Personal issues with new roommate; two males. How do we resolve this and move forward?
posted by dubious_dude to Human Relations (39 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'll try and keep this under wraps as possible. I want to begin by saying I'm gay; he isn't, I'm a bit oversensitive those days (due to some unresolved issues in my life right now); he's a very blunt kind of person, and am seeking therapy to help with my other life issues
I recently re-met a guy (let's call him Zee) at a party in December in DC, because he used to go to the same middle school as I did. We talked, we somewhat hit it off. He offered me a room (actually, a den) in his small apartment, along with his three other roommates (a family). I thought it over, decided to move in. Due to a situation I was in, the university dorm I was living in prior to here wanted my stuff out of the room earlier than I could make it back to DC, so I begrudgingly asked Zee if he would be willing to move my things to my new room, and offered to treat him to a dinner or two to make up for the time, gas, and other expenses. He agreed, and moved my things. I arrived mid-Jan, all was good. For a while. He then told me some friends were complaining about me (personality issues; I won't go into them) behind my back to him. I digested that; it hurt, but I understood his intentions and why he wanted to share that with me, and it gave me an opportunity to improve as well. I still felt a bit hurt, though, because he agreed with their assessment and used some examples, but I brushed it off. Time went by, and Zee began to become more and more blunt. He would shake his head and laugh at any "weird" actions I did, and tell me actions I did that I was unaware of (such as accidentally cutting a line, which I didn't realize I was doing) and criticizing some actions.
I continued to brush it off, because I could tell that was his personality - he complained about others, and seemed a bit, well, to put it nicely, anal about people. However, I began to put up a distance. I also felt guilty because he drove me around (of course, I reimbursed him with gas, and the occasional drink). One time, at a bar, after being too rude to me in front of a friend (when I used a scissor he had, he said if I broke it, I would pay for it, kind of rudely, in front of his friend, which really turned me off), he treated me to a drink. After asking him why, he said "aren't we friends?" with kind of a hurt look on his face.
Zee came in my room often and complain about our other roommates (a family he feels responsible for, due to their financial and mental limitations). He also complained about girls he was seeing. Again, I maintained a distance, and tried not to take his blunt criticisms to my actions in public personally. Until tonight. We were at a grocery store, and I being tired (recovering from a cold), made a honest mistake at a self-checkout lane - the guy in front of me apparently was struggling with making his purchase. He walked away, and I thought he had paid for his purchase already mistakenly, so I went ahead and processed the payment for my item, and Zee said "wait, the guy in front of you isn't finished" in a very scolding, somewhat patronizing manner. I felt very embarrassed and felt like he was treating me as if he was my dad. He came over and actually took over the screen, doing the payment for me, and even pointing to the cash insert. Like I can't see that, d'oh. I decided at that point, it was time for a talk.
We went to a burger joint, and I told him bluntly that I was fed up. I made my points, explaining that I am sensitive, that's who I am at this point, and as I have social anxiety, it's hard for me to deal with situations sometimes, and I did not appreciate his constant bluntness. I made it a point to explain that while sometimes letting me know I made a mistake can help, too much can become very grating and make me even more self-conscious than I already am. Suffice to say, our discussion became ugly. He didn't understand (or refused to listen to) my reasoning, and said that he felt he was "easy" on me at the beginning, but after repeat situations where he had to explain to me where I did something wrong, he felt fed up, and that he's under a lot of stress at this point with school, and doesn't have the patience. He also said that he felt it was all about me, that I was being selfish, by being choosy with restaurants and places to eat, among other things (he couldn't come up with other specific examples), and said that many friends were complaining about me, and that he was sure he wasn't the only one. He also said I had "closed vision" and didn't consider others. While he was right on the food front, the other information caught me by shock. I explained that I can be admittedly selfish when eating out, but that I would change my habits and become more openminded and go places he wanted to go, not just where I wanted to go, and that I would make an effort to be more careful with my surroundings. I did ask him to meet me halfway and try to tell me in a nicer way if he felt I was doing something truly wrong. He said there was no point, because he didn't have time to explain in a nice way what I was doing wrong. I also told him that I felt he didn't have to point out every fault, and he said he didn't want people to look at him like he was an idiot for being with me (not those exact words, but the same idea), such as the guy who was in front of me at the self-checkout lane. Being Deaf, he also said he felt he didn't want to be associated that way. Needless to say, that really hurt, because he made it sound like I did a crime at the store, and being Deaf as well, I didn't hear what was going on.
Then, to add insult on top of injury, when we were leaving the burger joint, I left my unfinished food on the table. (I wasn't hungry; bad day, frustrated with Zee's unwillingness to work with me and level with me, and other issues.) All other times, I threw the food away, but this time I wasn't thinking due to everything else, and it was closing time, and a worker was cleaning up anyway, so it didn't strike me as a big deal. Well, as we were leaving the joint, Zee asked me about the unfinished items I left on the table. I said I wasn't hungry and didn't want to finish it. He replied with, "well, why don't you throw it away?" I explained that the workers would throw it away. He then said that it was inconsiderate of me, and that I should throw it away myself. At that point, I was fed up. He was doing it again! I told him that, and he said, "well, that's your attitude problem!" I then told him firmly I was going to walk home, and to not talk to me. (Maybe a bit childish, but at that point, I was plain fed up.) I walked to the university, cooled off, and went home. I haven't seen Zee since then. We haven't talked on text.
What should I do? I admit there are some mistakes I made in the process, from beginning to finish, but I feel stonewalled and like there's nothing I can do. Zee has his mind set, and the ending really turned me off. He can be hardheaded at times, but this is going too far. I am an adult, I have a right to not be put up to this, and I am not a child. I have done my part to communicate with him. I am at my wits' end, and am thinking about moving out (am not on a lease). However, I don't want to just move out; I want to try and work this out, but I'm not sure there's any hope or any point to do so.
Thanks, and sorry this was such a long book!