In this post I do a lot of whining. And ranting. And generally feeling sorry for myself. I’m only including this in the blog (as opposed to just my offline journal) because it is somewhat ballet-related. Actually, it’s very ballet-related, in a “See what I do for you, ballet” kind of way. But there is a lot of whining. Feel free to skip over. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended…
Ok. (Takes a deep breath)
So, my diagonally downstairs neighbors are the neighbors from hell. Or at least in my 12 years of living in rented places, in a variety of neighborhoods, this is the closest to neighbors from hell that I’ve had. I’m talking loud late-night gatherings that sound more like arguments, loud profanity-laden screaming phone conversations that are impossible to avoid (as in, even with all the windows and doors closed it’s impossible to block out her screaming voice, and she actually goes outside and parades up and down the sidewalk while screaming), blatant drug use and drunkeness outdoors, unruly, unsupervised – and honestly, mistreated and abused – children vandalizing other’s vehicles, the list goes on.
It’s embarassing having company over, and there have been so many times that I’ve been grateful that we don’t have kids yet. I would hate to raise them in such a lousy environment, especially since little minds are like sponges.
Back around last May, I was awoken at around 4 am by this woman, who was loudly talking outside. I went out on my front porch and called out “Hey! Can you keep it down?! It’s 4 am and some of us are trying to sleep!” Well, ever since then she decided that she will not waste an opportunity to shoot me nasty looks as I arrive home, or leave, and on occasion has cursed at me, calling me a “F-ing B—-!”. She has threatened me, though I don’t have it on camera, telling me that “If you don’t shut your mouth, I’ll shut it for you.”
By now, I don’t ever leave home without a recording device, in case she is to threaten me again, or worse, act upon her threats. We have recorded her behavior from the inside of our apartment, and shown the footage to the manager. According to management, other tenants have complained as well. We were promised that these neighbors were going to leave on December 15. We were counting the days!
That was last Monday. They are still there – I was awakened by her rants this morning, as a matter of fact.
We went down to talk to the office again, and were told that they are doing “all they legally can” to get her out. Truthfully, I don’t believe them. I think they are trying to play both sides, keep us as tenants while not kicking them out. Our lease is scheduled to end on 12/31 and we were actually about to renew the lease. Thankfully, we didn’t; It’s outrageous that our rent’s scheduled to increase and that abusive neighbor is still going to be living there for an indeterminate period of time.
So, it looks like apartment-hunting time again. And of course, amenities-wise, nothing (in our price range) compares with the place we have now; no hardwood floors to practice ballet on, no gym to run at in case of rainy weather, no quiet hilly streets to go for walks in, no walking-distance park to run and jump at, no in-unit washer to wash leotards in.
If we leave here, it seems as though continuing my ballet will be affected. Not only the space to practice in, but also all the working out that I’ve been doing. I’m terrified; I feel as though my leg muscles that I’ve worked so hard to strengthen will begin to weaken. At the same time, I feel as though I’m unwilling to continue living near that loud, profane woman – especially if the rent is going up.
I don’t know what to do. The prospect of having to give up ballet is what hurts me the most, but I know there’s no way that I’ll be prepared for next semester unless I can get some practicing done. It’s just the only way I learn, repetition and lots of it. At the same time, I’m just unwilling to continue living in this hostile environment. These neighbors are just out of line! I shouldn’t have to take a recording device with me every time I leave my home for fear of being threatened or assaulted. I feel like the management should be giving us a freaking discount, not raising the rent (which happens every time a new contract is signed).
I’ve been crying all day, feeling so overwhelmed and sad. And lost. I hate feeling so helpless, so miserable, this uncertainty, this feeling of everything being out of my control. I just want to break something. And cry some more.
And then apologize for the negativity. While still crying.