So I realized I haven’t said anything about this to y’all yet. My landlord has, abruptly, decided not to let me renew my houseshare lease. I’m effectively being kicked out of the house and forced to scramble to find a new place to live.*
It’s not technically an eviction. Technically. It’s just that when I signed the lease we operated under the understanding that I could extend it in the future, and toward the end of my term (well ahead of time) I asked her about explicitly renewing it so that I could keep living here, and she told me she would get back to me about that when she wasn’t sick — and then I didn’t hear from her about it again until she slipped a note under my door saying she has decided to deny my request, giving me 30 days’ notice to find a new place to live.
It seemed like such a sudden escalation. I didn’t think she would actually…
This entire saga with her, the happy beginning, the escalating mistreatment, the intrusiveness, the completely inappropriate controlling behavior that’s way out of line for someone whose only relationship to me is a landlord, and now this — every time I’ve shared the details with someone, their jaw has dropped, and they’ve been angry and disdainful on my behalf.
And so I have to wonder… why I put up with it as long as I did, before finally erecting a boundary by telling her not to text me anymore and blocking her number on my phone.
It’s weird, you know. Reflecting back on the harmful relationships you’ve gotten into and thinking, how did I get here? What set me up for this?
I don’t want to blame myself for my own victimization… not entirely… but I want to be able to explain to myself why I even tolerated as much of it as I did.
I’ve thought up a handful of reasons.
Some of it… may be my own inexperience, and the informal strangeness of the arrangement, and my not having a proper frame of reference.
Some of it may be my former housemates (before they moved out and I got new housemates) treating it as no big deal how… “involved” she was (is). One of them was even kind of… friends, with our landlord, and spent a lot of time with her, so that kind of normalized it I guess. In retrospect that’s why I’m glad that one moved out, so I didn’t have to keep getting reports of “Hey, so [landlord’s name] said…”
Some of it may be my own habituation to being treated like a child by people older than me, even though I have the right to claim status as an adult now, what with having the responsibilities of one and all. I’m used to being micromanaged and told what to do, honestly. Too used to it.
And some of it? May be… if I’m willing to bare my guts on the internet here… may be… having grown too accustomed to being scrutinized, and making concessions, and vying for the lesser of two evils, and simply expecting to be under attack all the time. Just taking for granted that I don’t have the right to take up space and that I need to work for it and argue for it on my own behalf — that I’m not allowed to feel entitled to anything, even privacy in my own space.
And hell if that doesn’t have a lot to do with my experiences as a gray-ace.
*I luckily have a friend who’s taking me in. Still a massive inconvenience, but not as bad as it could have been.