The next day I explained my situation to Andrea and Karen: I cannot afford to pay rent on a third apartment, I moved out here to do my life’s work, and if Bella and I can’t stay I have to move back to SD. My heart still hurt from losing Flink right before my move. Parting with Bella was not an option. All three of us agreed that we would sign for a female roommate and informed Conniving of our decision.
No dice. It had to be the guy. Conniving ignored the fact that none of her roommates felt safe or wanted this guy in the townhouse and more importantly, skipped over the part where he and his girlfriend would be moving in to a single occupancy room thus swapping my illegal tenant for another one. Even if all three roommates signed, he cannot live in the townhouse. Irrelevant technical detail. If we did not sign the sub-lease allowing the dude and his girlfriend to move in, her dad would not let her sign the pet lease for Bella.
Driving home from work it hit me: I came out here to get work done. My work. Sixteen years worth of conviction, planning, study, sacrifice and belief got me here. Now a 20 year old debutante and her over-monied under-estimating dad thought they had me.
And this is the response I would give to anyone being bullied: form a team, build a coalition, but do not try to handle this yourself. My two roommates, who have known me for very little time, backed me up. We worked together and through the course of this exasperating process became friends. I informed Conniving that if she did not sign for Bella to stay before I had to move out then my signature is moving out with me and there will be no chance of her subletting to anyone. Period.
Her dad, bent on forcing my hand, did not care about the safety of the roommates who would live with this guy, the illegality of the living situation, or the wishes of Andrea’s parents who expressly (and justifiably) said “no” to living with a strange man. Conniving’s dad is a grown man trying to force three women to live with some guy against their will.
I prayed for a creative solution. Her dad may be loaded, but my dad is a Minister of God.
There are kind people in this world and bullies do not expect this. Maria, a soon to be retired colleague, said she had a room. She knows I cannot pay her rent, but in exchange I happily offered do any and all house work that needs to be done- especially the heavy lifting.
I moved to WV to get my work done. And that, my friends, is exactly what I am going to do.
Bella, my signature, and I are moving out. Oh if you could see the grin on my face.
How have you responded to adult bullying?