Two weeks ago, the night before I was leaving for the conference, I got home from lab and ran into my roommate. I keep using different names for my roommates, but whatever. In this post, their names are Lisa and Tonya. I run into Lisa, and we have a nice conversation, talking about her new internship, computer programming, the upcoming conference, etc. Tonya was in her room with the door closed. After talking to Lisa in the hallway for a while, I go into my room to start packing (with my door still wide open), and Lisa goes downstairs to get water or something.
Lisa comes back up a few minutes later, knocks on Tonya’s door and calls “Ton, do you want to go on a walk with me?” Pause. “Ton? Want to go for a walk?”
Tonya answers, “Yeah!” and opens the door. “Give me five minutes to get ready!” They talk about how nice and refreshing a walk will be, and I wait patiently in my room (which is about 5 paces away from them) for them to ask me if I want to go. They never do.
As Tonya is putting her shoes on, she starts talking about something that happened to a lab-mate recently. I had heard part of this story before, so I joined into the conversation, asking follow-up details. We talk about it for just a few minutes, then Tonya says, “Okay, I’m ready to go.” They continue the topic as they’re walking down the stairs, and Tonya says something about a health condition.
I say (while they’re still at the top of the stairs and I’m standing in the hallway) “Wait, is Judy okay?”
The two of them continue talking without acknowledging me.
“Wait, real quick before you go, what’s going on with Judy?”
Again, they continue talking without any indication that they even heard me, while I’m literally just a few feet away.
I try one more time. “Tonya, before you guys go, can you tell me what happened with Judy?”
Still no response, and by this time, they’re at the bottom of the stairs still carrying on their conversation.
I go back into my room, and I feel like I can’t breathe. I can’t even describe how terrible that feeling was. I was blatantly ignored by them and excluded from their walk. This is one of those many instances where it’s not just in my head. The exclusion is tangible and unexplainable by anything rational. I just stood in my room, my body numb, as I hear the front door open and them slam shut.
Then I started to cry.
I’m almost about to cry now just writing about it, two weeks later. It’s such a terrible feeling when my two closest friends treat me like this. I don’t understand why because we seemed to be on good terms since I had talked to them both quite a bit in the days leading up to this, and nothing seemed to be wrong. If you’re reading this narrative, it might sound like there was something wrong with Tonya that she needed to talk about alone with Lisa, but I don’t think that’s it because I had talked to Tonya a lot through the week, and she acted totally fine and happy and she normally tells me everything. And right before they left for the walk, she was talking all excitedly and smiling a lot, and after living with her for 3 years, I can usually tell when something is off, so I’m sure it’s not that.
They came back from their walk about an hour later. I was sitting on the couch in the living room. I had just ordered food, so I was waiting for it to be delivered. Lisa sits down in the chair next to me and starts talking to me about something. As we’re talking, she suddenly stops, looks at me, and says “Is everything okay?”
I nod and just say that I’m a little distracted, and then I continue the conversation. I knew that eventually I would need to confront them about what’s been going on, but I was just too tired and sad and I had to get up at 2:30am for an early-morning flight, so I just didn’t have the strength or mental capacity to talk about something that makes me so vulnerable.
My food eventually get delivered, and I’m like, “yay, finally!”
“Oh, I was wondering why you were down here,” Lisa says flatly.
What does that even mean? It was such a small, insignificant comment, but after everything that had just happened between us, it was the final nail in the coffin. I took my food into my room and ate in there alone while watching old episodes of Portlandia because I just felt so sad and rejected in my own home.
I guess it was good timing that we were going away for a week, but the three of us were all going to the same conference, so I’d still be seeing them, and it’d be in a context where I couldn’t really talk about what was bothering me, so it made things difficult. It was a nice distraction, though, I guess.
They got back last Friday. When I got back on Sunday, Tonya was home, so I talked to her for a bit, and then I went to bed because I was so damn tired. Monday, we all went to a movie together, which was very fun, and everything seemed to be back to normal. I hadn’t thought about the previous events in a while, so I was feeling pretty good.
Tuesday, I came home around eight and no one was home. Immediately, I get a panick that they’re hanging out without me, and I’m bothered by it the entire night until they both come home together at 9:30 pm, talking loudly, laughing, etc. They walk past me in the living room, say hello, and then go upstairs, talk a bit, and then go to their respective rooms. It bothers me because I have no idea where they were together. It could be any of like a million perfectly normal reasons, but all I can think is Here it goes again.
Wednesday, I come home around 7:30 and neither of them are home again. Again, I panic. Why do they keep going out at night without me? Why am I never invited? Where the fuck are they going? After about 30 minutes, Tonya comes in. She had been out running. We have a delightful conversation, and then she goes to her room. About 10 minutes later, Lisa comes in from a completely separate run, and we have a nice conversation before I go to my room.
Thursday, I come home around 7:30 and again no one is home. Again, I get into an irrational panic, but they come home separately, Tonya at 8-ish, Lisa at 10-ish.
I’m describing all of this because nothing is adding up, and it’s sending me into an irrational panic on a daily basis. It doesn’t make sense because nothing seems to be wrong, yet it’s clear that I am being excluded, but I’m not being excluded completely, so I don’t know what’s going on. I need to confront them about it because the irrational panic is by no means sustainable and I can’t be worrying every evening about whether or not they’re hanging out without me.
I hate writing about this because, even though it might be making me feel better, it hurts bringing everything up again and I’m on the verge of tears, and I still have to get through the rest of the day. I’m so worried I’ll get home tonight and no one will be home and I won’t know where they are and they’ll be out having Friday-night fun and I’ll just be sitting at home alone and confused.
I don’t know what’s going on, but I hate it and it’s making me so fucking sad.