Ask Abbie: Why did my mother share my secret?

Published 10:30 am Saturday, February 23, 2013

By Abbie Long

Question: I am 12 years old and I can’t trust my mom anymore.

I told her something very private about my best friend and swore her to secrecy. Mom shared the information with my friend’s mom and then her mom told her.

Now my best friend won’t speak to me. I am so sad. I don’t have many friends anyways.

I asked mom why she did what she did, and she said she thought the mother needed to know.

I would rather sit in my room alone than be around my mom.

Why would she be that mean to me?

Answer: Let’s pretend you just found a nest of baby rabbits in your backyard, but the momma rabbit is nowhere in sight. You watch and wait for her to come back.

When she doesn’t, you begin to worry about the babies getting cold and hungry. You see your neighbor working in his yard so you tell him about the nest and how the mamma rabbit can’t be found.

He says, “don’t worry. What you are seeing is normal.”

He explains how a mother rabbit doesn’t stay in the nest, but watches from a safe distance. She instinctively knows being near the nest alerts predators to the whereabouts of her newborns so she only comes to the nest for 5- to 10-minute feeding periods once or twice a day.

He explains that the mother’s milk is naturally very rich, nutrient dense and designed to last the babies for 12 to 24 hours. In addition, before leaving the nest she covers the babes with her own fur from her underside to keep them warm and protected.

Of course the newborns would rather have the warmth of their mother’s body and feel her heartbeat than be left alone. It is also normal for them to feel neglected.

If however the mother did what the babies wanted, instead of doing what she thought was best, her infants may not survive.

Once your neighbor finishes his explanation, you realize the mamma rabbit is not mean even though at first it looked to like she was.

This is exactly what happened when your mom betrayed your trust. She thought she was doing what was best even though it looked to you like she was being mean.

Your mom is not mean and would never hurt you on purpose. Are moms perfect? No. Is it possible your mom made a mistake? Yes. Everybody makes mistakes.

To better understand how easy it is to make a mistake, let’s say you are playing a video game. You suddenly have to choose between two mysterious doors.

You know one leads to victory and the other to the end of the game. You choose the door you think best, but soon find yourself having to start the mission over. If you could do it again, you would choose differently.

I believe if your mom, like you, could do it all over she would also choose to act differently now that she knows how much she hurt you.

All you have to do is to look back over the last 12 years to see how much your mother loves you. She is always there waiting with open arms when you come home from school. She takes you places you want to go even when she is tired. You see her proud smile when you do good.

As you focus on your mom’s love instead of her one bad decision, you will once again feel the desire to participate in the party she’s throwing for you outside your bedroom door. I just sent you an invitation to attend the festivities. I really want you to come, but to get there, you must first open your door.

Abbie Long is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to