Author Topic: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*  (Read 12586 times)

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peach2play

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Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« on: December 28, 2011, 11:05:57 PM »
BG:  A friend of mine (Jane) had gotten out of an abusive relationship after he cost her a job in her field, had moved back to the big city into a house but was still working part time in her field in the old town, and seemed to be getting her life on track.  After moving into the house, she discovered a sever toxic mold problem throughout the whole basement and confirmed by tests.  She offered her landlord a deal, he would take $200 off the rent and she would repair the house as she had lots of experience doing mold removal and renovations (having worked with a friend of ours who owned a restoration company for a year).  He agreed, they started the renovations and were almost done except the bathroom when the first month to take the rent off came around.  The landlord slapped an eviction notice on their door Nov 7th.  They went to court on the 10th where he promptly lost...big time.  She and her roommate told the judge that they would leave but it was either pay rent for November or move out.  The landlord told the judge he wanted them out.  The judge agreed and they began the process of looking for a new place.  Her roommate worked two jobs and they had 5 cats and 2 dogs between them and after looking at a few places and not being able to agree on a place together decided to find separate accommodations. 
Dec 1st quickly approached and Jane was not able to find a place, pack again, work, and go to court, so I offered to let her stay for a month.  She was really grateful and said she just needed a place to crash for a month or two while she and her dad looked for a house that he would buy and she would pay for.  She also said she'd be gone at least 3 days a week at her job in old town and her daughters (she and her ex share custody but they live with him) would be visiting but they would probably go home to their dad's and not stay over because there's not a lot of room here right now with all her stuff and my stuff and 7 cats.  I was ok with her daughters coming over (they are 11 and 13 and really good kids) and even spending the night occasionally.  She is staying in the master bedroom because I hadn't decided what to do with that room and it was just full of boxes.  I'm in a smaller room next to the master because if I have my bedroom in a big room I fill it full of things and then can't sleep.  She is not paying rent or utilities because I had hoped she could take that money and put it towards the down payment on her house.  BG

My usual week day schedule is in bed by 11 up at 6 for work at 8 and I work 8-18 hour days depending at a pretty mentally demanding job.  She swore that on weeknights, even if she was up late she wouldn't disturb me, and she has kept her word...until...

She let me know last Wed that she would have her daughters all week and they would be staying here.  Ok, not really happy about that announcement but it's Christmas and she's had a rough time and well, her kids are good kids.  Thursday night they went to sleep at 7PM.  A little unusual, but hey, maybe it's been a rough day.  They woke up at 10 and were up until 3AM talking and laughing.  Now the talking part was ok because they kept their voices down and I can sleep through that.  The laughing, not so much.  It carries through the walls and wakes me up.  I tried to ignore it but I had to go get my noise cancellation headphones just to get some sleep and was not a very happy camper in the morning.  She was supper apologetic and so were her daughters when we talked about it. I let her know that if I didn't have to work the next day, I didn't care what time they stay up to, but during the work week, please have quiet time after 11.  She asked what had kept me up and I said the laughter but I understood and wasn't upset, just really tired.  She swore it was a fluke and there would be no more issues.  She kept her word on all the days I did not have to go to work.  They were in bed and quiet by 11. 

I had to go back to work Tuesday, and on Monday night, they were up until 2AM.  She had put on a funny movie for them to watch and they were laughing every 10 min or so.  It was just long enough for me to start to fall asleep and then jerk awake.  I finally got up at 2 and went and knocked on the door and she looked at me and said, "CRUD MONKEYS! are we keeping you up." I said, "I'm sorry, it's the laughter and I have a long day tomorrow." She apologized, turned it off and I stumbled back to bed.  That was the last time I saw her.  They were asleep when I got up on Tuesday and gone when I got home.  She hasn't been back to the house.  It's possible that she took her kids back to their dad's and went to her job in other town but she hasn't gone the entire time she's been here.

I was really sorry I was making them turn off the movie and I really felt bad that I couldn't sleep through the noise as I know how much her girls mean to her and I didn't want to be the big meany.  I was planning on apologizing about being short and grumpy (when I'm sleep deprived, I get cranky).  I thought I had been pretty polite, but her being MIA for two days makes me think I wasn't.  The thing is, now that I've gotten some sleep, I don't think I have anything to apologize for, but that's why I'm coming to you all.
1) Was I rude?
2) Should I txt her and apologize?

« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 11:13:01 PM by peach2play »

Jelaza

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 11:27:11 PM »
I don't think you were rude or have any need to apologize.  She should apologize, since she knew that their laughter had woken you before, and yet still put on a comedy during the requested quiet time.

Foureyesonemouth

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 11:34:38 PM »
*snip*
I was really sorry I was making them turn off the movie and I really felt bad that I couldn't sleep through the noise as I know how much her girls mean to her and I didn't want to be the big meany.  I was planning on apologizing about being short and grumpy (when I'm sleep deprived, I get cranky).  I thought I had been pretty polite, but her being MIA for two days makes me think I wasn't.  The thing is, now that I've gotten some sleep, I don't think I have anything to apologize for, but that's why I'm coming to you all.
1) Was I rude?
2) Should I txt her and apologize?

1) No
2) No because of 1.
3) You didn't make her do anything. Her daughters are at an age where they can take into account the needs of others. If the host asks you to keep it down so they can be rested for their activities the next day, that's what you do. They should have kept it down.

I had this happen with my roommate's mom. She was staying in the guest room next to mine. She went to bed earlier than us and ended up waking up before us. Most mornings she would read a book but one morning at 6am she decided to do something on the wall (hammering I think). Unfortunately it was the wall next to my head. I admit I was a bit brusque when I knocked to her door and said, "I'm sorry but can you not do that right now. I need to sleep and it's right by my head." She apologized and that was the end of it. No harm, no foul.

Winterlight

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 11:36:27 PM »
No and no. She should apologize.
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DottyG

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 11:39:02 PM »
Not rude. You needed your sleep.

But I do see the human side of this, too. It sounds like things have been really hard for her for quite a while. And laughter might have been really needed. She was also enjoying time with daughters that she doesn't get to have full-time and probably needed their joy and fun to help her through a difficult period.

No, that joy should not have to come at your expense. But I have to admit that my heart feels for her and what she's feeling right now. :(


bopper

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 11:42:38 PM »
I don't think really you could have handled it better.  The first time maybe she didn't realize that it would bother you. But the second night she should not have repeated her mistake.  She may realize that you are doing her a big favor letting her stay at your house and she is making sure you wont' be bothered.  You shouldn't feel bad...she is the one who should not have her family their making noise at 2am/3am.

CluelessBride

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 11:46:17 PM »
I don't think you were rude or have any need to apologize.  She should apologize, since she knew that their laughter had woken you before, and yet still put on a comedy during the requested quiet time.

I agree with this.  It's not rude to point out someone is keeping you up during agreed upon quiet hours - especially in your own home.  Sometimes people just aren't super aware of how noise carries.  Jane definitely wasn't thinking to throw in a comedy at that time of night, when you'd previously told her laughter carried and kept you awake.  But I think she behaved pretty reasonably once you alerted her to the issue (by apologizing and immediately stopping the movie/laughter). 

That said, since you seem to be good friends (by virtue of the fact you are letting her live with you), you might want to text her to make sure she is okay.  Especially since there is an abusive ex in the pictures (is the abusive-ex the father who she would be returning her daughters to?).  It's also possible she's got other things going on or that she's avoiding you because she feels guilty about keeping you up.  It's also possible she's mad and holding out for an apology, but unless she has a history of PA tantrum behavior, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet.

NyaChan

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 11:46:23 PM »
I don't think you should apologize, because you didn't do anything wrong.  If your friend is seriously avoiding being around you or in the house though, you might want to try to contact her yourself to make sure she is ok since apparently she's been missing without word for 2 days.  You could take that opportunity to tell her that you don't want her to feel like she can't be around the house when you are, but noise does need to be kept to a minimum at night when you need to sleep.

peach2play

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 12:02:55 AM »
She's been updating FB so I know she's Ok.  Thank you all for your replies and DottyG, I will try and keep what you said in mind.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 12:59:17 AM by peach2play »

lady_disdain

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 07:15:02 AM »
She lost my sympathy when she sprung the two girls on you. If she had asked, I would have been willing to put up with them because of friend, but she abused your hospitality and help. Going MIA on you was very thoughtless as well. You are her close friend, you care enough about her to let her crash at your place for a couple of months and there is an abusive ex - of course you are going to be worried out of your mind!

On the long run, however, I would chalk it down to the stress she has been under and would let it go. I wouldn't want to ruin a good friendship because of a month of stress.

cicero

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 07:37:35 AM »
I agree with the PPs.

i think that part of the problem is that she is coming out of an abusive relationship and there may be some leftover trauma there (both for her and her children). it's moving from "survival" mode to "normative" mode, and as one who has BTDT - it takes time to adjust. it's obviously easier to do so when you have your place to live and not living with someone else.

which brings me to the other part of the problem - she is someone you are trying to help, but it sounds like you are very frustrated with her and maybe not wanting to rock th e boat. On the one hand - she is a roommate but OTOH she isn't. she doesn't really have "obligations" as a roommate (e.g., money) but she doesn't really have rights either (she can't watch TV with her kids. and don't get me wrong - she shouldn't be keeping you up at night!! but at the same time i can understand her wanting to give her children some normalcy back).

I wouldn't apologize to her. but I would use this as point to start a discussion with her - you simply *cannot* allow her to bring her kids if there will be noise between X and Y o'clock. and you aren't letting her pay rent/utilties - till when? and what about pitching in with chores? etc

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JoyinVirginia

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 08:12:18 AM »
No, not rude. Hopefully she is looking for another place

That Anime Chick

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 09:32:03 AM »
Why should you apologize for her inconsideration? You laid out the rules the first time it happened, and she disrespected those rules. She owes you the apology for her rudeness.

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weeblewobble

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 09:47:11 AM »
You are doing her a favor.  She owes you consideration. You have asked her to keep it down.  She didn't do it. She owes you the apology.

I would suggest that she and her kids need to settle into a less "nocturnal" schedule for their own well being as well as yours.

Searcher

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Re: Maybe I could have handled this a bit better *long*
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2011, 09:50:28 AM »
You don't owe her any apologies-she owes you one.

Part of "getting yourself together" does involve respecting the rules of other people who are helping you out.  If they can't abide by your rules, then they shouldn't be there.  You've given them multiple chances.  I'd let them know: "Jane, I let you and your DDs stay here as a favor, because I know that things have been really rough for you, but you haven't been respectful of my needs.  Unless that changes, it won't be possible for me to allow you to continue staying here.  That means, the volume has to stay down after [time].  No laughing, no comedies, no loud talk because it interferes with my sleep.  This is not negotiable."