Hi there everyone
I'm looking for an outsiders perspective on something, if that's okay.
I currently live in a house with a relative of mine (my cousin) who I had become quite close to over recent years. We are both in our mid-20's and found ourselves living in the same city, and thought, why not live together? Previous to living together I had been living in a shared house with 5-6 others who were 18-19 and we always respected each others property and boundaries. I figured when living with just one other person, who I was close to and related to, that there would be a similar level of respect for each others property and boundaries. Turns out I was wrong.
So I have some issues.. among other unrelated issues (anxiety, depression, a mild physical disability), I have a bit of a thing about germs & food. My doctor has mentioned before that they think I'm probably a high-functioning autistic, as I struggle socially and have this thing about germs. I tend to have my own particular kitchen items that only I use, for example, my own specific plate just for me, my own mugs, my own glasses, my own cutlery, etc. If someone else uses my kitchen items it can cause me a lot of distress as I start to stress about germs from their food or their hands, and then I have to clean everything over & over because I feel like they're dirty and then I worry they've used something else of mine without me realising and become distressed, etc. It's a whole ordeal. If people come over like friends and other family I can handle them using my things (other than my specific plate for my food - I have other plates just for visitors of mine), as I ensure that I clean the items thoroughly and I'm happy to have them to come visit, and I expect to have to clean my things to that extent.
Now my issues are well known to my family. At my family home where my mum lives I still have my own plate, my own cutlery, my own mug, etc., for when I visit as I don't like using the generic family kitchen stuff. My cousin is well aware of my weird need for my own kitchen things also, as she's visited many times to both my family home and the previous places I'd lived and knew that I would have *my* stuff then my stuff for visitors, etc. When we first moved in together too I told her, like, hey, I like to have my own kitchen stuff separate is that cool, and she was fine with it. She knew my issues before but I checked that was fine and it was.
Fast forward to nine months into living together. Most of the time she is able to respect my issue with not using my stuff. In the beginning it wasn't the best and she'd use my stuff quite a bit and I had to step in and reiterate that I am not okay with that and she seemed to stop, but recently it's been happening again, but at specific times. Like for example, if she has friends over she will use my things and allow them to use my things. Also sometimes when we've had a falling out about something silly like the bin being taken out, etc., she will use my stuff occasionally. I know this because my stuff will be sitting in the sink, used, for days. This causes me a LOT of distress and anxiety. I don't know what food she's eaten/drank with it (I'm vegetarian and I also have a lot of foods I do not like and the thought of remnants of those food particles being on my stuff makes me wanna vomit), I know she isn't the most proficient at washing up, I don't know HOW LONG it'll be before she washes my stuff (which I may want to use), and so on.
My concern is, do I say something (again)? Am I justified in being kinda angry about this? I know it's kinda odd, and we live together so what's the big deal, it's just like a spoon or a cup or a bowl, etc. I know any 'normal' person wouldn't have an issue, and I feel like that is going to be her defence. That it isn't fair for her to have to tip toe around not using my stuff. But it IS my property. She did KNOW this before moving in with me. I don't *think* I'm being unreasonable here, especially as it effects my mental health in a very negative way. I don't want to be a slave to my own obsessive thoughts whenever she uses my stuff. I don't want to be paranoid when using my own stuff that she's used it recently and it might still have remnants of fish or something else on. I don't want to be stood at the sink scrubbing all my stuff clean.
Or am I genuinely being just too damn much? I don't know anymore. Am I being unreasonable? Should I just let it go? She's done this maybe 3-4 times in the past three months and I haven't confronted her about it at any point but I'm kinda feeling like enough is enough. She knows my boundaries, I don't think I'm being unreasonable by asking for respect for my property? Am I?
Sorry for the length of this post. I'm torn. I don't want to rip our friendship apart and cause issues but.. I slightly feel like she's the one doing that by being so disrespectful of my wishes. Any thoughts?