I thank God for my accommodation, which is just perfect in so many ways. I have lived here for about three years now and the time has flown by, which I think is a sign that things have been going really well. I live in a house divided into three flats (I’m in the middle with one person above and one person below). I live near the centre of a town with great transport connections and amenities. It’s got everything I need. I’m so grateful.
However, right now I need your prayers!
To cut a long story short, my accommodation is connected to the mental health system in South London, and I am only living here because I am under the auspices of the Community Mental Health Team. My last spell in hospital was more than four years ago, but when I was discharged, I went into what is known as ‘supported accommodation’ (which basically means there is a charity who help out with any issues that arise, and the rent is more affordable than it would be otherwise).
I believe the guy in the flat above me (let’s call him X) has been here for about twenty years. I knew almost immediately that he was going to be a difficult neighbour when I heard him physically fighting with his son on the stairs and threatening to ‘knock him out’. He freely speaks in profanity, tells lies, shouts loudly to himself, and breaks many of the rules of his tenancy (for instance by keeping a cat and smoking illegal substances).
I have tried really hard to be a friendly neighbour to X. I try to be loving towards him at all times and encourage him, shake his hand, give him a pat on the back, pray for him, and I always ask how he’s doing while at the same time keeping some psychological distance (i.e. by not going into his flat nor allowing him into mine).
In recent weeks there is one issue that has been a real challenge. X plays his music really loudly in the afternoons – so loudly that you can hear it down the street (he often leaves a window open which doesn’t help). There is enough separation between our flats that in my flat I don’t hear his music very loudly, though it is still distracting. My main problem is that it’s very antisocial in terms of others who live on our road and the many people who come to the front door of the house for deliveries, etc. One delivery man told me that he felt uncomfortable coming to our front door because of the loud music, and I always feel I have to apologise to any visitors.
I have politely asked X on four occasions to turn the music down, and every time he has met me with the same response. He says, ‘If it’s too loud, bang on my door and tell me to turn in down’. I know, however, that if I did this, it would be confrontational and he would almost certainly react aggressively. I told him “I’m not an aggressive person, and in any case I’m asking you now so why do I need to knock on your door?” But he dismissed my logic.
After weeks of frustration, I bumped into X on the street the other day and after a reasonably polite conversation I thought I’d try a slightly different approach. I mentioned the music again, but this time said what I hadn’t said before, which is that I don’t want to have to make a complaint. He immediately turned on me and said now I was causing trouble, and he walked off muttering and swearing. That was about two weeks ago and I haven’t seen him since. The loud music has continued.
I’m grateful that X doesn’t play music at night. It’s generally between about 1pm and 6pm. Still, it’s difficult to concentrate during that time, and I have to schedule my days to accommodate that noisy period in the middle of the day.
I’m worried that next time I bump into X he is going to be aggressive with me, verbally and perhaps even physically, as it certainly feels as though our relationship has been soured. I do kind of regret suggesting I might have to make a complaint, and feel that perhaps I should have just kept counting my blessings and put up with the noise. But it was getting so frustrating and oppressive that I felt I needed to do something.
Undoubtedly, X can be very nasty. I believe he may have been in prison and is used to handling confrontation with violence and aggression. He’s certainly a bullying character (I could give various examples of this that I have witnessed). The situation now is very volatile and I’m afraid that he could attack me if I say something that even slightly provokes him.
Please pray that God will bless this situation and bring a swift and happy resolution. Please pray for my protection and for X to experience a change of heart. Please pray for a breakthrough and a miracle that will bring peace.
Thank you SO much! xx