It started as soon as I got here.  People making comments, calling me diabolos, listening to the radio and looking at me.  I’ve been followed by the police but told BY the police that that wouldn’t happen.  I’ve reported harassment outside my house probably about 6 times now, and no one ever turns up.  So everyone knows they do nothing and it gets worse and worse.  Tonight there were about 5 or 6 men outside my house, laughing and shouting and jeering and sounding weird, making squatting motions as if they were going to the toilet, throwing stuff at my window.  When I shouted they pitched their voices differently to shout back, they were whistling as if to a dog, into the air.  One of them made as if to climb over my fence.

Tonight I phoned the police upset and angry.  They ask a question and don’t even let me get half way through answering it before they set on me with a torrent of words.  I don’t know why they do that.  I suspect some sort of control issue.  I was talking to a woman, and a man behind her was getting irritable and she put the phone down.  This happened 2 or 3 times, unless I lost my signal.  They don’t respond, but it appears there is no anger allowed, and perhaps especially not from a woman.  I asked over and over why they don’t respond, and no answer was attempted.

During the day the local women gather outside my house, yacking and hacking with really violent sounds.  They make a point of standing there, hacking into the air, calling on something, I don’t know what.  What do they expect from me?  I don’t speak their language.  They say hallelujah and do nothing to help.  They don’t call the police.  They stopped talking to me when I did when I first got here, because I thought I was supposed to register my tenancy with them.  5 or 6 kinds of fruit have been taken from my garden.

I’ve told the British Embassy and they completely evade the issue.  I email them and wait days for an answer, and they brush it off, with all the incidental facts.  I’ve been told I can make a complaint.  That is really all the support I’ve had.  In the meantime this goes on day after day.  Every time I breathe there is someone on top of me.  It is spiritually and psychologically violent.  I’m afraid to leave the house.  Afraid of humiliation, afraid of violence, or worse.  And if what I am experiencing at the moment is anything to go by, the police themselves could be party to that or perpetrators of it.

The girl across the road goes out with the son of Sandanski’s Chief of Police.  But they do nothing to help.  As I’m writing I’m calming down and thinking I’m being unreasonable, but the fact is, they never offer support when this happens.  They shout outside my house, they don’t ring the bell or anything.  Sometimes they file past to do it at about 4am.

The police here know what is going on.  They can’t not read this blog.  They do nothing, my Embassy does nothing.  Even if they don’t intend me harm, it would appear that they are happy for me to be intimidated and uncomfortable.

This country is supposed to be 96% Christian, and at the same time 1 in 4 women are said to be victims of abuse.  I cannot believe that what I am experiencing here in the non-cooperation of the police is a Christian response to a single foreign female being subjected to torment and harassment.  In the meantime I get it in the face from UK media as well.

Why can’t I be angry when I’m being attacked and not helped when I ask for it?  Do they require me to confess my sins first?  That feels like the only route they have left open to me.  If they care at all, that must be the requirement.  The only other option is that they don’t care or are actively against me.  I am actually frightened that I might come to harm if I go out, and that it could even come from the police or other authorities.  The media at least seems to want me to believe that.  If I travel on a train, I try to make sure I am in with someone else, as some of the staff on there have been really thuggish when it comes to checking tickets.  The first time I travelled on a train I am sure the woman in the ticket office called the police and said I looked like the person in the photograph.  Bus drivers are weird, I’m interrogated in taxis, lookalikes of bus drivers and taxi drivers appear on UK television, and when a young boy shared a taxi with me one night, the next day there were several dead ringers in various news programmes on the BBC.

None of these people, either at home or in Bulgaria, have a right to do this.  But they all do, and are more often than not bare faced defiant and mocking about it, at least on the TV and radio.  I feel constantly under threat, at least of verbal attack, and frightened, and sick, and angry, and powerless, and suffocated, and guilty.  And since people are not willing to sign their names to apparent offers to help, maybe that is also part of the taunting.

I feel as if I am making it up, or causing it.  If I would just be perfect in my reaction, it would break the psychic, spiritual or psychological power that causes things to happen as they do.  The psychological invasiveness of it all, not just the situational.  It’s always just at that point of maximum vulnerability, and they seem to delight in so outraging my mind that it creates those conditions.  Sometimes I see what they are doing and I want to laugh.  It feels funny, and I feel stupid in the way I actually AM handling it, which is to get angry and take it all very seriously.  I feel I am perpetuating it by taking it seriously.  Although they are grown men, the people tonight, they sometimes appear to have the innocence of children, and I think I SHOULD laugh, and then it would all be over.  I feel that if laughing is what I want to do, then I should, and that it is wrong to stick with the disapproval and anger.

If Bulgaria is 96% Christian, then most people must be Christians around here, and therefore they are all OK and what they do is OK, and I’m just proud and dishonest not to see that and go with it.

It’s not OK.  If it were I wouldn’t feel so hysterical, surely.

10.26pm UK time, 18.11.2010