Post # 16
The thing about anxiety is it has NOTHING to do with you. It’s not about her being able to ‘do this for my one special day,’ this is something she lives with every day, regardless if you’re being accomodating or not. She can’t change her anxiety, she can’t just push it away for the day. That’s what anxiety does – it eats at people and they can’t help it. It sounds like you’re understanding of that for the most part, but just please realize that it doesn’t mean she doesn’t care for you any less or doesn’t want the best for you on your wedding day.
I’d also adapt the role so she can still be Maid/Matron of Honor or not have one.
Post # 17
megkate87 : I personally would just have two BMs. I know your sister was originally excicted but when you suffer from anxiety that doesn’t matter. I understand it is a shame for you, but at least your sister has told you now and not nearer the time!
Post # 18
MsBeer : So true. My mom told me that she wanted to wait another SIX months before telling me. I understand that she was nervous about talking to me about it, but I would have been even more upset if she waited that long because by then I would have been dress shopping for the bridal party, confirming numbers with hair and makeup, etc. It would have been more complicated if she had waited to tell me. So I’m really glad she told me now.
I think after having a night to sleep on it, and process my disappointment and hurt feelings, it’s not as big a deal as I felt it was yesterday. I discussed it with my fiance last night, and I think we’ve decided to forgo honorary bridal party members and just have bridesmaids and groomsmen. My fiance was having trouble picking a best man, so he really likes this idea. Haha.
I think part of my problem is that I’ve always subscribed to the idea of you need x, y, and z to have a proper wedding. But the more I plan, the more I realize, our wedding doesn’t need all those extra things, or roles, or whatever. Traditions don’t need to happen at every wedding.
Post # 19
megkate87 : The only roles that need filling for a wedding are bride and groom. Outside of that you can just do what you damn pleasw. I think your plan sounds excellent and it sounds like your sister still wants to be involved.
Post # 20
Speaking as someone with anxieties, I think she is using the anxiety as an excuse to not do the things you feel a Maid/Matron of Honor should do.
Not right. I, and many other anxiety sufferers, make Herculean efforts to overcome our feelings and participate in life.
Post # 21
Totally in agreement with Pp who have (gently) suggested that you are BLESSED to not have an anxiety disorder, but she DOES.
I’d also adapt her responsibilities to honor her as your sister, and simplify and/or omit whatever she can’t do. I’m sure you’re aware that most speech making at weddings is better skipped than listened to.
My mother was a very severe agoraphobic, and I set out in my planning to expect nothing of her but to reward her for what she was willing to try or what she actually did, and she came through like a champ.
Have you considered informing her that you want her to “serve” as your Maid/Matron of Honor on her own terms, selecting what responsibilities, if any, she feels she can? It sounds as though whatever she CAN do comfortably will be good for you both, and whatever she doesn’t do won’t have a huge impact anyway.
As part of your life, her participation and the pride she can feel for doing what she’s able to do will potentially mean more to both of you in the long run than what she doesn’t.
Post # 22
hungrymeow : “Maybe I’m being insensitive, but I don’t like that she still wants hair, makeup, a say in planning, etc., but can’t walk down the aisle for you”
This crossed my mind as well. I struggle with anxiety sometimes, but for my own reasons, I’m choosing not to be medicated for it. There are some things that I’m aware could legit trigger a panic attack, and for the most part I can arrange to avoid those things (e.g. watching a loved one’s casket being lowered into the ground). That said, there are some things that I’d simply prefer not to do and any “anxiety” I feel is related to my dislike of the activity, rather than an actual mental/physiological reaction I can’t control (e.g. when it’s my “turn” to host Sunday dinner with my extended family). Likewise, there are some things that are likely to trigger some anxiety, but they’re so important to me, that I’m willing to do them anyway (e.g. braving a sea of thousands of concert-goers to see a band I’ve loved since childhood). I try to be honest with myself about where that line is. And I wonder if OP’s sister is doing the same. Her interest in partying and getting pampered contrasted with her distinct lack of interest in anything that requires actual effort on her part (helping with planning, wearing a dress she doesn’t love, making a speech, etc.), would make me suspect not.
Post # 23
Something’s not adding up here. She won’t walk down the aisle but is ok being singled out for hair and makeup? She’ll go to bachelorette party? Unfortunately your sister seems like she’s used to using her anxiety as an excuse not to do things she is uncomfortable with. I have no sympathy for someone who won’t push herself to attempt important things. And before anyone jumps down my throat, I have anxiety and I won’t take meds. I have managed to keep it under control by pushing myself to do things regardless of my anxiety level. I won’t let it control my life.
I’m sorry OP, I’d be disappointed too. But I would just leave her out of the day’s bridal party festivities and have your other bridesmaids there. Choosing what she will and will not do feels like she’s ordering from a menu. Well it’s not a restaurant, it’s your damn wedding.
Post # 24
I completely disagree with people questioning her motives because she wants to get her hair and makeup done with you. I see that as her trying to be a part of the day with you as much as she can. Also, there is a huge difference between having some anxiety and an anxiety disorder. I get super anxious at times and would be terrified to if I was someone’s maid of honor, but I woulds suck it up and do it. However, I do NOT have an anxiety disorder. I don’t get panic attacks and don’t need medication. When you don’t have this condition I know it can be frustrating dealing with someone with it and think “can’t you just pull yourself together for one day?” I doesn’t work like that. What they are dealing with is so much harder than you can imagine.
Post # 25
Overjoyed : I deal with anxiety, too, and just as you’ve shared, I know when I’m uncomfortable due to dislike, versus what will actually make me sweat and stay up all night long. I was actually quite worried about walking on my own since I had to set the pace for the 8 other bridesmaids. I was worried about the bachelorette party because I was expected to man the fondue and there’d be lots of other people there whom I didn’t know. I was nervous about where I was going to sit at the reception, since it was family style and the bride scattered the bridal party all over the tables. Pretty much everything makes me nervous, but I don’t use it to pick and choose certain things if I agree to something.
wonderwedding : Why I wrote what I did is because I take Min-Tran for my anxiety. It’s not a prescription you need from a doctor, but it helps mellow my physical symptoms when I can’t control how my nerves affect my body. And we don’t know if her sister was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, we don’t know the severity. That’s why I also asked if it hinders her work and daily life.
She seems fine to go to a party and worry about planning, but hasn’t considered what she could do to be there for her sister who’s getting married. Also, if it’s truly debilitating, I would absolutely look into medication, even just for that one day.
Post # 26
“…she still wants to be involved with the planning, and going to the bachelorette, and get her hair and makeup done, etc. but she doesn’t want to be my Maid/Matron of Honor.”
Yes I too have problems with this . I get that she has great anxiety and can’t stand being looked at,or be the ‘centre of attention’ ( well, hardly, on your wedding day , but still) . So don’t have have special make up and hair, that will help with the not being looked at.