No family is perfect, but most people tend to side-eye the parents who choose to leave behind their children.
It’s even worse when they later expect their children to make amends, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Throwawayaita827 was surprised when her mother wanted to reunite with her after nearly 30 years of being in no contact.
But when she discovered why her mother wanted to see her, the Original Poster (OP) was hurt.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not paying for my mom’s surgery even though I have money for it?”
The OP was abandoned by her mother as a child.
“I (35 Female) lost my father very early when I was five years old.”
“A few months after his death, my mother married a guy named ‘John.’ John already had two teenage boys and he didn’t want to raise me because he never wanted to be a girl’s father.”
“My mother, like a good mother, abandoned me with my aunt and took my brother (eight at the time) with her to live with her husband.”
“John was a man with a lot of money and he always spoiled my mother and brother, but he never bothered to get me even a Christmas present. My mother didn’t do anything for me either, she came to visit me once a month and didn’t even call me at Christmas or New Year (I always called, but many times she didn’t answer).”
“My aunt was a woman who couldn’t have children, and because of that, she and my uncle raised me as if I were their daughter, not missing anything for me.”
The OP went on to create a good life for herself.
“Even without much money, I accumulated some money from the job I had during high school and I earned a small amount from my aunt, which was enough for me to pay for my college.”
“At the time I graduated in computer science and went to work in a good company earning a great salary, but eight years ago I received a much better job offer in a large company (One well known for having great Hardware products).”
“At that time, I accumulated a lot of money and helped my uncle and aunt renovate their house and I always sent them a nice amount even if they told me to spend it on myself.”
“I currently live alone in a great apartment with an estimated value in the millions.”
“Recently my mom called me on my Instagram (I post a lot of pictures of trips and fancy places I go, so it’s not too hard to find me). She asked if we could meet to talk and reevaluate our relationship to forget the past and move forward as mother and daughter.”
“I have a soft heart so I took it, I thought it would be an opportunity for us to talk and finally create the bond I always wanted. We made an appointment at a restaurant downtown and met there.”
The get-together did not go how the OP was hoping.
“When we got there, she hugged me, kissed me on the cheek, and said she missed me.”
“We talked about my life and when I asked how hers was going, she started to talk about how bad she was. Apparently, she divorced John and my brother didn’t want to keep her as she is now poor.”
“To make matters worse, she lives on a pension from John and has serious heart problems.”
“After a while, she asked if I could pay for the surgery she needed. The surgery was quite expensive, quite a lot.”
“I told her I wouldn’t pay as I wouldn’t feel good doing that.”
“She yelled at me in the middle of the restaurant, said I was a terrible daughter and that I was letting her die even though I could pay for her surgery.”
“I left there very embarrassed.”
The OP was left feeling conflicted.
“When I told my aunt, she said it was my decision but remarked that I have plenty of money to pay and that it wouldn’t affect me financially.”
“I don’t want to do this because she never has been a mom to me, but I need to ask.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that she was not wrong to withhold her money.
“NTA. She abandoned you; you don’t owe her a thing.”
“I’m calling bulls**t on the heart problems by the way. The fact she abandoned one of her children demonstrates she has no heart.”
“You’re better off without her.” – PJfanRI
“The mother is an a**hole and extremely selfish. She was willing to abandon her daughter, I guess it can be assumed she is and never was a good mother in general.”
“So she probably also wasn’t a good mother for OP’s brother either. I wouldn’t blame any of her kids for not wanting to have her in their lives.” – dontcareaboutaname
“I would have been shocked to find out she had a heart to malfunction, OP hasn’t seen evidence of it for decades.” – someone_actually_
“Personally, if I was even going to help a relative pay for surgery, I would never transfer them the money, I would ask them to forward me the bill to pay the hospital directly after they get it done. No funky business that way.” – connicpu
“NTA. Take care of your aunt and uncle who took care of you and don’t worry about the person who abandoned you.” – thalliagorgon
“She literally abandoned you, her five-year-old daughter who had just lost her father, for a man.”
“And she didn’t care to ‘reevaluate [that] relationship to forget the past and move forward as mother and daughter’ until she had herself been abandoned and needed a sizeable chunk of money.”
“NTA, OP. You are no more obligated to give her anything than you are any other random acquaintance, stranger, or betrayer. That piece of work who gave birth to you, on the other hand, is quite the AH.”
“I’m sorry for what you went through. (Also sorry for what your mother is going through, because it’s ridiculous to need exorbitant funding to get needed medical care, but she pretty thoroughly burned this particular bridge.)” – Bibliovoria
“Just decide what you can live with.”
“It’s unclear if your aunt is your mother’s sister or not, you may want to take that into consideration too.”
“Saying all that, your motherly clearly didn’t care about catching up, she just wanted your help. She should have had more humility when you gave your answer.” – IHaveSaidMyPiece
“NTA. Today it’s surgery, tomorrow it will be recovery, then rent, bills, lifestyle, vacations then home care. And you will end up restricting your lifestyle for someone who threw you away so she could have the lifestyle she wanted.”
“If she pops up again, tell her you are saving your money to help the people who raised you. You owe her nothing.” – Sea-Supermarket-9728
Others agreed and felt the attempt at reuniting was purely financial.
“Clearly, NTA. The purpose of this reconciliation was financial.” – Kooky_Football_6452
“100% Mom popped out of the woodwork now because she sees OP is successful.” – GreenEyedHawk
“My favorite bit was her saying OP was a bad daughter. What kind of mother does she think she was?”
“As heartbreaking as it is, OP, your mom didn’t want to reconnect with you to rebuild your relationship, she found out you had money and decided she was entitled to some. She’ll have to learn the hard way that her actions have consequences.” – Natural_Writer9702
“Yelling and getting stressed in a restaurant would not be good, and that she escalated so quickly without consideration to her own health smells like its not as bad as she is making out.” – WonkyWhiskers
“It’s not just the abandonment, it’s the bit where they meet for the first time in decades and the mother wants her to pay for her surgery. So it wasn’t about wanting to reconnect, it was all about the mother.”
“OP is definitely NTA and needs away from her leech of a mother.” – Scotsgift73
“NTA. Your mom didn’t want a relationship with you. She wanted your money. And she would have expected you to support her for the rest of her life.” – Far-Cup9063
“She wants something and it’s not a relationship. The first husband was her ATM, which was worth more than her child, but now that her ATM is gone, she taught her son to be the same money grubber that she is, and he kicked her to the curb now that she’s on a fixed income.”
“Now OP is nothing more than the next ATM. Mom needs to get a job, health insurance and figure out life for herself.” – Osidestarfish
“I don’t believe that she is ill. She just saw a chance to get on money. She somehow heard that OP is rich and she even gave up her daughter to live with her rich husband!”
“It must be soooo hard to not have money anymore. She would do anything to get her hands on quick cash, like contacting OP and faking a heart disease.”
“I bet if OP said, ‘Yes, I will pay for it, but I will pay directly to the hospital,’ she would find more excuses (or fake some bills).” – EvilFinch
The subReddit was frustrated on the OP’s behalf for how her mother had treated her in light of the situation. They were certain if she had wanted to ask for such a large gesture, she could have offered more herself earlier in the OP’s life.