Social Question

Esedess's avatar

Should I kick this house-guest out or give her a 2nd chance?

Asked by Esedess (3439points) May 7th, 2015

A friend of mine was going to school out of state for 2 years and just recently came back. Her decision to return early was, in short, due to loneliness, depression, and suicidal thoughts that resulted in one half-hearted attempt to drown herself. Before coming back, she had asked if she could stay with me for a month while she found a place of her own. After talking to my roommate, we cautiously agreed that a temporary house guest (including her dog) would be ok. We have an extra room we don’t use and as long as the dogs get along it should be fine.. So she showed up Monday, and things have been ok~. It’s been moderately imposing having an unfamiliar guest to get used to, but that was expected and we’re making do.

Jump to last night. 3 days into her stay.
I come home late from work to find her COMPLETELY smashed. She can barely stand/talk, but somehow manages to get out that she took some mystery pill a friend gave her, and didn’t know it would fuck her up like it did. While walking through the house I start noticing blood here and there. A little on the bathroom door, some on the kitchen doorway and wall, some in the dishwasher, etc… The trashcan from my bathroom is upside down in the living room with its previous contents scattered on the carpet around it. After checking her, I find dry blood on her pinky finger that came from a small paper-cut sized wound that obviously went unnoticed. Soon after, I find a shard of glass on the kitchen floor, and then the remains of the nice crystal wine glass it belonged to in the trash outside. A new small bottle of Jack Daniels I bought Monday is nowhere to be found; and a previously untouched bottle of my roommate’s vodka is sitting in the cabinet ¾ empty. Some other oddities: the few dirty clothes scattered throughout my room had been messily folded and placed on my bed, and my roommate’s door, which he closed on purpose to keep his dog from trying to mark his territory, is open. Just then my roommate comes home and we find that there’s traces of blood throughout his room as well, including on 2 of his pillows…

To summarize what I now think happened: She took a pill, drank a shit ton, started cleaning, broke a glass because she was fucking wasted, cut herself and didn’t notice, then continued stumbling about cleaning and tracking blood everywhere.
In her defense, she had good intentions. She was obviously trying to clean. But at the same time, now I look like a fucking asshole and my roommate is probably, rightfully, pissed at me for bringing this burdensome mess into his life… We’ve been living together for over a year and have had ZERO problems. It’s the first living arrangement either of us have had that has gone so smoothly. We are both calm, responsible guys, who keep a pretty clean house, take care of our pets and belongings, and maintain a generally peaceful lifestyle. Now I feel obligated to kick her out just for the sake of mine and my roommates friendship/peace of mind. But even as pissed as I am, I want to help her, and I’m not a “no 2nd chances” kind of guy…

That being said… It’s ridiculous that I’m even having to worry about this! She’s an adult HUMAN, and leaving her home alone for 1 day has caused more damage than leaving our fucking dog home alone everyday for a whole GD year!! I let a friend come stay rent free for a month, as an act of kindness so she can get her feet on the ground, and she costs me money!?

What if she had tried to cook? What if she set the house on fire? What if she let my roommates dog out and it ran away? What if she broke either of our two 90 gallon fishtanks? What if she fucking killed herself?

This morning she was adequately apologetic, and promised it wouldn’t happen again.

But what do I do now? Straight up kick her out, or give her 1 more chance?

I haven’t talked to my roommate about it yet… I’m not looking forward to it.

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36 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Sounds like it is time for an intervention. Get a hold of her family and friends.

longgone's avatar

I vote for giving her a second chance. You said you are not the kind of guy to withhold another chance, and I think that’s a fine trait. It should not be suppressed.

Maybe communicate clearly (in writing?) which drugs you won’t tolerate?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know. You’re right. it could have been SO much worse. I’m with @talljasperman…anyway to get ahold of the family? It’s really their problem, not yours.

marinelife's avatar

I would not give her a second chance. She could burn the place down with the dogs inside. She needs help. Serious therapeutic help, which is beyond you. I would sit her down and tell her that you wish her well, but she has to find herself somewhere else.

She drank your and your roommate’s booze.
She took drugs in your apartment.
She violated both of your personal spaces where she had no business—trailing blood no less.
She left sharp glass on the floor where you or a dog could get cut.

You owe her nothing.

She needs counseling now.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Hindsight is 20/20. The valued roommate’s opinion should overrule yours if the guest is breaking the rules. You have set the friend up for an opportunity to succeed. She didn’t take it. No amount of love will change her behavior. Behavior changes comes from within. Stick to the rules you set on the front end, explain why she is getting the boot, and offer to help her out in the future if you are willing to do so. Sometimes tough love is what it takes for a wake-up call.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, don’t enable her. She needs a wake up call.

snowberry's avatar

Nope. I’m generous to a fault, but this would be a deal breaker. If it would help get her out of there quicker, take her to her new place.

chyna's avatar

Exactly what @marinelife said. The most important being the welfare of the dogs. So much could’ve happened to them or the fish. All of this within 3 days of her moving in. It is not your responsibility to worry that this person may try to kill herself again. Finding a great roommate is so hard to do so don’t let this person ruins your relationship with your roomie.

Esedess's avatar

Ok… Talked to my roommate. We’re thinking to see how things went today when we get home, and go from there… If nothing happened today, we’re going to let it run into the weekend where we’ll be around to watch and decide if her assertion that “it won’t happen again” is something she’s even capable of. We both agree we’d feel better making the decision with some interactive experience of her (which we haven’t had yet).

I just keep thinking of that quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” =/ If she’s drunk when we get home, there’s the answer. If we spot some troubling qualities this weekend, there’s the answer.

IDK… Thoughts? Semi-safe plan at least?
I know this goes against almost every answer above, and that really worries me. I’m hoping it doesn’t backfire.

On a sidenote… If this is what it’s like, fuck having kids right! lol~

snowberry's avatar

Yeah, well let us know how it goes….

janbb's avatar

@Esedess I think the main thing is that you and your roommate have decided on a course of action together. That is the relationship you want to preserve. As long as the two of you are in agreement, you can feel ok about what you do and see where it goes but I would be pretty vigilant about her.

Blondesjon's avatar

She drank all the booze in the joint. Three words, un for giveable.

kritiper's avatar

Kick her out. “Fool me once, ...”

jca's avatar

If she’s an alcoholic, depressed, etc., a contract, a lecture, a threat, none of it is going to make her stop drinking, drugging, acting crazy. Meantime, you’re at risk of not only having serious damage done to your place, but another consequence could be the landlord and/or other neighbors get pissed and you end up at risk of eviction. I would be done. Sympathy is one thing but you have big things at stake.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You’re only giving a second chance to make it worse, not better.

Out without regret. Don’t enable. It’s the worst thing you can do for an addict.

Pandora's avatar

Give her a second chance but tell her she must be sober and drug free during her stay or go back to her family and ask her to find help.
Give her a list of house rules that must not be broken.

cheebdragon's avatar

What reason would she have for going in your roommates bedroom? That sounds sketchy as fuck to me, no matter how long you’ve known her or how well you’ve known her, people can change very quickly.
Sounds like there may have been more to the story behind why she left ahead of schedule. Who told you about the attempted suicide?

marinelife's avatar

Please let us know what happens. I am so glad you and your roommate decided on a course of action together.

I would lock up all money, booze and pills. Or anything else you don’t want her to get into.

Maybe call during the day to check on her?

jca's avatar

I would ask myself (if I were you), “who needs this crap?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

I like your plan.

Esedess's avatar

@cheebdragon She simply went in our rooms to clean. There was no malicious intent; just thoughtlessness and poor execution. As for her “suicide attempt,” she told me over the phone while she was still out-of-state. Short story short, she jumped in a river. I responded by asking, “wasn’t that freezing?” She said, “yes!” Then I called her a retard, asked how she even got out of the river seeing as “black people can’t swim” ha, argued that drowning is one of the worst ways to die, and proceeded to elaborate on no less than 3 more peaceful methods to kill oneself. Her preemptive return to CA was at the advice of her mother, who made the suggestion after hearing her midnight swim story.

Update on Day 4: All was well yesterday. She was sober and apologized profusely to my roommate and I. We explained our worst case scenario concerns and how taking a pill doesn’t account for drinking like that. She was in calm agreement and made herself scarce for the rest of the night. When I left this afternoon she was applying to jobs, had one interview lined-up, and was getting ready to go apply for financial aid at the local college. We’ll see what the weekend brings.

Blondesjon's avatar

Now that I’ve heard she’s black I think you might want to reexamine your “no malicious intent” comment made in relation to her foray into both you and your roommates sleeping chambers.

what? a black people can’t swim joke is ok but I try my own out and get the wrath of Khan?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I dated a black guy who couldn’t swim. I taught a couple of black kids, who were 12 and 14 to swim. I have a few black friends on face book, and none of them swim.

Strauss's avatar

@Esedess We both agree we’d feel better making the decision with some interactive experience of her…

I agree wholeheartedly with that line. If your roommate is on-board with the course of action, I say stick with it. Give her the second chance she asked for.

cheebdragon's avatar

If you want to thank someone for letting you stay with them, you cook dinner or bake cookies, you do not clean their bedroom, and you sure as fuck do not clean or enter the bedroom of their roommate, especially one you have known less than 24 hours.
You know there was no malicious intent…...Did you know she was the type of person who would take a strange pill someone gives her and mixes it with alcohol? Did you know she was the type of person to jump in a freezing river to kill herself?

Buttonstc's avatar

There’s a truism in addition to the one you quoted from Maya Angelou (when someone shows you who they are, believe them).

Tnis one states: “When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences.”

Forget about the pill; she drank enough of your booze to mess herself up big time, pill or no pill. Trying to blame it on the pill is just deflecting, plain and simple.

She chose to drink that much. She certainly shouldn’t be surprised if she is asked to leave.

If you’re feeling sorry for her, offer to give her a ride to an inpatient rehab center. A month spent there would do her (and you and your roommate) a whole lot more good than you guys spending the next 30 days waiting for the other shoe to drop.

She is in serious need of professional help; far beyond the capabilities of either you or your roommate.

Do you really need theguilt of living with the result of another drunken binge of hers ? Possible suicide attempt (or success) or irreparable damage to your living space or the animals for whom you are responsible ?

Can you live with a missing or dead dog on your conscience?

Think about it. You’re leaving those poor defenseless animals subject to the whim of an irresponsible, undependable depressed drunk. Think about it. Those dogs are your responsibility too. Do they deserve this?

And finally, you should be fearlessly honest when asking yourself if it really is helping her to give her “another chance” rather than getting her to someplace where she can get the help she needs from trained professionals.

Suicide attempts are not a joking matter. Perhaps she chose a spectacularly unskilled way of doing it but it was a clear cry for help.

Isn’t it more helpful to her in the long run if she is forced to find an alternative to NOT dealing with the issues underneath her behavior?

It’s up to you but I hope you don’t end up irrevocably regretting your current course of action with her.

She is not a stable person. She might mean it when she promises her best behavior but she’s in “escape” mode (Thats what the binge drinking is about; her attempt to escape whatever she doesn’t want to deal with) is she even capable of sticking to that promise?

I sincerely hope you don’t end up finding out she can’t in the worst possible way. She really needs much more help than you or your roommate can provide.

cheebdragon's avatar

Jumping into a freezing river sounds like a bullshit story to me, where did she jump from? Did she just swim to the edge and pull herself out? Did she walk home in wet clothes? How did she avoid hypothermia and pneumonia? I think you should ask for more details.

Esedess's avatar

Follow up:

Everything has been going well since the incident that sparked this question. Simply put, she’s been a great house-guest; very conscientious and careful of her impact. She keeps things clean (without getting blood everywhere), walks the dogs (who are loving each others’ company), and tries to show her gratitude in anyway possible.
I.e. – running errands for us while we’re stuck at work, and trying to have dinner ready when we get home (cooking is not her strong suite. lol it’s kinda cute).

We haven’t seen any hint of the instability she showed initially. She drinks moderately when we do now, never getting too wasted. And she’s been taking up some of our hobbies as they catch her interest. I’ve been teaching her chess and guitar at her request, and she plays video-games with my roommate that I don’t. In other words, she’s one of our good friends now. =]

I’m so glad we didn’t throw her out right away and that it hasn’t backfired. I think she really needed this, and honestly, I’ve really enjoyed having her around. I’ll be sad to see her go now.

janbb's avatar

@Esedess That’s wonderful news! So glad she cleaned up her act.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That is good news. I’m glad you gave her another chance.

chyna's avatar

@Esedess That’s great news! Your instincts were right.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She must have been completely mortified at her original behavior.

Esedess's avatar

@Dutchess_III She was. I could see it in her eyes even before she sobered up that night.
She would have felt worthless and ashamed if we’d banished her right then. Never getting a chance to makeup for your mistakes can be a very crushing blow… I’ve been there.

marinelife's avatar

Good on you, @Esedess .

Buttonstc's avatar

I’m really glad to hear that this situation has worked out well for you.

Thanks for the update.

Coloma's avatar

I’m coming into this way after the fact, but…it sounds like the stress of the adjustment the first day was tough on her and she blew it, unintentionally, by getting loaded to cope. Glad it all worked out.

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