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So I have this bridesmaid Anne who got into an accident back in 2014 that left her with multiple scars. One large scar on her back, two smaller but very noticeable ones on her right arm and smaller less visible ones on her right leg.
Now I have a niece, Jane who went through a traumatic period in her life not recently but is still recovering and cannot see scars or anything that looks like a scar without having a anxiety attack.
Jane is 17 and I've seen her an anxiety attack over a scratch on the wall that was shaped similarly to a scar. After an incident initially occurs she can have up to 3 panic attacks within the next month. To elaborate, she has panic disorder. Jane barely leaves the house, unless it's to see her therapist(which she now has sessions with over zoom).
So coming to my wedding and being a bridesmaid is a really important event to her. She's also been working on a special dance she's going to do with my nephew at the reception and has been practicing really hard. Even if Jane wasn't a bridesmaid there is a very likely chance she'd come in contact with Anne at some point in the wedding.
My bridesmaid dresses don't have long sleeves or any sleeves for that matter and I'm willing to pay alterations for the dress. The dresses are ankle length (except for Jane's) but there will be a dance the bridesmaids are doing(except for Jane) and there is a like chance the skirt of her dress will flit up enough that her scars on her leg.
Though from where Jane is sitting she probably won't see but I don't want to take any chances so I would want Anne to wear dark tights or skin tone tights that would cover up her scars. I talked to my maid of honor about it and she says I should just un-invite Jane from the wedding so Anne wouldn't have to cover up and Jane won't be at risk.
I've talked to my fiancee about it and he said that I'm in the right to accommodate Jane but I can't expect Anne to show up. I haven't really talked about Anne in this post but she's one of my best friends and she deserves to be at my wedding.
She's helped me get through so much and I'd feel like I'm backstabbing her if I ask her to cover up her own traumatic life experiences to make someone else more comfortable. At the same time I don't think that Jane's efforts should all go down the drain because of something she can't control either. But WIBTA?
YWBTA - Jane is unquestionably suffering from debilitating anxiety and it's going to be impossible to accommodate that degree of mental health impairment in a public venue. She is having a hard time leaving the house for therapy, what's your plan when Jane sees a scratch in the bathroom wall? Or another guest cut themselves shaving in the morning and she goes catatonic?
Ultimately this is not your problem. I really do not understand why brides insist on injecting themselves into every possible conflict. You cannot control this. Tell Jane that you would love to include her and that may mean playing a recorded video statement, but you can't guarantee that she won't see anyone with scars/strech marks/etc. You can also tell her that one of your friends does have scars that may be visible.
YTA. Sorry but Jane can’t expect the whole world to adapt to her panic disorder. Those scars are part of Anne’s body. It’s unacceptable to have her dress in a special way because of them. What if all your guests don’t get the “no scar” memo and Jane has a panic attack anyway? This level of event for someone who never leaves the house is just not really feasible anyway. Jane can either adapt or don’t attend.
YTA. I feel for Jane, I really do, but most people have scars of one sort or another. What about your other guests? I would imagine that the women coming will have summer dresses on, many of them knee length.
Knee scars are pretty common. I think your best bet is to prep Jane that some people may have visible scars, and make sure there's somewhere safe and quiet she can go if she has a panic attack. The world cannot be rearranged to accommodate Jane's triggers in this scenario. She needs to figure out how to cope, or not come.
Either adjust the dresses for everyone or shut up about it.
YTA. You are using your niece as an excuse because you say your niece gets panic attacks over scratches on the wall but is going to your wedding and is even practicing a dance. What about guests? Do they have to hide their scars. Fez’s up to being a bridezilla
Hello hello, so I think I've read all or most of your responses and they are all very appreciated! As weird as it sounds I'm actually a bit happy I came out as the a-hole! Covering somebody else's trauma to accommodate another like all of you said is a terrible thing to do and I felt like I knew that but was still justifying my behavior to "protect" my niece.
I think I went A LOT overprotective Aunt and I thank you all for giving my the reality of the situation. Also to some who though I was using Jane as an excuse to have Anne covered up in wedding pictures, I think you guys have been reading a bit too many posts about Bridezillas. Thank you for the concern about Anne being mistreated anyways though.
And I'll definitely be talking to Anne and Jane some time in the future. For those wondering about my niece, and to clarify some points people have brought up Jane does not react to ALL scars. Acne scars are fine, if they are small/not very noticeable they are fine. The shape and quantity are also key points.
Jane has her own scars which are kind of noticeable(depending on the situation) unless covered up. My niece is improving, it's been a year since she started therapy and she has been showing improvement! Thank you for those who wished my niece's improvement!
My wedding was originally planned for next year anyways and if it gets delayed by another year there is a chance that Jane will be able to improve enough to handle the situation! I'll also be asking my sister Jane and Anne spend some time together like some of you suggested. I think the last thing I need to clear up is that Jane can leave the house, like I said not all scars are triggers.
My sister is a helicopter mom and does not want to take any chances. I think I'll be suggesting Jane make a grocery trip with me and/or her mom and dad sometime soon. Thank you all so much.