Saturday, May 26, 2007

What would you do?

OK, I don't live in the nicest neighborhood in the world. It's one of those places that is kinda on the borderline - a few blocks one way is kinda scary, but a block up the hill it gets pretty nice. I like my neighborhood. For the most part, it is quiet. I know my neighbors, we watch out for each other. Good stuff. I have a great apartment, a sweet deal.
The problem. This morning I was awakened by yelling. A man and a woman yelling at the top of their lungs, at 7:30 in the morning, every other word is the 'f' word. Nice. I wasn't sure where it was coming from.
I spent a veeeeeeery lazy day out in my yard. I did have plans today, but decided that I just wanted a "me" day. So a little while ago I came in to get something to eat and I decided to take a few minutes and put in the screens in the outside doors. So I'm in the front hall, and I hear yelling and screaming coming from across the street. I hear a man yelling at one of the kids to "stay the f out of my room" and I hear crashing and I hear screaming. I hear a woman tell him to get out and I hear him continue to yell, and the kids continuing to scream. Loudly. I had my cell phone in my hand and my thumb on the first 9. But I didn't call. I don't want to cause problems. For a family that is, from what I see, down on their luck at the moment. I really like the kids. They are nice, they talk to me, they talk to Rusty, I gave the girl a ride to school one morning when it was pouring out (they don't have a car) and the parents seemed ok. I know that phone call to the police could put them at risk. Maybe they are good parents. Maybe this is a one time thing. I'll keep my ears open. I wanted to go over and ring their doorbell and just talk to them...but I don 't want to cause problems for myself either. People are unpredictable when they are that angry. Did I do the right thing by doing nothing this time?
I stood in the doorway for a while, listening. I wondered if some neighbor ever paused in their daily tasks and heard my family having one of their many loud, violent moments and contemplated getting involved...
I'll keep listening...


Julie said...

If you don't think there was physical violence then I think you did the right thing. I'd definitely keep listening and watch the kids, though.

Amanda1 said...

I think you did the right thing, too. I used to live in an apartment, too. One night, the neighbors had an argument like the one you are describing, but then you heard stuff being thrown and a woman screaming. We DID call the police. You have to use your discretion in these situations.

Barbara said...

gosh honey - it's so hard to know what to do in those situations. I know that it only made it harder for me later when the neighbors called the cops to come check on me when I was in a abusive relationship.

But that doesn't mean that a wake up call doesn't need to happen over there. If the police could keep you out of it - a health and welfare check wouldn't hurt.

Violence is violence - screaming and yelling horrible stuff is abuse.

BTW - how the heck are ya, anyway?

Sonya said...

It can be very difficult to make a decision that you will be comfortable with. My thought, if there is a next time, would be to go over and ask if the daughter can come help you with, planting, wash the car, scoop poop, could she walk the dog for you, anything.

Hoping is was just a one time thing.

SleepyEyes said...

Oh, Melissa...what a difficult situation to be in. I've pondered this question a few times in my life. Once, I did something and wasn't received very well. Another time, I didn't and then later wished I had.

When I'm putting Ben into the bath and he's screaming like I'm killing him...or forgot to use the right shampoo in his hair, I just HOPE that no one comes over and calls the cops on me!

But, being serious again, I think you're doing the right thing by waiting to see if it happens again. My dad (who is a former policeman) always suggests writing down the date, time and circumstances of any incident like this in a notebook or something. So, that if something else DOES happen and you end up getting involved, you will have more concrete, documented information to give the police.

Hopefully, it won't happen again.

Hugs to you. (big ones...) (hugs, I mean....LOL!)

Jackie said...

Yowza. That's a tough call. I would keep an eye on things. It's probably a temporary situation and hopefully will resolve itself. I personally believe that kids are better off with their parents than in the system. Obviously if there are any signs of abuse you would call right away.

MrsFife said...

Just came over after reading you comment on Wendy's blog about buying sari silk in India. I live in India and would love to know where and how and for how much you bought it.