- Oct 7, 2015
I was hoping one or two of you could give me some advice. I am in my forties and have two young daughters and have lived with my wife and girls in our current home for the last 10 years. We live in a nice area and have always had the same neighbours – now in their 70s –and we have always got on very well with them. Since last Xmas their 40 year-old son has been living with them. He is a paranoid schizophrenic and we were told that he could be a bit sensitive to any type of noise but that shouldn’t be a problem because we were a very quiet family. From the get go, every now and then when somebody in our house closed a drawer, door, put a pan on the stove etc in our kitchen there would be a knocking on the wall from our neighbours’ side. I ignored this and asked my family to do likewise explaining that he had an illness and it wasn’t his fault. This was followed up by a period of him throwing soil over our family’s cars, virtually nightly, on his way back from his late-night walk around the local streets. After his parents had gone to bed he would go into their garden and throw handfuls of pebbles against our fence and downstairs windows. Three times a week our neighbours used to go dancing for a couple of hours. This was usually the cue for more knocking and then turning up the radio as loud as it would go and then turning it off five minutes before his parents came home. Things came to a head when my girls, in our porch, were removing their shoes when he came up his drive. He snarled, threatened and swore at them. Understandably, both of my daughters were very frightened by the experience. I went around to his house and tried to reason with him. He was full of apologies, admitted the shenanigans with the soil and pebbles and we shook hands and I thought that was that. Six months later, the knocking and unacceptable music volume has started again to the point that my kids are too scared to go into our own kitchen and don’t like to be downstairs in our house. I wrote him a letter saying that we were all on his side and if he or his parents ever needs anything I’m there for him and asked him to lower the volume as it was scaring the kids and I know he wouldn’t want that. His Dad read the letter and said that it was a good idea and there was nothing in there that he could get offended by and hopefully it could put his mind at rest. On the next night, the music and banging resumed as if nothing had happened and the following morning I found the letter ripped up and on my windscreen. I mentioned this to his Dad, who was quite shocked and said that he would talk to him and try to get through to him. After a week of quiet, the knocking and ridiculous radio volume has started again on dancing nights. If anyone has any advice in the best way to deal with the situation I’d be more than glad to hear it. I want to understand and help him in any way I can but similarly I don’t want my two young girls living in fear every time they see the neighbour’s car leave the drive. He is on medication and I believe he goes to counselling during the week.
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