ADHD in Massachusetts
Bullying neighbor exploiting my ADHD against me
I will deal with this myself—trust me—I’m just wondering (a) if this has happened to anyone else and if so (b) how they dealt with it.
I have the stereotypical “neighbors from Hell” and for a bunch of reasons can’t move—nor would I really want to let bullies drive me out of a neighborhood that I’ve lived in longer than they.
About seven years ago, I cut down a 30’ tree which accidentally fell the wrong way and into their yard. They suffered absolutely *no* damages—to this date, absolutely nothing has been repaired or replaced and for a bunch of other reasons I am not getting into here, I know that nothing was damaged.
Notwithstanding this, they demanded that I immediately give them $500 in cash and the name of my homeowner’s insurance company—and seeking harmonious relations, I gave them both. They proceeded to file a quite fraudulent claim with my insurance company for a whole lot of damages that didn’t exist, my insurance offered a settlement for half which they accepted. They then demanded that I pay the other half—of damages they never had.
I, of course, refused because (a) they had never suffered the damages and (b) accepting a settlement—by definition—means that you accept the payment as *full* payment of your claim.
They then proceeded to make my life rather miserable to the point where I agreed to give them the money if they signed a document promising to leave me alone—which they refused.
I got my doctorate 16 months ago and I’m guessing they figured I’d leave after that—and when I didn’t they engaged in a wholesale campaign of harassment including false complaints to the various municipal authorities (until each and every entity got tired of this and started ignoring them—and on one I asked the official exactly what the violation she was claiming *was*—and she admitted that she had absolutely no idea but was still giving me grief for having done it).
They are friends with several of the local police officers who have been harassing me as well. Most recently they threatened to arrest me for violating a municipal noise ordinance which (a) doesn’t exist and which (b) they freely admitted I wasn’t violating—but—trying to keep a sense of humor here—if I didn’t do what I wasn’t doing again, they’d arrest me next time.
It probably doesn’t help that if you have ADHD, you inherently are often doing things which are somewhat unusual - not wrong or illegal but unusual (e.g. picking up the nail you happen to see in the middle of the street) and that along with maliciously-intended quite slanderous defamation to said cop buddies who played high school sports with you probably justifies the harassment in the eyes of the police.
I’m not even going to get into the vile verbal abuse they these lovely neighbors throw at me—I’m disciplined enough not to respond, but if you have ADHD, in my case quite severe ADHD, you don’t not hear it. And while I am disciplined enough to either not respond or to respond with what I have already decided I will respond with—I am self disciplined enough that I was well into adulthood before I ever knew I had ADHD—it’s really messing up my ability to function.
I’ve often described ADHD as living with the proverbial “house of cards”—as long as everything is stacked up right, you can do quite well, but once things start falling down, it quite rapidly cascades into utter chaos. Yesterday, after yet another particularly nasty encounter with one of those ever-so-lovely people (she was putting up her Christmas lights, which I think ironic), it got to the point where I put a bucket under the hot water spigot in the utility room and instead turned on the cold.
Yes, I quickly shut it off again when I observed water coming out of the wrong faucet—splashing all over everywhere (including me) and not into the bucket as intended—and I was able to then open the faucet I had intended to.
These are faucets off two exposed pipes, one about 6” above the other and the two faucets about 18” apart. There is absolutely no way one can confuse one for the other—there was one with a bucket under it and one not—and I honestly thought that I had opened the one over the bucket—I’m not delusional, I knew where I wanted my hand to go and it just didn’t go there, and I did immediately realize that it wasn’t there & was able to correct my error.
But this was the ultimate “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” moment and a realization that I have to do something about the obnoxious neighbors.
Like I said, I’ll deal with this myself—there are a variety of legal options I have been thinking about but holding off on because I was hoping that things would just quiet down and if appeased enough, the bullies would leave me alone. There are laws against extortion, which is what this technically is, and a variety of other things which come to mind, including just “hiding behind the label” and making this an ADA discrimination issue—the town already knows about the ADHD.
To the “Coaches” and such—(a) I don’t intend to hire you and (b) I’m likely already way beyond anything you may be able to think of anyway. It’s an Achilles Heel that is being exploited—in my opinion, it isn’t that I have it but that it is intentionally being exploited.
What I’m wondering is if anyone has ever dealt with a situation anywhere near this one and—if so—what you may have done to resolve it.
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