Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Enemy, mine?

If you talk to anyone who really knows me, most of them will tell you, and probably everyone would agree with the fact, that I am honest, kind, and trusting almost to a fault. I tell the truth when I shouldn't, I help people out when I can, and I actually wrote "gullible" on a ceiling in a college class room just so once in a while it'd be true when I looked up.

So it is absolutely shocking to me that I apparently have someone who hates my guts. My neighbor for some reason has decided that my wife and I are evil, and I'm really not sure why. I'm aware of one incident where she thinks our dog pooped in her garden - something she'd rightfully be upset about, although we're rather certain it didn't happen. (For the record, the dog did indeed run into the yard, my wife yelled at the dog to come back, and the dog cowered and trembled slightly, which very feasibly looked to an outside observer like she was fertilizing the garden) Even if it did happen, it was absolutely not intentional and is not something we let happen in other people's yards, especially in something like her cute little garden.

Since then, I've had numerous other, completely false, accusations thrown my way. Apparently we've been scratching her car door (she parks next to us, but to my knowledge I've never bumped her car) and are making our car alarm beep (which it does beep annoying sometimes when we lock it - we can't control this though) just to show off our security system. On top of that, one evening I noticed her gas door was open on her car and I closed it. Apparently she was watching me from her doorway at the time (this was around midnight, by the way) and stepped outside angrily telling me to never touch her car. I explained that the gas door was open and she called me a liar. Great.

Now she regularly stands in her doorway, watching me. Even just tonight, I got back from the grocery story at 11:30pm, and when I got out of my car her door opened up and she stood there, watching me - which was what lead me to come inside and write this post.

At this point, I don't know what to do. I'd love to sit down and talk with her, but it seems like she has no interest in listening. I thought of leaving flowers on her door one day, but figured she'd probably just hate me more for it. I tried smiling and waiving to her for months and was rewarded with silent scowls. The thought of someone thinking I'm some evil villain haunts me and deeply disturbs me, but I have no idea how to fix it.

Sometimes I try telling myself she's crazy, but she seems so normal and interacts with other neighbors perfectly fine. She has a cute dog and a nice garden and even was the first person we talked with when we were considering moving into the neighborhood (at which time she was very helpful and cordial). Could this one dog-poo-related misunderstanding really set off such a huge hate-fest? Should I try to mend things, or just continue ignoring it and feeling sad and guilty every single time I walk by her door, despite having done nothing wrong? I know I probably need to just not care what people think of me, at least in some cases, but it's hard when you're confronted with it on a near daily basis. Perhaps I've just lead a sheltered life. Perhaps being nice to everyone for so long has left me defenseless against such focused anger towards me. If nothing else, I hope that writing this down and putting it out there will at least be therapeutic, for a little while.



  1. She's borderline and she's splitting. Unable to deal appropriately with those aspects of her own personality she likes or dislikes, she projects them onto other people who she views as either wholly good or wholly evil. She cannot handle her own feelings of hostility, so you are made to stand in for that hostility so that she can externalize it, reify it, and reject it. There's nothing you can do. All overtures of friendliness will be interpreted as further hostility. You can treat borderline personality disorder, but borderlines don't seek treatment because people who suggest it are evil. Of course.

    May I suggest a move to Cville?

  2. What, no borderline personality disorder up there in Cville? :-P

    Interesting analysis though - accurate or not, it may help to act as my own coping mechanism. :)