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Old 10-23-2023, 10:47 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
6,926 posts, read 6,874,079 times
Reputation: 16499

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Hi, everybody! I really need some feedback and any advice that you can give would be deeply appreciated. Some background:

I met "Stanley" when I was still living in town and he moved into the apartment next door. He was and is extremely reticent and I never would have gotten to know him but for the fact that we each owned a dog, and our dogs loved to play together so we had an informal arrangement where we would let our dogs out at the same time and one of us or both would keep a casual eye on them in case their roughhousing got a little too heavy for their own good. End of story. Stanley and I were casual acquaintances - nothing more.

Eventually, I found a nice place out in the country where my dog could run and I could have a garden. I only ran into Stanley when we both showed up at the same time at the local grocery store. We'd exchange a few pleasantries then go our separate ways. One day I was shoving my cart through the cleaning supplies when I saw Stanley headed my way with actual tears in his eyes. He told me that he had lost his job and run through all his savings and was being evicted out onto the street in the middle of winter because he no longer could pay his rent.

I was horrified. IRL I tend to be a very compassionate person - too compassionate I now think. It just so happened that I had a spare room which was used only by my cat when she wanted to sunbathe in one of the windows. I figured Kitty could learn to share, so I offered Stanley to come stay at my place where he could crash for a while until he found another job and would be able to rent his own place. Needless to say, he jumped at my offer and him and his dog moved in right away.

At that point Stanley's only income was about $200.00/mo in food stamps. I have a very frustrating disability which prevents me from working, but thanks to the kindness of the American people, I am able to live on my social security and a housing voucher. At that point my income was only $800.00/mo and that housing voucher was like a lifeline. I thank every single American taxpayer for helping to keep me off the streets!

Anyhow, I got permission from the local housing authority to have a temporary housemate and Stanley made himself quite at home in my spare room. Meanwhile, other than food, I was covering the living expenses for two adults, two large dogs and one small cat. Weeks turned into months where Stanley only emerged from his room to grab a soda or a snack. The rest of the time Stanley holed himself up and played computer games, watched TV, and frolicked around on the Internet.

I quickly learned that Stanley avoids any and all communication with actual human beings. He can't meet my eyes when I try to talk to him and will only mutter a few unintelligible words into his beard before he bolts back to the safety of his room, shutting the door firmly behind him.

To my sorrow, I also learned that Stanley is perfectly happy to act like a child and throw the weight of his continued existence on anyone who is foolish enough to feel sorry for him. I became very desperate and I hated that I was now forced to call upon various social agencies for extra help. It was humiliating to have to go to local charities like the county pet rescue group and ask for food for the dogs and the cat. They asked why did I get pets that I couldn't afford to feed. Great question! Well, you see I used to be able to feed them just fine but then...

You might think that all else being equal, Stanley would be glad to pitch in and share a few housekeeping chores. Nope. Nada. Nothing. If I didn't do it, then it never got done. I absolutely refuse to clean Stanley's room. He gets to go YOYO on that one. As a result, Stanley's room reminds me of a hell hole. If I have to go in there for some reason, the smell of human sweat, dog "accidents" and a skunk cloud of pot smoke (did I mention that Stanley's other hobby is smoking roughly an acre or two of pot every day?) nearly knocks me off my feet. I have literally begged Stanley to give me a hand with keeping the bathroom clean and not allow the kitchen to become so dirty that the mice and the cockroaches literally dance across the counters.

When I tried to bring up issues like living expenses and keeping the house clean if only in the most minimalist of manners, Stanley looks at me with complete incomprehension and bolts yet again. I am almost ashamed to admit that I allowed this situation to go on for five long years. Stanley now actually has a job of sorts which I was the one who found for him. So, he can now at least pay for his half of expenses but with the greatest of bitterness and resentment. I have to carefully count out the money he gives me, otherwise he'll short change me every single time.

I can hear all the cries of "Kick the bum out!" as I type these words. At first I let him stay on because the rent money he is finally paying me has allowed me to recoup some of the financial losses that I incurred, and I simply won't be able to live with myself if I put him out on the street where he would surely die because that man obviously is suffering from some sort of mental illness. The other homeless people around here would make mincemeat of him in no time flat.

I have done my best, but I now feel angry all of the time. I feel like my spirit has become eroded and I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Kick him out and deal with that guilt to the end of my days because Stanley had to go out on the streets and very likely gets killed - all thanks to me? Or allow him to stay and resign myself to running his very own mental asylum for him?

My blood pressure which is normally low has gone through the roof. I go through days of not eating anything at all because I have no appetite at all even after two or three days of no food. I hate myself that I have become so filled with rage that I no longer recognize the woman I see in my own mirror. And there's much more but this post is far too long already.

I have finally reached the breaking point and I made an appointment to see a therapist through the local mental health outfit. But they are understaffed and I have to wait for six long weeks until I can get my first session. I don't know if I have it in me to last for six long weeks more. My animals are my only consolation. They do their very best, but I don't think they like Stanley much either.

Please, can anyone help me out with some suggestions for coping techniques until I get to talk with someone who is not a cat or a dog? Apologies and gratitude for anyone who has read this long old post to the end.
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Old 10-23-2023, 10:54 AM
 
1,559 posts, read 696,413 times
Reputation: 3809
You need an outlet. That’s what CD is here for… just control it enough that you can stay here. Buy something with which you can physically work out your anger. Go for a run. Get a heavy bag, get a push lawnmower and cut the yard. Just safely non-violently exhaust the physical anger until there is no energy left… and then you can continue mission… and carry on, in a healthy way, with your life. Also if you have ptsd, or a behavioral disorder consider trying cognitive behavioral therapy.

Your vent post, was a good decision to do.
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Old 10-23-2023, 11:15 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
6,926 posts, read 6,874,079 times
Reputation: 16499
Quote:
Originally Posted by SerlingHitchcockJPeele View Post
You need an outlet. That’s what CD is here for… just control it enough that you can stay here. Buy something with which you can physically work out your anger. Go for a run. Get a heavy bag, get a push lawnmower and cut the yard. Just safely non-violently exhaust the physical anger until there is no energy left… and then you can continue mission… and carry on, in a healthy way, with your life. Also if you have ptsd, or a behavioral disorder consider trying cognitive behavioral therapy.

Your vent post, was a good decision to do.
Thank you. Yes, my post was very much inspired by my need to vent about all this. I have indeed been diagnosed with PTSD and sometimes I feel that my symptoms have been getting the best of me. And yes, I'm going to take my dog out for a very long walk until we both are so exhausted that we can barely crawl home. Being outdoors is the best medicine I know.
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Old 10-23-2023, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Paradise
4,818 posts, read 4,091,039 times
Reputation: 7602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
Being outdoors is the best medicine I know.
Then do as much as you can in your yard or a park or something.

You cannot let guilt ruin your life. You cannot live the way you are living and you owe NOTHING to Stanley.

Yes, it sucks that you have done this for such a long time.

Can you get the local housing authority to back you up to get him out? Stanley is no longer a temporary housemate and they might be able to help.

Girl - you gotta vent when you can, but you also have to let loose that guilt and get him out of your life. No one deserves to live in that kind of stress.
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Old 10-23-2023, 11:48 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,008 posts, read 106,656,986 times
Reputation: 115733
OP, I don't quite understand how the housing authority governing your rental situation has allowed this to go on for so long. Maybe its policies are different than housing authorities in other states, but those that I know of do not allow residents to have long-term guests, and especially renters. In any case, you could have used "housing authority rules" as an excuse to evict him earlier on, but at this point it's pretty clear to Stanley that there's no official objection to the arrangement.

Although actually, if the manager knew you're now charging rent, there could be, except you, also, could be evicted for violating the rule against using your voucher to have a renter. Please check the terms of your occupancy, if you haven't already.
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Old 10-23-2023, 11:58 AM
 
6,788 posts, read 4,281,482 times
Reputation: 22137
It’s going to be very unpleasant but you will have to get stronger and throw him out. He has a job and somehow users always seem to land on their feet. You are a good person and I am sorry he took advantage of you. Ugh!
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Old 10-23-2023, 12:19 PM
 
Location: az
13,154 posts, read 7,604,655 times
Reputation: 9159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OP, I don't quite understand how the housing authority governing your rental situation has allowed this to go on for so long. Maybe its policies are different than housing authorities in other states, but those that I know of do not allow residents to have long-term guests, and especially renters. In any case, you could have used "housing authority rules" as an excuse to evict him earlier on, but at this point it's pretty clear to Stanley that there's no official objection to the arrangement.

Although actually, if the manager knew you're now charging rent, there could be, except you, also, could be evicted for violating the rule against using your voucher to have a renter. Please check the terms of your occupancy, if you haven't already.
The OP needs to get rid of this person now.
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Old 10-23-2023, 12:23 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
22,197 posts, read 47,076,432 times
Reputation: 46960
FIVE years is four and a half years too long... y ou seriously need to evict him.
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Old 10-23-2023, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Central Virginia
6,507 posts, read 8,270,923 times
Reputation: 18522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
It’s going to be very unpleasant but you will have to get stronger and throw him out. He has a job and somehow users always seem to land on their feet. You are a good person and I am sorry he took advantage of you. Ugh!
I agree. I'm confident Ol' Stanley will land on his feet.

OP, ask yourself - who is more important? Me or him? And your answer better be "Me" - no if, ands, or buts. You are more important than he is - and there should be no guilt about coming to that decision.

You are compromising your own mental and physical health for this person. You are putting this person above your own needs and it needs to stop before it's too late. You've gotta take care of yourself and Stanley needs to take care of himself.


But since he has lived there for so long and is paying rent, you'll need to follow your local landlord/tenant laws for getting him out. You'll have to give him written notice to vacate in the timeline required by your local laws and if he doesn't, you'll have to formally go through the eviction process.

My guess is that Stanley knows the system and will use it to his advantage. Do your homework and start working on getting him out of your home.

You deserve better, OP.
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Old 10-23-2023, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
29,595 posts, read 34,022,054 times
Reputation: 76435
You need to get a lawyer who understands tenancy laws, and get this guy out. It might be hard because you don't sound like you have a lease or other signed agreement, but Stanley is not your family, and he's not your responsibility. He's ruining your life, and you don't need to feel guilty for advocating for yourself.
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