Reflecting on our Living Situation 

One of our friends, who was also a floormate, is now leaving our floor, for her own reasons.

It is very unexpected. 

With her leaving the floor it made us reconsider the reasons why we have stayed on this floor: namely because she was here. 

We endured our former roommate ghosting us before he left and making this floor hell for us ever since he switched rooms on this floor (talking behind our back, we think. Glaring at us every time we happen to make eye contact, etc), a floormate who is manipulative, another who threatened to beat our ass because we told our RA about possible alcohol on a substance-free floor, more stares. Two emails from our RA about floor bullying, one in the fall and one in the spring semester.

But we stayed because: we don’t have any other home to turn to, it’s all-gender housing other floors might bully us because we don’t fit into one category perfectly, there are bathrooms pods that have locks on doors with a single shower, fearing that if we moved our parents would find out somehow and realize that they found out after the fact and be mad at us for not telling them immediately after we had issues on the floor, and because our friend was on the floor (thinking that she made these floor struggles worthwhile and fear that we won’t be friends if we didn’t live on the same floor, we met because of this floor).

But now that she is leaving we are reconsidering previous headmates requests to switch rooms. 

Things on this floor were shit before winter break. But we convinced ourselves to stay because no one would be here on the floor. And we feel safe on this floor. We know what to expect. 

The pleas to switch rooms were ignored and now because our friend is leaving, we are revisiting it?

The hypocrisy of not leaving when your headmates say they want to leave, but wanting to leave when your friend leaves. 🤦

I want to blame ourselves for staying on this floor when things were not going well for us, because we wanted to live closer with out friend. To blame ourselves for not having a mind of our own. 

But I don’t know if that would be fair. 

Before our friend told us that she would be leaving this floor, yesterday, we were considering to at least switch rooms (because our roommate doesn’t do shit for the room) and were worried about our parents needing to be contacted if we were to switch rooms. Mind you, we have not slept in another room since move-in day and that was in early August. 

We did not really consider to leave our room all that much we thought that we could make things work. Meetings with our RA, one meeting with the RA’s supervisor, venting to our other friend. We thought that it was a sense of accomplishment to be still staying on this floor despite the pain that it caused us. That by staying showed people that we couldn’t be pushed around. 

I don’t think that we ever told our friend who lived on our floor the hardship that we experienced on this floor. Because it didn’t concern her. She wasn’t involved with our former roommate and his friends, that was our issue, not hers. 

Now that she is leaving, I feel pathetic for wanting us to move out as well. That we stayed because of her, even when she didn’t ask for it. Because we wanted a safe living environment and thought that she could make it safe for us. That seeing her out-and-about on this floor was worth staying here. And now that she is gone, we are faced with the realization that we only stayed because of her. We didn’t want to lose her as a friend by moving out of this floor and/or building. We liked the routine of this place. 

We emailed our RA about scheduling a meeting with them. It was originally going to be about how we make our living situation work with our current roommate. But now that our friend is leaving it is probably going to be about how we can find a vacancy in a different building and if our parents will be contacted.

Because if she is not here. I don’t want us to continue to endure our former roommate glaring at us, this facade of community because this is a queer floor, someone who threatened to beat our ass, someone who manipulated us, the roommates of our friend who don’t really care about us. 

It feels like we are doing this just for someone else. That we don’t have our own personhood. 

That may not be the case. But the sentiment is surely there. 

Another one of the reasons why we didn’t want to switch rooms is that we treat our room like a permanent housing place, since we don’t have anywhere else to live. One of our friends took a minimalist approach to their room, compared to them in we took a maximalist approach. We didn’t pack to last a month until break. We packed our room like there was no turning back. On move-in day we needed two cars to transport our belongings to our room. (Sure our parents said that we brought too much, but in their mind we would go home for breaks, even told them such for our own safety.)

We probably won’t be able to discuss the idea of switching rooms until Monday and it is Saturday. We have time to do homework. Though the thought of us getting trapped on this floor, in this room, still lingers. 

Wondering if we made a mistake my not leaving this floor when it started to become unsafe for us, when, it started to cause us stress, and affect our mental health.

And wondering if it is a mistake to leave this floor just because someone else is, one of our friends is. Because they say that it would be better for their mental health if they leave. And we have the tendency to value other people’s judgements more than our own, especially if we think that their logic is sound. 

Our friend who is leaving our floor does not want to go into details about why they are leaving. We are respecting their space. I do wonder if we are at fault because we told them what DARVO means and we didn’t tell them immediately when we suspected that their roommates were talking behind her back (we eavesdrop but can’t pick out anything, and kept on waiting to tell her in-person rather than through text.)

I don’t know why she is leaving, the reasons, that is.

I do hope that she will contact us when she is ready to talk. That she will want to continue to be friends with us. 

I also hope that if we do move out of this building that we move into a place that doesn’t cause us as much stress, and if that is that new place causes us stress and the situation cannot be fixed (such as our current floor situation, best option is to leave) that we don’t stay for other people, that we leave when it starts to become unsafe. 

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