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Author Topic: I'm trying not to be mad...
Alcon
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...I really am. And yet I find myself furious. I'm not sure if I really have a valid reason to be... I keep listing a multitude of reasons to myself, but none of them truly feels completely reasonable. I feel a little like I am irrationally angry and I'm stretching for reasons to make my anger rational and righteous. Yet, I can't help the fact that I feel anger, rational or not.

As some of you know, the apartment my girlfriend and I moved into this May was for sale (which we were told) under threat of foreclosure (which we were not told). It was foreclosed a week or two ago. We have been asked by the bank to leave the apartment with in ten days (5 days ago).

Quick update on that situation, the real estate management firm that has taken over management of the property is saying that we shouldn't leave yet. They're still trying to sell the property with all of us in it. According to them, the notices that were attached to our doors were a mere formality to get the process rolling. We may be called to a hearing and we should attend if we do, but we shouldn't stress to much. They say they are really the only ones who know what's going on and only to listen to them. According to them, if they do not manage to sell it with us still in it, then they will offer us cash for keys. So the long and short is we're in limbo where the apartment is concerned.

That's all not the reason I'm angry. That's all very frustrating, but I've been surprisingly zen about that for the most part.

No, what I'm angry about is the former roommate who has shouldered his way back into the apartment after abandoning us. Who woke me and Shelly up this morning at four in the morning, coming back with his girlfriend (?) from the ceramics studio. Both of who then passed out on the couch in the living room - the center of our rather small apartment. Shelly and I had to tip toe around them to get ready for work this morning.

We started the summer with three people living in our two bedroom apartment. Shelly and I took the bigger bedroom and my old freshman year roommate and senior year housemate, M, took the smaller one. M had trouble finding enough work - he had two jobs that gave him one or two days work a week a piece. When we first moved in M didn't have enough money to pay his portion of the security deposit or the first month's rent. So Shelly and I fronted that.

A month into living with us M decided that he didn't have enough money to pay the next month's rent, payed us back for the month he'd lived with us and moved out. Mind you, he moved out to squat illegally on the campus of the college we'd just graduated from with his friend who was living and working there. He did this about a week before we had to pay rent for the next month, causing us to scramble a bit to pay it. And he didn't stick around long enough to contribute to the power bill or the internet bill that were generated during his time living with us.

Also, he didn't have enough money because he hadn't been able to find a job. However, there were a great number of jobs which he refused to look at or didn't apply for. Jobs which he very well might have landed (such as one as a line chef - he has experience as a line chef).

A few days ago, in the middle of us dealing with the prospect of getting kicked out, he calls us to tell us that new people are moving into the apartment he was squatting in and he needed to move out. Fast. He asked us if we'd found someone for his old room... not as such, but in a way we had: us. We were using it at that point. Mostly for storage, but as the apartment is pretty small, that was no small thing. Thing was, if we didn't take him he'd be sleeping on his friends couch or possibly out in the street if he got turned in to the campus authorities.

Of course, the other part is that we could get kicked out any day. I tried to wave him off, telling him that we were getting kicked out ourselves. I didn't want to tell him he couldn't live with us directly, so I basically tried to talk him out it. But he was persistent. He managed to get it out of me that we weren't leaving just yet, that we still had a few days till we absolutely HAD to be out. He said he needed to stay a few days - just to buy himself time. He also said that maybe he would stay and fight it, his name was on the lease too after all. I told him I'd have to discuss it with Shelly. Neither of us wanted to say yes, but we couldn't see how we could say no. The result was that we didn't call him while we tried to figure out how to tell him he could not move back in with us with out saying that - and with out leaving him completely screwed.

He finally called us and announced that he would be by to drop some stuff off. At that point we'd given up on trying to say no, and just implicitly agreed. We left a key under the mat for him that night and cleaned out his old room - storing the stuff we'd been storing in there in that room's closet (which we'd told him we'd have to do). He never showed. The next day, yesterday, we removed the key from the mat and left it on a table while we were both gone at work. I came home and checked the front door for more notices, and then left to pick up Shelly from work and do grocery shopping. We returned to find the key gone and M's stuff in his old room. I'd forgotten to lock the front door again after checking, and he'd assumed - not unreasonably - that I'd done it on purpose.

We shrugged and got used to the idea that he was moving in with us. He never showed up that night either. We wondered if he was just storing his stuff and sleeping elsewhere. This morning at four AM we awoke to find the light on in the hallway outside our room and the sounds of people moving around in the living room. I went out in my bathrobe to make sure it was him. It was, and a girl I'd never met before. I assume it's a girlfriend whom he has recently started a relationship with - since I know he didn't used to have one. She was already passed out on our couch. He joked that the bars closed early, introduced her and then said that they'd actually been in the art studio all night doing ceramics. I tried to be nice and not let on that I was fuming, wished them good night, and went back to bed. Neither Shelly nor I was able to fall asleep until 45 minutes later. We awoke that morning to find them curled up together, not in his room, but on the couch in the living room. Which is the dead center of our very small apartment. We had to go right by them to get to both the kitchen and the bathroom as we tried to get ready for work. They didn't move into his room as we did this, though I know we woke them several times.

I'm fuming. I'm enraged. I really not pleased with my friend right now. To the point where I have to remind myself that he's my friend and that I really ought to be trying to help him out.

I was angry at him for moving out. But I could forgive him for that. I liked having the apartment to just me and Shelly. Honestly, the apartment is too small for three people. But it is just right for two. I was already frustrated for having to face the prospect of losing it - just two months into finally having a home that was truly my own. I think what may be happening is these two frustrations are focusing themselves into anger at M's invasion. Which is how I feel about it. I feel like when M moved out, the apartment became ours. And Shelly and I were quite happy with it that way - even though we'd previously enjoyed sharing it with M. I can't even explain how I feel right now. It's too muddled. Ye who are less emotionally involved, do I have a good reason to be this enraged with M? I know I'm not being rational, but am I being reasonable to be mad at him?

I know this post is both long and confusing, and I do not hold it against you if you can't make it through it. I just needed to vent in a place where I might get some advice from calm, reasonable people and where M is not likely to stumble upon it. Shelly and I intend to sit down and have a talk with him, but frankly, I can't sort out my feelings on the matter enough to know what to say to him. I'm just furious, but I can't place my ferocity on any one transgression that seems meriting of it.

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Raia
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*hugs*

I know we've been out of touch a lot, so I didn't know most of this (I didn't even know that you had a girlfriend that you were serious enough about to move in with -- congrats on that), but I still sympathize. Greatly. I do think that talking to him is a good idea, but I also think that calming yourself in a place like this first is probably an even better one.

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Belle
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I'm so sorry. It's frustrating, I know, and I totally agree you have a reason to be angry. Honestly, it may be better if this foreclosure forces you to move with Shelly and get a new apartment, without your friend's name on the lease. I'm sure you could have his name removed from the lease since he has not been paying his share of the rent, but I don't know how to go about doing that.
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Alcon
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quote:
I know we've been out of touch a lot, so I didn't know most of this (I didn't even know that you had a girlfriend that you were serious enough about to move in with -- congrats on that), but I still sympathize.
We've been busy, it happens. I've barely spoken to anyone from Bloomington for the past year or two. Heck, I was so busy last semester that I hardly spoke to most of my friends at school! But thanks for the sympathy. Shelly and I have actually been together for nearly two years at this point... that's kinda scary. We lived together for most of senior year unofficially - I basically moved into her apartment. We're gonna try and stay together and see how it goes [Smile]

I saw the stuff about your play, by the way. Way to go!

quote:
I'm so sorry. It's frustrating, I know, and I totally agree you have a reason to be angry. Honestly, it may be better if this foreclosure forces you to move with Shelly and get a new apartment, without your friend's name on the lease. I'm sure you could have his name removed from the lease since he has not been paying his share of the rent, but I don't know how to go about doing that.
Well, part of the problem with the whole situation is that we can't really do that [Frown] My current job only lasts until August 31st and we were hoping to move out of the area to... somewhere else after that. We're not going to be able to find an apartment for just those two months, that's track season in 'toga. Rents skyrocket.

The back up housing we potentially have is with the school, and that will be in the housing the school typically uses for juniors - battered old 4 - 7 people apartment houses with tiny rooms. And technically, I'm not even supposed to be able to get housing with them - since I'm no longer a student nor am I employed by them. They've made a huge exception to their rules by offering to take us. We're in a bit of a bind trying to decide whether to take them up on it or to ask them to hold that thought and see what happens (I'm not sure they'll be willing to hold the thought). We went to them and asked them about it in a panic before the real estate management firm told us to stay put. So yeah, one more worry - do we give up on our apartment and just take up the school on it's gracious offer to cover our backs or do we risk that offer by asking them to continue covering our backs while we try to ride this out.

And either way... *sigh* if we take up the school rather than trying to ride it out, we're pretty much abandoning M worse than he abandoned us, because there's no way he can afford the rent on our current place by himself. Argh, the whole thing gives me a headache. It did even before M came back, and now it's even worse.

Glad to know that I'm not being completely unreasonably angry with him though.

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Kwea
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You aren't, and you warned him, so I wouldn't feel too bad about it. It's not your fault he's a moron, or that he is in the situation he is in.
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flyby
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I think you need to decide what is best for you, and not worry about your friend's situation, and allow him to deal with that. You did not put him in his present situation, and he has not considered you in the things he has done.

You have every right to be angry with your friend, but I imagine the intensity to which you feel angry with him is intensified by all of these other things. You have to ultimately let him be responsible for his own problems, and realize that if you decide you don't want to tell him not to live with you, you are choosing to let him live with you, and realize that is your choice. If you have a different choice, he needs to be aware of it, or else you really don't have a right to be angry with him.

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Alcon
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quote:
If you have a different choice, he needs to be aware of it, or else you really don't have a right to be angry with him.
True that. Well, hopefully we'll have a chance to talk tonight.

I have a transgression to add to the list though... I came home from work to find all the doors into the house unlocked and one of them wide open. No one was home, although the detritus of M's night on the couch was still all over the living room. M was the only one who could have done it, as Shelly and I have been at work all day. Pretty much everything I've ever owned is in this apartment, including my server on which I store all my data and code. I had calmed down over the course of the day. Now I'm back to being very, very angry. This time it's cold anger though.

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ElJay
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he got the key in the first place because you left the door unlocked. Not quite sure you have a case there, although open is a step further, certainly.
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Samprimary
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something my father said:

quote:
Some people mean 'no' when they say 'no.'

Other people say or strongly imply 'no' but really mean "I'm recalcitrant but can be harangued into 'yes' even for very inappropriate demands"

If you're in the latter category, you'd better pray you can change your ways or at least keep anyone from figuring this out.

and you said

quote:
I didn't want to tell him he couldn't live with us directly, so I basically tried to talk him out it. But he was persistent. He managed to get it out of me that we weren't leaving just yet, that we still had a few days till we absolutely HAD to be out. He said he needed to stay a few days - just to buy himself time. He also said that maybe he would stay and fight it, his name was on the lease too after all. I told him I'd have to discuss it with Shelly. Neither of us wanted to say yes, but we couldn't see how we could say no. The result was that we didn't call him while we tried to figure out how to tell him he could not move back in with us with out saying that - and with out leaving him completely screwed.

He finally called us and announced that he would be by to drop some stuff off. At that point we'd given up on trying to say no, and just implicitly agreed.

I think that he's just walking all over you and that you need to be more assertive [Frown]
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Tatiana
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Yes, I agree that you need to learn how to say no. One thing I would have done is say that he could not possibly come back until he pays you what he owes you from before.

Then I would have gotten a firm agreement that he would stay a maximum time of 10 days or whatever term you want.

Or else (and at this point he would probably say no and find other friends to mooch off of) I would say we were sorry but we don't have a place for him at our apartment. Thanks.

Then how ever much he argues and pleads, etc. just keep repeating that same thing again and again. You can reword it if you like. It sounds more polite that way. "We're not able to accommodate a roommate here anymore." Then the next time, "I'm sorry but we don't have room for anyone else here at this point." Then maybe, "I wish you had been able to get your finances in order when you were here before, but now we've gotten it all worked out with just us two and it's working fine, so we're not looking to get another roommate anymore. Good luck with finding a place, though!" etc.

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Tatiana
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Now that he's there, you need to set firm limits for him and his gf. "Since we can't get ready for work without disturbing you in the morning, you need to sleep in your room or else stay somewhere else." "We're going to need that room back in 10 more days so be sure to find another place to be by then." "When you leave, be sure the door is closed behind you. I found it open this afternoon when I got home. I know you wouldn't want to have to pay for any stuff that got stolen because of your negligence so I'm sure that you'll remember to close and lock the door from now on." Hopefully you're not giving him a key of his own, so when he leaves the apartment he'll have to stay out until one of you arrives home.

Also, be sure and let him know how much he owes you and when you expect him to pay it.

Good luck!

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Samprimary
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Yup, in terms of definitiveness, you need to move in the opposite direction towards rebuking them more firmly every time. Grand finale being, if they cannot manage to leave you alone, "at this point you are severely disrespecting us and our wishes and I am not going to respond to you anymore."

There's also an argument to be made about enabling. His behavior — and the irresponsibility preceding and saturating it — have roots in the fact that they are behaviors often rewarded and often without consequence.

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Belle
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If his name is on the lease, I don't think you have cause to deny him the use of a key.

Like I said, if he hasn't been paying the rent, you could go through the motions of getting his name removed from the lease, but for right now - he's sleeping there and his name is on the lease - he's a resident of that apartment.

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Goody Scrivener
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Honestly? The person you need to be angry with is yourself. You didn't firmly put your foot down and tell him no, you left keys for him and then forgot to lock the doors. And Belle makes a good point, if his name is still on the lease, you probably can't claim he's a trespasser and ask the police to get involved. Similarly, you probably cannot involve the police with regard to the girlfriend, as she is his guest.

Now that he and this girl are there, you need to set and enforce ground rules, specifically including rent, utilities, use of public spaces, and evacuation clauses. Maybe you'll get lucky and be able to make things difficult enough that they'll abandon again. But with the history you've posted, my guess is that you're stuck with him for a while.

If and when he does disappear again - GET THE LOCKS CHANGED and get a new lease written up without his name on it. Make sure to lock up every single time you leave.

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Alcon
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Each successive new poster seems to think the situation is even worse and worse. Maybe I've just cooled down or maybe, in my previous anger, I misrepresented the situation.

Having had a chance to cool down and think about it, I think my anger was mostly unreasonable. I guess I didn't mention, I've lived with M before this summer. He was my roommate for freshman year, and my housemate for senior year. One of the reasons we were happy to live with him was because he never acted particularly irresponsibly in any of those previous years. To the contrary he was quite a bit more responsible and mature than the vast majority of our peers.

He also didn't show any of that irresponsibility during the first month of the summer in which he shared our apartment. Except for in his pickiness about jobs and in only giving us a week's warning when he finally bailed. But when I look back he had been complaining about his inability to find steady work and suggesting he'd have to move out for pretty much the entire month.

And when he moved back in, he had no where else to go. And as far as he knows me I'm an easy going person who wouldn't say no to a friend in need. And honestly, I don't think I was in the right to want to say no. I wanted to say no because I was a) grumpy at him for moving out, b) already stressed and frustrated with the whole situation with the apartment - I didn't want to have to deal with him as well as us when trying to resolve all the foreclosure stuff, and c) I was very happy to have the apartment to just me and Shelly. While those are reasons for frustration, they are not reason enough for the level of anger I experienced.

I think now, that I was funneling all of my frustration and anger with the whole situation into him. Which just isn't fair to him. He doesn't deserve it. He has been honest with us about his intentions from the beginning. When we moved in with him, he made a point of asking us whether we planned to move into the apartment even if he didn't join us. We told him we did.

Also, as to the recent rash of irresponsibility on his part, the girlfriend at 4 am (she only stayed the one night), the leaving the doors open, and the coming home drunk out of his mind (last night) after an all morning drinking contest with our other housemate from last year... I think that's just it, a bad couple of days that just happened to come at the very wrong time. In all the four years I've known him that's the most irresponsible and disrespectful I've ever known him to be. I don't think it's anything that a serious talk between friends couldn't resolve. I just have to pin him down to talk about it, that's all.

Thanks for the room to vent and the reality check. I really appreciate it. Sorry if I misrepresented the situation while venting. I hadn't thought I had - but I must have if it looks so bad that people are suggesting calling the sheriff or changing the locks o.O

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