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Guy Tells Estranged Father He Doesn’t Care If Stepsister Died Suddenly After Years Of Torment

Upset man having a conversation on the phone
Georgijevic/Getty Images

There are countless examples across the entertainment industry of two people coming together with children from previous relationships, and all of the people involved come together into a beautiful, new family.

But in real life, it often isn’t that simple or beautiful, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor External-Channel-352 had felt left to the side ever since his father remarried and with the marriage came a stepsister. But when his father willingly sent him from their home when he was a teen, he put all hopes of that family behind him.

When his stepsister later passed away and his father tried to reconcile with the child he had left, the Original Poster (OP) felt no remorse for his estranged family.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my dad that I don’t care that his stepdaughter died?”

The OP’s life changed for the worse when his dad remarried.

“I’m 28 (Male). My mama died not long after I was born.”

“Dad married Tina when I was seven. She had a daughter (also seven) from a previous relationship, named Diana. Me and Diana did not get along.”

“Diana was spoiled and to adult me, it was obvious she resented not being the only child anymore. She took it out on me. She would break my toys, steal my stuff, and lie to get me in trouble.”

“I would complain to Dad and Tina, but they told me to get over it. If I did the same, I would get punished.”

“It only got worse as we got older. I felt abandoned by my dad. I often felt lonely in my house. So I guess you guys can see who the golden child was.”

The OP’s life changed again when he was sixteen.

“At 16, Diana spread a nasty rumor about me in school and I almost got expelled. Diana got caught lying and got suspended.”

“Of course, Dad and Tina blamed me for this. That was the last straw for me.”

“I rang my cousin, Shyla, from my mama’s side and told her what’s been happening. She came over to my house angry at Tina and Dad. She gave them a piece of her mind.”

“Dad said if it bothered her so much, then she was welcome to have me. That was a blow to my heart to hear my own dad say that about me.”

“So Shyla and I went to pack my stuff. Diana’s room was open and she was sitting on her bed smirking at me. We got my stuff and we left. I haven’t looked back since.”

When his father eventually reached out, it wasn’t just to reconnect.

“Over the years, my dad and even Diana tried to contact me, but I blocked all attempts.”

“Now a week ago, Shyla visited me. She told me that she got a message from my dad, for me. I was surprised she even mentioned Dad since she knew how I felt about him.”

“She told me that Diana was in a fatal accident and didn’t make it. She said he wanted to talk to me. Shyla handed me his number and said it was up to me.”

“I did ring him out of curiosity, more than anything. He didn’t even recognize my voice.”

“But when I told him it was me, he broke down crying, and most of the time I couldn’t make sense of what he was saying. When he calmed down, he said my sister died and it was time to come back home and make things right with each other.”

“I asked, ‘What sister? I have no sister!'”

“He started crying and saying, ‘Don’t do this! She doesn’t deserve this.'”

“This enraged me and I just let out all my anger, hurt, and frustration I had felt towards them and ended with, ‘I don’t care if she had died!'”

The OP felt conflicted after his girlfriend got involved.

“My girlfriend who was beside me took my phone off me and ended the call for me. I’m glad she did before I had said anymore.”

“She told me later, that I could have been more understanding.”

“I’ve had time to think over and wonder if she is right.”


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 his life didn’t have to include reconciliation or closure.

“NTA. Your father enabled you to be abused in your own home and then tossed you out when he was called out. Now his golden child is dead he’s suddenly remembered he has a consolation child. Hard no.”

“He created this, he put everything in place for this and he’s not sorry, he’s just sad his favorite child is dead. He’s lost two children, and he’s the reason he lost one. He failed as a father, he doesn’t get to waltz back and pretend nothing happened just because he’s feeling sad.”

“You’re not a consolation prize, and you don’t have to listen to your abuser feel sorry for themselves so they can continue their fantasy and not be held accountable.” – Hoplite68

“It’s not even about OP and their non-existent relationship, his dad literally said, ‘Don’t do this to her.’ It’s STILL about Diana.”

“I’m not saying her funeral shouldn’t be, but if there was going to be any type of reconciliation, it needed to be dad taking accountability for his actions and not because Diana has passed.”

“His dad wants him to show up and play the part of the grieving son and brother. For OP, there’s nothing to mourn or grieve, and that’s because of the parents’ actions.” – Adorable-Reaction887

“He didn’t even recognize the voice of the man who was once his son, and once again made everything about anyone who wasn’t OP. No apologies for throwing OP out or failing him, just slotting in a replacement child like years of trauma didn’t happen.”

“You get out of a relationship what you put into it. OP’s father put in little in terms of engagement and trust, he’s getting that back.”

“I dread to think what Tina thinks of all this. While she lost a daughter, it’s obvious she’s never liked OP or had much in the way of empathy for him even when her own daughter was the agitator. Reconciliation with father would almost certainly mean contact with Tina.” – lemon_charlie

“He treated you and still treats you like the spare child. Disposable when they had Diana, irreplaceable now that she’s dead.”

“They didn’t want a relationship with you when you wanted. Why should they get a relationship with you now that they want one and now that you don’t? Two-way street.”

“NTA.” – ChibiSailorMercury

“Father’s begging now because he’s just realized that OP is all that is left to carry the family name and his dreams for grandchildren, legacy, etc in his grief.”

“NTA. OP, they’re dead to you. Hug your real family and have a long talk with your girlfriend: she sounds like a keeper who will help you work through this.” – RedGhost3568

Others agreed but suggested that the OP have a conversation with his girlfriend.

“NTA. You’ve more or less moved on from your dad’s rejection and you owe him nothing at this point. Could you have been more empathetic? Sure, but he threw away your love and empathy when you were 16.”

“On a side note, you need to have a very serious conversation with your girlfriend about how you were treated growing up. It can be hard for people who didn’t grow up with s**tty parents/families to understand that just because their family was good it’s not the case for you and there is no hope for reconciliation.” – stringrandom

“For your relationship, it’s vital that your girlfriend understands, so she won’t set something up behind your back, for ‘reconciliation’ between you and your dad. I’ve read many stories on here with people (often women) who do this, and it breaks people up.” – EatThisS**t

“OP, you have a lot of hurt bottled up for over 21 years of putting up with golden child Diana and then being disregarded by your dad and stepmother, only for him to throw you away like nothing. You deserved better and now he’s coming back to you because step-sis died.”

“Please get some therapy and allow your girlfriend to attend if you are comfortable doing so because she would understand you better in a controlled safe environment like therapy. NTA.” – Apart_Foundation1702

“My now ex survived a lot of trauma, especially around holidays. I had no idea and wondered why he would be agitated. When he explained, I was able to avoid his triggers and support him. Eventually, he was able to acknowledge birthdays and Christmas, rather than it being a stressful time.”

“Most people who have had a safe, happy childhood wouldn’t even consider that someone struggled with those events.” – The_Boots_Of_Truth

“I also understand where your girlfriend is coming from, and I think she’s well-intentioned. But I also think she’s wrong. It’s been so long since you’ve spoken to your dad that he didn’t recognize your voice.”

“I understand he’s suffering, but so are you and you’re suffering BECAUSE OF HIM. Abusers ALWAYS think they get a ‘get out of jail free’ card for being terrible when they’re grieving or dying. They don’t. I understand why you called, but I find it really hard to imagine this conversation wouldn’t get out of hand fast (just like it did).”

“It’s totally possible that he had seen the error of his ways, and as someone with a complicated childhood, I understand being curious and even wanting to give the conversation a shot. I think your girlfriend did the right thing by hanging up for you, but not by saying you could’ve been more understanding.”

“You don’t owe this man or his wife sh*t. They aren’t doing what’s best for you, they never have, so you need to. It’s okay not to have control over that incredibly difficult conversation even if he’s grieving. It’s okay to say how you feel even if that hurts him.”

“And IT’S GOOD you’re not trampling your personal boundaries or catering to him because he’s suffering. You need to protect yourself. Could the conversation have gone smoother? Of course! But emotions are inevitably running high and sometimes it’s okay just to do the best you can. Sometimes that makes you the AH, but not this time.” – Lawyer_Lady3080

The subReddit not only completely understood why the OP was hurt by what his former family had done, but they also did not criticize him for the harsh feedback he gave to his estranged father.

While he could have possibly been more empathetic to what his father was going through, his empathy did not need to extend to forgiveness or reconciliation.

Some doors are better off left closed.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ĂśberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.