Contains bullying - Adult Bullying
This is the first time I have shared what I am going through with anyone other than my SO. It's a bit long so I apologise in advance. It is not easy to speak about it without feeling anger, defeat, embarrassment, but I have no one to talk to and I feel like at this point i need to share it.
A few years ago I meet my current ex-girl friend and after some time I moved into her apartment in a small town in Spain. The first year went well, and we had no problems, until the upstairs neighbour's children began to run around and jump up and down in the home. This would go on for 4-5 hours during the evening. I run my business from a home office and it became very difficult to concentrate with the amount of noise they generated.
After a few weeks I decided to walk up and politely speak to them about the issue. I was greeted by the childrens grandparent who told me that she needed to give me flamenco classes in the apartment.
From then on the noise began to grow worse and on 3 separate occasions I spoke with them, asking them to keep it down, that the noise made it impossible to work or even watch television. It felt like they were just doing it on purpose at this point.
It became intolerable, the parents began to jump around the apartment and scream along with the children at all hours of the day.
When i went upstairs to confront them for a 4th time, they told me that in their house they would do as they pleased and i could go and f*** myself.
The situation escalated and they began to damage our personal vehicles, and property, crank calling of our buzzer number, and forming alliances with the neighbours in the building and surrounding neighbourhood to exclude us socially and badmouth us. I have no idea what they were saying but it must have been terrible because soon I was being shunned by everyone in the building.
People on the street who I didn't even know would yell insults at me, spit at my feet or throw cigarette butts at me.
The husband would follow me in his car (always accompanied by someone) at any opportunity and call me a faggot. He always did this when I was alone, so there were never any witnesses. I would come out of stores and find my car surrounded by what I imagine were his accomplices staring me down in a threatening manner.
When spoke to my girlfriend about the bullying she refused to believe me, telling me that it was just my imagination. She wouldn't even entertain the idea of helping me go to the Police. It seemed she preferred to ignore the issue or pretend that it was not happening. If i attempted to defend myself, she would become angry with me.
It got to the point where I could not leave the house due to the severity of the abuse I received on the streets, but having to stay home while trying to work and living with the constant disturbances of the upstairs bully.
We had heard rumours from people in the know that all of his friends were in the local police force and they would refuse to take our statements in the event that we tried to report them. Which proved to be true because I finally managed to convince my girlfriend to help me file a report since my Spanish is not great. We were told that there was nothing they could do unless there was physical violence.
This has been going on for 3 years now, and in the last year it went from bad to worse. Last spring, I decided I had had enough and flipped him off in defiance of his bullying. Within 3 days I was charged with being a violent bully, put into the local jail overnight and summoned to a court appearance, during which they gave testimony that I had threatened to murder all of their children and forced them to leave their home because I would yell insults at them at every opportunity. They even had witnesses to said events. I guess the Judge did not buy their story because she threw out the case, much to my relief.
In all this time I have had no support from anyone. When I tried to tell people about the occurrences, they would not believe me.
I went from being happy to being negative, angry and miserable. I no longer trust anyone and detest the sight of any Spanish person. My self esteem is in the gutter and have no respect for myself.
I never believed that people we capable of such extreme acts of cruelty and hatred and constantly questioned why this was happening to me. Wasn't it enough for them to have destroyed my vehicles, and publicly humiliated me to the point I could no longer function?
After all of this I took the decision last month to abandon the village, leave my girlfriend and return to Canada. Unfortunately I have to return as I have personal property there, but I dread going back.
If you have managed to get to this point, I thank you for taking the time to read through it all.