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‘Controlling’ Mom Berated For Being Happy Her Cancer-Stricken Teen Son’s Hair Is Falling Out

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Redditor AITA_hairlossmomcomm is an overprotective big sister who is 23-years-old.

She has a 13-year-old brother who was recently diagnosed with cancer but is expected to fully recover.

When their mother made an unkind observation in relation to her son’s illness, it elicited a harsh response from the sister.

She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit after thinking back on their heated exchange and asked for a second opinion.

She asked Redditors:

“AITA for yelling at my mom when she made a comment about my brother’s hair loss to cancer?”

The Original Poster (OP) wrote:

“My(23f) brother (13m) always wanted to grow his hair more but was never allowed to.”

“During quarantine he finally got our dad to convince our mom to let him keep it but she isn’t happy about it.”

“His hair is all fluffy and curly now and looks amazing. I’ve always been a bit overprotective of him especially from our parents because she makes insults if you don’t do exactly what she wants and our dad just has anger issues.”

“Sadly he was recently diagnosed with cancer, and thankfully he’s almost fully guaranteed to survive.”

“He’s started losing hair. They were at my house (been here for a while because it’s closer to the hospital he’s getting treatment at).”

“And then I heard her say at least we finally got him to get rid of the hair.”

“He overheard her and got very upset. I lost it. I screamed every insult and obscenity in the book and called her a horrible controlling piece of dog sh*t.”

“She said he’s my kid and I should be able to do what I want with him and your a horrible worthless daughter for speaking to your mother like that.”

“Now I’m thinking maybe I was excessive and was a bit rude AITA?”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many Redditors sided with the OP as not the a**hole in the situation.

“Honestly yeah, that might have been a bit excessive, but I’m still going to go with NTA.”

“It sounds like this was a straw that broke the camel’s back situation. Who the f’k thinks ‘Well the silver lining to my kid getting cancer is he won’t have hair to style in a way I don’t like?'”

“Saying she should be able to do whatever she wants to him because he’s her kid and calling you, the woman putting them up during their time of need, horrible and worthless for being appalled by her callous self-centeredness just further confirm the judgement.” – blacksteel15

“NTA – Your mother legitimately sounds like a narcissist.”

“Like her son has cancer and she’s concerned about his hair loss since she wants him to lose hair??? Like how callous and self absorbed can a person be?” – short_man_child

“NTA!!! Good on you for defending your brother! This is horrible and it is emotional abuse.”

“He’s already going through cancer he doesn’t need your moms verbal abuse.” – rivmcd

“NTA. Children aren’t property. Also, let kids do their hair how they like, no matter how much you hate it, bc otherwise odds are good they’ll find far worse ways to rebel.” – anathema_deviced

“NTA. She deserved it. Way to paint a sliver lining on cancer mom. I’m happy because I don’t like his hair and I can do whatever I want.”

“Did you follow up with get the f’k out of my house mom.” – enamoured_artichoke

“NTA – Your mother legitimately sounds like a narcissist. Like her son has cancer and she’s concerned about his hair loss since she wants him to lose hair??? Like how callous and self absorbed can a person be?” – short_man_child

“NTA. Her comment was cruel and typical narcissist behavior. You’re an amazing sister for calling her out. He’s lucky to have you. Wishing him a quick recovery.” – babycatcher2001

“NTA. Your mother sounds abusive and your father is at best an enabler. Good for you for standing up for your brother.”

“I hope he’s feeling better soon. Cancer is a demon.” – lecorbeauamelasse

“Holy sh*t. NTA. ‘At least now that he has cancer he won’t have long hair’ is a f’ked up take. How f’king dare she.”

“Even before cancer, wanting to control your 13yo hair is AH behaviour but now? That’s ridiculous and she deserved every word you threw at her.” – anonego7

“NTA. Your mother is horrible. Your brother deserves to have someone totally in his corner. I am glad he has you.”

“You might look up the definition of ‘bodily autonomy’ and cross stitch it into a sampler for her. I can (and will) design the pattern if you want.” – GrizeldaLovesCats

“NTA – why is hair the hill that parents choose to die on? I would be more concerned that my kids were failing classes, involved with drugs.Sexually promiscuous etc. ”

“Hair is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things. I hope your brother gets better soon and I hope his hair grows back super quick.” – exhausted-narwhal

“NTA: As an older sibling myself my parents always told me my job was to protect my younger brothers. Most are adults now but I still firmly believe that it’s my job to stand up for them when other people won’t.”

“Even to the people who ‘Love’ them. So yeah, you did your job and you should be proud of it. I hope your brother ends up being more like you and not either of your parents.” – Rayeness

“NTA. He is her son, not a piece of property that you get to do whatever you want with. He deserves to choose his own hairstyle at age 13, especially considering the current circumstances.”

“Now is the time to play with it snd have fun with what he has. You’d think your child getting cancer would be a wake up call, but no, even being told how horrible she was being to her child with cancer didn’t make a difference.”

“Please see if your brother can get therapy to help him through this and dealing with your parents.” – holisarcasm

Overall, Redditors remained disappointed in the OP’s mother in the first place for making such an insensitive comment and making light of her son’s illness.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo