I think the very worst thing about living in supported housing like I do, is that there are so many people around to piss you off, and so very few to go to for help. This is bizarre considering it is called SUPPORTED housing. I have felt very much unsupported the whole four months I have lived here. The staff here are pretty much useless, and the other residents? They are not a particularly nice group of people, to say the least. It may just be that I don’t get on with the residents because I'm not a anything like they are. Take my flatmate for instance. She wears the same clothes that I see on every other person walking down the street. She doesn’t smile, unless she has done something mean (see what I write in a minute; was one of my worst experiences.) and she is a lazy slob who can’t do her washing up, wash her hands after the toilet, or even bother to wipe the seat. She smokes like literally all the other residents, and I'm aware of the drug situation here. She is also one of the loudest people living here; she plays all the chart music like everyone else, at the same deafening level at the same ungodly hours. I have, honest to god, heard someone over the other side of the building play ‘call me maybe’ loudly, just after my flatmate has, who had started playing it just a few seconds after someone else had started it. And I can hear all of this mishmash of already awful music, in my room, whilst trying to study, or draw; read; watch a DVD. It’s crazy.And guess what. Write about the awful music and they’ll start playing it. At ten on a Sunday evening. When I should be asleep. If it weren’t for my flatmate, I would have gone to sleep an hour ago, and had the music wake me up now, in which case I would have been very angry, but not done anything about it other than put earplugs in –which I thank my big sister for giving to me for my birthday because they are often needed and I wouldn’t be able to live without them now.
But remember when I said my flatmate is mean? I'm awake because about a week ago, I gathered up the courage to have a shower here whilst she was out. I don’t like using the shower whilst she is in, because, yes, I am afraid of her, and also, because I don’t like the idea of making the, yes, tiny, walk from my room to the shower and back with just a towel on whilst her pervert boyfriend is there. Over the summer I showered only at my mum’s house or various friends’ when I could. I planned my social life around when I was clean. I'm so glad I wear wigs because it meant no one could easily tell, unless they saw my unshaven pits, that I hadn’t showered in a couple of days by my greasy hair. Thank you body spray and friends who turned nocturnal for the summer.
So, I've waited for my flatmate to leave. Its eleven in the morning, and I make a break for it and have a glorious shower. I rid myself of two days of grime and come out smelling like honey and strawberries (I love Lush). I spend the day writing.When my flatmate comes home later, and and knocks on my door. I groan inwardly because the few times she has ever knocked on my door was to have a go at me for something. But I haven’t turned off any of the lights so I'm presuming I must have done something wrong by having a shower.
And I'm right. She tells me that the reason the shower door had been shut was because there was a giant spider in there and she hadn’t wanted it getting loose. She claimed she had tried to tell me earlier not to open it, but she hadn’t because I had been awake before she had had a shower. So she makes me go check it’s still in there, which it is, and it is ginormous. And it’s under the sink. So we shut the door and she tells me she’ll get her boyfriend to get rid of it.
Now, I'm am scared of a lot of things, the dark, social interactions, flies, wasps, taking my rubbish bags down to the bin, doing my washing in the ‘house machine’ here, that everyone uses. I'm scared of holding babies, (would be THE worst thing if I dropped a baby!) talking to babies in front of other people in case they are silently judging me because I don’t know what to say really. I'm scared of lots of weird things, but I can manage to go about my day without being completely stuck by these things. Well, usually.
Basically, what I'm getting at here, is that the one fear I do have, that does get in the way of my everyday life, that I don’t have an easy solution to, is spiders. Over the past year I have gotten better; I can now spend limited time in a room with a small spider, that is over the other side of the room, and that I can get out of the room in a matter of seconds. Before I walk into a room I religiously check the ceiling, corners and walls of rooms that are likely to have spiders in them, or I have seen a spider in before. And whilst in that room I do constant checks. Only people who know me very well will notice what I'm doing.
So in any case, I stupidly believe her and continue to go out and go over my mums for the weekend. I plan on returning on the Tuesday morning, the day before I start my new college. Before I actually leave I do think about the gaps under my door and the shower door. But I can’t think of a way to cover my gap from the outside, without it being simple for someone to move it and re-expose the gap. So I leave it because I'm running late; my mum has been sat in the car waiting for me and i dont want her to just drive off. Which is something she would do. When I got back on Tuesday I bump into my flatmate who assures me that the spider had been dealt with, and that was the last I thought about it until today.
I've been at my mums overnight to get a TV fill, and she drove me home quite late. So I come in, unpack, and start picking out clothes for college in the morning. Then I start to tidy up a bit because Monday is room inspection day.Notthat that means anything sold. And I find it. And I scream. And then I hear laughter. It is too well-timed to have been coincidence. I back away from the spider, putting my shoes on in the process, and go to my door and stand quietly. After the laughter, I hear my flatmate ask her boyfriend if he thought that meant I had found the spider from the bathroom.
Now, any ordinary person would either pick up the spider on something and throw it out, or kill it and throw it out, and just get on with it. I don’t know what it is with me, but I definitely can’t risk picking it up, killing it is my only option. With no one to turn to I have to kill my second spider ever (the first was while I was living here too, and was an easy enough small one, squish under a piece of paper against the wall with something long, drop in cereal box, throw away) it takes me a few minutes to gather up the courage to do it, and it would easily have procrastinated for a while if it had been smaller, but I couldn’t risk losing this spider (who wasn’t moving but they play dead) and I squish it, with my shoe, until definitely dead. Lift into bin on long piece of paper to ensure it won’t land on me if I mess up and drop it. Tie bin and leave bin alone. (can’t take it out at this time of night) what I’d like to have done was have someone come and throw it alive into her room and terrify her. But that is a simple fantasy and I would never do that to anyone.
So the reason I am awake instead of getting some decent sleep before early start and college in the morning, is because I am sharing my room with a large dead spider in a bin tonight. This scares me only a little less than sharing with a live one.