This morning my neighbor whom I have lived next to for almost two years told my husband that she has never heard my mouth before, that she has always heard the boys but never me. That's because I stay away from arguments and confrontations and for the most part I am a very quiet person. I don't harass people and I don't expect them to harass me.
The house I live in is a rickety old house. You may already know that if you've been reading my blog for some time. My husband and I have fixed sockets and wiring so as to help it to be livable and we did a lot of painting and repainting to spruce it up some. Recently we have stopped cutting the grass because honestly we don't have the money and whenever we do other things arise and we just neglect to take care of it...as you can imagine it is very high now because it's been a really long time since we got it cut-I'll get back to why I am mentioning this in a moment.
Earlier this year the landlady's son came to drop containers at the back of the yard, the yard we live in, the premises that we pay rent for and live on. I don't have a problem with this nor could I because it's their property and they can do whatever they want with it-I just live here!
I was not made aware that this would happen nor that her son would be operating a business out of these containers with regular and irregular employees and by that I mean people who conduct inventory and men that load and unload the goods that they are trafficking.
The first time I said anything about their operations was when they almost tore off the very dilapidated gate to the premises we rented. The second time was after weeks of dealing with the obtrusive noise that woke Aaron in the morning and if you know anything about being pregnant and having other children you know that rest is important to all parties involved.
The third time was some weeks ago when I was in the last weeks of my pregnancy and it was a weekend and everyone was roused awake by the noise of boxes being dropped to the ground or stacked into the container. To make matters worst the landlady was out there with them and instead of respecting us as her tenants she privied them and whispered to the lady that seemed to be in charge, separate and apart from her son who is the CEO of said opertions but I quickly started to understand that she was benefiting from whatever operations was being carried out and of course was telling them lies and half truths that fueled the disdain and disrespect of said workers including her son.
I am not going to lie and pretend that I didn't behave badly that morning even though I was in the room "cussing" the whole time. I may not have used cursed words but my language was directed and firey. I made it a point to state that I was not squatting or "kotching" and was paying rent and had rights not to mention the fact that we did not come and see the containers but we were here long before them and long before business operations had begun with them or in them. I also said that I wouldn't be cutting the back of the yard anymore because as far as I am concerned we are no longer responsible for said duties. I did go as far as to say I would call the police and tell them drugs were being trafficked in my back yard and that I would go out there and pee in front of the containers. All of this was spoken in broken English but if anyone knows me they know I wouldn't stoop so low. I literally couldn't stoop that low-I was thirty something weeks pregnant, nor did I have the gall to be that disrespectful and while I "cussed" it was only loud enough for them to hear.
Thing is I am always praying and crying and earlier this year I was faced with a swollen heart and severely high blood pressure. I just wanted to speak up and speak out for once in my life without being afraid.
I don't usually let people in on my anxiety but I did with the landlady because when I met her she seemed like this sweet old lady and even though people pinched me and told me she wasn't I still gave her the benefit of the doubt because I am not judgmental at all. Her true colours began to show back in December 2015 when we were late in paying the rent and we are mostly late with our rent payments since we usually pay month end when my husband gets paid but I mean this time we were really really late, to the point where the month had ended. I felt as if she was justified in her anger so when she started acting certain way towards us I couldn't say anything because of the fact that we hadn't paid her rent.
I wont even try to justify myself or make excuses but stuff happens sometimes that your not prepared for and it seemed that everything that could go wrong December 2015 did go wrong.
The boys fell ill and so did I among other things...
The landlady must have walked the entire neighborhood telling people how we owed her rent and she wanted us out and was going to give us notice. She even took it to the church and of course to Kevin's parents who are leaders of the church. I think she bothered Kevin's mother with complaints to the extent that she herself told her to give us notice. I still could not fault her in this but it did stress me out and I became very depressed and wanted to kill myself and if you would have been reading my blog for a while now you would know that shortly after this I fell very ill and was told that my heart was significantly enlarged, my blood count deathly low and blood pressure extremely high and it was at this point that I wanted to live more than anything else.
Kevin's mom and dad came to the house for dinner as they usually would around that time but I noticed that when his mom came-and she arrived a little later than the others-I noticed she was upset and she told me she wanted to talk to me and Kevin but Kevin was at work so she said she would talk to me and I should relay everything to Kevin.
She said the landlady told her that we hadn't paid the rent. I wasn't surprised that she went to them about the matter since it was them that got us the place to begin with. What I was surprised about was how she had given them the impression that we haven't been paying the rent for months when it was just December that we had owed and was trying to resolve. The funny thing is she didn't come to us until after she went around the neighborhood spreading propaganda and to them to tell half truths and out right lies.
I was also shocked when Kevin's mum said she told her Kevin was disrespecting her-he has never disrespected her, not even when she is "cussing" at the top of her lungs for the whole community to hear or throwing the "F" word at him-and that she didn't like how we kept the back yard because up to that point the yard was kept cut as often as possible. What she was apparently talking about was the grass that was heaped up around the back that the person who cut the yard couldn't dispose of because his bags were finished.
Kevin was supposed the get trash bags and sort it out.
What bothered me about this was that she didn't once come over to the house and say anything about it to me or Kevin so we didn't know it was a problem until after his mom told us about it. It was unsettling to know the landlady would go to her with something like that since I am almost always at home and if she had told me I would have done it or kept reminding Kevin about it. She also told Kevin's parents that the man who was supposed to fix the house said he was not going to come over here to do any work on the house because of our attitude. At this point I started to cry because I was overwhelmed and I didn't know what attitude she/he was talking about since I don't ever see the gentleman-I don't even go outside when I am at home for crying out loud! I told Kevin's mum that that was a lie. Kevin goes to that gentleman to pay the rent every month and not once have they had an altercation. It was always just little disagreements about our rent receipts that was never enough to cause strife.
Today is the fourth time I have "cussed" because my husband went out there to ask them if they could take time with the noise and maybe not drop the boxes since the boys were sleeping in the back room and the lady responded to him with disregard. He then said he would call the police and report about the disturbance. The lady went to tell the landlady and all hell broke loose. The land lady stormed around to the back door and banged on it like the police trying to apprehend a criminal reported to be hiding in our house or simply as if she was going to break it down.
Kevin went to her while I fed Ariah and asked "Who ah beet down the door suh?!" I knew it was her though.
Once Ariah came off the breast I went around to witness everything so that no lies could be told.
The landlady was up on our step hurling insults and vile language. One step more and she would have been in Kevin's face. She said "You don't know the real reason why I gave you notice, that's not the real reason why I gave you notice."
Let's back track a bit. I went into labour on the seventh of September. Ariah was born in the morning and the landlady served the notice the night of that same day. The notice read that we were being asked to vacate the property by the seventh of October. The reason given was for her to conduct major repairs on the house. The same repairs we were promised when she incited Kevin's parents interest, when she told Kevin's mom about the place. She said if we would take it as it was they would use our rent money to repair the house and for as long as we lived there she would never raise the rent from the $23,000 she was asking for it and at the time on the encouragement of Kevin's mom we thought it was a good deal.
Almost two years later nothing has been fixed only a few burglar bars has been installed and yet we continue to pay rent and keep quiet about the bad deal we were dealt on this dilapidated, rat infested house.
I told Kevin not to argue with her and to keep quiet despite her threatening behavior this morning for the most part I was laughing it off until the lady who works in the container said "I didn't know they were still living here because you told me that you gave them notice."
In response to that I said "Really?!" with the most sarcastic tone. "That's why unuu ah behave suh because unuu ah hear things." then I concluded by saying that she must think she's special or something and that she was rude and disrespectful and then the upset started.
She told me that I was "shape bad" and that she was in fact special and beautiful. I told her that her ugly heart was showing on her face so she was in fact ugly. She said that she is 56 with 5 children and and that she was a grandmother and she looked better than me and I needed to go find a mirror because all mi foot dem and mi belly swell up and bloated and stay bad.
I laughed at that. To be honest I was laughing the whole time even when she said that my husband is blind because look at me...this to be honest cracked me up.
I told her she was ugly repeatedly and at one point I told her she shaped like the boxes she was packing out.
In all honesty she kinda straight fi true and mi foot dem kinda swell fi true but she nuh look no way and she nuh ugly at all, but you know how it is when women argue. I don't know anything about the lady so I have no right to "cuss" her about anything besides the fact that she was behaving disrespectful and acting as if she knew something about us little did I know that she knew whatever the landlady told her-they all knew and that is what fueled their behavior and attitude.
She told me we were nasty and that our bathroom and house stink and our house needed cleaning so I must go and clean it. I low key told her she was smelling her mouth or her vagina, but that she was welcomed to clean my house for me so she should go get her cleaning supplies and come because I don't have any.
The blackest dude out there unloading said we were nasty and we needed to cut our yard. I told him we don't have the money so he should come cut it for us or go get someone to cut it. Truth is we had planned to get it cut so many times since it grew up but something always came up and we had to put it on the back burner. Kevin even tried to cut it himself on many occasions but because of his hectic work life he didn't get around to completing it.
The lady continued to tell me that I was hungry. The insults got worst when the landlady's son came. He outright tried to silence me by telling me to stop mi talking and bout how "mi nah go cuss anyone this morning". I told him it was too late and I will cuss whomever, whenever I please.
He continued by saying "We want the house, we want the house, so unuu need fi come out!"
At this point I started to listen more than I was arguing so I could hear and make a mental note of what he was saying.
He then said he is going to get a garbage truck to pack up me, my children and the house. At this point I started feeling weary and dizzy and my head started to hurt. I was also shaking uncontrollably and it was not out of anger.
My argument was now deduced to "unuu too out of order and don't have any manners". He was talking as if he had all the receipts on us so I said "I am not surprised because your mother has told me everything about you so I got your number huni."
All this time the persons working the containers were laughing and snickering at our expense and the lady who had so much to tell me about my appearance was having a field day. She told me how I wasn't progressing, that I couldn't walk in her shoe, that she is out of my league and if I didn't see that she have her car and whatever else...
I have never begrudged anyone anything and to be honest I didn't know if she drive or walk because I don't make anyone else affairs my concern. I began to talk about what the landlady was doing and I called her a wicked lie hypocritical old woman numerous times. I talked about her lies and hypocrisy and the youngest dude that was in the container became very quiet and his entire attitude changed. He was already quiet but for the most part he had been snickering and laughing with the others.
I soon found out that her son was not done with me yet, nor was the lady it seemed.
She called me a gorilla repeatedly and he said me and my children and husband were hungry mongrel dogs and he was going to turn cornmeal and give us to eat.
That upset me to my core, but I didn't let it show.
I laughed it off.
These people didn't even know me but yet they were "cussing" me and my family on such a personal level. I began to wonder why-when I was just upset about the noise in the mornings-had they drawn for such personal cards.
Why we were paying so much money to be treated like squatters?!
They all seemed to know about the notice and was all in agreement with her getting a bailiff and throwing us out as she threatened to do in front of them as she spat her last few "F" words spinning to walk away almost tripping on the grass as she stormed off.
These people laughed at our demise and I thought "Lord...LORD!"
This is a woman who is in church every day of the week how can she be so dishonest and hypocritical. She had presented herself so sweetly to me and as time passed by I started to see her true nature and I was just tired of her gossiping to me about other people so I began avoiding her.
She was so sweet, I keep thinking, she used to bring water for me until one night I had a dream that she did something to it and I stopped drinking it when she brought it and Kevin told her she shouldn't bring anymore.
She occasionally brought vegetables and ground provisions over to the house and as small as it was I though it was sweet of her to do that even though no matter how I kept telling her she didn't have to she did and somehow they were never used and ended up getting thrown out after being in the refrigerator for too long. I told her we didn't need it that we were OK because I didn't want to outright say I don't want it to avoid hurting her feelings. She always seemed so concerned about me and the boys and even though she disrespected us December 2015 to early 2016 I still did not respond to her negatively when she came over the house to chat as she usually did.
I started avoiding her when I had the dream that she had poisoned the bottles of water she was taking over to the house and I was very pregnant at the time so I stopped drinking her water because I know God and when he gives me dreams it's always accurate! Funny thing is she started bringing filtered water over to the house for me because she knew I didn't drink water from the pipe and often times couldn't bother to boil water. She said I shouldn't drink the pipe water at all because it dirty and will cause me and the children to get sick so she brought water for us that she filtered and boiled.
I did not entertain her anymore or share in any type of conversations she tried to hold with me because one day when our gas had finished were were cooking outside on wood fire and I saw her talking to the gentleman that had just moved next door. I did see him looking at me as she spoke but I thought nothing of it. I later found out she was telling the gentleman who was as much a stranger to me as he was to her that she "can't understand how we made that"-and by "that" she meant my pregnancy "happen to me and look how much method deh fi prevent it and we know seh we a struggle already."
The same guy she told went back and told his neighbor who he didn't know was my friend and she came back and told me to stay away from Ms. Brown. I asked her why and she told me and that is exactly what I did. When she realized we weren't into her any more she became resentful and made up her face every time she passed the house and we or the children were outside and soon enough I came home to a NOTICE that was served the night of the day Ariah was born that gave us one month to move out.
I have been trying to smile and laugh in spite of the ridicule and torture. I keep it all secret and I have not broken down because I don't want Kevin to break down.
I didn't want my children to see me argue but I was pushed passed the limit.
Everything died down when the police came and her advice was good and reasonable. While the female officer did not take sides she did listen and reprimand wherever necessary. The male officer was clear about the side he had chosen.
Me and my family is faced with being homeless once again and as I write this tears are hitting my computer keyboard with resounding cymbals as my children and my husband eat chicken with callaloo and boiled whole wheat dumplings at the dining table in the living room.
I can't eat...I know I will have to but not until the tears stop falling!
I feel better after writing but my behavior is not without consequence as my chest hurts and I begin bleeding from the mouth.