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Aunt says ‘keep it a secret’


Hey Rosie,

I just love your advice every week, so I am looking for some solid advice. The other day, I found out that my mom has another kid!

We are from St. Vincent and my dad is from Trinidad. She had a child before she came to the US and before she met our dad. I found out from her sister who told me not to say anything.{{more}} All this time we thought this girl was our cousin (my aunt’s daughter) but it was really my mom’s child. Rosie, I have nothing against her, but I think it is unfair that she is not a true part of our family. How could my mom pretend this did not happen? I want to find out more, but I promised my aunt. Should I keep quiet or let everyone know what I know?

Help me, Rosie. I would like a relationship with my new sister and let the truth be free.


Dear Secret,

Now, this is deep! This is the type of family secret that happened very frequently in the past (still does to some extent). It was usually to protect the young unwed mother from public humiliation. I can’t speculate what the reason was in your family, but you are now burdened with this information and sworn to secrecy by your Aunt.

Honestly, you really shouldn’t confront your mother at this point. You should go back to your Aunt, the person who “let the cat out of the bag”, so to speak. There are many missing pieces to this story which makes it difficult to follow, but I suspect that your Aunt has many of your answers. I wonder why she chose to reveal this secret like this? This is very confusing to me.

Now as regards your mother, I sense that you feel as though she may have betrayed you and your siblings; that she wasn’t upfront with you regarding her past. Do not judge her. You only have a very small part of this story and it isn’t fair to pass judgment with only 1/8 of the story, before you.

The bottom line is that I think it was unfair for your Aunt to drop this bombshell. Really, not even the whole story, to begin with, and then to say to you “keep this a secret”. Now that the door has been opened, tred very carfully when approaching your Aunt for more information, as this can become very explosive for all involved.

Finally, when the time comes to speak to your mother and family, you may need the help of a trained family counselor or neutral third party to bridge the gap of the past. Be careful, be respectful and be forgiving while you go hunting for the truth. I really am praying for you and your family at this time.


Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or P.O Box 152,

Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.