After yesterday's highly unpleasant lawyer letter, threatening me with eviction and the forced payment of large sums of money, I sent a response back, highlighting that the building owner has not seen fit to fix the outstanding issues in the apartment. The response I got from the lawyer was brief: the owner believes that everything has been fixed, has the bills from repairmen to show for it, and that I should be paying up and moving out as soon as possible.
Only problem with that is that there never was any feedback from me, or communication from the owner's side about the issues being fixed and the reduction in rent being discontinued. This leads to the stance where I can easily point out the remaining issues in the place (rusty water, poor insulation, noisy heating system, lack of sound insulation with neighbours), and where the owner insists there are no more issues, or as her representative put it: "It's an old building, those things are normal."
Long story short, I have to get that lawyer ASAP, who will hopefully make short work of this matter. I have also registered with an organisation for those who rent their apartment, house, etc. and contacted them. Hopefully they'll be able to advise me as well.
Meanwhile I have applied for the first new apartment. If I get it, I'd be able to move next month. From the description it sounds pretty decent. It's a 1970s building, but fully renovated (my current place just had the windows renewed, poorly). It's even a little bit larger than my current place and should be very comfortable. Keeping my fingers crossed there.
Of course I'm still looking for new apartments/houses to rent in or near Karlsruhe. Same search parameters still apply: roughly 80 square meters, quiet, and some place for my bicycle as well as cable connection (for internet). Please let me know if you know of anything there that's with a reputable owner.
Moving on, this whole thing definitely brings back a whole lot of unpleasant memories and thoughts. Once again I'm being accused of being something which I am not, through no fault of my own. I'm again left wondering what it is that people have against me, and then the nagging doubt of whether it isn't actually me after all who is the problem. Maybe I'm just thinking that I can manage this 'adult' thing but I'm in reality screwing up everything.
I spent over a decade 'debating' with physicians and psychologists whether I was just a feminine-looking boy, a male to female transsexual, intersex, crazy, delusional (actual phrase used by a psychologist), or just obsessed with proving that I was right. If it's often simply impossible to prove that your own, physical body is what it is and not what they say it is, then how does one deal with more abstract matters?
When years of such psychological (and physical) abuse finally took their toll and I blacked out in what was likely a dissociative identity disorder-related episode, I was blamed for the damage to a number of objects in that waiting room, even though I never wilfully chose to damage them, or was even aware of it. Yet how does one prove DID, or PTSD? You cannot measure it (except with fMRI scans, probably), or see it, only say with a reasonable degree of certainty that the person who claims to have PTSD, or DID blackouts, is telling the truth.
In essence, I got blamed for over a decade for everything bad that was inflicted on me, from the attitude of doctors and psychologists. My attitude was wrong, the German medical conclusions were mistaken, I was just being obsessed with the thing, I should admit the doctors were right and live my life as the guy I am. And so on. The disciplinary case I brought against the Amsterdam VUmc gender team was dismissed because they had 'done nothing wrong' in their assessment of me, this even after the first surgery in Germany and my legal gender change on the basis of being a hermaphrodite.
What have I really done wrong? I always stuck to the rules, followed the advice of professionals unless my own research made me question it. By the end of 2007 I was dealing with two completely conflicting medical conclusions, between me being a regular guy, or a hermaphrodite. Who wouldn't want to get the real answer there? Could anyone live with such uncertainty? Is it wrong to keep asking questions?
A while ago I had a collection agency after me because I supposedly hadn't paid Ikea for a delivery. That turned out to be fully Ikea's fault because they had never communicated to me that the automated withdrawal from my bank account had failed, because the delivery guy hadn't written down my information properly. Instead they sent me a bill and follow-up requests for money without further explanation, never responding to my emails to support. There the collection agency admitted this, Ikea admitted this, and I just had to pay the original amount. Their fault, their mea culpa, everything was fine in the end.
I'm hoping that something like that will happen here too. I am not aware of me having done anything wrong and from the (professional) advice I have received so far it does indeed appear that the fault lies solidly with the building's owner. Of course, my experience of being right and getting proven right is somewhat sketchy based on those previous experiences. The fear which keeps eating away at me is that despite being right, I'll still have to pay a lot of money, get evicted and have this marked on some permanent file, making it a nightmare to ever rent again.
Being the 'good guy' has to be pretty much symbolic with 'taking everything the less scrupulous throw at one', while only smiling and staying polite during the process. When one sees what others can get away with, it does make one wonder whether it truly pays to be good and whether the 'dark side' isn't really way more fun.
On the other hand, I think I'd make for a terrible villain.