When we first married, the Ty-man and I lived in a small apartment in Kennesaw. After listening to our neighbor pee in his toilet every morning, we decided we were finished with close quarters and we bought our first home in Cumming. Four months after saying I do we moved into the freedom of our land, our garage, our grass, our kitchen, our day lillies, our home.
We knew it wasn't permanent. That first house was to be our learning curve. We would figure out how to deal with busted pipes and a backyard full of kudzu and then, we would be ready for the big league. That first house was just that, it was a house, but it wasn't a home. We never painted the walls and we only hung up a few pictures and curtains in one room. We treated that house as our way station.
This house where I'm sitting right now is our home. We've lived here for almost 11 years and it's all ours. It's got paint, wallpaper, pictures, tchotchkes, and the laughter of children. It's all here and it's the reason why, when we moved here, we said This is ours.
And if I had an offer on the table and a pile of money in front of me, I'd leave it all in a heartbeat.
Four years ago, we transformed our ugly, down-hill, hard-packed-Georgia-clay backyard into a grassy oasis. In one corner of our newly-fenced and level, grassy yard, we created a play area that, two months later, housed a little plastic sandbox, picnic table, slide, and play house for our toddler kids. During the construction of this backyard, I was a new mom again. I had just given birth to J-man one month before construction began and trying to nap through all the noise was impossible. But, I was happy because we would finally have a safe place to play.
But our neighbor wasn't happy. I'm not talking about Jodi, I'm talking about the lady on the other side of us. We'll call her B (for bitter). She scowled, she grumbled, and she made our lives hell. When the Bobcat accidentally cut off her cable TV, Ty-man immediately scoured the neighborhood for a Comcast truck, found one, bribed the guy to fix the cable NOW, and gave B five movie gift cards for her entire family as recompense.
And for these last four years, B has refused to speak to us, wave, say "Hello" or communicate in any way. Oh, she'll complain about our imagined infractions to Jodi all day long, but she won't ring our doorbell to let us know about her problems with us. It's been four years of textbook passive-aggressive behavior and I can tell you unequivocally, honestly, and forthrightly that we've done nothing, NOTHING to her or hers.
Two days ago, we had a playset from this company delivered and constructed in the backyard. It is NOT visible from the road. It IS visible from B's front stoop. This means that when she goes into her house, she sees it. It's not in her yard. It's within our property boundaries, inside the fence of our backyard. And B has complained to our property management company. I also have it on very good faith that she is attempting to get the HOA Bully (who is still on the board) involved. She specifically asked for his involvement, knowing what I went through with him two years ago.
When I found out that last tidbit, I had a full-on panic/anxiety attack. On top of taking pot-shots at my kids (which, let's face it, that's what she's doing when she complains about a playset), she's attempting to make our lives hell FOR NOTHING. For absolutely nothing, for no reason whatsoever, simply because we exist, occupy the space next to her, have followed the rules, and have bent over backwards to be quiet, unobtrusive, nice neighbors, she wants to stir up old anxieties.
I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do. I'm pacing the house absolutely terrified that THAT MAN will be within feet of me and mine. I had to call the sheriff on his ass the last time I was near him and then I was worried the moment would end in violence. I don't go anywhere near his part of the neighborhood. There is this barrier of 1/4 mile of streets between our homes and that gives me solace. But to have this woman GIVE HIM PERMISSION to re-enter our lives has me in a panic.
I was never bullied as a child. I didn't experience my first bully until two years ago, at 37. It was, I think, as bad as if I had been bullied as a child. I don't want my children to see me reacting like this, but I can't help it.
Thank God for the Ty-man. He's handling this in a way I couldn't even fathom right now. All I want to do is curl up in bed with back issues of National Geographic and emerge when the smoke clears. He? Is taking care of business.
I'll be OK. This whole situation will be OK. It just has to be. But, seriously? Why? Why is she doing this? Because this playset is all about childhood laughter
and fond memories,
not anxiety, upset, and tears.
Seriously, if she pushes my buttons any further, I may just join a nudist/swinger group, install a jacuzzi where the playset currently resides, and REALLY piss her off with Thursday night orgies.