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What a mess I made

I come from an alcoholic family growing up and I know we still carry problems from that like being passive agressive. Over Christmas my sister (2nd in line there r 5 of us kids) My Mom is always being a 'messenger' and telling stuff to us instead of us kids telling each other (a wedding, surgery, sickness) and I told my Mom a few months back that I will tell who I want if something in my family comes up. My sister's daughter got engaged over Christmas and my Mom told me and I told my sister it would have been nice to hear it from her daughter or her (not my Mom) that she doesn't want to be the messenger. My Mom told me that 2 of us kids have said something to her 'to tell everyone else' and one of them asked her if she had told my brother about her having Christmas and she thought it was my sisters place to tell him. I said something to my sister about these 2 that my Mom isn't liking to be the go between and she got mad and said she didn't think it was her place to tell everyone about her daughters engagement. I said "well, do u think it was Moms" for u to expect her to tell everyone. I thought that weird and just like my family. She told me that she would talk to my Mom about 'being the messenger'. Now the cat is out of the bag and I had hoped she would be understanding but then maybe I shouldn't have said anything about my Mom's feelings? I think I should have just let it go and so what if my Mom doesn't say anything to anyone else about not liking to be the messenger (that's her business to say to all not mine?) I was just trying to help but think I stepped out of bounds.  I just knew she would never say anything to anyone & just keep being the messenger cuz she doesn't want to hurt anyones feelings. I thought my sister would be understanding but it was quite the opposite. What did I do wrong or did I? and how can I deal with this from here on? I think my sister has talked with her as I haven't heard from my Mom in 3 days and always do every 2 days by at least a txt. I think I should have just shut my mouth, now it's too late. We as a family can just never confront anything or anyone...

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:48 PM on Dec. 31, 2013 in Relationships

Answers (6)
  • Sounds like if you do not want anyone to know your business. Do not tell your mom. Tell you tell everyone else.
    If your mom feels it is her jobe to be the informant. Let her be.
    My mom does the same thing. You tell her something. She tells everyone in the family. Family grape vine.
    And it is "Now the cat is out of the bag" not box.

    Answer by louise2 at 3:16 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • You didn't do anything wrong, exactly. But think about it. You mom does not like being the messenger. But what were you doing on her behalf?

    We are all messengers to an extent.

    I handled it personally. When I was invited to something second hand, I never showed up. I made it very clear that it was (whomever's) prerogative to invite me and not someone else's and I would not take it as a serious as an invitation unless the host or hostess was inviting me personally.
    In my family if someone is having a baby or getting married it spreads by word of mouth and that is fine because we all share information (but try to be surprised when the actual person is telling us) That is just good manners. If that someone wants me to arrange flowers or bake a cake or.... that person asks me or it is not considered really being asked.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:17 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • If there's one thing I've learned about family, it's that you can't take anything too seriously. Let everything roll off, and don't get your feelings hurt too easily, or you'll spend your whole life in misery at their hands.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:26 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • Okay, it sounds like you are worried that your mom will be upset that you "shared" her feelings about what some of your other siblings have expected or asked of her. Especially if your sister shares that info with all the other siblings (including the ones who ostensibly are guilty of putting her out in that way) and those people are bent out of shape or upset with your MOM! You're worried that she will be annoyed that you spilled the beans, thus getting her in trouble with some of her kids, when she had no intention of complaining, herself (except to you.) Or at least putting her at risk of "getting in trouble" with her other kids.
    Is that basically it?
    You didn't think your sister would get upset & spill it all to your mom or the others. You expected her to keep the info to herself.
    Well, my thought is just to own it. You did reveal what your mom said to you, and she might be upset as a result. That's probably okay!

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:42 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • If your mom didn't want to be the messenger all she had to say was "no". She's a big girl and can speak for herself.

    Answer by Ramble_on at 4:43 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

  • I was just trying to help but think I stepped out of bounds.

    That's exactly what you can acknowledge, as simple as that. Just own what you did, that it was for a reason, that it may have been a mistake, and that you regret any difficulties or upsets that resulted.
    Understanding someone's issue & feeling regretful in response is not the same as groveling inwardly, or feeling ashamed & overly-responsible.
    In emotionally-enmeshed families, it can be hard to feel (from the inside, just knowing it easily) the boundary between yourself & others. Instead, you tend to feel responsible for their feelings, and responsible for explaining/fixing things because they're mad. Acknowledging their anger (even when expressed passive-aggressively) doesn't imply taking responsibility for it.
    Keep in mind that being defensive or justifying yourself is just a flip-flop & it's still an enmeshed struggle to control others!

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:58 PM on Dec. 31, 2013

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