Having a difficult time with my aunt and cousin

My cousin was born premature and nearly died and was left with some mild intellectual problems and also has bad vision and a blindspot. Then to make it even worse his dad died when he was 23 months old. As a result he was raised by his mother. While he does have problems with short term memory his biggest problem is his eyesight. He is now in his 40s.

Back in 2018 I needed a place to live and they also were having hardships so moved in with my aunt and cousin and it helped all three of us. Prior to my moving in my cousin would frequently have issues and was hospitalized in a mental hospital. Other than just after I moved in (this was caused by someone else) he has only had one hospitalization which I will get to shortly.

Back in October 2020 my aunt was hospitalized and nearly died with pneumonia. My cousin got into it with his uncle and wound up in the mental hospital. Honestly I did not expect my aunt to get out of the hospital yet the day before Thanksgiving she was able to come home. Since that time I have had the added pressure of dealing with my aunt and cousin. Also since then my aunt has been in and out of the hospital frequently always with pneumonia.

2021 it was once, last year it was three times. Saturday night I was at work and my cousin called and said that he had to call an ambulance for my aunt. Once again she is in the hospital with pneumonia but this time things are much worse. Her lungs are in terrible shape and yesterday she had a really bad day. I don’t know when she will be home and honestly I don’t know if she will come home. I would not be surprised to see her come home under Hospice care.

Right now I am having to deal with my cousin and also being concerned about my aunt. My cousin can at times seem like he is okay and other times not. I didn’t get much sleep last night due to having a lot on my mind and this morning we got out of the house for a bit. When we got home he decided to watch television and I wanted to be with him to offer support. However I decided that I wanted to take a nap and get some rest. I decided to post this as a way to clear my mind before getting some sleep.


Gosh that is a lot for someone to go through. It’s not easy seeing someone You love getting so unwell and having the uncertainty of their health, especially since she and You have been looking after your cousin.

You sound like someone who has an incredibly caring heart. I’d love to know how we can better support you in this time. I’m so grateful you’ve shared with us x

Last night I got a big surprise, it was a phone call from my aunt and she had improved a lot. Today I got an even bigger surprise and that was them discharging her.

She is very weak but considering yesterday afternoon I doubted she would ever even come home. They are going to do home health which will help her build up strength.


That’s so wonderful to hear! I hope it helps her regain her strength! And I also hope it’s got You feeling a bit better about things too

Several years ago I ended up on full life support from phenomena. It was so bad the doctor’s encouraged the decision makers to “pull the plug.” Luckily they didn’t and I made a nearly full recovery.

I still struggle with recurrent phenomena. My lungs are permanently scared it. To the point they can’t tell if I have it again without comparing chest x-rays.

My point is, keep your head up! Even when it looks bleak, keep your head up.

It’s ok to be scared. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to question. Just keep your head up.

From: Who.is

i can only imagine how stressed this has made you. You’re obviously taking care of your aunt and of your cousin which shows immense love and kindness. Have you been looking after you through this? How is your aunt since coming home? I hope you can find some support through this. We can only do so much for others until it burns us out.

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From: djstarion

Hey Crash, thank you for sharing <3 It’s definitely a lot to take in especially with both your aunt and your cousin. It can be rough, but you also want to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself as well. People deal with situations, grief, anything really in different ways. I’m sending positive vibes to all of you and hopefully your aunt can get the best care possible during this difficult time. We’re here for you no matter what

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Hi Crash,
thank you for reaching out. thank you for sharing.
that is a lot, that is really much. it is often that things add up to our own lives.
what you should never get out of your sight is that you matter most ! you need to take care of yourself too.
your mind and body is constantly under pressure, is constantly exhausted, how long can someone do that ?
all of that in going into your mind, and your mind is not managing that, from good to bad. you only have one mind.
it gets even more important, that in all of that, you need to be aware, that you give your heart for your family.
you give everything. you love and care for them.
besides that, do things that you love. hopefully you spend time with them also in enjoyment. for fun. for all of you.
clearing your mind here is good, get things out of it. shortly it is a relief for you, but at the long end things are
still waiting for you.
you are loved, and you matter most :purple_heart:
feel hugged

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Thank you for your post, My goodness you are having to manage an awful lot right now arent you? I am so sorry that your Aunt is so very unwell and that your cousin is also having his problems dues to being born prematurely, that is incredibly sad and makes things even more difficult for you right now im sure. I think what you are doing for your family is so good and so kind and clearly if it wasnt for you now both of them would not be where they are as they would not be able to take care of themselves. Saying that, you too have to take care of yourself also. It is vital that your mental and physical health is cared for as you have to be well to be able to help them, you are no good for anyone if you are sick, not only that, you deserve a rest now and again. This is your life for the time being so start as you mean to go on, take time out to rest as often as you can. We are all here for you friend. Much Love Lisa. x

Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. My aunt currently is super weak yesterday evening she had to get my cousin to fix her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She also told me that right now she is not going to be able to cook but I enjoy cooking and have been wanting to bring back some things I used to cook and also wanting to try some new things as well.

As far as taking care of myself that is one area that I will admit hadn’t been doing. Saturday morning I realized I was dehydrated I have made it a point to drink more Gatorade and Powerade.

This evening I decided to go out to eat at a buffet. I didn’t know if I would get my money’s worth as I really haven’t had much of an appetite but I just needed some me time. I wound up eating the most I have eaten in quite a few days. I did not gorge myself though. I wound up leaving the most at ease I have felt since this mess started.

The biggest problem I have though is I am exhausted. Since Wednesday afternoon I have had maybe 24 hours of sleep. This morning when I got off work I had a ton of errands to run for my aunt. When I finally got home I still didn’t get much sleep. I am hoping that now I am much more relaxed I can finally get sleep.

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All right. So my aunt is improving a bit. She is still needing help here and there, thankfully my cousin is able to help her a lot. Her lung problems have been caused by Pulmonary Fibrosis. Unfortunately it is one of those types of conditions where you treat the effects and not the actual problem. The average lifespan for people with it is 5 years and my aunt’s started in 2020. The earliest she could get an appointment with the pulmonologist was early April.

My cousin seems to be doing okay. He is aware of what is going on with his mom. Thankfully as I mentioned earlier he is able to help her. That being said there have been a few moments here and there that makes me wonder if he is going to need to go to a mental hospital again. Usually he is okay but occasionally a moment will happen that causes me to wonder.

As for me. I have gotten some much needed rest but still feel drained and really doubt I am getting the proper sleep. Yesterday I got angry with at the cashier at Arby’s simply because I thought he mistook me for a woman (I have a long beard and was wondering was he not even paying attention to me) but he was talking about an employee who was female. Thankfully I didn’t say anything. Then there was a second time where he told me they wasn’t doing a special at that location. Both were rather insignificant things but it concerns me that what is going on is taking more of a toil on me than I realize.

The last few evenings I have had moments where I felt like I was going to fly apart. Honestly I suspect the time change may be one factor but there are others as well. Several things relate to my aunt’s health and my cousin. Tonight was the worst fly apart moment yet.

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