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Abusive Relationships/Emotionally Abusive Roommate


Hi Sonya,

   I am currently a undergraduate student in college and am living in an apartment with three other girls.  From the start, one of my roommates seemed obsessed with stirring up drama in the apartment for attention.  For a while I tried being friendly around her and ignoring the problem, but what started as petty drama has escalated into emotional abuse.  I've about reached my emotional breaking point and feel so trapped.  

    The petty drama first escalated into the girl starting a hierarchical system in our apartment, in which only our one roommate was worthy of her time.  She began to ignore my other roommate and I when we refused to react negatively to her drama.  Now she's taken up the silent treatment and ignores all of us, simply not acknowledging any of us at all. even when guests are present in our apartment. It makes it so awkward for everyone! Even worse, recently she's began to cyber-bully one of my roommates.

    I am not a fan of drama and usually do not have a problem getting along with other people.  I have tried all semester to tell myself just to ignore everything and be the bigger person, that our lease is only for another semester, but the emotional strain of our situation is turning me into a nervous wreck.  I've tried being nice to this girl, I've tried distancing myself to give her space; but everything I've done just makes it worse.  She literally knows nothing about me and never sees me.  I don't understand how she can hate any of us this much for just existing. I feel like I just hide in my room from her now to avoid contact.  The stress is giving me anxiety attacks.  I don't think a room-change is possible any time soon.  I have no clue what to do.  

   How can I cope with this environment for another three months?      How can I make the emotional abuse stop?  Any advice would be much appreciated.  

         Thanks so much,

Hi Hannah-

If there is any way to change rooms, do so. If she is acting this way to all of the other roommates too, perhaps you can ask her or have her removed trough some legal channels.

I feel for you. Nothing is worse than not having a home or someplace to go that offers sanctuary and safety of mind and body.

You can only change yourself, never anyone else.  You are also only responsible for what YOU think, say and do, not others.

Knowing this, govern yourself with respect and honesty, kindness and light, and if you cannot move, perhaps your example will plant a seed of change in your world.


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Sonya Snyder


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Was a victim of domestic violence and abuse, and studied to get my MA in forensic psychology to understand the abnormal mind of serial abusers. Much abuse isn't physical, and though it can be the most damaging long term - the emotional abuse is rarely understood nor dealt with by our court and legal systems, leaving victims feeling trapped and unsupported. I will give back to others what I have learned as a successfully surviving and thriving veteran of both family and domestic abuse, so they can get out, heal, and live truly free, too.

BA Journalism, soon-to-be completed MA in Forensic Psychology

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