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Lookatthesea71
Casual Contributor

PTSD and sharing a place

Hi all, my cousin changed cities last year and moved in with me while she gets established. I knew she had been through the trauma growing up but I didn't realise all the different ways PTSD affects her daily life.

 

I've noticed that when I try to discuss things like sharing housework or how we arrange the space, she gets very tense. She tends to try to end the discussion as quickly as possible and retreat to her room. I don't want to cause her further stress and so talk about these things very gently. I'm finding I have to hint gently at things for her not to stress a lot. But it means a lot of stuff is not talked about.

 

I'd like to be able to organise the place together with her but I'm not sure the best way. I think we're both on tenterhooks. Any advice welcome Smiley Happy

8 REPLIES 8

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

hello and welcome @Lookatthesea71 

how are you and your cousin going today 

letting you know you are not alone my friend 

I will tag a few members for you , @Zoe7@YouAreNotAlone@bipolarbunny 

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

Hi @Lookatthesea71  welcome to the forums! I hope you can find the support and connection here that helps both you and your cousin. 

Reading your post I can identify with a lot of what you've spoken about. I have ptsd, or complex ptsd to be exact. It can be very debilitating and it sounds as if your cousin is truly struggling at the moment. 

Bless you for being there for her and offering support. You are an angel. I can tell you from personal experience that ptsd can make you extremely anxious about everything. I know when I was really struggling I found it very difficult to even deal with basic tasks like cooking and cleaning and trying to stick to a schedule just made me all the more anxious and I'd beat myself up if I couldn't accomplish a task. 

Add to that the fact your cousin has just moved into a new city and I'd guess her anxiety & ptsd has gone into overdrive. 

So first of all, do you know if she has found or been to a GP? Or perhaps looked for a therapist? Helping her to find these support networks is a really great way of helping her and also showing her how much you care & support her. It is a difficult conversation to have, so go slowly. But communication between you is vital, both for your cousin, but also for your personal mental health and well-being. @Shaz51  is an amazing carer and she may be able to offer advice on how to start this conversation and also give you strategies to help you also. 

As far as arranging the house goes. Perhaps mentioned to your cousin that you can see how anxious she is feeling about organising the house and in general and ask her if there is anything that she thinks she might be able to help with. The key is not to overwhelm her or shut her down. If she finds there are things that she can do, then she'll gain confidence and be able to take on more but it may be a very slow process so you may need to be patient with her. 

Also if having a direct conversation shuts her down, maybe put on a movie one night and just start chatting about random things and she may begin to open up that way. 

The crux of ptsd is that when an episode hits you feel extremely unsafe, overwhelmed by fear and crippled by anxiety. So if you can make her feel safe in your house it will go a long way towards helping her to cope better. 

I hope that all makes sense and helps in someway. I wish you all the best, feel free to stop by the forums anytime you need support. And please feel free to tag me into your post by using @bipolarbunny  if you have any other questions or just need someone to listen. 

Take care & all the best xx

BB 🐰💙

 

Thanks for the tag Shazzy @Shaz51 Heart xx

 

 

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

hello @Lookatthesea71  how is everything today my friend 

thank you @bipolarbunny Heart

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

Thanks so much for the awesome email @bipolarbunny It's given me a lot of encouragement.

That makes good sense re asking her if there's anything she feels she can do around the house. It's got me thinking!

 

She doesn't seemed interested in therapy. But recently I've been exploring attachment theory (ie how people do or don't connect in relationships). I introduced it to her and she's started exploring it also. That's led to some really good discussions re past traumas for both of us. We're both looking at doing personal development courses to work on our different attachment styles, so this may give an opportunity to suggest ongoing therapy.

 

Thanks again that's given me a lot to think about. Thanks heaps @Shaz51 for the resources you've tagged me on. That's really helpful!

 

Take care xx

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

we are here for you anytime @Lookatthesea71  if you have any questions or just need a chat 

@bipolarbunny 

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

Thank you @Shaz51  I feel very nourished by your support. I decided recently that I needed to do a reset in how I was approaching all this and look for a new way to frame it. 

Because this is the first time I've lived with anyone in 12 years it's really stretching me. 

 

 

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

Thanks so much!

Re: PTSD and sharing a place

@Lookatthesea71  You are so welcome. That's great that you are both exploring personal development together as it definitely helps the more you get to understand the inner workings of your thoughts and feelings and especially triggers to the past trauma etc. I wish you all the best. 

 

As @Shaz51 said, we are here to support you anytime you need, so don't hesitate. xx

BB 🐰💙

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