I am going to preface this post with saying that I do not take mental health lightly. I have had my experiences with depression and have family members who deal with worse, so please don't take offense to the term crazy. I mean it in a "bless her little heart" kind of way, but still with fear.
May lives in our little community. Everyone knows May, in fact there are actually TWO women named May in our little community- "Sweet May" and "Crazy May". At over six feet tall and so many pounds, May cuts an intimidating figure. She's been known to walk into people's houses uninvited and then help herself to their yard equipment or jewelry. She obviously missed manners school the day we all learned about personal space and how to keep some of it. One early morning a neighbor was out walking and found May asleep in the gutter. The police are not only on a first name basis with May, they refer to her as Crazy May.
I'm no psychologist, but I've watched enough daytime self help television to assume that May is bi-polar and that she self medicates with alcohol. Oh, and throw in some prescription drug abuse for good measure.
Last week I had a run in with May. I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened. May is "friends" with a widower named Mike. Mike is a sweet man, but very lonely and May latched onto him like a newborn to a fresh nipple. Speaking of nipple, she also sucks him dry of money, gas, food and anything else he will hand over to her.
May and Mike had a huge blowout about a month ago. After tearing off his mailbox, keying his car, and threatening to kill him, Mike finally called out the police. We were all relieved, but before we could break out the champagne- they started talking again, and after falling to her knees and asking forgiveness, Mike took May back. *shoves cork back in the bottle*
So last week some of the neighbors and I were visiting in the courtyard and we saw May walking away from Mike while holding his elderly poodle. Jackson is the oldest poodle I have ever seen. He defies chronological reasoning in that he's not dead yet, but Mike loves this dog fiercely, so seeing May walking off with it was concerning. She was yelling at Mike while he followed behind. Back when we were living at my parent's house on the water I saw an alligator take off with a duck. The duck's mate followed that alligator- probably as dessert. Watching Mike follow May while she held poor decrepit Jackson reminded me exactly of that duck.
So I followed too.
Upon reaching her garage (and I will spare you the hoarder's description of that space) she started yelling again. At that point I asked Mike if he was okay and if he needed any help. He said he was fine and that it was okay, and I didn't think it was, but I took his word for it and walked away.
Crazy May followed me. Still holding onto the dog, and yelling at me in a monotone voice- "Mam", "Mam", "Mam", "Mam", "Mam"....all across the courtyard. I would like to mention here that May and I ARE THE SAME AGE. Mam?? Seriously? Finally, I got to my little courtyard and shut the gate behind me. Thankfully, she retreated.
Yesterday I heard May screaming at Mike outside his door and demanding that he give her five dollars. He opened the door and gave her the money, and she sped off in her car. As she does. This cycle will not change- it is a highly abusive, toxic relationship that feeds off of mental illness. I feel sorry for the both of them, but to be honest I am scared of May. Sure we have an alarm system and a small arsenal of weapons at our disposal, but the woman is not mentally sound and seems desperate to me. I feel for her, I really do. Untreated mental illness has to be a living hell, but it's become a bit of a living hell for the rest of us as well. People scatter like roaches who just saw the light switch flip every time she comes out of her house.
It only takes one person to stand up to a bully. I sure hope that person moves in soon.