Housemate blues.

Best-Roommate-Ever1

As some of you may know, my housemate (the same one I was complaining about several months back for her “narcissistic” ways) is moving out on the 6th, which is 5 days away.

While Stacey and I are never going to be the best of friends, I’ve grown to like her. She’s lived here for a little over a year, has been very reliable, always pays her rent on time without complaint, and cleans up the house without being asked. Yes, she is annoying in some ways, but to be honest, I’m not wild about having to have any housemate at all so anyone would probably annoy me just by their presence. I’m really not much of a people person, especially when they have to live with me under the common roof of a very small house. I consider myself extremely lucky to have found someone like Stacey.

I thought she was a narcissist at first, because she can be so manipulative and needy, and she seemed to invade my boundaries a lot at first, but she’s learned to respect my boundaries once I made them clear. She also has high levels of empathy, is generally very kind, and seems to be the codependent type. We’ve had a few heart to heart conversations and it turns out she comes from an abusive home too and was married to a narcissist for many years, just like me. I don’t know what her psychological problem is, but it’s not narcissism. I’m thinking she may have BPD or Dependent Personality Disorder, or just plain old PTSD. Or even nothing at all.

Anyway, her leaving in a few days makes me sad. She’s got a daughter in Florida who has a spare room so I don’t blame her for preferring to move back with them rather than stay with a half crazy borderline like myself in a state in which she knows no one and doesn’t even really like much. And she’ll get to see her granddaughters all the time too. I know how much she misses them.

I catch myself talking down to her sometimes, as if she’s stupid. I’m not always the most patient person. I feel bad about that. She isn’t that stupid. But I lose patience sometimes. I always wind up apologizing. I told her the other day what a great housemate she’s been and that I would miss her. I thought she was going to cry.

I used to complain about how annoying she was, but now that she’s leaving, I’m sad. I wish she was staying. I have an ad out again, and so far, no one who’s called has been suitable. I really hope I can get a new housemate as reliable and trustworthy (and quiet) as Stacey has been, but I feel like I might not be that fortunate again. There is a gay man who seems promising though. I haven’t met him yet.

I really wish I could afford to just live alone without any housemate at all. I hate having to interview a bunch of people I don’t know, and turn down most of them. But I need someone to help share the expenses.

Is it okay to say no?

other_peoples_kids

I have a dilemma.

I am still living with my annoying narcissistic roommate. Actually, over time I came to the conclusion she is really just annoying, not all that narcissistic. Things have improved. She has gotten much better at respecting my boundaries and pays her rent on time and doesn’t invite crackheads over to the house, so there’s no reason to make her leave (although I would much prefer to not have to have any roommate at all).

But a problem arose last night. She has two granddaughters, ages 4 and 6, she hasn’t seen in two years. I know she misses them terribly. She talks to them on Skype all the time and cries every time she does, so I know seeing them is very important to her.

When I came home yesterday, she said she had something to tell me. She told me in a month she has invited them here for two days.

First of all, I was a little irked that she didn’t discuss this with me first, and just assumed it would be okay to have them come stay here. I regard this as a huge boundary invasion but at the same time I understand she feels it’s the only way she can see them. She cannot afford to travel to Florida where they currently live.
But there are a few problems.

1. I don’t like other people’s kids. Okay, there, I said. it. Of course I adored my own when they were little (and would adore my own grandchildren, when and if I ever have any). But other people’s kids, not so much.

2. The house is tiny. I live in the bottom level of a duplex, and there are only two bedrooms, one bathroom, an outdated kitchen, a small living room and a covered porch. Four people sharing one bathroom, including two little girls? I’m not looking forward to that prospect. At all.

3. There is absolutely nothing for them to do. I don’t even have TV (cable is too expensive) and there is nothing in this house that would interest children except for the 3 cats and maybe playing on the trampoline in the yard my upstairs neighbor uses for his kids when they visit.

4. My roommate stupidly sold her car for $150 several months back and has no means of transportation, so she cannot take the kids anywhere fun. There are no activities in the immediate area and no easy access to a bus line. I am not willing or able to chauffer them all around town either.

So, we are dealing with a situation where two young children would be stuck in a tiny house for two days with nothing to do and someone (me) who doesn’t want them here.

I appealed to my daughter (who is living in a larger 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch house with her boyfriend who owns the house) and is closer to town and a bus line. They also have our dog, Dexter, who loves children. They also have a big screen television and the rooms are big enough for the kids to run around in. She knows my roommate so I thought this might be an option. She said no. I don’t blame her.

I suggested to my roommate she stay at the local Motel 6 with the girls. I have stayed there and it’s cheap, clean, and has a swimming pool. it’s also close to restaurants and movies. My roommate said no.

I can’t think of any other options. I hate to tell her she can’t have them here because I know how much it means for her to see them, but I really am dreading the idea of them staying here and being bored out of their minds.

Am I being heartless and selfish if I tell her they can’t come? Is it outrageous of her to expect me to accommodate them here? I have run out of options. What should I do?

So I’m going to out-narc my annoying narcissistic roommate.

I was cleaning out my hall closet under the stairs today (it was a disaster, believe me) and had a brilliant idea. My narcissistic roommate has, as usual, been annoying me all day, following me around like a needy puppy and asking her usual nosy questions. (For what it’s worth, things have gotten better. She’s actually trying to respect my boundaries and with my daughter out of the picture–she didn’t like her–things have been a bit more peaceful).

View of the acceptably organized closet after I bagged up stuff to throw away or give to Goodwill:
closet_1

EEK! Whathehellisthat???!!!?
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The second photo leads us into the way I plan to have some fun with Roomie later. While I was tossing things into black garbage bags for Goodwill, I found this hairy spider from a couple of Halloweens ago. His wire legs bend into all different positions. I know my roommate goes in this closet a lot (even though there is nothing of hers in here anymore–maybe she goes in there to change her masks) so I decided to give old Spidey a perch on the wooden clothes dowel.

DEARGODINHEAVENWHATHEFCKISTHATTHING?!?!?!?!
closet_3_spider

I can’t wait to see how she reacts when she finds Spidey there waving at her.

AAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHH!
closet_4_spider_aagh

muttley

Maybe…just maybe I’ll even act all innocent and sweetly smile and say,

I have no idea what you’re talking about. You MUST be imagining things. Perhaps you need to see a psychiatrist?

I’m terrible.