I’ve lived with my roommate and their ailing parents for nearly two years. We all rent. The parent is verbally abusive and cruel to my roommate, who says they’ve never had a good relationship. This living situation was misrepresented to me. I was told the father was a chill older person. I was told my roommate had just left an abusive partner, but they’ve remained entangled. My mental health is deteriorating. The dynamic here brings up a lot of my own trauma. I’ve often coped with booze because the stress and histrionics is unrelenting.
I’ve wanted to move out for months, but haven’t had the courage to say so. I’m a woman in my late thirties, and I know I should be able to leave any time I want, with due notice of course. And we are month-to-month. It’s also not financially efficient to divide my time between my place and my partner’s place. And my partner is frustrated with my inability to speak up. I’m also scared to have this conversation because of the fallout. I work with my roommate, and I worry coworkers will judge me.
My roommate says they are grateful for me, and they don’t think anyone else would be willing to live in this situation and I’m a saint. I hate hearing this because it just seems manipulative. They’ve never ACTUALLY acknowledged how this could be hard on me. I have tried to express my feelings, but drop them because it brings my housemate down. I’ve been very encouraging of my roommate, offering to look into senior living options and therapists. I’ve counseled so many tearful breakdowns. I feel guilty for wanting to leave. I am putting them in a lurch and leaving them with an abusive person.
How do I communicate my plans? I want to give them two months’ notice. I’m tempted to give them my deposit to tide them over because they are kind of right that no one would want to live like this. And how honest should I be about that? Do I express how bad this has been for me?
— This Wasn’t on the Lease