Thursday, October 7, 2010

the short story about my neighbor

In honor of No D Day,Created by George Simmons (aka Ninjabetic) over at The B.A.D. Blog, I bring you this post about my neighbor...

Just over 5 years ago, we had a new neighbor move in...a really sweet lady in her 60s. She spent most of her time working in her yard making it one of the nicest landscapes in the neighborhood. She became friends with my mom and a trusted person to take care of our house when we were on vacation. We had the best neighbor ever!!

This picture is of my boys playing in our leaves last the background is our neighbor's house with it's gorgeous japanese maple in autumn colors.

Since that pictures was taken, my neighbor started showing signs of paranoid schizophrenia. She began accusing our other neighbors of spying on her and trying to break into her house. She began ranting about a telecom conspiracy. She cancelled her phone, internet, and cable service. She eventually cancelled her garbage service too...and then her water was turned off. One day in the spring, she cut down that gorgeous japanese maple and left it on the grass in the middle of our quaint little cul de sac. She began pulling out all the roses and other shrubs. She claimed they were "plastic" and "receptors for the intercom" Inside her home, she began taking out her lights and covering them with cloth or paper...they were filled with "iBots" She claimed she was being abducted and electronically raped, that she spawned many children (including my neighbors two kids!) and she was tired of it!

Eventually, she began to take things out of her house...artwork, plants and pots, mattresses, an antique chest and piled them in the far corner of her yard. She then started covering her windows with fabric...these later were taken down and replaced with masking tape...yes, MASKING TAPE!! She used masking tape to cover anything and everything that was glass, plastic, metal (because it was hazardous and toxic)

The HOA tried to get her to stop, we have some pretty strict CC&Rs. I am sure she has accumulated many many fines! The sheriff had come out a few times. The crisis team and mental health made several visits. She refused help. She didn't need help, she was fine...everyone else was crazy.

Here she is cutting down one of the supporting posts to her front porch. She claimed it was filled with electronic spying devices. The remaining post (not seen in the picture) eventually became cracked from having to take on all the added weight...she has taped that up too. If you notice, her front door and windows are covered completely with masking tape. The design is very intricate...wonder if there was a meaning behind it.

One day, she pushed (on her own) the refrigerator out of her house and left it out front...(also covered in masking tape and fabric.

After having filled her car with various things from the house (toasters, mirrors, microwave, etc) she began taping it up.

At some point, she took the doors off of her house. I believe this is the front door. All she had in the back of the house was a sheet covering the entrance and the front only had the taped up storm door.

Warning to not touch the "toxic" glass

Here is the outside of her house just a couple days ago...the windows now covered with sheets/blankets
Here is her storm door in the front and the window to the garage...all taped.

Side windows to the garage....nothing left untaped

even the side door....covered in tape. Makes me wish I invested in masking tape!!!! Can you even imagine how many rolls of masking tape she had to have used. And apparently the inside of the house is ten times worse! Such a tragedy.

Anyhow, on Friday, the sheriff came over as she was taping up the hubcaps of her car. The crisis team joined him. Of course I have no idea what was going on but eventually they took her away in the police car. I have contact with her ex-husband, who is an amazing man that could have washed his hands of her but has been there to help her the best he can. He said she is up at the hospital but refusing treatment. We are hoping that it will go to a hearing so that the judge can order her to be medicated. It is so hard to imagine that less than a year ago, she was a "normal" lady. I hope that neighbor comes back...not the looney one.


  1. WOW...and (((HUGS))) to your neighbor, to you, to the boys, and to the community. It sounds like you guys lost a pretty amazing neighbor to a horrible mental illness.

    It is amazing the power that your mind can have. The intricacy of her work is indescribable.

  2. I feel so bad for her. I wonder if she has any remaining moments of lucidity where she feels trapped by the workings of her own mind. I hope they can help her.

  3. Oh that is so sad. It is terrifying to think that those of us thinking normal things and living normal lives now can one day just snap.

  4. I hope she gets well. It is disturbing how our minds can turn on us in so many unexplainable ways.

  5. WOW. Wow. Wow. How sad - that poor woman. I hope she gets the help she needs.

  6. Oh my, this is so sad. At least she gave the boys a happy memory of playing in that ginormous leaf pile.

  7. Holy Crazy!! I hope she gets the help she needs - that is all kinds of crazy but also all kinds of sad!

  8. Oh, that's so sad! I, too, hope she gets the help she needs. Please keep us posted. I'm sure I won't be the only one who's curious as to how she's doing.

  9. WOW!!!!!!!! That's so sad :( The pics are NUTS!!!!

  10. It's heartbreaking to see anyone succumb to mental illness, especially an illness as severe as schizophrenia. Having worked with more than my fair share of schizophrenics over the years, I've seen some very bad cases. I'm glad she hasn't hurt herself or anyone else (physically, I mean), but of course, the downside, if you will, of that is it makes treating her against her will very complicated from a legal standpoint. I hope the judge in the impending hearing orders that she can be treated despite her objections.

    I'm guessing you don't know, but this is Mental Illness Awareness Week. You've done a fine job raising awareness by posting about your neighbor, so thanks for that.

  11. All I can say is wow... it must have been so hard to watch her deteriorate. I hope she finds the help she needs.