It seems that when left to my own devices and given solitude (ahhh! lovely solitude!) I end up minimalisming.
Shush, it is a word.
It has the usual effect of reducing my list of stuff by a few items, and that is good. This time, it has given me a little perspective on my living situation as well.
Since living with other people in a fledgeling housing co-op since June, my health and wellbeing have drastically reduced. I’ve been assuming that the noise has been the worst problem, so I’ve been pushing for sound insulation and I’m willing to invest to make that happen. But now I’m on my own for the first time in a long time and I’m not eating or drinking or washing enough. I’m not able to take care of even my most basic personal needs. And that’s not because of the noise.
I love my room, I really do. It’s the perfect size, and it’s attached to a house that has plenty of things to be improved. That’s brilliant, you know? But if I want water or hot food, I have to go to a communal area. If I want to cook something, I have to spend a significant amount of time in a kitchen that is constantly occupied by other people who play music and have conversations around me, and I have to walk through a usually-messy, often-occupied living room to get there. For someone with sensory issues and anxiety disorder as symptoms of other stuff, this is seriously problematic.
Tonight, my communication is being brought up as an agenda item at our co-op meeting. My fellow members have kindly helped to set up a system that acknowledges that I can’t attend because of anxiety stuff, so I won’t be there. In my absence, one other member of the co-op will raise my behaviour as a problem in the co-op, though no one else has mentioned it to me. He will ask the others to acknowledge that my methods of communication are unacceptable. I have no other way of communicating other than being honest, so he’s basically asking the co-op to affirm his dislike of my methods and to affirm that I am unacceptable.
Since moving in I have been bullied with regards to not allowing people I dislike into my room, the way I explain to people how I feel about proposed co-op decisions, and the way I deal with emergencies. I have been pushed into accepting a 16-hours-per-month workload that I cannot possibly achieve and did not agree to when I moved into the co-op. When I object to things I am blasted with what feels like angry information.
What’s weirdest is, this is a community project, but other people know that I am treated like this and they don’t bring it up as an issue at all; I am left to deal with it alone.
Tonight’s meeting is an opportunity for the members of this co-op to take a look at what it’s becoming and to decide if this is acceptable. If no new direction is taken, I don’t see how this housing co-op can survive and be happy at the same time. We’ve only had a house for 6 months; it’s not too late.
I can’t afford to live alone without DLA. I am in the middle of an appeal, but it’s not unusual for these appeals to take many months and require solicitors.
This has been some information about my life at present.