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Guy Refuses To Let Parents Stay Over Since They Can’t Respect Girlfriend With PTSD’s Sleep Needs

A woman lies in bed with a pillow in her hands, covering her face with it, her hair spread over white sheets.

PTSD and past trauma can haunt people for life.

It can take a lot of work to get through the day.

So it’s imperative that whatever tools or methods are implemented to overcome it all be respected.

It can take very little to re-traumatize someone.

Redditor aitagirlfriendptsd wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for not letting my family stay at my apartment because they can’t respect my girlfriend’s needs?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My (22 M[ale]) girlfriend of 3 years (21 F[emael]) has severe PTSD.”

“She’s been in therapy for years and has really improved over the past few years.”

“The one thing that hasn’t improved is that nights are hard for her, and she needs very specific things to be able to fall asleep.”

“She needs every window in the apartment to be closed and locked, our bedroom door has to be locked, and she checks the entire apartment 1-2 times before going to sleep to make sure everything is how she needs it.”

“The light has to be on, and she needs a fan and a heated blanket. “

“From there, there can’t be any loud noises.”

“We don’t have anything on the bed or where it can be expected to accidentally make a noise, and we have sound-dampening curtains outside our window because if there’s any loud noise, she’ll wake up, and I’ll have to check the apartment, closets, and everything, and convince her that she’s safe and can go back to bed.”

“Even with all of this, she still has nights where she wakes up screaming or has nightmares so bad that she vomits.”

“We stayed with my family a few months ago, which was horrible.”

“I explained all of this to my mom, and she assured me the doors and windows have locks, they can keep the windows closed at night while she’s there, they’ll make sure there are no loud noises at night, and they have a fan she could use.”

“It was horrible.”

“None of the doors or windows locked, there was no fan, my sister was not quiet at night, and they complained about the light so much that we turned it off.”

“We stayed there for two nights, and she didn’t sleep at all for either of those nights, then had rough days because she wasn’t sleeping.”

“On the 3rd day, I spent almost $1000 on an Airbnb so she could sleep.”

“They said I was being ridiculous and that she was exaggerating because there’s no way she stayed up for two nights.”

“The rest of the visit was ok since she was able to sleep, but they kept making comments about how ridiculous we were being for getting an Airbnb.”

“Now they want to visit our city and stay in our apartment, but I said no because when we stayed with them, it was a sh**show, and I can’t throw her off in her own home.”

“They think we’re being dramatic and that if it’s that big of a deal, she can stay with her sister while they’re here.”

“Our apartment is on her sister’s property. Her sister built it specifically so she could move out while still having someone right there when she needed help.”

“But I refuse to kick her out so they could stay.”

“Now they’re calling us ungrateful and saying my girlfriend hates them, and I’m taking her side.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So, AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes HereESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.


“‘They think we’re being dramatic and that if it’s that big of a deal, she can stay with her sister while they’re here.'”

“Why should she?”

“They clearly aren’t making any effort to understand.”

“They can pay for somewhere to stay.”

“Besides, it’s yours and her apartment.”

“Kudos to you for standing your ground and supporting your G[irl]F[riend].” ~ Apart-Ad-6518

“Yeah, it’s totally her home, her safe space.”

“OP is great for staying firm on this and even ponying up for an AirBnB when his family misled him.”

“OP is NTA and OP’s family has no respect for others.” ~ Ath_acc

“Hosts don’t need to understand.”

“They either provide, or you don’t need to stay with them.”

“Your family didn’t provide, you had to leave, end of story.”

“You can’t provide what they want, which is to deny all of your girlfriend’s needs in her own home, so they don’t stay with you.”

“End of story.”

“They were bad hosts and lied to you.”

“You are smart to refuse to host them.”

“Yeah, we have a rule that you only get to lie about accommodation once.”

“We used to take our dogs with us when we traveled.”

“We were happy to get a hotel or stay with my husband’s family, but my mom insisted she was ready for us.”

“She wasn’t. At all.”

“We haven’t stayed with her since.”

“That was eighteen years ago.” ~ SincerelyCynical

“NTA. I have dealt with what might have been very mild P[ost] T[raumatic] S[tress] D[isorder] from an event that led to my dog starting to bark occasionally (prior to that she hadn’t and was 3 years old).”

“I didn’t have any particular way of dealing with it but that first year sucked at night if she growled, barked, or generally made any noise.”

“If mild PTSD was as bad as it was I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma she is dealing with.”

“OP neither of you is being dramatic.” ~ Roguecamog

“It made me happy to read about how OP is so supportive and also how they didn’t write about her needs in a negative way.”

“I have severe complex PTSD to the point it’s affected my way of living on a daily basis, and it’s very hard to cope if you have people around you who just aren’t respectful of your needs.”

“The fact that they don’t care to understand this is an extremely hard thing to learn to deal with and go as far as to say she’s exaggerating or being overdramatic just says a lot about how they see her as a person.”

“Thank you, OP for being so kind and understanding of mental health issues. NTA.” ~ Ali_Cat222

“Your family is being dramatic and entitled.”

“Good that you support and protect your GF.”

“I have been where she is. It gets better with time.”

“I still wake up screaming 20 years later, but not often.”

“Your GF can heal if she is surrounded by people who support her.”

“I have been doubting myself so much, whether I have a ‘right’ to feel as I do.”

“But you cannot stop night terrors by willing them away.”

“With all the self-doubt and guilt for being ‘difficult,’ you can forget that it’s not your fault.”

“People who downplay your nightmares play right into this self-doubt, strengthen the guilt, and make recovery so much harder.”

“Tell her that none of this is her fault.”

“A big rescue dog helped me to feel safe. He’s amazing.”

“Could this be something for her?”

“A big, cuddly bear who doesn’t judge but is quietly present when she is scared.”

“And me wanting to protect my dog (he is blind) helped me to become stronger and more assertive.”

“Win-win. NTA.” ~ glamourcrow

“I know, right?!!”

“I’ve been actively healing instead of surviving, for about 20 years now, too… and it was so hard just accepting that what was happening wasn’t my fault and I couldn’t will it away.”

“But people telling me to ‘calm down’ or to not ‘over-react’ made it VERY hard to get all the help I needed, cuz it’s essentially saying they do not believe you.”

“But when the air show comes to town and I have an immediate flight response and a subsequent/concurring panic attack with a literal dive for shelter (even though my PTSD isn’t military/war related), you would have to think I am the best actor in the world to have my reaction without PTSD.”

“But a lot of people just don’t get it and cuz THEY don’t, they assume they know better and the person suffering is just wrong.”

“OP, NTA, and thank you for being a kick-a** support.”

“It takes time, but it does get better when we have support, cuz support is safety.”

“When your family is unsupportive like they are, they are literally contributing to the problem.”

“Exposure therapy is not done by breaking boundaries and agreements.” ~ NorthBoundEventually

“NTA. They think your girlfriend should vacate her home and live somewhere else for a bit because her mental health needs are inconvenient to their vacation plans.”

“If your girlfriend doesn’t hate them, she’s a bloody saint.”

“I hate them, and I’m just a rando on the internet.”

“They can go camping in a ditch.” ~ AlluringDuck

“It’s not your apartment.”

“Tell them that.”

“It’s her apartment built for her by her sister so she could have some independence but still feel safe.”

“You get to live there because you follow the rules needed for your girlfriend to feel safe.”

“Tell your family that.”

“They have shown that they are not willing to take your girlfriend’s PTSD seriously, and because of that, they cannot stay at HER home.”

“Her needs will not be compromised. NTA.” ~ Legitimate-Stage1296

“NTA. Your family are a**holes.”

“Image the audacity to tell you to put your girlfriend out of HER property so they can stay there for free.”

“Because it may be the house you both live in, but it is her property.”

“They suck. You, on the other hand, sound like a good guy.” ~ Unicornfarts68

“NTA. Your family needs to get a hotel.” ~ Neutral_Guy_9

“NTA. You ARE taking your girlfriend’s side because, unfortunately, your parents have proven that they don’t know or don’t care about her special needs.”

“Don’t compromise for them other than to offer to make hotel reservations (which they would pay for) on their behalf.” ~ Individual_Ad_9213

Well, OP, it sounds like Reddit is with you.

You’re looking out for your GF.

Your parents are responsible for finding their own accommodations.