CAMBRIDGE COURT CHRONICLES

being a true account of life in a sheltered housing complex in Ringsend Dublin

TIRED

I have , of late , being finding it quite difficult to write my blog. I’m constantly on edge , tense – I cannot relax and don’t feel well. I’m tired , but not in a healthy way…….I keep thinking that in a few months I will be 70 years of age and I feel every minute of it. They say that people live longer today but that really applies to middle class people who have comfortable or moderately comfortable lives. I often wonder just how I lasted this long but looking at it objectively it is reasonable to think that I may not be around for much longer. No one knows exactly when they are going to die but once you get to my age you begin to realise that you are running out of time and the pressure I’ve been under these last few years would be enough to kill a horse. And there is no way out…..there is no way out of this nightmare.

By the way , I don’t mean to sound like a misery guts but if I kept all this to myself I would have gone mad or killed myself a long time ago. One strange thing that I don’t understand – I seem to be the only person on the internet who has a blog chronicling bullying of any sort. I have looked wide and hard and I cannot find one , not one blog by anyone anywhere who is being bullied. I seem to be the only person in Ireland , UK or indeed the whole of the english speaking blogosphere who is telling their story of what life with bullies is really like. Perhaps they are all to intimidated …… but it is strange …..Nothing new has happened in the last few weeks and months -just more of the misery that went before.

It is just coming up to 1:00 am and the noise is pumping from the pub across the road , just as it was last night and probably as it will tomorrow night. There is a lot I would like to write but I’m just too worn out to concentrate……

SOMETHING OLD SOMETHING NEW

IMG_0348IMG_0349IMG_0350IMG_0351

This new seating and tables have just been installed in the common room in Cambridge Court. They are not for the use of tenants or inmates as I like to think of them  but rather for the hundreds of people who use Cambridge Court as their own private community center while tenants/inmates are confined to their one room flats. They can sit at these tables and have a cup of tea , served from the kitchen which is also forbidden territory to tenants/ inmates.  A tenant died in Cambridge Court a few days ago and I can assure you that he never sat in this common room having a nice quiet cup of tea….I have seen a lot of people die in this place but I’ve never seen one enjoying a cup of tea in this ‘common’ room……………..Cambridge Court is a living monument to death and isolation.

IRISH CARE HOME ABUSE

If you wish to see the full Prime Time RTE programmes just click on the link.

WAITING FOR DEATH

One of the disadvantages of living in a sheltered housing complex for older people is that you are constantly reminded of death. You just cannot get away from it. One by one your neighbours die. I’ve seen more people die in the last 7 years than in the whole of my previous life. This is obviously not good for ones mental health and when there are aggravating circumstances such as a bullying and intimidating atmosphere the combination can be lethal………

I think about death every day. This is , under the circumstance , quite normal. Death is the only thing that will rescue me from this living nightmare.  I have done everything possible – I have notified Dublin City Council , I have written hundreds of words in various blogs about the bullying , I have told everyone who will listen and have even put a poster up in my window with the legend , ” I do not want to grow old with bullies” and in spite of all this and more not one person has ever knocked on my door to see if I am alright. Short of taking an ad out in the local press I cannot think of what else I can possible do. So why do I even bother ?  Well , there is one good reason why I bother – One very good reason. No one is ever going to be able to say that they didn’t know what was going on. This is , after all what they always say…..This is the classic ‘get out of jail’ card that is used with great success by those in positions of  responsibility when the proverbial you know what hits the fan.

Every day of the week I see people stop to read the poster I have in my window. I see mothers taking their children to school stop and read , I see social and healthcare workers park their cars outside my window and do a double take when they see the poster -I have literally seen hundreds of people read that poster and yet not one has ever asked me if there was a problem. There is a conspiracy of silence at work here.  A lot of people don’t like the stance I’m taking but they don’t complain because to do so would be a recognition of sorts , however negative , of my situation. It is not that people don’t believe me ……..that’s one thing that victims often get wrong -they often feel that no one believes them but of course the real problem is that they DO believe them.

This system works well…..it is the default option. It always works. It always has worked. It always will work.

 

I’M NOT MAD

I often find myself wondering if I am mad or if I am just imagining all the bullying and intimidation that passes for normal life in Cambridge Court. It is quite natural to doubt yourself when every day is a living nightmare and everyone else seems to be getting alone fine. It is very very common this self-doubt. But every so often something happens and suddenly , in a flash , you realise that no you’re not mad…….

A few months ago I happened to be standing in the garden area in Cambridge Court just getting some fresh air and one of the tenants approached me. He asked me if I thought Dublin City Council would let him bring in a garden shed to put around the back behind the common room…..there are some already there but these belong to the bullies. I told him that I figured the bullies would complain to the council and of course the council would do what they always do- ie back up the bullies. But then I said that if he needed somewhere for his tools or gardening stuff he should ask anyway. And then…….then he said something that made me almost want to cry with joy. He told me he didn’t want it for tools or gardening equipment – he wanted a shed because then he would have somewhere to sit in in the day time and somewhere  sleep in at night. He had indicated to me prior to this that he didn’t like his flat ….that , like me , he had grown to hate the environment he was living in.

For years I had been fantizing about how wonderful it would be if only I could find a shed somewhere to live in. For years, literally for years I had wandered the streets in the early hours of the morning looking down alleyway at those sheds people have at the end of their gardens wondering if they might rent one out to me. It was of course a sort of madness because I knew nobody would……

But when two tenants , quite Independent of each other,  arrive at the conclusion that they would be better off living in a shed then there is something very wrong.

Get A Life Women’s Group Ringsend Dublin.

I have been invited to a party. A local woman’s group , the so called Get A Life Women’s Group has invited me and all the other tenants here in Cambridge Court to a party in our own  common room.  It feels quite odd to be invited to a party in your own home by someone who doesn’t live there themselves. It certainly takes  quite a bit of cheek and good old hard neck. This is one of the many groups who use Cambridge Court day centre on a regular basis. They are fully aware that while they are having a good time tenants are confined to their one room flats too intimidated to complain. Many tenants have in fact died in Cambridge Court without ever having had the use of this day room. The Get A Life Group are fully aware of this…it has been explained to them that they and several other groups are bullying tenants , that tenants are too intimidated to use the common room / day centre themselves….It has been further explained to them that the only reason they were invited in was as a means of the bullies exercising intimidation and control over the tenants  – and , by the way , this policy has been very successful.

These people are BULLIES. They are no better than any lowlife street thugs and probably do far more damage to old and vulnerable people.

 

I’m not dead yet

It is over two months or so since I last posted anything here. Nothing has changed …….the bullies are still running the place. No one cares.  I am , I suppose , wasting my time but what else is there to do ? Is there anyone out there actually reading the blog ?

SENIOR CITIZEN BORSTAL CAMBRIDGE COURT

It is just gone 1:00 am and I’m sitting in the common room in Cambridge Court. I have a hundred  things to write about but I’ve said them all before…..And so here I am staring at a blank page on my laptop with nothing to say.  As it says in the good book , “There is nothing new under the sun”. And there is certainly  nothing new in Cambridge Court.

Here is a short video clip of the common room in Cambridge Court. As you can see it is actually a snooker/bingo hall and it attracts the kind of people you expect to find hanging around a snooker hall. It looks like a recreation room in a borstal but as the tenants have been bullied out of using the place I suppose it doesn’t  really matter. The music playing in the background is the Shadows , “The Frightened City” which is quite appropriate……..I brought the record player into the common room a few months ago  and set it up in a nice spot with some LP records but was told I had to move it as it was in the way of the bingo  crowd  ( this bingo crowd don’t actually live in Cambridge Court). These thugs run Cambridge Court under the protection (and encouragement) of Dublin City Council.

Sheltered Housing Bullying the story continues.

It is several weeks since I last posted anything on this blog. Nothing new has happened – just the same old misery – and to be honest , I’m tired of moaning……I only have one excuse and that is that if I did not moan I would go mad or perhaps I might have killed myself by now. Nothing has changed. The bullies are still running the show. The great and the good are looking the other way.

I wonder from time to time why I even bother to continue with this blog……but I don’t wonder for long. The simple fact is that this is a chronicle of bullying…It is a story that needs to be told and I am the only one  to tell it. There are no other blogs like this on the web – this is the only blog that deals with the bullying of old people in sheltered  housing or indeed anywhere else for that matter. Google ” old people , bullying ” and mine is the only blog you will find. It is unique. It’s a one-off.  And so , for better or worse , here it is and here it will remain.

Sometimes I look back at what I have written and feel embarrassed at the poor quality of the writing  but I never edit it. It may be badly written but it has the virtue of being honest. It is also true. And besides, I’m not here to impress people. The only reason I AM here is so that no one will be able to say that they didn’t know………that is , after all what they always say , isn’t it.

 

DOING TIME WITH THE BULLIES

It is exactly 6 years and 6 months since I first moved into Cambridge Court. I doubt if I will live for another 6 years…….. It is two weeks since I was offered a transfer out of Cambridge Court to a place that was probably no better and perhaps a lot worse. I don’t have time on my side. I’m not going to live forever. I’m getting older by the minute……..and I do feel old. And so , that question that Lenin asked , “What is to be done”. Do I just give up , let the bullies have their way and resign myself to spending my last few years ( or months)  living a life that’s not worth living. That’s a rhetorical question. Such an option is no option. So , what IS to be done ?

Every day I think of the bullies. Every minute of every day I think of those bullies. I will think of them right up to the very second that I die. And I think of the thugs in Dublin City Council who willfully and deliberately  support those bullies in each and every act of bullying and intimidation. I have nothing else to do but think. I am not going away. I’m not giving up.  I’m watching……..

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