December 20, 2013 6:55 AM Subscribe
I work in a human services discipline, and recently one of my clients passed away unexpectedly, most likely due to natural causes. I was shocked and very sad to find out about this, but also had a number of other clients to see that day, and so coped with it during the day as best I could. That evening, when my roommate asked about my day, I briefly told her what had happened and that I was pretty affected by it. She, a nurse, gave a response best paraphrased as "Yeah, that sucks, when my first client died it was really hard for me, it could have been suicide, did you think about that?" and then launched into a long description of everything that had happened to her that day. I was rather stunned by her apparent disinterest in my experience, and didn't say anything, but I've been feeling pretty annoyed since then, and am not sure how to best deal with this.
posted by ribbit ribbit to Human Relations (33 answers total)
Just a few more details:
-My roommate typically talks my ear off every night about the stressors she is going through at her work, until I tell her that I'm tired and am going to bed. Until I reach my breaking point, I am typically attentive and engaged, asking questions and offering my thoughts on her situations, so I'm feeling especially frustrated at this apparent imbalance in emotional availability.
-In other ways, my roommate is quite sweet and thoughtful, taking care to make me feel really welcome since I arrived here (new apartment, new city, new country) several months ago.
-I have numerous other supports in my life, who were really lovely at being available for me to talk out my various emotions following the death of my client, so I don't really feel needy for support in general.
-I understand that different people have different skill sets, and that empathic listening just may not be one of hers, but I'm really dreading spending eight more months of our lease listening to all of her stuff while not feeling like she is willing or able to listen to mine.
I'm wondering whether I should a) somehow talk about this with her, b) just recognize the limitations of our relationship and cope with it as best as possible, or c) think about moving in with some friends who have offered me a (much cheaper) room in their apartment, or d) something else entirely. I would appreciate comments and suggestions, as well as similar experiences from either side of this situation.