Archive for July, 2011


Not meaning to be self-righteous here, because obviously I am not perfect, but as a victim of constant neighbour violence and harassment, including at illegal times, over the last six months, by a household that mixes it all up with ‘dobre’ and ‘hallelujah’, I have tried to confront them and appeal to their consciences in words about what they are doing and the right way to deal with their problems (go to the police), and it has made little difference, if any.  The same house producing consistent violence and harassment is also producing consistent hallelujahs and dobres and recently men in tears, and I am a single foreign woman.   I’m not sure I understand this.  It is like one Bulgarian says that there is no mafia control, and another says most business in Bulgaria is controlled by, if not owned by, the mafia, and I encounter all kinds of stuff, as a stranger everywhere I go, which says people know me and where I am from, and sometimes I feel so much love and shame and guilt I think the mafia might be a good thing, not a bad thing, and the violence (and mentally I even put THAT in inverted commas now) really is a legitimate form of discipline and correction that a community imposes on people who are out of step, without resorting to a police service in which people whose job, which they are paid for and from which they can be sacked, one hopes (but check this out for the official policy to police accountability in Bulgaria in 2009), gives them authority they sometimes, if not often, use for abuse and contempt.  I feel the love and sincerity is among the normal, powerless people, including the people above my apartment who target my ears with violence when I’m using the toilet or shower or in bed or any time they seem to feel the need, and who say hallelujah and dobre and cry, as I cry myself.

I have to leave this weekend.  My landlord, who has known all about this for ages because I have told him in detail, has decided to throw me out without ever having sought legal support for me, knowing that my own attempts have failed.

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After Cain killed Abel and God asked him where he was, Cain said, “am I my brother’s keeper?”

I feel as if my upstairs neighbours are my keepers.  Or that they see me as an animal in captivity for observation and experimentation, or as a subject of some form of pest control.

Until a few years ago I was never one for talking about vibes and energy, but now it is unavoidable.  Every time my mind goes into recreative and positive relaxation a sound from them is imposed on it, usually vocal, normally sounding, today, like ‘dobre’, though it could be ‘hallelujah’ or banging.  Throughout the day, all day, every day.  I feel it as ‘don’t you dare’.  Every movement I make they put a sound or comment on top.  She screams like a demon when I come and go.  They do tapping stuff.  She goes from sweet to hate in a second, unless there is another woman there.  My mind can’t cope with it.

Also I have people turning up and ringing my doorbell and when I answer there is no one there.

Every time I become animated within myself and feel I can express myself in a way I like, their voice imposes itself, and I am here like a guilty and frightened thing, desperate and constantly seeing my own expressive life being killed by what can only be called aggressive psychic interference.

I sneezed a few minutes ago.  Sneezing, when my mind feels so bound, feels cleansing, and I like the recovery period, the seconds afterwards.  But as soon as I finished sneezing one of them said ‘dobre’.  I take hold of what I am writing now and give it a mental affirmation as it presents itself, and they speak uncomfortably and as if objecting.  It frightens the life out of me.  That phrase has a whole new meaning for me these days.

I went to the toilet and as I came out one of them said ‘dobre’.  I don’t want not to get on with them but they are making it impossible.

They still bang at me when they hear me in the bathroom.  They stir and bang about uncomfortably or deliberately every time sleep becomes restorative or pleasurable or exultant for me.  If I think about it, it is as if they are dragging me around by the hair.

I went to a pizza restaurant yesterday, and there is a children’s play area right in front of it.  Three girls dressed in yellow stopped and stared at me and I thought about the paedophile rumour.  I sat down and a few minutes later one of them shouted out ‘zestoki’ (cruel), which is something I have been heard to shout at my neighbours.  I don’t know where they got that from.  I felt mentally assaulted and raped.  A bit later the children started screaming, really soul-piercing screams I felt invaded by, and a few seconds later a security guard appeared using a mobile phone, and he stared at me.  I’ve been here a long time.  I wondered if something he had done had been responsible for the screaming and the way it made me feel.  I’ve been harassed by security guards for ages now, sometimes mockingly and exultantly.

I had a couple of women come in and act strangely close to me.  One of them was eyeing me with narrow slit eyes, like an animal ready to pounce, and I was blank, I didn’t smile because my mind was preoccupied.   Then she went into a wonderful awesome sociable switched on beauty routine.  The clearest face, the most beautiful, fluttering almond eyes.  Face held up to her man.  I resented it, it seemed theatrical and aggressive.  I noticed she had a child with her, a girl of about 8 or 10 who seemed to be a bit ill-behaved, I can’t quite remember how.  I looked and thought, ‘like mother, like daughter’.   But as I kept looking I realised the girl was uncomfortable and wanted attention that she was being denied, and she kept trying to get it, then she looked bored and wandered off.  And I thought, ‘poor kid, having a mother like that’.

That was when my scepticism and my ‘I don’t believe this’ response kicked in, and I decided to have a good, doubting, examining look at the whole act.  Shortly afterwards they got up and left, but as they walked away it looked almost as if she deliberately divested herself of a character.  Afterwards it seemed to me that the whole atmosphere in the restaurant was changed.  I had felt before that people seemed so happy and relaxed, but afterwards everyone was awkward and trying to recover comfortable and natural behaviour.  I would call it vamping, but she seemed to be presenting herself as one of God’s and nature’s beauties, dominant in her way and empty-headed.

I feel as if I am being malicious now, but I’m not.  I’ve had women doing this around me a lot when I go out, and I don’t know why.  Every time I get a moment of mental light and start thinking about what I am writing or examining it, the voice I find frightening from the woman upstairs when I am trying to write imposes itself and it is like an electric shock saying, ‘thou shalt not’, or ‘I don’t want you to’.

Thinking about it it reminds me that I have betrayed my own intentions and that I came here for the country and the people, not to be separate on a computer all the time.  But it feels like my refuge from their madness and invasiveness, as well as a chain in itself, and they won’t let me have that refuge.  The feeling that I can go to them and be friendly and that it will be welcome imposes itself, or is imposed on me, at the most psychologically inconvenient and resented and rebelled against times.  They have tied me up in knots, these changelings, and left me feeling guilty for not wanting to be available when I think I realise they want me to be.

They still comment when I cough, they still comment when they hear my computer and, if it is songs, at the change of every track.  They bang when I shit and comment when I fart or belch.

Jesus, does anyone understand this and how it makes me feel?  I was going to say, ‘how I feel about it’, because pop psychology in recent years has said that nothing can make you feel something, you feel it for your own reasons.  As I wrote it the man’s voice came in sharp and aggressive, like a knife into my mind, and now I can’t rework or work with anything.  When she opens her mouth it is as if she is piercing the air demanding power or recognition.  It often happens when possibilities and connections open up in my mind that I begin to feel happy and positive about.  So to me she seems to be saying, continually, ‘you owe me’.

One of Shakespeare’s characters ends a play saying, “the world is a stage and we are its actors”.  I was tagging this and thinking about the theatre aspect and watching and being watched, and that that approach to life runs counter, it seems to me, to the approach of the spirituality I have valued that emphasises unselfconsciousness.  I felt it when people started telling us to be vigilant about terrorism threats after 9/11.  Maybe that is my problem and misunderstanding.  If you are educated in the warning signals maybe you don’t go around with the terrorist attack threat constantly in your mind and even when the thought can’t be found, if the right things present themselves you become aware there might be a cause for concern.  To me, life is not for going around being consciously vigilant.

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