I saw the above quote yesterday on Facebook. I cant’ stop thinking about it. If 98% of a cohousing community ignores you what does that say about them? I tried talking to each person about what happened and my choices and I usually got the first conversation and then crickets. I was crying my eyes out every day and a few people checked up on me, but most seemed to not care at all. I was in crisis. One person had to walk away as I was explaining myself. They disagreed that much with the choice I had made with the facts I had had at the time. They wrote an email saying I shouldn’t leave the community (a month later after the disastrous meeting with the mediator) but when I asked to talk further about it, more crickets.
This is a community that never wanted to listen to Diana Leaf Chrsistians’ writings that accountability and consequences are important. I saw later that they mocked that when I suggested it for another committee to discuss her article. They talked a dungeon and chains. So, no one ever figured out how to gently remind people to stop letting their dogs poop everywhere but I make a decision that most disagreed with (yet e98% of people on the outside say it was clearly needed) and I get a punishment. Shamed, ignored, banished.
So, this quote says it all. The ones that ignore you for punishment or because they just don’t care – that says a lot about them. Cohousing articles and marketing talk a lot how everyone is there for everyone. To help out, grow old together, etc. Meals, rides, etc.
I’ve seen it put to the test in my life. We know how the cohousing was – they wouldn’t help me once they deemed me filled with cooties. But this summer has been the summer of hospital visits. Two family members have had serious health issues The latest is this week. A loved one had a heart attack and is now recovering after a bypass surgery. Many prayers and well wishers and we are here for you on Facebook and texts from friends.
Yesterday I put it to the test. I needed help. They had driven themself to the emergency room (Not a good idea) and now can’t drive for weeks. So I wanted to get the car. I tried to turn it over. Nothing. Tried the next day, nothing. Some jogger going by tried, nothing. He even tried shutting the door and putting on the seatbelt. Nada. He did suggest calling the dealer so I did. They told me I had to try three times (check), and then wiggle it. That did the trick. So, once it was on I wasn’t going to let Christine alone (the car is like Stephen King’s possessed car that only likes the owner). I drove to the house. But now I needed a ride and I had done all this in between talking to the doctor and waiting to get the call I could visit again.
I texted a few pals and put it on Facebook. Al the texts said they were no longer in town but would gladly come back. Then one pal could do it right after work, an another offer came in through facebook. So I got the ride, checked on the patient (healing well), and drove my car back.
There have been other times this summer and since leaving cohousing that people come out of the woodwork, going above and beyond to help me. I hope I do the same too.
So, watch what they do not what they say. Realize that cohousing is full of humans and some are nicer than others.