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tinaaa321

Is The Situation My Fault?

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I am in a really crappy situation with my cousin. Here's a little background information. In high school, I was a very hardworking student. I took college classes at the local college my senior year and I got a 1600 on my SAT's. For college, I got a full ride to a university where I got accepted into a 5-year BS/MS biochemistry program. Everyone in my family knew how very into academics I was and my goal to do biochemical research.

Anyway, my second year at college I ended up in a bad series of situations and long story short, I developed PTSD. I took off from college for a year and when they began badgering me with letters saying my scholarship and existence in the program was at risk, I got angry and dropped out of college. It was a very rash decision that I regret. I was in a very bad place and wasn't getting better so I reacted incorrectly to getting the letters. I spent a year working part-time in several retail stores. I had lost all my drive and was apathetic about life. After a year of sleepwalking through life, I started to get better and I took some classes at a community college and ended up going back to school at a nearby college to get my BS in biology.

I have been close with my cousin my whole life, even though she is 15 years older than me. She is like another older sister. When I first took off from college, she asked me why I am home, but she asked at a family get-together and I told her I didn't want to talk in front of everyone so I told her that I needed to take time off from school and that I would explain everything when we were alone. Anyway, she never asked me about it again. In the several years I was out of school, she never asked me, or my parents, or my older brother and sister what is going on. Even when I lost 20 pounds and looked a little emaciated, she still did not ask. It hurt me that she wasn't asking because we have always shared everything in our lives. It made me feel like she didn't care. I also really needed to talk to her. As time went by and I started to get better, I pushed the bad feelings to the back of my head.

Last week, I was visiting her office to go out to lunch and one of her co-workers began asking what I was doing and I started to explain to him how I am applying to be on a research team that is researching PTSD. He asked me why I got interested in PTSD research and I told him that I had suffered from it (and continue to suffer from it). I told him that it had put my life in a tailspin so I am interested in doing research that may benefit sufferers. My cousin had come in and heard me talking to him. At lunch, she got really upset with me. She said she was hurt that something so major was happening in my life and I never told her when we share everything. She said she thought I had left school because it was too difficult. She had no idea that I was suffering so much and she is upset I didn't turn to her for help.

I'm not sure how I am wrong. She never asked herself. Was I supposed to come to her and say "Please listen to what is wrong with me even though you never asked." I dropped out of a program she knew I had busted my butt to get into and one that I was happy in. It never occurred to her to ask why a 4.0 college student would drop out of college? Or why I lost 20 pounds? It hurt me she didn't ask and I think it was ridiculous she assumed I just decided to throw away everything because it may be difficult. I mean, had that been the case, I could have switched programs or colleges...not dropped everything and done virtually nothing for over two years.

She said she can't talk to me right now because she is to hurt. We haven't talked for over a week. What do I do?

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Hi tinaaa321, and welcome to DF! We are glad to have you here. There are a lot of kind, caring people here. You will receive a lot of emotional support.

About your cousin, I'd say give her a little time, then try to talk with her again. It sounds like neither of you meant to hurt each other. It sounds like it's just a misunderstanding.

Just wait a bit, then try to talk it through with her.

I wish you the best.

Take care.

Edited by AquaViolet

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From the way you tell it, it sounds like the ball was in your court - she did ask what was up, and you said you would tell her later - and then you didn't. Maybe she could have asked again; maybe she felt that you were putting her off; maybe she was waiting for you to do what you said, and didn't want to bother you until you were ready to talk.

I reckon it is a misunderstanding, but it doesn't sound like you're fully in a position to blame her....

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Maybe she could have asked again; maybe she felt that you were putting her off; maybe she was waiting for you to do what you said, and didn't want to bother you until you were ready to talk.

I thought that at first, that she might think that I was putting her off, but over the course of these past years, she never asked anyone in my family about it either. She didn't try to find out what was wrong from my parents, my brother or my sister. I asked them and they each said she had never broached the subject with them. They suggested I initiate the conversation with her, but I was hurt by her lack of interest. It was, and still is, very difficult for me to talk about what occurred and my PTSD. I couldn't just open up to someone who seemed to show no interest in what was going on. I made so many drastic changes with my life and had numerous health problems associated with my weight. She saw how unhealthy I looked (it was visible) and never said anything.

As for me not telling her at the party, she ended up having to leave first of all the guest so she wasn't there when the party ended. She suddenly had to leave due to something work-related so she hurried off and then the next time we saw each other, she didn't ask. I just needed her to show some sign of interest or concern before I opened up to her!

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About your cousin, I'd say give her a little time, then try to talk with her again. It sounds like neither of you meant to hurt each other. It sounds like it's just a misunderstanding. Just wait a bit, then try to talk it through with her. I wish you the best. Take care.

We unfortunately still haven't talked. Our conversations have been very cold and brief since and she seems to not want to talk. Thank you for the welcome, though, and the words of support!

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