Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sometimes It's Really Because of The Gun

I knew in the first two weeks of caring for this particular client that there were some emotional/mental issues going on. Part of it was her constant attacks on the character of her daughter-in-law who had supplanted her in the heart of her son as his first concern. She was angry that he hadn't made her a dependent and moved her to live with him and his growing family at his current military base. The other clue was her obsession with the younger tenants in her high rise. They, she said, were gang members. Since this is a low cost housing unit, many of them are black or Hispanic.

To hear her tell it, she was on a first name basis with the mayor, many members of the Common Council and all of the local policemen. She said they all call her Ma. The reason for all this elbow rubbing with the local authorities was that she was the captain of the neighborhood watch.

According to her, she single handedly got control of a building that she felt was rife with criminal activity. All I saw, or heard when I was there 3 times a week were the heavy steel doors getting away from the tenants entering or exiting their apartments with their hands full of whatever they were carrying. Many of the tenants spent time on their balconies enjoying the weather and smoking cigarettes. Yes, some of those cigarettes were hand rolled or from one of those rolling machines because, after all, these are low income tenants. There was never the tell tale scent of burning mattresses. Other "criminal" activity consisted of having company and playing music or televisions too loud. Which, no one was complaining about. Except for my client. She walked all the floors and listened at doors for that particular illegal activity. She denies it but there were 30 complaints, in writing, against her for that.

There were all those calls to the police department reporting all this activity which, of course, necessitated that a patrol respond to these nuisance reports. Finally, after about 6 months of it there was a meeting. It was attended by a local Police Captain, the Neighborhood Watch officer that coordinates, the building manager and district manager for the company that owns the building. The upshot of that meeting was her removal as Neighborhood Watch Captain. Of course, to hear her tell it, it was all lies, she proved it wasn't her making the calls and they want her back but she won't go back since they accused her. I didn't bother to point out that she told me when she had to call the police and what for.

She, or someone like her are the absolute last people who should ever be in a position of authority over anyone. She can't keep friends since none of them will take care of her the way she believes she should be cared for. I've never met anyone who lies about EVERYTHING the way she does. My problem is that she believes her own lies. Her grasp on reality some days is slim to none. How she functions is beyond me. What mental aberration she suffers from is not on her diagnostics so I have no idea. I just know she's not right in the head. I also know that under the right set of circumstances she could be dangerous.

During her tenure as Watch Captain she was extremely frustrated at her inability to get rid of those younger men she believed were members of some New York City gangs. Her constant refrain was that building management was going to be very sorry when rival gang members moved in. She was sure that violence was going to erupt and good tenants would be found lying dead in hallways and stairwells. It was all those "gang members" living there that she felt were the problem. Not her and her preconceived notions about who these people were. The problem was they were all gang members. She, however, was someone with delusions of grandeur in a position of authority. This tale ends differently than that of George Zimmerman. She just didn't have a gun.


  1. Replies
    1. Mr C,

      I don't think so. She's 5'9" tall, somewhere around 200 pounds and prides herself on being tougher than nails. She'd be more likely to try pounding the stuffing out of someone than she would be to shoot them. I've seen her back grown men down with just the way she carries herself and the tone of her voice.

  2. Be glad she didn't have a gun like that "community watch" cop wantabe who smoked the unarmed black kid named Trevor. I am a community eatch Captain for a 24 apartment building - No gun. No mag light, no mace.
    Just a cell phone.

    The woman needs watched...


    1. Sarge,

      Given her general state of health, I suspect that's what I'm there for. To watch her. I'm surprised I have any tongue left. I spend 6 hours a week biting it to keep from calling bullshit on most of what she tells me. She is, a Wounded Warrior's Mom. He has an artificial limb and is still serving his country. My problem is that I don't think he wants anything to do with her and despite what she is, she did bring him into the world and supported him in all things. Well, except for getting married, having kids and leaving her behind.

  3. Hey Sherry, take care of yourself. And. I hope that poor ole gal can get her demons under control.

    1. Fringe,

      Getting her demons under control is apparently a lost cause. I believe there's a connection between those demons and decisions made by her son to have and control his own life in spite of her problems. Her ailments, while valid, aren't as bad as she makes them out to be and she isn't catching on to the fact that he's aware she's trying to control him with them and he's not going to tolerate it.

  4. Sherry,
    So you're sort of the Community Watch over her, to keep the community safe from her sounds like.

    1. She's a nuisance but there is always the possibility that her anger will get the best of her and who knows what'll happen then. She wants everything her own way, wants to choose who lives in that building and what they do when there. When she goes off on a rant, I just listen and make sympathetic noises and she's usually OK when I leave. I have no clue what's wrong with her mentally. The diagnosis is depression, heart problems and high blood pressure. She also gets more hours than anyone else in her position, so there's something not being disclosed.