Thursday, November 30, 2006

She says, "The Living Situation"...I add, "...from hell!"

Dear Wanda,

A very good friend of mine introduced your website to me and I hope you will have a moment to give me some advice on the situation I am in.

I am currently living in southern France, waiting for my residence permit, going to school, having a somewhat typical student life. I am having some disturbances in my living situation: I am staying with a French man ( in his 60s' or 70s') who is working as a pharmacist ( I am not sure how much he works though) We share an one bedroom apartment. He is my landlord but he pays the rent to the "real" landlord. He sleeps in the living room and I sleep in the bedroom.

When you open the door, living room is on the left hand side and there is a small hall way in which situate bathroom and toilette; at the end of the hall way, there is my room. The disturbing parts are:

1/. Whenever I open the door, alone or with my friends, almost every single time, there he is: naked in front of the porn and jerking off! The scene traumatized one of my friends and surely me as well, especially when I got back one day at 2 PM, he was doing the same thing! 2PM?! 2PM?!

2/. He insults me, judges me for no reason and blames me for the things I never did like an addiction. For example: I am at the point where I am afraid to come back to the apartment. So I leave the place in the morning and I usually get back about midnight. I have not used the kitchen for at least three days.

He comes in my room when he wants and complains that my room is not tidy enough. Tonight, he yelled me for "messing up" the kitchen that I hadn't stepped in the past 72 hours and that I lived like a F&*^ing pig, and that I needed to clean the kitchen up. When I tried to explain, he
told me to shut up and just clean up the mess. Alright, I did. I had no desire to get into a fight at midnight.


I am a literature and language student. I've already graduated and I am currently in a program to improve my French but at the same thing I am doing Italian literature and German. For him, I am a complete loser. He kept pushing me to get a job. He swam open my door while I was still asleep a couple of weekends ago at 8AM trying to get me out of bed to look for a job.

I am taking almost 30 credits at school and I have left my resumes in many places. This is the low season in France, and most of the places want only full time workers. Yes, for the moment, I am job-less. I quit my job when the school started because the work schedule didn't fit my school schedule at all. Money is important, but my education comes first, in any case.

His vocabulary will be something desired. "F&^%" can be used as an adverb, adjective, noun, verb, it can even an independent sentence all by itself; it is a useful word, but don't wear it out!

You may be wondering why I haven't moved out this place. I am waiting for a convocation that would allow me to pick up my residence card from the Prefecture. But there had been some complications on the immigration office and the post office... long story short; I can't move out of this place until I get my residence card. I on the other hand have no idea at all when I will receive that golden convocation and get my rights back. I think I will have to be nice to him for a while because he has my 300 euros deposit.

He finished a book on how to take vitamins and nature weight lose. He is seriously over weight, and it is obviously that he tries very hard to take care of himself: 20 kinds of tablets every meal, every day; 5 kinds of facial cleanser or night cream/day cream all over the bathroom. He was
expecting me to help him sell the books by going to pharmacies one by one and trying to have the owner take the books. I am afraid it is not going to happen because I have school. He has strong mood swings, he could be really happy for one hour and becomes a complete monster the next. I am truly at the point where I desperately try to stay out of the apartment as much as I
can. I leave the place in the early morning for school and I get back as late as I can, hoping he would be asleep by then.


This is a big city and I don't seem to find a place to hide. Please let me know what you think of it.

Thanks.

Sincerely
Emma K.


Dear Emma K.,

RUN! Run as if your very life depended on it.

He may not be physically abusive, but this is emotionally and sexually abusive, even if he never touches you.

What would I do? I would start looking at options for social services to help women deal with sexually abusive situations. I don't know the system in France, but I would certainly go to any social service agencies that might sound like options and they will be able to steer you toward the ones who know what to do.

If I had to, I would go to my embassy. In the meantime, look for other options (even if it is spending the night with friends). You must take care of yourself.

That's what I'd do.

Wanda

You may send your questions to whatwouldwandado@comcast.net or post them by clicking on "comments" below.

8 comments:

sar_girl said...

OMG! Run like the wind! You said you have friends that you have brought there. I am sure you can stay with one of them since they saw the situation you are in. There has to be emergency services for abused women there in France as here in the U.S. You may not think you are being abused BUT YOU ARE. You never know what he will do in a real fit of rage. I understand not wanting to lose your 300 Euros but are they worth possibly losing your life???

Emma_K said...

Thank you very much for the advice. I moved out and he stole my deposit money (350 euros). Then, I found out that he is a criminal: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/cac/pr2002/061.html

I went to the police and filed a paper aginst him. Nothing happens yet. We will see. Thanks everyone.

Wanda said...

HOLY MOLY, Batgirl! I am so glad you are out of that dangerous situation. While I am truly sorry about your deposit money, it may be that you would never have received it back no matter how long you stayed. We'll send the police some good juju and maybe they can get it back for you.

In the meantime, rest up and take care of yourself. Absorb the lessons you can absorb about how important it is to take care of yourself; and about how "if a situation seems really wrong, it probably is."

Best to you.

sar_girl said...

Cheers Emma that you are free of that situation. Just be thankful someone was looking out for you and nothing worse happened to you. :) Let's hope justice can be served.

Emma_K2 said...

It is me... I forgot the password so I couldn't log in. I am really thankful that I had someone to seek advice from. I have heard from the police. In fact, I NEVER want tro see this freak nor hear his voice unless one day he's caught and I am asked to testify. It is final's week here... eek...

Wanda said...

You are welcome. I hope you are finding some relief from being out of that situation.

RE: Trauma, go to this site.

RE: Passwords - Click on the "forgot password?" link and they will send you your password (or a temporary one and you can reset yours).

RE: Finals...How did they go? I hope you aced them all.

Best to you in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wanda, I passed all the finals... a good friend told me that you do consuling via telecommunication, is it right? If so, what is the best time to reach you?
All the best for 2007 as well! PS: I am keeping having problems logging in..., but this is Emma

Wanda said...

Hi Emma...

Congratulations on finals. Yes, I do phone consulting. Please send me an email at whatwouldwandado@comcast.net so we can arrange something privately and not on the world wide web.

Best to you this year, too.