I don’t know if I’m being hypersensitive or if my roommate is being a passive-aggressive asshole. Or possibly some of both.
I know I tend to be overly sensitive, especially with people who’ve triggered my PTSD. Once I’m in that state of heightened alert, everything seems like a potential threat. I know I’ve been wound up more than usual since her screaming-on-the-phone-and-banging-around-for-hours thing a few days ago. My anxiety’s been through the roof, and my depression has been worse than usual.
Then this morning I get this text: “Not to be a pain or anything cuz I’m sure your [sic] busy knitting or something but my older sister is stopping by tomorrow night for dinner so I’d appreciate it if there was some type of usable communal space on the counters or living area so that I can be able to cook and quite frankly I’m not going to make her eat in my bedroom.”
I’ll ignore the blatant abuse of the English language here, but this whole thing comes off as really snide to me.
For starters, half the crap on the counters is hers. Yeah, I had some empty boxes and stuff, but that took all of about 30 seconds to get rid of. I’ll wash the dishes I left out. No big deal. Meanwhile, has she cleaned up any of her stuff off the counter? NOPE. Has she even taken the trash or recycling out a single time? NOPE.
I told her from the get-go that I’m disabled and can’t always do a lot around the house. I never made that any kind of secret. In the three weeks she’s been living here, I’ve had three doctors’ appointments and an ER visit, so it’s not like she doesn’t know I’ve been sick. The fatigue has been really bad the last few days, and I’ve barely managed to make it from my bed to the bathroom without passing out. Doing anything more than that has been virtually impossible. Still, I cleaned the bathroom last night, on my hands and knees, because it was gross, and I didn’t want her to have to live with it.
This morning, I tried to clean up more, but I had to sit my butt down on the kitchen floor because I was about to pass out. And if you’ve ever tried to sweep or mop while using a cane, you’ll know that’s pretty much impossible. So if she wants to floor clean, she can damn well do it herself. As far as I can tell, she’s done no cleaning since she moved here. Ordinarily, that’s not a huge deal to me as long as things don’t get gross. But then she wants to act like it’s all me?
(Yes, I think I am going to illustrate this whole post with Joe Biden gifs because of reasons.)
But I think what really got me was the line, “I’m sure you’re busy knitting or something.” I don’t know how to read that as anything but bitchy and passive-aggressive.
Again, this is a case of, “You knew from the get-go that I’m disabled.” I never hid that.
Most of me wants to jump in with, “Nah, bitch, I’m organizing a third of the state for a fucking election in two weeks, much of which, yes, I do from home. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fucking real or important.”
But the truth is I haven’t been doing much organizing the last couple weeks because I’ve been too sick and fatigued. And you know what? That’s fucking okay. I don’t have to justify my goddamn existence with what I do. I get that she has a regular nine-to-five job, and I don’t. But that doesn’t make me any less of a person. It doesn’t make me any less worthy of respect or compassion. Just because I don’t get a paycheck the same way she does doesn’t mean that what I do isn’t also important.
(I do have Biden gifs that aren’t from the 2012 VP debate, but that debate was just so glorious.)
But I have Chronic Nice Girl Syndrome, so I’ll go clean the whole kitchen and living room, do all the dishes, and pretend like none of this bothers me. I’m so afraid of conflict that I’ll literally sacrifice my health to make Roommate happy.
But after this, I’m done. She’s done no housework, so I’m not going to either. Eventually she’ll get the point, or so I hope. Just because she has a regular job and I don’t, that doesn’t make me automatically responsible for all the cleaning for an apartment we use equally. If she’s not going to do any work, then I’m sure as hell not going to either, especially since it takes much more of a physical toll on me than it does on her.