It’s been pretty annoying trying to accommodate to someone who doesn’t want you in the room, especially if you feel like you’ve done all that you can to make the other person comfortable.
It didn’t really hit me just how much I had done for my roommate until I was talking with someone at work about it last night. She was talking to me about her own roommate problems and afterwards I shared mine.
She told me about how her roommate was doing some things that were a little… questioning while she was asleep. One time she woke up and turned around to see her doing something with her lamp on and her laptop pointed to her. It was a little unsettling for her. This was especially a culture shock because she is not from America first of all (she’s from Senegal), and secondly, she felt disrespected at the fact that she was not respecting the space that they share. I was pretty shocked at that because I really didn’t think people did that kind of thing.
Then I shared my side.
I told her how my roommate would want me to completely turn off the lights right when she wanted to go to sleep (even my lamp). I could be in the middle of studying, and she seemed to have a problem with the lamp being on, even when it was turned away from her. What confused me was that her laptop light and her Christmas lights could be on but she could go to sleep easily.
After we had talked (well, we had to get the RA involved, and it was a huge ordeal), it was silence after that. And that was like 2-3 weeks ago. She now doesn’t stay in the room at all. She stays in the unit lounge. She has her laptop, her blanket, and some of her things and she just stays on the couch every time that I’m in the room. After realizing that she was trying to avoid us interacting with each other, I knew that it wasn’t the lights that were the problem. The fact that she now stays completely outside of the room most of the time tells me that it wasn’t me. It was the fact that I was in the room. And the problems did not really begin until she realized that I came back a little earlier that she had planned.
Part of what we agreed on with our RA is that I would study at my desk because she said that I would fall asleep when working on my bed. So now I am not allowed to work on my bed…
Another thing is that I do something like yoga in the mornings before she wakes up (if she even wakes up for the day…), and I tend to be super quiet with it. But she is such a light sleeper that any movement wakes her up. I could just be shifting in bed and she starts shifting in bed. I could get out of bed and she starts shifting. I could just walk to my desk, and she shifts. I choose a piece of clothing from my closet, she starts shifting. I’m typing on my laptop. Shift. Putting on makeup. Shift. Put on shoes. Shift. And along with the shifts are sighs from her, as if I’m annoying her.
There came a point where I realized that I cannot just stop moving. I am a human being, and no, I do not operate on the same schedule as you.
I am done trying to accommodate, and if she can’t handle sharing a room anymore, then please leave. I am in the room, so deal with it.
So the comonitor who I was working with really felt sorry for me. She said that it sounded like my roommate just didn’t want me there. And yes, that is it. That’s what it comes down to.
Unfortunately, she will just have to move into a single if she doesn’t want me here.