Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Recent Acquisition of Acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Thinking that I might have come down with a mild case of the stuff, I looked up Posttraumatic Stress Disorders to see if I was, in fact, a victim.

Apparently I am.

As a refresher: Posttraumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD's) are common amongst war veterans who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events. People with PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged. Symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life. I'd say this is right on par with my current state.

The evolutionary play-by-play:

As you are probably aware, I hate my roommate. Accordingly, I've decided to move. My roommate was out of town this weekend so I went ahead and took advantage of the situation to get all of my things out, clean my room & the bathroom and to do all those other things that make me the undeniable best roommate ever (patch holes, paint, etc...). My real intention, of course, was not an award. Rather, I wanted to be out for good before he came home, so that I wouldn't have to see him again. Ever. The only thing is, I didn't know when he was coming back. Sunday? Monday? Now?

My hatred for the ol' roommate stems from his ability to make me extremely uncomfortable and anxious. When he comes home, he doesn't say hi. He walks right by me. When he leaves, he doesn't say bye. He just slams the door. When I ask him a question, he doesn't answer. When he walks, he stomps his feet to make his presence known. When he opens the cupboards, he subsequently slams them so that the airwaves that previously hosted whatever TV show I was watching, now cater to his noise-making prowess. He's a control freak and it was only this weekend that I actually pinpointed - put into words - his core problem with me: He wanted someone to move into his apartment because he needs someone to pay half of the rent, not because he actually wants another individual to live in it. God forbid, I actually come home, sleep and eat. If he were either an intelligent or a decent human being, his actions might have the intended effect: to make me feel like I'm in the way; like I'm doing something innappropriate. But, since he's nothing more than an aging, jobless frat boy, I instead just got annoyed and ultimately decided to leave. After all, one can only bitch so much before taking care of the problem at hand. This leads me into my mild case of PTSD.

For some time now, I've become extremely anxious when I'm home alone. This is due to his pending arrival. For the reasons stated above, the thought of him co-existing in the same space as me causes me this unprecedented anxiety that manifests in a cringed forehead and the dropping of my heart into my stomach. You know - not exactly the most common reactions to living with someone. Usually these symptoms occur when I hear footsteps or keys in the hallway. When the jangling keys and the footsteps pass my door rather than entering (perhaps a result of the Lamb's blood I have placed there for that reason), I let out my held breath with relief, but my anxiety only grows knowing that he will still be home soon. Not knowing when he'd be home this weekend, I experienced this sensation many a time. Cesar, who knows my situation all too well, stayed with me and helped me move. We were watching some show on TV and I heard jangling keys. I mentioned that every time I hear keys, my heart sinks into my stomach because my roommate might be entering. Cesar told me that he felt exactly the same way. I once asked Cesar if I was just paranoid or if my roommate really hated me. He told me that, "No, you're not paranoid. He definitely hates you."

I wasn't supposed to officially move out of my place until Thursday, but my new roommate (my cousin, who knows how much I hate my roommate) gave me the green light go-ahead to start sleeping over as of last night. Not used to co-habitating with a normal human being, I saw the real effects of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder come into play in my new place.

For instance, I immediately attended to every stray hair, whether mine or my cousin's; nabbed every watermark and cleaned every dish within seconds of using it. I worried aloud whether or not my things were in the way, apologized for the lingering smell of the dinner I made and inquired carefully as to the shower schedule for the morning. When I realized what I was doing (which, was effectively walking on eggshells), I explained that I was just dealing with the situation I have been living in the past 6 months. "That bad, huh?" Oh yeah.

I knew that I was irregularly uncomfortable in my old apartment and I knew that I hated my roommate, but it wasn't until I officially moved yesterday that I realized just how sick the situation was. I imagine my PTSD will get the best of me, manifesting into nightmares and flashbacks. Until then, I'll just be happy when the sound of jangling keys ceases to elicit utter horror and the Irish jig performed by my sinking then rising then sinking again heart.


Ben said...

You definitely need to get your own place. Nothing will erase PTSD faster than having your own place and know you can do whatever you goddamn well please, and if company doesnt like it, they can get the fuck out.

You're a much kinder roommate than I was. I've had roomies that I'm still best friends with, and others that I loathed. When I moved out, I wasnt above hiding random mousetraps in hard to see locations that I knew they'd have to reach into (i.e., cupboards above eye level).

I think the worst thing I ever did prior to moving out was with a guy that I really wished the worst upon.

I scrubbed my asshole clean with his toothbrush. A Small price to pay for the smiting of one's enemies. I even got to watch him use it before I got out. Ohhh the sweet satisfaction.

Unfortunately, I'm a little more mature these days...but I still reflect fondly on it...

Gigi said...

Why didn't I get your comment yesterday, Ben? I would have definitely brushed my ass with my ex-roomie's toothbrush! I love every bit of the artistic expression involved in that lewd act. Well done, my friend.

Ben said...

Stick with me, kid. We'll go far.

A Concerned Fan said...

Drama queen! I say, take a dump in the middle of his bed. It gets the job done without all the mindless subterfuge. Just do it.