I should have known better but I didn’t. My track record at welcoming people into my life is not great. Loneliness is dangerous territory and caused me to overlook obvious and fatal character flaws.
Twice I married emotionally unavailable men with zero interest in growing or changing. At the age of 57, I impulsively rented my apartment, the cutest smallest in Chicago, to the Tenant-From-Hell and moved in with a friend who became the Roommate-From-Hell.
She and I were on the same page politically and environmentally so it should have worked. To be fair, neither of us are bad people but we both have strong personalities. She thought it was her apartment. I thought it was our apartment. I should have established my ground rules in the discussion stage: As tenants, we are equal in this apartment regardless of who was here first. Such a basic concept, how could it have been otherwise? It was a tough year but I learned a lot.
The challenge of relationships and effective communication is evident in our high divorce rate, preference for living alone, and corresponding surge in isolation and loneliness. As the economy continues to implode, some people may consider home sharing of some sort. That sharing could include people and circumstances that brighten your life. Wouldn’t that be a major lift?
New Community Vision’s Housing Mixers are monthly gatherings where people meet others considering their housing options and learn about a variety of home sharing alternatives. As you meet people month after month, you will meet others you would like to see more of and perhaps some that you would like to see less of. Over time, affinity groups may wish to consider forming households, or renting or purchasing a building together.
Our goal is to facilitate this process by aligning with social service professionals (SSPs) to support people to make wise choices and to communicate effectively, thereby creating harmonious and satisfying environments in which people feel heard and privacy is honored.
The stress of the wrenching changes in our economy and culture has created the need for more social service professional right when agencies have been shuttered and many have been laid off. Read this link to see how a social workers co-op can provide their valuable services cooperatively and independent of depleted state coffers.