I find that one of the things that really gets in my way is my own defensiveness. Teddy is always on the defensive himself. Always looking for danger. The world is his scary place. So how does a person who thinks they are in grave danger behave? As though their very lives are at risk.
He does not trust. He is angry because anger feels stronger than fear. He gives short sharp answers. Is sarcastic and unkind.
It is easy to become defensive myself.
Kind answers turn away wrath. When Teddy makes himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he leaves a mess on the counter of crumbs and jelly. Instead of rolling my eyes and saying something defense myself a simple, pleasant "Could you wash the counter when you are finished please?" Gives me back a pleasant "Sure." Should I have to tell an 18 year old to clean up after himself? Probably not. But I can set the atmosphere in the house.
The old adage "If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy." comes to mind. Don't feed the fear. Don't validate the feeling he is not safe. Angry eyes, a set jaw and snappy answers do just that.
I find that in providing a healing home the biggest battle lies within me.