Help, problems with neighbors/neighborhood would like some advise

Discussion in 'Northeast Philadelphia' started by Midnight_Sky12, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Midnight_Sky12

    Midnight_Sky12 New Member

    Mar 13, 2019
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    Hello Philly,

    I need some advise. I've moved here about 3 years ago and into my first row-house, as a renter. I came here with an upbeat attitude, coming from a different state, and thought the neighbors next to me were nice until I found out that they were stealing from my garden on more than one occasion. The first few times they were literally on our lawns taking squash leaves, which though it did bother me that they were taking without even asking I let it slide, until I saw them take actual squash. I returning from walking my dog when I heard a few people snickering and I was at the front of my steps. I saw she literally walked down my steps which then pasted right by me and into her home. (This neighbor doesn't live on the same stoop as I do, there is even a fence that marks the boundaries of our property) My mind was blown, she was accompanied with a couple of her friends that live on the same block after they left her home, she came outside and I approached her asking for my squash back. Instead of giving it back, she was denying it, saying it was her squash and etc. I remained silent until she went into her home to get my squash back.

    That very same neighbor has had their children yell out the window saying things like, "stupid Asian", a few days after the squash incident, and was purposely trying to taunt me so I confronted their parents. To my astonishment again, I found out that father was in the dining room while the kids were saying those things from the living room, and was more concerned about eating his food then being apologetic.

    After that confrontation, I find that one day they are telling another neighbor that I was harassing them for no reason and since then I've been getting.... well the shit end of the stick. At times I've found eaten/rotten fruits and vegetables thrown on to my side from their side, along with cigarette buds. My room is on the side of these terrible neighbors and during the night I move around in my mattress because I have some pain in my back and leg from a car accident, to which they will respond with loud bang sounds. During the day at sometimes (honestly when I think they are in a bad mood) they will put full force at whatever they are doing and slam thing or drop something that will literally shake my side of the room a bit. I can't tell if it is because they are doing it because of me of for other reasons.

    I know that these neighbors have been bad mouthing me because I will come across one of their buddies on the street that live in the same block and they will say something about me as I pass by, regardless of whether they are alone or not. (they are the same buddies of the family that was accompanying the neighbor when she was stealing my squash) Sometimes I'll be outside smoking in the backyard and one of their family members will come on out like the grandma and she will literally spit at the ground, also whenever they are putting up laundry and I happen to go outside they go inside to their house, they are avoiding me which I don't mind but it irks me when I think that they are doing it because they think I'm crazy. They use a line from their house onto a fence pole of mine and honestly I want to tell them to take it down. They haven't done any favors for me, if anything they've really made my stay at home uncomfortable and stressful, making it so that I don't even want to stay home. I've even overheard conversations of neighbors while I was outside, and they were talking about me as if I couldn't hear. I pretended that I couldn't hear but they keep doing it and its to the point that its enraging me and I'm not sure if I should confront them.

    I feel like I have to walk on egg shells around the house and can't comfortably go outside without having the feeling that I'm also being judged based on what these neighbors have said. I've tried to get proof that they are the ones throwing things onto my side of the yard but that require me to watch and wait which I just don't have the time for nor do I want to waste my time on watching them, quite frankly I have better things to do. I've thought about getting a security camera but it isn't even my place to being with nor do I want to spend money on it. I don't want to start anything because the last time I confront a neighbor all this shit started to happen.

    I'm wondering what you guys would do in this type of situation. Is it best to just ignore them and just pretend that I pretend I don't know that they are doing these things because I'm trying to do that but I'm at my wits end and want to explode. Confronting them, I don't think this is an option because of the way they've reacted in the past.

    It would also give me some peace of mind, if you could tell me about your experiences with your next door neighbors and on the noise. They've made me so self conscious that I feel like they can hear everything that is going on in my room, from typing on my computer, to just trying to rest comfortably on bed while watch a t.v show or rather should I say they are trying to listen to what I'm doing. (Most of their family is always at home and don't go out, and honestly at the moment at least, so am I, I'm taking a break from something traumatic) I know it depends on the row house but it would help to know to what degree of loudness can be heard. I've heard people cough and sneeze from time to time which makes me think that my walls are super thin but I hardly ever hear them talking but when they do I can hear their voices.
    For example, can you hear your neighbors typing on their computer or rather maybe banging noise from their table because they are typing on the computer? I want to know because I'm wondering if the banging noises are a passive aggressive aggression so that I can at least take action for that. My table is on the shared wall with them and I have a job that require a lot of typing. (I don't slam on my keyboard but sometimes when I'm typing really fast it does rattle the table but doesn't make any banging sounds, at least not to my knowledge)

    I apologize for the long rant, but this is affecting me to the point where I can't even sleep in my bed comfortably, and leaving me with restless with exhaustion.
  2. OakmontGuy

    OakmontGuy NE Philadelphia Proud!

    Jul 5, 2009
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    After reading and re-reading your post several times, here are my impressions (for what they're worth):

    First of all, let me say that I'm sorry that you're having problems with your neighbors. If it makes you feel any better, you aren't the first and you won't be the last to have issues with a neighbor (or neighbors). It happens. And the closer you are to your neighbors, the more likely you are to have friction. Row homes are especially tough in this regard because your yards are close together, you usually share walls with families on either side, and so on.

    Given the inevitability of friction caused by proximity, you have to find ways to compensate in order to maintain your sanity. Some of those ways are, but not limited to: 1) Learning to ignore/tolerate certain sights, sounds, and behaviors. 2) Letting certain things slide. 3) Growing a thicker skin. 4) Altering/adjusting your schedule to avoid/minimize potential conflicts.

    From what you've written, it sounds like you care a bit too much about and are spending too much time worrying about what your neighbors say and think about you. Tune them out as best you can. Headphones are your friend. (Noise canceling headphones especially so!) Live YOUR life as decently and as respectfully as you can. That's really all you can do and all you have control over.

    As for the garden/squash incident: It happens. Sometimes all it takes is for one "bad apple" in the neighborhood to start a rotten chain of events for the whole block. A garbage can falls over onto a neighbor's property, spilling trash. They get angry, and all of a sudden, the owners of the garbage can are deemed to be "slobs." Word spreads from neighbor to neighbor and, all of a sudden, they're the black sheep of the block.

    I can't speak for your particular block, but here's what works/worked on mine: Don't hide from what's going on. Get out there and talk to your neighbors as much as you can when problems AREN'T happening. Me? I'm always outside doing something, saying hello, shooting the breeze, sweeping up litter, offering to help carry that extra bag of groceries from the car to the house, shoveling snow, sweeping leaves, keeping an eye out for trouble, and so on. I've found that the more your neighbors know the friendly, helpful, easy going "you" when problems aren't happening, the more likely they are to accommodate you when they do:

    My trash can accidentally falls over onto my neighbor's property? Hey, no problem man. I got it for you. You helped shovel out my car that time!

    Neighbor across the driveway's party gets a bit too loud? Man, sorry, I didn't realize. We'll tone it down. Hey, want to come over and have a beer? You had us over last time!
    D-man, Burholme06 and Midnight_Sky12 like this.

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