One of the best parts of being an adult is establishing your own boundaries and letting go of people who refuse to respect them.
Even family members need to understand limits. And, if they refuse to respect them, it is perfectly acceptable to take some time for yourself.
Redditor whitemansburntends encountered this very issue with his family. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for turning around and not attending a family dinner because someone I hate was there?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“A little bit of backstory:”
“I am 22M and my brother is 18M, my parents are 56F and 55M. My childhood growing up was quite terrible in a number of ways; my brother was the golden child and I was the scapegoat for everything he did.”
“They never bought me anything I liked but spoiled my brother with whatever he wanted. Anytime something was wrong they blamed it on me and punished me. I was never allowed to go out without supervision but my brother could do anything he wanted. And if I complained I was shut down.”
“It led to a lot of resentment for my parents and my brother who ended up growing into one of the most entitled brats around. I hate him with my guts and I honestly have a better relationship with my pet birds than I do with him.”
“At least that’s what I heard, I moved out shortly after I turned 18 and haven’t had contact with my parents since then, any info I get is from family members who visit. I’m honestly really happy that my parents’ sh*tty parenting is being reflected back on them now.”
OP’s family reached out.
“Their calls and texts went unignored until today, after a long period of silence they texted me about how they were really sorry for the pain they caused me and wanted to reconcile.”
“The text was pretty long and detailed and they honestly seemed genuine about it, so I said okay. But I also said that they are not to bring my brother under any circumstance or I won’t attend.”
“Today I drove about an hour south to meet up where they were. And then that’s when I saw them through the window, and they had invited my brother.”
“To say I was beyond pissed would be an understatement, I just left and I went to eat somewhere else. I texted them and said that they did the very thing I told them not to, that they aren’t sorry at all and for them to never contact me again, and blocked their numbers.”
“Now, I’ve been on the receiving end of calls and texts from other family members passing along the message that the reason why my parents invited him was because they wanted him to apologize to me as well and come to some kind of solution going forward, that they’d be willing to do anything to make it up to me.”
“Now I feel bad for not giving them a chance and just rolling with it, but at the same time I can’t look my brother in the eye because he reminds me of all the pain I’ve went through and how I’m gonna need years of therapy to heal.”
“So, who’s in the wrong here?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“They did precisely what you asked them not to do.”
“It isn’t his fault they chose to put him on a pedestal and it’s not your fault they chose to scapegoat you. Your parents chose to instigate this dynamic and their first responsibility is to apologize and make amends with you for what they did. An apology from your brother can come a whole lot later, or never, it is still your choice if you don’t want anything to do with him.”
“Your parents wanted to rug-sweep, not apologize for a lifetime of mistreating you. They disrespected you again. Don’t feel bad. If they are serious about doing things the right way, and you would like to give them a third chance, they can meet you at a restaurant of your choosing, so it’s truly neutral, and not invite your brother.” ~ Narrow_Map4950
“Also they said they wanted to make his brother apologize. For what? Their shitty parenting that ruined the siblings relationship? It doesn’t even sound like it was the brother’s idea, especially since he’s now an entitled AH due to his upbringing.” ~ aFrenchyinEire
Most agreed OP was right for maintaining his boundaries.
“The parents just wanted to make sure OP knew that his boundaries didn’t matter and they would cross them whenever they felt like it. They wanted reconciliation, but on their own terms.” ~ shawslate
“100%! My mom is the same way. I recently moved across the country so I have control. It allows me to do amazing things for her like in May I flew home and surprised her on Mother’s Day, but I get to do them on my terms and she no longer has control.” ~ gimmethegudes
“I feel you, but I just gotta say when you get to a place that you can just say, ‘no’ and hang up, it’s truly liberating. My policy is – didn’t check if it was ok with me, then it’s not. Your problem you created, so it’s yours to solve. I know it takes a long time to. get to that headspace though, so this internet stranger wishes you all the luck and strength.” ~ saltycaptainred
“Brother doesn’t even want to apologize. The parents just want to play happy family and pretend bad things never happened.” ~ UnderstandingBusy829
“Agree on brother bit, he could write a letter or something if he was that serious. But thinking about motives here, I’m wondering what the parents really want. Money? Or they’ve had enough of brother and want him to move in with op?” ~ Discombobulatedslug
“Those are some good questions for “why now”, but unfortunately I don’t believe that’s their reasoning. I know it seems really bizarre for parents to think like this, but u/UnderstandingBusy829 is right, and I can guarantee you this is not the first time OP’s parents have entirely disregarded what OP wants to save their own feelings.”
“My family is similar to OP‘s. My mother and her family don’t talk, so she’s tried so hard to force us all to play the parts of what she thinks is a “happy family” that she’s disregarded what we want or need. Similar to OP I no longer talk to any of my family as a result.” ~ patrioticmarsupial
OP needs to move at their own pace.