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My cousin

One-in-a-millionOne-in-a-million Posts: 485 Rampant Poster
I know my cousin has been struggling with a few things just typical teenage stuff and a few other things that I don’t know how to help with such as anxiety.

but she’s told me some other things that while not extremely serious at the moment I feel it could and probably would become more serious if she doesn’t get support. My issue if I cannot tell her parents, her dad would tell her mum and her mum would probably do more harm than good plus some of this is due to some of the things her mum does or says (not abuse)

I am concerned about her and I want to support her. She trusts and speaks to me which is good but my problem is while I can listen to her and reassure her... I can’t give her the support she really needs.

Im stuck as to what to do.. like I say telling her parents will do more harm than good. She won’t speak to a school councillor and will only talk to me. 
Jade09

Comments

  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 107 The Mix convert
    edited October 2019
    That's a fair something to deal with.
    Is there any online advice you can send her perhaps at least on things like anxiety ? Perhaps it will help her at least to start taking measures. 
    If it is something serious, would she let you talk to someone about it on your behalf? Of course don't let it affect your own well being either. Is there no other friend or someone perhaps she could also talk to at least like for some support? Though i know u say she only talks to you.

    Good to hear that you are supportive to her, and i am sure she appreciates that and trusts you for it. As you say it's probably not a good idea to tell her parents if they are abusive in someway. Good luck dealing with what is a difficult problem, and keep us up to date here if you wish.
  • Han93Han93 EnglandPosts: 245 The Mix convert
    edited November 2019

    This is really tricky - and I can imagine it is really putting a weight on you being the only person she will speak to. I find that Mind's website is super useful - it has self-help tips for anxiety and lots of other mental health issues that you might be able to suggest to her or help her with. There's a particular section that is about helping someone else which i've popped the link to here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helping-someone-else/

    Is the reason that she won't talk to the school councillor because she doesn't want to speak to someone in person or because she wants to remain anonymous? If that's the case, there are trained teams here that can talk to your cousin over the phone/on instant messenger which it might be worht suggesting: https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support/speak-to-our-team

    This article by The Mix might be worth reading too:

    I hope this helps and as @tkdog says remember to look after your own wellbeing too! <3
  • GemmaGemma Posts: 91 Moderator
    Hi @One-in-a-million
    It can be really difficult to be someone's entire support system, especially when you need to take care of your own mental wellbeing as well. I'm glad you reached out here as sometimes just sharing that you are mentally taking on someone else's struggles can feel like a weight lifted from yourself. As it's been said, it's so important to take care of your own wellbeing in situations like this, not only for yourself but also for the person you are supporting, it's hard to help someone if you yourself become mentally exhausted for holding it in. 

    It's understandable not wanting to tell her parents if you don't trust that they will be all that supportive of her and make things worse. Do you know why she doesn't want to speak to anyone else and only speaks to you? Understanding why might help figure out some other options that she may be more comfortable with which can give her the support she really needs.
  • One-in-a-millionOne-in-a-million Posts: 485 Rampant Poster
    edited November 2019
    Thank you guys, I’m at a loss as to what I could possibly do. I’ve recently found out she’s been self harming. This has upset me so much we have a more of a sisterly bond and have done since she was a baby, such as reading to her, playing with her, cuddling her ect. I’m shattered that she feels this bad. I know I need to take care of her safety and well-being but I don’t know who I can tell without causing upset in the family, betraying her trust and making her feel like she can’t trust me.

    I wouldn’t say her parents were abusive as such although I don’t like the way her mother talks to her and controls her. She doesn’t trust anyone else and won’t reach out to support sites such as the Mix because she worries people would judge her and that her mum would find out.
    mags98Mike
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 266 Moderator
    Sorry to hear about your cousin's struggles with anxiety and self-harm. You seem very close to her and understandably this must be difficult for you. It makes sense that you'd want to look out for her, and yet find it difficult to support her in the way that she needs. It does make things difficult when she doesn't feel she can open up to parents or anyone else in her life.

    Have you tried reassuring her that, with support sites like The Mix, people don't tend to judge? If she is worried about her mum finding out, she can make sure she uses in private browsing on any internet browser, or clearing the history afterwards. Also, if she wants more confidentiality, then she can also get one-to-one support from The Mix https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support/speak-to-our-team 

    Don't forget to look after yourself too. We are here for you as well <3 
  • One-in-a-millionOne-in-a-million Posts: 485 Rampant Poster
    Hi everyone thanks again for your thoughts. I’ve recently told our nan, I know I’ve said that I didn’t know who to tell but I knew this wasn’t something I could ignore but I didn’t know what actions to take. She’s come down nans these past few weeks and has been “ok” Unfortunately she came down to visit this weekend and we noticed some scratches on the back of her hand. When asked what happened by our nan she said she fell into a bush. But I asked her later on and she admitted she’d done it. She looked so ashamed, I reassured her I wasn’t mad at her at all. I’ve spoken to her about talking to the mix but she doesn’t feel comfortable enough to do so. I’ve suggested that maybe when we get some proper alone time that we could think of some alternative ideas, which she’s agreed to. She said she feels trapped for example not being aloud out with friends, her mum constantly dictating what she can and can’t do. What she should do with her future ect as well as her friends starting to put pressure on her about not going out when they invite her.

     I just don’t know what to do for her. My nan has agreed not to tell her mum and dad but has hinted to her dad (my uncle) that he should keep an eye on her and didn’t add any detail. He just replied with “we know and we are” so now I don’t know what they know and don’t know. Neither do I know what I can do. Nan asked me if I could try and ask her to stop, but like I’ve said I don’t want her to start closing off and doing it in secret and not talking. 
    MikeLucy307
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 743 Incredible Poster
    Hey @One-in-a-million

    Im so sorry to hear that she’s going through this but she’s really fortunate to have you looking out for her - it’s easy for some people to turn a blind eye to these things and try and ignore them but you’ve been very brave trying to help. Well done you 💜 like the others have said, please do make sure you are looking after yourself too (you can’t pour from an empty cup).

    Just by acknowledging and talking to her about all of this, you’ll be helping, and you can only do so much - you are looking after her in the best possible way by talking and trying to nudge her towards support. You’re right not to push it too much. Do you think she would possibly be comfortable talking to a GP about it, as that would be outside of school and you could go with her? 

    Aside from that, please just continue to do what you’re doing. She’ll be so thankful.

    All the best and sending massive hugs.
    - Lucy 
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • One-in-a-millionOne-in-a-million Posts: 485 Rampant Poster
    I’m sorry for not replying sooner guys a lot has gone on and I haven’t been feeling too good. I honestly can’t wait for this year to be over it just seems to be doom and gloom. 

    Unfortunately she’s still reluctant to speak to someone but I am unsure to get the GP involved as she is only 14 so I can’t do anything without parental permission, they still aren’t aware of what’s going on. Her main problem still seems to stem from her mother and school stress. 


  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 743 Incredible Poster
    Don't worry @One-in-a-million. Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling great, how are you feeling now?

    You're doing the best you can looking after her and chatting to her about what she's going through and feeling. You can only keep doing what you're doing and don't give up hope <3 
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • Kathleen07Kathleen07 Posts: 1,936 Postholic
    I'm sorry you haven't been feeling good one-in-a-million, do you want to talk about it? <3

    She's lucky to have a cousin like you. It sounds like it's a lot of pressure for you for her to be struggling. Of course you want her to have support. Like everyone else has said, I'm sure you just being there makes a big difference for her and she has so much strength to get through this <3
  • GemmaGemma Posts: 91 Moderator
    Hi @One-in-a-million

    Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling so good recently, I can see how important it is for you to look after your cousin but it's also important that you look out for your own wellbeing. 

    It's good that you have other members of your family looking out for her as well, she is lucky to have you and sure she appreciates all you are doing for her. 

    If she is reluctant to post on The Mix or is not able to see a GP without parental supervision due to her age then you could suggest a crisis text line for her. It is completely anonymous and she can text in whenever she is in crisis or feeling the urge to self harm and they will offer support and other potential coping mechanisms for her. 

    She can contact them by text, 24/7. Just text 'THEMIX' to 85258 and talk to them about anything. This is a link to more information and decide if it's something that might help her speak to someone in less of an official way.
    https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support/speak-to-our-team/crisis-messenger
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