Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Not So Neighbourly

Greetings Friends-
When I moved into my flat I saw it as a great opportunity to start moving on with my life. The chance to rebuild my shattered world. I had been abandoned and forced to sell the family home. Over four years later, with my life savings almost gone, the house was sold. The home that the women I loved had left me to rot in. The home that surrounded me with sad, tragic, painful memories. Constant reminders of my wife and child, constant reminders of the pain we all endured. Left, on my own, no wife, no Tristan, no friends and a family so far, far away. All I had was the relentless torment of my all-consuming madness. This mere shadow of a man, barely able to function, gathered up his remaining dignity and prepared to start again.
With great enthusiasm and positive anticipation, I moved into my new home. At first, I was oblivious to the negative environment that surrounded me. Oh, the clues were there. I should have sensed that things were not right when I had to access the adjacent property, just to move in. The communal pathway to my flat was hidden under an unsightly, overgrown mess. Undaunted, I proceeded to clear the pathway. I wanted to be a good neighbour and thought the people below me would appreciate my efforts.
How wrong I was. After clearing the pathway for a third time in a year, I finally approached the neighbours below. I asked them to kindly start living up to their responsibilities. That's when the torrent of abuse started. "You live your life...will live our's!" I was told. Then the door was slammed in my face.
So now a year into my new life, I had a closer look around. The garden (if you could call it that) below me was strewn with rubbish, broken glass, vodka bottles, dead birds and a headless rat! Enough was enough. Despite battling with an ongoing deep depression, I knew I must take action. Action to make it a better place for my son, myself and the neighbourhood in general.
I contacted my Housing Association, the local Council plus Environmental Health. I battled with bureaucracy. Month after month of inaction followed. My complaints and concerns were ignored. I was one man battling with the system and battling with my mental illness.
While the situation below continued unabated, I turned my attention to the neighbours next door. Unbelievably, they were as anti-social as the people below me. Constant fighting, constant drinking and continuous disruption to our lives. Their children were often out of school and would run wild through my garden. Their dog, which was severely mistreated, caused us great concern. I contacted the R.S.P.C.A. They did nothing to stop the cruelty! The father who had been out drink-driving, yet again, demolished the rear end of my car. This meant I had to take legal action against him because he tried to get away with it. The tension was unbearable but I continued in my fight to make this a better neighbourhood.
Then, finally there was one other set of anti-social neighbours in the adjacent building. They too fought and screamed. It was quite common to see the 'lady' of the house chasing her boyfriend down the street with a kitchen knife! Yet strangley enough, I tried to become friends with these people. I looked after their kids for free. I drove their children to school for free. I helped them out on several occasions. All I got in return was disrespect and indifference. It was time for me to take further action. I could not tolerate this deplorable situation any longer. My own self-respect became stronger as I persevered.
At last, my determination was starting to be recognised. A five year battle to make this neighbourhood a safe, peaceful place began to happen. Some of my decent neighbours finally noticed our plight. They rallied around and the authorities finally paid heed to the nightmare my son and myself had been subjected too. The neighbours next door were evicted, the neighbours in the adjacent building were rehoused. The people below did a 'runner', abandoning the property and leaving their cats to become strays.
So I had one last battle with bureaucracy. I had to prove that the property below was vacant. Well not exactly vacant. Their five stray cats would run wild through the flat below me. Trying to sleep at night, I felt like I was caught up in some 'Tom and Jerry' cartoon. Anyway, two court cases later, the people below, were at last evicted. The cats were removed.
Through this harrowing experience, I have discovered great contentment. I am now blessed with wonderful neighbours. We are a happy community that work together. To have perservered whilst challenging my mental illness inspires me onward to even brighter possibilities.
My friends, we can turn negatives into positives. We have the right to be happy and live in peace. I did all this for my son, my neighbourhood and for myself. I am most grateful to be a part of the 'mindbloggling' experience. Dare to dream and be inspired.
I thank you for your time. Warm wishes adanac67.


  1. I admire you adanac67, for being so open and honest, in sharing so much of yourself on such a personal level.
    You have shown great courage, determination, and resilience in overcoming so many challenging and painful experiences, in such adverse circumstances.
    You have so much to be proud of in having achieved all of this. The inner-strength you must have needed and aquired is phenominal.
    And throughout it all you have still managed to retain a positive outlook on life.
    You have my total respect!

    Warm regards and kind wishes. D x

  2. Wow - your resilience is astounding, as is your commitment to clear social values. I'm not sure I would have the courage to take on the situation you were in. Thanks very much for writing about it so clearly and honestly. Respectfully yours - Tone x

  3. Hi Folks-
    Thank you so much for your comments. You may have noticed in my first paragraph that I mentioned my son had also left me. However, when I moved into my flat, my son came to live with me. The circumstances of that is another blog. I do hope you fantastic people will do me the honour of reading that future story.
    Thanks again, my friends, this virtual recluse is gathering inspiration from your wonderful comments. Warm wishes adanac67.

  4. Complete utter and total respect to you adanac67. I could not imagine what inner resolve it must take to overcome such a difficult environment. Here to you sir!

  5. Total respect to you my friend, your courage and perseverance is an inspiration to us all!
    Take care and keep up the good work!

  6. Hi adanac67,

    First of all thank you for acknowledging my comments on your blog....although I don't comment in order to receive any acknowledgement,(it is very gratifying and a bonus, when someone takes the time to do so)

    It was very good to meet you too last Thursday, and you made a substantial and positive contribution to the meeting, hope to see you again at future meetings.
    I think the pictures you have now included on your blog are great!....images have so much more much so, that having looked at your blog this morning, I went into M&S and my eyes were drawn to Canadian scallops, giant prawns from (guess where?)- yes! Canada! and even a (fully) dressed lobster....all things Canadian!...(don't know what a partially dressed lobster looks like!)
    Finally, you are absolutely right, we do all need to laugh as much as we possibly can.....thank goodness I have somehow managed to retain my sense of humour, (as you also seem to have been able to do)
    Thank you for bringing your humour and kind comments to my most recent blog. Warm wishes and kind regards D x

  7. Adanac67 your blog is looking great. Great photos! Not so good at IT indeed!

  8. hya,

    1 word wow!

    you are so right and i am in total agreement 'We have the right to be happy and live in peace' and i also share the thought that i too ' am most grateful to be a part of the 'mindbloggling' experience.

    & i will try and 'Dare to dream and be inspired'

    thank you for your wise words klahanie


  9. hya its carol stay positive ane keep in touch carol x

  10. You've been through so much, and have such a kind strong heart, people like you make the world worth living in. x


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.