Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Lodger Departs

I have lived with around eighteen or so people in shared flats over the years, three as lodgers here. The majority remain amongst my friends. There have been good times, arguments, disasters and all sorts but I have never before felt completely uneasy with a housemate.

After less than two weeks of being here Stephen is leaving. I am relieved. I have been an exile from my own home, as the thought of being alone with him was so uncomfortable.

I could deal with the stuff everywhere, with his strange habits and weird smells but what I hated was the day he asked me if I knew the 'Truth'. He is a conspiracy theorist. He believes that 9/11 bombings were an American plot. He believes that the world is about to be taken over by a small elite group, and we will all become slaves to a new system. And on, and on....
The thing that brought it all to an end was his extreme response to a simple household request. I had bitten my tongue about so much and didn't mind, but asked him to do one thing and it turned into a stream of accusations. Accustions that were delivered as questions. Questions there was no good repsonse to. This is my home, and I can't live with someone whose actions make me feel vulnerable.

With him being a psychotherapist, I thought he'd be a balanced, calm rational sort of person to have around the house. Instead what it does seem to mean is that he's very good at manipulating a conversation and maintaining his cool. I've never, ever argued with someone so soon after moving in with them. And it's been a long time since the last. I am still shocked.

I can't pin all of this madness on him, can I? I must have played my part. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough about the arrangements here, or what he could expect from me.

He is selfish. He takes no responsibility for himself, and everything can be blamed on someone else.

He has no sense of humour, and that makes life very troublesome indeed.

He is going tonight and I am glad.

I am looking forward to feeling safe and having an ordinary night, alone.


  1. With him being a psychotherapist, I thought he'd be a balanced, calm rational sort of person to have around the house.

    Ah, but then why did he become a psychotherapist in the first place?

    Before you beat yourself up too much, it's perfectly natural to assume someone who helps others with mental health problems would be mentally healthy themselves, but it's not always the case.

    When I went to university I'd decided I would take a joint psychology and philosophy degree. I quickly discovered that most of those taking psychology were trying to find out what was wrong with themselves. Whereas those taking philosophy were trying to figure out how they fitted into the universe. Although I ended up dropping the psychology and concentrating instead on philosophy, the fact I took both is revealing about me.

    Quite simply, those who aren't concerned about their own mental health, or those who feel comfortable with their existence don't take these subjects :)

  2. I suspect you're correct! He was quite extraordinary....