This post is going to be hurried because in order to properly explain the situation I’m in I would need more than the twenty minutes I have before I need to leave for work. However if there’s one thing I’m beginning to learn it’s that you need to make due with what you have.
I still need to sit down and really talk about everything that’s happened in the past year of my life, but in a nutshell, my current roommates saved my life. I was living with my family, more specifically my mother and her husband, both of whom are abusive in a variety of ways and one of whom (spoiler: my mother) is a psychopath. Not like a dangerous I’ll-stab-you-with-a-knife psychopath, more like I’m-so-selfish-and-greedy-that-I’ll-push-you-to-kill-yourself-just-so-no-one-can-say-it-was-my-fault style psychopath. I don’t think even she knows what a dangerous and toxic person she is. But anyhow. My roommates, Zack and Robert, agreed to help me out of my situation, and without really knowing me at all, they allowed me to travel hundreds of miles here to Delaware to live in their guest room for virtually nothing.
They bought me clothes, a car, a cell phone, medicine, food, involved me in all of their activities, took me to concerts and shows with them, and never asked for anything. Their intention was always to charge me reasonable rent when I had the money, but when I finally got a full time job and had the money, I was so selfish and unable to properly budget my money that I only properly paid them rent two or three times, and then I quit that job because of my anxiety. And believe me the anxiety was awful. I was coming home almost every day (especially Friday’s) in tears on the way home, having a breakdown when I arrived, and then climbing straight into bed because I was so emotionally and physically exhausted and overworked. I didn’t know at the time that I had type 2 diabetes, and the fact that I was pounding every sugary beverage into my system to try and KEEP some energy to work was actually making me sicker, all went over my head because I didn’t know.
I got a new job, at a retail store. I loved retail for the first few years I worked in it, and I enjoyed it, so I thought I would be happy going back to retail. It turns out that was very much not the case. I’m not the same person I was when I was twenty, and I can’t take the abuse from customers that I used to be able to. “I don’t give a fuck” is a sentiment that crosses my mind more than once a day now. And so, all too late, I realized that not only had I left a full time job with health insurance and benefits for an incredibly part time (like two to three days a week) job that I didn’t even enjoy.
And then yesterday happened.
I knew it was going to happen before it happened. I can’t explain it. I’ve been wondering if maybe it truly was some sort of intuition, or maybe I just put all the clues together subconsciously and then realized right before it happened. But Zack and Robert left under somewhat mysterious circumstances and all the sudden it hit me like a brick: they’re going to ask me to move out. No one had said anything about it, but for some reason, I just knew. I texted them both about it and got no response from either one. I thought that I must just be paranoid, but somehow, I knew it was coming.
When they got home, we all sat down in the kitchen. Robert pulled out a list of discussion points. It’s been eight months and I’ve hardly paid any rent since I’ve been here. The car I was given has been damaged twice while I’ve been driving it, and I’ve gotten two speeding tickets, most of which had to be paid off by Robert because I had no money. I’ve been lazy, I haven’t been maintaining my personal space or the shared space very well. I haven’t followed simple directions. I’ve been rude and inconsiderate. I’ve assumed they would continue to pay for everything and keep me up even though it isn’t their responsibility. I’m preventing them from living their lives. I’m draining their money because I’m not paying what I owe, and because of me they aren’t able to go on vacation or save up for their future.
It was hard for all of us. Robert was crying. Then I was crying. Zack looked away because he hates confrontation, he just petted the dog to try and stay calm.
I might have known this was coming. But I didn’t see it coming until just before it happened.
The thing that hurt the most was how mad I was at myself. These people had done absolutely everything for me, far more than even my own mother ever had. They’d shown me kindness and expected so little in return. And what had I done? Turned into the lazy cousin who’s trying weakly to get his act together and living on my family’s couch while I try to hold down a job. Except of course that I’m NOT their lazy cousin, I’m their lazy roommate from another state, to whom they have NO responsibility whatsoever.
I was about to commit suicide when they met me. Maybe it wouldn’t have been the next day, but I was on the road. Do I KNOW I would have killed myself? No. But I do know that’s where my mind was. That’s where my thoughts were. Yesterday, before they came home, when I suddenly realized exactly what was happening hours before they came home and talked to me about it, I started looking online for easy ways to kill yourself. My very first thought was to run, to escape, to die and be free of responsibility.
I was given two options. Stay, and pay what I owe. If that’s my choice, I have a month to get myself together and find work that will pay me enough to pay them. The other option is to leave, though it wouldn’t be for a few months. They care about me. They love me. But they can’t put their lives on hold for me any longer. And of course I should have realized that before now.
But I’ve been so selfish. All I’ve thought about since I got here was how lucky I was to be away from my family, and how sad I was for a variety of reasons. I miss my ex boyfriend, I have anxiety, I have depression, I feel suicidal, I’m overweight, I have diabetes, I’m not good at my job, I’m worried all the time, I’m scared I’m scared I’m scared.
I was standing on a cliff in my mind yesterday. I could either fight to get back out into the world or I could fall. If I fell off the cliff I wouldn’t die, but I would be hurt beyond understanding.
There was a final moment of fear. I stood alone in my bedroom and whispered to myself, “What have I done?”
And then it came.
I will not let Zack and Robert down after all they’ve done for me. I will not abuse their kindness. I will not be defeated by anxiety, or by fear. I will work, and I will work hard. If I have to work a full time job or three part time jobs, no matter what, I will survive, and I will live. I will accomplish my dreams of being a writer and a musician, and I will not fear an honest days work any more. I will not let anxiety dictate my life. I don’t care that I’m not strong enough right now at this moment to accomplish everything, I will get stronger. I will not be defeated by life. I’m not just fighting for myself anymore, but for my new family, the family who matters to me, the people who gave up their own livelihood so I could be safe.
I promised them I would fix this. That I would find work. It would be a lie to say they have faith in me. I can tell from the looks in their faces that they have only seen me give up time and time again, and they probably don’t expect me to pull through. But I’ve made my decision. And for once, I feel the conviction of my decision, and I WILL be strong. I will not be intimidated by the world, by honest work, or by responsibility. I will stand up and push through it, and every time I fail or fall, I will keep fighting. If I get my old job back, great. If not, I’ll get a second job and a third job and however many jobs I have to, but I will not disappoint Zack and Robert.
At least one person has already offered me a place to stay if I need to, so that I don’t have to go back to my mother. I’m so grateful they’ve offered. But I won’t need to accept it, because I will push through this, and I will succeed.