On the day I moved in 1-1/2 months ago, I was told about the roommate who proceeded me, Lynn
She was not spoken of in glowing terms. From the gist, her issues and behaviors gave cause to want her gone.
However, every story has two or more sides. It wasn’t long – about a week – that I wished I could sit down with Lynn and hear her side.
Of her various behaviors reported to me was that in time she hardly left her room. She kept the door closed, smoked like a chimney and watched TV. She’d come out only for meals and eat them in the room. She came to dislike or fear Marcy (smoker, retiree) and would not come out until the other roommate Kris (worker, daughter) returned from work.
Those must’ve been loooong hours spent in the bedroom since Kris works long days.
Also I was told that after her departure, the room so reeked of tobacco that they had to repaint. I find that ironic from two smokers, one in particular whose heavy habit recognizes no boundaries. She is at liberty to smoke wherever she wishes (including kitchen; food preparation and smoking don’t jive in my mind; that’s just me), including in her bedroom with door wide open.
At the same time, a trail of smoke from a stick of incense behind my door whose only “escape” is the clearance between door and floor is deemed offensive. The scent, with occupant, are to be controlled (isolated?) behind my bedroom door firmly shut by the cohabitant, who proceeds to light another cigarette for herself.
I’m beginning to understand the possible reasons for Lynn’s retreat and why she refused to leave her room until the younger Kris was home. Kris is a balanced, warmhearted, kind and approachable woman. Her mother is not. She can be frightening and mentally unbalanced. Unfortunately for renters, because she’s retired, her presence dominates the house. Dominates.
The situation is quickly heading south. I smell it.
She is beginning to isolate the outsider / perceived threat to her subtle iron-fisted rule. Sometimes it’s the elephant in the room; more often it’s the devil in the details that sensitives detect.
In one (early and foolhardy) attempt to contribute to the house and find use of all things outside the garbage can, I set a small collection of paper napkins mostly from cafes into the napkins cup on the counter (for all to use). The next day, they were gone, tossed I imagine; only their brand remained.
The harsh scoldings I received for (again in an attempt to do good) mopping with the wrong mop, unplugging a machine (without instruction that it was to be kept plugged in), leaving a sticky note on the ground (it had fallen unseen in night’s darkness), forgetting once to lock the least significant of three locks on the front door, “forgetting” to set a washcloth back in the sink (no prior instruction) and setting a spoon the wrong direction in the dishwasher are, latter excepted, recorded here.
Those are the ones of which I’ve written publicly.
Today, for the second time in about as many days, I was approached by the smoker while in my room, door latch loosely resting against the strike plate, and dictatorially told that the stick of incense I was burning was bothering her and she was shutting my door.
The incense wasn’t burning; it had extinguished 30 minutes prior. But that was moot. The smell bothered her. Door shut.
In the meantime, she is at liberty to smoke abundantly wherever she wishes throughout the house. Were I to dare ask her to take it outside, open windows or shut her door as thick fumes permeate the house, my decapitated head would spin and hit the ground faster than one could say “suicidal request.”
Today I found a food item for which I’d found precious shelf space in a cramped refrigerator (about 97% is claimed by roommates) moved into my little dedicated drawer. Isolation. Excessive control. It is happening; it is happening in seemingly minor insidious fashion and that’s the most dangerous of all
I assure that my doing likewise, moving an item of the smoker’s and sticking it into a drawer, well, I’d be beaten meat on a hook.
There’s more not written. This is not intended as a list of Things Going Badly. Some things must be written. Some parts of life are to be recorded for Consciousness and Spirit. Things are stirring beneath the tightly ordered and organized and controlled surface. I sense it, I smell it, I perceive it in its secreted subtleties.
And for the core challenges and concerns I face in the deterioration of the home state into excessive control, unhealth, unease, toxicity and diminishing of those few rights with which I arrived — even as I fight not to sink into troubled depression — my mind hearkens to the former roommate.
I so would like to talk with her. Did she retreat for safety and respite? Was it forced isolation by a mentally unbalanced bully? Some of each? Something else. I’ll never know.
I wonder also whether they’ll find my room so polluted by a handful of incense sticks that they’ll repaint (meanwhile, leaving the remaining nicotine-soaked walls untouched).
More, I wonder, after I leave and am replaced, of the ill that will be spoken of me.
Update: In the short time after this writing, the smoker unbalanced roommate exploded in an irrational violent verbal assault and invasive intrusion into my room without respecting my peaceful request to leave. This is getting serious; the clock is ticking. I cannot move at this time; however, I will at the soonest opportunity.