How to Tell if You Are Passing Your Generational Trauma Onto Your Roommate

Illustration of a three-panel comic, 1) a stack of stuffed animals, 2) a person kissing their roommates forehead with the words "Good Night" and 3) a person wearing a shirt reading "Slut"
Alex Nash / The Mossy Log

Generational trauma is usually passed on through parents and family members, but what about roommates? In college, a roommate is the closest thing you get to living with family members from whom you learn trauma response behaviors. For the sake of mental health education, here is a comprehensive list of signs to determine whether you might be passing your generational trauma onto your roommate:

  1. They start acting hostile towards new Squishmallows introduced into the household (Biting, scratching, shunning, etc.) 
  2. They start being protective over the Brita water filter.
  3. They start hoarding their shitty snacks that they said you could take whenever because they will not eat them. But now they are saying no and acting really passive-aggressive whenever you try to take them. Even though you literally asked which they told you do not have to do so you are even being overly nice in asking but they are just being unnecessarily rude about it.
  4. They have stopped holding hands under the stalls with you in the bathroom.
  5. They have started sleeping on top of the little shelves in the bathroom where you put your shower caddies.
  6. They start conducting ritualistic sacrifices in the room when you definitely told them you were bringing your partner over later so like, they know what they are doing.
  7. They begin committing tax fraud.
  8. They begin to feel the rain on your skin, no else can feel it for you, only you can let it in.
  9. They start seeing those colors only shrimp can see. 
  10. They start making plans to get a hyper-realistic tattoo of Guy Fieri and Garfield high-fiving over a plate of lasagna.
  11. They start unionizing the other people in your hall to stage a coup against your Resident Advisor.
  12. They become obsessed with the Dave Matthews Band bridge incident of 2004.
  13. They start actually getting good grades … yikes, nerd.
  14. They start complaining about lack of enrichment in their enclosure.
  15. They start watching “Columbo” unironically.
  16. They start climbing on top of the Pioneer Express and jump down to scare the driver during their smoke break.
  17. They start haunting an opera house in a sexy mask that only covers half their face.
  18. They put an infinite amount of monkeys in front of an infinite amount of typewriters just to see if one of them will eventually recreate “Shrek.”
  19. They chain a group of individuals to the wall of a cave facing another wall in which diffused light shines through. The individuals watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality, but are not accurate representations of the real world. The shadows represent the fragment of reality that we can normally perceive through our senses, while the objects under the sun represent the true forms of objects that we can only perceive through reason.
  20. They start having gastrointestinal issues.
  21. They stop kissing the homies goodnight.
  22. They start wearing the Shrek “slut” shirt and nothing else.
  23. They leave the country and start a multi-year campaign to reunify the Silk Road. 
  24. They wake up transformed into a giant beetle. 
  25. They start talking about how Count von Count from Sesame Street definitely gets some.
  26. They start thinking about pursuing a trade and joining a guild.

If your roommate starts exhibiting any of these signs, do not wait. It might be time to refer them to on-campus counseling services where they can get help anywhere from 6-9 months from now. 

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