Portsmouth, Hampshire, England

The British – read “the English” – describe their communication style and national character as passive aggression. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/nov/07/grey-rocking-brits-passive-aggression How did that come about? It’s got to be a consequence of the English class system. It’s how you vent at someone perceived as more powerful and abusive when you’re in a position of powerlessness, after all. That way, the other person cannot accuse you of disrespect.

People abroad tend to think of the English as “prim and proper” as an American woodwind musician and music graduate who happens to be former USAF once formulated it to me. We imagine types like Morse and Lewis or Miss Marple, a little ornery at times but surely not entirely unreasonable.

The academia you get to see in those series has nothing to do with academia in real life. The little wooden chambers with 3 or 4 people instead of modern lecture halls and people constantly dressing in black robes, for example, those are scenes that come straight out of Greek dramas, so to speak.

Most of England is not like the rest of what you see in those series either. Take Portsmouth, for example.

Portsmouth is a densely populated place crammed onto a tiny island called Portsea Island. The place measures only 24.5 square kilometers (9.5 square miles; 6,100 acres). That’s the size of a fly’s excrement.

The island is wedged so tightly against the south coast of England that it’s easy to miss that you’re driving onto an island. You will drive over a bridge that takes you past Portsbridge Creek, the tidal channel that separates the island from mainland England.

There are other places called Portsmouth, one of which is also in the UK. This page is not about those other places. This one is in Hampshire. The Isle of Wight is to the south of it.

First, some links.

“Britains Toughest Towns, Season 1 Episode 5”. ITV documentary about Portsmouth in the series “Britain’s Toughest Towns”. David Sumnall (director/writer), Donal MacIntyre (reporter/presenter). 19 October 2005. (Videos posted below.)

Cotterill, Tom (22 May 2020). “Fresh fury as more reckless gangs gather on Southsea Common ‘putting lives at risk'”. Portsmouth News.

Fishwick, Ben (15 June 2021). “Southsea Common ‘public order’ incident involving 30 people sees man, 18, injured”. Portsmouth News.

Fishwick, Ben (11 June 2020). “Gangs of up to 20 yobs fighting in Buckland street, riding…”Portsmouth News. 12 June 2020.

Lewis, Anna (24 June 2020). “‘They’re laughing at police’: Dispersal order in place at Southsea Common after gang of 200 teens fight, take drugs and intimidate residents”. HampshireLive.

Deeks, Steve (15 September 2020). “Gang with machete and knuckle duster seen fighting on…”Portsmouth News.

Me, among other things, I have stopped two people from dragging a driver out of his car (young family in car) along Kingston Road, in very busy traffic in which that car was stuck and couldn’t escape from. I was very unwell at the time, wouldn’t have been able to put up a fight or run away and maybe that made me more effective because I didn’t care if I was going to get hurt. There was nothing wrong with my voice, though, and I yelled at them that they were being ridiculous and that made one of them turn on me, which distracted the other one too. They didn’t touch me, by the way. There was just a lot of yelling in my face, at a distance of about 10 centimeters.

They may have been high on meth.

No, I am not being paranoid about drugs. I’ve seen people shoot up from my office window as well as observed people hide out from the police there*. I’ve also seen drug sales take place from my other window a few times.

*A note… Police officers should consider using drones. Much quicker and cheaper to deploy than helicopters. (Freaks out birds, though.) I don’t know what happened on that particular occasion, but as I saw one of the youngsters go through a backpack, it may have concerned theft of a backpack, which a police car happened to witness (or he was going through his bag to remove any drugs). From my other window, I could see a car with its doors open, a police car standing behind it, but no officers in sight. (The officers may have run into Kingston Road, unaware of the local layout.)

In Portsmouth, young people sometimes climb onto roofs and go onto patios to harass residents. You have to really stand your ground to fight off these local yobs and you can not show any fear whatsoever, and no anger. Because they love getting you riled up and red hot with anger and powerlessness.

I also endured a lot of anger after I took action when I saw a young kid and a baby left alone in a car in the sunshine, with the adults chatting inside a house behind a closed door. That was a different story and nobody got hurt. These folks were just scared (which tends to manifest as anger and aggression, in Portsmouth).

Portsmouth seemed friendly and lively when I decided to move to Southsea. It’s not friendly at all. Just about everybody here acts as if they hate just about everybody else here but, together, they seem to hate strangers even more.

No, the people of Portsmouth are not very sociable, even though they may see themselves as such because they may not get a lot of exposure to what life is like away from Portsmouth.

I am not blind, though. Not everyone here is grouchy and hostile, but you can see foreigners and other strangers change here too, from friendly and confident people into distrustful, aggressive, thoroughly unpleasant and even hateful as well as miserable people.

Point is, you always have to expect anger and hostility here and be ready for it so that you are not taken by surprise, which will make you come across as weak.

Just about everyone here hates just about everyone else. It’s not much fun.

In fact, do not laugh along with what folks here do to you. That signals that you are okay with what happened. Are you?

Do not pretend nothing’s happening either (depending on the situation, of course; people for example may also yell a lot of nonsense at you; well, if you had your earbuds in, you might not even have heard it and even if you hear it, you still usually won’t have the foggiest idea what it is about, provided the words were actually discernible).

If you do stand up to local folks, don’t remember them when you run into these folks again, even if you do. Treat them like you would treat anyone else if they leave you in peace this time.

(They may initially try to trigger you by snapping something at you next time they see you, possibly to find out if you’ve reported them somewhere or merely to see if you recognize them or to needle you. Ignore that. Give them a chance. Give them the chance to decide to start behaving differently. If you keep remembering them, you keep pushing them back into their old behaviors. Give them the chance to be new people who you haven’t met before.)

Not that long ago (approximately April 2022), I suddenly found myself surrounded by four young male security guards who thought it would be fun to mess with an old cow who seemed to be living in poverty. They ambushed me in the The Bridge shopping center, just as I was about to leave, followed me all the way through Asda and outside. They were bullshitting about me not being allowed to take photos, which I knew because I am not the dumb old cow that they mistook me for. However, to other people (random shoppers), it may have looked like I presented some kind of danger and was being escorted out.

I was taking some photos of shopfronts and maintenance issues after I received a leaflet – possibly addressed to me personally, as I used to be on the Lib Dem mailing list – from a local Lib Dem candidate who stated that most shops there were unoccupied, which turned out not to be true, and that Portsmouth City Council should purchase the shopping center. (I’ve had a stall there a few times in the past and took photos back then too, plus I wrote a business plan for a mini mall in 2012 or thereabouts, which was actually considered good, too.) I uploaded a related video to YouTube at around the same time; this was just before the local elections. In the run-up, I also did some leafleting for the Green Party, of which I was a member.

Anyway, dumb old cows do not even exist other than in these young folks’ imagination, folks. I went back a day or so later and gave them a resume; they leave me in peace now. This is actually horrible, that people stop targeting you after they see your resume and see that you went to university. Is it that awful English class crap or because they think you’re learning-disabled as you’re single (hence “dimwitted”), why they target you? Or is it mostly also merely the usual misogyny and gerontophobia?

(This kind of local targeting can rapidly snowball, by the way, in all sorts of ways, for example because you look angry, upset or fearful to others or just plain wary and weary. Because it’s often like you’re under siege 24/7 here.) (Is this how all of this once began, too?)

Intimidation is the big game here on Portsea Island.

Always be ready to fight back, to stand up to attacks of any kind. Always watch your back, too.

Portsmouth is often like a war zone, in my opinion. There really should be warning signs at the entrance roads to Portsea Island. It’s extremely insular.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/63328261

Yeah, many people in Portsmouth are more or less in a perpetual state of war, but it depends a little bit on where exactly on Portsea Island you are located. I’ve read that you can see it as consisting of separate villages. Some of these “villages” are more into this “we are under siege from strangers” and “we must beat the enemy” nonsense than others.

There’s something called being “Pompey born and bred”; Pompey is the nickname for the island. These tend to be people who seem to see everyone else as the enemy, and that includes everyone who they’ve never even set eyes on.

If you’ve been here long enough, people will start volunteering statements like “X went to primary school with Y. X would never do anything to betray Y.” That represents a pathological state of mind and it seems fairly typical for Portsmouth.

They have mafia-style intimidation and retaliation going on. They will always deny knowing anyone else in this town and nobody ever knows anything about anything that might be going on. Like the mafia, they use a lot of code – words and signals – to convey messages to one another. It keeps people from getting caught.

Sadly, some of these folks may even believe that they are helping each other, when they are effectively sabotaging each other and keeping each other under everyone else’s thumbs. Among the local poor, it’s considered fairly typical to move to Portsmouth and end up in inescapable poverty.

I sometimes phrase it as follows. Nobody lives in Portsmouth. Everyone here is dying. They’re either waiting patiently for death or they’re dying to get out of here. For me me, it has acquired a very strong “death trap” feel.

When I was volunteering in the Covid vaccination effort, I heard an entirely unknown man express surprise that I was chatting with people. Well, whaddayouknow, I am a perfectly fine person. Surprise, surprise. It was Portsmouth that declared war on me when I moved here. It had nothing to do with me because nobody here even knew me. Why would I want to socialize with strangers who do things like make fun of my blood test results, empty a bucket of liquid over me or shout all sorts of bizarre stuff at me (with or without grabbing their penis at the same time)? Thanks, but no thanks. You brought my reticence and restraint on yourself, Portsmouth. (Besides that I’m one of those bigger-city types, granted.)

Perhaps you can picture Portsea Island as follows… Don’t get angry right away. Think about it.

Below, under the videos containing a documentary about Portsmouth, you see photos of some local neo-Nazi graffiti that I took in early December 2022 (may already have been removed by PCC staff as I alerted them to it). While this likely depicts the island of Great Britain wanting to deter migrants like me, you can also see it as Portsea Island wanting to deter strangers.

Part 1 of a documentary about Portsmouth. Don’t believe it when people tell you that this was all a long time ago. First of all, it wasn’t and second, not that much has changed since then. The mentality is still the same.
Part 2 of a documentary about Portsmouth, which has recently been made age-restricted, likely because of the violence in it. This means you will have to watch it on YouTube. Again, don’t believe it when people tell you that this was all a long time ago. First of all, it wasn’t a long time ago at all. Second, not that much has changed since then. The mentality is largely still the same.

Of the graffiti below, Portsmouth City Council promised to remove it asap after I e-mailed them about it. This graffiti is not “hilarious” at all, Portsmouth and neither is me e-mailing PCC about it. I am not being utterly ridiculous when I report something like this.

(Practicing how you make a swastika.)

Below you see a photo of a genuine malicious local psychopath. No feelings, no remorse, only a drive to cause hurt and death. No idea who this is. Tried to get me to commit suicide, completely out of the blue. Scared the crap out of me. I was so creeped out by what had happened. I said nothing at the time but I went back to take a photo of her. I asked a colleague for her name, without success. When I later decided to ask her why she had tried to get me to commit suicide (which I said like that, yes), there was no emotion from her, no protest, only a cold “I don’t remember”.

No humor involved. No intercultural misunderstanding. She wanted me to jump to my death, off something high.


When a colleague of hers later started hanging around me – a lot – I decided to test her, to find out what she was after, when an opportunity presented itself. Was she, a fellow EU citizen, just trying to be friendly or not? She failed the test. Big time. She clearly had not been trying to be friendly at all. She was not looking for conversation, a dialogue of any kind. I presume that she had been looking for juicy gossip.

A different, slightly older colleague of hers, however, referred me to Age Concern – now called Age UK – one day, for abuse of older adults. (She’s OK, but she can be a little wary, like any decent human being who’s been in Portsmouth too long, I suppose.) Yet another one referred me to what is basically a charity for domestic violence.

The mystery woman who wanted me dead. I don’t know her. Have only very rarely interacted with her, without anything standing out about it. No idea what she has against me.

There is also a great deal of envy here. Or is it also part of the extreme insularity? The envy is mostly against older women and against people who aren’t white English who run businesses and/or are self-employed (for example as a costume maker). They seem to be perceived as having taken something from the locals because how come the locals are stuck in poverty and these other people aren’t? How dare they be independent and run businesses and what not.

A male business owner in Portsmouth was targeted in 2018 in what the Sunday Times called a “xenophobic campaign”. He is Scottish. He’d lived in Sweden. Had a young family. Kids. The campaign has clear echoes of Pizzagate (4chan/8chan extremism).

Businessman falsely branded a paedophile by online bully forced to close vape shop after losing £75,000 in trade | The News


This is what he was like before he became attacked:

After he became attacked, he became depressed, didn’t want to venture out of his home any longer, developed physical health problems and had suicidal thoughts. He’s gone from Portsmouth now.

The guy behind that vicious campaign against that Scottish business owner was living very close to where I am. Stirling Street. Cross the street and take a left where going to the right would take you into Queens Road.

This here, around New Road, roughly, is a particularly rough, hate-driven neighborhood. This is where a lot of crap within Portsmouth is organized from. Among other things, these anonymous folks coordinate holding back or throwing away postal mail for certain people and blocking outgoing postal mail from certain people, cutting off their internet access or landline (in the days when most people still had landlines), or not cutting it off, or repeatedly stopping people from transferring to a different provider because they would no longer be able to mess with them, interfering with certain people’s bank accounts, utility accounts (including lowering or increasing their rates, btw) and anything else you can think of, such as coordinating responses to certain Freecycle posts, spreading people’s medical test results and making fun of that (this was done to me for several years by a young woman who was logged in as Anna-Marie Clarke at my GP practice, but she may not have been using her own login; she revealed herself when she apologized to me), delaying certain deliveries or speeding them up or interfering with them (opening packages to do stuff), making spoofed calls and a million other things, including lock-picking and probably also rubbish-dumping. They may stop by, open up an indoor wall, dump a dead rat into the cavity, or live mice (which are then supposed to get into your place) and close up the wall again. They create and spread deep-fake pornography, too. They may pay a neighbor who’s often up nights to honk on a didgeridoo in the night. They also fuck with people on the public access library computer system. They sometimes arrange job interviews just for the opportunity to make fun of people and waste their time. They may arrange to overlook your rubbish bins. They can of course do the opposite too. They can even run around like crazy between 1 and 3 at night, just to be able to get at you without being noticed by others. They can target you by making use of the CCTV system. They may empty a bucket with liquid over you when you walk by. They even have a mafia-style system of codes and symbols to convey messages to one another.

It’s crazy. It’s vile. It’s typically “Portsmouth”. These anonymous folks can make people’s lives a living hell as psychopathic punishment for merely daring to breathe while not “Pompey born and bred”. Perhaps most vile of all is that they also sometimes try to make it look like it’s other people who are doing this; that too is probably a form of punishment that they mete out. (No, it’s not. Keep reading. It’s worse.)

The issue with spreading my medical data around town is not privacy. I couldn’t care less whether other people know that my immune values are slightly off or that the GP had left the creatinine or BUN box ticked. The abuse is the problem, the utter contempt behind for example the idea of trying to make me believe that I had blood cancer. Why is it seen as okay to abuse women over 45 relentlessly? (Because that is what it often boils down to.)

I’ve recently started to wonder about that time when someone at my GP practice rutted around in my vagina endlessly because she had trouble finding my cervix. The medical professionals who’ve drawn my blood there, however, were all perfectly fine so I can assume that the cervix issue was genuine. The person’s behavior was fine too.

(But then, when I needed help with my left eye in 2021 or 22, my temperature and blood pressure got taken, whereas not one person in Portsmouth even took the quickest look at my eye. That’s mostly gerontophobia, though. I went to five different places, not to my GP practice because GP practices are currently overwhelmed and generally not specialized in eyes.)

There was that time that, when I still had a landline, whenever I picked up my phone, it would tell me “You have reached the mailbox of Death’s Door Quest.” followed by the announcement that there was no more space, that the mailbox was full. That lasted at least about two weeks; I simply stopped checking after a while. I am pretty sure that “mailbox” refers to vagina. There was lots of stuff to do with a cage (which turned out to be slang for vagina), there was something about cobwebs in my vagina, there was something to do with bed slats (slang for labia), and so on and so forth. There had also been the stuff in Southsea, too. The carved peach on my patio and the slogan on the wall about me liking “dick”. There were also flower pots and candles on my patio, and one day, a black backpack. In around November 2022, deepfake porn with me in it appears to have been circulating locally.

In 2014, when I was setting up a new business for which there appeared to be a great local need, someone on Twitter contacted me about a man who could do with my assistance. She was a family friend, she said. I looked into the matter, set up a petition, got people to sign that petition, sent faxes, made calls.

One of those calls was to a journalist who during our conversation suddenly started deviating from the truth so much – instead starting to talk about what had happened to me in December 2010, which is how I ended up with part of the expertise I was offering in the first place, apparently wanting to needle me – that it was clear I was not speaking with a journalist in Lancashire at all. The person who had contacted me on Twitter wasn’t who she said she was either.

At around the same time, I was contacted with yet another fake excuse. In hindsight, it likely was just an excuse to get me out of my flat to go to an appointment I made within that context so that the locks could be picked again..

What also often happened in the course of all the hacking interference is that my ability to take screenshots was disabled.

(The really bizarre thing about it is that they seem expect you to be grateful for their relentless hate, too, and then get angry when you aren’t at all.)

I have been informed that I am a “rat!” a few times. Well, you shouldn’t have targeted me, then; I wouldn’t have had anything to rat about.

Ruth Mbvundula, a nurse who used to live in the flat under mine, told me that kids rang her doorbell one day and told her horrible things about me. She wasn’t willing to repeat them. These anonymous kids can only have gotten this hate for me from their anonymous hate-fueled parents who only make room for one thing in their lives: more hate for strangers.

Most despicable of all, oh yes, they will deliberately use their own YOUNG children to target you, even if the children have no idea what it is about, but they also use for example people with Down syndrome and other kind, unsuspecting souls. Kids have been sent to pester me many times; they usually see it as a great game, having no idea what it is about. Both of the latter have happened to me too; on one of those occasions a young guy stood behind the person in question who he had just instructed, laughing his head off here along Kingston Road. The bucket of liquid, that too was along Kingston Road (near Kingston Crescent) They may target your pets as well, as I have already indicated above.

An utterly baffling thing happened to me at St Jude’s, a place that hands out free food. I used to frequent those places a lot because after I moved to Portsmouth, I’ve too often been forced to use whatever I found on the ground, including acorns. There tends to be a profound power imbalance at places that hand out free food to the poor; there is no real understanding, no real empathy or effort to understand what it is like to be going hungry. It is often some kind of do-good feel-good game for them. One pastor (or whatever) told me that there were also food handouts at a cathedral at a certain time. I went there once, in the rain, only to find that I had gone to the wrong place. I later discovered that the other place was handing out “the body of Christ”. Ha ha. Women must provide sexual services or else? One both occasions, I walked 2 to 3 hours through the pouring rain. I had no choice. My clothes took a while to dry and my shoes took maybe a week to dry. Unless that pastor is autistic, he revealed a pretty shocking callousness when he played that prank on me. He clearly had no idea what it is like to live in poverty. No idea. He had never spent a thought on it. Of was he a regular local sadist? St Jude’s is so far away that whenever I had not eaten enough for too long, I wouldn’t even go there because walking to it would totally wear me out and you don’t know in advance what you’ll get if anything.

This was not povertyism, however. (Or was it? Maybe to some degree.) Povertyism assumes that poor people are inferior. Dumb. In possession of fewer rights and mental capacities and less deserving of normal human respect.

TIPS for anyone else who made the mistake of moving into the guerrilla war zone called Portsea Island

  1. Broadband etc. Avoid anything to do with O2 (hence GiffGaff too) and avoid Virgin Media Business. My experiences with BT Business are that they offer a low quality service and here in Portsmouth, unless their systems got hacked by someone in Portsmouth, they have corrupt Pompey born and bred staff. Probably best to avoid Vodafone, too, and basically avoid all the large firms where irregularities are easily missed. Get a small bespoke business provider at quite a distance from Portsmouth. Such outfits exist. Any firm with most of their staff based in India might work too. (I’ve caught a young lad at a local O2 shop recognizing my name when I asked for help with a SIM card for an iPad at the end of 2016, right before Christmas, whereas his colleague did not recognize my name. On Christmas Eve, apparently that iPad had gotten accessed to the degree that someone was using its camera to see what I was wearing, unless there are or were indeed bugs in my flat, as had been indicated to me before.)

    IF YOU WANT YOUR PHONE TO GET HACKED, leave a note with your number on it on your front door if you have deliveries and give it to people via Freecycle.

Medical. If you need to go to a hospital, consider going to a hospital away from Portsmouth. Yes, that is possible (allowed) if you need to rely on the NHS. If you can, get private healthcare, though. I don’t know if you can have a GP in another location if you need to rely on the NHS. Try to find out and arrange this, though. (Some of the local folks do things like spread your medical results and make fun of them/you.) That can go along the lines of “Oh. Her immune values are off. I bet we can make her jump to the conclusion that she has blood cancer.” (this was done to me for several years with the aid of a young woman who was logged in as Anna-Marie Clarke at my GP practice, but she may not have been using her own login)

Rubbish bins. Make sure you keep them in a locked enclosure because they can get stolen a lot. 360-L refuse bins cost £99 each through the council and in the case of rental properties, landlords are responsible for them (including the costs). After I moved to Portsmouth, I have taken landlords’ dumped refuse to the tip several times (when I had rented a van anyway). In Southsea, I caught a landlord for a nearby property in the act of rubbish-dumping. 140-L and 240-L wheelie bins are available from Amazon, by the way.

Banks. Never do any bank dealings in Portsmouth if you can help it. Open any bank accounts in other other cities and if you need to go to a branch, do this away from Portsmouth. (A lot of the local bank staff is perfectly fine, but some employees are rotten and you do not know who they are.)

Postal mail and packages. Arrange a postal address far away from Portsmouth (Fareham or Havant is not far enough) and collect your postal mail and packages there. If local people gang up on you, they’ll also interfere with your postal mail, fully aware that only they can prove what happened.

Your public address. Avoid having anything online that lists you as being based in Portsmouth. This Pompey born and bred lot may find you if you do and decide to target you.

  • Locks. Beef up your locks but do not rely on local locksmiths; they are not interested in your security and some of them are also part of the Pompey born-and-bred gang, your anonymous enemy. (Oh, yes. That experience really took me aback.) Avoid anything that has remote control options. Go for 4 or 5 very different high-end mechanical locks, on each external door. I have four locks on my front door, two of which are simple, and one of which is so easy to pick that I no longer use it. One of the other two is a high-security lock; I upgraded the other lock of these two too. My locks still get picked. THREE LOCKS ARE NOT ENOUGH, in Portsmouth. The locks MUST also each be of a different type and as high-end as possible. (If you are a single female worried about your security at home or a female business owner, I may be able to help you with that, likely just by being there and bringing any of my own tools along. While installing the locks yourself will save you a bundle, it has to be done right and it can be daunting to install new locks on your own. You also may find yourself needing to dash out for some tools that don’t have or don’t have in the right size while you’re installing a new lock, which can mean that you will briefly have leave your door more or less unlocked. You can run into other unexpected hiccups.) Best is to rotate the high-end locks on your external doors every month or so. This is because lock-picking is a skill that must be practiced and if local folks are targeting you, they are specifically targeting your specific locks. It may take them about a month to get their skills up to speed enough to pick your new high-security lock, but it may take longer to pick it with great ease. If you are away for 2, 3 hours, that gives them a lot of time. If you only pop out to a corner shop, it doesn’t. Are you starting to get the full picture?

Mobiles. Seriously consider buying a new mobile phone once a month (outside of Portsmouth) or at least once a year and get a new SIM card to which you transfer your old number.

Cars. Don’t buy any cars in Portsmouth (because of the sticker on it; oh wait, maybe you should, to avoid getting targeted). Don’t use any garages in Portsmouth, though (but in that case, with a Portsmouth sticker, you can’t use garages in Southampton either).

(If you are a member of a car club, you may want to take the train or bus to another city that has cars when you want to use a car.)

Libraries. Avoid using the public libraries. You will have to leave name and address if you use them. That too makes you targetable. The public libraries have some really nasty staff along with wonderful folks. The nasty folks don’t have it written on their foreheads, unfortunately.

Electrics. If you need electrical work done, hire someone from quite a distance. It will cost more but it is worth it.

Socializing. Don’t do that locally. Stay away from any kind of local network events. Do not participate in any kind of local organizations, no matter how innocent the activity. Do not go to any local pubs. Keep your local interactions to a minimum. Stay as invisible as possible. Avoid getting noticed.


A real problem is that because the nasty folks operate largely anonymously, you have to be wary of EVERYONE in Portsmouth, and it sucks… It forces you to adopt the local mentality and after a while, you may notice that you no longer like yourself much.

Do your best to stay above it all, avoid all local interactions and move away again as soon as you can.

If you think that you can change the local tone by setting a different tone, you will need a very strong spine. Having a lot of cash helps too.

After I moved to Portsmouth, my entire life increasingly started to revolve around needing to fight off anonymous locals.

If you are a normal civilized human being, and for example don’t habitually get drunk over the weekend, many of the locals will see you as weak and silly. Feeble-minded, so to speak. They may actually conclude that you have a learning disability, hence are easy to target.

They’re like little kids who angrily throw their toys and plate with food against the wall and then claim that you took their toys and food from them. They’re ruled by their own petty insecurities, which they project onto you (part of the reason why I rarely have an idea what local folks are going on about if I am able to discern the words; they have this thing of mumbling or snapping something at you when they pass you on the pavement or walking up to you at the supermarket till and start blabbering).

They take any kindness as a sign of weakness, as a trigger to target you. They think that they want total anarchy, but they also want to be provided for.

Here’s the thing. Unless you show them kindness, they are never going to learn that hate, intimidation and violence are not the only way and they’ll keep teaching their kids the same.

At the same time, you have to teach them to respect your boundaries and not walk all over you. (I now sometimes deliberately and seemingly foolishly rebel against them, in what I have realized is a tai-chi like fashion, and keep my spine straight. It’s not easy, and I buckle every once in a while when it all becomes too much, but unless you fight back, you’re toast here.)

They’re a lot like unruly kids and like teenagers who rebel against the world. They desperately try to gain a sense of significance by intimidating you and controlling as many aspects of your life as they can grab hold of. They feel that nobody sees them, that they don’t matter. They rebel against that.

They will also help you, but only after they’ve first taken everything from you, and then they expect you to be grateful. Be very careful in how you deal with that. YOU HAVE TO RESPOND IN A WAY THAT DOES NOT ENCOURAGE NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS.

“A boundary is the line between what is me and what is not me; between what they think and what I think. With a strong boundary, there’s an acceptance that just because they think it/ feel it/ say it/ do it/ doesn’t mean I have to as well.”

Visualize and Name Your Limits:

I put up this sticker on the wall one flight of stairs from my front door on the top floor.

I also added, changed and upgraded locks.

Openly Communicate Your Boundaries:

I say that I am not okay with the relentless hacking interference and the incessant lock-picking and for example weird things being done in my bathroom and kitchen (such as dog hairs added to food).

Reiterate and Uphold Your Boundaries:

I keep saying that I am not okay with the relentless hacking interference and the incessant lock-picking and for example weird things being done in my bathroom and kitchen (such as dog hairs added to food). I sometimes issue the threat of violence in retaliation for continued stepping on me and walking all over me. When the hacking gets out of line, I sometimes keep all my equipment shut down for days – phones included – and read library books.

The fact that I occasionally remove obstacles from pavements and roads – or that I for example sometimes help out a tiny little bit – which is actually fun and was part of my childhood reality – when I am standing in line, bored, in a (temporarily understaffed) supermarket, making myself useful in the time that I would otherwise be standing there passively anyway is no big deal and no reason to go after me. Just sayin’.

These things take no effort from me at all, just a willingness to let other people erroneously conclude that I am an idiot. My parents taught me responsibility for what happens around me and for my environment.

In fact, these things – tiny drops into an ocean, I know – benefit me, come to think of it. The supermarket in question does its best to keep prices low, quality high and staff pay high. Between 8 and 10 pm, there is very little staff. When putting together a business plan for a local mini-mall a decade ago, I learned that staff salaries are a major factor on the budget. You can often only let a supermarket take off by paying everyone (at least) the real living wage, including management. Once things are solidly in the black, you have to increase your managers’ wages, to ensure that they stay. Staff satisfaction is really important.

The fact that I do the occasional voluntary solo litter-pick and wipe down the exterior windowsill of the ground floor flat from time to time is no reason to conclude that I am an idiot and go after me either. Again, just sayin’.

When two pigeons befriended me, which must have been in 2015 or 2016, locals killed the male to spite me and gave me the message “You needed a big kick” (note the double meaning). They later savagely injured the female. She came to me for help; they’d cut into her neck with an electric cutting tool and was in great pain. They’ve also done the same to a bird inside my flat, without drawing blood. In all three cases, there was a prior “warning” of sorts. I am now responsible for the well-being of this female and her new mate, who I happen to have known for a long time too.

These two sometimes leave droppings on the ground-floor windowsill; I don’t want the ground floor folks to start hating the two birds for that reason and going after them too.

There is also the association that “bird” means “female of the human species”, the constant “you’re going down, bitch” messaging. It’s impossible to overlook that.

If you want to survive in Portsmouth, you have to stop caring about what happens to you in the sense of not letting the fear of bad things that might happen to you hold you back in any way.

I’m certainly not the only one who considers Portsmouth a really strange place where people are often not very sociable.

Everything has pluses and minuses, though.
So does Portsmouth.

There is also some neurodiversity involved, an inability of one or more person(s) to see how his or their actions (can) affect others. For a while, whoever was in my equipment kept popping up a “zero discrimination” image. See also this page, this page and this page.

I have considered the possibility a few times that this person is being abused (manipulated) by neurotypical locals, that he uses his skills as a form of social capital or currency. As long as he is not getting hurt in the process, I understand and actually admire that idea. I am not naive enough not to be a little concerned, though.

I’m aware that autistic people not only can have trouble protecting their own boundaries, but also often are not aware of other people’s boundaries. I think that’s because they experience the world very differently.