Hatrack River Forum   
my profile login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » An irrational person, addiction, a roomate, bad times. Please offer suggestions!

Author Topic: An irrational person, addiction, a roomate, bad times. Please offer suggestions!
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Folks,

I haven't written much in a while but tonight there was an exceptional situation involving a friend of mine, and I'm hoping you'll offer me some love and advice.

"The Situation:"

I accompanied a friend of mine (female) home after a night out in town. Her roommate and roommate's friend were with us for the evening and came back to the house with us.

We walked in, and my friends other roomate, one who already was in the house and shares an actual room with my friend, got out of bed and became belligerent and confrontational with the other two roomies. First it was obvious to me that she was high, probably drunk.

Either way I recognized the rage as something I had seen in my freshman roomate, who had such a terrible drinking problem, that he would go into a fugue state of uncontrollable rage when he drank. This landed him first in the hospital, then in jail, and out of the student housing. I had been the focal point of that rage as a freshman, and I had endured my room door being knocked out of its frame, raging screams at all ours of the night and near constant interventions from the housing people. It had eventually taken a threat from me to consult with the local police for the housing people to remove Fernando from the dorm.

This girl, in my friend's house, was in the same violent, passionate, uncaring and unfeeling state. She smashed my friend's cell phone against a wall, and began to loom over my friend who's demeanor is gentle and non-confrontational. At this point I intervened for the sake of safety, at the same time feeling that the incident had partly to do with my presence (my roomate had always managed to throw tantrums with an audience). I very gently but authoritatively told her that the confrontation was over, that I was removing her roommates from the house and that she would stay behind and go back to her room. The girl blathered on about this being her house, and her right, so and so. I had none of it, stood her down and stepped between them, until she retreated, and I guided my friends to the door and outside.

Once outside, we discussed the options. My friend was in tears and shivering with fear. I tried to convince her to return to her parent's house (it's in town and accessible), but she maintained that she would not be moved from her own room. The other roommate did decide to leave, but found that when she tried to pack her things, the horrible roomate had locked her (another) room from the inside, and the key was not available, for reasons I did not quite fathom. Apparently the key was not in the hands of the residents, but only the landlords.

I gathered slowly that the outburst was in reaction to the rest of the roommates having signed a new lease without the participation of this girl, as her behavior had been similar in the past, though not violent to this degree. They had of course failed to tell her of the new plans, and had not expected the outburst.

I spent the next 30 minutes trying to calm the girls and get them to leave the place right away. I suggested that they immediately call their landlord company and report the situation, call the police if necessary, and deal with this situation aggressively. In my experience, the intervention of authorities can sometimes deflate a situation immediately, and can facilitate a change in circumstances. Cops and other authorities with experience in these cases know the course of action that works, no matter how hard it seems to be. As a teen counselor and teen center manager myself, I have resolved violent situations by simply understanding what needed to be done to avoid an outburst- not by playing into the drama and insanity of the person who is violent.

The main thing I tried to stress to my friend was that she did not deserve to live in fear of any person. That if someone she is living with has become a threat to her safety, she has the same duty to herself and others to call the authorities, as if a flood or a fire had occurred. Though these roommates were trying to talk to the girl, I could plainly see that she was hypo-manic, and heavily intoxicated. You can't deal with a person who is intoxicated- it's not the same thing as handling a human being. Try convincing a bear not to attack you.

Despite all this and my most sincere objection, my friend stayed in the house tonight and is there now. I have asked her to call me at the slightest bump, and I will not hesitate to call the police and go there myself to stop her being hurt or abused in any way.

You should have seen this girl tonight. She was something out of a women's prison movie. Abrasive, physically intimidating, looming, repetitive, utterly inscrutable. Part of me wanted very much to tackle her to the ground and sit on her... it was that kind of tension. I remember, for the first time in some long time, the moments of this anger with my roomate, and the feeling of powerlessness he evoked in me, and fed on.

I hated this girl so much for a moment I wanted her to drop dead. But at the same time my rational, intellectual mind kicked in, and I told myself- she isn't doing this, it's a disease doing this, and it's YOUR JOB now to make sure that your friends realize that this situation can't be swept under the carpet. That it wouldn't be fair to them or to their roommate to pretend it hasn't happened.

I know now that I will stress every day until this madwoman is out of my friends' lives. What can I do in the meantime? Where should my involvement end?

Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post 
That's, um, that's pretty messed up. I guess you're supposed to respect her wishes in handling this situation, but with the caveat that maybe it's best to help persuade her towards more active crazy roommate countermeasures.
Posts: 15421 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 3332

 - posted      Profile for sylvrdragon   Email sylvrdragon         Edit/Delete Post 
Personally, I have exactly zero tolerance for irrational belligerence, ESPECIALLY under the influence. I think you did everything you possibly could from the outside. I would have been PRAYING for her to have hit me during that initial standoff, as then you could resolve the situation directly as a participant. For now though, all you can do is try to talk your friend into taking the appropriate measures (which I agree is to get that psycho out ASAP).
Posts: 636 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post 
Your involvement should end now. She's not your friend, and pressuring your actual friend to do something about her friend isn't doing anyone any favors.
Posts: 37449 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post 
I think you've done all you can. This sounds like a situation your friend and her roommates need to figure out together and with the proper authorities, be they police or landlords.

If your friend calls you for advice, try to be judicious but don't actively seek to involve yourself in the situation, as hard as that will be.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 4068

 - posted      Profile for Amanecer   Email Amanecer         Edit/Delete Post 
If they've already signed a new lease, there isn't much more to be done. It's a lot easier to tolerate something when you know it has an end date. Your friend seems to just what to live it out until that time and I think you need to respect that.
Posts: 1947 | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
Something bothers me about the idea of her sticking it out with someone who could become violent, who obviously needs help herself. Of course I won't get involved again unless she asks me for advice or help, but I'm not going to be reserved about offering it when asked. She is the type of friend who will always ask anyway.
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post 
If she gets in a dangerous situation, she knows she can call you. If you really think this person might be violent, you might ask her, for your peace of mind, to please keep a cell phone charged and on her person at all times (in case she needs to call 911.) Other than that, I think the advice to leave it be is good-- it's her choice whether to stick it out until it's over or not.
Posts: 21182 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post 
I agree, it is her choice on what she will and will not tolerate.

Just offer her an alternative, and be available for her. Not too available, though...that can create a whole other messed up situation. Let HER make the choice, and support her right to make it by being a good friend.

Posts: 15082 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post 
WEll, if there's one thing I'm good at it's not getting involved in drama. I just don't like it- and not like one of those people who "really hates it" but seems to be embroiled in it all the time, I have very little drama in life and believe this is my own doing
Posts: 9912 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2