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Kaimeju 01-16-2014 04:24 PM

Need reassurance about mentally unstable neighbor
So, I mostly need to just talk about this because I'm worried if I tell my family they will overreact and say we need to move...If that is the right course of action, fine, but I want to hear it from a neutral third party. I need to get it off my chest.

Basically I have a neighbor who is a vet with PTSD recovering from serious substance abuse (heroin). At first I thought he was just a nice old man who wanted someone to talk to. He always had the best cared for yard in the neighborhood and seemed polite enough. But after a few conversations it became clear that he wasn't through coping with his issues and he definitely talks like someone who is mentally ill. He has told me ALL about his problems. I'm pretty sure that the housing he is in is cared for by the city, and that's why it's so nice.

I started avoiding his house, partly because I don't want to talk to him, and partly because he has a fear-aggressive ankle-biter dog that runs free and makes my dog very unhappy. Today he confronted me about avoiding him and I said it was because I didn't want my dog to get too close to his dog because she is still in training. He really doesn't seem to understand this even though I've told him multiple times in the past that my dog can't handle being around his dog. He continues to approach us on the street and once he threw his dog's toy in front of my dog, I think on purpose.

Anyway, after I give my explanation he then starts telling this rambling, meandering story about this young woman he knew who was avoiding him, and when he finally got her to admit that the reason was because he made her uncomfortable, he was going to blow up her car. But his therapist talked him out of it. He said it would have been so easy to blow up her car, but he wanted karma to deal with her instead for "ruining his good name."

The whole conversation I really couldn't get a word in edgewise and I just left things at "have a nice day." My current plan is just to avoid his house and change my walking route because he seems like a total nutter. Part of me is a little afraid now because my cousin was murdered by a mentally ill man who she only talked to several times. Afterwards he told all of these crazy stories about being in a relationship with her that never really happened.

Jax08 01-16-2014 04:36 PM

ummm....that's interesting. How close do you live to this person?

wyoung2153 01-16-2014 04:39 PM

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Wow.. The first half of this made him sound just a little nutty, like he was lonely and needed to talk to someone. The second part about him blowing up that girl's car is a little much.

My advice is this. If you honestly feel threatened and that uncomfortable to even just say hi to the man then I think it's time to move. If that is not a plausable idea then this.. I don't suggest having a relationship with him, but it may behoove you to just play the nice neighbor. Avoidance doesn't always help things. especially if he has noticed already and has confronted you. I don't know the situation too well so it's hard to say whether is easy to just say hi and smile and walk away.

That's a really tough spot to be in because I have been in similar uncomfortable situations. Only you know how you really feel and that is probably hard to explain, but if you honestly feel threatened, I would stay out of the situation at whatever cost.

wolfy dog 01-16-2014 04:47 PM

We have lived in just the same situation: a Vietnam veteran next door on weed. Lots of kids and anything that was alive in that family, people and animals, was abused. He also came over one day, and yelled at the door and threatend us.
Since it seemed they had planted themselves to stay forever, we moved. It was the best thing we could have done to live in peace.

Gretchen 01-16-2014 05:16 PM

I would call your police dept and ask to speak with an officer, just talk to him/her and tell the police exactly what you wrote here and fear you have because of what happened to your cousin. You feel threatened.

There is probably not much the police can do, but at least it will be on record and maybe the police can see if this person has to check in with someone in mental health or like probation.

During my nursing internship, we had to do a few weeks at a mental health lockdown facility. One patient I was following was very nice and normal and funny for a while, but after about 3 weeks he changed and confessed he wanted to kill or harm the CNAs. I had to report him, this is something the facility took very seriously and he was transferred within hours. Hopefully someone will take your feelings seriously.

I also wanted to add, we have a neighbor that is just a jerk, mental in some way, we think he may have vandalized our cars. The only thing we could really do was install a video camera in our front and rear. I thought of getting one for inside my vehicle, maybe this is something you can look into, unfortunately good ones are not cheap.

Lilie 01-16-2014 05:39 PM

There is a big difference in having an old, nutty, hard to get along with neighbor (I have one) and a neighbor that threatens physical violence.

Tell your family. If he is truly a threat, they are in danger as well. Tell your family. Discuss your options as a family.

SuperG 01-16-2014 05:45 PM

Just out of curiosity.....does you dog sense your "uncomfortableness" when you around this guy with your dog?


Kaimeju 01-16-2014 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by SuperG (Post 4846577)
Just out of curiosity.....does you dog sense your "uncomfortableness" when you around this guy with your dog?


Yes. She whines and fidgets. It might be because of his dog, but she is quite vocal about her dislike of stopping to talk to him.

I don't know if he knows which house is ours because I live around the corner, but it would be easy to find out. If I told the police would there be any potential for retaliation? We live in a small town about 30k people.

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Liesje 01-16-2014 06:03 PM

Depending on the "vibe" I got, I might actually stoop to the level of telling my husband (6'4" 250lbs athlete) to go over there and simply tell this man in polite but firm tone that he's not to talk to me or come near me again.

onyx'girl 01-16-2014 06:17 PM

I don't think someone who has mental issues would be intimidated by a larger structured man. They'd be planning/plotting, not back off....
I agree with the suggestion to let authorities know. They may have others who've come forward, best to be proactive.
Avoid him from now on. If you pray, keep him in your prayers.

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