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> The Roommate Thread
anarch
post Mar 24 2011, 12:37 AM
Post #1


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(((epinephrine)))

Earbuds?...I guess you can't keep them in 24/7 though. sad.gif Not a serious suggestion as I know she'd probably just yank them out, or leave them in but yell at you and you'd see her lips moving angrily and the tears splashing down her face or something.)

I picture you marking the days off on a calendar, with great fervor.
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epinephrine
post Mar 23 2011, 06:24 PM
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We were doing so well the past few weeks - getting along fine, she wasn't being rude to me, I was firmly establishing boundaries whenever she got needy and clingy - and then today it all kind of fell apart. She's grumpy in the mornings and seems to think that "I can't help it" is a perfectly legitimate excuse to be rude to me. I'm a peaceful person in the mornings, but I have zero patience for people who try to start my day with rudeness, and her excuses grate on my in a way I can't even describe. She was rude to me this morning and I called her on it and she made her usual excuses, and I was just like "fuck that" and I totally bit her head off and made her cry. So that sucked. The worst thing is that we can't avoid each other when we need to. If I had a bedroom, I'd be in there all the time with the door shut.


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epinephrine
post Mar 8 2011, 12:27 AM
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So Roommate and I have been getting along better lately - she hasn't been rude to me at all, really, which is a huge improvement. We've been laughing and having good conversations together, which is good, I guess. It puts me in an awkward position, though, as she clearly considers me to be a friend and I don't think I could possibly consider this situation to be a friendship, no matter how friendly things seem on the surface sometimes. She's still trying to use me as a security blanket, and I want no part of that. It's reached the point where I have to hide even the most mundane of decisions from her so she'll make her own instead of just deciding to do whatever I do. Today, for instance, I decided not to go to our morning class because I still haven't received my textbook for it and I had some homework to finish for the next class. I made the mistake of making my decision known to her, and sure enough, she "decided" she didn't feel like going to class either. After class, we went back to our room, and I slipped out for lunch without saying anything, leaving her sitting on her bed and surfing the net. Halfway to the canteen, I turn around and she's right behind me. Apparently the prospect of eating lunch alone was so scary that she leapt out of bed, threw on her shoes and ran to catch up to me. I just ate my lunch and left without waiting for her. I felt mean doing it, but I can't let her guilt me into letting her treat me like a security blanket. I don't feel any of the obligation for moral support toward her that I'd feel for a friend. How could I possibly ever be friends with this person? I should be getting paid for all the counselling, mothering and babysitting she seems to expect from me.

After she followed me to my new class last week, I decided to switch back to my original class, but found it to be way less suitable for me than the other one, so I've switched back again. We're in the same class now, but at least we don't sit together or have any interaction during class. It doesn't look like anything can be done about our living situation, so I'm just going to grit my teeth and make the best of it. It's more than halfway through now. At least, after all this bullshit, I've learned to identify and address my concerns and clearly and calmly explain them to her so I can set some boundaries. If nothing else, this past six months with Roommate has been like Boundaries 101 to this confrontation-phobe.

In other news, I just found out my favourite cafe has western electrical sockets, enabling me to escape Roommate without being confined to the limitations of my laptop battery! Rejoice!


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ketto
post Mar 1 2011, 10:59 AM
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Geez Epi, I can't imagine how patient you've had to be through all of this. It sounds like she isn't the kind of person who could listen to reason right now or handle hearing the truth in any capacity so I doubt you could handle things much better than you already are.
Hopefully something will give to ease things a bit.


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epinephrine
post Mar 1 2011, 03:19 AM
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Arrgh. It turns out I was misinformed - the scholarship actually won't cover an apartment. I'd have to pay for it myself. I saw my friend's apartment today and it was...pretty bad, to be honest. Although it's cheap enough that I could afford it anyway, the idea is much less appealing now. I don't think I wanna spend money on a place so gross I'd have to spend a week cleaning it after moving in and would probably end up spending as much time as possible elsewhere anyway.

Sigh. Guess I'll just have to keep working on my shit and trying like hell to ignore hers.


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stargazer
post Feb 28 2011, 07:43 PM
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epi, I'm so glad you are moving out! You really have been soooooo considerate of the roommate. I hope you find a place soon!


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epinephrine
post Feb 28 2011, 01:48 AM
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Yeah, anarch, I kinda came to the same conclusion as soon as I posted that. If nothing else, the frustration and difficulty which I will likely encounter trying to rent an apartment in this country will serve as a fantastic learning experience. At least I know now that my scholarship will pay the rent for me - they'll just pay for the apartment instead of the dorm. If I'd known that before, I'd have moved out months ago.

I can feel in my gut that this is what I need to do now. I'm already thinking about how great it would be to have Chinese roommates - and how easy it would be for me to find roommates eager to improve their English! I feel that living in total Chinese immersion with my exclusively Chinese-speaking friends in Beijing for 11 days improved my Chinese 10% - imagine what four months could do!

Jeez, I feel lighter already. So that's it - I'm moving out! I have no idea where to start. Guess I'll just start asking around.

In the meantime, we were unable to exchange our books today (yes, she even followed me to the goddamn bookstore), so I could actually still change my mind about switching classes. I really do like the upper-intermediate class better, but I can't help but feel like having her there would totally ruin it for me. I'm going to go again tomorrow and sit as far away from her as possible and ignore her completely and see if it's still worth it. If not...I really hate the idea of switching classes solely on her account, but if it comes down to it, and I really feel like I need to, I may do just that. The two classes are very similar - I just prefer to be out of my comfort zone, so switching it up would be good for me.

Maybe I'm just hyper-aware now, but I feel like she even (subconsciously) makes efforts to stand as close to me as possible. I keep trying to put space between us, and she always comes closer. Like she's chasing me in slow-motion around the room. UGH. I have to get away from this girl. She is actually making me crazy. I can feel her presence weighing on me when she's around. I feel like she's in my personal space even when she's ten feet away from me.

ETA: It only took one text message! Apparently one of my Chinese friends here is looking for a roommate. Her apartment is on campus, too, just around the corner from where I'm living now. I'm afraid the conditions might not be so great (hole-in-the-floor squat toilet, bare concrete walls, no hot water, no windows, no air-con, filthy, etc), so I'm not making any decisions right away, but we're going to check it out tomorrow.


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anarch
post Feb 28 2011, 12:20 AM
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QUOTE(epinephrine @ Feb 27 2011, 08:12 PM) *
Maybe I should just try to move out. It seems silly when I'm only going to be here another couple months.

ETA: So I confronted her on this, suggesting that we'd be better off in different classes, and now she's near tears and accusing me of being just like her dad. Did I mention she has severe daddy issues?

What the fuck do I do?


NOT silly to try to move out. It won't hurt to look around and see what your options are. What the rent ranges are, etc.

Some people, you just have to back the fuck away slowly so they don't drag you down with them.
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pollystyrene
post Feb 27 2011, 11:41 PM
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QUOTE(epinephrine @ Feb 27 2011, 11:12 PM) *
Today I decided to give the upper intermediate class another try. The roommate decided she felt too sick to come to class and stayed in bed. When I got back from class, she'd made a miraculous recovery, and asked me how it went. I tried to give her the most neutral answer possible, but, sensing that I'd liked the class and planned to stay, she announced that she liked that one better, too, and will be joining it tomorrow. Funny - I remember her saying just last Thursday how much she disliked the class.

So she's followed me to my new class. God dammit. I'm tempted to switch classes again just to get away from her. I'm considering just having a talk with her about this and telling her we're better off in separate classes so we can get out of our comfort zones and help each other with unfamiliar material. I really don't think she's even aware at how deeply her decisions are influenced by her dependence on me. I'm tempted to keep switching back and forth just so I can point out how she follows me every time. Whenever someone here sees me alone, they ask me where she is, like we're some kind of package deal or something. Like we're best friends. It makes me want to scream.

Her new friend seems to have noticed how annoying she is, too, and is becoming cold and distant. She came home yesterday all upset about it after hanging out with her all day. So I guess she won't be moving out. Looks like my food costs are going to go way up due to all the expensive cafes I'll be going to to escape this stupid ball and chain. Maybe I should just try to move out. It seems silly when I'm only going to be here another couple months. But I absolutely cannot stand any more of this. I want so badly for her to just leave me alone and stop following me around that it's very easy to be rude and mean to her, which only exacerbates the situation by damaging her self-esteem further.

Fuck. I hate this.

ETA: So I confronted her on this, suggesting that we'd be better off in different classes, and now she's near tears and accusing me of being just like her dad. Did I mention she has severe daddy issues?

What the fuck do I do?


Do you guys have advisors or counselors there, even if they're more for academic issues? A third party that can talk to her, give her some perspective and tell her she needs to work on her outside issues and not suck you into her drama? Oy. You're a stronger woman than I.

I had a crappy roommate in college...actually, two, but one of them sounds like her. We shared a suite one summer (two bedrooms and a common living area.) The girl I shared my room with, I happened to know from an organization we were both in, so she was fine. But the other one....she was at least 10-12 years older than us...probably more. I was 20, and she had to be at least in her late 30's, living in a dorm blink.gif I have no idea what her life story was, but I think that summer was her first semester there and it was like she came to school not knowing that she needed to have money. She had no food and no money with which to buy food. I gave her $10 or something, all I could afford, and she'd ask me for more food now and then. The girl that was supposed to share the room with her spent one night there and figured out this woman was crazy, and spent the rest of the summer with her boyfriend, who had an apartment off-campus. I really think she was mentally ill- she'd talk to herself a lot and wander aimlessly around the building. She'd panhandle in the lobby of the dorm. I would eat my meals when she wasn't there or else in my room because I got tired of being asked for food.

My mom called me a "Republican" at the time for not having more compassion about her. I was having such a craptastic summer myself (I got booted from the university at the end of the summer because I failed both classes I had taken that semester. I was in a really deep depression and just didn't do any homework.) I really didn't need a parasitic person dragging me down lower than I was doing to myself.

It was awful...I wonder what ever happened to her.


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You went to school where you were taught to fear and to obey, be cheerful, fit in, or someone might think you're weird.
Life can be perfect. People can be trusted. Someday, I will fall in love; a nice quiet home of my very own.
Free from all the pain. Happy and having fun all the time.
It never happened, did it?
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epinephrine
post Feb 27 2011, 11:12 PM
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Today I decided to give the upper intermediate class another try. The roommate decided she felt "too sick" to come to class and stayed in bed. When I got back from class, she'd made a miraculous recovery, and asked me how it went. I tried to give her the most neutral answer possible, but, sensing that I'd liked the class and planned to stay, she announced that she liked that one better, too, and will be joining it tomorrow. Funny - I remember her saying just last Thursday how much she disliked the class.

So she's followed me to my new class. God dammit. I'm tempted to switch classes again just to get away from her. I'm considering just having a talk with her about this and telling her we're better off in separate classes so we can get out of our comfort zones and help each other with unfamiliar material. I really don't think she's even aware at how deeply her decisions are influenced by her dependence on me. I'm tempted to keep switching back and forth just so I can point out how she follows me every time. Whenever someone here sees me alone, they ask me where she is, like we're some kind of package deal or something. Like we're best friends. It makes me want to scream.

Her new friend seems to have noticed how annoying she is, too, and is becoming cold and distant. She came home yesterday all upset about it after hanging out with her all day. So I guess she won't be moving out. Looks like my food costs are going to go way up due to all the expensive cafes I'll be going to to escape this stupid ball and chain. Maybe I should just try to move out. It seems silly when I'm only going to be here another couple months. But I absolutely cannot stand any more of this. I want so badly for her to just leave me alone and stop following me around that it's very easy to be rude and mean to her, which only exacerbates the situation by damaging her self-esteem further.

Fuck. I hate this.

ETA: So I confronted her on this, suggesting that we'd be better off in different classes, and now she's near tears and accusing me of being just like her dad. Did I mention she has severe daddy issues?

What the fuck do I do?


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anarch
post Feb 25 2011, 03:53 PM
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I like to think of myself as generally even-tempered and restrained, but oh, my cod, this woman would have shredded all my hard-won peace of mind, several times over, until there was nothing left to rebuild.

I'm so impressed with your fortitude in dealing with her.
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epinephrine
post Feb 25 2011, 12:44 AM
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Vacation's over and I'm back with the Roommate. I suppose, if I look at the glass as being half-full, I could say that things have improved. She's gotten used to being on her own a little bit (or at least latching onto people other than me), and I've got more breathing room now. There was an incident this morning, though. We're both been assigned to the lower-intermediate class with our classmates from last semester, but I sat in on the upper-intermediate class yesterday to see if the challenge suited me. The Roommate, of course, tagged along - god forbid I should end up in a class higher than her. She decided she didn't like it, but I felt like the stricter teacher and lack of English-speaking classmates might be really good for me and didn't make up my mind right away. Last night she informed one of the upper intermediate classmates that we wouldn't be staying, assuming that whatever we did, we'd do it together. This morning, when we were getting ready for class, I told her I'd decided to give the upper-intermediate class another shot. She totally freaked out. First she accused me of giving her "attitude," and then she was all "BUT I TOLD THEM WE WOULDN'T BE THERE!!!" I told her that that didn't matter, we were free to go to whichever class we liked regardless of what our classmates expected us to do, and went to grab breakfast before class. I passed her on the way back and her face was all puffy from crying. She didn't even look at me.

As it turned out, the upper-intermediate class had been cancelled, and I ended up going back to our regular class. The seating arrangement is a little different now and I'm not sharing a desk with her, which is great. She sniffled and looked miserable all through class, still not looking at me. I couldn't help but hate her for being so weak and trying to use me as a crutch instead of facing her insecurities. Who the hell freaks out like that because they have to go to class without their roommate? And I really hate how she makes me into her standard of comparison for everything; no matter what, she always has to try to be better than me. I'm sure the idea of being in a lower class than me made her panic. I have no doubt that, if she'd known ahead of time that I'd go back to the upper-intermediate class, she'd have gone with me whether it was what she wanted or not.

Other than that, things are ok. She's made a friend of her own now and I'm thrilled about it. I get along with the girl, too, but I'm pretty much letting the Roommate have her all to herself. I go for walks and hang out in cafes to get away from her when I need to, and now she's spending more time out of the apartment with the girl, so I have the place to myself more. She's clearly enjoying having someone's attention and approval. I've noticed lately her laugh has changed; her new friend thinks it's funny when she uses her special squeaky giggle, so now she's applying it liberally to all their interactions. She uses a different laugh depending on who her audience is. I do feel like an asshole sometimes, judging someone who's obviously struggling with severe self-esteem issues. I guess I just find it hard not to take this shit personally, considering how hard she's trying to involve me in her problems and get me to solve them for her instead of facing them herself. It's not like I haven't got my own issues to deal with. I really need to stay on my toes to enforce those boundaries.

I don't want to get my hopes up, but there's a chance she'll be moving into her friend's apartment next week. She'll need to slog through a few miles of red tape first, but she sounds pretty serious. Depending on how things work out, I may get assigned a new roommate. Keep your fingers crossed for me, ladies.


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epinephrine
post Jan 17 2011, 03:40 AM
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My vacation has officially begun! Tonight I'm enjoying MY FIRST NIGHT ALONE IN 4 1/2 MONTHS!!! The Roommate left for Yunnan this afternoon (and left the place a disaster, of course) and I don't leave for Beijing till tomorrow. I'm gonna get the place all clean and organized and then bust out my poor neglected Pocket Rocket and reward myself for my patience. Yay!



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epinephrine
post Jan 13 2011, 09:18 AM
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Maybe it's the knowledge of our impending five-week separation, or maybe it's something else, but - thank the gods - things are better. Not perfect by any means, but we both seem to be on each other's cases less these past two weeks. She's still the same clueless little brat and I'm the same anal-retentive control freak, but we just don't seem to be getting mad at each other about it as much at the moment. We've started developing systems and routines to keep from getting in each other's way too much. We've gotten into a nightly before-bed dish routine (I wash and she dries), which is nice because it eliminates the "when the hell is this mess getting cleaned up and who's gonna do it" factor. We've moved the beds so there's more common space and it's more apparent when her stuff starts to take over. I've been cooking less, and she's been cooking for herself a bit more. I've been going off on my own without giving her any notice or any chance to tag along and she's getting used to the idea of not being attached at the hip. Mostly it's just a general easing of tension, though. Although I did give her a piece of my mind this morning when she woke up grouchy and started being condescending to me right off the bat, with no provocation. I could have been a little less snappish about it, but at least I let her know I didn't like how she was talking to me instead of sitting there stewing over it. I have no patience for people who use "I'm grumpy in the mornings" as an excuse for disrespectful behaviour.

I'm curious to see how things change when we're reunited at the end of the vacation. Hopefully they'll be a little better. If not...well, at least I'll know our time together is already halfway through.


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jade
post Dec 30 2010, 10:16 AM
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roommate blues. hang in there. focus on studies


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epinephrine
post Dec 29 2010, 08:38 PM
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Well, with exams fast approaching, tensions are coming to a head again. As usual, she's using me in various ways to boost her self-esteem. She absolutely cannot let go of an opportunity to assert her intellectual superiority. I'm just going to start spending as much time away from the apartment as possible. And I'll come back once in a while to kick her ass at Scrabble. So far, she's never won a game. She blames it on luck every time, of course.

I can't wait till this semester is over and I can escape her for six weeks.


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Persiflager
post Dec 23 2010, 01:21 AM
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Well, I guess that depends on if you like seeing her cry.... wink.gif

Perhaps you should reserve it as a punishment for when she's being extra-annoying?


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epinephrine
post Dec 22 2010, 06:45 AM
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She cried when I beat her at Scrabble today. This is just so ridiculous. This girl is mature enough to be a total smartass when she wants to be, and the rest of the time she's like a 5-year-old.

Guess I'll have to find someone else to play Scrabble with. Jeeeeeez....


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Persiflager
post Dec 20 2010, 05:31 AM
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Epi, totally travel on your own! You will LOVE it. And some space will let you recover from the stress of your living situation.

Also, it will be much easier without having to babysit someone. You are smart, resourceful, independent and level-headed - don't let her drag you down!


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epinephrine
post Dec 20 2010, 05:03 AM
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Thanks, Sybarite. I've never traveled alone before and I wasn't sure if I could handle it; I was worried I might be making a rash decision based on a couple of silly disagreements. It makes me feel so much better knowing there's someone out there who believes in me!

Come to think of it, judging by our trip to Chengdu last weekend, travelling alone shouldn't be any more difficult than travelling with the roommate; the one or two times she took the initiative to find a place, she ended up getting us totally lost, and whenever we needed to communicate with anyone she just stepped back and let me do all the talking. She needed me way more than I needed her. I think maybe she realized this too and that's part of the reason why she's been so bitchy this week; her confidence is pretty low right now and she's taking it out on me.

I've been trying to hang out with other people more, but lately my social life has slowed down a bit due to exams and cold weather. I guess I'll just try to go out on my own more often to prepare for travelling solo. It was really nice out today so I took myself out for lunch, coffee, and a long walk on the campus, and then I worked out for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'm feeling much more optimistic about my situation today. I really need to just keep reminding myself that as long as I do things that make me happy, my situation with my roommate will be that much more tolerable. The happier I am, the less likely she is to pick fights with me, and the less likely I am to get irritated with her. When we're both feeling cooped-up and irritated, the fights are pretty much unavoidable.


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