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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have much on this guy but a gut feeling. I don't like him.
: It's rude, I know. There are a couple just "wierded out" stories that probably all basically boil down to social graces, styles of communication and upbringing, which are no reason to judge someone, but there are OTHER things that disturb me about him. I can't explain it, a motherly instinct, a gut feeling whatever. He knows I don't like him. I've never been rude to him, but not friendly. I am friendly with a few other neighbors, but not FRIENDS, if that makes sense. These other situtions That I mentioned were just annoyances and expectations he had of borrowing some tools (that we use for our business and we don't loan out), we just stopped answering the door, stopping to talk to him on a walk, etc. He just didn't get that we didn't want to do that. He kept trying to talk us into a "business deal" b/c he was out of work. My dh should loan him his tools and he would pay dh part of the $$$ he made.

He wants to stop and talk when I'm going for a walk and insist that my girls remember his name. I don't like it. It makes me uncomfortable. Now I avoid him and he me. I'll walk right by and not say a word. Not mad or angry, just not comfortable. He's home during the day (older) all day and I just don't want him getting friendly or stopping by all the time (as he was). It's an unspoken, just "don't bug me" kind of gait to my walk that I put on and he knows. He doesn't like me either (probably b/c of everything stated above).

What's the problem? He addresses my KIDS without addressing me. I never tell them to respond, in fact, I've told them NOT to respond or speak to him unless I'm around. I'm a pretty respectful person (reasonably) and believe in the old "speak when spoken to* rule, I THINK. Generally. If someone says, "hello", hello back at the park. whatever. But, he will see them in my yard if we're out doing yard work and say, "Hi, girls! Are you workin' hard?" Something harmless like that. They'll generally just wave and nod and I let it go. Why would he want to do that? Bugs the S*** out of me. I think he's doing it to bug the S**** out of me, but I feel like he's preying on my kids. Seducing them in a way. If we're on a walk, he'll say "Hi girls" as I walk by, knowing he's not going to address me or I him.

We have a nice street. A nice neighborhood. A general sense of safety, friendliness and community. We have a good reputation on our street and a good raport with our other neighbors (who are all very friendly with this man, BTW), but none whom we know very well. How do I handle this? Honestly? He creeps me out. I'm kind of scared to say, "Hey. Just don't talk to my kids, okay", b/c I worry that will piss him off and that scares me. I don't want to cause an uproar and generally want to keep the peace, but I DON'T want him talking to my kids or for them to get comfortable with him. I'm always telling them in one way or another not to speak to him. He's not a friend, etc. But, I feel like I'm just letting him do whatever the hell he wants without taking action to protect my kids.

Any wise advice welcome. Just don't blast me on what I've done or haven't done. Really. It's just been a very quiet, unsaid situation and I haven't had any alarms or warning bells go off about this guy. Please don't say I'm being mean. I'm open to the fact that I may be overly fearful, though. THANKS!
 

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Sometimes instinct is all you need. Every time I get a strange vibe from someone and I begin to think that maybe I'm just being an overly-critical alarmist, I try to remember that some feelings are just strictly instinctual. There is no obvious rhyme or reason for them, but they have a valid and tangible power of their own nonetheless, and should not be ignored.

Don't doubt yourself because other neighbors are friendly with this man - I live in a major city and the Catholic diocese here was one rocked pretty hard by the tragic and innumerable cases of child sexual abuse at the hands of area priests. Though I attended public school and am years younger than the majority of victims, I have an older cousin who was taught by several of the individuals involved. There were plenty of people who had befriended and trusted these men. Some of the allegations shocked my cousin -- he really would never have guessed; however, there were others that - though the horrible acts that were perpetrated appalled and sickened him - he wasn't so shocked by the names of the individuals -- there "was just something about them" that he had never liked, trusted, whatever ...

I'm not saying that this man must be a child molester simply because you're not crazy about him, but his addressing your daughters and not you, while you're with your kids -- that isn't right. It is creepy and IT IS WRONG. That right there is a HUGE red flag, in my mind. I am the firewall between the entire world and my dd. How dare anyone try and breach it. I don't know how or if you should confront him on that, but my hackles would immediately be raised anytime someone purposefully ignored me and then addressed my kid directly. Tell your daughters to expressly avoid him and to not encourage any sort of dialogue with him whatsoever. Sometimes it is more than okay to be rude- it's necessary. There are just certain unwritten social rules that this guy is choosing not to follow. He obviously knows he makes you uncomfortable -- his talking to your kids, in your presence, while avoiding you is definitely meant to make you even more uncomfortable. It seems like a power trip and perhaps a sneaky way of insinuating himself into your lives.
 

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Risk being rude.

There's nothing wrong with you saying, "I do not want you talking to my girls when I'm not outside with them."
 

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Trust your instincts! Even if it seems unfounded and someone has done nothing "wrong" better safe than sorry. Have you ever read the book The Gift of Fear? Check it out if you have not.

There is a creepy man that behaves in almost the exact same manner as your neighbor. He has done nothing "wrong" but he sets off the alarm bells. He will go on and on and on about how beautiful DD is, it is not a "Hey your kid is cute" thing it is these lengthy descriptions about how beautiful and gorgeous DD is every single time I run into him. He also insists DD calls him Grandpa, I have never told DD she has to call him anything, I told her not to talk to him and I try to avoid him at all costs now. He also talks about what a horrible bum DH is, DH part time job is at our apt complex and the creepy guy sees him walking around during the day and thinks that DH does not have a job. Little does he know DH works 2 jobs... I told DH about it so he went out of his way to be obnoxious and yell "Hi" loudly and wave his hand at the man every time he saw him
One day DH was outside with DD and the old man came over to talk to DH and DD ran off to play with something else, the old mad said "What did you train her to run away from me?" in an accusatory tone. Why would someone jump to that kind of conclusion, most 4 year old would rather play than stand around and listen to adults talk. For all I know he is really just a nice lonely old man, but he sets up to many red flags for me not to be suspicious and I make a point to just stay away from him now.
 

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I had a neighbor who was very similar in many ways with me--the gut feeling was soooo hinky (and at the time no kids here, whew), but there was one day I was outside digging in my lovely earth and musing about whatever and he came to the fence and started with the "I have a deal coming up" talk and could he come in, yadayada. Finally I just stood up and said, "you know, I have to tell you, sometimes you give me the creeps. really. I bet you don't mean to, but I thought you might wonder why I sometimes look at you like you're an alien". He did look really surprised, and then stammered about this and that, and then told me about his learning disability and sometimes he just doesn't pick up on things like other people. I was glad I said something, and eventually this guy seemed less of a perv to me than an honestly socially backward character who seemed to benefit from my directness. By speaking up, I took the power in that relationship and felt secure--if I'd kept avoiding him or giving him dirty looks (my initial temptation as I'm conflict-avoidant) then I could still be hyper-aware in my lovely dirt, musing about the universe --but probably musing about the weirdo more, wondering what he'd bug me about next--
I won't allow anyone that kind of head-space.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by APBTLuv View Post
Trust your instincts! Even if it seems unfounded and someone has done nothing "wrong" better safe than sorry. Have you ever read the book The Gift of Fear? Check it out if you have not.
Actually an even better book is "Protecting the Gift" Protecting the gift talks about kids, and what parents can do.

This guy shows some of the "Pre-Incident Indicators" that SHOULD raise red flags -- namely he doesn't take 'no' for an answer, he is making unsolicited offers, and probably a few more that I can't remember right now.

Trust your gut. Tell your girls to specifically avoid this man. Don't let them be outside unless you're with them or you can see them. Tell him directly "Do not talk to my children."
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
I had a neighbor who was very similar in many ways with me--the gut feeling was soooo hinky (and at the time no kids here, whew), but there was one day I was outside digging in my lovely earth and musing about whatever and he came to the fence and started with the "I have a deal coming up" talk and could he come in, yadayada. Finally I just stood up and said, "you know, I have to tell you, sometimes you give me the creeps. really. I bet you don't mean to, but I thought you might wonder why I sometimes look at you like you're an alien". He did look really surprised, and then stammered about this and that, and then told me about his learning disability and sometimes he just doesn't pick up on things like other people. I was glad I said something, and eventually this guy seemed less of a perv to me than an honestly socially backward character who seemed to benefit from my directness. By speaking up, I took the power in that relationship and felt secure--if I'd kept avoiding him or giving him dirty looks (my initial temptation as I'm conflict-avoidant) then I could still be hyper-aware in my lovely dirt, musing about the universe --but probably musing about the weirdo more, wondering what he'd bug me about next--
I won't allow anyone that kind of head-space.

I don't know how to find the Yeah That! icon.

I was going to say I'd probably tell the guy "you know, all moms are allowed to be paranoid in some areas. It really bothers me when you talk to my girls and would appreciate if you would stop."
 

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Wow! I'm in a very similar situation. We've lived here for over 3yrs and up until about 2 months ago we didn't have more than 5 words with the guy across the street. Its just him and his wife, in their 30's-40's and a little on the hippy side but that's cool! They've always been nice and the guy even gave our boys a ton of sports cards and baseball equiptment once.
So a few months ago he started coming over and asking dh with help on various things. My dh is an electrician but also works on cars and basic handy stuff. Little by little he got weirder and weirder and was telling dh all sorts of bizaar things. He's a follower of Tony Alamo and that in itself is enough for ME to disassociate myself but I am trying to not be judge-mental and rude. I'm trying to be more open to other people and not judge on their appearance as is dh. So he also has told dh that he's been raped many time as an adolecent and adult, and that an ER dr told him he needs to have his head examined.
: He came by kinda late one night and dh told him not to come by b/c of the kids sleeping so then he started calling us! Dh asked how he got our number and he said he looked it up, doh! LOL Then he called and asked for some random check cashing place but I KNEW it was him, I could recognize his voice! Dh has since been trying to avoid him more and more but helped him out last month and purchased a part for his car to get it running (and we thought he was moving!) and he would pay us back the $70 on the 1st when he got his disability check. That evening he brought over a loaf of apricot-banana bread which I promptly and discreetly threw away. I'm not one to do this, but dh did and I don't really agree but whatever, its done now. He paid us back $50 and said he'd need to sell some things to get the other $20.
: Now he's been avoiding us, rarely home and obviously hasn't mentioned the $20 he owes us!
Besides the bizaar stories he tells about his religous beliefs, experiences and that he thinks he's a prophet, he's your normal, run-of-the-mill, WIERDO!!! Whenever my almost 5 yr old asks "Is he still a stranger?" I make sure to tell him YES!
 

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Sounds like the neighbor is, at best, a rude person. There's no reason to interact with rude neighbors, even when no danger is involved!

Kristi's method of lending the creepy guy money is a time-honored way of getting someone out of your hair though. Lend someone money and you'll never hear from them again, right?
 

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You can't be too careful these days, especially with your babies!. My DD was going to a church that had a childrens program and she rode the bus every week(all the kids in the neighborhood went). But the man that ran the bus program made me uncomfortable. Nothing too untoward but he always just went on and on about how good DD was. Needless to say, DD doesn't go to that church anymore!
Tell that man you would be more comfortable if he didn't speak to your girls when you are not around. If he is truly harmless he will understand, after all it's not like child predators are unheard of!
 

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I agree with all the other posters. You know what? I learned in college that there's no law that says you have to be nice to everyone!
Based on what you said, that guy would give me the creeps, too.

There's a particular guy in my neighborhood we avoid, too, although he doesn't sound near as creepy as Kristi's and APBTLuv's. DD and I used to go hang at Starbucks every single morning, until this guy we named "Creepy Doug" started bugging DD. I really think he's just "off," and not a true pervert, but he does all these things that raise my hackles. Things like purposely addressing DD but not me, invading her personal space, and persisting even when we give him clear "back off" signals. He made DD so nervous! I tried to get him thrown out of Starbucks when he kept harassing us, but when the manager refused, we just left and took our $10/day with us. I also talked to DD about exactly why "Creepy Doug" is creepy, and that just because we see somebody all the time doesn't make them a friend.

I also agree with the poster who said that if he's not a bad guy, he'll totally understand your wanting to protect your kids. If he doesn't understand, then &*&$ him - that's even one more red flag! And I second the suggestion that you don't let the kids play outside without you at this time. I just wouldn't be comfortable knowing he might sneak up on them. But keep in mind, I already don't let my DD out in the yard by herself.

Good luck, and good for you for listening to your instincts and protecting your kids!
 

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Definitely tell him not to talk to your kids anymore. I know it's hard but if you let him keep addressing your kids, it makes it easier for them to trust him, see him as a friend, etc, and makes it easier for him to prey on them (if that's his intention, which you can't know for sure but better safe than sorry). It would definitely set off alarm bells with me, the fact that he is so persistent in talking to your kids when he knows you don't like him.
 

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This is all great, but my creepy neighbor is a woman... who grew up in foster care, and has threatened to call CPS on my husband and I because we let our 8 and 10 year old play out in our gated, 10 house street, only one entrance or exit, and we are on the end.

She did call cps because I was still breastfeeding my youngest at age 14 months... he is now 2 1/2 and still breastfeeding. They opened an investigation, just enough to talk to his PED, (vax records). Our Ped breastfed her kiddos until they were three and half, and almost five.

She is always trying to talk to the kids, and she creeps me out. She is also very religious, and told my children that until they accept christ as their savior, they will always be geeks and losers. (we are atheists, and teach our children to be/do good for the joy of it)

To top it all off.. her dog bit my daughter, and when I asked for rabies information, I was told that it was none of my business, and that if I reported it to Animal control, she would have CPS take my children away.

So now we just ignore her... the rest of the neighbors, except for her sister who lives across the street from her, do the same...Maybe at some point she will just leave.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinKristi View Post
Wow! I'm in a very similar situation.
.... Whenever my almost 5 yr old asks "Is he still a stranger?" I make sure to tell him YES!
That is perfect!

My creepy neighbor is right next door. When they first moved in I told my dh that he was dumber than doggie doo-doo and creepy - not a good combination. We love our street and neighbors (one adopted grandma much to my mil dismay and many families we are friends with) and I know I am not the only one that feels this way. People are often having "What are they doing now"
: conversations about them.

We mostly just avoid them but he doesn't avoid us yet so I may need to try the direct approach of telling him he creeps me out. I would hate to end up with outright hostility though.

I guess I have no help just commiseration and wanted to say thanks for the good coping strategies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the responses. You're giving me confidence that it's not bitchy-ness that has to come across, but just protecting my kids that is my ultimate goal. He's so wierd. I'm just SO nervous this will cause some hostility and "get back at them" mentality, and in a nut-ball...that's just not good. I've told my girls. DO. NOT. TALK. TO. HIM.!!! "Why, Mommy? That's not nice".
They're already SO CONCERNED with "being nice". UGH! This is one of the reasons why I feel I need to go so overboard. They're very compliant, sensitive, kind people who, unfortunately want to make a lot of people happy and want people to like them. I'm really trying to find the balance between "Believe the good in people. Don't judge people. Be kind" philosophy that we try to follow, but "Oh, baby, baby...it's a WILD WORLD". I don't want to make them cynical, but cautious, smart. I just tell them..."Mommy knows best and some people aren't good. You don't have to be nice to everyone and I don't want you to talk to THAT MAN." Our neighbor down the street (his direct neighbor) has a 4-yr.-old girl, too and she thinks I'm nuts. Thinks he's just a kooky old fart who's overly friendly and talks too much. Yeah. That too. We don't have a lot of the same parenting philosophies, though. So....
. UGH. I need to really think about my response b/4 he does it again. I'm known to just blow-up after I've been boiling about something for a while and the person is left wondering why their nose was just bit off without warning.
Don't want to come off like a loony, but a smart, direct mama who means business!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh yeah...wanted to add that MOST of the time, he's yelling across the street. Lovely. He's not even on the same side of the street as us, but looks right into our side yard (down 3 houses and across the street). I walk on the other side of the street on walks until we pass his house now, but if he's driving by, even, he'll yell out his window "HI GIRLS!!"
: Do I yell back (if that's the next incident)...."DON'T TALK TO MY KIDS, ______" Fill in the blank.
Or do I go approach him while he's hosing off his driveway for the 10th time that day? Thoughts? Advice?
 

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Another shout out for Protecting the Gift. Its the one parenting book I recommend across the board to everyone, regardless of your parenting style. Run out and get this book now!

Trust your instincts, and stay away from him. Let your kids know that he creeps you out. You will be setting a powerful example for them - trusting and acting on your instincts about people is more important that making "nice". An especially powerful lesson we can teach our girls. There are many other very concrete, practical ideas to keep you and your kids safe that you will get from this book too.
 
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