Is It Just Me?

Sorry this is really, really long. I just had to get it out.

So I met my current housemate as a colleague at work and we chatted occasionally before I left my previous house. She is in her early 50's so much older than me, divorced with 2 older kids and rents a two-bed house that her daughter was only using for storage. She had said she was worried she may not be able to keep up on the rent if her daughter is not going to stay there permanently and pay her way. So when I was to leave my place she offered to show me the spare room and let me move in almost straight away with pretty cheap rent.

Well it's been just under 2 months since I moved in and the longer I spend here the more I've noticed is wrong with this place. To start with there is damp everywhere and black mould covering one wall of my room which is 'conveniently' hidden behind an extra long curtain, and -all over- the bathroom. After my first couple of weeks the state of the bathroom was bothering me so much I spent an entire weekend scrubbing it top to bottom, unclogging the sinks, removing god knows how many months worth of damp clumps of dust and hair lurking in every possible crevice and throwing out boxes full of old cleansing products that were years out of date and filthy, all crammed into storage drawers which themselves, once i removed to air them out, were literally thick with fluffy white mould. My housemate told me frequently how bad the state of her house was yet once I started to clean it I began to realise she had issues with throwing things out, even if they were filthy and mouldy she would claim they had 'sentimental value from when she was younger'. She didn't actually help me to clean she mostly just went through what I was attempting to throw out and making sure she didn't want to keep any of it (which was a lot of stuff).

I went to the trouble of buying a nice new bathmat because I noticed she just used to throw an old towel down on the wet floor and it would get all trodden with hair and get smelly and soggy. But she treats the bathmat the same way- she doesn't hang it over to dry once she's used it, she just lets it crumple into a soggy corner against the toilet like her old towels which means I then have to use it knowing it's been like that and I constantly have to wash it and get rid of all her hairs from it (which are very thick, dark and long and obviously all over the bathroom all the time). The bathroom has quickly reverted back to its original state despite my obvious efforts to make it more pleasant for both of us to use on a daily basis, and honestly the thought of having to clean myself in that environment makes me want to gag.

She also has two cats which seemed like a nice idea when I moved in. I'm an animal lover and even living with other people's cats has invariably been ok. One of them is older and recently before I moved in she decided to get a new kitten to 'befriend' the older cat. Well turns out this kitten is a little terror on four legs. She torments the older cat, bullies her into hiding and runs her out of her private spaces. She won't let either of us give the older cat attention without spoiling it and making her run away again. Not only that but she claws and chews up anything and everything in sight. She's ruined my clothes that I've left to air overnight on the radiators- I put them on to find they are covered in holes, rips and stains, even brand new ones I buy especially for work get ruined within days if I leave them out. She will get into my room and chew on my computer wires, my headphones, she destroys my jewelry. If i have a bag of shopping that I turn my back on she will have dived into it and tipped everything out onto the floor within seconds. She ripped the insoles out of my expensive trainers that I left in the hallway so I now keep all of my shoes in my room which I would rather not have to do. My housemate is very aware of this and actually finds it funny when she bullies the older cat, and when she ruins my stuff she just tells the cat 'you've been naughty' while cuddling her at the same time! One night we both heard a loud crash coming from downstairs and in the morning we came into the kitchen to find the kitten had found a way into one of the over sink cupboards and knocked all of the innards onto the floor, including packets of medication which were all chewed up and spread about the house.

Neither of the cats has been 'fixed' and the older one regularly goes into heat which makes her yowl loudly late into the night and her behaviour becomes very overly affectionate and inappropriate (such as trying to rub herself on your body while discharging fluids in plain sight). At these times she also regularly tries to bolt out of the front door whenever she has the chance and I then have to frantically help to find her because my housemate is in hysterics that she's gone missing. The kitten has begun to come into heat aswell in the last few weeks and she displays similar behaviour but she also gets extremely hyperactive, causing more trouble than usual- she rips around the house, claws, bites and constantly tries to get right in my face no matter how many times I shove her off until I have to leave the room altogether. She has even left moist patches on my trousers after she's been sat on me and my housemate just laughs about it! Yet she can't or won't do anything about it.

As for the rest of the house it's literally full of clutter and the cats, which have free roam all over it, can't go anywhere without scratching things up or causing avalanches of old junk. You can't clean anything because there is an impossible amount of stuff to get past and it just piles up somewhere else as soon as you clear it away. The kitchen always has a bad odour and my housemate leaves days worth of dishes just piled up until the weekend which means I have no space if I want to make food or clean up my own stuff. Last week I did attempt to tackle one corner of the main lounge and it took me an entire day to sort all the junk and dust that had fallen behind this big desk god knows how long ago. There were clumps of weird sticky goo that had attracted hair and bits of food that I couldn't budge off the wooden floor and mould was growing in the corner among all the clutter. When I told my housemate about the goo she said it was probably because the slugs had gotten in and left slime behind there that has started to rot or something! Gross!

I thought all this was enough for me, but my housemate herself has gradually begun to get on my nerves. At work we usually sit at different desks, but they stuck us all together to maximise space in the office and she has moved right next to me. I feel like I can't get away from her, especially as we're on the same break rota for the week, and sometimes I get so fed up with her negative attitude that I lose the will to respond to her anymore. When I first met her she shared with me some issues about her past which I listened to, and she told me she had problems with work previously because she thought she had ME which left her with little energy to do anything.

But it seems like her issues are all she has to talk about. I hear her regaling the same stories about past relationships gone wrong, how her kids don't respect her, how she thinks she's going to get fired tomorrow, how her menopause is acting up, to other colleagues like it's her pity party everyday. She's constantly complaining how she feels like crap or that she's so old and useless, and no matter what I say to cheer her up or make her feel better it's like bouncing a ball off of a wall, she always has some other bad comment to come back with. Plus she constantly uses the excuse that she's exhausted to leave housework undone, and if it wasn't for me cooking most of the week we would probably end up eating takeaway every night. Last time we did get takeaway she actually threw her used fried chicken bones at the cats and just left them like that to go to bed. I mean seriously!! I just want to tell her to get a life because I really feel like her attitude is dragging me down and it's making me feel miserable!!

Needless to say I am looking for another place right now. Here's hoping it will be a good experience this time.
An Ep User An EP User
Jan 20, 2013