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Author Topic: I want to be a positive influence.
Wise Janet Weiss
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Member # 30392

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Hi, all. Long time no see.

Basic overview:
I have a very young cousin, between the ages of 10-13.

She had a lot of seizures as a baby, which has resulted in her being a little slow.

She's very physically developed for her age which I feel will lead to problems later on (it doesn't help the kinds of clothes she wears. They not terribly revealing and it's typical wear of today, but it just doesn't sit well with me.)

She basically lives in a "compound" with her mother, mother's boyfriend, her aunt, aunt's husband, and her grandparents. Everyone but her grandparents look her over, except for when she says or does something they think is stupid.

The title says it all. I want to be a positive influence to her. I don't have a clue to begin, or if I should even the be the person to make that step.

Besides not knowing where to begin, I'm not a very patient person. My mind wanders when I talk to her, and it's hard to keep a consistent conversation with her. I've only recently started relationships with people my own age (more used to retirees), so I have no idea how to connect with her, being a some years older. It doesn't help either that if I am to be this influence, I won't be able to be consistent until next summer.

Any advice is appreciated.

[ 11-21-2011, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: Wisened Janet Weiss ]

Posts: 320 | From: South of something. | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'm not sure what you mean about her development causing problems later on. By all means, when women develop earlier than their peers, it can be common to have to face being sexualized, but that's not about her body or her clothes, it's about our culture.

I also don't know what you mean by being a little "slow," or what this has to do with seizures. maybe you can explain more? Are you saying she has a developmental disability or delay?

I hear you saying you want to positively influence this person, but I also don't hear you saying you really connect with her and want to have an invested relationship with her, so I'm feeling a little confused. It also doesn't sound like you're even around her very much.

Is your concern here that this is a person you know who doesn't seem to have anyone around her who is a real ally? If so, is this something you really want to do because you care about her and feel connected, or that you just want to make sure someone does, and you're thinking you're the only someone you know who is available to her?

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Wise Janet Weiss
Activist
Member # 30392

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I did not mean to make it sound as if it was the development itself that was a problem. But how others see the development? Problem.

I can't elaborate on the seizures. It's one of those things that is just accepted in the family - she had those seizures and that is why she is the way she is. There is another contributing factor, but one that I would rather not disclose. It's not a disability or delay - something is just off.

My concern was what you said here:
quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
this is a person you know who doesn't seem to have anyone around her who is a real ally? If so, is this something you really want to do because you care about her and feel connected, or that you just want to make sure someone does, and you're thinking you're the only someone you know who is available to her?

I underlined the part you got right. I don't know the community real well and there are only a few relatives I can talk frankly about things like this - and they're either hampered by distance or don't like being around everyone over there all at once.

However, since posting this question, I've spent more time over there. I hadn't been there, consistently, in a long while and was basing my feelings in the first post from things my family and I had noticed months and months ago. When we were spending a lot of our time there (every Sunday, for the end of last year and early this year) a lot of tension was going on. A relationship was on the rocks, someone was getting kicked out and there was financial trouble.

Long story short, things aren't the same as they were. They're including her more and there's a more positive feeling in the place. I would still like to have a relationship with her, just not in the imposing way I had imagined in my first post.

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply.

Posts: 320 | From: South of something. | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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