Creating content


Laila Faisal
3 min readMar 2, 2023

Day 56 of 100-day Creator Challenge

I can’t imagine the stress of living in a life threatening war zone. I’ve only been living in an emotionally draining war zone for the past six years, and when that ended yesterday I can physically feel the relief.

Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

I live in one of the six units in a grand old house.

I have dubbed the woman downstairs as the neighbourhood bully. She has lived there for over 30 years. But for all that time she’s lived there, she hasn’t made positive connections with other neighbouring units, or even others on the street.

Tension when living in close proximity to others is almost guaranteed. But with this woman, the tension has required a number of calls to the police for the threatening behaviour she has shown to anyone here who disagrees with her. Not to mention the anger management issues her boyfriend displayed.

But there’s only so much the police can do to resolve neighbourhood disputes despite CCTV footage of her shouting and banging on my window. We’ve tried going through mediation but she refused to attend. A restraining order can’t be placed because they technically live in the same house.

I would tense up when leaving my house. I would need to clear the carport and driveway. There is always the risk of an encounter. When I need to leave, but hear her in the carport coming or going, I would turn back and wait till the coast is clear.

Call me cowardly, but I have been verbally assaulted just walking past her in the driveway. I’m not even safe from her verbal abuse when walking on our small street. She would roll down her car window when she drove past me and shout obscenities.

I hate conflict and prefer avoidance strategies. But one time I did reciprocate.

That was earlier last year, when I was under a lot of stress dealing with Martin’s declining health, and facing the real future that Jaime would grow up without her dad.

I was walking home from a morning walk with my dog. Dogs can sense hostile characters. My dog started growling at her as we walked past.

She shouted “Shudup you f-ing mutt!” I turned to her and returned her retort, nothing more colourful than what she would shout at me. I stomped away down the drive. She was still shouting at my back. I continued walking but held one hand high with one finger sticking out.

Yesterday, there was a removal truck in the driveway. We found out that she was packing up and leaving. She decided to abandon the site of trauma that is a whole other story.

I had hoped that this would be the outcome when I first heard of the horrific news. But I didn’t have any high hopes considering she has lived there for decades.

Today, I left my house in total peace. I knew that if I bumped into anybody it would be friendly neighbours. When I came back home, I walked down in ease knowing I didn’t need to make a dash to my door.

I was surprised to find out how tense I had been.

I hope she finds peace. As much as it was terrible for me to always fear an encounter, it must be just as terrible for her to always feel like she needs to to be in anger mode.

I hope she treats her new neighbours better to avoid any further trauma. I can imagine several scenarios where things could have been different if she had better support from the people around them.

But if you saw a raging bull, would you try to rationalise with it, or would you run and take cover?



Laila Faisal

Hi all, I am mum and BFF to a gorgeous girl. I'm exploring content creation and mid-way through an EdD. I'm reflecting on death since my ex-husband died.