Tuesday, June 03, 2008


my life's been complicated.
well - sometimes.

sometimes i'm bemused, sometimes i'm stressed, sometimes i'm in awe (such as with maddie's skills - she has amazing skills with the computer. if someone else's desktop is up on the computer she wants, she'll shut it down and restart it again so that she can choose her desktop from the start screen. She navigates the computer and the mouse with amazing accuracy. went from "Mom, help me with this" -every two seconds- to all by herself. phew.)

finally finished my work with bc. all is going pretty well there, had 259 pageloads (none of them my own) and 87 visitors yesterday, so i'm pretty pleased with that. hopefully people like it, and will keep coming around. we'll see. the only feedback i get is the statcounter, so i have no idea what people are thinking.

but other things are complicated.

had to send my notebook in to Dell - my speakers were doing some funky thing.
had to (completely, mind you) wipe out my computer before hand to see if it was software. it wasn't. grrr.
got it back yesterday (Dell is soooooo fast! - think it was gone for four/five days - over the weekend) so yesterday when i had planned to clean house, i got my laptop back instead, and fiddled with it all day. cant get itunes/library to work. hmmph.

the other day, saturday, trevy and i were invited to go to the children's theatre.
when i got back home, eric and my mother had a story for me.
apparently, my mom stopped by to see us for a sec. eric was gardening in the backyard, with maddie. my mom pulled up, and Gladys (you know the one) said to my mother, "oh, you've just missed them. she left a little while ago with The Boy, and He walked up the street with something in his hand, i think he went to mail a letter."
"What?" my mom asked, confused.
"Yeah, he left, too."
"Well.... did he have Maddie with him?"
"No, no. Just him."
"Well..... did Stephanie take Maddie with her?"
"No, just The Boy."
"Well he wouldn't just leave Maddie by herself!" my mom answered her, irritated.
"I dunno, maybe he took 'er to the babysitter or somethin'."
"No. I'm the only one that babysits them!" (irritated with her, not with eric, mind you. knowing damned well now that she doesn't know what she's talking about.)
and my mother preceded to walk into my house, and headed out the back door to find eric in the backyard with maddie. (who pretty soon came into the front yard to show my mother our veggies and berries growing in the front yard - with maddie on his hip.)
eric said she knew damned well he hadn't gone anywhere. he said, "maddie and i have been out here, in front, and so has she, we've been playing and going in and out of the house...." etc, etc.

so my (sickening) question is.... is she being malicious? or is she just a nitwit? i mean, i totally believe her to be a nitwit, but is she deliberately causing us trouble, too?
i was actually relieved at first, because i was thinking "well, obviously whatever she says is not to be taken seriously. she's just one of these people that gets an idea in her head and runs with it." but this is someone that gossips with the neighbors. and this is someone who called dcfs (oh, i forgot to tell you about that - they came to our house AGAIN!) and told them that i locked my son out of the house when he was naked and made him eat his sandwich on the porch. in the rain.

so at this point, i am thinking.... obviously she cannot be trusted. which i knew. my relief came from "her suppositions are not reflections of what is going on in my home. it never looked like i locked my son out in the rain. i am not to be blamed for this. (her erroneous conclusions)"
relief, there.
but not if she talks to the neighbors.
and here i just wanna cry, and say, Please, God.
Please protect us from Her.
Please protect us from her telling the neighbors her stories, and having them believe her.

it feels akin to conspiracy, you know? i mean, what if the things she puts in people's heads they come to believe?

my mind has been all around this. "I wonder if i'll end up suing her for slander." Can I call dcfs and complain? should i be more visible and loving with my children in the front yard, for the neighbors benefit? speaking of which...
the other day my mom and i were outside talking, and she came out, talking loudly - totally for our benefit- "Oh, Lucky, you're such a clean dog. Did you get a bath? Lucky, no, Lucky, no! Now you stay outta that dirt, Lucky. Lucky, you're a clean dog, you stay outta that dirt. Oh, com'ere, you clean dog....."
I didn't say a word to my mother, just rolled my eyes in my head to myself. A few minutes later, we came inside, and my mother (who is absolutely not the most astute person in the world) "Did you hear her over there? She was saying all that to impress us. She wanted us to hear her."
"Yup." I said.
"Gah!" my Mom said.
Now what the hell do I care, I ask you, if her dog is clean or even has fleas. Other than i'd feel bad for his discomfort.

So the answer is no, i shall absolutely not live my life in a false manner to impress the neighbors. But I worry about raising my voice. I always feel like she's peeking out her window to see into my house. We pretty much live -when the weather is not way too hot or way too cold - with open windows, doors, and always open curtains.

I don't think she's out to get me.
But she has a really wierd somethin/somethin going on in her head. She told me she's gardening organically. And bought mantises to help control the bugs. She knows we're organic. Two weeks later she was out there telling her husband they need to spray the dandelions. (inconsistencies).

she told me about her twenty children - not sure what's up with that. i think she was a foster mother? she told me about how her son molested her daughter. (that was the day she came over here last year to "set me straight". "One day I caught him with his hand down my daughter's shirt!!!" she said. I didn't know what the hell she was trying to tell me, so i skipped over it. Now I think she was trying to tell me that if my chldren run around in their nothin's they will be come sex offenders. Which is so ridiculous that I won't even respond to it.

When she came to my home last summer - remember, when I cried for several days over the dcfs thing, when she said the people that were going to buy the house next door told her they saw our children naked, and it was going to "be a problem"? and she came over here to tell me "they seem the type to call dcfs, and they'll take your children away." to which i said "No they won't, they can't just because you're babies are naked!" and she said "Oh yes they will..."blahblahblah - turns out SHE had called them. and they didn't show up until 9 months later - which i was sorta relieved by, they took that long to make a visit. and sent someone about 19 years old, and very unofficial. tells me they didn't take it very seriously.


had a dream last night that the neighbor on the other side of her died and his house was up for sale.
I was trying to figure out what to do to stop her from turning them against us.

Probably doesn't help that i watch the news every damned day and i see the Texas polygamist trial every damned day.
Heard the other day "one week old baby is away from its mother...." evidently she had a child while in custody, and they took the newborn away? What?

See? Complicated.

I told you that i've put bushes, berries and vines on my front fence, right? Solely for the purpose of keeping Gladys' eyes out of my front yard.

i really need to get to a place of peace (probably another instigator, haven't taken the time to meditate and walk) so i can separate my mind from the crap.

it terrifies me that i might be adding to any future or present trouble by being so focused on it. Several times a day I wonder if dcfs is coming to my door.

i would like to clear it out, and to come up with the best solution.

i partly think "just send her love". send her understanding, send her love, send her support. Not outwardly - outwardly i think it's best to wave or say hello, and that's it. no conversations at all.

but part of me is also very afraid to send her love and well wishes.
not really sure why.
maybe because i'm afraid i'll make her more powerful.

need to get to the bottom of all this mess in my head.


kath001 said...

Steph, you've got unbelievable documentation of your family philosophies, habits, activities, etc. right here in your blog. If any authorities were to compare this to her rantings, they'd probably give you an award!

I'm sending YOU love and support and power. k

Stephanie Ozenne said...

Yikes. I'm sure I can't say anything to make this mess better.

One thing that did occur to me, though, was that your mom has witnessed blatant lying by this neighbor. I'd ask your mom to write down her account of the interaction and the date, and just keep that somewhere. I think it would have more weight if she writes it down now than if (god forbid) in the future she has to recall the event to discredit the neighbor. Maybe have Eric do it, too.

Sending peaceful thoughts in your direction...

whimsigal said...


Methinks I really do not like your neighbor and may have to make a special trip to Utah just to tell her so.

It boggles the mind the number of people who make things their business when they shouldn't. If you were in your front yard beating the everloving crap out of your kids the that would be different. She's obviously very threatened by your lifestyle.

I'm so sorry that you have all this fear and worry in your head and I'm sending my most positive thoughts and love and happiness your way. I also hope you are able to come up with a solution to her problem.

hugs to you, friend!


Stephanie S. said...

Steph - I almost put in a note at the bottom, saying "this is a record of xxx happenings...." and asking someone to comment so that I could have the date verified, and not it accused of adding this post later....
but it sounded a bit convoluted, so I didn't.
But I'm awfully glad you and my Aunt Kathy commented! :)

Aunt Kathy - I think that, too. I'd just hand it over, and say "You wanna know who I am? Here it is."

It's a very strange thing to carry something like this around with you. You go from being a normal person, to whom impossible and completely crazy things would never happen to... to then the impossible happening, and it totally rocks your world.

There's a reason for it all happening, i'm just not sure what it is.
Maybe i'm sposed to see that i have a long way to go before i can truly say i don't judge - as i can constantly see that I don't like being judged.

Still, it's so talk-show, not something normal people who are just trying to live peacefully experience.

BUt then, I think of Thich Nhat Hanh, who is a beautiful, kind, sweet, ever patient monk, and he speaks of pain and anger and losing his siblings to wars, seeing people he loves slain, etc etc, and I think "lots of good people have things they have to go through. It's not necessarily a valid punishment."

It's just strange to have all of a sudden a threat of having your children taken away hanging over you - real or imagined.
You know?


Aubrey said...


such an awful thing to think about on a continual basis. i am so sorry and i am sending you my love and hope for some peace around the situation.

i would never think that you did anything to deserve this. i can see your hesitation on sending her love, but maybe perhaps that is exactly what you should do. rise above the fear. love can only distill some of the negativity that is going on. find that happy place in your head and send some joy on over. it certainly couldn't hurt matters.

funny what pops in my head is whenever the carebears encounter a grumpy person that is difficult to be around, they all line up and give that person a good ol' carebear stare. it always seems to work. invite all your friends and family over and we can all line up and overpower her with positivity and happiness.

not trying to make light of your situation, just sayin' that love rules the day.

oh, and i love you.

Julie said...


What a horrible situation:( I'm sure it is near impossible to not worry about. Although I definitely don't believe that you attracted this or will attract any other trouble by worrying about it (yes, you can call me a skeptic on that front), but she is who she is, and your not going to change her. Really all you can do is keep living your life as your doing and just be cordial.

Physically show her she has no power over you or your family by not trying to hide from her. Go about your business, in your front yard as well as your back, show her you have nothing to hide. You are doing nothing wrong, and nothing that would ever warrant your kids being taken from you.

Let your kids give you the strength (in what wonderful beings they are because of the way you live your lives and the kind of parent you are) to shrug her crap out of your life.

Hugs to you my friend,


piscesgrrl said...

This is freaking me out a whole lot and I'm not even there.

Listen - several thoughts come to mind...

1) Can you move? Seriously - can you? Would you?

2) She sounds at best crazy, at worst vindictive or mean or dangerous. You can reason it out all you want in your mind, you can wonder how best to handle this, you can even wonder what message the universe is trying to send you - all things I'd be doing too. But listen - normal, rational, diplomatic, appropriate measures do NOT work with crazy, vindictive, manipulative people. They just get you chasing your tail while you continue to evaluate "what's best for all". So none of the usual rules apply.

3) Write it all down. Everything. Write down every interaction, even seemingly harmless ones (because often those seemingly ok interactions are their info-gathering ones), and date it. It'll help if - g*d forbid - there's ever a need to defend or explain yourself. I always forget the chronology of things - a record takes out any questions, and it'll show that you were concerned enough to make note of things.

4) How do I know all this? I've dealt with several crazies in the past 3 years. And believe me, the only thing that made them go away were strict boundary-setting and my getting as far away from them and accompanying situations as possible. That was the *only* thing that worked - no amount of diplomacy or accomodation. See #2 above and read it again.

5) Repeat

Picture me surrounding you with protective white light and sending supportive vibes.

Oh, and also? Grrrrrr......

Stephanie S. said...

Evie -
I think if I shouted in a controlling manner at my children, she wouldn't have a problem.
I think she'd approve.
She's just one of those people that believe children will always be the worst things imaginable unless someone controls every breath they take. Period.
I can't tell you how many times she'll talk sweetly (always for the listener's benefit) to her animals, then use a most insulting voice to her child.

Aub -
thanks, Honey. The whole thing is whacked. I still need to find a spot to think on it.
I don't worry about it, or decide that I'm just being overly sensitive, and then something like Saturday happens.

Julie -
I keep hoping she'll go away.

Laura -
It hasn't come to that.
And in my head I haven't come that far, yet.
What I mean is, I can take her gossiping about me provided it remains harmless. (The dcfs thing happened right after she moved in last year. It took them 9 months to visit me, as I said.)
Let her talk all day long to her friends, and even the neighbors. I don't care particularly to court a good opinion of anyone who intends or takes part in malice or pettiness, anyway.

As I told Julie, I'm half hoping the whole thing will just go away. I don't feel that I'm being blind,
I just haven't processed it much yet.

There is no way that I can document everything.

In fall of last year I was outside taking pictures in the rain - of my fence, my vines, different things), and she told the neighbor (whom I suspected of dealing something, so much traffic) that I was taking pictures of people coming and going from her place (to give to the cops, evidently). Nice!

I cannot argue against such things. What I mean is, I can log "Trev ran outside in his drawers", but I cannot log "Maddie said ____ and (Gladys) misunderstood and thought she said _______."
There is no way I can be prepared for that. It's impossible.
And I don't want to be.
I cannot live my life being afraid
of everything - I'm doing that now, but I've got to figure it out and get to a place of peace and trust.
If I do, and find the only answer is "away", and should Eric get a job offer in Park City with a 30k salary increase... then I'm there!
I'll take that as a sign, thank you.

In the mean time, I need to breathe and listen, I think, and not be afraid of what I might hear, or what I may discover.

You know?

Stephanie S. said...

I think :) I'm gonna go outside and listen to the rain fall on the patio roof for a little bit and meditate, then maybe read my cards. I'll let you know what comes of it.

RedsWritingHood.com said...

Forgive them for they know not what they do.

Me, not being religious, still want you to remember that things happen beyond what we see, in a spiritual sense. She obviously needs attention herself, her ego, and this is why see creates so much drama for you.

Really, what is her world like, sometimes we need to look there. Does she have people in her world that love her and care about her.

I bet these aren't attacks on you, even though you are feeling it in the physical.

Let go, and maybe set up a tea.... for you and her, no kids around. I bet if you spoke woman to woman, but, you can't make it about you or the kids, talk about her, her world. I bet things change.

KMDuff said...

All I've got is sympathy and prayers. I hope you can find mental peace and the ability to handle her without letting her make you feel crazy. Hugs.