It’s not a punishment to be shunned by an asshole…
We’re coming up on a year in Wiesbaden. A year ago, we found the house we’re in, and it was about this time in 2018 that we were starting to plan our move. Even though the house we’re in is much better than our old one was, and our current landlords are much more mature and respectful, I remember being very anxious about the move for many reasons.
I knew that our former landlords would be screwing us out of our deposit. I knew that our ex landlady would be passive aggressive and angry. In fact, she’d been passive aggressive all year, probably because she was offended when Bill asked her to give us notice before she came over to the house. We were certainly entitled to notice. It was clearly stated in our lease. But when Bill politely asked her to let us know before she came over, she became belligerent. In an email to Bill, she made it plain that she would NOT be telling us when she was coming to do her yard work… which by then had become sporadic, even though we were paying her to do it. She claimed she was “too busy” to send us a four word text or email.
The message was that Bill and I are not busy… or, more specifically, I’m not “busy”. She has a life and I don’t; therefore, she had every right to disturb me whenever she pleased, even if I was doing something important or private, not dressed appropriately, sick, in the shower, having sex, etc. Because I don’t have children and wasn’t working outside of the home, I couldn’t possibly doing anything that shouldn’t be interrupted by her uninvited presence. I don’t have the right to feel disrespected and discounted. After all, I’m just Bill’s childless, seemingly unemployed wife. Who cares if my privacy or peace is violated? By the way… just because someone doesn’t work outside of the house, that doesn’t mean they aren’t working. For all ex landlady knew, I could have been working remotely. A lot of people do that. It wouldn’t have been any of her business, either, as long as she was being paid.
There we were, paying these people to let us live in their house. We were also paying them to do yard work, on their insistence. I will never again rent from people who insist on doing the yard work. It’s a sign that they will be intrusive and controlling.
Even though we were paying them, they were acting as if we were employed by them. They had the right to intrude whenever they pleased. They had the right to yell at me in my own home, accuse me of things I didn’t do, demand that I do chores, insult me, violate the lease, and become extremely defensive and nasty whenever something went wrong. I never heard them take any responsibility or give us the benefit of the doubt. I never heard ex landlady apologize when she falsely accused me of being negligent– such as when the electric Rolladen wouldn’t come down and she claimed it was because I didn’t use it enough. The real issue was that it wasn’t installed properly, and she later admitted to that fact. But she never apologized for blaming me for that issue. She wasn’t even concerned that I could have been seriously hurt when the awning that her husband didn’t fix properly suddenly collapsed. In fact, she blamed me, since I wasn’t sitting under it when it went down. I guess she wanted me to break bones or suffer a concussion on her property.
Then, when she predictably ripped us off, we asserted our rights. And she became even more vindictive, threatening to countersue for things she claims we damaged, but can’t prove we did… because she neglected to do basic landlord tasks like conduct a proper check in. We were expected to be perfect, but she was not. Why? Because she probably already thinks she’s perfect. Her behavior is very narcissistic and controlling. She gave us the silent treatment because we weren’t falling in line and giving her the deference she thinks she’s owed. I guess the silent treatment must have worked in the past. People who care about her must have acquiesced when she’s used that tactic on them. The difference in our case is, I don’t have that kind of relationship with the ex landlady. When she accused me of being irresponsible, negligent, filthy, lazy, a homewrecker, etc., I stopped wanting to appease her. I stopped wanting to even be in the same room with her, let alone talk to her. So I enjoyed the silent treatment and responded in kind. That’s not the best way to settle differences, but when one person refuses to cooperate, it’s probably a sanity saver. I don’t make time for verbally abusive people who refuse to behave in an adult manner.
Ironically, the last year in that house was probably our happiest overall, even though she was pissed at us and giving us the silent treatment. What she doesn’t realize is that it’s not a punishment to be shunned by someone who is immature, and engages in childish power plays in a passive aggressive attempt to get other people to change their behavior. I enjoyed the silence. It was a relief. Honestly, why would I want to talk to someone who acts like that? It’s not a punishment to be shunned by someone who behaves like an asshole.
And if there was ever anyone wondering why I penned frustrated, angry posts about her when this was going on, it seems to me that the reason is obvious. I could have yelled back at her. The thought crossed my mind. But I knew that if I started yelling, I might not be able to stop before I said something truly vicious. Besides, that would just be lowering myself to her immature level. So instead, I let my face do the talking and vented about it in writing. Apparently, I didn’t have the right to do that, either, since she’s clearly 100% right and I’m clearly 100% wrong. I got messages from her flying monkey about how wrong I was to be angry and vent on my space about the way I was being treated. She said this even though she’s got one side of the story… or, she doesn’t believe my side. It’s none of her business, anyway, is it?
It’s been a year, and I’m feeling somewhat better. I wish I were the type of person who could just flip my hair and be done with it. It takes me awhile to get over stuff. I own that. This is going to be resolved and things will be back to normal soon. We just have to go to court.