I think I'm in a potential domestic violence/abuse roommate situation. Help!
First off, sorry about the somewhat dramatic title. I hope it didn't scare anyone. I am hoping my situation isn't as bad as I thought.
To get you caught up, here's the original post
I made two weeks ago regarding a situation with my roommate.
So much has happened since then. To speed it up, a few days after the argument, my roommate and I were civil and didn't bring the situation up. However, based on some feedback from the Green, I decided to confront my friends to see if what Zee was saying was true. It appears that things are indeed not what they appear to be - while my friends did lightly complain about me to Zee, he definitely exaggerated some of what he said and made it seem worse than what it really was. It turns out Zee treated a girl they were roommates with awfully, because during winter break, he made her think he liked her, but after a while, he said things about her (she's immature, lazy, doesn't go to school, generally not good enough for him) to my good friend. That turned her off.
She shared that with me, and I also shared with her some issues with my roommate - such as him holding the mailbox key with him at all times. I live in an apartment with him and three other people (including a young kid), and he doesn't leave the mailbox key out for us to access - he checks the mail and leaves us our mail. One weekend, when he went to California, he took the key with him, leaving us unable to check our mail. I haven't gotten any mail at all. That fact has been bothering me subconsciously, but it did not hit me until later, and my friend encouraged me to talk to him about it, because obviously we all pay rent and should have equal access. (The landlord gives one copy of the mailbox key to each apartment, so we aren't allowed to make copies.) She said Zee should leave the key on a hook or something.
Well, so much has happened lately as well - it's hard for me to sum things up, and at the moment, I'm too upset and frazzled to really think things through, but Zee has been increasingly making me feel uncomfortable - his vibes, his approach, his way of talking, and such. I had a private conversation with my other roommates, and... wow. I'm sick to my stomach. They said Zee was very controlling; that many friends from their hometown warned them about rooming with him. They said that they felt Zee was controlling indeed - he ordered them to clean the kitchen, clean their rooms even, and one roommate (the husband of the couple) said his father died a few years ago, and he felt torn up about it. He stated Zee approached him one time physically out of anger and yelled (signed) in his face, and would not back off even when he explained he had anxiety and could not handle it. According to him, Zee said he didn't care and continued to yell in his face. That's just one instance, and it happened a while ago. Even tonight, Zee ordered him (and his wife) to clean the kitchen up and do deep cleaning, and bossed them around. They stated they weren't slaves and were older than Zee, yet felt too intimidated to stand up to Zee, and that they felt he was too hardheaded and intimidating - much in the same shoes me. I thought I was alone - but they don't seem willing to help me stand up and get Zee to "chill" and back off. They also said they asked about him sharing the key on a chain or something on the wall last fall, and he refused, saying he valued the key. The husband also stated Zee called him lazy and criticized him. I saw that happen tonight when we were doing laundry - Zee was giving him a hard time and being relentless, and also asking that he clean up his room so Zee could use the videophone with a clean background. Excuse me - it's THEIR room, not Zee. We are all equal, we all pay rent. Zee is the only one with his name on the lease, though.
It's strange, but since the original
argument Zee and I had two weeks ago, SO FAR (knock on wood), he hasn't really done anything to me, or said anything bossy. I'm afraid that's going to change, and I am IN OVER MY HEAD. Sorry for the caps, but I have no idea what to do. I don't have anywhere to go (family is 3,000 miles away, no open rooms around that I know of, in middle of the spring semester, etc), and I don't want to screw over my roommates by leaving and having them pay more rent (although I originally warned them I may leave and I wouldn't be here on a permanent basis), and I don't want to desert my other roommates - they deserve better - but I care about my safety.
I'm screaming inside now. I have NO idea what to do, I feel intimidated, confused, hurt, frustrated, and all. I also feel relieved strangely enough, because now I see Zee had the same pattern with everyone else (seems nice at first, becomes rude etc later). While Zee hasn't hurt my roommates physically, it's obvious there's so much going on behind the scenes. The ironic thing is, we're all older than Zee. It's hard for me because of my anxiety - it's hard to stand up for myself, and they feel the same.
Help me sort everything out, please. Apologies if this seems really needy or grating, but I'm not at a good point right now. Thanks, and if you need any clarification, please ask.