be so angry and loud all the time.  I just have to keep telling myself that God loves this person, too.
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