Another horrible roommate scenario. I live in a 5 BR house and we're all on separate leases. One of my housemates is particularly nasty towards me and it makes it hard for me to deal with being home. I'm moving out in 2 months and I'd like some tips on how to deal with this in the meantime.
posted by DoubleLune to human relations (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
One of my housemates makes my life intolerable when I see him (Mike). I combat this by avoiding him. I live in a 5 BR and we don't run into each other much. When home, I spend most of my time in my room, except when I'm cooking. Last night I opted to study at the dining room table because our newest roommate likes to blast music and the vibrations give me a headache. It doesn't carry downstairs, so I went down to study. Mike came in drunk at 12:30 and started talking to me. My general policy is to ignore him, so I gave one word answers. Plus I was actively studying at that point (which was his first question) so it wasn't unreasonable. I had successfully avoided speaking to him for the previous 2 months. The conversation last night really made me crazy and I had a really hard time falling asleep last night, felt like crap all day, and loss of appetite today (all of which is really unusual for me). I couldn't concentrate in class and felt grumpy all day. I feel stressed out writing this. I'm in school and that is the most important thing for me, and I can't have crap like this distracting me. I am moving out at the end of May, into a studio. I need to figure out how to deal with this so I stop getting so stressed by this guy. (If it matters, I live in Philadelphia.)
OK, so here's the tl;dr:
--When Mike first moved in, he came home blackout drunk from work (he got fired for this -- they had to call a cab for him and sent someone the next day to make sure he was still alive (I'm not kidding). That night, he locked himself out of him room and banged on his door for about 10 minutes (at 3am) until he broke it down. At the time, I was scared, didn't know what was happening, and locked my door. I heard one of the guys who lives here investigating and tried to go back to sleep.
--For the next 2 or 3 months, he spent most of his time laying on the couch in the living room, which made it impossible for me to watch TV. I generally just dealt with it, but on a couple occasions said there was something I really wanted to watch and asked if he would mind. He let me, but then came back to bug me when I watched for more than an hour, and was pretty rude about it. He stayed and watched the show I was watching, making comments about how bad it was and how stupid it was to watch a show that had since been cancelled... effectively ruining my TV experience and getting me to leave so he could have the TV back.
--When he first moved in, I was perfectly nice to him but quickly established that he wasn't someone I would ever be friends with because of his conversation. All he would talk about was "bragging" about experiences with girls and drinking. In practice, he's never had a girl (or friend) over and the one time I ran into him at a bar he was alone (chatting with the bartender). I assume most normal people have friends over at least once in 8 months. Anyway, it's just the way he talks, trying to make his life seem so awesome when it just seems like lies.
--He constantly complains about everything in the house. Seriously has nothing good to say.
--I share a bathroom with him and another guy. I do my best to clean my hair out of the drain when I shower, but I have really long hair and I guess I miss it sometimes. Mike's solution to this is to put any hair in the drain (seriously once it was maybe 10 strands, and lighter than my hair so it could have been his) on top of my stuff. He ruined one of my razors (luckily it wasn't a new one) and generally it's just disgusting. I just... don't think a normal person would even think of doing this, it's so childish.
--A few months ago, Mike came home drunk and was making a ton of noise at 2:30 am, on purpose. He slammed his bedroom door loud enough to wake up me and at least 2 others in the house. It sounded like something broke or crashed to the ground, and shook the whole house. Sean, who is also the landlord's son and the intermediary between tenants and the landlord (if it matters, Sean was co-landlord until December when he sold his share of the house to his dad), came downstairs and confronted Mike on this behavior. Mike was really rude to him, saying how Sean didn't have a right to talk to him until the leak in his bedroom was fixed, and other things I don't specifically remember. The way he was talking really pissed me off so I came out of my room and said "Mike, stop being an asshole, you woke me up too." His response was "that was for you, sweetheart" (referring to slamming his door, I believe). This was another night where I was so worked up that I couldn't sleep.
I got worried at this point about Mike being violent when drunk and possibly damaging my property. I spend a lot of nights at my boyfriends, so I worried that he would go in my room to trash my stuff. I texted Sean about this and got a key to my bedroom (hadn't considered it necessary before this). We talked about Mike at that point and he said he and his dad really hated him as a tenant but didn't have grounds for eviction, so they'd offered him a penalty-free out on his lease. (Because there was repair work in his room that needed to be done and hadn't been taken care of promptly. I personally think they didn't take care of it fast because they were trying to get him to move out, but I have nothing to confirm or deny this.)
Since then, I've avoided talking to Mike and have been uncomfortable in common areas because of him. I lock my door when I go out and keep it locked when I'm home. A few days after this incident, he apologized to me, but what he said was kind of absurd -- he said something about being sorry for bringing me into it, and that he was just mad at Sean. This didn't make sense because of what he'd said to me, and because in the first place nothing had happened to trigger his reaction.
--Last night, I was downstairs studying and he came home drunk at 12:30. Conversation pretty much as follows:
M: "What are you doing?"
M: "you're studying this late? really?"
M: Relates story of the day before when my bf came over and they were walking near each other and my bf came in the house with him. What I discerned from this based on what he said was that he was complaining either about my bf coming over, or the noise when my bf walks by his room. [Our house is old and sound carries inevitably.]
M: Asks about who cleaned the bathroom.
me: "I did the shower, the trash, and kind of wiped the floor."
M: something else about the bathroom.
M: Asks why I'm not talking to him.
me: "I don't talk to you."
M: blah blah something.
me: non-commital response
M: Inquires further about my behavior.
me: Says something about him putting hair on my stuff.
M: "It's your hair. Explain to me how a Penn student doesn't get that it's her hair so it goes on her stuff. How did you get into Penn if you're not intelligent enough to realize that? It just makes so much sense."
me: Something about how no, it doesn't make sense, and people don't deal with things like that.
M: Continues to scathingly insult my intelligence.
me: "Mike, I don't talk to you. Stop talking to me."
M: Further insults.
me: Tells him he's harassing me and to stop.
M: Further insults.
me: Threatens to call the cops.
M: "What would you say? You don't have any grounds to call them. I live here."
me: "That doesn't mean you can talk to me. Stop talking to me." I told him if he didn't stop, I was going to call 911. I dialed it on my phone, showed him, and said "If you don't stop talking and walk away, I'm pressing send."
M: Insult, grumble, walks past me into the kitchen.
I was shaking by the end of this. I was worried he was going to get physical with me. I feel like he's one of those people who is so close to crossing the line, but never does, but could snap at any moment, and this scares me. I don't want to live with a person like that, but I don't have the option to move out now. I don't have the money, and I'm not going to let him influence my life by putting me in financial hardship. Generally I spend half my nights at my bf's and try to study in the library because I get more done there. But I want to be able to use the common areas in my house without fear. I think I can get by another 2 months without seeing or speaking to him, but I'm still rattled by this exchange.
FWIW, I usually get along with people and am friendly with all the other roommates. None of us hang out (we were all strangers before living here) but we all get along except for Mike. Generally when I have housemate issues, I do my best to be understanding and deal with it without confrontation. (Ex: newest roommate blasts music, I study downstairs. Someone leaves dishes in the sink, I put them in the dishwasher [well, except for recently because it's gotten really bad. But I did that for months].)
So, how do I deal with this? I don't want a confrontation, I don't want legal issues, I just want a calm home environment until I move.