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ElizabethMango

I Can't Cope. Should I Reach Out For Help?

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Hi guys,

It's been a while since I visited this site, and I'm in a tough spot.

At the end of October, I suddenly was given an opportunity to go down south to see my Dad's family. At this point, I hadn't seen my cousin in over a year. He was extremely busy with work and school, and it was looking like I wasn't going to see him at all, but the night before I left he came over with his sister at 11:30 and stayed for about 45 minutes.

The visit was heart wrenchingly bittersweet.  When he came in the door, I jumped up and nearly knocked him over when I tackled him for a hug.  It felt like such a deep, soul-level relief to be near him again, like I'd let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding.

The sad part was that he was acting very strange, and as result, the visit was awkward and not at all the happy reunion I'd pictured.  He would act uncharacteristically kind and gentle with me one minute, and then distant and stiff the next.

He thanked me for the "cute card" and birthday gifts I'd sent over a few days before.

Part of me wonders if he suspected the truth after he read the birthday card.

He made no move to make further contact and after he left I'm ashamed to say that I totally fell apart and cried. I wondered why he even came to visit me. He didn't seem nearly as happy to see me as I was him, and that hurt. My sisters say it was just him being awkward, but I don't know........

Since returning home, I have become increasingly depressed and anxious, to the point where it's affecting my ability to sleep and eat.

My family (parents, siblings) don't know, and I'm starting to wonder if I should just break down and tell them the truth.  I am so scared of them finding out, though!

Being separated from my cousin for over a year has hurt me in ways I never anticipated,  and after visiting with him last month, I am really going downhill emotionally.

We've never been separated at all before this, and I literally can't imagine my life without him.  Where do you draw the line and decide if it's worth it to reach out for help?

Loving your cousin has so much stigma, it's hard to come forward about it.

Help?

-Elizabeth

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LadyC    94

yes, you should reach out for help. a church pastor? a school counselor? they are trained to withhold judgement, and if you're concerned that they won't, then you don't have to reveal the kinship. find someone you can talk to, please! you don't have to go through this alone.

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Thanks LadyC.  I don't have access to a pastor or school counselor,  though.

I don't think my family would shun me for confessing something like this, as they love me no matter what, but I definitely feel they would be majorly taken aback and probably grossed out.  I just can't handle it anymore. I've been hiding this for several years, and after the way things panned out when I visited my cousin, I'm not okay.

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LadyC    94

well then just pick one person in the family to talk to. who do you feel is the best listener without being critical?

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well then just pick one person in the family to talk to. who do you feel is the best listener without being critical?

I agree.

I struggle with depression and it can get dangerous. Just talk to anybody, anyone who you KNOW will not make the situation worse. Good luck. ((hugs))

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@GirlSaysWhat,  I struggle with depression as well and it has lead to some dangerous situations in the past, which is why I'm considering telling someone.

Thanks for the support.  It is such a blessing that I have this site, because I don't know any other place I could talk about such things without being judged.

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