As victims of organized stalking, my children and I are often forced to cope with problems related to constant tampering with various items in and around our home. Our garage has been broken into so many times and our garage door opener and locking mechanism have been so thoroughly and repeatedly disabled that we've been told they are now impossible to repair, yet there is no point in replacing them, because they are almost immediately taken out again. And due to a combination of tampering with the controls through attic break-ins and some type of remote device that is frequently used to trip the reset button on it, our water heater is often disabled.
However, the item most commonly illegally tampered with at our house is our backyard swimming pool. The following chronology documents some of the major events in the history of our pool for your consideration.
August 1991: I went into the hospital to give birth to my youngest child. Due to complications, I did not return for a week. Imagine my surprise when I got home to find a large hole in the ground just outside the back door! My husband had suddenly decided to install an in-ground swimming pool without bothering to discuss it with me first. I was very upset about both his making all of the arrangements without even telling me and also about the safety issues related to having an open pool so close to the house that it couldn't even be fenced off, when we had young children and a new baby. (My husband immediately ordered a locking safety cover for the pool to ally my fears.) When the pool was completed, my husband engaged a pool maintenance company owned by a friend of his I'll call “Pool Guy 1” to take care of it regularly for us.
May 1999: My husband startled me one day by suddenly declaring that the pool was too expensive and we should just dismantle it and have the ground filled in. I told him the kids would be very upset to lose it and that we needed to discuss this together as a family. I also tried to question him about the expense, since as a physician with a good income, this should not have been an issue.
June 1999: My husband suddenly moved out and filed for divorce with no advance warning. About two weeks later, I noticed that the pool was turning green. I began calling Pool Guy 1 and left repeated messages on his answering machine, but no one ever called me back. A week later, with the pool now very green, I began calling other pool maintenance companies in the area. They all said they were too busy to take on new customers and couldn't help us. Eventually, someone gave me the name of another man I'll call “Pool Guy 2” who was starting up a new pool maintenance company in our area. Pool Guy 2 came out to clean our pool, and I hired him to take over the regular maintenance. Pool Guy 2 also told me that Pool Guy 1 had skipped town for some reason.
Over the years, we had a great many incidents of breakage and damage done to our pool tile and equipment. Pool Guy 2 knew I was on a tight budget and managed to help us keep the pool going, often making repairs with used or refurbished parts.
2011 and Early 2012: Sometime in this time period (I can't remember exactly when), Pool Guy 2 told me he and his wife had reached the point where they no longer wanted to live in our area. He and I discussed some of the problems here. He said he was moving his family to Boerne but would continue serving his regular customers up here. Shortly after that, Pool Guy 2 told me that his wife and child had been seriously injured in a car wreck on I-10 while in the process of moving to Boerne and that they'd been hospitalized in San Antonio. Then a few months later, he said he himself was having serious health problems. Not long after that, he suddenly greatly increased the rates he was charging me for his regular pool service.
Summer 2012: We gradually noticed our pool turning green again and realized that Pool Guy 2 had not been coming as scheduled. We also noticed that our Polaris, which Pool Guy 2 had said he was taking home with him to work on, had not been returned. I tried calling him, but there was no answer. As the pool got worse over the next few weeks and I still couldn't reach him, I began calling other companies. One of the companies I called turned out to be owned by the adult children of Pool Guy 1. Like all the other companies I called, they too said they were too busy to take on new customers, but they said their father had recently come back to town and was taking a few regular customers of his own. They said they had talked to him and that he was willing to come over and help get our pool going again if I wanted him to. I did not want to hire him again, but his children claimed Pool Guy 1 had done rehab for substance abuse problems and was now reliable again, so I got his phone number but continued to try to get someone else to come out. Eventually, desperate, I did give Pool Guy 1 a call. When another week went by where he didn't return any of my calls, I called his children back and told them I couldn't reach him. They said they'd talk to their father, and shortly after that, he did call me and come out. Pool Guy 1 looked at our pool—and then disappeared again. Before he left, he told me that Pool Guy 2 was now in rehab for substance abuse.
With the pool getting filthy, I tried to get someone from Kerrville to come over and help us, but no one would. Eventually, I was able to arrange for a “Pool Guy 3” to drive up to Fredericksburg from Boerne to teach one of my adult children and me how to take care of the pool ourselves. When he got here, Pool Guy 3 showed us that our automatic chlorinator had been stolen by someone who knew what they were doing, since the missing chlorinator had been expertly plumbed around. I knew this had to have been done fairly recently, because at one point, I had sent my friend Medawar photographs of the pool plumbing, and the chlorinator had been there. (Most likely, the chlorinator was removed by Pool Guy 1.)
We have taken over caring for the pool ourselves since then, but we cannot afford to replace the chlorinator or the Polaris and have never been able to get the pool back to its proper condition.
Pool Guy 2's company is publishing advertisements in the local newspaper for their services again.
On a final note, I believe being submerged in water provides protection from radio waves; see