I don't think I should lose sleep over this but I did. From time to time, I'm still haunted by the days my ex-roommate gave me hell. When I first came to the US, fresh and naive, I did not know how to handle the culture shock and to make matter worse, she tried to sue me for the Christmas presents she willingly gave me prior to hell time. She sent me an email one day and confessed that she felt that there is an issue with me that needed a reality check. I didn't think there was a problem, reason being that she was gone most of the time and I'm always in class or studying in the library anyway. What problem is there to create when we're mostly gone? To me, it was a very petty issue at the beginning, a misunderstanding I thought.
So I confronted her about this discomfort she wrote me about but she denied her feelings and assured me "It's OK, everything is fine now. I'm sorry you felt that way". The quick gladness soon turned sour when I received another email, insulting me again about how disrespectful and unappreciative I am of her. Apparently, since I've been gone so much, she said I was avoiding our time together. She also threatened me to see her lawyer if I fail to present her the money she spent on my Christmas gifts. Frightened, I wrote her a check and left it on the table only to get the door slammed in my face. In the end, it became too much for me to handle... I lost sleep over it, I didn't dare to go into my room and I used my sleep time in the library. I had no one to talk to, nor can I call my family for help. Luckily, I was smart enough to report this matter to the Resident Advisor, who agreed that this is a case of harassment. She moved out as soon as I reported it but it was still an experience that really scarred me for life.
At midnight yesterday, I received an email from a co-worker expressing her discomfort towards the fact that I made a request to the staff that she does not hear about upcoming potluck I'm holding for some of them. I did make the request not to talk about the potluck at work hours but it wasn't specifically just so that she didn't hear it. It was for a handful of people I did not invite. I I understand how she feels - isolated and dissapointed. But the truth is - I can't afford to have everybody in the world to be invited. Simply put, lack of funds and lack of space. I didn't think it should be a serious matter and I hate feeling tortured again. Her email just sounded like my haunting past.
So why am I losing sleep over? Fear, guilt and uncertainties. Fear because I don't want to be in that shitty situation I was in many years ago. Guilt because I felt as if I was the one who created the problem and tried to isolate her, unconsciously. Uncertainties, because I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, replying her email and explain myself like I did above.
I feel like sometimes being nice is not being very nice at all. It is kind of hard to convince people of my well intention. Maybe I do need a reality check.