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How would you deal with this abusive neighbour?

(3 Posts)
ifaistos Fri 08-Jul-11 10:10:55

I'm posting this on behalf of an aunt I'm staying with at the moment. She lives abroad, in a neighbourhood where all the houses and flats are piled on top of each other. You can hear the neighbour opposite blow his nose at night and the neighbour upstairs can see straight into the kitchen when she enters her flat.

It's the upstairs neighbour that's the problem. She obviously has a mental health issue or two. I don't know much about it but I'm guessing she's paranoid. She's accused my aunt of murdering her cats, stealing from her house and generally shouts abuse at her all day long. She listens in on my aunt's conversations and phone calls and then shouts out the details to the whole neighbourhood. She puts up signs in the street listing things my aunt's supposedly done to her. She can rant for an hour non-stop if she's having a bad day. It's deeply unpleasant. At the moment she's telling my dc how their auntie is a cat murderer.

Legally, there doesn't seem to much my aunt can do. The police have been called a couple of times. Once when my aunt's door lock was jammed (she suspects it was the neighbour) while she was away. Another time when she's tried to do building work involving my aunt's house. The police told my aunt they know the neighbour because she regularly goes to the police station to try and make formal complaints about my aunt (for theft, etc.). But they've said the only thing my aunt can do is ask for the neighbour to be institutionalised. She doesn't want to do this - care for mentally ill is non existent here and it's unlikely she'd be taken care of at all. There are no relatives or visitors, she doesn't seem to have anyone looking after her. She's young btw, in her forties I'd say.

So I suppose I'm asking you for coping strategies. So far, we've managed to stay calm and just ignore, but it's stressful hearing abuse including about your private life and kids all day long. It's especially hard to block out at the moment because it's boiling hot and we need the windows open, meaning she is literally right in front of us. Any ideas of how we can cope with this, given it's not going to go away any time soon?

SloganLogan Sat 09-Jul-11 09:03:15

Are there any mental health charities in your aunt's area that could advise?

"care for mentally ill is non existent here and it's unlikely she'd be taken care of at all"

ifaistos Sun 10-Jul-11 21:29:20

I'll have a look, that's a good idea, but I don't hold out much hope of finding one. I said she has no family. She does actually have some siblings but her lawyer - who's aware she's got problems - tried to tell them about the situation and apparently they weren't interested. Today it's been relentless, and it started at 5am.

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