Roach Roomies

The Logical Heart Knows Best

Why would anyone tolerate a roach infestation? This was the topic of discussion with my husband one morning. At his former job, equipment was returned or traded in that had been infested with roaches. It’s one of the things he liked least about his work and I didn’t blame him. He explained that this was a frequent occurrence and it triggered some yucky memories for me.

Everyone who’s grown up in Louisiana has had a life-long relationship with insects with plenty of warm, fuzzy roachy memories 😀 Giant American roaches skittering on the warm sidewalks as the street lights pop on at dusk in high summer, or on the streets downtown at the capitol or in the quarter. Sometimes they’d be swarming, maybe it was mating season? Ewwww. Then there are the unexpected flying ones, huge, with radar that sends them into your hair making you do that universal automatic crazy frenzied dance, scream, shake your head wildly, running in circles…shriek, so startled, adrenaline then laughter. I was almost murdered by a flying roach, lol.

Then I recalled how our dad was constantly spraying the house for roaches, yet they’d still come back. Those German cockroaches that get in everything, the thought of it makes my skin crawl. They got in the soy sauce (how?) and were in the cabinets, it was disgusting. I don’t know if they ever were eradicated, though more often than not they were under control. But that was in the seventies and maybe it was more difficult to get rid of them back then?

And I also thought of the times when for jobs I had to venture into other’s homes and how sometimes there would be so many roaches, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to sit anything down, including myself. I began lifting the phone receiver at one place and roaches scurried everywhere, all shapes and sizes, I dropped it in shock. And a whole human family young and old lived there, someone could’ve done something about that, right?  If I had a choice, there’s no way I would live with so many roach roomies. Shudder. How?

As an adult I’ve not had to encounter as many roaches because there are effective ways to control them now and I employ these, even though I’m vegan, I draw the line at some things, and living with roaches in my house is not tolerable for me. We had to move from a house to a condo in 2016. After living there for almost a year the roaches started creeping in and I realized it was because of the communal nature of condo/apt living. I had to try 3 things and it finally worked, if not I would’ve had to call the pros and invested in more lethal means. I don’t mind them living outside and some of them are pretty, green, iridescent or kinda cute…but only when they aren’t infesting dwellings 😀

My husband and I talked some more about how disgusting it is, roach infestations. And he was saying that people are stupid and gross, but are they? I was questioning this assumption and trying to gain understanding of why people put up with roaches?

Why do people put up with anything that’s not healthy for them, that’s not loving of them? I questioned my past and how I’ve tolerated and allowed situations and circumstances to continue that were less than ideal, unhealthy, harmful or even abusive to me. Or ways that I was or am self destructive or things I do, think, say or tolerate that aren’t cool or healthy?

For me, growing up, I got used to some things because it’s all I knew. As a child, you believe what you are shown, you learn from your immediate family and environment, it becomes the norm for you. I didn’t know any better.

When you know better, you begin to do better, at least that’s what happened for me, but it took a while to figure stuff out. It depends on how much control you have in your situation, or better yet, how much control you believe you have. I let fear hold me back in many ways, at first. I began to see that maybe things weren’t right, that I was staying in bad situations, but didn’t know how to change them. Which leads to the next aspect.

I blamed myself and believed it was my fault and I got what I deserved because I was flawed and didn’t have what it takes to create the life I desired. I felt ashamed, guilty, worthless, alone and afraid. I felt like a loser. And that’s what I grew up believing and my adult relationships/situations reflected that, initially. I accepted it, I was defeated. And I also felt bad for others, felt guilty that there were starving children, wars, abusive people. I wanted everything to be loving and happy for everyone. But much of that was beyond my direct control and still is.

So maybe people who have roach roomies feel defeated? And are like, why bother? They’ve accepted and stopped resisting, feeling it was beyond their control, that there was no way to improve their circumstances. Feeling powerless, making the best of it? Learned helplessness?

And maybe there’s some compassion we can find in any situation? Everyone is trying in their own way to live a good life. I believe most people are doing what they can to create a happy existence and wish no harm.

I know I’ve settled for situations, jobs, relationships that have held me back, dimmed my light and harmed me in various insidious ways, which I sometimes only realized in hindsight.  I often thought I was helping, but at what cost to me? I stayed with what I was used to, trying to make things work for as long as I could, because the unknown was even scarier. What if the unknown was worse? What if something bad happened to others if I didn’t stay, I didn’t want any harm for anyone, yet I was being harmed in the process by staying? Yet the longer I settled for a situation that was not loving of me, the more I shrank and died inside, the walls closing in. I sacrificed my health and happiness out of a misplaced sense of loyalty, responsibility and obligation. I’d learned to put myself last and sacrifice for others, they came first. That’s how I was raised.

After I had children though, I saw the world through wiser eyes, opened by experiencing that innocent, unconditional love. We are all beautiful innocent spirits.  Even if we feel stuck, or powerless, there are always options. We are just as deserving as beautiful newborns. And don’t we all want what’s best for our children? Why not for everyone then?

Why not for yourself?

All it takes is questioning, “Is this bringing me peace?”  Is this loving? Is this loving of me?

If not, is there a way I can make it better? Even if it’s a small change? What’s one small step to bring more peace?

If we’re tolerating frustration, or living with roaches, is this peaceful?

So maybe it’s the “norm” for some to have roach roomies. That doesn’t mean they’re stupid or gross.

What things are the “norm” for you that others may judge as stupid, or gross?

In what ways are you maybe tolerating a roach roomie type of situation?

What’s one small step you can take to make things better?

Hey, I moved to Colorado and haven’t seen one roach!

And poor roaches, can’t help that they are roaches 🙂

There’s always hope! Trust that you deserve the highest peace, love and joy.

Trust that more than you can imagine is possible.

And if you are miserable, and can’t seem to find a way, ask for help. We are surrounded by loving souls who really want to help. We have help at our fingertips these days. I know all of the resources have helped me in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I didn’t know any better, but now I know more and am getting better and better. More love, joy and peace.

Take just one teeny step towards what’s most loving of you. Then take another, and another, then eventually…no more roach roomies! Yay!!! 😀 <3 <3 <3

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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