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Am i being selfish about phobia, need help please.

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#1 stacey

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 08:05 AM

I have not been attacked myself but I would like to get help and opinions from people who post here. You see me and my boyfriend are to be married soon and one of my in-laws to be has been raped. Because the attacker had a hooded coat on we he attacked her she has an extreme phobia of hoods. The problem is that on my wedding day I plan to wear a long velvet hooded coat over my dress. My boyfriendís family wants me to leave the hood down because of the phobia she has. I have said she could see a hood up anywhere she went but apparently she doesnít go out much and is having treatment for the phobia. The thing is I love the coat and was planning to put the hood up because it looks lovely up. My in-laws to be say I am being selfish by insisting on having the hood up, I am so angry with her of course I feel sorry for her but I wish to have the hood up. Do you think I am wrong or selfish after all a red velvet hood, I canít see how it would look like her attackers.

#2 cubby

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 10:05 AM

I cannot completely fathom the problem here.  No one has asked you to change the coat, all they have done is ask that you not wear the hood up.  Why would that request cause you to be "so angry with her?"

Why would anyone persist in an action that they know causes another pain and discomfort?  Not being a survivor, you cannot completely understand the impact a triggering item can have.  It isn't a matter of taste, she doesn't simply dislike hoods.  To her the sight of you in a hood triggers unpleasant emotions, even flashbacks.  Is looking "lovely" for a few moments really worth someone being forced to relive something traumatic?

I realize that it is your wedding day, and you wish for it to be perfect, but as the bride are you not also the hostess?  Should it not be your concern that each and every guest be comfortable as they share this day with you?  Making such a tiny concession for the sake of another's comfort should be a non-issue.

#3 RSR

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 12:28 PM

I understand that it will be your wedding day and all, and to many people, this has to be a lavishly done event.... and everything has to be "perfect" [If I sound skeptical, I'm sorry, but I don't share this view.  I believe the marriage to the person you love- and his/her family- should mean more than the ceremony].....

Now, that being said, I'm sure you can tell that I do agree with cubby.  I think it would be entirely unfair to wear the hood up while this woman is attending.  Granted, she could always not come or leave the room, but of course she will want to be there and participate.  You are going to become a member of her family.

I mean, honestly, it may look lovely up..... but will wearing it down somehow change the importance or wonderfulness already inherent in being married?  I certainly hope not.

#4 noname

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 12:54 PM

I tend to agree more with cubby, but I think there might be a possibility for a compromise as tabloidscully wisely pointed out.  Did you want to wear the hood up the whole time or just for part of it?  If there was a specific part of the wedding or you just wanted to have pictures with the hood up it seems that for that time period perhaps set out in advance - this would give her the opportunity to leave the room or close her eyes at that point but be there the rest of the time.   I don't think this has to be an all or nothing thing.  There does seem like there is room for compromise, as long as you are willing to to have the hood up the whole time and she understands that there might be a small part of the wedding she can't participate in.  That way both of you are compromising.  What does your fiance think?  After all presumably she wants to be at the wedding for him (being his relative and all.)  

Good luck.  I hope you can come to a compromise that works for both of you.


#5 ellen

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 01:30 PM

Have you actually talked to the sister-in-law?  It seems to me that  an awful lot of power is being given over to her rapist...he  would seem to be controlling the style choices  at your wedding.Perhaps it would be helpful to spend some time with  this women before the wedding...at a fitting or something.  You could desensitize her to the impact of the hood, let her get used to it,seeing you in it,hood up, hood down..Not only would this give her an opportunity to address  her own issues(if she chooses to)but you would  also have a chance to bond in a meaningful way.  I am sure there is a way  to do this that provides for her comfort and your dream wedding.  Congratulations  on your upcoming marriage!!!   ellen :)

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