These are all little moments that have happened since we moved in together. None of them is – on its own – a large enough flag that I wanted to devote a whole post to it. But the aggregate of them – these are the daily things that can happen when Lora, Jon and I are together, that make me not want to live with Lora.
Help Me Now!
This happened when we were rearranging the bedrooms. Jon was on his computer and I was reading a book in the living room. Lora came into the living room and asked Jon what he was doing. I wasn’t really paying attention to their exchange until I heard Jon say something like “I’m actually really focused on this right now, so why don’t we talk later?”. I looked up at that point, and saw Lora standing behind Jon staring at him in a sort of flat, angry way. She turned around and walked out of the living room and went into the little bedroom.
Shortly after, there’s a thump in the bedroom and then Lora starts yelling “Jon, Jon, get in here now! I need you! I can’t hold this myself!”. Jon jumps up and goes to see what happened. Lora says she decided to move a heavy piece of furniture herself; she wanted to work on the bedroom more. Jon asks why she would haven’t tried to move that without help – it’s obviously too heavy for her. She says something about how she thought she could handle it and then mentions how stressed out she’s feeling about everything. Then she begins to cry and tells Jon that it’s not fair, she’s really unhappy about not being able to find a job and everything just feels terrible. At this point, Jon gets up and shuts the door and they spend the next few hours holed up in there.
It’s not that Lora might have needed some reassurance that bothers me, it’s the way that getting that reassurance came out, which seems…well, it actually reminds me of how one of our cats will start knocking things off the table if he tries to get you to pet him and you ignore him. If rubbing up against you doesn’t work, knocking things down certainly will.
It’s Not Faaaaaaaaaaaaaair
Jon and I were watching TV on Hulu while Lora was in the little bedroom. Lora came out and said that Pandora was being fritzy for her – she wanted to reset the modem and see if that would help – is it OK if she did that now? Jon tells her that she show we’re watching will be done in about three minutes (he checked, it was about three and a half minutes to the end), so she can reset the modem then.
She proceeds to stand there and loudly complain for the entire end of the show about how unfair it was for her to have to wait. She complains that the show looks totally stupid, why are we watching a stupid show? The acting is horrible – god, how can we stand watching it? And what are they wearing? Everything about this show is awful!
This is the kind of thing were I do feel like I need to start speaking up. I wish I’d have firmly (but kindly) said “We’re watching it because we like it. We get that you don’t like it. Can you be quiet? I can’t hear what’s going on and I don’t want to miss the end”. I didn’t say anything because I was having a “Seriously? Who acts like this?” moment.
You Could Have Just Asked
Jon, Lora and I headed into New York City one evening to see a show. Lora hates the subway and she typically only stands in the doorway of the train. I hate standing near the doorway and think standing IN the doorway is rude (it appears that most New Yorkers also feel that way); you interfere with people getting on and off the train, and people are constantly knocking and shoving into you.
We weren’t going far, and we were riding on a local train. Those stop at every stop and often, it’s only the doors on one side of the train that open. I went and stood by the doors on the other side of the train, because I knew they wouldn’t open before we got off, so it was an out-of-the-way place to stand. Jon came over and stood by me – I get the impression he doesn’t like standing in the doorway either.
Jon standing near me created a several-minute-long eyeball-and-head-gesturing silent argument between Jon and Lora, as Lora wanted Jon to stand by her (she kept gesturing with her head for him to go back over near her). Jon finally “won” in that he said “I’m standing over here” and turned towards me. After that, Lora stomped over to Jon and then continued look at Jon and then look at me pointedly (I was trying to read a book and thinking to myself “Not getting involved. Nope. Not getting involved”). Finally, Jon says to me “Would you mind if Lora stood where you’re standing, right against the doors? She doesn’t like being in the middle of the train”. I said fine, and we switched places. Jon says to Lora “You could have just asked“. Lora just glared.
Honestly, it wasn’t 100% fine – I would have much rather stayed where I was. But given the idiocy that had already gone before, moving so that Lora could stand there seemed like a small enough price to pay if it meant Lora would stop acting like a bratty child.
*I* Know Him Best!
Jon and Lora were planning on going to see a show together after work. I wasn’t going to go because I felt tired and crappy and wanted to go home. Jon had also come down with a head cold and wasn’t sure if he’d feel good enough to go to the show – his nose had started getting really stuffy again and he was started to feel like he just needed to lay down. While Jon and I were texting, he mentioned that him feeling good enough to go to the show was a moot point, because his team was behind on what they needed to prep that night; it was clear that he’d need to stay a few more hours.
When I got home, Lora and I talked a bit and she mentioned how shitty it was that Jon’s work kept him late and how he should have refused to stay late. I mentioned how it was probably just as well that he couldn’t go, since he felt really bad and it sounded like he wasn’t up to going (so far, so good). Then Lora said that no, Jon had DEFINITELY planned on going and that work had ruined his night for him. I was surprised (and a bit confused about the vehemence about Jon’s night being “ruined” due to work) and repeated that Jon had been telling me that he was feeling a lot worse and was wondering if he just need to lay down. At this point, Lora eyed me (I was starting to feel a weird vibe) and said “Jon and I talked about this extensively. He was definitely planning on going to the show, had work not screwed him over”. I said “ok then. I guess that sucks” and wandered off to take a shower while thinking to myself “Were we just having some weird competition over which of us knew better what Jon was going to do?”
Were we having some weird competition over which of us knew better what Jon was going to do? I guess that what I was saying could have been interpreted as me acting like I knew Jon better than Lora. But when I looked back at my texts from Jon about the whole thing, what stuck out to me was that he was feeling more miserable, and he said that he should probably just come home and lay down. And he mentioned that before he realized he needed to work later. Nowhere did he mention work screwing him over or feeling any passionately negative feelings about the whole thing.
And honestly, yes, I was trying to correct Lora’s statement that Jon’s work had screwed him over and ruined his night, because it didn’t seem like he felt that way. I didn’t realize that would cause some kind of competition about which one of us knows Jon’s thoughts the best.
Don’t Be Mad at Him
I came home from work in mid-April, right around the time Lora was going to the gym. Allergy season had started up, and Jon had texted me that he felt terrible. As Lora and I crossed paths, she said “Jon fell asleep in the little bedroom. His allergies are really bad and he feels really sick. I just wanted you to know so that you wouldn’t be angry that he’s not awake and there to pay attention to you”. I said the first thing that came to mind which was “I wouldn’t have thought that. But thank you for letting me know”. Because my first feeling about Jon not being up to greet me when I got home wouldn’t be to be angry with him – it’d be to see if he’s OK. And if he’s needing alone time or extra sleep time, give it to him.
But it made me think about how it seems that Lora’s default setting for viewing the world is often “get angry at everything and everyone that you think let you down”.
Screw the Consequences
Over the winter, when Lora went to the doctor for her yearly check-up, she learned that she was the heaviest she’s ever been. She didn’t look bad – she’s very attractive and curvy and looked good to me. But she did weigh more, and she didn’t like the way she looked, and she’s had food/body image issues her whole life, having had periods of bulimia, anorexia, and an unhealthy obsession with exercise.
When she came home, she told Jon how much she hated herself and how she looks and that he shouldn’t date such a disgusting person. She told him that she almost didn’t come home, because she didn’t want to be around him – she should just be all alone, like she deserves for being such an awful person. They got into a fight over something – I didn’t know what it was over at the time, I just heard her hiss at him “Give me that! How dare you try to take things away from me? This is MY CHOICE!”. He told her he didn’t want her to do something stupid that she’d regret later. At the time, I thought it was a razor blade and she was going to cut herself. I asked Jon about it later, because – due to my own past experiences with self-harm and cutting – I absolutely cannot share my home with someone who cuts. He told me it wasn’t a razor – it was her anti-anxiety “take as needed” medication. Her doctor gives her a 15 a month, so in theory, she can take them every other day. She was about to take six, because she didn’t want to be upset anymore; she wanted to make sure her feelings would be good and dead.
When Jon told me what it really was, my initial thought was “Well that’s better…no, actually, that’s not really better at all. It’s just a different type of bad.” Lora and I have the same prescription (same dose and everything), and she asks me if she can have some mine, because she uses hers up nearly every, single month within two-three weeks of getting the prescription filled. I give them to her one at a time, because the one time I gave her a bunch that I had leftover, she took them all within a week (explanation of that at bottom of post).
I’m Just an Angry Person
When Lora and I talk about things that happen during my day that are aggravating, she often gives me advise that comprises of “You shouldn’t let them get a way with that. Or if they do, you should do something to get even with them” And when I point out that no, that wouldn’t be a good way to handle things, she laughs and says something like “Oh I’m just an angry person and that’s what I would do. If I don’t have something to take my anger out on regularly, it’s bad for me.”
Not only does that generally sound awful to me, the way she habitually approaches Jon to bitch him out over something that she feels like he’s done wrong shows me how awful it actually is. And why this is a thing to laugh about instead of…I don’t know…GO TO THERAPY IMMEDIATELY TO WORK ON is beyond me.
That’s Dumb/Stupid/Who Likes That?
This is an aggregate of the dozens of times that I’ve been showing Jon a YouTube video or an online article or asking his opinion on a piece of clothing or whatever and Lora has come over to exclaim something like “Ugh, that’s so stupid” or “Why are you looking at *that*?” or “Yeah, I saw that earlier, what kind of idiot wrote that shit?”.
I think this is just a basic personality difference between us, but I tend to operate with “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” in mind, whereas Lora goes with “Say whatever is at the front of your brain” in mind.
If I was asking Lora’s opinion and she said she didn’t like something, that wouldn’t bother me (And she doesn’t dislike everything she sees, there are plenty of times when she says she loves something). Just like sometimes I don’t like something she asks me about and I say “I don’t like it, but I’m not the person who wants it. You should go for it if you like it”. But when she butts in to something that I’m specifically showing Jon to comment on her dislike of it…I don’t understand the point of that. Like if/when Jon speaks up and says “Well, I do like it” and she rolls her eyes and says something like “You would” or “Ew, how can you like that? It’s so dumb!”. Sometimes it turns into a huge argument (when Jon disagrees). It seems like he speaks up less about things like that, though it might also be because I’m a lot more careful not to show Jon things when Lora is anywhere nearby.
This is one of those things that I could (and should) speak up about. The main reason I haven’t is because I’m afraid it’s going to turn into a huge fight.
On the flip side, this is one of those double-standard things where I’ve seen Jon comment that something was stupid/he thought an article was dumb/etc that Lora mentioned and then she gets upset with him and has a conversation with him about how just because he doesn’t like something doesn’t make it dumb and that it’s very rude and shitty to say so. Which I do agree with. And by “I agree with that” I also mean “So we should ALL act that way and not have double-standards”.
These kinds of situations occur on a near-daily basis. Depending on Lora’s mood, and how much I see of her, they might happen a couple of times a day while I’m around, or not at all. These are the kinds of things that make me wonder if all Lora needs is therapy to help her with her emotional problems or if on top of her emotional problems, she’s also just an asshole. These are also the kinds of situations that I’m referring to when I write that living with Lora is like living with an adolescent – and an unpleasant adolescent stuck firmly in “I’m angry at the world!” mode at that – which is not what I agreed to, when we all decided to live together.
Also, I feel inclined to say – because I feel insecure and nit-picky when I write a post like this – I don’t expect Lora to be perfect. If some of the things that I write about her doing or saying happened less frequently, it wouldn’t bother me nearly as much. Like the non-abusive things – if Lora is going to be very particular about exactly where she stands in the subway and be demanding about it, that’s not awesome but hey, we all have our quirks. If she’s going to chime in whenever she feels like it to say that she doesn’t like something & therefore it’s dumb, I’m not wild about that either, but if that was the only thing going on, I could just shake my head and move on. It’s the aggregate of day in and day out incidences, coupled with the abuse, and never knowing which of these little outbursts is going to turn into a huge (abusive) screaming match that is too much.