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My nightmare neighbours - what would YOU do?

danaekitty
March 2nd, 2008, 04:25 PM
My neighbours downstairs have been a huge pain in the a** since we moved in three years ago. Warning - there will be swearing, as it is necessary to the story. I'll bleep it out though.

His name is Brian. He's a painter by trade, although he only works a few months out of the year. He smokes weed constantly, and drinks when he can afford it. He's a heavy chainsmoker, so every time the furnace turns on our apartment reeks. His teeth are almost black. We live in a three unit house, his apartment is directly below ours.

His gf Kathy lived there for the first two years. They fought constantly - which ordinarily is not my business. But the thing about Brian is he's got a wicked temper and a voice so loud it rattles the walls. When they fight, I hear every word. Now Kathy moved out because she "couldn't take it anymore". She has since gotten back together with him and spends 2-4 nights a week, and they fight like crazy. One day I was home sick from work and Brian had been yelling at her for three hours. I finally went down there and asked him to keep it down. He said "Well, I can't get the fu**ing bit** to leav", so I told him he should try asking her nicely, and he slammed the door in my face. I have since complained to the landlord and am waiting for an opportunity to call the cops, because apparently once the cops have three noise complaints on file, Brian can be evicted.

A problem with this is Brian's kids. He's got three with another woman. A woman who has moved in with man after man who abuses her and the kids, driving them to move into shelter after shelter. These kids, all under the age of 10, have lived in either a women's shelter or an abusive household their entire lives. It's a cycle. Brian has partial custody - Every weekend they stay here. One of the kids lives there permanently because he was hitting the other two kids. The oldest, a girl, screams bloody murder if she doesn't get her way. All three swear and are violent with one another. To keep the description short, they are basically the typical childen of a broken, white trash (I HATE using that phrase, but...) home.

So every weekend, these three kids live with two chainsmoking adults in a two bedroom, two window, basement apartment. I don't know the current living situation of their mother. They are always waking us up, the kids are up until midnight every night, they scream shout and fight all the time, and when Brian has had enough, He starts with the temper and the yelling and the swearing. He does not hesitate to tell his kids to shut the ***** up, quit being f***ing a***oles and that he is f***ing sick of their bull*****.
I
really can't express how loud and offensive he is. Picture how loud you can yell, multiply it by ten, and turn it into only swearing.
Right now, all three kids are crying, Brian is telling them to shut up, and one of the boys has just called his sister a *****ing liar, b*tch, *****ing sk*nk and a wh*re.

It deeply upsets me to hear these kids talking like that, and I want to file a complaint with someone, but I don't feel right about calling the cops on kids, because when it comes down to it, kids will be kids, right?

Who do I talk to about this? I'm sick of living with this...so much that I'm talking to real estate agents - my next life-step is supposed to be buying a house, and I'm not financially ready, but this jerk's kids are always around, and when they're not, his gf's around, and all I hear 24/7 is screaming, swearing, door slamming. Not to mention that he throws his old stinky furniture, paint cans and garbage bags all over the backyard and leaves them there. When he knocks at my door for something, he's always got a smoke in his mouth, wafting into my house. He showed up at my birthday party uninvited and stayed until 4am...his kids were downstairs sleeping. He's given people our phone number, and they call and request that we go downstairs and give him our cordless phone. We did recently put a stop to that.

I don't even know how he's paying the rent, he never works.

I'm sorry this was so long... I'm at my wit's end. What would you do if you had to live with this? I really don't want to have to rent another apartment, but I don't know what my options are.

chico2
March 2nd, 2008, 04:37 PM
OMG,that sounds like a nightmare situation:yell:
I am not sure what you can do,other than calling the police,there are after all kids beeing exposed to this abuse,or complain to the landlord.
I am sure in all this the apartment has been damage+the garbage in the backyard,that does not make for a good tenant.
If nothing is done,I don't think you have another choice but to move,I know I could not live like that,it must really wear on you.

want4rain
March 2nd, 2008, 04:38 PM
i would unquestioningly call whatever Canada has for child abuse. this, without a doubt, falls under the category of child abuse. doing drugs and excessively drinking, leaving the kids at the house unattended, yelling at his girlfriend in front of the children, yelling obscenities at the girlfriend and the children.. . who knows what else goes on behind closed doors.... they are ALL grounds for removing those children from their home until mom and dad and girlfriend all clean up their act.

please, these poor children dont know any better other than what their parents have shown them. do them the kindness of removing them from the terrible situation they are in. there is more to abuse than physical. emotional and mental abuse is *just* as bad, if not worse.

-ashley

want4rain
March 2nd, 2008, 04:41 PM
to also say, its is horrifying to be in this situation. its horrifying to go through this process but in the end, to know those children will be in a loving (if temporary) home and (frankly!!) getting him out of your hair will be such a relief!

i hope others have some country specific advice to give. :)

-ashley

SARAH
March 2nd, 2008, 05:06 PM
I agree, child welfare services should be called in here. It's not as if you called them at the first sound after all, you're put up with it for 3 years!! The olderst kid it might even be too late to straighten out, the other two, I guess it depends on their ages, but some foster home is going to have a heck of a hard time with all three I'd imagine!

The father ... nah, not fatgher, genitor! ... should be locked inside a detox house to get his act cleaned up, but I guess that would go of the taxpayers' money (again), so a court order to keep him well away from the kids - and out from under your feet (literally) - will have to do I guess.

Still, you'll have to move anyway, because you know he could come back for vengeance. People like that tend to act before they think.

Frenchy
March 2nd, 2008, 05:28 PM
I agree, child welfare services should be called in here.

I agree , and have you talked to your landlord about this ? Maybe he could place a complaint too ?

happycats
March 2nd, 2008, 07:42 PM
I would record it then call CAS and give them the tape, also tell them that he smokes pot and cigarettes in front of his kids!:mad:

Kashi
March 2nd, 2008, 08:08 PM
I'd call CAS.

jiorji
March 2nd, 2008, 08:37 PM
YES!! someone knows what i feel like. I have a similar situation except there's no kids. Thank goodness!! that twat downstairs should not breed!

Although it's not every night, when i'm lucky enough :rolleyes: i get 4 am to 9 am fights and her slamming ***** and screaming and swearing and loud music. Cos you know...when you're pissed...loud music sooooooo helps :rolleyes:

CyberKitten
March 2nd, 2008, 09:03 PM
Oh my!! I am in my profession required by law to contact the authorities when I see children in situations like that - usually though it is physical abuse and I know from my own experiences that unless he has really hurt these children pyshically or sexually abused them - Ontario for some reason I don't know (is that where you are?) has a hodge podge system for child protection - I suspect it is because it is not, unlike most provinces, governed by one department and there are seperate systems in place and that complicates matters. Also, they do not hire enough social workers and they even hire ppl with social work degrees (uncertified) to do what is one of the most important jobs in the ministry - CHILD PROTECTION!!! In NB, for example- which does not do the best it can either- they have just upped the salary if child protection workers and unless you are registered and certified and preferably have a masters in Social work, you do not work in that dept. It is no places for newbies but I know one doctor friend whose wife took his kids to Ontario and when he contacted whatever agency it was (he had 3 in that sone city), the worker was new and they said his complaints- that she was allowing the kids to run loose and he new bf to swear at them was not enough for them to do anything.

All systems like this - in North America - with some exemplary exceptions - seem to be in this bind, not enough workers!! But I'd still call - and while I hope he is not assaulting them, that may be the one way the kids get to stay there because you know - or by the sound of it I would guess- the mom is going to say all is fine, even if he swears now and then. They will likely assign a social worker who will make a few home visits and may put the family on probation but until something drastic occurs, the kids will remain with that family- sadly! It does sound like the boys are on their way to watching him as a role model - NOT at all good!!

I am trying to think of creative ways to help those kids. Do they have a family doctor- if they did, you could contact him or her and the child protection would have to listen to him or her if s/he complained about how the health if thee children was being impacted by being in this home. What about at school- surely this is noticed there? Teachers also have a responsibility to all and the fact they have not means they have not noticed any emotional or physical trauma. Or perhaps they have and you just do not know about it? I am afraid calling is a great idea- if others have complained, it will add to their file but it will not mean the removal of the children, sadly!!!

I think the part about him getting three (was it charges or calls) and being out would be best for you but that does not help the children- but they have a mom who also cares less about them if she lives with the likes of him. The standard also tends to be the same for every social service dept - try to keep the family together as much as possible so it would take alot (ie sexual assault or very serious injuries which is why they will listen to a doctor for example) I may be wrong - since I do not know your region - but my guess is if they do not have a sw assigned to them now, that's what might happen but a first call with no prior calls and no injuries or complaints from the children themselves - will not necessarily result in the children being removed from the home. That would be a start though - and one can hope the agency that gets the call drops in without calling and also talks to every one involved with the kids! I know I have been threatened by parents when I called the authorities but I could prove abuse with xrays and they were never smart enough to figure out where I lived to carry out their threats! (Yes, I have had children ill with cancer chose parents have abused or neglected them. They figured they could attribute the bruising to cancer!!! Go figure that one. I have even had a child show up and say she moved here with an uncle and had leukemia and she said she was "afraid" of the tests and she turned out to be attention seeking and to not have cancer at all, a 12 year old. This was last month! Were do kids come up with this stuff????? There was no uncle but a father who was abusing her so she is in a safe foster home (often no picnic for these scared kids either but some of them are better than where they were, not all but some).

In any case, call Children's Services in your area of what it is called there and emphasize how the emotional abuse (some social workers will try to help with that but again, they have such a heavy caseload that the sexual and physical abuse will be at the top of the list and you never know, he could be abusing them too. In any case, you will have done some good and hopefully help them in some way!!! You may have to keep calling too - the thicker the file, the more they will have to take note.) Most social service agencies now have an anonymous place to complain - for those ppl not required by law to report these things - and if yuo are afraid of him, you could do that but it's up to you. I feel so sorry for those kids. I too LOATHE the term white trash - no one is trash except for those parents. The kids are not yet!! They still have time to grow into decent adults and hopefully that'll happen. It can and does!!

Good luck!!

mona_b
March 2nd, 2008, 10:25 PM
My suggestion to you is call your nearest Police station and tell them EXACTLY what is going on,and everything you know about this Brian guy and the kids.Tell them about the noise,the swearing,the temper and the pot smoking.Also if you can,call when this is all going on,this way they can hear...;)

Does the landlord live there?He know what's going on?I find it strange that the cops need three noise complaints before Brian can be evicted.The landlord can evict him anytime he sees fit.If the landlord isn't hearing any of this,then get a small tape recorder,and tape everything.I actually had a friend do this.He lives in an apt and the people below him were partiers....:rolleyes:

As for CAS,most of the times it's the Police who make that call.What I mean by that is they get called,asses the situation and make the call to CAS.This way here,CAS will have to get involved ASAP...

danaekitty
March 3rd, 2008, 08:40 AM
I too think I should call the police - unfotunately at this point I may have to wait until next weekend when the kids are back, Brian's been keeping a low profile during the week ever since I pounded on the door the day he was sick.

Cyberkitten, thank you for your post! I was, however, under the impression that organizations like CAS will not do anything if there is no sign of physical abuse, they will just call the situation a "lifestyle choice" and have done with it.

I should point out here that I do NOT believe Brian is physically abusing the kids. I have personally witnessed him go to great lengths NOT to hit the children, which was obviously very challenging as I have never seen kids misbehave as much as these ones do, with their stubborn screaming - in public no less. Also, among the yelling coming from the basement, I have never heard an "OW" or a slap or anything that might be construed as physical abuse.
I also do not believe that he smokes pot in FRONT of the kids, but I do know he sneaks out for a joint and then goes back in to hang out with them when he's high.
I also know little to nothing about the mother except for what I mentioned in my first post, which was told to me by Brian and the kids. I've met her and she seems to be cut of the same cloth as Brian, and I'm afraid that to take the kids away from Brian would be to take them away from the better parent.

mona_b
March 3rd, 2008, 09:23 AM
Well then wait till the weekend to see what happens.If it starts up again,then call....;)

If these kids are clothed,and fed and have a roof over them,and are not being abused,well at times there's not much the CAS can really do.

This isn't a perfect world.All we as parents can do is teach them right from wrong.And kids swear.They hear it from their parents,friends and school.I have slipped the f word a few times infront of my daughter.And she has slipped it a few times in front of me,and she will be 21 next week.Not bad if you ask me...LOL...Other then the slip ups,I have never used it in front of her.

As for the pot,well if he's not smoking it in front of them,again,nothing can really be done.

Just keep your ears open....;)

SnowDancer
March 3rd, 2008, 12:36 PM
Have the people in the upper unit complained as well, so that it is not all on you? Personally, I would move but still document the complaint. Sounds much like the situation I grew up in, although my parents were most definitely abusive. The reason I suggest moving as you make your complaint is that you have pets. My parents always went for the pets as they knew that that was the only way they could get to me or to any people who made complaints to the police or to Children's Services. (Actually I had to call the police a few times myself which didn't help matters.)

danaekitty
March 3rd, 2008, 01:03 PM
OMG, Snowdancer, how horrible for you!
I don't think it would get that bad - he's not a cruel person, just loud, abrasive and dirty. I am already looking at other rental units in my price range - hopefully I'll find something soon.
I have alerted the other neighbour...hopefully he doesn't hesitate to file a complaint when necessary as well.

want4rain
March 3rd, 2008, 01:34 PM
f these kids are clothed,and fed and have a roof over them,and are not being abused,well at times there's not much the CAS can really do.

sorry.... not pointing fingers or anything!! i swear!!

i would file the complaint and let CAS make that decision. thats why these orgs are in place to begin with. :)

-ashley

mona_b
March 4th, 2008, 03:40 AM
sorry.... not pointing fingers or anything!! i swear!!

i would file the complaint and let CAS make that decision. thats why these orgs are in place to begin with. :)

-ashley

I have to be careful with things I say on here....No not towards you...;)

With my line of work,we deal with the CAS on a basis...I can honestly say that I know how the system works,by that I mean here in Ontario.Been to some calls where we have had to get in contact with them.

And like I said,if they are clothed,fed and have a roof,sometimes there isn't much they can do.

Yes there are different forms of abuse.If it's physical,then I am sure that they have a doctor.And I'm sure the doctor would be asking some heavy duty questions.

danaekitty,have you ever talked to the kids?If so,how do they seem to you?Besides mouthy.LOL

danaekitty
March 4th, 2008, 09:26 AM
The oldest, a girl, is extremely belligerent and constantly trying to get her way and prove that she is better than everyone around. She'll look directly at you and tell you so. She has a friend in the neighbourhood who she's constantly bossing around...I don't think I've heard the friend say one word when they're together.

The two boys are a little better behaved in public, they sometimes come up and play video games with Mike, and when they're occupied like that, they smile and laugh and are always sweet to me.
That being said, when they are downstairs I can hear what terrors they are to each other and their sister. The boys hit one another, they swear at their sister who will just let out one long wail, and when the three of them get going, that sparks the dad. You already know how that goes.
The oldest of the boys (and therefore the middle child) clearly has confidence issues, I've seen that firsthand when the three kids are riding their bikes and he still needs training wheels, or he will refuse to play how the others are playing becuase he thinks he can't do it. Incidentally, this is the one who lives with the dad permanently because he's too violent in their mother's house.

Mona, does this give you a little more clarity? Any brainstorms going on?

I'd like to say that I'm currently applying for a new apartment. I love my place and would like to stay, but I just can't take this anymore.

bananapanties
March 4th, 2008, 11:52 AM
I should point out here that I do NOT believe Brian is physically abusing the kids. I have personally witnessed him go to great lengths NOT to hit the children, which was obviously very challenging as I have never seen kids misbehave as much as these ones do, with their stubborn screaming - in public no less. Also, among the yelling coming from the basement, I have never heard an "OW" or a slap or anything that might be construed as physical abuse.
I also do not believe that he smokes pot in FRONT of the kids, but I do know he sneaks out for a joint and then goes back in to hang out with them when he's high.

Dear god, I do hate this stuff and I sympathize. D, in my state/county, you can contact Child Protective Services directly in a non-emergency situation and they'll usually take you more seriously and discuss more at length with you than the police. See if you can get a specific case worker as a contact, so one person will know the history of what's happening. Also, ask if they'll come out in an unmarked car and come into your house as a guest so they can hear what's going on.

Also in California, abuse is not simply hitting, and hitting isn't always abuse. I've worked on cases myself where emotional abuse and/or drug use were sufficient to have the children removed from the home. And I can't imagine that Canada has the nightmare foster-parent system we have. (The system, not the people, is the nightmare.)

I wish you and those kids the best. What an awful situation.

danaekitty
March 4th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Thank you Bananapanties ( I LOOOOOOVE your name!!!).
I also hope that the issue will be resolved somehow. I'm basically just waiting for the next time the noise level gets out of control, then I will start making calls.

krdahmer
March 4th, 2008, 12:12 PM
i would unquestioningly call whatever Canada has for child abuse. this, without a doubt, falls under the category of child abuse. doing drugs and excessively drinking, leaving the kids at the house unattended, yelling at his girlfriend in front of the children, yelling obscenities at the girlfriend and the children.. . who knows what else goes on behind closed doors.... they are ALL grounds for removing those children from their home until mom and dad and girlfriend all clean up their act.

please, these poor children dont know any better other than what their parents have shown them. do them the kindness of removing them from the terrible situation they are in. there is more to abuse than physical. emotional and mental abuse is *just* as bad, if not worse.

-ashley

Well said, I lived in an apartment building with many families just like the one you describe, hearing all of that through the walls like you do through the floor. Definitely call Family and Children Services, what you can hear and attest to, without even seeing any of it, IS indeed verbal and emotional abuse. And I wouldn't hesitate to call the police every time they start their yelling and swearing matches to log a complaint.

Also having said that, even if FACS gets involved it can be months before anything improves if ever (unfortunately some abusers know their rights and play nice for the authorities)... and in the meantime the stress on you can be interfering with your life in a very negative way. I finally decided that we had to move in our situation despite the fact that like you I was trying to save money to buy a house and was just not ready at that time. So we opted to move to another rental, a semi this time, where we have good neighbours. I can't tell you the relief I feel now that I don't get woken up at all hours by screaming profanities or raunchy sex or wailing kids or the constant barrage of smoke, legal and other! (not to mention the main neighbour that I had a problem with is now living with my BIL... whole other story there... at least he is helping her take better care of her kids, while he's around to supervise anyway... )

Do what you can for the kids, call the Children's services, but then, take care of yourself. From the sounds of it, you are like me and can't help but feel involved and socially responsible... which is a good thing, but sometimes you have to call in the authorities and then distance yourself from the situation completely in order to get your life back.

Best of luck :goodvibes: and I :pray: those kids get some help and proper guidance.

danaekitty
March 4th, 2008, 12:37 PM
Well, I called family services and made a record. They of course can't do anything until they hear of some physical abuse, but they said my next step would be to call the cops when I hear the noises again. So now I wait.

want4rain
March 4th, 2008, 12:44 PM
Danae, thats the best you could have done in this situation. it will end up meaning more than you can ever know. my step mother was very verbally and emotionally abusive to me as a child. i am now 27 and still have confidence, security and trust issues. while my situation is a little more 'middle class' than that, its still very very damaging.

thank you for being the person in these childrens lives who stepped up and made a difference, even if you never get to see it.

-ashley

mona_b
March 4th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Well, I called family services and made a record. They of course can't do anything until they hear of some physical abuse, but they said my next step would be to call the cops when I hear the noises again. So now I wait.

And this is why I had suggested to call the cops when the yelling,screaming,swearing matches start.The cops need to get involved "first".....We deal with this on a constent basis.

Sometimes assumptions can be made without ample proof,and the CAS is called by someone.Kids can get taken away from the parents.And it gets ugly.And in the end,they were taken away for no reason.Can you imagine the trauma on the kids and the parents.There is always two sides to everything.What we see and hear,and what's really going on.I'm not saying this happens all the time,but it does happen.Like I said,I can't say to much.


Well when they all get together it sure sounds like sibbling rivalry..LOL..And I know all about this.I grew up with 2 sisters and a bro...Mind you there wasn't any swearing.European parents.Mom would beat the **** out of us.:sad:

Yes,we were physically abused as kids.No our pets were not harmed.And the abuse was from my Mom.And for a mother who was supposed to love her kids,try being 8 years old and twice finding her after she tries to kill herself.Haunts you for the rest of your life I tell you.You know the saying,what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.I so believe it.What I have been through in the past,and what my eyes see now has made me one hell of a strong woman.Sorry,got off topic here.

danaekitty
March 5th, 2008, 09:26 AM
YAY! I'm moving!
Started a new thread with pics, need some advice about the cats.
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=50153
Thanks to all of you who helped me decide what to do about Brian...I am still keeping vigilance on this matter until the day I move out.

CyberKitten
March 5th, 2008, 09:45 PM
Glad to hear you are moving!! Good for you and your fa,mily!

As for those kids, I;d still make a complaint and no, it is not required to be "just" physical abuse for CAS or child protection services to be involved. Abuse comes in many forms. Physical and sexual abuse are of course at the top of the list. Verbal abuse and other types are now also checked into. Neglect itself , while not abuse, is in all Canadian provincial statutes, a requirement for reporting by all professionals who work with children. We need not have an actual Xray but there are certain things we are also trained to look for - drawings that show inappropriate images for the child's age and so forth or even if there is suspicion of illegal drugs in the home. Still, in Canada, marijuana is not taken as seriously as some other illegal drugs. Now if he had a grow op, that might get their attention. And if he is smoking in front of the kids. The behaviors of the children does speak volumes about the parenting - but if bad parenting were a reason to call CAS, there would be many more families on file than currently exist, sigh!! Still, aggression is a problem and I would be surprised if this family is not already on the radar screen of protective services but they have not yet done anything serious enough or been caught doing such to have action taken. I hope things will go well for them - there are professionals that hopefully are doing their job, that's al lwe can hope! You did your best!