MY RACIST ROOMMATE STORY

AKA probably the most traumatic experience of my life
  1. I flew 5,000km away from home to university and I was super excited to get a roommate to have someone to share the experience of living alone with
    She was a year older and from Texas, my first real experience with an American!!!!
  2. Right off the bat, I got bad vibes from her
    She was a lil rude (Ok, I told myself, I'm just too Canadian), very awkward (Stop being so judgemental, Tyra), and complained a lot (I was so full of gratitude to be where I was that this was incredibly unnerving).
  3. We had typical roommate issues like sleeping times and her twin sister coming to visit at weird times
    (bitch wanted all the lights off at 10pm like is she trippin?)
  4. But like 3 days in she started making really fucked up comments and making me feel really uncomfortable
  5. A few examples I feel comfortable sharing:
  6. We were talking about our families and she goes "Yeah I'm like 1/8th Sri Lankan but I'm so lucky I have my nice fair skin so you can't tell"
    I gave her a look and she went "OH don't worry, you have nice skin too, it's not that dark."
  7. She wanted me to go out to lunch with her and her uncle (her family was obsessed with meeting me) ((I'm 90% sure it was to make sure I wasn't a terrorist)) and I said I'd think about it so she acts all defeated and goes "What if we go get Punjabi food, then will you come?!"
    I told her that I'm Punjabi, and she was like throwing it back in my face/assuming all I eat is curry lol fucking bitch (can you tell I'm still angry??)
  8. We met a nice guy from India, he had fair skin and blue eyes. After he left the room she turns to me and goes "There's no way he's from India.... His eyes?? His SKIN??! No way."
  9. et cetera, et cetera
  10. ......And I didn't really say anything to her about it.
  11. And that's where I get fucked up.
  12. I didn't call her out or yell at her like I knew I would've in my every day life back at home because I lived in the same room as her. I was trapped. I was so dumbfounded that people like this existed in real life.
  13. I was also scared of her, I think?
    Which is so embarrassing to admit.
  14. And so I just... stopped talking to her. And let her do her thing.
  15. But then I started realizing that I was feeling really, really weird and so unlike myself. I would dread going home at the end of the day.
  16. I would lock myself in our bathroom and cry. I would cry in the shower. I cried myself to sleep a couple times. Any time I found myself alone I would start crying.
    I couldn't help it, like it was just an automated thing I would do when she wasn't around.
  17. I had never felt anything like this in my life before. So angry and powerless and miserable and GUILTY.
  18. I felt so incredibly guilty. Guilty that I didn't say anything to her or yell at her or punch her or SOMETHING. I was just so mad at myself for not doing ANYTHING.
  19. Like I'd built myself up to be this advocate for equality and tolerance and then when I was faced with it in my own life I did nothing? It really made me question what I stood for and believed in- I was so disappointed in myself.
    I still don't think I've forgiven myself for putting myself through that situation for as long as I did.
  20. I was already at a predominantly white, predominantly rich university and struggling to identify with anyone here. She made me feel so insecure in who I was and question whether or not I belonged here. I felt reduced to the colour of my skin.
  21. Finally, I came to terms with how serious of a situation this was and talked to my RA. She was so, so amazing. She understood that I didn't want to try and work things out- that I just needed to leave.
  22. I talked to some higher ups who were also extremely understanding and accommodating and moved into a different room, this time without a roommate. Which makes me kind of sad because I really did want a roommate, but was so scared of living with someone else and having them be the same or worse.
  23. Now it's just a matter of healing. Throughout my time living with that asshole I couldn't help but feel like I was being dramatic or looking for things she was saying wrong. I have to remind myself that I did nothing wrong and my feelings were valid.
  24. I am still so angry at her. I see her in the elevator and my blood boils. But I have decided it is not my job to educate her, it is my job to make sure I feel safe in my own space.
    This was a hard decision to make.
  25. It's been just under a month since I left and I still look back on it and want to cry. I already know this has changed me as a person/will stay with me forever. And I don't think that's fair. But that is how it is.