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Forums / Staying well / Advice on how to understand room-mate who is chronic complainer

Topic: Advice on how to understand room-mate who is chronic complainer

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Dingbat1
    Dingbat1 avatar
    6 posts
    16 October 2019

    Hi everyone;

    This is easier with a bit of backstory. I have been living here for 3 years with a roomie that I've known from high school. He was in a major car accident where he had died for 2 minutes. This had happened 13 years ago but he is still dealing with constant pain (Had a knee recon 2 years ago which seems to slowly be helping now) but the rest of his body is stuffed. He has recently been told from a doctor that he will start to lose brain capacity very soon and struggle to remember things.

    Now the title of the post I understand is extremely selfish since the traumatic event that he has had to go through - but for anyone who thinks they have helpful advice please feel free to respond - I may need to reinvigorate my sympathy well so to speak. I moved away for a little bit in the middle but we've remained good mates - and I've moved in with him for the last 3 years. Currently he is on a plethora of pain medication which almost seems like a competition to him as to how many he needs to take. In his own words he's sick of being used as a guinea pig but suggest taking some away slowly and watch it crumble.

    He seems to be telling anybody who will listen to his daily complaints and seems to wonder why he's losing friends. It's his birthday on Monday and he's having a small get together on Saturday - but we're not even sure if anyone is going to show. His family and I (we're not related) have tried suggesting that maybe he needs to get into therapy again but he doesn't want to. In some appointments (even with doctors) he becomes violent. I do try to get him out of the house a couple of times a week - even if it just means helping me with some grocery shopping. He does seem receptive to that although it is a bit of a task. He does his own shopping with his mum every 2nd Wednesday which is good - but he will make his mum drive here with smokes + milk everyday after that. He doesn't hold a drivers licence (which is fair enough) but he knows I will help him out and take him if he needs but he must come with me.

    Overall; I realise this post is extremely selfish but I would like to request help on how to continue dealing with this. I understand that he's been through and still going through a traumatic event - however the constant complaining is really wearing me down. Even a question as simple as "How did you sleep last night" was met with a smart alleck response by me as I knew he was only asking so he could tell me how he slept.

  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3116 posts
    17 October 2019 in reply to Dingbat1

    Hi Dingbat1,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for being here and sharing what's going on. I can see by your post that it probably wasn't an easy task. I feel so sad hearing what your roommate has been through, and is going through, but ultimately this post is about you.

    I believe that what you're feeling isn't selfish - but completely normal given the circumstances. Both of your lives have been impacted by this car accident; both of you have had to adapt to a serious event, and both of you have had to readjust your own expectations.

    In addition to all of that, you're living together - which means you're not only forced to cope with this, but somehow forced to cope somewhat together - even though both of you are coping and adapting separately. It sounds like your roomie is having trouble coping though, so I love the idea that both yourself and his family have suggested therapy. You did say in your post 'therapy again' - has he been in therapy before? What do you think is stopping him from going?

    It sounds like the most difficult thing at the moment is him being a complainer, and I think that's where it's important to have some time for you. It's not easy being a soundboard, especially if he's aching for support rather than just someone to vent to. Some of the things that may help are boundaries, or even making time just for yourself so that you can recharge.

    One resource that comes to mind too is Synapse- which is an organisation about traumatic brain injuries. They have super informative fact sheets and ideas (especially the one about emotional liability, supporting a loved one, self-care or challenging behaviours) -

    I hope that this helps


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Dingbat1
    Dingbat1 avatar
    6 posts
    17 October 2019 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Cheers for the post mate. In answer - yes he has been in therapy before - not sure of the circumstances of him leaving it - but his therapist is no longer down here and he refuses to see anyone else because of that reason. He almost seems to brag about being violent towards new therapists / doctors but ultimately I guess it's just frustration (100% not excusing that behaviour btw)

    Thanks for the information regarding Synapse - something I will personally look into and hopefully I can help ease him as the road continues.

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