I wanted to move back to a state I use to live in. So, I gave 30 days notice to my landlord at the time in another state and began my search for a rental in the state I wanted to move back to. I work online so already had employment; I just needed a place to rent.
A month went by with no luck at finding a rental. I thought I was going to have to give up on my plan to relocate. Then the last week in the month I responded to a post in a rental section on a very popular website. The woman posted that she had a room for rent in a price range that was very affordable. So without hesitation I replied right away.
It turned out that the woman actually wanted to find a roommate to rent a room in a condo her daughter lived in and owned; she lived elsewhere. She had just posted for post for her to help broaden the search of potential tenants.
Upon further speaking to her she revealed a whole lot of extra details that pertained to why she posted. She was older and working odd jobs to help pay for a majority of her daughter's bills. The condo her daughter lived in was purchased essentially by her estranged father through an inheritance from him. So, she hadn't actually worked and saved up in order to purchase it. She had inherited her father's childhood home but sold it and opted for a condo instead. So she had owned two homes before 30 due to generational wealth.
She had just been released from jail not that long ago before her mother posted in the rental section. Before that happened she had dropped out of college squandering a full scholarship provided by her grandmother who started saving since she was born. Due to dropping out of college and then jail time her father cut ties with her and became estranged.
While she was in jail her mother paid for all the utilities to remain in service for the condo as well as her rent. There was also miscellaneous cost related to her court case. When she was finally released it took awhile for her to find a job so her mother continued to pay all of her bills, including her restitution.
Eventually, she found a part-time job but it wasn't enough to cover all her bills and expenses so her mother continued footing the bill for a majority of her cost to live. Which eventually lead to her taking up odd jobs to help with the burden of paying for her life's expenses and her daughters.
It is at this point in the story when she decides her daughter needs to find a roommate to rent her second empty bedroom in the condo. Some of the money she spent paying her daughter's bills she considered a loan and wanted repayment which was impossible with her working a part-time job. So, she posted a post online seeking a border for her. She had asked her to post it but she never did so she took the initiative. I responded.
I didn't get the full story prior to coming even though I wrote it all out for you in summary in advance. I was told bits and pieces before I came then others after.
I was told that her daughter didn't use her common sense and had chosen poorly concerning roommates and boyfriends who lived with her in the past. Her last roommate was a white male, a drug user, who she became involved with. He ended up inviting other drug addicts into her home while she was away and stealing from her which lead to him going to jail.
The guy before that was her actual official boyfriend. He was a white male. He had a key to the place. He used drugs, sold them, gave them to her, and also violently beat her up more than once. She would take him back and things ended up in a cycle of abuse that lead to her doing something that got her jail time.
The more she spoke about her daughter and what she had and still was putting her through the more hesitant I felt about accepting the offer to relocate to the situation described. Her daughter seemed well meaning but dysfunctional and had issues with the criminal justice system and troublesome people in and out of her life. I would later find out it wasn't like what it seemed but at the time I hadn't heard her daughter's side of the story.
Her mom pleaded with me begging me to reconsider refusing the offer. She pitched a dramatic scenario where she was a divorced struggling older woman overwhelmed by her daughter and their lives merging financially.
She didn't see an end in sight and she felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was touted as a solution. I did need a room to rent and nothing else had panned out as far as that state. It seemed it might be a mutually beneficial situation.
After speaking with me at length multiple times she was confident it would be a good pairing due to us being close in age, both women, and the fact unlike her past roommates- I didn't use drugs and had no criminal record. My race never came up. After getting to know me she seemed eager to invite me to relocate and move in.
Remember those last sentences…..
"My race never came up"
"After speaking with me at length multiple times she was confident it would be a good pairing due to….the fact unlike her past roommates- I didn't use drugs and had no criminal record."
I reluctantly decided to relocate and accept the offer. Initially, no one knew I was a POC. It never occured to me to mention it and no one asked me. The discussion stayed on topic about things related to me as a potential tenant and her pitching the place. She had been impressed by me on the phone so I was feeling pretty confident. I was the same person that she had spoken with on the phone with a great personality, ethics, great potential enough she gave her blessing for me to come. I was the same person on the phone regardless of what my skincolor , right?
After I arrived I think they both were surprised I wasn't white. I met the daughter my first night then her mom the following week. I could see in it their faces. "That" look. A mixture of surprise, confusion, and disappointment. Then a blank void expression while attempting to avoid eye contact. Furrowed brows and a look of discomfort while force smiling periodically in between head nods as we interacted; as I spoke. I had the cash in hand though, so…
After the initial jitters of meeting for the first time we settled in with living together. I think we even got along well. We would hang out around the house, listen to music, sometimes cook meals and eat together; grocery shopping was always a blast. Yet I still would get this nagging impression that something was…, off about our i interactions. Forced or generic. I would catch an eye roll, a dismissive sigh, or things that seemed to contradict the impression she wanted to give at the time.
I asked her more than once was she truly comfortable with me and was she only pretending to like me because she desperately needed me stay to help her fulfill her financial obligations her; something her mother no longer wanted to do. There is what you see and what your intuition impresses upon you. I had a nagging feeling I was being manipulated.
I overheard her talking to her aunt my first week. It had come out I was a POC. Her aunt was hurling questions after question trying create doubts in my legitimacy and person. To this day I have never spoken to her aunt. She only knew my race and that I had moved in. At one point in their conversation my roommate says she "needs the money" in response to questions about whether I was who she ideally wanted as a roommate.
Another time one of her "fwb" came over and we were all hanging out in the living room. I could instantly sense he did not feel comfortable with my presence. He just kept staring at me and making a disgruntled expression. Being the people pleaser that I am I tried to be very kind to me still. He did not want to be bothered with me he didn't like me.
At one point I start to tell my roommate about something I saw that day while on my first bike ride around town. Her friend sitting across the room makes eye contact with her and they both roll their eyes and smirk. It was so mean, dismissive, and glaring obvious I trailed off from finishing my train of thought. It was like an inside joke type of stare. Like I was the joke and they were only barely tolerating me. Stuff "mean girls" would do.
I shot a glance at him and he looked embarrassed turning his face towards the ground. I looked at her and her knowing their little dismissive glances were instantly noticed- without me having to say a single word, she begins saving face. "Well, it is just blah, blah, blah…" That confirmed what I had just saw. It was a very snotty thing to do. I was being made fun of. Anyone who has been bullied when in high school knows exactly the "Regina George" moment I had just experienced. She invited me to hang out with them only for me to be made the butt of an clearly inside joke between them.
I got the sense he knew how she truly felt about me and it wasn't congruent with the fake smiles and empty compliments she had been giving me since I arrived. It was a moment of them acknowledging the white elephant in the room I clearly hadn't noticed in that moment at first. It solidified my deepest fears that she was being fake this whole time. Only pretending to like me thinking it would cause me to want to rent long-term helping alleviating her financial burdens.
This guy, merely only one of her "fwb", was a white guy still living at home with his parents. He was unemployed for a long time but had finally found a part-time job but was still selling weed on the side. He would bring her some every time he visited; they would smoke and get drunk together. I am not curing Cancer or anything but it felt like he was judging me...they were judging me. Who are they that it would be justified? Why judge or make fun of someone at all?
Her other "fwb" was an older guy who helps her with pills/weed or money sometimes. She would talk sh*t about him so bad but when she needed or wanted something even just companionship but usually weed or money, she would be nice to him. He probably thinks they are friends. She always says she doesn't like him among other things. He happens to be a POC too. I bring him up to make two points but mainly because it exhibits her capacity to use people to get what she wants. If she has a need for you, whether she likes you or not, she will "play the part" to be engaging to you.
This makes it hard to tell whether she is being sincere or just hustling you. If you pretend like we are becoming beasties but also make fun of me in my presence you are not my friend. You are being a sh*tty person too. It hurts. It hurts my feelings. No one likes being toyed with. Tell me you aren't fond of me or keep your space. I can handle that. Hey, I need a place to rent you need a renter. We can live separate lives and leave at that- strictly professional. To be overly friendly with an agenda is unnecessarily. I don't have any friends so when someone pretends ro be my friend when they are not it impacts me greatly. I am a sensitive person and feel deeply.
Things weren't perfect before this happened though. Before I relocated her mother forewarned me she didn't keep the house clean and that she often left days worth of dishes in the sink piled up. So, after I moved in I ended up cleaning up after both of us. She still to this day cooks and uses dishes that are dumped in the sink. They will sit indefinitely if I don't do them. Recently bugs were in kitchen so I have to do them no matter what. I also clean the shower and living room. I help take care of the dog. I don't mind cleaning up after both of us sometimes and only because I feel I have no choice. I don't want to have to do it all the time though.
She works part-time on her feet so understand she is tired after work but dishes pile up on her days off too. It is her condo so who am I to voice complaint, right? I am merely a renter. Besides, I have a feeling she would take offensive if I did bring it up. I have a place to rent which is hard find for me to find due to me being low income. So you learn to deal with things you shouldn't have to but must to keep the peace.
She smokes weed a lot and I don't. Being a POC I don't want to risk even trace amounts of marijuana showing up in my system. I will be labeled a drug addict. I don't do any drugs. I don't even smoke cigarettes. Sometimes she would blow the marijuana directly in my face. At first it probably was on accident but then she would be excessively leading me to believe she was doing it on purpose. I need to cook, eat food, spend time outside of my room. If she is present she is smoking marijuana. I move across the room she walks over and blows. I swear she would smirk sometimes. It seemed like she was doing it on purpose.
She would mock my concerns about inhaling second hand smoke and the trouble it could cause me; yes, even trace amounts in my system. No doctor is going to believe me being a POC that it was "my roommate" second hand smoke. She smokes multiple bowls at one-time. The rooms fills with smoke. A doctor will look at me like "Yeah, right. You smoke".
She has offered me FREE bowls of weed I always decline. This isn't first time I have had to rent from drug users nor is it first time I had an opportunity to do drugs for free. I don't smoke nor do drugs and never will.
She is blonde with green eyes- very attractive even with the extra weight she has. She has told me stories of her being caught drug high and cops "letting her go" not even a warning. She openly acknowledges her "privilege". Due to the incident leading to her jail time though she has to go to drug and anger management classes as of present. She still takes pills, smokes weed, and drinks.
After we settled in with occupying the condo together we began to talk about our lives past and present. We are girls after all, usually the only two people here, and so we talk...chit chat.
It is at this point l, realize now, that I shared information with someone who hadn't earned my trust. I know I had my reservations about her but other times we would hang out and it felt nice to have someone to talk to. She shared heavy stuff about her past, family, ect So, I shared about my life too. It was an mutual exchange between roomies. I didn't foresee what I shared being twisted into something that would be used as a basis to profile and attribute criminality to me. Race politics, stereotypes, racism are real things and problematic.
I come from a different worlds. Her mother boasted of "marrying well" and she did. Her and her daughter lived a life of luxury because of her husband's lucrative jobs. She was an only child and lived a life of privilege. She has since experienced a fall from grace *recently but I am referencing a past point in time for comparison.
I lived in a broken home where I was abused in more than one way. Which lead to me being put in (group homes/foster care) where I was exploited and abused more. I was moved around to multiple homes. In between two different states and was in problematic situations I had no control over. I barely survived that time in my life with my sanity in tact. I was moved around from one place to the next until I emancipated to a street corner and a commune/cult took me in.
My life took lots of twist and turns but I never got involved with anything illegal like drugs or criminal behavior. Which is rare for someone who went through what I did. I was very resilient but unstable never having known stability my entire life. I did the best I could and survived through a lot over the course of my twenties esp after leaving the commune/cult.
I don't have a criminal record nor a history of addiction. Two things her daughter does have. I say that not to judge her but because of how her and her family would end up judging me later on.
Things came up when I was sharing about me. Like the fact I had moved more than once over the course of the decade that was my twenties. While she had only lived in the same state and city her entire life. This bothered her and her family about me. She kept saying my life was "suspicious" because (sarcasm), "who moves over a decade or at all or ever". *
She owned a home when most people our age were living at home or working multiple jobs to pay tuition for classes and to continue living in their college dorm.
She never moved or had a reason to the way people who rent have to move when price hikes happen, or they lose a job, and have to move a few cities over or a few states over for better opportunities.
She always had mommy and daddy to provide for her and give her perpetual peace of mind. All her relatives lived close by… therefore why would anyone ever "move" ...at that multiple times over a decade? Her life had remained the same until she made some bad choices later in adulthood.
She had a padding of generational wealth, two parents (until recently/her father is estranged now), full scholarship for college. She never went without her needs met in childhood or adulthood until recent times. Even now though her mother's wealth helps her survive in ways she couldn't without her.
Over the course of the decade that, I suffered, endured, overcame chronic homelessness due to no affordable housing or sometimes work where I was living. Not knowing if after I paid bills if I would have enough for food, medical care, or bus fare ect she was protected and had no financial worries. Even now her mom will buy her food and help her even if she feels resentful and does it begrudgingly.
I didn't have a family like she does (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles) watching over me so I was taken advantage of many times until I learned how the world works and that it isn't always such a nice place. Everything was a struggle and I did the best I could to survive.
I never did anything illegal though. I have stayed away from anything like that because I made a conscious choice to. It wasn't something I was drawn to and as bad as things got I valued my freedom and having peace of mind about it.
So, some nights she would get really high and drunk talk a lot. Recently, she let slip how her mom and aunt really felt about me. She had bought weed from a random guy we encountered at a 7/11 run for late night food. Well, I wanted Doritos and she needed more beer. She starts talking to a guy in the parking lot. Next thing you know he has followed us to the crib and she is buying weed from him. We have never met this guy before. She was a little freaked out by him actually. She said the weed was wet but not sure why. Whatever the grade or condition of the weed she smoked bowl after bowl after bowl. Then started talking about things then at random some stuff slipped.
Her Aunt, who I have never met, her mom, who has been estranged from me since I arrived, and her had come to some conclusions about me. They way she told it it seemed they planted some of the ideas in her head and they took root. After telling me the stuff seeing I was upset to try to calm everything over she lets me know her aunt is a vitriol racist and that her doesn't like POC either. So, I guess it was suppose to make me feel chill about what I had just been told because after all they are racist anyway. I don't know...
I was categorized as someone who had a criminality about me even though I have never did or said anything to imply that. It is just inherent I guess because I am a POC. I don't have a criminal record or history of addiction. So, what basis besides my race did they have to base the slander on?
They were encouraging her to fear me and making up delusions to justify their racist profiling of me. That was based off the little they knew of my life communicated second hand by my roommate. She expressed wanting me to remain her roommate, sang my praises about how helpful I was in the home even taking helping to take care of her dog. She expressed I was a breath of fresh air especially compared to her past roommates who struggled with addiction and other issues. She said I was quiet, chill, and a nice change of pace for her.
I don't think I was her ideal roommate, race and class related. I don't think she would want to be my friend under normal circumstances. I do think she appreciates things about me as a roommate and person that are universally positive traits. Would she have ever associated with me under any other circumstances, no. Was me being an extra helpful, respectful roommate something she benefited from and enjoyed, yes.
Her family's response was to try to persuade her they just know, despite everything in reality in opposition to their beliefs, that I was eventually going to steal, rob, scam her in some way, shape, or form. I was trouble even if nothing in reality confirmed this. They ended up filling blanks that were already accounted for pertaining to my life.
It was brought up that in my past, over ten years, I had moved multiple times. They took this fact and made a humongous leap to that it must have been because I was a criminal doing criminal sh*t. How? Based on what? Their assumption all POC have an element of criminality?
Did I move a lot? Yes but not frequently. When I did move it was for legitimate reasons. This is over the course of a decade. Yes, my life has changed a lot over a decade. I am barely out of my twenties. I am not the same person due to me growing and changing through my many experiences during that time. I am the person I am today because of my past. Nothing criminal involved.
I have entered into relationships moving in with a partner then breaking up and leaving the state
Had a traveling nursing/caregiving job that assignments were in different states
Dealt with gentrification spiking the rent prices making it impossible for me to afford to remain in the area
I have moved for better opportunities
I have moved feeling tired of living in states that were gloomy and cold most of the year so decided to move somewhere warner.
I have moved feeling tired of living in states that were too hot and sticky most of the year so decided to move somewhere cooler.
I have had to move for safety reasons due to domestic violence.
I even had to deal with issues related to living in high poverty high crime rate areas because I could only afford to live in the poorest areas at times. So, yes, da*m right when I had the chance I moved
I could go on but I digress. Nothing you just read relates to me being involved in criminal behavior. Yet, her mom and aunt felt otherwise given they know my life better than me(sarcasm). Oh, no...wait. I mean they don't need to know the details because they will fill them according to their racist ideologies.
I had shared with my roommate the details here and there and she sided with her family who "were just trying to watch out for her". Is that so? Where were they when she was turning tricks in her condo to make extra money? Sometimes her mom, feeling resentful, didn't want to give her extra money. So, she said she did what she had to do. What she still does- survive and that sh*t ain't always pretty. I still don't judge her but now her and her family have cast judgement on me for assumptions that are evidently false and unfounded.
She said "I think you are fine and like having you as my roommate. You help with the dog, you clean everything, you are quiet and chill... but they kept telling me a, b, c and it kind of is making sense." Please don't rob/scam/ ect me.
It is incredibly offensive and deeply insulting. Especially, given the irony. Given she was high af and drunk she met that sh*t. How did we go from laughing, talking listening to music to that? I am supposedly so chill and respectful to her, her dog, the condo but I was now being treated as a if I was a criminal with no burden of proof. Da ?
Any tidbit of info about me was twisted in perverted ways by them attaching delusions balent lies to their narratives about me.
I tried to explain to her that, before the sh*t hit the fan that night, that for example, I worked as a traveling nurse/caregiver. When one job ended I went to wherever I got an offer for another job.
I wasn't certified so my jobs were dependent on references, interviewing usually over the phone, and skype, and independent families selecting me out of a pool of candidates.
I had a job in Vegas, then a job in Alaska, then a job in Arizona. They were during different years. I am a jack of all trades. So, maybe one year I had a caregiving job that began and ended lets say in Arizona for example. In same year couldn't find another caregiving job so found a security job and ect The following year I got another opportunity to do caregiving so I took the job a d lets say it was in Alaska. Well, I am going to Alaska.
With live in jobs you save money due to not having to pay rent. The work is fulfilling. A lot of the places I went it was my first time. I had been locked away in grouphomes then a commune. If I had an opportunity to travel somewhere new esp with a job or other opportunity waiting I would go.
So, the time frame is ten years. I also worked other jobs that weren't live in like my caregiving jobs so had to take into consideration the job market, housing market, ect then possibly move if it wasn't going to work out. Sometimes, I moved a city over not to another state. Most of my adult life I have lived on one coast in primarily one state. Have I moved yes of course.
For example, if I was caring for a patient who ends up passing away. The job was a live in job and now I no longer have a place to live in the state. Let say rent is extremely high which wasn't a problem before but now there is no way I could afford rent in the city/state. So, I relocate to somewhere I can afford rent prices and that has more job opportunities.
My point is I moved for different reasons at different times not always related to jobs sometimes opportunities or life transitions. I feel like they were just looking for an outlet to voice their racism. If you don't like me say that but to create false narratives that are dangerous and serious accusations is morally reprehensible, vile, and loathsome. In This day and age with race relations, police, ect I am constantly afraid of some white person feeling triggered and calling the cops or creating issues that were only real in their head. Hence all the "being black while" hashtags.
Some of the stuff she said made feel triggered and paranoid they are going to try to falsely accuse me of something because they can. I am in a state where there are racial tensions and the cards are usually stacked against POC. This state is known for unfair biased treatment so much it is a punchline for people of all races in other states. These people, her family, are dangerous to my safety and well being. They are smearing my name slandering me. Saying implying things that are balent lies.
Yet, her, her mother, aunt all decided I must be up to no good. I am POC and they are all white. Like her two last boyfriends who sold drugs to her, robbed her, beat her,pressed charges against her.
Right after leaving group homes the first few years of my life were spent in a religious commune. They worked us to death in their businesses without pay. I was estranged from society. I went from being institutionalized in group homes only to be re-institutionalized in a commune shut off from society. It is only after this that I purged myself into late adulthood out of the commune into the real world with no real world experience, life skills or social skills, outside of being kept away from society (institutionalized).
I was homeless at first off and on for many years. Not relying on any social support like food stamps or having medical insurance. I hit the street after being in a contained structured environment where the dangers of the streets were not present then Bam! they were staring me in the face.
I had no family, no friends, no nothing, and I ended up being raped and going through all kind of sh*t AND STILL I never turned to addiction or criminal behavior to function or survive; which is an oddity.
All the while durning the same years over the course of that decade she was living it up with a home, full scholarship partying until she dropped out, still had a padding of wealth, a home, food, family standing by her.
She has been protected in every way. She never had to move or know what it is like to struggle. To have to move when you don't want to out of necessity. Like the times I was in domestic abuse situations and had to move for my protection. I moved a lot over ten years but there were solid reasons why. There wasn't any shifty or shady or criminal elements to why I had to move sometimes.
So, here I am living in her condo. I moved down here and paid my rent in cash. Have been nothing but a model roommate. Ignoring a lot of things. Trying to be as helpful, kind, cooperative as possible. That lady, her mom begged me to come down, only to find out I was black and come from a "challenging past". Her mom made me believe she was struggling but my roommate, her daughter, revealed she owns multiple homes.
She is wealthy and just wanted to make the situation seem more dire than it was to get me to come down here because she wants the money her daughter owes her paid back. My rent goes to her mother as back pay for the money she paid in advance over months towards her daughter's bills. So, pretty much her daughter told me her mom doesn't even need the money she is trying to get it back to make a point to her.
Whatever the actual situation between them I don't appreciate them accepting my money only to turn around and accuse me of being every POC stereotype related to criminal behavior. No basis at all. They took a little piece of info, ignored what I shared about myself, filled in their own narrative.
Am I in the wronf for feeling upset, offended, insulted ect about what was shared with me?
Her daughter and I are on shaking ground now because of the conversation that night. It became intense. Her casual profiling of me, telling me how her family casually profiled me, was dehumanizing and made me feel spiteful. I can't stand any of them and can't wait to move next month. I still feel upset and dehumanized.
It is a horrible feeling. Her daughter has a burglary charge, among other things. I don't have a record at all. I am not judging her daughter I am trying to make a point about the irony. Her mom told me what she did to her ex-boyfriend's property wasn't the first time she had did something like that when an boyfriend upset her. Its like don't throw rocks when you live in glass houses.
I don't even have a record yet they have characterized me as a criminal. Yo, what about your daughter?! Who actually has case pending on her and charges? Who has had to prostitute herself to men for money. Who stay drunk and high daily? How dare these racist POS try to racially profile me. Da ?
Especially, when I don't have a history of anything criminal and have done nothing but try to be a model roommate and tenant. What did I do to deserve this sh*t? Be civil, kind, helpful, responsible, pay rent in full on time, ect
I have been supportive of her daughter no matter what I have seem behind closed doors. I have enjoyed certain moments when even if it was fake it seemed like we were connecting and just being girls. I genuinely wanted us to be real friends or at least be amicable to each other. We were at first even if she was faking some of it. Now there has been a fall out.
I am moving again. I hate having to move because I just got here. I wanted to rent somewhere for at least six months. I can't tolerate racist abusive behavior though. What they are saying and insinuating is very serious. I don't appreciate it. I am still upset and feel uncomfortable being here. I can't risk them trying to set me up or worse them jumping to erratic conclusions then getting me caught up. I am a person of integrity so they would have to make it up. Like they already have. White words have power though especially over black and brown bodies. I don't trust these people and think they don't have a moral compass. Which means they are capable of anything
As a POC I can't put my life in their racist petty hands. Who knows what they may do. This girl still telling me I am supposedly "the best roommate ever" "don't move next month" while being low key racist paranoid about me. Her family don't want me here what if they try to set me up in order to move along me moving out? Or now, having given notice do something else shady. They just seem like shady as people im general now their race aside. As people they don't seem like good human beings….
Am I in the wrong because I became upset? Should I have just brushed it off? Should I have made comments about my feelings about her mom and aunt after she shared what she did? Her daughter mad at me acting grimey post our little conversation that night. Not all white people have nefarious intentions towards POC. Not all POC are criminals. It just so happens these people I encountered have an issue with race.
As I said at the start of this her daughter told me plainly her aunt is a vitriol racist and her mom doesn't like "POC".