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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Okay... I just have to put this some place, and since this is the only place I can speak freely about my experience, this is where it's going.

I've had a TERRIBLE week. I am exhausted.
I'm not sleeping.
Because I apparently now live in "the hood" and no one told me!
How do I know?
I have not had one night's uninterrupted sleep in a week due to fighting, yelling, drunkenness, property damage, and emergency vehicles screaming through AT.ALL.HOURS!

Many of my immediate neighbours are dysfunctional at the least, dangerous at the most (Mr. and I were attacked by a golf-club-wielding punk a few weeks ago, when we took a stand against property damage to a public building... we were the only ones, BTW... we weren't hurt), and utterly self-absorbed otherwise. They have no regard for anyone, for the law, for decency, for pride or self-respect.

Everything this week culminated with me having to call Mobile Crisis Services (our local Social Services emergency response agency) at 2 A.M. Friday morning. There were LOUD drunken minors ALL OVER the yard next door... one as young as 10... and no adult supervision in sight. Third night this week, though this is the first time I could say for certain substance/alcohol abuse was involved. Took the police and MCS 2 hours to sort out the fracas.

It's been silent as stone over there since, but why does it always have to come to this?

I DETEST having to play the role of 'big brother' but I just cannot stand by and watch this sort of thing happen, nor am I willing to be so significantly impacted by another's poor life choices. Most importantly, I have a 13-year-old daughter for whom I need to be an example. How does she learn to be a good citizen, or to stand up for herself, if we never do?

We live in a working-class, blue-collar neighbourhood (when we married almost 18 years ago, I'd say it was closer to middle class): latch-key kids, both parents working to make ends meet, strong ethnic overtones, but decent people... yards kept well-enough, you can go to anyone for a helping hand, and chat on the street or over the fence to pretty much anyone and everyone. Little kids take direction, if required, from all adults. I love all of this. I don't want to live in a neighbourhood where every lawn is perfectly manicured, no one ventures out of the house to interact with the neighbours, and I am surrounded by people but isolated just the same.

Our neighborhood has gone up and down over the years... mostly up in quality, if not economic status:
-- high level of diversity - every country of the world is represented (I love it... and the increase in ethnic markets!)
-- wide range of ages and stages - it feels very vibrant (I love it!)
-- lots of new housing development at a variety of income levels
-- new businesses, and lots of activity
-- more people biking and walking (I love it!)

...but something has changed drastically in the last year. Things have become dirty, and callous, and intrusive. I feel bullied by the atmosphere around me.

I don't know why, and I don't know how to be part of the solution (yet)... worse yet, I'm becoming too worn down to figure it out... possibly even too angry to even care to try... I think this is what scares me most. I'm starting to inadvertently "let the current take me."

Uh oh. There's the magic moment... the moment my blog becomes something I never planned for. This just hit me right. between. the. eyes.

#1. a body of water or air moving in a definite direction, especially through a surrounding body of water or air in which there is less movement.
#2. belonging to the present time; happening or being used or done now.

"Let the current take me."

It doesn't matter what the issue: whatever is happening in the moment doesn't have to take over. It is 'current'... defined by NOW... not tomorrow, or even a minute from now, when you can choose otherwise.

Further more, 'the current' takes you because it has more MOMENTum than what came before, or what follows.

'The current' can only take you, if everything around it is stagnant. The way that one prevents oneself from being carried off by 'the current' (cross-currents, undertows) is to be actively engaged beyond the moment... and momentum is what happens BEYOND the MOMENT.

Suddenly I feel much less angry, set-upon, trapped, hopeless. I actually feel energized, LOL. It's funny... I wasn't going to talk about this stuff (I find it a bit embarrassing... it feels personal, somehow)... I saw no point (I prefer to not be negative)... yet here I am, now in a better place.

The way I find my way out of the neighbourhood situation is to create energy and life beyond 'the current'... I need to find ways big and small to bring MOMENTum to my neighbourhood. The solution isn't to withdraw (or get carried off by the negative.... and perhaps I'm simply being distracted by what are, in reality, simply cross-currents and undertows), but to engage more fully in the positive process of my neighbourhood... look for and embrace opportunities to bring healthy, functional, and connective dynamics forward, so that 'the current' noise and dysfunction is carried away by THAT.

Tall order?
How do I know?
Because I feel a sense of forward movement within my own heart... MOMENTum!

I'd hazard to guess that the same applies to any journey, or battle, in your life... even to weight loss, perhaps.

Thanks for listening... it means so much more than you will ever know.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow.... Yes you must have an outlet. or else it gets so overwhelming! We must try to make a difference every day.
    892 days ago
    I hope you can make a difference in your neighbourhood, you have quite likely a very difficult task ahead. We faced the same a few years back only it was drunk and disorderly university students we were dealing with, unfortunately the town council and area landlords were not sympathetic to our plight. We "got out of Dodge" to protect our sanity. Good luck emoticon
    910 days ago
    Ohh! How I get you!
    Writing here makes it so much better, so much bearable. And sometimes, you get a AH-Ha moment that makes it EVEN better!
    Glad you could share and good luck! Keep us updated!
    911 days ago
    What a brilliant blog!! I'm sure that many here will read it with awe and admiration for the way you let the "current" take you!!!

    You are (among other things) a brilliant parent to the Divine Miss O: and there you are setting another stellar example of what it means to be a citizen in a community . . . .

    914 days ago
    Oh my. If we stand by silent when things are ... not right ... it is a silent acceptance.

    Bravo for being part of the ... solution.
    914 days ago
    You go!
    We keep on fighting. Myblock only has 3 houses out of 4, 4th foreclosed around 10 years ago, We keep squatters out. However, the fifth house was bought and raised by a car lot, the buidling on the other corner was non Mafia gambling. Rampant prostitution at carlot and now computer repair instead of illegal gambling. We soldier on.
    NO SLEEP makes me manic. You are helping those children.
    914 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    It sounds like the last year or so has been quite a challenge, and it has hit a new low. No-one wants to "big brother" but when children are at risk, there is no choice. You also need to be able to get a goods night's sleep and feel safe in your own home. Good for you standing up against vandalism, but please make sure you are safe. Taking a stand is one thing, but people are far more important that property - please don't take risks with your safety. Take a stand if you can do so safely, but the next time the golf club wielding punk very well could injure you. Perhaps badly.

    This all reminds of me the quote "Be the change you want to see". The quote is wrongly attributed to Gandhi, and it's a bumper sticker cliche - but it is powerful in it's own right. If you want to see positive and good in the world, you yourself need to be positive and good. In small and big ways. I don't know what that looks like in your neighborhood, but I know that you can figure out how to add back in some positive.
    914 days ago
    sorry you are having to deal with it .... sometimes being the example is all that it takes and getting to know the kids in the neighborhood
    914 days ago
    I love that the blog helped you find your way from not knowing how to continue to finding the strength and inspiration to find the way forwards. I hope all becomes calmer and you get some decent sleep soon.
    914 days ago
    Glad you're feeling a sense of forward movement within your own heart... MOMENTum!

    We had an organized neighborhood watch group for awhile in our neighborhood. Like you things have gone up and down over the years. The neighborhood watch group is a much looser organization now. But, it's working for us.

    Best wishes to you bringing MOMENTum to your neighborhood.
    914 days ago
  • STAR135000
    An organized watch group is a great idea! It's the good we do in our little corner of the world that ripples out to others, like a pebble dropped in a pond. Good for you!
    914 days ago
    Correction: allies you can rally?
    914 days ago
    Wow. I'm speechless, and that is a rare occurrence. Are there local politicians that can intervene? City council? Although it sounds as if you're in the inception of your next journey, are there allows you can rally? Sending positive vibes your way🌷
    914 days ago
  • RETAT60
    Excellent. Absolutely excellent. Your analysis and insight are inspiring. Leaders of each neighborhood, city, state, and country would better serve the people they represent if they read your blog. Sorry -- I know this sounds like hyperbole, but your words and determination were truly inspiring. Thank you for one of the best blogs I have read on SP.
    914 days ago
    OH my. first of all, I'm sorry that this is happening where you and your family life. I applaud you for determining to make a difference. Is there an organized neighborhood watch group to keep an eye on what's going on and keep things safe??

    Wishing you luck.
    914 days ago
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