Picking up from where we left off in part 1, we were in Anna’s room with the electrician. He went straight to the heater and I looked straight at the bag of weed sitting on the mantle place. A clear bag, with bud just sitting there. In the middle of the mantle place. Now the electrition was down looking at the heater but my mind was absolutely spinning. Not only was I dealing with an electrician right now but that thing called a flat inspection had happened just two hours earlier. My brain was racing through the conversation I had with the property inspector and I was trying to remember if anything seemed off. SHE SURE AS HELL SEEN THE WEED. Literally, would have to be blind to miss it.
Side note; I have no problems with people smoking weed. I don’t have a problem that you keep your weed in your room, where else might you keep it? I do have a problem when you leave an illegal substance out on display for the property inspector to see.
Back to the main story. Now once everyone had left Carrie came home and asked me where her poster was of Will and Kate. I told her I ripped it down and she asked why I said I was angry and then asked her if she had completely forgotten about the fact we had a flat inspection today? She blinked and then said this:
“Yes, I did forget, but it’s not like the house was in that bad of a state.”
So then I had a very stern discussion on that fact that the house was a mess, that I had to cancel my meetings to pick up after her, take the rubbish out and then dropped the bomb that I went into Anna’s room with the electrician after the property inspector had come through only to see a bag of weed sitting on the mantle place.
“I’m sorry that you had to cancel your meetings because the house wasn’t clean enough for you and having weed out is kinda bad but you are not going to lose the lease because of it. It gives you no right to rip down my poster which was a gift from my friend.”
These were the words coming out a 27-year-old people. I apologized for ripping down her poster but then also said how angry would you be if it wasn’t your mess and you have to clean it up despite reminding your flatmates 2 days before the flat inspection and they still don’t clean up after themselves?
She then told me that because she pays rent she should be able to smoke in her room.
Where I seriously questioned if she was being serious or if she was taking the piss. She was being serious. In fact very serious. We then had a conversation where I explained that under no circumstances is anyone allowed to smoke inside. The only person who can is the homeowner. I am explaining to a 27-year old that she cannot smoke inside. I mean how did I end up in this situation?!
So just to make everything very clear because she still wouldn’t accept the fact that she was not allowed to smoke inside I left a message on our group chat.
The image at the top is the screenshot of the conversation.
I thought that would make everything clear.
But no. This would come full circle. But that tale is further down the line.
You might ask yourself what about the other two flatmates Anna and Paul? Well, Anna and her weed kept things relatively quiet for a week or so but Paul couldn’t help himself.
Find out the story with Paul in the next part.
Once again I find myself in a crap situation involving flatmates. I guess in school they never teach you how to pick the good ones. The good news is that I have not moved house in over a year, I have taken on a lease by myself and my landlord hasn’t followed the Auckland trend by hiking up the rent every three months. However, the downfall is that I have magically contracted some horrible flatmates. So let me tell you the stories (PLURAL, because they are assholes) of these humans who never stop surprising me how dumb and inconsiderate they are.
When I took on the lease it was because the leaseholder was moving out and I DID NOT WANT TO MOVE AGAIN. We had two rooms to fill and me and the pre-existing flatty (Scott*) did so. He picked a dude he worked with called Paul* and I picked a girl called Rosie*. They moved in and things were just ticking along fine. The house was never full of people because some of us were either working or at our partner’s house. A couple of months rolled by and Scott was now off on an adventure to Asia and we had to fill his room. Being the nice guy he was he said he had already found someone and I was okay with that. SPOILER ALERT IT WAS MY BIG MISTAKE. Her name was Carrie* and she was 27. The first time I met her was the night before she moved in and we sat down and had dinner together, she seemed nice and was working at the same place as Paul. She moved in and things were okay for the first month. Then the cracks started.
Girl likes to smoke pot, which I had no problems with. She would be having a joint every evening when she finished work, it was her ritual. We would chat on the balcony and talk about the day that had just passed. Autumn rolled in and Rosie* decided she would move out which was cool, I held flat viewings and picked another girl called Anna*. She moved in and quickly befriended Carrie because they worked similar hours and both just loved weed. Then things picked up the pace and started to get a little out of control.
It started with Carrie. First, it was the refusal to pay the power bill because it was expensive. Then it was the refusal to take out the rubbish because she had already done it that week.
Three months in and we had a flat inspection on a Monday. A reminder went out on a Friday. I left the house clean on Sunday morning and came home after work at 12.30pm to a full rubbish bin, dirty floors, the house stinking of weed and cigarettes and a completely messy kitchen. Now knowing that I am living with humans who are all older than me by at least two years and that they had been reminded about the flat inspection two days prior I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I walked into the bathroom and nothing had been done, no scrubbing of the mold, no wiping of the sink, the rubbish had not even been taken out. So at 1am, I started to clean, 40 minutes later, angry and covered in bleach. Coming out of the bathroom the hallway smelled like a drug dealers house. Knocked on Carrie’s door and she popped her head out where I proceeded to ask her if she had been smoking in her room, with a flat inspection in the morning. The 27-year-old looked me dead in the eye and said: “We have finished now”. Literally no apology. I took my shower and crawled into bed.
I woke around 9.30 and wandered out to the kitchen where I stood in the doorway. Nothing had been touched. In fact, things had been added to the rubbish, the pile of dishes. I sigh, start running a sink full of hot water and begin pulling out the rubbish. I open all the windows in the house and look at the time. This gal had a meeting with my supervisor at 10.30am. I began scrubbing the dishes and began to cry into the sink like some sad housewife. Pretty much running around the house as I took the rubbish out, my sadness turned to anger and I ripped a poster off the wall of William and Kate because no house needs that on their bathroom door.
I cleaned the house but missed my meeting. Got dressed then heard the front door close, watched Anna jump into a car and leave. She was literally in her room the entire time. I went and hid in a cafe absolutely livid and was only two sips when my phone starts ringing. It’s the property inspector explaining how she had left our house key at the office and if I was home. I said no but someone else is, Paul was still sleeping though he had got home before me the night before. I said just knock and he will come to the door. She then politely told me how she had been doing that along with the doorbell for 10 minutes and no one had opened the door. I said I would call her back.
I called Paul.
S:”are you home?”
S: “would you get up and let the property inspector in, thanks.”
The property inspector finally gets let in and for the first time since I moved in, I am not there. She lets me know everything seems fine but her tone seems a little weird. I just put it down to it being Monday. But once again, I should have trusted my gut. I then get a call from an electrician asking if I can be home to walk him through the problem we are having with the bathroom light.
I then get a call from an electrician asking if I can be home to walk him through the problem we are having with the bathroom light. One coffee deep I head home, wait for him to turn up and I thought whilst he is here, I will get him to check everyone’s heaters, the hot water cylinder and all the sockets in the house because the power bill was now even more out of control, $450 out of control.
But it was when we walked into Anna’s room with the electrician did I almost throw him back out of the room. It was some sort of sick joke and then I remembered I was living with absolute idiots.
So we our food at Al’s Deli and looked at one another. Then my phone rang and I almost flipped the table. It was my Mum. She was calling because my sister had just gotten home and told her what had happened. Rather composed she asked if I was okay. I said I was shaken but Jamie and I had each other. We said we were going to ring his Mum. That seemed to calm things down. Nothing like being 800km away from your daughter during all of this.
Ended that phone call. Looked at Jamie and he rang his Mum. She said we could move to hers and we should do that today.
So we drove home to our house. In silence. I felt the anxiety growing. Sitting in my throat. All that could keep my breathing steady was knowing we were going to leave. To take refuge at Jamie’s’ mums’ house. Thinking about it now we should of called the police for protection but hindsight is a beautifully cruel thing.
I remember hugging Jamie and him saying this will all be over soon. Nodding we walked in.
No one was home. But when would someone come home?
B only left the house to feed himself and A would of been at work. Emma, was still in the hospital.
Then it begun.
We packed our entire belongings in that house except for our food in four hours. 4 HOURS. Jamie’s mum turned up, then her partner, then Jamie’s best friend.
In, out and gone.
I remember I had to to go to work that night and honestly I have no recollection of what happened. I remember being driven home to Jamie’s mums house and staring at the front door for a few minutes.
Then the abuse started.
The cynical comments of if we had moved out. To the abuse over a mint plant. The threats of not getting our bond back because we had not cleaned the room.
There was no acknowledgement of what the hell had happened the night before. Then I had another panic attack. The tears came back and Jamie’s mum was now getting worried about all our safety.
Heres how it played out:
The within the first week we went back, cleaned our room, all our shelves, picked up our food, fought with B over how much rent we were going to pay as we had never signed a contract stating any amount of time. There was legal threats thrown out and honestly I was ready to chuck 20k at a lawyer and have them buried. Reason and logic prevailed with negotiation.
A month out:
Still no bond back and for what reason you ask? Oh A thought we had stolen her underwear and that she was not going to pay us till we gave them back.
Just so yall are clear. We didn’t have her underwear. Psychotic bitch.
Two months out:
Still no bond. Awaiting over $1000. Casually.
Got a check delivered to Jamie’s mums house. HAND DELIVERED. Not the right amount.
THEY HAD FOUND OUT WHERE WE WERE STAYING.
Anxiety attacks came back.
Three months out:
Jamie had moved out, I had three house pull out and I was still at his mums house when we finally got a check. For $715. One weeks rent and the cost of a new pair of underwear.
I called Jamie, told him I am ready to let it go if he was.
After three months. We were.
Fast forward almost a year since we moved into the house from hell and I am sick of this story.
Why you ask?
Because it’s caused me so much f**king trouble this year. Ive moved house 4 times. This was the first domino in a very long complicated 2016 for me. I turn 22 in 13 days and honestly I cannot wait to finish this year and scream from a hill how happy I am to put this all to be. I am glad that I have written this story down.
You should know these things:
- My old flat mates read this. They don’t “care” as long as I change there names.
- Emma; is still getting help.
- Jamie and I live apart.
- The repercussions of these three months has led me to seek professional help.
- I have no idea what A&B are up to.
- Only now does my family really know what happened.
- I hate renting.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Its a messed up one. And thankfully its over now.
I don’t remember what day it was. Facebook tells me it was a weekend. At least that is when my sister uploaded her photos from her trip to Auckland.
I had not seen her in 10 months. Auckland is busy. I was trying to finish my degree. My parents can vouch for me. I barely skype them because I am so busy. So it was a special occasion.
Now I took one phycology paper in my undergraduate studies (which I failed) though there are things I remember. Like the more you tell a story the more diluted it becomes. Hence the idea that you should write down traumatic incidences down ASAP. So this story has been told many times. This is what I remember currently.
You should know that I still have nightmares about this night. That locks on doors make me feel safe. That I hardly ever sleep in the nude (though I totally would) because I am scared of what might be in my door way. It is slowly going away.
So my sister was up from Nelson for the first time in 10 months. She had arrived and stayed one night. She was asleep in our bed and Jamie and I were on the couch enjoying an evening in front of the TV. A and B were in their room and Emma was down the hall asleep. Full house one might say.
I was almost falling asleep when Emma walked into the lounge and asked if I could talk to someone on the phone for her. I got up followed her to her room where she sat down on her bed and put the phone to my ear.
“Hello Seren, this is Stacy from the crisis team are you happy to talk to me?”
I have never pulled a poker face in my life till this moment. Looking at Emma I smiled very gently. Mother Duck was here.
Stacy explained that Emma had been prescribed sleeping pills because her anxiety had been keeping her awake at night. She went on to say that due to the current environment of the house Emma was feeling on edge, scared and unable to rest.
She had since taken a whole weeks worth of sleeping pills.
Stacy followed quickly with “it isn’t a suicide attempt, she just really wanted to sleep and rest, Emma told me that and I believe her.”
The current environment of the house was horrible. Dirty, tension and no one would sit down to clear the air. Because it wasn’t like we were all adults or anything.
Stacy said she can not asses the situation since she is not there in person. So I asked should I take Emma to the hospital. The response was a yes and that she would call ahead for us because Emma was become very agitated.
I walked out to Jamie, grabbed a jumper from our room and paused to watch my sister blissfully sleep for a moment. Kissed Jamie on the head, he was very sleepy and walked Emma to the car. We got in and I turned the radio down low as she smoked a cigarette. She was quiet but every time she looked at me I smiled. She pulled her knees to her chest as I drove to the hospital.
It was about 10pm when we walked through A&E. Emma had her vitals taken and multiple private conversations with the doctors. She was hooked up to a couple of machines and had an IV popped into her arm.
I explained to the doctor in private that Emma would try make a run for it. She had at the end of the day escaped the psych unit multiple times. She needed a security guard. The doctor looked at me kinda like I was stupid. But Emma had taken herself to the ‘toilet’ which was really outside to have a cigarette. When she was found by security she was all smiles and jokes. Cunning bitch to say the least.
After a couple of hours the Doctor explained she would need to stay overnight for observations and that she would need to be seen by the hospital’s psychiatric unit in the morning. So we said our goodnights and I made sure she had everything and that the doctor would call me if needed. I walked out of those hospital doors for the 3rd time that month to get back into the car.
I drove home thinking “what the fuck am I doing with my life? My boyfriend is at home, my sister is at my house and I am mothering someone else’s child.”
I pulled into the car port, walked into the house, moved my sister to the couch and moved Jamie from the couch to the bed. Put my PJs on and passed out.
Then there was a bang. A silhouette of a figure stood in the doorway and then there was the screaming. High pitched, angry and aiming directly at me in bed.
I sat up, wide eyed and stared at this person. It was A. She was holding onto the door frame screaming at me.
“move the fucking car, I told Jamie you aren’t allowed to park there. Wake up and move that pile of shit”
I leaped out of bed and immediately started to apologize. I grabbed the keys and headed for the door making sure to move quick. But she didn’t stop.
“I fucking told him, who do you think you are? This is my house, my carport, not yours. Now hurry up.”
I was grasping the door handle when she stared at me through the window and I could see that something was not adding up.
I drove down the road and to find a park in Ponsonby is near impossible as no one has off street parking. It took a 3-4 minute walk in barefeet to get back to the house. The front door was wide open and I could see the kitchen/ lounge lights on. I closed the door, saw B in his room on their bed and I walked to our bedroom. I thought I would check on my sister. She would surely be awake. I was saying to my sister that she shouldn’t worry as everything was sorted now. That she should grab some sleep her flight was at 8am. Thats when A started at me again.
“How dare you think that you can park in the car port when I told Jamie before we went out that the car was to be moved. You think you own this house don’t you?”
“No I don’t. Jamie hadn’t told me and when I got home as he was asleep.”
“Dont give me that bull shit. You knew, you wanted me to react this way.”
“Honestly, no. My sister is trying to sleep. If you want to talk about it we can do it in the morning since its now 1am.”
“No no, we are going to talk about it now because you bitch need to learn a lesson.”
My sister being my sister butted in as she often does and said:
“please don’t talk to my sister like that.”
I then saw a snap change in her. Like a switch was flicked on and that girl just went from 0-100. She turned from me to her. Walked slowly and said:
“who the fuck you think you are? this is my house, my roof, you are sleeping on my couch and you have no fucking place here, your slumming off us because you are cheap like the whole Powell-Jones family. I’m sure of that now.”
My eyebrows raised and knew if this didn’t calm down in the next 0.002 seconds all hell was going to break lose.
You know when you watch something happen in front of you and you imagine 4000 different ways it could play out in a few seconds. So I acted.
“A, go to bed. Clearly you are intoxicated and not thinking straight. Think what you want but we will talk about this in the morning as there are things you do not know or understand.”
The she turned to me and said:
“fuck that I want your shitty sister out now.”
Then this all happened in slow motion to me.
She launched herself at my sister.
All 5 foot 3, size 6 white girl wasted self.
I could see her claws.
I jumped like a mother fucking cat. In my head all I had running was “swiper no swiping”.
She got her hands on my sister but I was right there. Pushed that girl off. She was small and I was wound up. I watched her stumble and then pick up a bottle of wine.
#real talk – I thought she was going to bottle and stab me and my sister. Instead she swung the bottle around yelling at house angry she was and that she was calling the police. She ran down the hall to her boyfriend and slammed the door behind her.
I looked at my sister and said “go to sleep, you can’t deal with this.”
She said: “na fuck that little bitch she needs a punch in the head.”
My sister cares a lot. She loves me a lot. Punches to the head weren’t going to help.
So I took a deep breath, walked down the hall and knocked on their door. A was screaming at B to call the police and he was just like “come to bed, lets deal with this in the morning.”
She went quiet and opened the door, looked me up and down and said “I hope this is your notice”.
I smiled and said “no.”
I then took another breath and replied with:
“the reason Jamie didn’t tell me that I was to NOT park in the car port was because I was in hospital with Emma.”
Then I let that lil bitch sit on that burn for a second. I followed with:
“she overdosed on her sleeping pills and has to stay over night. she did this because she is scared of this house, the environment that we have all created. the poor girl just wanted to sleep and I for one completely understand her situation. so please let us talk about this in the morning and I will explain everything. I am sorry for parking in the car port. I did not know.”
Then I witnessed something that still makes my skin crawl. She switched.
“oh my god, is she okay, what happened? can we go see her? we need to be with her!”
She starts yelling at B to get out of bed and get ready to go to the hospital.
I said that can’t go tonight as they won’t let them in, she can take visitors in the morning and we need to create a home for her to come back to.
A looked at me up and down again:
“what sort of person leaves a helpless 19 year old in the hospital? oh thats right you are Seren Powell-Jones, clearly some scum.”
Then closed the door in my face. I stood there for about 3 minutes listening to her debate with him over if they should go or not. They decided not to go.
I dragged myself back to bed.
Jamie was sitting in bed and that when I broke.
I begun to cry. I felt like someone watch jumping up and down on my chest and thats when the anxiety crawled into my throat. I couldn’t talk. My sister sat on our bed and said how she was so sorry.
But now I couldn’t breathe. I was having a panic attack.
Then I experienced the worst cycle to date.
I would be calmed down by Jamie. I would almost have my breath and then I would have flashbacks. Oh her in the doorway. Oh her launching herself at my sister, then they begun to change. The wine bottle was broken, my arms would bleed from her cutting into me. She was so aggressive and there was nothing I could do to stop her.
Then I got out of control. I became Emma, erratic and unpredictable. I looked at Jamie, said we have to leave, go to a hotel, move the duchess in front of the door. Lock ourselves in. I needed my sister. I thought I would hear her being murdered through the door.
I became paralyzed with flashbacks and fear. This went on till 5 am.
My sister woke me to tell me that she was leaving. Her best friend was here to take her to the airport. She left safely.
That morning Jamie and I snuck out of our own home and drove Al’s Deli where I was a complete zombie.
We ate breakfast in silence because if he brought up what had just happened. I would cry and begin to shake.
The worst part was that we had to go back. To that house, to those people.
So we pick up where we left off. Emma, was well dealing and the rest of the house had no clue. She would be gone for three days to a week at the time. Back and forth from the unit, medication changing and life just continued on.
Jamie was struggling at work due to the lack of sleep, I was working at my new job getting home at around 1am after being on my feet for 6 hours. Creeping into the house I could always hear B playing his video games from the mouse clicking and chair re shuffling.
We had been the house now for a couple of months. Emma wasn’t home, away at the unit again. Jamie was in bed. I went to go make something to eat, maybe toast. However there were dishes everywhere, the sink was full and I wasn’t going to clean up someone else’s mess, not for what felt like the 1 millionth time. I also then remembered that we still had no vacuum cleaning. I had been sweeping the floors and been told that B’s step dad was going to give us one. Two months deep, two months of filth. I was falling apart at the seams. So I didn’t make toast, I thought a tasty shower would be better.
I put my phone down, jumped in the shower, washed away the day then got out and picked up my phone. I tried not to scream. Or smash my phone. Or wash my soul in bleach. I simply dealt with the situation like a boss, and sent this very aggressive message.
“Hey team sorry about the late message and the late shower. 1. I don’t care if you trim your bodily hair. 2. I do care when you use the kitchen scissors and then leave a disgusting fucking mess in the bathroom. Please clean this immediately. Thank you.”
B had trimmed his beard hair with the kitchen scissors and then just left them strewn everywhere, the floor, the bench, the sink. IT WAS TOUCHING MY TOES! My clean toes. I just wanted a shower. When I picked up my phone and it had a film of hair on it, then I am sure you can understand why my aggressive message was sent.
So I ask you now to do the math. No vacuum cleaner, a couple who didn’t care, a boyfriend who could barely sleep, a flat mate who was in and out of the psychiatric unit, I was starting to crack.
This wasn’t what I signed up for and well I am literally living in filth. So I washed my feet again, crawled into bed only to hear A and B start arguing. Again.
So we last finished knowing that Emma wasn’t okay. The truth was she seemed to be falling apart. Jamie and I sat down and talked seriously about the welfare of her. Who has last seen her eat or even buy food. We saw her smoking but nothing else. So we took it on ourselves to take care of her between us because A & B just did not realize what they were doing. When I was at work Jamie would cook and make her sit down with him and have dinner. I would make cups of tea and time to just sit with her. There were good days when she would make her own breakfast because I was in the kitchen and then there were bad days of binge drinking and drugs.
Though one day came around when she turned up at home after 3 nights out, with someone I had never met before. Standing in her door frame I watched her start to pick up her clothes. She said she was going away for a bit. I asked for how long and she replied with “when they decide its safe to let me out”. She told me she had been seeing a therapist and that part of her treatment was to go and stay in the ‘unit’ for a few days. She was honest and she looked hopeful. Her friend was taking her there and as she picked up her last pair of tights and colorful jumper she turned on her heels and thanked me.
It was about two days later when I was at home studying. B was in his room playing video games because his hand hurt and he couldn’t go to work. (5 weeks without going to work here people). I remember every single detail. Like a flash bulb memory. The Neighborhood was playing female robbery. The wind was blowing gently through our french doors and I was sitting on the bed thinking about what I will make for lunch when there was a knock at the door. I ignored it. Ponsonby gets many door knocker. They knocked again. I stuck my head out into the hall. I wasn’t wearing pants. I put pants on for important things. I saw an outline in the glass. Dark, tall and then this person knocked on the door but with much more urgency this time. This. Was. No. Door. To. Door. Salesman.
Slipping on my grey fat pants I pulled my cardigan around me and opened the door. The radio struck me first, followed by the taser. My eyes flicked over his body and I didn’t even hear his name though he introduced himself. Standing before me was a police officer. He wanted to come in. I said yes and asked how could I help. I was thinking about all the different reasons he could be here. You have no idea how fast your mind can flick through ideas till its happening.
He was looking for Emma. Why? Oh she had just escaped the unit and they were thinking she was going to turn up at home. I offered him a cup of tea and asked if I could ask him about the situation. I explained that half of her ‘home’ didn’t know what was going on. Or where she had gone. He denied my cup of tea for a glass of water. He said he didn’t know that much but asked me if he could search the house. I said yes. So through the house he went. Though not into B’s room because I warned the officer that she wouldn’t be there due to the smell and the cohabitant. He smiled and simply explained that Emma is really unwell mentally and needs to go back to the unit. He said it was extremely important that if she does turn up I was to call him. His name was Stewart and he looked into my soul to see if I was lying about anything. I was not lying, though I was sweating and not thinking about lunch.
I don’t remember when she slipped through the door. I think she might of climbed through her window though she suddenly appeared in the kitchen. She knew the police would be here soon and she asked if I had seen any. I said no.
Lying. I do not like it. She said she was calling a cab and going back to the unit. She had only left because she wanted a break. Honestly, I was freaking out. She grabbed a glass of juice, a smoke and her tooth brush. Jumped into a cab and then I ran back to my room called Stewart and told him what had just happened. He said he would call me back only if she didn’t turn back up. He never called. She came home a week later. With prescriptions and appointments every 3 days. A and B still had no idea. As far as they were concerned she was out enjoying life, maybe on a surf trip or with friends. Emma was very good at hiding things. That I learnt.