Redditor ElBartoToday is a 22-year-old guy who is getting ready to graduate from college.
His parents divorced but he remained close with his older sister.
When it came time to send out early invitations for his commencement ceremony, the graduate upset his father because he didn’t invite his father’s new girlfriend and her son.
After his father made a confusing accusation, the Redditor stood his ground but struggled after his sister intervened to try to hold the family together.
He visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for bluntly telling my sister I don’t care if people think I’m homophobic.”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Bit of a loaded title, I’ll admit.”
“But to give some context, I have an older sister Skye (26 Female). When I was in high school, our mother (48 Female) cheated on our dad (48 M) and left us to be with her boyfriend.”
“When our dad moved on, he wound up dating Frida (41 Female) the mother of Phil (22 Male) – my bully, who never did anything but make fun of me and if you know, you know words can really f’king hurt.”
“I begged him not to be with her, I really, really begged him not to but didn’t listen. The worst part was having to go with him to their house. My sister is the only one who realized how distraught I was.”
“I had to go and so I left to be with my mother. My dad took that personally and thought I was just trying to spite him moving on.”
“I only stayed with my mother until Skye got her own apartment and I moved in with her as soon as I could. She never cut off contact with our dad, which is fair because she was a lot closer to him than I was and she never pushed me to go to him or to our mother.”
“Like high school life only got worse after I left my dad and university has been such a goddamn godsend since everybody here is nice and stuff.”
“My graduation is coming up in April and I sent early invites to dad and to my mother (just finished applying) but not to the families they have now.”
“Mother accepted but dad called demanding invites for Frida and Phil. I said no and told me that it to prove to him that I’m not homophobic. That caught me off guard but I didn’t back down.”
“Yesterday I talked to my sister about it and she told me that because Phil’s gay, they’ve been telling everyone that I don’t come over and see him because I’m homophobic. She told me that she always sticks up for me and defends me but she wishes I could reconcile with him since it hurts her because people we know probably think the worst of me.”
“I got pissed off and told her in a really rude way not to bother since I don’t care if anybody thinks I’m homophobic. She got really sad and told me that she’d never stop defending me and I just huffed and we didn’t really talk for the rest of the day.”
“But I’ve slept on it really bad and I never should have said that to her since she isn’t pushing for me to reconcile and she’s the one who defends me and I know my tone was really mean.”
“I really feel like a major a**hole and that I never should have hurt her by saying those things, hence why I’m on Reddit instead of studying for finals.”
The OP clarified in an update:
“Since people keep wondering this, yes my dad knows I was bullied by Phil but he doesn’t think it was real bullying. And my sister has a good relationship with my dad and his new family, new kids and all – she loves him and I’m not going to try to force her to choose between us.”
Strangers online 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 agreed the OP was not the a**hole in the situation.
“That’s kinda an oof from your dad to not understand your hesitation to having a relationship with Phil from the get go and to then take it personally.”
“Not to mention, the fact that you wouldn’t want this guy at your graduation. This has nothing to do with him being gay and everything to do with him being a bully to you.”
“Also, how many tickets are each grad getting? I remember when I graduated, I only got 4 with the potential to enter a draw to get more. Your dad has to understand that you can only have so many people at an event and everyone wants to bring multiple people.”
“But your dad lacking clear obvious reasoning, sounds unfortunately like a constant in your life.”
“Congrats on graduating! NTA.” – andreaak88
The OP replied:
“The f’ked up thing is that I bet this is his way of trying to reach out to me by trying to force a confrontation.”
‘Also, how many tickets are each grad getting? I remember when I graduated, I only got 4 with the potential to enter a draw to get more. Your dad has to understand that you can only have so many people at an event and everyone wants to bring multiple people.’
“I’m getting 8. I don’t know why, even my sister was surprised.”
‘But your dad lacking clear obvious reasoning, sounds unfortunately like a constant in your life.’
“I mean, I don’t hold that against my dad. What my mom did to him was horrible and I think it hurt him really badly.”
Redditor andreaak88 responded back with:
“This is what really irks me about your post, is that lack of recognition from your dad. I understand wanting to have a familial unit and to bring everyone together, but if Phil is literally bullying your kid, you don’t make your kid relent. I am completely confused by this.”
‘I’m getting 8. I don’t know why, even my sister was surprised.’
“Lol, congrats, that’s a crazy high number. I would maybe hide this from your dad, if he doesn’t already know.”
‘I mean, I don’t hold that against my dad. What my mom did to him was horrible and I think it hurt him really badly.’
“My dad was awful to my mom too, but that doesn’t mean you take out your hurt and frustrations on your kid, multiple times. If your dad wants you to have a relationship with Phil, he needs to go about it in a way that doesn’t further push you down and elevate Phil.”
“Phil seems to be getting a pass on all fronts, which is very odd.”
Others continued weighing in.
“Crash the next big family event they have – you know when all the family and friends are over – and announce that you just want to clear the air, that you don’t give one flying f’k that Phil is gay, you refuse to see him because he is a abusive bully, his mother is an enabler, and your father is a liar who knows damn well why you don’t come around.”
“And then leave. NTA.” – archibookworm33
“NTA – Phil is still bullying you, he’s just changed his tactics.” – excess_moisture
“I’d use the holidays as a perfect opportunity to set the record straight. Start sending holiday cards telling the real reason for your disappearance from your dad’s life.”
“Time to turn those tables, OP, call them all out on their bad behavior, bullying and lies. Your dad doesn’t get to treat you like you don’t matter and spin the narrative to fit his liking.”
“Of course, I’m petty like that. You are NTA, but you may want to apologize for snapping at your sister. It sounds like she would be understanding and you were just (rightly) frustrated.” – carolyn609
Overall, many Redditors thought the OP shouldn’t begrudge his sister since she was trying to be the peacemaker.
But Redditors did suggest the OP should still set the record straight about Phil to his dad.