Last Friday my cousin (lets call her R), who is 7 years younger then me, tried to kill herself. In spite of the fact that both our mothers, and I suffer from depression, I was (and am) shocked. I saw little on facebook (the main way I’m in contact with her, as she lives hours away from me) that would indicate she was having problems. I still am upset, because I’ve not seen her, I can’t assure myself that she is ok. I can’t make it verbally clear that I want her to keep safe and that she can contact me at all times (I must admit, I look at her side of the family as having a brighter future then mine, and I don’t want that to change.). I cannot do anything. My aunt told my grandmother that she thinks R did this “for attention”. That was the day my cousin tried to kill herself.
Why? I don’t know for sure, I’m not there, I’ve not actually talked to either of them myself. At this moment I’m glad I’ve not discussed this with my aunt, I doubt I’d be able to support her, because of the things that I’ve been told she’s said. My guess, because my cousin acted normal, like everything was going to be okay on the way to the hospital, then flipped when they arrived, claiming she didn’t want to live with my aunt and her family (will touch on that more later). It still upsets me that my aunt, for what ever reason, would dismiss this as a call for attention. I found out that my cousin has had mental health issues before, though I don’t know what they are. Then my Aunt calls yesterday. She had talked to my grandma a day two prior to this phone call. When she was done that phone call she went and demanded that R say to her face that she hates her family. This I feel is very wrong to do. no matter the mental state the other person is in. From what I understand R burst into tears, though I may be misinterpreting what my grandmother told me, and my aunt might have been the one who burst into tears. Either way, I feel that anyone who does something like that (no matter the other person’s mental state) crosses the line. Can’t really say why, but I do. I think in this case it’s even worse, she didn’t ask why, she didn’t approach it in a way that would open a path for communication, she demanded, something guaranteed to shut a person up (IMOP). My aunt is also pissed because R is acting like nothings changed. I can’t help but wonder how my aunt would like my cousin to act, I mean would she prefer for her to visibly wallow in misery, would she prefer it if R refused to get out of bed and go back to school? truthfully if I were my aunt, I’d be relieved to have a high-functioning mentally ill child, rather then the alternative. Also, you know what, probably nothings changed for my cousin, so why should she act different?
I’ve concerns, the biggest: is she getting help, and is she being punished for this. I think she’s getting help (if I find out she’s not, well I’m raising a fuss), I’ve heard nothing about punishment but I might not. I worry about this, because the things I think of for punishment, removing objects of importance (ipad, mp3 player, etc), could be some of her coping mechanisms. I mean I could not survive if I didn’t have my three main distractions: books, TV/computer, and music.
That brings me to the last issue, which I’m torn over (selfish me VS nurturing me), my grandma agreed to let my cousin come live with us, without consulting me. Without even a “we need a week/etc. to get ready” type thing. I know mental health can be supper fragile, but I don’t think it would have been too much to ask, or think of asking, for some time before she gets here. She was originally supposed to be here that Sunday, starting school this week. I would not have been prepared, in any way, if she’d arrived then. Luckily she stayed at another relative of hers nearer then we are. She was supposed to arrive Saturday. She is not, she will be finishing school where she is currently enrolled. as much as I love my cousin, as much as I want to help her, Thank God. I live in a trailer, with three rooms, two of them tiny. the way it’s set up, we have a lot or rearranging to do before the house is ready for her. I have a lot of stuff to do, especially to be ready to help her, for my mental health. Heck, I need time to say good by to my privacy, or private time, that I’ve come to enjoy. I have to accept, or find a way around sharing my computer (I hate sharing when it impacts my computer or gaming time, ’cause of my childhood.).
I don’t know what you will get out of this, ’cause I feel like I’m missing a lot of information, but I hope this helps.
and if you need mental help, and/or feel suicidal please get help. YOU ARE WORTH IT. you ARE, I guarantee it.
- Advice for those suffering from depression (itv.com)
- The Headache-Depression Connection (everydayhealth.com)
- Four in five think people are embarrassed about suffering depression (itv.com)