Monday, November 9, 2009

Text Message

I received a text message this evening from my crazy ex-roommate. I went back through blog entries b/c I was going to link to the blog that explained about crazy roommate for those who are newer to reading my blog and realized I started this blog right after I moved out of her house, so she never made a blog entry. So before I explain tonight's text, I need to give a little background.

I lived with (let's call her B) from May 2008 - Jan 2009. We went to church together and she seemed cool. My previous roommate's sister was moving to town and they wanted to live together, so I was desperately looking for another place to live. My job didn't pay enough for me to get a place of my own. Plus, at this time, I hadn't had the best track record of staying safe when I was alone. B had just bought a 3 bedroom townhome and was looking for roommates to share the bills. Seemed liked perfect timing, so I moved in with B. Of course, her boyfriend (who was a friend of mine from college) broke up with her the week before I moved in because that's my luck. Now, before you think I'm taking an awful situation about her and making it about me, I was very sad for her and supportive. For several months I didn't talk to my college friend b/c I was being her friend and roommate. The problem developed when I realized how obsessive she was about this guy and how many times a day she called him, drove by his house, sent him text messages, and anything else she could think of to still be in contact with him. She was also constantly accusing him of having a new girlfriend and cheating on her. I don't know how you cheat on someone you've broken up with, but she was a wreck. In all honesty, I don't think I would have lasted as long as I did, except I met my fiance' about 2 weeks after moving in with her, and he was a huge support and distraction for me.

Anyways, the longer I lived with B, the more "issues" I realized she had. Now, I'm not one to move out on someone b/c of issues. Heavens knows I have tons on my own, and I truly do have compassion for people and their struggles. The problem is that she had/has no desire to overcome or even acknowledge her major issues and instead uses them to manipulate situations and people to get her way and always be the center of attention. There are several examples, but one is how she somehow guilted me into throwing her a surprise birthday party for her birthday in October. The main issue B liked to focus on was her eating disorder. She did have a legit eating disorder. The ED itself didn't bother me. The fact that she told everyone under the sun who would listen to her that she had one and how hard it was and how she was working to overcome it, and then at home would come into my room to tell me she just took a box of laxitives. After a few ER trips, it became apparent that her ED was out of control, and I was tired of taking off of work to take her to and/or pick her up from the ER if I was unable to stay with her the whole time.

In November, she finally admitted she needed help and left for a 3 month inpatient ED program in California. At the time, I was so proud of her for finally wanting to live healthy and being willing to take the necessary steps to do so - meaning she would miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with her family, plus risk losing her job. I didn't understand why she invited 30 people over to our place the night before she left. Everytime I've been IP, it's been hard enough for me to tell my family and closest friends, and most of the time I've only told those it was necessary to tell b/c my absence would be noticed - like at work or a roommate. But at this point, I still thought - to each his own.

The events that pushed me over the edge actually occurred during the 3 months that she was gone. She was constantly texting me trying to get me to pay her portion of our bills b/c she had no money b/c she wasn't working and was in treatment. I didn't have money to pay her portion and she wouldn't give me her parents info so I could ask them to help me pay her part of the bills. One day towards the end of her stay in California, I received a text from her asking for prayers b/c she'd done something wrong and gotten in trouble at the Ranch. That evening she texted me again and asked me to purchase her a plane ticket home b/c she couldn't take it there anymore. She was too upset to talk to me on the phone and tell me why she needed to come home but wanted me to shell out the money for a plane ticket for her. When I kept asking questions, she quit responding to me, and I didn't hear anything for 2 days.

At this point, I'm really struggling with my own issues. Fiance had recently deployed to Afghanistan and I was in the process of trying to survive a Christmas and January that didn't end in a hospitalization of my own. I didn't have the resources to deal with my roommates issues as well, especially since she was hundreds of miles away. Finally, I decided we needed some boundaries in place before she came home, so I texted her and asked to have a conference call with her and her counselor or social worker before she came home. She responded by telling me she'd already left the Ranch and was at her parents' place in Indiana. She would be coming home tomorrow. I asked her what happened, and the actual story was nothing like what she led me to believe had happened or was going on. I was livid! She'd been manipulating me the whole time. After we hung up, I thought about the entire 9 months we'd lived together and began to see that she carries a lot of traits of someone with borderline personality disorder and all of the ways that she had manipulated me and those around me.

Even before this last conversation with her, my family, close friends, and therapist had been encouraging me to find a new place to live b/c my own mental/emotional health was going downhill rapidly - so rapidly I couldn't even fake things. The conversation on the phone that Sunday night was the final straw. I found another friend I could move in with, called my parents and asked them to come over and help me move the following weekend, and I texted B and told her we needed to have a serious conversation when she came to town the next day. When she arrived home, I told her I was moving out and that I would continue to pay the rent that I owed her, but I would not be living in the same house with her or be part of her support system now that she was back home. She spent the next week using her grandparents, parents, prayer, and any other method she could think of to guilt me into stay and to convince me she had changed. Sadly for her, she didn't realize that everything she was doing only reinforced that she had not changed at all, still put her interests before anyone else, and was as manipulative as ever.

In the end, this entire situation ended up being very triggering for me and parts inside. Typically we're not good at moving, but everyone was happy and felt safer the day we moved out of that place and have not regretted the decision once. We still have to interact with her some, but thankfully it's less and less. I know this is a long entry, but sadly it doesn't do the situation near the justice or explain the torment she put my system through.

All of this to say, I guess I forgot that she still has my cell number and she sent out a mass text this evening. She included me on the text, as she does on most even though I've asked her not to. The text said " My dear friends, tomorrow is a celebration.... it marks 1 year since I've abused laxitives and left 2 go 2 treatment! Praise God! Thx 4 the prayers and support!" In and of itself, I guess this isn't a horrible text. Other than I KNOW she probably sent this to everyone in her address book.... and we were NEVER dear friends! I think what bothered me most is how many awful memories this one text brought up for us. Sadly this text was a pretty large trigger for us this evening. We felt a lot of anger, pain, sadness, and hurt... So many of her manipulative behaviors were linked to manipulative behaviors of our ab*ser b/c of similarities in tactics, so after the horrible memories associated with her, I got hit with a wave of childhood memories. Amazing the small things that will throw your system for a loop when you least expect it!

One positive thing is that we have been able to recognize that we were able to get ourselves out of the unhealthy situation with B and that we can look around and see that we're in a different home now and safe and that we continue to move through time further and further away from our time with B.

For those of you who made it all the way through this post, thank you for reading. I tried to reach my therapist tonight, but she didn't respond. We're not in crisis and this isn't near an emergency, so we're just going to wait and talk to her at our session tomorrow. Her reassurance and support would have been nice tonight, but maybe handling this on our own and just blogging about it will prove to be better for us in the long run.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not surprised that this text message triggered you - and I'm sorry. I had a close relationship with someone struggling with BPD at university who was similarly manipulative and I know from experience how traumatic that can be. I hope that you are able to receive the support you need - and well done (SO well done) for getting out of that situation the way you did.