Have you ever known someone who did nothing but try to push you around? What did you do in response? Did you keep your head down and say nothing? Or did you stand up for yourself?
I am recently dealing with one such scenario. I’m living with three of my friends, one of which tends to be self-centered. She says that she cares about other people, me included, and that she’s always thinking of others. Her actions, however, prove otherwise. At first it was little things, such as play her music loudly making the entire apartment listen to opera music. Taking an hour-long shower every morning no matter what time she has class. Talking over people so everyone knows that she’s in the room and pushes the conversation over to her. After awhile it became evident that not only was she attention seeking that she didn’t care where the attention came from or who was being pushed out. Then it was the complaining. Don’t get me wrong, I know people need to rant every once in a while. If not I wouldn’t be writing this blog, but when it’s about mutual friends who you have no problem with it gets uncomfortable. Especially when it becomes an everyday occurrence. She would complain about how other roommates have their music to loud or how they would talk over people or how they were attention seekers. Are you seeing a pattern? It took me awhile but I finally saw that everything she was complaining about she was guilty of herself.
Now that wouldn’t have been too bad of a problem. Nothing that couldn’t be dealt with or even fixed with calm discussion. The problem arose when this roommate and I went to my mom’s house for the weekend for Oktoberfest. We borrowed dresses from the costume shop, got extra cash from the ATM, everything was planned out. Everything was going fine until we left my house. I had been feeling sick all weekend but that Sunday was by far the worst. My mother, being the worrier that she is went to the store to by me extra strength medicine. When my roommate woke up while my mom was gone she complained the whole time. She said she wanted to leave right away because she had homework, she didn’t like the breakfast choices, she didn’t like that I wanted to wait for my mom to get home so I had my medicine and we didn’t just disappear without saying goodbye or thanking her for letting us stay there. When my mom got back, the complaining got worse. My mom was clearly uncomfortable so I agreed that we would leave. My house is about two and a half hours away from campus so I thought we’d make good time. An hour into the trip we stopped at a larger city, Rochester, for lunch and so she could see a friend who was in the hospital. That was fine, but we didn’t leave the city until three hours later.
For the rest of the trip she complained how she wouldn’t get any homework done because I didn’t leave my house when she wanted to. No mention to the fact that we didn’t leave the city for three hours because she didn’t want to. I kept silent, mostly because I was feeling light-headed due to my illness and she took as my being angry at her. “Are you angry at me?” “No.” “Good, because I didn’t do anything wrong. We would have been home sooner if we left your house earlier.” I refused to rise to the bait and remained quiet.
After that everything got worse. She blamed me for practically everything she did wrong and if that was impossible it was always someone else’s fault. I decided to sit her down and talk to her. I carefully but honestly laid out my points and told her that she was being unfair not only to me but to other people. She, rather suddenly, launched into her life story about why she was the way she was. She blamed her dad, her sisters, her mom, etc. I understand living though a tough childhood (mine was no joy at times) but someone can only blame outside sources so much. I believe that there comes a time where one is able to stop letting their past define who they are today and start shaping themselves for how they want to be in the future.
After her tragic life story, and to be fair there are some honest to God horrible things she put up with, she then turned the argument on me. She told me that I was being selfish and that if I had been thinking about her and her needs everything would be fine. She then left the room as though the conversation was over. I had learnt my lesson: there is no point arguing with someone who refuses to acknowledge their own flaws.
I continued on with my life and she continued with her’s. Until that fateful night when she went to bed in our shared bedroom with the window open. That would have been okay, if it wasn’t 20 degrees Fahrenheit and only getting colder. I saw that she had her fan on so I shut the window when I went to bed thinking she would turn her fan to a higher setting or open the door if she got too hot again. Around 4:30 in the morning I woke up freezing. Turns out she didn’t care that I may have closed the window for a reason and she opened the window once again. I was too tired to deal with her complaining, because she was still awake at the time, so I grabbed my pillow and blankets and went to the living room to sleep on the couch. I may have mumbled loud enough for her to hear me about how she was a “fucking self-centered bitch”. The following day she refused to talk to me and it was clear that she was angry. Since I felt I couldn’t talk to her without her trying to make me feel as though my needs or feelings were invalid so I did something I knew would catch her attention. So I unfriended and blocked her on both Facebook and Tumblr.
Am I being a bitch? Probably but I fully realize and accept that fact. I firmly believe that anyone, especially women, should not be afraid to be “bitches”, because bitches know how they want to be treated and they demand that. They demand respect and they will not take shit from anyone.