This isn't family, but I need help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
This isn't family, but I need help!
15
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 7:29am
I don't really know what other board to post this on. I live in a "not so great" apartment complex. I've lived there for 4 years and am finally leaving there in 6 weeks to a much more upscale place. This problem started about 2 weeks ago when a tenant who lives in the attached complex came and knocked on my door one night asking if I had any cigarettes. I said I didn't smoke and she said okay and left. About 3 days later she comes over again and said her husband's blood sugar went up and she needed $5 to go across the street and get him a sandwich. I gave it to her. 3 days later she comes to me kind of flustered saying that her husband is sweating and incoherent and needs to go to the hospital and asks for $10 for cab fare. Once again I give it to her. Later that night she comes back and says she left her husband at the hospital and came back home and now needs to go back to the hospital. This time I give her $20 because it was the smallest I had. Last night she comes again and says she needs $20 to go visit her husband in the hospital and an hour later she comes back and says she lost that money and I give her another $20. I'm very suspicious of what she's doing with this money and how she could "lose" it walking down a hallway to her apartment. So at this point I've given her $75. She keeps saying her stamps will come in and she'll pay me back, well I know she won't. Then this morning a little before 5AM I'm woken up by her pounding on the door. I told myself that I wasn't going to get up. 5 minutes later she pounds even louder. Then a few minutes after that she climbs onto my patio and starts pounding on my bedroom window. At this point I'm very upset and a little uneasy that this person I don't know is pounding on any available window or door in my apartment. I let her in through the patio door and she's crying and says that her husband is in a diabetic coma in the hospital and she has to go see him and if I could give her money for a cab. I have no money left in the house except for $3 because she has drained me of it so I tell her I need to go to the ATM across the street. I withdraw $25 and give it to her. So as of now I have given her $100 which I will never see again. I hate even being in my apartment anymore because I don't want to have her come knocking on my door to give her money. I feel bad for her and I'm pretty sure her husband is in the hospital because when I left for work she was waiting outside for a cab, but I can't keep giving her money for cabs and food every 3 or 4 days. Last night when she came to my door she smelled of smoke so I'm sure half of what I give her goes to cigarettes. Granted I'll be out of there in 6 weeks, but who knows how many more times she'll be coming to my door. Is there a polite way to say "no I'm sorry I can't give you anymore money"? I'm not an ATM machine! I mean if she doesn't even have $5 to get a sandwich, how are they paying $600+ for rent?? Please help!

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Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 9:59am

First, I want to thank you for helping out someone you don't even know.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 10:05am
I may be way off-base, but my gut feeling is that this woman has a drug habit. If you've never been exposed to the habits of abusers and been familiar with their tactics, then it's easy to be duped. To me, her comings and goings, need for $ every few days, knocking on your bedroom window at 5am, probably lying about her husband, etc. everything sounds exactly like a drug abuser.

I once befriended a woman who had five kids and no place to live - so let her move into my two spare bedrooms until she could find a place. She said she cleaned offices and stores for a living, and her jobs came at all hours of the day or night, she needed my car to get to work sometimes, borrowed bits of money from me every few days, my possessions began to disappear with no explanation, she became sick often but adamantly refused for me to take her to the hospital or call an ambulance, and more. I was so naive - I never put 2 and 2 together until much later.

Turns out she cleaned stores all right - she cleaned them OUT. She was a professional shoplifter and used my car to pull her jobs and hook up with her dealer after a job. The illnesses were either withdrawals or ODs, and once (she said was a spider bite) was an infected vein in her foot. My sister used to be an addict - and she picked up on what was going on without knowing even HALF of the story.

So once again, I can't say for SURE, but it sounds like this woman is an addict and she's using you to get her drugs. I'm even suspicious of her story about his illness - sweating and incoherent, diabetic coma, etc. - symptoms are very similar to effects of drug abuse.

It's a good thing you're moving away. Please do NOT let this woman know where you are going, keep your doors locked, don't let her inside your apartment for ANYthing. Best of luck to you.

Msfit


Edited 10/14/2003 10:08:57 AM ET by msfit777

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 10:56pm
I think you answered your own question.Telling her "no I can't give you anymore money" is the nicest way to tell her no.It's good to hear there are still some nice people out there and clearly you are one of them, but it sounds like this girl is playing on your symphathy to drain your bank account. You have to be careful but I hope it doesn't discourage you from helping people in the future.

I agree with misfit sounds alot like a drug or alchol problem and maybe you would feel better about telling her no if you knew she was lying. Are you sure she is really married? Do you know her husbands name? Maybe you could call the hospital and see if he really is admitted there. Is it possible for you to drive her there the next time, if it isn't where she is really gone she will decline the offer or make up excuses but I wouldn't give her anymore money. If everything pans out maybe you could help her find the right agencies in your state to help her financially, but something tells me if she is already getting stamps she probably knows all the ins and outs of the welfare system.

I don't want to worry you but I hope you are being extra careful and don't let her in your house until you are satisfied everything is on the up and up. I had a friend like that and if she is able to get your signature and/or social security # off something in your house she can easily put her bills in your name and forge legal documents so you might want to keep a close eye on your credit report for awhile.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Wed, 10-15-2003 - 8:46am
I agree w/ all of the others. But I just wanted to say that I wouldn't have given her ANY money, I would (maybe) have offered to make her a sandwich for her DH w/ stuff in my kitchen but I wouldn't even give her $1. That might make me seem cruel, but I have this feeling after this whole ordeal u might feel the same way. If she comes banging on ur window in the middle of the nite again, I would call the apt complex mgt. or the police or BOTH. That's not right or normal. She's ur neighbor and not ur family or friend. Good luck! And I am glad ur moving!!
Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 10-16-2003 - 7:58pm
I was thinking the same thing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 8:22am
She is coming around almost every other night now! I dread being at home at night! I dread walking out to my car because she might be hanging out in the parking lot. Two nights ago she just wanted to see what I as doing. She stands in my doorway like I should ask her in. Last night she came over to tell me that her husband is coming home from the hospital today and that she wants me to meet him. She even says that we should go out for a beer! NO WAY!!! Yeah go out for a beer so I can buy you some alcohol! I in no way want to befriend this woman, but she has no one she knows around here and I want to be civil to her, but even at the end of our conversations she asks for money. First I think she just wants to talk which is fine for a few minutes. I gave her $5 2 nights ago and told her that I can't keep giving her money. She came to chat last night and was being all sweet and then quickly adds that she knows I've been giving her a lot of money and to not tell her no but if she could have $20. I said all I have is $5 and she almost protested that and took it. I know I shouldn't have given it to her. Then I give it to her and she says she's going to buy some cigarettes and a beer. Is that what I'm paying for??? She vows that she will pay me back $100 when her check comes on the first of the month. How in the world does she plan on doing that? She's going to pay me and then start the cycle of asking all over again because she has no money. She saw me drive away once and knows my car and I've been parking it on the other side of the building so she wouldn't see it but she came last night and said "I didn't see your car but I thought I'd sotp just in case you were home". I don't even want to talk with her anymore and I don't want to be mean about it because I have to see her for another month before I move out, but I can't be afraid of living in my own apartment for fear that she's going to come around.
Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 10:19am

I am sorry that it has come to this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Fri, 10-17-2003 - 12:38pm
You have been exceptionally nice, please be very careful about what you do next. She might get violent or start stealing from you. Come home when she doesn't expect you, park your car very far away, and don't turn the lights on in your house. I urge you to move out sooner. Stay at a friend's house for the weekend.

This woman is harassing you and potentially stalking you, talk to the police about her. A restraining order might be necessary. They might be able to give you some better advice, since they deal with these things more often than other people.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 12:43pm
I am actually going to be moving out (I HOPE!) Nov 1 rather than Nov 29th. I called the new place I'm going to and talked to the weekend person there and she said she was 99% sure that it wouldn't be a problem to move the date up but she wanted the head person to talk with me today about it. I'll still have to pay rent for Nov. at the old place but I get first month's rent free at the new place so it evens out I guess, but I shouldn't have to be doing this AT ALL until my lease is up but I hate being "stalked". The lady has come to the door every day at least once and I no longer open it for her. I feel like a prisoner there. I sit with the lights off and the tv on really low. When I do talk on the phone I go into my bedroom and shut the door just so she can't hear me if she is at the door. She knocked on my door twice Friday afternoon! I got off work early and my friend was stopping by to pick me up that evening and I told her to use a different kind of knock so I knew it was her, because about 15 minutes before she got there this lady knocked. I think she brought her husband over Saturday night because I heard a male voice and she had told me when he got out of the hospital she wanted me to meet him. Great, so I can tell 2 people no?! Maybe she just wants to talk (doubtful!) but I don't want to be buddies with her at all. I ventured doing laundry Saturday night. The laundry room is just across the hall but I was scared to death to go over there. I put a load in got back and 10 minutes later she was at the door. I was so afraid to go out and put the load into the dryer, but I managed to get it all done without being seen. I finally called management on Friday afternoon and described what had been going on for the past 2 weeks, even said that she was banging on my bedroom window at 5 AM needing money. She said they had never had anyone complain about such a thing before and they didn't really know what they could do about it but she'd tell someone. Management there does nothing about anything! I'm guessing they write your complaint on a post-it and then push it aside and forget about it. Obviously they didn't do anything because she was still coming to my door all weekend. The cops can't really do anything either except tell me to tell her I can't give her any money. If she's pounding on my window at odd hours they would come, but not if she's just knocking on my door a few times a day. I park in the lot next door, which I shouldn't have to do either. Everytime I hear any kind of thud my heart races because I think it's her. I even wake up thinking I hear a knock. I'm almost getting paranoid. How the heck are they paying rent?? They don't have a car or jobs so they have nothing to do but hang out all day and come over and bug me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 8:52pm
Yes, there is something you can do. You can get a restraining order.

The fear you describe, feeling trapped in your own home, being afraid to do laundry or walk to your car - she has NO right to do that to you, and you have a right to be protected.

Here's what you do: go to your County Courthouse and ask where/how to get an emergency restraining order. They will direct you to an officer, who will have you fill out some paperwork and ask you questions about this woman's behavior. They will then send you to a courtroom to be heard by a judge, who will either dismiss the case (not likely), or issue an immediate restraining order barring this woman from bothering you.

I know you are moving out Nov. 1, but you have a right to live peacefully in your own home NOW.

Good luck - and please come back here and let us know how you're doing, no matter what you decide to do.

Msfit

                  &nbs

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