Scared, angry and losing sleep over stressful neighbourhood

Postby abc7878787 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:08 am

Background

I live in an overcrowded developing country where the legal system is full of corruption and is a joke. Also, people's basic level of decency is very low. Sometimes I feel that it is a jungle with mindless animals trying to kill each other. Anyone with money can use it to manipulate the legal system, bribe authorities, buy services of goons and basically do whatever they want, regardless of what common sense and the law say.

More than 15 years ago, a family bought the house adjacent to us and moved in. They demolished the existing house and built a multi-tenant complex with several rental portions within. Only the head of the family earns money. He earns a lot. Doesn't pay taxes and uses the black money to bribe authorities whenever he's caught doing something wrong. We witnesses them doing illegal things in terms of construction, parking and other public nuisance stuff. But, we didn't care because it didn't affect us. The guy also does some illegal money lending business and counts several goons, politicians and corrupt authorities among his friends.

Due to circumstances outside my control, we had to sell a portion of our property, and the neighbor bought it. We retained the back half portion, with a small path (5' wide) leading to the street, and they bought the front half with full access to the street. This is the stupidest mistake my family (parents) ever made and I will never forgive them for this.

Nasty Neighbour

The wife of the neighbor (no one in their house, for that matter) does not work for a living. They all live off of the (mostly illegal) income the guy brings in. So, the wife sits in the house all day and does nothing but create trouble to the neighbors. They create all kinds of trouble for everyone, which are totally unprovoked. When someone stands up to them, the guy threatens to make even more trouble for them with his ring of corrupt and powerful people. So nobody has done anything to them directly or even registered any complaint with authorities, as it will practically have no effect.

Our street mostly contains middle class working people who actually have jobs to go to and don't have time for this nonsense.

Parking Trouble

So they started bullying us for various things slowly. First they created trouble for us when we parked our car in front of our property. They said its their property and we can't park there. My dad decided not to escalate the situation and started parking elsewhere on the street. They didn't like that. They started parking their vehicles wherever we went. When we questioned them, they'll feed us some crap excuse. What they are really doing is trying to create a stressful environment for us so that we'll sell our half to them and leave.

Other nuisance

The wife is the main trouble maker, supported by the husband. She has turned all their tenants against us, now even they are picking fights with us. Now, they don't want us to park our two-wheeler in front of our OWN 5' wide drive way, because it is inconvenient for them to park their car. I can't explain in much detail here, just assume they are completely unreasonable people who are just looking for trouble.

Some times, they hang or place dirty things on the wall dividing the property. When we asked them not to hang them on our side, they pick a fight again and are threatening us that he'll teach us a lesson because we are annoying them with these requests!

Sometimes they and their tenants throw pieces of trash, cigar butts, empty beer cans, crushed paper, plastic bags, kitchen waste into our property. Their building goes up right next to the property wall, which is illegal. So anything that falls outside anyone's window or balcony lands directly into our property. When we confronted them, nobody admitted to the mistake. When we confronted them repeatedly, they threatened us that we're unnecessarily harrassing them, when it is THEY who are throwing trash into our house.

I just feel so angry that so much violation of law, common sense and decency is taking place and yet we're unable to do anything about it. Remember, going the legal route is pointless as he's got the police on his side. Also, he'll likely threaten the safety of my family (we have children and elders too) by hiring goons. I just don't know who to do.

I am so angry that yesterday my and my dad went over to confront them and it turned into a big verbal argument where they accused us of saying and doing things we never said or did. And he threatened us saying he should have taught me a lesson and shown me his power and influence during our previous arguments, but he didn't, and because of it, I am not arguing with him again.

All logic and decency has gone out the door in my locality and in fact my whole country. I can ignore what's happening in the country. But I can't ignore my surroundings because not it has started affecting what we do in front of our house and even in our house.

Basically this neighbor has created animosity between themselves and all other occupants, except a few, who are themselves more powerful than him. He is a bit more refrained when dealing with them, but still tries to show his dominance!

I don't know what to think anymore. The whole society has become a bunch of wild animals, ready to taunt and pounce and kill anyone who disagrees with their understanding of what's right and wrong. I am losing sleep over this. Sometimes I feel that I need to hire a hitman and murder these pathetic excuses for human beings, but I have a son and wife who depend on me. I don't want to spoil their life. I feel all hope is lost.

If this was some western country, my understanding is, such neighbors are a minority and you can move somewhere better. But, I am just so angry because, I see this everywhere. Nobody has any decency, but always knows someone powerful to create a fight and bully people, when it is them who is breaking the law. We ARE planning to move and hopefully the new place is better, but this is so stressful. I don't think I can hold on until we move.
abc7878787
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:38 am
Likes Received: 0


#1

Postby Leo Volont » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:23 am

Good Evening Please Anon,

Yes, I can understand your stress. Stress is not good for one’s health, but in your case it could be very dangerous in that you could lose your sense of discretion and provoke this well-connected hoodlum who is your neighbor who could harm you and your family with little fear of legal or social repercussions. So, yes, it is imperative that you remain calm. In many of my Posts I talk about how to control the Cortisol-Adrenaline Reaction. You see, what makes people ‘uncontrollably’ angry is the stress hormone Cortosol (which also bring adrenaline into play). Cortisol promotes loud threatening defensive aggression, and at the same time shuts down the brains access to the higher intellectual functions, which would otherwise control or inhibit such emotional outbursts. But, the Cortisol has to flow for a good three or four seconds in order to cause that level of aggression and higher function impairment. But our thinking gives us next to no clue that this process is taking place. People say that they just ‘suddenly’ blow up. Well, there is a sign that Cortisol is beginning to flow, and that is that one’s jaw muscles tighten – the teeth clench. The trick to stopping the Cortisol Reaction is to instantly relax the jaw muscles when you feel them tighten up. By relaxing that first symptom of a Cortisol Reaction you are in effect telling that gland in your brain that whatever ‘triggered’ the response was a false alarm, that is, that something suddenly ‘scared’ you, but it was actually nothing. Just relax and breath through your mouth. This will help you stay calm and rational. If you want to get the sense of what this ‘teeth clenching’ response is, well, get a pin or a needle and go to stab your hand… no, you don’t have to actually stab your hand, but as soon as you seriously contemplate stabbing your hand, you will feel the onset of the Cortisol Response. Remember to instantly relax at the very first moment you feel the clenching, because even a little bit of Cortisol will increase your baseline stress level. You just need to know what the Cortisol Reflex is so you know what it is that you must instantly relax.

Now, and I think you already know this, you must think of how you can get out of this alive and in one piece. You and your family must stop provoking this guy. Send some kind of a peace offering. Let that horrible family know that you have finally gotten the message, and you will no longer continue to be “trouble makers”, as they undoubtedly see you. You may have trouble selling this property to anybody else, and so you must start being friendly enough where this thug will no longer think he is honor bound to screw you out of your property without giving you anything for it. If you are nice and cooperate, then I feel you will stand the best chance of getting the most you can hope for from this property (and, no, you will not get anything that approaches being fair. You just want better than nothing at all). So, remember, your big priority now is simply to keep yourself and your family from harm. When you are long gone, then you can plot and scheme your revenge. The good thing about having a thug for an enemy is that he must certainly have many other enemies and so if he turns up missing, months from now after you are long gone, then nobody will even think about you, particularly if you leave now graciously without making some big memorable scene.

I wish I had some advice that would be more appealing to your sense of justice and human dignity. But I am sure you are already doing plenty of thinking about justice and your offended Human Dignity. So, I think I can be most useful by being the voice of practical advice. I really do wish you and your family the best of luck.
User avatar
Leo Volont
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am
Likes Received: 139

#2

Postby abc7878787 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:21 am

Thanks for your response Leo Volont. More than the actual nuisances themselves, I am so MAD that I am unable to do anything about them and HE is the one threatening me with violence when everything is his mistake!

I find it very difficult/impossible to accept that decency and moral standards have gone so low and that I can't expect people to even have basic self control and not violate any laws and private property rights.

Throughout the half-hour argument, they were only doing three things: 1) threatening me, 2) shouting above me and 3) making up stuff I didn't do or say, which led to point #1 again! It is like they were totally not interested in accepting their fault or finding an amicable solution to all these issues. They just want to what they want and will stoop down to any level to get it done.
abc7878787
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:38 am
Likes Received: 0

#3

Postby Leo Volont » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:08 am

please_anon wrote:Thanks for your response Leo Volont. More than the actual nuisances themselves, I am so MAD that I am unable to do anything about them and HE is the one threatening me with violence when everything is his mistake!

I find it very difficult/impossible to accept that decency and moral standards have gone so low and that I can't expect people to even have basic self control and not violate any laws and private property rights.

Throughout the half-hour argument, they were only doing three things: 1) threatening me, 2) shouting above me and 3) making up stuff I didn't do or say, which led to point #1 again! It is like they were totally not interested in accepting their fault or finding an amicable solution to all these issues. They just want to what they want and will stoop down to any level to get it done.


Good Evening Please Anon,

I understand what you are saying, but I am coming at this from the angle of Anger Management. In many cases people become angry because they are frustrated, and they become frustrated because they get stuck in conditions and life circumstances which are truly horrible and none of it is their own fault, but their only choices, if they even have a choice, is also bad and nobody can be sure whether anything they do will improve things or simply make it all worse. And, yes, it is especially bad when there are people whom you know are to blame, but you are powerless when it comes to forcing these people to take responsibility for a situation that was of their making but for which you have to suffer the consequences. This often happens in employment situations where people often have to work for idiotic and unreasonable bosses. But it also happens in corrupt communities where the criminal element has displaced or corrupted the Civil Authorities. Well, from the point of view of Anger Management, you need to focus entirely on taking precisely those actions which are calculated to result in the least amount of trouble for you. But first you must accept that while no part of this situation is your fault, still the only person you can trust to navigate through all of the trouble is yourself. But can you trust yourself to make things better, or do you fear that your natural inclinations will lead you into compounding all of your problem? Well, of course, we know the answer to that. You wrote into an Anger Management Forum because you are concerned for yourself. You know, maybe we can understand all of this better if we resorted to metaphor. Think about how you would think, feel and act if you woke up and discovered your house was on fire. Would you be angry, disappointed and frustrated that you will lose everything and perhaps even your life? NO! You would immediately take action to save your family, and then save whatever small possessions and papers that are most important to you, and then escape to safety. It’s a Fire! You have to deal with it. Well, this situation you are now in is like a fire. You have to deal with it.

Now, you gave me the impression earlier that this man and his family are ‘connected’ and that they should be considered dangerous? Is this true? Well, then you have to move. To get any value for your property, and, yes, they would probably scare away any other buyers you could find, for a back lot with a questionable lien to the street out front, so, well, you would have to sell to them. If they are dangerous, then they could continue to mount pressure until you sell for practically nothing – sign over the deed and walk away. This is why I recommend that you pretend you are sorry, and that you pretend to apologize for being so ‘rude and insensitive in regards to their legitimate rights’. Give them a piece offering, perhaps a good bottle of wine or some aged Scotch or something. Smile and be humble. By getting friendly with them, it will diminish their motivation to run you off with absolutely nothing. These people sound like they like to be kowtowed to, so kowtow to them. Remember, this is like a fire. You would never want to leave your house through a bathroom window in your underwear or something, as it would be against your sense of personal dignity, but in a fire, if that was your only way out, you would not let dignity stand in your way, would you? So, in this situation, you might have to grovel and be insincere in order to save as much as you can “from the fire”. But maybe you have some little bit of a choice. You can move and sign over the deed to somebody whom you know has more reach and connections than your neighbor (to force your neighbor to crawl for what he wants), or simply tear it up, which would really screw with his ability to utilize that property, since he can’t show ownership.

But if you were exaggerating and they aren’t really dangerous, then simply demand a lot of money for your lot and lien to the street. But, you still have to move. I have been a renter all my life because every person who buys a house becomes a hostage to it. What happens if bad neighbors move in, or the municipality builds a sewage treatment plant across the street, right? Then you are screwed. If you are renting, then moving is less of an ordeal. But if you are a House Owner, the same reason you are moving would be the same reason nobody else would buy (unless people would by a house without having the neighborhood investigated first). Oh, I have heard that in some towns in America, where the Factory or Corporate Headquarters of Something has closed, well, thousands of homes suddenly becoame virtually worthless, because nobody wants to buy a house in a Ghost Town. So, yes, anybody who buys a house is taking a big risk. But, yes, you have to move. Perhaps you should move first, and let your neighbor know who is handling your Real Estate file, and if he ever wants the rights to the property, he will know who to arrange for the purchase with.

But, yes, in conclusion, nothing positive can come out of feeling angry, and especially not out of expressing your anger (as for instance that half an hour argument that certainly did more harm than good). To save whatever you can of your peace of mind, pretend that your bad neighbor was like a Natural Disaster that simply happened out of the blue, and then move on with your life and pray that you will get some good luck to make up for the bad.
User avatar
Leo Volont
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am
Likes Received: 139

#4

Postby abc7878787 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:31 am

Leo Volont,

Thanks a lot for your objective feedback about the problem. I was really stressed because I didn't want to talk to anyone I personally know, about this, because it might come up at some time in the future. The whole situation is very sensitive and partly traumatizing to me. So, thanks for your responses.

I agree that we should calm down and reduce the hostility toward them, at least to get the property sold for something in the future. That is why my dad always try to remain calm when dealing with them, even though he's ready to rip their throats out in a one-on-one. I am more hostile toward them because I am angry at both them and my parents for this property situation. But I will try to stop acting the way I am. I am not sure I will be able to even visit them again and start ANY conversation, but at least I will stop arguing or confronting them in the future for the stupid things they do. I'll just ignore their sh*t.

Yes, they ARE well connected. But they wouldn't actively try to hurt us. It is just that when someone confronts them about the nuisance they are causing, they get pissed off. Them bringing over some thugs to intimidate and even physically harass anyone who continuously questions their actions, isn't unlikely. When my grand parents were alive, he'd come over frequently and tell them stories about how he bribed authorities to intimidate some guy who confronted him, or paid off some authorities to turn a blind eye to some illegal stuff he's doing - as if it is some kinds of achievement - probably to scare my grand parents. This can be hard to believe, but is common in my country. But this is the first time we're directly dealing with someone who does such things.

So, my dad said - let's keep a low profile until we move out in less 10 months - (reasons why we're waiting are complicated). We have a phrase in my native language - they're like a sewer - throwing a rock in it will only get us splashed in sewage.

You are absolutely right that they expect people to kowtow to them. In fact, all their tenants do that - almost act as shameless slaves to them - just to get some concessions in rent, parking space etc... they only seem to find tenants who are as worthless as they are. Any tenant with some decency in them leave in less than 6 months - the ones we really like. Only the pathetic wretched slaves remain and act as their lieutenants. They've had fights with almost everyone in our street - everyone hates them and will tell you so privately. The fact that our family has been there alongside them for almost 2 decades, but we went on with our lives independently, pisses them off. We don't ask them any favors so we don't owe them any. This infuriates the lady - as she is the one who bosses around her tenants. She expects everyone around to depend on their ill gotten wealth and in return she'll demand stuff from them, in kind. The whole thing is so crazy.

Anyway, for my own peace I will try to ignore the nonsense and try to focus on other things till we move.

Thanks again for your responses.
abc7878787
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:38 am
Likes Received: 0

#5

Postby Leo Volont » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:30 am

Hi Please Anon,

Well, good! It sounds like your head is in the right place. I really admire your father in all of this. He is a good example for you. Oh, did you think about what I said about the Cortisol? If you are able to recognize that first sign of Cortisol Induced Stress, the clenching of the teeth, and learn how to instantly relax it, you will be far more able to endure 'trigger events' without worrying about 'losing your cool'... you will be able to depend on your ability to keep yourself under control. If you forget what I am talking about, go back and re-read it, or read some of my other posts (in response to people who are far more angry than you are... you are not chronically angry, but you are susceptible to anger, given extraordinary triggers) where I speak in more detail concerning Cortisol.
User avatar
Leo Volont
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am
Likes Received: 139



  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Anger Management