(I'm not putting in people's names, not to protect the identity of them but to protect myself from certain people).
It's funny (in a not really all that funny way) to think that around this same time last year I was evicted and became homeless.
It's funnier that around the same exact time THIS year, that I moved again. Of course the reasons were quite different. This time I moved because I feared for my safety. Before I continue with the story I want to make a note that my bf and I are safe thanks to the kindness of our friends who have let us move in with them.
I'm not going to go too deep into the details and if you'd like to know more you can always privately message me here, on tumblr, or preferably Skype.
It all started a few days before Valentine's Day. We were late on our rent and the land lady was not too pleased about that. There was a HUGE snow storm that weekend which trapped my bf at our friend's house (where we are now), leaving me there completely alone.
I was NOT happy about that. Here's a little background for why. In the time that I lived at that house, my landlady terrorized me. I would constantly be having panic attacks, I was too afraid to cook for myself lest the woman come out and pester me, going home was a frightening occurrence. I rarely left my room, even to go to the bathroom (the ceiling was covered in black mold). I got so depressed I kind of just stopped caring for myself, even to go to work. Not to mention I am now scarred (but thankfully healing) because that house was full of bugs. My arms and legs are no longer what they were ... I never thought they were particularly attractive in the first place but now? I can barely stand the sight of them. But at least I am no longer seeing any new wounds. At least it seems they are healing, even if the scars remain. But while I was there I felt I should be at least thankful to have a roof over my head.
That night, as I was sitting at my computer, trying to be as quiet as possible I heard a knock on the door. I quickly shut my computer off and slipped as quietly as I could into bed. I had left our tiny heater off (we weren't supposed to even have one I guess? the landlady actually barged into our room and cut the cord of our big room heater a month or two prior) so I just laid under the sheets, shivering, kitties all laying on top and around me, also shivering.
The knock happened again and I heard a strange man's voice calling my name.
That scared me. I knew the voices off all my male roommates (there were only two) and it certainly wasn't any other voice I recognized. I stayed still and silent until I heard the mystery guy's footsteps leaving. I breathed as silently as I could manage, texting my friends about what had just happened. And then I heard approaching footsteps again. I shut my phone and listened as my landlady knocked on my door. I was (and still am) so terrified of her that I never dealt with her face to face if I could avoid it. And I would do ANYTHING to avoid her. She then stomped down the hall to my roommate's room (an elderly woman who is a little strange but a person who I am now proud to consider as my friend, we'll call her R1 for roommate1). The landlady banged on the door and R1 answered the door. The landlady demanded to know if R1 knew where my boyfriend and I were. R1 replied that she had no idea. I'm not sure what was said next but they did start arguing and the door was slammed. The landlady stomped back to my door, knocked, and then stomped back downstairs.
A few minutes later she repeated herself, once again coming up the stairs. I think in between that time she had tried to call me but I'm not so sure when that happened. Either way I was determined to not let her know I was home. After the landlady hit my door again she went right back to R1's room and a fight erupted. There was yelling and the slamming of doors again. And finally it was over, or so I thought.
The next day my bf returned home, risking his life to drive over in the snow. It was either that day or the next that the landlady came knocking once more. She asked if I was home (I usually hide in the closet if she comes knocking) and she barged into our room. She argued with us about the late rent, spewing a really odd lie about the amount we actually owed her (almost twice as much as what we usually pay) and then she left.
Long story short, we paid our rent, WITH LATE FEE, and the bf showed her our previous receipts showing that we did not owe her any more money. I thought this would be the end of it. Boy was I EVER wrong.
When the landlady had talked to us about our late rent, she also called my bf's parents. (She had called them for similar reasons in the summer, but we had never given her their names, address, or phone number. She had somehow found out their address and sent them a two page letter documenting all of our activity for days). Anyway she called them begging for $800 ($100 more than what she was asking from us) and for them to write her a check in her name. Well once my bf send a picture of our receipt to his mom, that was all cleared up right? WRONG. She called them again, begging them for money and that's when all hell broke loose!
Bf's mom told her about the receipt and so the landlady fabricated this insane story about how he had forged it! Of course, no one was buying this bullshit because 1. The receipt, like checks, was numbered. 2. Where would my bf and I get the same exact receipt book she uses? 3. She signs those in INK. 4. My bf's hands shake naturally, he was born with that. This means it is literally impossible for him to draw a straight line or to forge anything.
Well the landlady decided to stick to her story anyway.
Her actions were so frightening I was determined not to go home, even if it meant sleeping in the car. Luckily our friends let us stay the night. The landlady left me two messages on my phone. Both of which my friends confirm made her sound like a total lunatic.
The next morning we had a battle plan. Bf was going to go over there and try to talk some sense into the nutty landlady as well as check up on our kitties. I was going to go to work and just relax. Again, we were thrown for a loop. I got settled in at my desk and began making calls. My boss, smiled and waved and said she'd see me later, leaving me all alone in the office. I don't have any coworkers as I'm the only office employee at a small business. My job, is part receptionist, part cold caller. So I basically just make and take calls all day and set up appointments or switch them around. That kind of stuff.
BF contacted me, saying the landlady hadn't said much anything to him when he went over there and things seemed to be settling down. I was feeling much better.
I got a few calls that morning and as usual I took them. As I was ending the call with someone the phone started to ring. I picked up as I usually do with our announcement "Hello, thank you for calling (company name)! This is Nikki, how can I help you?" And I remember this almost crystal clear. I only wish I hadn't been so shocked that I forgot to grab my phone and record everything.
My landlady responded, saying my name, asking if it were me. I was so shocked I said nothing. Then she asked me if I was "the Nikki she lives with". Feeling a jolt of anger in the midst of my shock and confusion I asked how she got my work's number. See, I had NEVER given her my office number. I had never told her were we were located. I only told her I worked for a certain type of company. And somehow she had found it. I don't recall her giving me an answer.
She then went off saying she needed to talk to me about bf's forgery and how it was a huge offense and then she threatened that if I didn't meet with her that day, she would contact my "mother". Now, if you know me, I am fiercely protective of my mom (not that she needs it). But I love my mom with all my being and I would do anything to keep her happy. That little spark of anger I felt, was boiling up. I remember this very clearly. I can even feel the residual emotion of this event, even now.
I remember feeling my teeth, as if I were an animal, making me feel powerful. And I as I seethed I asked her, how in the world she would contact my mom, almost in a mocking tone. I had NEVER given her my mom's name, number, address, nothing. My mom's last name isn't even the same as my own. So how the HELL would she find out?
"I have her address."
I asked how she obtained it. Again, I had NEVER given her my mom's information.
"Oh, it was written down somewhere."
I realized exactly how she had gotten it. "So you stole it?" I said softly. I was shaking at this point, and so was my voice. "How dare you!" I snapped into the phone. "How dare you! I NEVER gave you her information and you never had permission to take it!" I went on. "Leave my mother OUT OF THIS! Your business is with ME, not her!"
"How dare you!" the landlady yelped back. It was distinctively a yelp. I think she was surprised at my reaction. This, mousey, quiet, shy person who never ever ever reacted and only bent and broke when she pushed, had some fucking teeth. She repeated her threat, saying she'd contact my mom if I didn't meet with her.
"Fine," I growled, with my teeth firmly clamped shut. She asked when and I replied "I don't know but I don't have time right now. I'll let you know later," and we hung up.
For a moment after it was finally over I sat in my office chair, feeling all of the confidence and anger flow right out of me, replaced by fear and panic. I started sobbing uncontrollably and I decided I should call my bosses and bf. My bosses were shocked and sad to hear what had happened. They asked if I needed to go and I said I'd prefer to stay at work where it was safe. They understood and told me that if she called again, I was allowed to just hang up. My bf told me to take a moment to let it out. He called my mom and told her what had happened. When my bosses arrived later they blocked the landlady's number and told me if she shows up to call the cops. And that if she contacts me again at work to tell her she is banned from contacting the office, she's banned from talking to me, and she's banned from talking to my family.
Our friends allowed me to stay the night again and they decided to let us stay here.
Everyone agreed I should stay away from the landlady and so unfortunately I couldn't help with the moving. But bf went and the first day he got the cats and their stuff. All of my cats are now here, happy, safe, and very loved.
My other pets would never get the chance.
The landlady actually moved someone in the very next day and had him move all of our things out into the hallway. R1 worked with the other roommates and saved all of our items that they could, including artwork, my clothing (which the new guy was going to give to his girlfriend), and other things. The things that couldn't be saved include my expensive BED (which this nasty guy actually slept on so I don't even want it back), a painting that a dear friend made for me, I'm so sorry
... I'm trying to see if R1 can rescue it for me. My scanner/printer was taken. Pretty sure the landlady is the one that took it. So ... I'll be working on the artwork I have on the computer but unless one of you want to donate or buy me a new one, there isn't going to be new artwork for a long time. And a couple other things are also missing.
As for the animals, the police had to be involved because the landlady switched the lock and we didn't have all our things just yet. Ends up our snake, Morpheus, was too long to own in our county so he was donated to the Zoo (it's a very VERY nice Zoo, best habitats and happiest looking animals I've seen in any Zoo so I'm very positive he will be OK and the cop said I can go visit him). The hermit crabs were also donated. My fish was accidentally killed.
The cop story is pretty damn epic and awesome. The cop pretty much laid into the landlady and let my bf kick down the room's door since it lawfully was our property. But I wasn't there so it's not my story to tell right now.
We got most of our things back though.
But the story doesn't quite end there.
My mom did receive a letter in the mail from the landlady. It included her number, which my mom did call. And she spewed all her lies. Including the one she told the cop about how bf and I peed in jugs. She also said bf didn't have a job and never has. Well 1. in the summer time when he was applying and interviewing for jobs she called these places and scared them so badly they didn't end up hiring him. 2. he does have a job at a big store. My dad TOOK my bf to get his check so he could cash it so luckily my dad wasn't buying what my mom told him the landlady said. Plus, I've seen the physical check with my own eyes.
She also told my mom (according to bf) that if I wanted to, I could move back in there. She said I was responsible and all this stuff. And that she was sorry if she upset me at work.
OK NO what the actual FUCK lady?! Why would I ever move back in there? Why would I move back in with someone who has proved to be so dangerous? She's a stalker, she swindles people out of their money, uses blackmail, and other extreme measures. She is also VIOLENT (she has assaulted R1).
Once my bf and I got my mom to calm down about what the landlady had told us, things have finally been starting to somewhat recover. I haven't been plagued by nightmares, and my anxiety attacks have practically dropped from an every day occurrence to almost zero. I'm clean. My physical wounds are healing. My cats are much happier. I'm actually getting to eat home cooked meals more than only once a day. Meals that actually fill you. I'm laughing and smiling and I don't have to worry about whispering all the time (though I still do it for no reason some times out of habit). All my new roommates and friends are very nice to me. And I feel safe. I may not have my own room (sleeping on a spare mattress in the basement), but this is the happiest I've been in a long time.
And that is what happened in February, 2014.