It is more important that you help someone or how you help them? Should you scold someone for offering an option that someone doesn’t want, or give kudos for offering to help at all?
Redditor Sonodemaisbicho has a tumultuous relationship with her parents. The original poster (OP) has done well for herself, and tried to give some support for her parents.
However, OP’s parents don’t like what she’s offered and tried to suggest something else. OP refused and got into a disagreement and wonders if she should have helped.
The “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit is just the place to ask if OP did the right thing.
And she’s starting to doubt herself.
“AITA not letting my parents move with me, because I don’t want to give up my pets’ room?”
The dispute is over a bedroom for OP’s pets.
“I (37F[emale]) am not close to my parents (65F & 67M[ale]). One of several reasons is their control and I always hated that.”
“Even living alone, they wanted to control and it took several years (of therapy) to almost completely cut them out of my life and I have lived in peace for 7 years.”
“I don’t intend to have children, I don’t intend to get married and live together (even dating), so my expenses are with me and my 4 pets (2 dogs and 2 cats). They live a life of luxury, honestly, because I have a job that pays well.”
“I have a 3bd/3ba house, the two suites I use for bedroom and office. The spare room is for my pets.”
“The entire room is modified, several things on the wall for cats, beds, toys, a door that leads to the backyard. (I like to sleep completely alone and in peace, which has already proved ineffective when sleeping with all of them).”
“My parents only visited my house once and before my pets (the oldest is 4 years old). So really, at the time, there was an empty room.”
“Last week my parents called me saying they lost their house (financed and delayed a lot of installments) and asked if they could stay in the spare room.”
“I said that only the living room would be available, they could sleep on the floor (mattress) or sofa (very spacious and comfortable), as the free room became my pets’ room.”
“They started to get angry, saying that pets could sleep in the living room instead of them and that it is extremely disrespectful to offer parents, even worse elderly people, to sleep in the living room on the floor or sofa while pets could do it.. In addition to complaints about my lifestyle and the fact that I have a pet room.”
“I got angry and said my house was not open to them.”
“Since then, I’ve been being bombarded by their messages saying that they’re in a hotel (spending what they shouldn’t) and next week they’ll go to a shelter, because I uninvited them and preferred my pets over not leaving them homeless.”
“Other relatives couldn’t help and they didn’t bother me either, because they know the pain in the ass that my parents are.”
“I already blocked them, but would like an outside opinion.
OP provided a little more clarification about the relationship she has with her parents.
“Extra: I don’t help them financially as I have been the target of emotional blackmail in the past because of it and would rather it not happen again.”
OP tried to offer a place to stay for her parents, but they were upset she gave the spare room to her pets and they’d have to sleep on the couch. But should the room really be used for animals over people?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for not letting her parents stay in her pet room and offering her couch by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
By OP’s own admission, the relationship is rocky to start. OP has built up a life in the years since her parents visited her house.
That life doesn’t have to be upended because of her parents’ mistake. Despite this, she is offering to help and providing her parents a place to stay.
Just because it’s on OP’s terms and not her parents doesn’t make her wrong.
“NTA. I have a feeling that if you let them stay in the living room for a week, they’ll still be there a year from now. We’ll be reading a post about how you had to move out of your house and buy a new house for yourself just to get away from your parents.”
“It’s hard not to feel some pressure here, but it’s your life. They did this to themselves, and they had to work hard to do it.”
“Think about all the missed opportunities they had to prevent this from happening.” – Time_Highlight89
“Yep, the fact that they complained about sleeping in the living room shows that in their minds they were seeing this as a long term solution, not a week or so crashing until they got a place of their own.” – TheZZ9
“I’m your mom now and I want to tell you some things you should’ve been told by a parent a long time ago.”
“I’m sorry. I should’ve never made such a big deal about your food. I love you regardless of what you choose to eat.”
“I’m sorry. I should’ve never micromanaged your finances. I love you regardless of your financial situation.”
“I’m sorry. I should’ve never been so harsh about your grades. I love you regardless of your GPA.”
“I’m proud of you for doing so well for yourself and your chosen family. I’m so glad you’ve found happiness for yourself. I should never have asked you to open your home to someone who treated you so badly.”
“You have no obligation to forgive those who abused you, whether it was emotional or physical or financial. Even if they say sorry. Especially if they don’t.”
“You should feel no guilt for the strict boundaries that make you feel safe.” – sychosomaticBlonde
“You offered a free place to stay, it wasn’t up to their standards and they fought you on it. I’d say, they made their own bed so now they can lay in it.”
“It’s sad that you’re questioning whether you’re in the wrong. There’s no shame in protecting yourself from those that harm you. Going NC is definitely warranted here.”
“Take care of yourself and continue to take such great care of the animals that bring joy to your life. NTA” – TallChick66
The extra bit of information OP provided had some questioning why it was that OP had such a distance relationship with her parents. It cannot be overstated that emotional blackmail is traumatizing.
Was there a case for abuse?
If so, there’s a strong case for OP going above and beyond anything required of her by offering her couch.
“NTA. Sounds like there’s probably a history of some kind of abuse and you’ve managed to escape that toxicity. Despite that, you still offered them a place to stay.”
“They didn’t like what you offered and disinvited themselves, essentially. You’re not responsible for their actions or the consequences that befall them.” – Skurtz8446
“I can list a few about Control my life:”
“1. Every plate of mine was weighed on the scales and I had to eat only the calories to have a healthy diet (always had a normal weight) so I wouldn’t become like my aunt (who is overweight). This developed into several eating problems that I still struggle with.”
“2. Until the age of 21, they sat down every month to discuss every expense and why.”
“3. I had to weigh myself at least once a week and they had a schedule with all my weights. If I had gained weight, the diet would be more restricted”
“4. My grades never went above A/A+, it only happened once and I didn’t leave the house until the next course test (in the other month).”
“Just a few facts from my childhood/teenage/young adult. When I say controllers, that’s it.” – Sonodemaisbicho
“Ok, just saw this…under no circumstance let them anywhere near your home. If they had paid as much attention to their finances as they did your weight, they would have few issues.” – Internal_Set_6564
“You make an excellent point about not paying attention to their finances. The fact that they made her go over every purchase once a month, but couldn’t manage their own finances, shows it was just another way to exert control.”
“OP, should your resolve ever waiver, remember: your parents were abusive. The only reason they don’t abuse you now, is because they have no way to access you.” – DragonCelica
OP can rest safe. Her family not even being willing to help or guilt her into helping shows that there’s something wrong here.
And if her parents want a little help, next time they probably shouldn’t be so picky.