I wish I could say the following year was a breeze. But like all couples trying to work through the aftermath, it’s filled with a lot of hard moments. I don’t profess to remember everything from that time. Some things are honestly a blur. And not just because I was suffering from baby brain.
This is kind of like a story within a story, so bear with me. I could devote an entire blog to this subject, but I can’t go into all the details. It’s just too identifying and honestly painful thinking back on it. However, it begs inclusion as we were not only dealing with my husband’s infidelity but also a neighbor from hell.
To this day, we still don’t understand how she went from being a quiet next door neighbor to a raving lunatic overnight. But she did. Literally. Our guess was that she was schizophrenic and had stopped taking her meds. Either that, or it was something spiritual.
For some reason, she was fixated on me and I had to deal with this on top of the infidelity. All while being pregnant. No sooner had I made the decision to stand by my husband and work through the infidelity, that our next door neighbor went crazy.
She showed up on our doorstep banging on our windows and doors one evening. She was screaming nonsensical words and thought she was drunk. My husband refused to open the door. Neighbors watched from windows and were all wondering WTF happened. We had no clue ourselves. But it happened several times more with her antics escalating over several months.
She would erect speakers on our shared fence and start blasting YouTube clips of babies crying (she had no children, but visibly knew I was pregnant), talk in various voices over the fence whenever we were outside, try to run over neighborhood kids whenever she drove on our street…the list goes on and on.
Yes, we called the police. Multiple times. And yes, they informed me to keep a log. And pretty soon, they said to get a restraining order after she kept going onto our property and banging on our windows. And yes, my husband tried talking to her husband which only made her go even more mental (she never did this when he was home, only when he was gone at work–which was all time). And yes, I met with a detective to see what we could do to protect our family. There was no explanation for her behavior. I had never even spoken to her, other than to say hello, as we had been in the house only a year.
The scariest incident occurred one afternoon. And luckily Vivian had just run back inside. She was speaking in two voices over our fence, while I was silently watering in our backyard. One was a child’s, while the other was just pure evil sounding. There is really no other way to explain it. At first I thought it was an actual small child talking, until I realized it was her, speaking in two voices…and they were addressing……me! The hair on the back of my neck stood up, it was that scary.
She hissed, “Youuuuuuuuuu (expletive)….Youuuuuuuu (expletive).” I don’t even want to repeat the exact words because I believe it was the uttering of two demons, possibly more. For real. This was like something out of Poltergeist. Not kidding.
The detective had asked me to start recording whenever she harassed me. Apparently it would help them build a case. She hadn’t said she wanted to kill me….Yet. And unfortunately, as the detective explained, “Ma’am there is no crime in being crazy.”
I share this because it had a profound effect on me. Being pregnant, I felt very vulnerable. And I felt very alone in dealing with this crazy neighbor, plus trying to shield Vivian from it all. My husband would leave for work and no sooner had his car pulled away, the harassment would start. He would sometimes leave for work, only to park his car one street over, then sneak back to witness it himself.
Windows were kept shut, blinds were permanently left closed. It was like living in a dark cave. Overnight. We had no choice because one morning, while trying to do Vivian’s hair in the bathroom before school, she started standing outside our window ranting and raving. She would listen to wherever we were in our house, then stand on the other side of the wall hurling obscenities or just screaming nonsensically. We were literally being stalked in our own home.
The recordings were given to a sound technician in Hollywood, who works on various movies. He offered to clean it up after hearing from a friend about what we were going through. Anyways, he enhanced just the audio portion since I was shaking like a leaf when recording it. Working on it late one night, he finally called saying it was the scariest thing he had ever heard. Hands down. Having to listen to it over and over, freaked him out. Once we got it back, we gave it to police.
Why didn’t you just move? Well for starters, the housing market had tanked. Selling wasn’t an option then. And we couldn’t rent it for our mortgage either. So we stayed, trying to figure ways to endure it. This went on for the duration of my pregnancy and several months after our child was born.
We even had our home blessed by a pastor after that. Him and his wife used holy water and oil on every window and door. My husband was instructed to pray over the four corners of our property, every morning before he left for work. So he did. Rain or shine. At 5:30 a.m.
Needless to say, in the span of a few weeks, our marriage was turned upside down. And now our day-to-day lives were as well. Looking back, I can see this contributed to my own desire to escape. Something that fuels affairs. I didn’t realize it at the time, but hindsight is always 20/20.