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.




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23 responses to “Hypersensitive?

  1. I love the gifs.

    To your main point, though, you might want to consider taking pictures of the roommate’s mess before and after you clean it. Having tangible proof that you’ve done something you didn’t have to will do wonders in deflating your roommate’s ego.

    I hope this conflict passes, and you can get back to focusing on you! I wish you all the best!

    • Well, who doesn’t love Joe Biden gifs? Regardless of whether you actually like Joe Biden himself, his expressions are perfect.

      I wish I’d thought to take pictures. Instead, because I’m conflict-avoidant, I just cleaned the whole kitchen myself.

  2. hahahaha! I love the gifs as well and the response from siriusbizinus, good one.
    Totally bitchy…as one comedian would say bundle of bitches…now me, I would probably say..umm, sure, but maybe you might like the knitting needles up your ass before I start 🙂 *bat eyelashes while sweetly smiling*…

    But then you may lose said roommate…so again, clean up what is yours I guess and hope she settles her bitch ass down, I really do. You are awesome. Much love -CCChanel

    • I don’t think i could be friends with anyone who didn’t like Joe Biden gifs! 🙂

      Sometimes threatening hercwith knitting needles sounds like a really good solution.

  3. To A Person in Search of Her Name,

    I must say the Biden gifs were LOL funny…and so were the knitting needle suggestions. Frankly, I am a bit into revenge fantasies these days myself, I sadly must confess, what with feeling literally propelled out of the state where I have lived all my life, due to circumstances that I cannot deal with (other than writing “I’ll ream you and NAME you, A.H” rap lyrics and posting them on my blog…).

    But that said, I think there is no way in hell you should be doing more than your share of any housework, and if I were you, I would speak up NOW and get RM straight on what is expected of her. Yah, I know, I know, it is easy for me say. But would I do that myself? Ha ha ha! You KNOW I wimp out purty danged easily too when it comes to confronting pass agg types. On the other hand, I do use texting as weapon of choice esp when the PA person has already chosen such a mode of communication.

    Would you consider texting her back your set of demands, or at least a “list of expectations” that you need her to live up to if she is to continue to live there? And by the way, has she signed any lease? Presumably she needs your roof, or she wouldn’t be living with you, so remember that. If you make it clear that YOU expect — absolutely expect — her to do certain things or she cannot stay, I’ll bet you anything her response will be to follow through, NOT to leave.

    It is unlikely she lives with you out of pity after all. Much more probably because she needs an apartment, just like anyone else. So use that as leverage to get what you need and want. You own the lease and you can kick her out whenever you want to. Remember, you are the boss not her! I suspect that if you remind her of this, and stick to your guns, she may shape up better than you think. Right now, she sounds like she is taking advantage of you because you maybe LET her…?

    Yes, maybe I read the situation wrong, because I do not know all the details, in which case, of course, ignore me and forgive me. But maybe not… Also you likely have already been there , done it too, because you are like this. So excuse the repetitious suggestions once again.

    My best to you and your finding a name that fits, if nothing else. I’d vote for something simple and meaningful — to you — but i think you will know it when you hear it, see it etc.

    Yours, always,


    • I should make a post that’s just Joe Biden gifs. They’re pure gold.

      I’m really bad at conflict, especially with people I live with. It’s probably not the best solution, but right now, it’s all I can do to hang onto the little shreds of sanity I have left. Conflict pushes me right over the edge, particularly since I already know she likes to scream at people. Also, she is on the lease, so I can’t easily just kick her out.

      And really, the cleaning thing isn’t what bothered me the most anyway. What really got to me was the dig about “I’m sure you’re busy knitting or something.” I felt like she just completely devalued me as a person just because I don’t have a real job like hers. That’s what really got to me–feeling like I don’t even count as a real person to her.

      • I agree about the Biden GIFS…but you are so funny too. I hate conflict anymore too. But the knitting comment. Girl! You should just leave like yarn, and needles in little places around your apartment…..like by the cereal…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA…be like oh my, so sorry, let me move that I am soooo forgetful 🙂 I hope there is not one in the couch..hahaaaa

      • More than once, I’ve actually rolled over in bed and been poked by a knitting needle I forgot was there. I always have a knitting project with me anywhere I go, and there are several scattered around the house. (There was a sock in the kitchen and 3/4 of a sweater in the living room.)

        I kind of want to knit a banner that says, “Bitch, what I’m busy doing is organizing 1/3 of the state for a major political campaign. The fact that I can knit while I do that means I’m JUST THAT GOOD.” But she’s really not worth the effort.

      • Oh no! LOL! OMG! Please let me send one to you so you can tell her it was a present!! 🙂 hahaaa (you know we are having too much fun with this, I know you have trouble with conflict, I would too if I had to live with her) but it is soo funny..hahaha to laugh about 🙂

      • I come up with a lot of assertive/bitchy things in my head even though I know I’d never actually use them. I think it’s a coping mechanism, in a weird way. Even though I can’t say it out loud, it’s a way of marking for myself that the way someone is trwating me isn’t okay.

      • Oh yeah, I do that too..it is a great coping mechanism..although some of us are kind of conflict people I wont lie..lololol…it is interesting…..I would not suggest it in a roommate situation though..but very entertaining topic 🙂

      • It takes a LOT to get us to be conflictual (is that even a word?) on a personal level. We’ll argue politics for hours, but we suck at dealing with personal conflict. And I really wouldn’t want to make the roommate situation even more tense.

      • No, i wouldn’t either it sucks to live in a hostile environment daily. I know.
        And yes..conflictual-a state of open prolonged fighting 🙂
        As you can imagine we are all of varying degrees. oh almost put real name. CC would argue on the stand, they loved to put her on there to argue cases for kids. LOL! Others like me, Alex, welll…what can I say, that was my job..Regina and Vanessa are more laid back about it unless it is really called for, but then if CC is moody she can be the worst..LOL! This has been really fun. We all thought the knitting needles was funny though. As a really dreamy kind of thing, although Vanessa would probably do that. Then the rest of us would be like great. And such is our life. lol

      • Oh Dear, Well, you still have a right NOT to be or to feel abused, and that is what this is clearly about, but I grok entirely the devalued feeling. I just wish it weren’t so, that tendency you have to feel somehow that whatever you do is not as valuable as what other people do. You know, I have several very professional friends, one an optometrist and the other an APRN/Social worker for the State, and BOTH adore knitting, they knit up a storm whenever they have any spare time at all. In fact, they use their jobs to feed their knitting addictions, and one has even gotten into felting, using a drying machine, from her laundry center, to make felted object from her knitting…Anyhow, it is a venerable and highly respected tradition, I just wish you FELT this, because it is after all only YOUR feeling devalued that counts. She could say anything at all to you, but if you felt valuable, it wouldn’t have any sting, would it? Ditto the feelings of not mattering to her. If you mattered to YOU, nothing she said to you would have the same import or sting. I know this, just from my own life and experience but it is impossible to teach…or promise that you will learn it one day. I can only tell you that even if therapy and that sort of help never comes around, the years of life and living will eventually teach you that other people really are just living in their own self-concerned little bubbles and they do NOT care as much about you and hurting you as you do…This is not to say that they don’t care about you at all, but that they act out of their own worlds and the view from their own heads and eyeballs…THis is so hard for me to remember day by day. That while I am the center of my own little universe, so are they, the center of theirs, and they might even feel that what I am doing impacts them and hurts them in ways that I cannot quite grok, being in my own eyeball-universe.
        Okay, enough from this talkative blogger once again. Cheers to you and have a good day. I hope you do do some knitting and maybe someday post a project or two for us to see! I used to LOVE to knit myself,. It waS SO satisfying!


  4. I know it’s incredibly challenging, but if there’s any way you can speak to your own needs and limitations, and move the conflict out of passive aggressive bitchy territory and into something where there’s some mutual respect and openness about expectations that might make a very difference to how all this turns out for you. Xx

    • It probably would, if I could actually do it. But I almost certainly won’t. My conflict avoidance comes close to phobic levels–I will literally shut down and be unable to talk. I’m better than I used to be, in that I can handle it on a professional level now–I mean, I get yelled at so much working in politics that I just snicker at people who do it–but in my personal life, I haven’t been able to budge that fear and avoidance and shutdown.

      I’ve also found that when somebody starts out with no respect for you as a person, which seems to be the case here, you’re unlikely to convince them that you deserve it.

      • I’m sorry to hear that, it must make life really difficult for you. 😦 I’ve come from a pretty conflict avoidant place myself too. 😦 Something I found helpful when I couldn’t speak up for myself was to think at the person in my head. Like to think ‘You should be treating me with more respect’ when they were being horrible. Or didn’t fix things, but it did do something, kind of… Reset my internal stuff. Made me walk a little taller. It was a really low conflict way to start having a voice. Anyway, might be of user to you, might not, but there are things you can do. And people might never come to like you, but sometimes how you handle this stuff can at least restore a little self respect and dignity over it. It’s really really cool that you’ve managed the phobia in one area of your life, that’s fantastic! Hopefully someday you’ll be able to cross over the skills. Thinking of you.

  5. It’s totally passive aggressive. And I agree with what others have said. If you’ve cleaned up after yourself, your responsibility is done. Period. If she “refuses” to have her sister eat in the bedroom (which, big fuckin’deal), then she can either make her own solution at the apartment or they can go out. I’ve had a LOT of roommate experiences… and some are masters at manipulation. Good luck 🙂

    • Yeah, I’ve had some bad roommate experiences before, but this…I don’t know. I really can’t tell if I’m just reading too much into it or not, especially the dig about knitting. (If it was even meant to be a dig.)

      But the fact that I cleaned the whole kitchen and living room today and didn’t get so much as a thank you makes me think maybe I’m not just imagining the disrespect.

      • you’re not. That text doesn’t read any way to me as respectful. But it doesn’t mean you can’t let this one slide, just in case. But yeah, I’d just be on the watch to be extra clear with your boundaries if it continues. Hopefully it was a one time thing with her!

      • Yeah, I’m not going to say anything to her about this, for a multitude of reasons. I’m hoping it really just was a stupid, thoughtless comment or a misguided attempt to be funny. But if there’s more like this, I might get bitchy. It takes a lot to get me there, but when I do, watch out.

  6. she sounds impossible. I mean making those comments? sounds very passive aggressive to me hon. I hope you weren’t too exhausted after doing all that work. you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it. she is guilt tripping you. that’s so unfair. xoxo

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