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Hello~Kitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 10/12/2007 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone. I have this nieghbor that suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, I also suffer from anxiety but not as bad as her. She makes me do EVERYTHING for her. She doesnt even "asks" me anymore, she now FORCES me too and when I say I cant do it she threatens me. She even somehow convinces a foodmart/gas-station down the street from us to give her an account that she can pay at the end of the month, and she made a balance of $250.00 and is now hiding from them, and since I go there alot to get my gas from them, they come out and yell at me, so now I cant even run down the street for gas or milk for my kids without being threatened by them. And she makes this teenager walk down to this video store and rents movie in her name and then since I'm the only one with a car she think its my job to return them, and when I tell her I cant she tells me she's gonna make me pay for the late fees. It isnt fair, I try to hide from her but she chases me down or uses my kids against me, she even got my dad's phone number from my son and called him saying I wouldnt return her movies for her, my dad told her to get a life and do it herself. I cant take it anymore....she is causing me severe anxiety. She starts crying and tells me she's having a panic attack when I tell her no, what should I do?? She even goes to the same church as me and Im afriad she will tell them how awful I am for not doing things for her, and have them start thinking Im a terrible person. I have 2 young kids to raise and worry about, but she makes me feel like she's my responsibilty. I'm only 24 and she is 59, I try to help her out a little bit by picking up her meds for her and taking her grocery shopping with me when I go every 2 weeks, but thats all I can do for her, I have a life too, please someone help me and tell me what I should say to her without making her have one fo these "panic attacks"....
 
thank you

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/12/2007 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello-Kitty,

I had to read your post twice hun. Wow.  You need to lose this person from your life now.  Please consider being assertive and telling her you no  longer can have her in your life.  You are not responsible for her and she cannot make you do anything.

No one can make you do anything unless you choose to. This is a good time for you to consider some CBT therapy and retrain your thinking.

Just be sure to tell the people at the store that you are in no way responsible for this woman and to not approach you about her bills.

IMHO she is an unsafe person for you.

You and your children have to come first.

Good luck and take care.


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
******www.healingwell.com/donate******
_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


Kikii
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/13/2007 12:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, that's pretty horrible.

I understand it's hard to stand up to her. She's quite a bit older than you and we tend to defer to older people, justified or not. Plus she's your neighbor and goes to your church. On top of that you're dealing with your own anxiety issues.

BUT - you HAVE to set boundaries. That's a valuable skill to learn, not just for this situation but for life! See this as an opportunity to learn how to say no. You can still be respectful. Tell her you're sorry, but you can't do x or y. If she doesn't let up, walk away. It's ok. If she starts harassing you or your children, you might want to consider taking more serious actions.

The people at the store down the street... tell them you have nothing to do with her. She's your neighbor, nothing more. And don't worry about the people at your church. Maybe you can even find someone there to confide in and possibly help you with your situation!

Good luck!

Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 10/13/2007 12:21 AM (GMT -7)   
great feedback! Boundaries are so very important to set. It's something i'm working on as well, but it's really necessary. People take advantage of kind people like yourself, and it's hard cause we feel guilty. The reality of the situation is this person is toxic. It sounds like she is manipulative and cruel...

I hope you get get some distance.

Dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh


el_pato
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 10/13/2007 2:47 AM (GMT -7)   
The only people dumber than those who use others are the people who let themselves get used. Just cut her off!

I kinda feel like you're not giving the whole picture, though...like we don't know how you met her, if she's ever helped you in times of need, if you two were ever genuinely friends before things got bad. I mean, it feels awkward to hate some one that you once felt indebted to. I hope it's not like that. In any case, dependency is so bad for you! What, is she going to die if you're not there to help? Yeah, that's healthy.

I wouldn't take any crap from the people at church. It would be pathetic for people of faith to so readily pass judgement on you. I hope they won't, but if you get bad vibes from them you're probably in the wrong place.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 10/13/2007 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
.....KIND to the point of a fault but not dumb...........PLease do not mistake some ppl 's kindness or weaknesses for dumbness.I too am this way OR WAS.........

Sweetie

Get her outta your life
Let her have her " panic attacks"
Seems to me she is pulling on your beautiful warm heart way to much .......
If need be have number changed or BLOCK hers from calling you ..........
YOU are to kind and you have too much going on in your life to be looking after this person who you so "APTLY " describe as USING you
 
HERE for you

Luvs ya always you know that
LYN


    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
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Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 10/13/2007 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah, i agree. It's not dumb to be kind to others, or overly kind. Some of us feel guilty and sometimes its really hard to know when you are being taking advantage of before its too late and you're deep in it. Dumb? No... Kind? Yes, and that's a FANTASTIC quality.

keep us posted Hello~Kitty!

dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/13/2007 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello-Kitty

We all want to be liked and respected. Most of us have an inborn trait to be kind and we do our best to help others in need. We are not dumb, we are kind to a fault sometimes.

The problem is that in our kindness and sharing we sometimes leave ourselves vulnerable to the nasty, selfish people who are only pretending to like us to satisfy their own agendas.

Take a good, hard look at this neighbor. Does she genuinely need your help, or is she using you due to an ulterior motive?

I know it is hard to believe that people can be nasty on purpose but I feel like you are certainly being taken advantage of. I agree with the suggestion to set boundaries and then comes the hard part.............maintaining these boundaries.

Stay with us and know we care.


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
******www.healingwell.com/donate******
_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


liquid
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 10/13/2007 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello-Kitty,

i really belive you do need to tell your neighbour you wont help her anymore, and her threatening you is just plain WRONG. She dosent have the right to boss you around, when you are helping her out in good faith.

I myself cant go to the local shops or even to my daughters school in the next street, but i dont force anyone to do things for me.

I cant beleive the gawl of this woman, i dont want to sound nasty, but she does need to be put back in her place.

But most importantly, you have to make sure you dont feel bad or any guilt for yourself because you wont help her anymore, she has treated you unfairly, and you have helped this woman no end so dont blame yourself for anything.

 

hope you get this sorted out soon, it must'nt be a good feeling. sad


Suffer from major depression, Agoraphobia, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Recovering Alcoholic.
 
I have 4 great kids and a wonderfully supportive partner.
 
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel"
 
 


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 10/13/2007 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello-Kitty,
 
Wow, your neighbor is quite the piece of work.  I agree with what several others have already told you - the biggest one is that you absolutely are not DUMB for helping her, not at all.  She has just put you in a position that you have helped her to a fault. 
 
There are people who like to take advantage of others and know how to "pick" those who are sweet, kind, and like to help.  She in no way has the right to threaten you with anything at all and she most certainly does not have the right to involve your children or other family members.  She has gone way over her "help me quota".  She has also gone WAY beyond any courteous boundaries by calling your dad.
 
It seems to me that you have a couple of options:
 
1. You sit down and talk to her, set very clear boundaries, maybe even have them written down ahead of time - make a list of things you would be willing to do (I would suggest keeping this list to a bare minimum) - such as maybe still getting her meds for her and taking her grocery shopping with you on your schedule  and when you will do them; also make sure to include a list of things that you absolutely will not do.  Or you can just tell her the things you are willing to do will be the ONLY things you will do for her and absolutely nothing else.  Should you decide to go with this option make sure to inform her verbally and/or in writing, that everything on the list(s) is non-negotiable.  Give her a copy, keep a copy for you and remind her of that list should the need arise.  You have a life, a family, and your own anxiety issues to deal with and shouldn't have to deal with hers.
 
2.  Your other option is to cut her off completely, but make sure you inform her of this somehow - face-to-face, letter, phone call, whatever.  But she needs to know in no uncertain terms that you will no longer have anything to do with her and she is to leave you and your family alone.  If this doesn't work, do what you need to do to ensure she leaves you alone - phone number changed or blocked, make sure to tell your kids not to go anywhere near her property or house, tell her she is to stay off your property and if need be, get a restraining order (hopefully, it won't come to that though).
 
If she truly does need help with things, maybe you could speak to someone at your church, explain what has been going on and ask if they could put this woman in touch with services that could help her.  There are many services available and I'm sure the church has such a list or knows where to start.  The church may even have a group of people that go around the community to help others in need.  At that point, you can wash your hands of this situation but still know that she can get some sort of assistance from someone else. 
 
In my opinion, your priorities are taking care of you and your family - not her.
   
I hope I have helped a little bit and please let us know how things are going.  This is a great place to be and this family is always willing to help if we can.
 
Wen

I have:  Agoraphobia, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, and Social Anxiety
 
Meds: Ambien CR, Ativan, Flexeril, Lamictal, Lexapro, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER
 

A slip of the foot you may soon recover,

but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

Benjamin Franklin

 


liquid
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 10/13/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   

Well said Wen,

You must have read my thoughts.lol, Thats what i was trying to say but didnt know the words that i wanted to use... :-)


Suffer from major depression, Agoraphobia, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Recovering Alcoholic.
 
I have 4 great kids and a wonderfully supportive partner.
 
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel"
 
 


wen4003
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 10/14/2007 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Liquid - just wrote my thoughts, although sometimes I get carried away and make such long posts.  I think I need to pare down sometimes  :-)    But I just really wanted her to know what I think her options are.
 
Wen
Agoraphobia, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, and Social Anxiety
 
Meds: Ambien CR, Ativan, Flexeril, Lamictal, Lexapro, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER
 

A slip of the foot you may soon recover,

but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

Benjamin Franklin

 


Mom63
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/14/2007 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi - The most important thing you said was that you had 2 young children to raise.  You are not a bad person simply because you can not fulfill all of her needs.  You must take care of yourself and your family.  It is tough love -  but it is not fair for her to expect you to do so much.  Say a prayer for strength and then loving tell her that you are not able to run all her errands!
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