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Wedding Woes

I lied for my cousin and I'm still being punished 10 years later

Dear Prudence, 
When I was adopted, I got more than just parents—I got a whole family. This included a cousin who was exactly my age, and we immediately became best friends. We grew apart as teenagers, but I was the one she turned to when she learned she was pregnant. I knew her mother would disown her, so I helped her procure an abortion and went with her to the clinic, where we were seen by a classmate. I already had a bit of a reputation and was more resilient than my cousin, so I told everyone it was me getting an abortion. My cousin dropped me when all my friends did. Afraid her mom would hear about the clinic, she told her she’d accompanied me. My aunt told my parents, who nearly disowned me, and our relationship has never recovered. They still seem to regret adopting me, and I’m not welcome in family photos. I’m not welcome to attend holidays held at my aunt’s house because she thinks I “dragged her daughter down with me,” even 10 years later. My cousin remains the perfect angel of the family. I’m so fed up—I want to just tell everyone the truth. I don’t expect it to fix a thing, but I’m tired of carrying the burden. Would it be wrong of me to spill? I don’t want to be the black sheep anymore.

—Tired of Secrets

Re: I lied for my cousin and I'm still being punished 10 years later

  • Wooooooow.

    Realistically though, even if she does tell, it sounds like she'll still be the black sheep and who knows what will happen to cousin with this family.  She just needs to run from this toxic family.
    charlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    This makes me so sad. I'm not sure that saying anything will change things. More than likely she'll stay the black sheep because she lied.

    DH was adopted and always seemed to be the black sheep as well. His cousin told me about a year ago that the entire family had given up on DH and pretty much written him off for mistakes he made as a teenager (10+ years ago) and because he didn't go to college. They definitely treat him (and as a result, us as a unit) different from the rest of the family. It breaks my heart for him.

    OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • I don't think anyone will believe her at this point.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    She should drop her extended family and work to fix only the relationship with her immediate family.  I would have a sit down with mom and tell her in a calm manner the truth.  If mom refuses to believe it, then I would further invest in some in-depth therapy to help rid herself of any feeling she may feel from being abandoned by her family.

    TFB, that is so sad that they treat your H differently due to things he did in his youth.  That is not fair to him.  I will still not understand how skipping college can be a bad thing.  College isn't for everyone.  The world needs delivery people, trades people, customer service reps, secretaries, etc., or it will stop running. 

    thefanciestbecklercharlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • This makes me so sad. I'm not sure that saying anything will change things. More than likely she'll stay the black sheep because she lied.


    *SIB*

    I agree with this.  Honestly, sounds like the family was more than willing to write her off as "the bad one".  I don't agree with abortion, but I wouldn't disown my child like that.  If anything, them getting an abortion is a signal to me that they need more of my support and attention.  I think telling the truth might make her feel better for a moment, but I don't think it can repair years of dysfunctional relationships.

    SaveSave
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    She should drop her extended family and work to fix only the relationship with her immediate family.  I would have a sit down with mom and tell her in a calm manner the truth.  If mom refuses to believe it, then I would further invest in some in-depth therapy to help rid herself of any feeling she may feel from being abandoned by her family.

    TFB, that is so sad that they treat your H differently due to things he did in his youth.  That is not fair to him.  I will still not understand how skipping college can be a bad thing.  College isn't for everyone.  The world needs delivery people, trades people, customer service reps, secretaries, etc., or it will stop running. 

    Exactly. College wasn't for DH. He tried it and he just didn't do well, so he dropped out. Ironically, he's a pilot now, but they still can't get past him not having a "degree".

    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • I wonder if the relationship is worth trying to salvage. The family, especially the cousin, have shown their true colors and they will never be there to support her in a crisis. Is say, cut your losses and build your own family of supportive friends.

    OurWildKingdom
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