If you can’t get ahold of someone on the phone, when is the appropriate time to start feeling anxious?
That’s the question faced by one person, who described their ordeal in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), using the anonymous name throwawayahphone, used the post’s title to share how far things went.
“AITA for calling police after nobody in my family answered?”
OP, who lives at home with their parent, began with some key contextual details.
“For context I have severe physical disability but am mentally fine and I rely on my mom everyday as a caregiver.”
“This morning I woke up and checked the time and realized it was later than I’m usually up. In the morning I have a routine to get up at a certain time although it can vary a bit, I can’t start my day unassisted.”
It was clear to OP this morning was different.
“Usually my mom comes in at the same time but today she was not here and so I called her to see if she was ok.”
“I heard the phone ring but could not hear anyone in the house which made me worried.”
“Next I called my brother and he did not answer as well and I could not hear his phone ring.”
“It was already twenty minutes past when I normally get up and I had no texts or missed calls, and I began to worry.”
OP’s mind began to wander.
“After several minutes I called my mom again and waited for the ringing and I heard it but nobody there.”
“Finally I decided to call one of my mom’s friends to see if she knew what to do but again no answer.”
“At this point I was more stressed and worried that maybe my mom had slipped or something or hit her head or something similar that was potentially time sensitive so she would be unable to answer the phone, so I called police nonemergency line.”
“I was very worried and they could hear it in my voice.”
But then some new information came in.
“I waited more minutes and they said they would send someone but during this wait my brother phoned to let me know that my mom had to run to the store because we ran out of cat food. I asked if she had her phone and he said she must have left it at home.”
“He was already at school and did not want to wake me up but he had been told by my mother to let me know she would be back so it was all just confusion no ill will.”
“So I called back to the line for nonemergency and told them it was resolved and apologized for wasting time.”
For OP, however, it was too little too late.
“But after my mom got home and I got ready there was a worker at the door asking to speak to her with many questions about if I’m left alone often.”
“My mother is now mad and said I needed patience and to not be worried and I was wrong for calling anyone since they are mad now.”
“I did not mean to be wrong, I was only trying to make things ok.”
“Am I the a**hole for this?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors responded by assuring OP they were not being an a**hole.
Many empathized with the panic they must have felt.
“NTA you’re just a kid and that’s scary” — HuaAnNi
“NTA Your brother was supposed to let you know.. he didn’t. Your mom usually texts you.. she didn’t.”
“Alone and worried, and everything was not normal, you did the right thing ringing the non emergency line.” — MsAdvencha
“NTA I would be terrified. Her anger is misplaced and should be on herself, not you. You even called the NON emergency line.”
“I’m really disappointed in your mom, I’m sorry you dealt with that today.” — Romanbuckminster88
“NTA – On top of what the situation meant for you, you had more than enough reason to assume that something could be wrong with her. She could have have been hurt somewhere in the house unable to call for help.” — Forward_Squirrel8879
“NTA – I can only imagine actually how scary such a situation would be. Calling the police is an obvious move if you can’t get a hold of anyone in this case.” — Nomadic-Weasel
Others had some choice words for OP’s mother.
“NTA – she’s your caregiver. She can’t simply leave and ‘forget’ her phone. Your worries are completely understandable, and you have nothing to apologise for.”
“If she’s being investigated for not properly caring for you, after she literally left you alone and therefore unable to get up at all, that’s on her. Writing a note or text would have solved the issue before it occurred.” — Anneissleepingwsiren
“NTA. Your primary caregiver just up and vanished for a half hour with no explanation or way of contacting her. That’s not really something a caregiver should be doing, because emergencies can happen and she’s responsible for making sure you’re safe.”
“And even if calling the police was the wrong thing to do, it would at worst be an overreaction and not an a**hole move.” — fading__blue
“NTA Why didn’t she wake you up and tell you she was going somewhere? She’s your primary caregiver and up and vanished on you with no means of contact. That was her mistake and you took reasonable steps to try and find out what was going on.” — Flaky_Tip
“NTA. You were worried for yourself and your family. You depend on your mother. She should’ve informed you if she was leaving and you were home alone.” — twirlergirl42
While this incident can’t be undone, hopefully OP will be able to get in touch with their mom from here on out.