Does a Christmas present have the potential to cause tension in a family?
This one did.
Redditor ImActuallyTheGrinch is a 28-year-old with a 30-year-old half-sister Amanda—a.k.a. “Amy”.
When the Original Poster’s (OP) response to their 50-year-old father’s gift for Amy got family backlash, she turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for yelling at my dad and calling him a monster for what he gave my sister as a Christmas ‘gift?'”
The OP explained:
“My sister Amanda never met her bio-mom. My dad raised her alone until she was barely 1, my dad and my mom got married in 1992.”
“Amanda knew that my mom wasn’t her bio-mother, she started pressuring my dad for information on her mom when she was around 17. My dad always gave her vague answers and refused to talk about her bio mom, which put a strain on their relationship.”
“Enter our uncle (49) who revealed the ‘family secret’. Apparently Amy’s mom wanted an abortion (she was 19), but my dad and his parents were able to ‘bribe’ her. They offered her money if she followed up with the pregnancy and she accepted.”
“My grandparents sold one of their houses and gave half of that money to Amy’s mom when the pregnancy was viable, and the other half she received when she waived her parental rights over Amy to let my mom adopt her when she was 4.”
“My uncle wasn’t supposed to tell her that and my grandparents were furious. Amy stopped her crusade to meet her bio-mom and her relationship with my dad went back to normal. Amy never mentioned her bio-mom again.”
“A month ago, Amy found out that she was pregnant. The pregnancy was an accident when she switched birth controls. The problem being, Amy is about to start her surgical residency and her hours are insane.”
“It is basically impossible to raise a baby while working in that rhythm, so she wanted an abortion. The problem is that Mark (35) her fiancé (6 years together) wanted her to keep the baby. It caused a big fight.”
“In a d*ck move to convince Amy to keep the baby, Mark told dad about this (until that point no one in our family knew about this). Dad talked with her and they got into an enormous fight.”
“Amy got the abortion 10 days ago. Mark ended up breaking up with her. She is obviously really sad.”
“My dad was acting like a jerk. He was pretending that Amy didn’t exist. He didn’t want to talk to or see her.”
“So on Christmas day, we were exchanging gifts. When everyone had already finished giving each other gifts dad got up and gave Amy her ‘present’. He gave her an envelope in front of everyone and told her to open it.”
“It was 3 pictures with something written on the back, a name, an address and a phone number.”
“Dad told her that he was tired of ‘babying’ her, that this is a photo of her bio-mom and her two sons. That was her bio-mom’s address, and that he contacted her bio-mom and she is willing to speak with Amy. He gave her Amy’s number. Dad thinks that they will have ‘a great relationship since they are so similar’.”
“Amy broke down crying. I ended up in a fight with dad, called him a monster for doing that to her. He just said he ‘was just tired’ and left.”
“We ended up leaving and she spent the rest of Christmas crying on my shoulder. She is a mess since that.”
“My younger brothers called me a grinch for making a scene and ruining Christmas. My mom was silent during the whole thing.”
“My parents have been giving me the cold shoulder since Christmas.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA – Daaamn what your dad did is messed up. I get that abortion might be a sore topic for some people but c’mon, that was just a plain and simple d*ck move to do.”
“He deliberately preyed on Amy’s fears and insecurities and is subjecting her to mental abuse.” – Shaagriel
The OP responded to the above with:
“I don’t know why he acted like this, I swear normally he is very calm and easygoing.”
“I mean this without any jealously, but Amy always was my dad’s favorite as well. She was always a daddy’s girl (I was too, but she was WAY more) and she was basically his shadow growing up.”
“They were really close. My mom also always favorited her a bit more, I really don’t know why they are doing this.”
“I’m actually really confused.”
Redditor Shaagriel continued with their conversation.
“It could’ve hit on some sore points he had about Amy’s bio-mom. He might have kinda thought what would’ve happened if Amy’s bm had done this, so whiplash effect… understandable motive but still a d*ck move for what he did.”
“You may wanna let him cool off a bit and talk to him abt it. Edit: just to add on, if you feel like an a** for ‘ruining Christmas’ as your family claims, you aren’t. Because you didn’t ruin the dinner.”
“Your dad is mature enough to know that what he had quite obviously planned for the night would have some consequences and backlash, and if your family thinks making your daughter cry on Christmas isn’t enough to ruin dinner then maybe they should reevaluate their priorities.”
Redditors continued weighing in with their thoughts.
“Your father did the cruelest thing he could have done to your sister. Your mother sat back and watched. Your brothers think that if the two of you had not said anything that would have been fine.”
“Honestly? Your parents and your brothers aren’t that great. The idea that he’s normally calm and easygoing is nice, but he has the capacity to do something like this.” – Whiteroses7252012
“Your dad ruined Christmas plain and simple. He knew that what he was doing was going to create conflict.”
“Im so sorry for you and your sister. Your sister’s bio mom did nothing wrong. Your sister probably can understand where her bio mom was coming from.”
“It’s sad that her fiance broke up with her, but it is true that surgery rotations are hard and it would massively harder to do it while pregnant.”
“She’s 30 and probably wants to be done with med school so she can go on to get the job she wants finally (which is why she probably didn’t want to take a gap year or something).”
“Just be there for your sister. Maybe encourage her to reach out to bio-mom when she is feeling up to it, it could help her a lot.” – dyingstars28
“I’d also add that maybe OP contacts bio mum and explains to her why right now she isn’t getting a call from her bio daughter.”
“This can’t have been easy for her as well, and now she’s probably sitting there wondering why this call isn’t coming.” – AlexTMcgn
“NTA. Your entire family (other than your sister) is a family of AH. I think anyone who acts like that towards me, friend of family, I would cut contact immediately. F them. No empathy. So much for ‘family.’ Disgusting.”
“Stay by your sister’s side. She’s better off without that AH fiance anyway.”
“No matter what anyone perceives it nor says, WOMEN ARE NOT BABY MAKING MACHINES. YOUR SISTER HAS THE RIGHT TO HER OWN LIFE.”
“Call out your dad whenever you get the chance. As well as ANYONE who sided with him.”
“Your mum? Shame on her for staying silent. Disgusting. Your brothers? Disgusting. Your father? A monster.”
“So much for being ‘Christian’/religious (whatever religion you are).” – reyx121
Redditors thought the OP’s reaction to her father’s deliberately cruel and callous gift for Amy was warranted.