The Guy on The Couch (Long Read)

Have you ever done something nice for someone to help them out and in turn they fed you what you wanted to hear, made excuses and plain lied about the obligations they said they would up hold? Well this very situation is going on in our household right now.

At the beginning of this year, we made a decision to bring a person inside our home, to help get back on their feet. This person wasn’t a stranger to either of us and was actually a really good friend of my hubby. Best friend in fact. So we didn’t really think twice in the decision to let him live with us until he was set up for himself. From the very beginning I was skeptical about having another roommate. When we first moved into our house in 2013 we tried the roommate thing and it just didn’t work out. So of course, in the back of my mind, I thought this wouldn’t workout either. I ended up being right. (Dont tell the hubby that though)

The reason why we allowed another person into our home was because they had a very bad issue with alcohol and if he didn’t get away from his current situation, he would’ve drank himself to death or the hospital, among many other reasons and problems in his life. He moved in shortly after our daughters 4th birthday in March. With barely anything, not even a bed. Just a car full of miscellaneous boxes and sentimental items. He left his mother and girlfriend in North Carolina and traveled the hundreds of miles to Colorado to start fresh.
When he got here we made it very clear that if he was going to live under our roof, especially rent free, that he would have to help out around the house. He took over the entire basement, as his “apartment”, with a living room, bathroom and his own room, so maintain it. And another stipulation to living under our roof, was to get the drinking under control.
For me, the aggravation and frustration started early, within a month into him living there. Dishes being left by the sink, still crusted with dry food, waiting for me to put away or sit on the counter for days. Trying to tell me how to run the kitchen (nuh uh buddy) and giving me terrible advice on how to keep my house plants alive and thriving. That advice ended up killing more than half of my succulents. Me being me, I always bucked up and just did all the dishes, nodded my head in agreement when he talked and kept my mouth shut. I also had some jealousy because he wasn’t working and sitting around watching tv and surfing the internet all day. I was jealous because I Would kill for one day that I didn’t have one thing to do or responsibility to take care of. Mind you, I’m 30 and this man sleeping on our couch is 40. He was Damn lucky being able to sit around and live rent free on our dime.

He eventually got a job doing night cleaning, not making very much money but something. Come to find out, more than half those few paychecks he got, were spent on liquor. He only worked that job for a few weeks until a vacuum salesman job opened up, and again the money went right to the bottle. His 3rd job was at the same grocery store I worked at, and worked there for a month until he decided he wasn’t going to show up anymore. So he just stopped going. He had an offer to do construction work, which so far is still working out for him.

The decline in effort really started when he started the construction job. Now I completely understand how hard and tiring construction work is. I’m married to a carpenter who builds and fixes everything, so I have an idea how a person can be absolutely tired and worn out after a 12 hour day. But mowing the lawn and taking out the trash once a week isn’t going to kill you. He started faltering his responsibilities, making up excuse after excuse for stuff not getting done. At this point, it’s not only me frustrated, the hubby is now too. Not only is he falling back on his word, he was also drinking nearly a full bottle of vodka, daily. Taking shots at 6 in the morning before work and as soon as he sat back down on the couch.
The couch in the basement became his little sanctuary. He moved his computer to the coffee table and would sit for hours binge watching tv. Even a few times, he was caught masturbating right there in the living room of the basement. Please note, that in order to get laundry done, we have to walk right into the living room to get to the laundry room. He was very lucky it wasn’t my daughter who walked in on him while watching adult films and spanking his wang . Which is also a reason he had his own room, for personal activities just like that. With every opportunity to communicate our feelings they got twisted up into tangents, side tracked conversations or talk about something completely different. All at the hand of manipulation and excuses. Over time, the our good intentions were walked all over and he felt he had free reign over the house.
It’s been 6 months and this past week has been the last draw. Yes, he is still living here. But He has manipulated us for the last time, he has done enough talking with out action and it’s time for him to find another place. And yes, that sounds completely heartless, but it’s plain disrespectful to leach off the people who bent over backwards to help him get on his feet. And no we would not just throw him out in the street, we aren’t as cold hearted as this whole post may sound. We will continue to be the foundation of his getting help, but we won’t be walked all over anymore.
He has now disappeared for two days, most likely lining up another place to live. So the hubby and I spent all of Saturday morning cleaning up the living room and social area’s of the basement. Sweeping up fuzz balls the size of golfballs, dirt and pebbles. The layer of dust was thick enough to write your name and we found, who knows what, in the couch cushions. After a few hours of cleaning, the smell of must and dust was gone and the basement actually looked like one. And we hope that when he finally returns, he gets the hint that it should stay clean.
I know i sound like a judgemental bit**h and maybe I am. By no means am I a perfect housemate. I definitely have my days where I don’t want to do dishes, or take on my responsibilities, but I also try my best not to stomp all over the people who help me. It’s okay to relapse and have a bad day. It’s okay to want to have some personal adult time. It’s okay to slip on chores every now and then. But please have respect for the people who took you in.

My anxiety helped write this post, I do apologize if I’ve offended anyone. I want to everyone to know, that I have a huge heart when it comes to helping people out. I do my best in what I can and despite the aggravation I feel, I’ll continue to help out until this roommate finds where he needs to be in his life.

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7 Replies to “The Guy on The Couch (Long Read)”

      1. You’re welcome. You’re being incredibly generous to share your home and what you ask in return is not much. Any decent human being would be humbled at such a price. But perhaps I am oversensitive to both your plights. After a layoff in 2008, I spent 2 years trying and failing to find a job. During that time, I lived rent free with family and I was grateful for their aid. Without it, I would have been homeless all because my company decided to make 30% of its staff redundant. What you ask of your boarder is what my family asked of me but I was glad to help out. It gave me something to do other than to scour job boards. So you’re not being too harsh. You’re just asking for common decency though unfortunately, not everyone can reciprocate on that and that’s sad. In short, I’m just saying that I’m here for you. Rant away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank You Melinda.
        I have been in the same situation as well, right after my divorce and Moved back in with family. So I know exactly how this man feels. But like you, I also held up the obligations asked of me. I’m just frustrated. Its a bad example for my daughter….
        I guess I could’ve voiced that in my post. I have no hard feelings against this man, I do have hard feelings towards some of his ethics and reasoning’s. Thank You for being there, and listening. Really this post was a huge rant to get some things out that needed to come out! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

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