Roommate Insights

Voice Card  -  Volume 21  -  Yumi Card Number 10  -  Sun, Aug 4, 1991 5:35 PM

Recent events have led to problems with my roommate. Granted I am a complete slob, and at times I am difficult to live with but I have finally come to the conclusion that it takes two to fight. My roommate has met Drury and has talked to John (Cartan) on the phone, so they may have a better understanding of what I am trying to say. While she is incredibly charming and intelligent, I have learned that she can be a real stinker, and that I should not feel guilty anymore just because she is in a bad mood.

When she first moved in we became good friends. Partly because we shared some of the same interests and because we could relate to each other and also because I included her in my activities since she did not know anyone. As time wore on, I felt like I was living with an older sister, but this didn't bother me too much since it was reassuring to know that I had someone to talk to. All of my friends became Nancy's friends and without realizing it I was unable to spend time with my best friend Luchie without Nancy inviting herself.

Now I realize that for the two years which we lived together I let her boss me around. Nancy is always right. She has an opinion on everything and while I used to look up to some of her insights, I feel that the reason we are now fighting is because I no longer need her. She enjoys being in control, and now she is no longer in control of me so she has begun to alienate me. She no longer tells me what is going on in her life and she communicates with the rest of the world through one person, Luchie. She ignores my overtures of friendship and she has not let me know what is going on with her illness.

(Nancy has asthma and now some type of viral infection located in her respiratory system that they cannot get rid of. Apparently rumor has it that she is on chemotherapy and if she does not go into "remission" within the year she will suffer from permanent lung dysfunction.)

I guess the purpose of this card is to make myself feel better. I feel as if I have lost a very good friend. Our disagreement started when Nancy and I had a very big fight because she took out her anger on Steve. After he came home to visit from basic training, Nancy failed to even say "Hi" to him because she was mad at me. I told her that her behavior was unacceptable and that if she had a problem with me then she should tell me not take it out on innocent bystanders. When I look back at the situation for the last couple of months, I never really knew when she was just mad because she was sick, because she had finals, or because I just didn't clean up.

Nancy has just given me 30 days notice because her father has passed away, and she has returned home for the remainder of the summer to help her family out. Now the situation between us is even more strained. Although we made up and are no longer fighting, her father's death is only causing her to over extend herself even further. She has shut out the rest of the world, and since she never accepted help from anyone before, now when she really needs support she is isolating herself. I worry and I have let her know that I still care, but I am afraid that her independent streak will win out. Now I fear that we will never be able to be the friends we once were.

I have tried to communicate with her but Nancy likes it when someone prods and pokes until she is cajoled into telling them what is going on in her life. I used to confront her and make her tell me things. Now I ask her how she is doing and if she gives me a one word answer, I don't press the issue any further. I've had to learn how to deal with stress in my life and because I am changing I feel that Nancy doesn't know how to deal with me anymore. I guess the correct terminology would be to say that I was a co-dependent in regards to her quest for control.

As John can tell you she is a Chinese American who is an over-achiever. She takes 20+ units a quarter and works 30+ hours a week and then comes home and sleeps odd hours. She's been hospitalized twice in the last year, and she stomps around the house with a silent frown. I realize that she has a lot going on in her life, but I don't understand how she can turn away from the friendship we once shared. I guess the real issue is that you cannot take care of others unless they are willing to take care of themselves first.

Perhaps we are both changing so much that what we once shared no longer exists. Regardless, my move, my roommates changes, and the events in my life have now convinced me that my undergraduate years are over and that this is the end of another chapter in my life. I end this chapter with a sense of loss and melancholy, and I look forward to my move as a challenge and a fresh start.