In relation to my war with some members of the community and the community in general, there are a few more points that I was able to see, yet refused to admit. From the beginning, in looking at, calculating or imagining the playout of events, I saw fairly accurately to where we are now in terms of the legal battles. Furthermore, I envisioned the legal experience my partner would be receiving and I weighed this against possible financial costs to us. However, what I did not anticipate was the emotion that I would sometimes have to deal with when facing an adversary that seems to be as good as or better manipulator than me. These are the secrets that I’ve been withholding in regards to this matter.
In the beginning of these battles, all I wanted to do was exercise my right not to be pushed around or forced into replacing what I considered (and still do) to be a perfectly good roof. Short of emergency funds, I didn’t want to waste the money and I certainly was not going to attack a building company owner whom I considered (and still do) to be one of the best around. However, I soon realized (as we were the only holdouts who refused to sue the building company and refused to replace our room) that my partner and I were becoming the target of a concerted attack from a fairly organized group, the gang of 5 as I so un-affectionately called them. I realized that they were using PR and sometimes bullying tactics to get the backing of the community and turn many within the community against us. I suggested to my partner that we also needed to employ such PR tactics to let the others hear our side of the story.
To recap: our side of the story was and still is that, as only the 90 degree roofs had problems and the building company had offered to fix them and reinforce all of the roofs free of charge, why not just let the building company handle it? Well, apparently the gang had other ideas of charging the building company some extra on the side. Initially, having everyone except for us to sign on to the suit against the building company, they demanded a much higher sum than it would have actually cost to replace all of the roofs. Additionally, the gang (who wouldn’t allow anyone but themselves talk to the company that they had chosen to replace the roofs) sent out estimates to the community members, that were way too high. My partner, a professional accountant realized this and called them out on it. “If” they had been planning to use the additional money to have their own roofs done for free, this would have been a rough blow to them.
The first suit against the building company took more than a year, and during that time the gang exerted pressure on us. Different people would come knocking at out door saying, “we want to compromise, come to a meeting with us, let’s talk about it, let’s compromise,” However, with every meeting, their argument never changed, they just continued to insist that we follow the group. The problem as I saw it was that it wasn’t the group/community that was walking together, but a gang of 5 that was that was manipulating and corrupting the established democratic processes within the community. We eventually got so tired of fighting that we finally agreed to replace our perfectly good roof “as long as we could use high quality black tiles and not the cheap silver ones” that they had already begun using to replace their own roofs. I still do not understand: why on such beautifully designed, expensive buildings would they insist on using lower quality tiles than the ones we had in the first place. They would not compromise on even one-single point.
By the end of the second or third year, all of the roofs except for ours had been replaced and the community members that had sued the building company had lost both cases, one in the low court and one in the high court. At that point, my partner could perhaps have let things be and I guess they may have finally left us alone. However, whereas the gang of 5 had violated established community procedures or Housing law, verbally insulted us and attempted to bully us by placing barriers in front of our home, we on the other hand had decided to abide by the laws of the system and respond via a legal path. This meant that, whereas whatever they threw at us would usually hit us almost immediately, our legal response would be delayed.
Last night while walking back to the community, my partner heard a man say something like, when dog bite dog, all they end up with is hair in their mouths. I won’t argue with that: this is like a dog fight; Mr X puts plastic cone barriers in front of my home/pathway and I remove them. Mr Y sees my partner and proceeds to hurl insults at her which are likely to be recorded by us. As it stands now, during the year and a half that my partner has been studying law, she has filed at least 5 court cases, argued one in the lower court and is currently arguing one in the higher court. She is getting an incredible legal education.
In conclusion - for now
I’ve recently been experiencing an increase of emotion in relation to having cones placed in front of my home. I see the man who does it and I’ve asked him to stop blocking the pathway, but he just ignores me and walks away. I feel frustrated that I should have to endure this abuse. Whereas he gets his immediate permission from the community committee to do as he pleases, even though it’s illegal, I have to wait for the legal process to take its course. I am able to wait; however, I also realize that I must address and take responsibility for the points of emotion that I have been acutely aware of building up within me. Thus, I will write extensive self-forgiveness and self-commitment/correction statements on this subject in an attempt to understand and eliminate the undercurrent designs within me. BTW, the reason his manipulation skills piss me off is because, the manipulator I see in him is me.