Improving a relationship I’ve always wanted

I am feeling really good right now for a number of reasons. First, I am finished with all my midterms for now. I had about five major midterms last week and finished them all on Thursday. Then I got to come home on Thursday night since it’s fall break and I got to spend three days at home with my parents, my dog and my brother. It was such a nice break from all the stress of college life.

Most of all, though, I am very happy right now because my grandma made my night earlier tonight. As those of you who follow my posts know, my cousin who is my age and who also has Tourette’s, OCD and its other various co-occurring conditions was in the hospital for three days last week. She came back home five days ago and the day she came home my grandma told me she sounded good over the telephone but I was still not convinced.

I was really worried about her, even though I knew she was home. I was worried she would go back to the hospital and wouldn’t be able to stay home. I was almost waiting from a text from my grandma or a post on Facebook from her brother saying she was back in the hospital. I was worried she wouldn’t recover and that things would just go downhill from here.

My grandma texted me last night, though, and her text gave me so much hope! I have been trying to reach out to my cousin and connect with her on a stronger level ever since I found out we both have a Tourette’s + (Tourette’s and all the co-occurring conditions that come with it) diagnosis.

I thought of how amazing it was that there was someone else in my family who was my exact same age and also has Tourette’s +. I thought how neat that we both are going through similar things and how great it would be if we could have a strong relationship and really be there for each other.

I had been alone for so long with my struggles, had had no one to talk to about what I was going through, and felt like no one understood me. I thought if she felt anywhere near the same way that I did that she would want to have someone to talk to and confide in as much as I did.

It would have meant so much to me to have someone like that in my life when I felt like no one around me could understand. It didn’t quite work out though. I’m not sure why.

I reached out to her at first and we had a huge heart to heart conversation over text. I felt like finally I was going to have that person in my life who would understand me, but somehow the closeness we had those few days when I told her about my diagnosis did not transfer to closeness in real life. I wasn’t sure why, maybe it was my fault. Maybe I didn’t communicate what I felt in real life as well as I did through text. So we took a break from talking for a while and only saw each other briefly at family events.

Over the summer I really wanted to get together with her and talk with her because I knew she was going through a rough time. I wanted to be someone who she could trust, confide in and talk to. I wanted to be there for her when she was having a rough time just like I would have wanted someone to be there for me when I was going through my rough time.

We both know what it’s like to struggle as a result of Tourette’s and it’s co-occurring conditions. Although I don’t know the specifics of what she is going through, I have gone through a lot of hard times myself and I know what it’s like to go through those hard times alone.

I know what it’s like to have those who love you surrounding you but still to feel like they don’t understand and you can’t talk to them about what exactly is going on. I don’t think she was ready though to connect with me at that point and time because of what she was going through. I know what it’s like as well to be so overwhelmed by everything that anything else on top of what you already have to deal with, even connecting with someone who is trying to reach out to you, would be too much.

My grandma’s text is the first thing that’s given me hope in a while that we will be able to connect and form that relationship that I always hoped we would have. She texted me — ironically — while I was in the middle of writing a poem for my poetry class about my Tourette’s. She texted me and said that she had talked to my cousin and she is doing very well and that they had talked about the three of us having brunch on a Sunday (my grandma, my cousin and me).

This made me so excited! The idea that she is actually wanting to get together with me and hopefully having my grandma there with us will make her more comfortable because she has a close connection with her. Then she said something that really told me that my cousin is actually doing really well! She told me that my cousin had mentioned today that she wants to go back to Camp Twitch and Shout and be a counselor there.

This is huge! And I mean really huge! The fact that she wants to go back to camp and be a counselor tells me that she is actually doing really well and not just putting on a happy face for her grandma. This makes me think that going to the hospital was a good thing for her.

I think things may be turning around for her for the better if she really is considering going back to camp! It would make me so happy to go to camp with her and to both be counselors there. I know that that would make us closer than anything else could. Maybe if we both went to camp together, we would finally have that relationship that I have been hoping we could have.

This made my night! I wish my cousin knew I felt this way. I may text her and let her know that I am so happy to hear she is doing better. Even if she doesn’t respond to my text message, hopefully she will get it, so at least she knows how I feel. I think she knows somewhat that I really care about her though because I know my grandma has told her that.

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