General Question

evilkittiz's avatar

Can moving damage a person?

Asked by evilkittiz (62points) January 5th, 2011

After my cousin Ashleigh moved, she wasn’t herself. She used to be such a nice and open girl. Now she is just deppressing to be around. Is it just the place she moved to? Or is it just that she is dealing with it wrong?

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27 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

moving is one of the most stressful things, as stressful as a relative dieing or starting a new job. You don;t mention the circumstances of why she moved, but perhaps her family is having a rough time, or her privacy in the new place is reduced.

Perhaps as a friend you could let her know she seems to be down (or sad) lately, and that you’re willing to listen if she feels like talking.

evilkittiz's avatar

I honestly don’t know why she moved, her mother keeps telling her that it was for the good of both of them.
I’ve told her that I was here for whatever she needed and she collapsed into me crying. She hasn’t wanted to see me after that. I don’t know what to do

bkcunningham's avatar

@evilkittiz how far did she move?

evilkittiz's avatar

She lived in Buffalo New York and now she’s in Georgia

bkcunningham's avatar

@evilkittiz you said she hasn’t wanted to see you after she collapsed into you crying. So, you live in Georgia?

Be patient. She’ll come around. Changing schools and making new friends in a totally different place can be hard at first. If you live near her, can you manage some way to introduce her to some of your friends?

There might be personal things going on in her family that you don’t know about and she is troubled by that on top of the move. Trust me. People move everyday and survive. It can be tough, but they survive. I move every couple of years. I’ve left behind wonderful friends but we manage to keep in touch. I always try my best to make it a big adventure and I try to make new friends and see everything there is to see in the new place.

Oceansfool's avatar

No way it can only help the person grow….... And of course get a better head on their shoulders , rememBer to always keep learning ! Be free !

evilkittiz's avatar

bkcunningham, I don’t live in Georgia but I’ve been traveling to her house almost every weekend after the move and have talked to some of her classmates. From what I’ve gathered from them, she hasn’t been open to anyone. Not even the teachers.
The only positive response that I’ve been given, is that she is still and A student.

bkcunningham's avatar

@evilkittiz I’m glad she has you in her life. Have you tried talking to her Mom? Don’t give up on her and gently let her know you are there for her if she needs you. That is really all you can do. I bet it was hard being away from Buffalo during the holidays. When it warms up and spring comes in Georgia, she’ll feel better. I hope the next time you see her she is her old self again. Best wishes.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

There must be more to this story although moving can affect a person in a stressful manner.

evilkittiz's avatar

bkcunningham thank you, I’ll try talking to her mother as you suggested.

Simone De Beauvoir I don’t know if this would bring her down to the state that she is in, but i do know that one of the things she misses from New York is the snow, and that there proboually isn’t much of that where she is now. Could that be part of it?

Cruiser's avatar

Moving anywhere especially that far away is either liberating, debilitating or both. Be there for her as best you can.

wundayatta's avatar

The key is what her mother said. Has she come to Georgia for school? Did she not want to go to Georgia? Maybe she would have preferred to stay closer to home?

Her mother wants her to fly on her own. She probably feels pushed out and unloved (subconsciously, anyway). She doesn’t know how she can handle it or keep herself together, and yet she doesn’t think she can explain this to anyone. She’s ashamed of it. That’s why she’s staying away from you after collapsing in your arms.

So yeah. Moving, under certain circumstances, could throw someone into depression. This is especially true if she had a tendency towards that before she left. A shock like moving can really damage you if there are underlying problems no one has been aware of.

It sounds like you’ve never had experience with someone who is depressed. Yes, they are a bummer to be around. Probably the best thing to do is for her to get counseling. I’m assuming she’s at college, and this is her first year there. It is very common for people away from the home and in a different, stressful environment to have a hard time of it and to maybe lose their way, psychologically speaking.

evilkittiz's avatar

wundayatta, your last two questions are correct, she didn’t want to go to Georgia. Infact, I don’t believe she wanted to move at all, I know I didn’t. However, I think she wouldn’t have taken it as bad as she did if it would’ve been closer to home.
She is actually a freshman in highschool, she is fourteen.

wundayatta's avatar

oh boy. Yeah. That’s even tougher. My daughter is a freshman. It was bad enough for her going to a completely different school in the same city (magnet school). I can’t imagine having to move halfway across the country, to a very different culture, and starting high school, too. Fortunately for my daughter, all the freshmen were new to the school. Very few knew very many people from before.

Is her mother back in Buffalo? Why did she want her daughter to move to Georgia? What’s up with that?

evilkittiz's avatar

Her mother moved with her but I don’t know why. She is almost never at the house with her.

wundayatta's avatar

Is there a father? Does the mother work? Does she attend to her daughter’s problems? It’s got to be a family with a lot of problems. Communications issues. Fear of feelings. The mother won’t know what to do, and is escaping the problems herself. What does the psychiatrist want her to do?

bookwoman11's avatar

First of all, GOOD FOR YOU, for being such a good friend. Your buddy really needs you right now, so always remember that, no matter how much her behavior may seem to indicate otherwise. If she is like me, she’s an open book until the going gets really tough; when the road of hope runs me straight into a brick wall of despair, I start isolating and keep everything in. This works for me because, at my age, I have friends who have known me for years and they gently remind me they are right there waiting for me to come out from under my shell. If it were not for those people, I don’t know what I would do. You are providing that comfort and support for your friend, and this is one of friendship’s greatest blessings. Does your mom know her mom? If so, I would have her call to make sure the mom is aware of how sad her daughter is. At that age, the very worst thing is feeling like the people who are in control of the decision-making for your life don’t care how you feel about it. My 11-yr-old is angry and sad over her dad and myself divorcing, and while that’s not going to change, she seems to feel some relief over the fact that she’s allowed to (respectfully) express her feelings about it. Everyone deserves a friend like you!

evilkittiz's avatar

wundayatta, yes, she does have a father. Eventhough he does not live with her, he still lives close. Her mother has a job as a chef, I think. But she does not have a psychiatrist. I’ve told her mother that she might need one, but she dosen’t seem to notice that there is a problem.

wundayatta's avatar

I see. As a chef she probably works until midnight, so she’d never be home when her daughter is around, as you said. And her Dad isn’t around, either. You’ve told her mother—how, exactly, did you put it?

Did you tell her father? What’s his story? Does he care enough to help?

Otherwise, is there a school counselor she could talk to? I forget—you’re not there either, right? So you’re doing this all from a distance?

If no one else will help, you will have to work through her, and get her to get help. Starting with a school counselor. She’ll be apathetic and really won’t believe people care about her, and think she should die. Let her know you care, even if she denies it. DO it over and over. Tell her you want her to get help. Don’t order it. Just over and over that you want her to get help and you know that if she gets the right drugs and therapy, it will make a huge difference.

Be a broken record, if you know what that means (reference to a former means for playing music up until the ‘80s). Just keep up the information. It may never sink in, but if you make it heartfelt, she might, at least partly, believe it and be moved to help. Just don’t become a nag. DO you see the difference? It’s important, because we tune out nags and we can hear true friends. Barely, but we can hear them. Even parents can be heard at times, more so if the love is real and convincing.

Underneath everything, this is about love, and either feeling loved or not. When we aren’t loved, we wither and eventually die. If we believe we aren’t loved, the same thing happens, unless some voice can get through enough to tell us otherwise.

This can be really tough on friends. It is tough on parents and lovers and many just leave because they can’t handle it any more, so you have to protect yourself as you do this. Love her enough that she can feel it, but not so much that her denials or demands destroy you. Delicate balance.

A lot of caregivers do too much and burn out. Not good. Then they switch over to the other side and do too little or nothing. So make sure she doesn’t become a full time project for you. Make sure you have a life, and if she tries it, don’t let her blackmail you. Tell her you love her and you will help her, but right now there are other things you ahve to do if you are going to help her. Or something like that.

I don’t know. There’s so much to say. I hope this helps. I can imagine how hard it is to be a caregiver. I’m sure it’s very frustrating. You never know if you are making a difference. Trust me. You are. But we often do not acknowledge that until we are well enough to see it. Indeed, we often fight it off. We don’t believe we are worth saving. But rather than say that, we’ll attack you. Verbally, emotionally, and I suppose it gets physical sometimes.

It was interesting in my case. I was attacking my wife as hard as I could to try to drive her away and let me jump clear over the cliff. But I stopped pushing at the last moment I could. I guess I had some self-preservation in me. Deep down, I knew I didn’t want to lose her or to die, but I needed to see if she really loved me, because I didn’t believe it. Not because I didn’t think she loved me, but because I didn’t think I was lovable. So I thought she had to be faking it or crazy. These were not conscious thougths. This just what I think now about then.

When you’re sick, your mind thinks really differently. You barely even recognize this. It all feels like you, not like someone else (people often say, “You’re not yourself). It’s very confusing. If I’m not me, who am I? I must be me, but not a me that others recognize. How horrible. I should not be here because I’m not the person they loved or liked or whatever.

Outsiders try to provide a true reflection, but it is often difficult for the sick person to see it. Or believe what they see.

Ok. I’m stopping now. I’m going to write a novel if I don’t stop.

evilkittiz's avatar

Thanks for your advice, but I don’t know if I can hold back on trying to help her. Expecially because I feel as if her parents arn’t trying to help her. She might be seeing the school counsler, but no one has told me if she is or not.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t really want you to hold back. I just am pointing out that you can’t take care of her if you are burnt out—tired and exhausted and at your wit’s end. So just keep it in mind that you don’t have to do everything she asks. You need boundaries,—so you know how much you can do now, and what you have to do later. You’re no good to her if you grow resentful. You’re no good to her if you run out of energy. In other words, take care of yourself, too.

Hopefully, other people will help, and you won’t have to do so much. But if that doesn’t happen, and you end up in this for the long term, you will be forced to figure out how to conserve your energy, or you will collapse. Learn to do it now, and you’ll have it when you need it.

evilkittiz's avatar

I’d rather take care of her long term, then have no one taking care of her. I already know how to conserve my energy, at least mostly.

bkcunningham's avatar

@evilkittiz your cousin is 14. How old are you?

evilkittiz's avatar

I’m turning 18 in April.

wundayatta's avatar

Good. It’s important to keep yourself together for the long run.

Good luck. If you have any more questions about anything having to do with it, be sure to ask. There’s probably someone here who has had to deal with it.

happy11227's avatar

it actually depends on where they are moving and what part of the town/city there moving to o3o

JamesHarrison's avatar

Moving to a new places, seriously a stressful task but it may be stress free & happy if people will tackle all the bad situation with calm. It totally depends of person, how can they react & how they manage in a new place. Also, it also depends on location & environment where they move and people around there.

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