No matter how simple a misunderstanding is, sometimes it’s unavoidable one party ends up deeply defensive and offended.
A teen on Reddit found herself in this situation with a cousin who terrified her by accidentally sleepwalking into her bedroom in the middle of the night and was offended she would think he would ever try to harm her.
She wasn’t sure about how she handled the situation, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by hesleepwalked47vV on the site, asked:
“AITA for reacting badly when my cousin (23M[ale]) sleepwalked into my bedroom at 2am? (I didn’t know he was a sleepwalker)”
“So I (18F[emale]) live with my Mum (45F) and Dad (53M).”
“My cousin ‘Cameron’ (23M) on my Dad’s side has started studying at a trade school near where we live. The trade school is just a ten minutes walk from our house.”
“Mum and Dad offered Cameron to stay with us in the guest bedroom while he’s studying at trade school. Otherwise he would have to travel over an hour to get there every morning in his car.”
“Cameron took up the offer and moved in with us 4 days ago.”
“I’m not particularly close with my cousin Cameron and I don’t know a lot about him. Cameron is a lot closer to my Dad who he considers his favourite Uncle. The bedroom he is staying in is upstairs on the second floor directly across from my bedroom.”
“Usually in the middle of the night I wake up at like 2-3am to pee. Last night I woke up at around 2am only to notice a figure standing at the foot of my bed looking down on me and mumbling to himself…”
“I realised immediately it was Cameron and my mind immediately went to the worst possible explanation and I naturally freaked the f out.”
“I jumped out of bed and started screaming for mum and dad while racing out of the room past Cameron straight to my parents room. I know it might sound over the top in hindsight but I was seriously petrified.”
“Well as it turns out Cameron was sleepwalking. None of us, including my Mum, my Dad or me, knew that Cameron was a sleepwalker.”
“After my parents realised what was going on my Dad went to confront Cameron in my bedroom and when he turned the lights on it was immediately obvious that Cameron was still asleep and just sleepwalking.”
“When Cameron woke up and heard what had happened he was extremely offended by my reaction. He said he can’t believe that I would ever think he would do something like that in a million years.”
“I told him that any person in my position who wakes up at 2am to a man standing at the foot of their bed looking down on them is going to freak out the same way I did.”
“I also made the point that he never told me or anyone else in the family that he sleepwalked so naturally my mind didn’t go to that conclusion.”
“My parents are on my side.”
“They are both pretty upset because they would never have put Cameron in an upstairs bedroom if they knew he was a sleepwalker because he could’ve fallen down the stairs while sleepwalking.”
“Cameron is very offended and angry. He was especially hurt that my Dad – his favourite Uncle – didn’t defend him.”
“Cameron’s parents are also on his side and they think its extremely horrible that I would come to that kind of conclusion about their son. They think I overreacted horribly.”
“So I want to know, was I an a**hole?”
Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situations using the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And they nearly unanimously sided with OP.
“NTA. If I found someone standing over me at 2a.m. I would be screaming like a banshee. Your cousin is probably embarrassed. But he should have told your parents.” —Special-Attitude-242
“NTA, besides freaking out and going into flight or fight mode like everyone else covered, I don’t think Cameron or his parents fully realize just how dangerous sleep walking can be.”
“People have frozen to death, or have died in various other ways because they slept walked outdoors. And people have been injured from falling down the stairs, tripping, or they ended up in a place they weren’t supposed to be.”
“Since Cameron was on the 2nd floor, it would be incredibly easy for him to just tumble down the stairs and hurt himself.” —F0xFr33k
“Agree, NTA – Cameron should totally have told your family he occasionally sleepwalked FOR HIS OWN SAFETY.”
“Firstly, your parents would have ensured he wasn’t at risk of falling down the stairs if he had an episode, and could have found out if there’s a preferred way of dealing with how to wake him up (or just to nudge him back to bed).”
“Secondly, he could have ended up being assaulted by mistake if someone thought he was an intruder and they were defending themselves.”
“If he’s staying, you should get a lock on your door and lock it at night, not because you suspect him of anything nefarious, but so you don’t get woken up by him randomly walking around. You don’t need you sleep disturbed either.” —Fraerie
“NTA. He’s definitely embarrassed but that doesn’t excuse his reaction; especially the doubling down on it after the initial knee-jerk reaction.” —Illustrious_Leader
After reading some of her fellow Redditor’s comments, OP came back to provide an update.
“A few people have mentioned Cameron may have faked sleepwalking. I don’t believe this is true.”
“When my Dad went to confront Cameron he could immediately tell Cameron was sleepwalking (my grandpa was also a sleepwalker so Dad knows what it looks like). Also my Aunt and Uncle have verified that Cameron does indeed sleepwalk on occasion.”
Hopefully OP, her parents and her cousin can find a way past this.