No one wants their kid to suffer, but things happen. So, we need to be there for them, especially when things get tough.
Redditor Sea-Illustrator-2055 encountered this very issue with their parents. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling my dad I have MS when my mom didn’t want me to?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I became really ill this year. I started forgetting things, falling over, experiencing disabling migraines, and dealing with forgetting words/etc.”
“I was seen via emergency appointment by a neurologist that specializes in dementia. After rounds of neurologists and seeing Rheumatologist’s, I was given the tentative diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (waiting on a spinal tap).”
“I had to change the way I live drastically to attempt remission. I don’t go out much. I’m constantly exhausted and in pain. I’m not very good at walking anymore.”
“The medications have awful side effects. It got so bad my doctor begged me to quit my job and start the application process for disability payments. This is not a decision I made lightly since I loved my job. I didn’t want to quit.”
OP opened up to their mom.
“When I told my mom how sick I was (we live in different states), I assumed she was going to tell my dad as this is usually how it goes with information sharing in my family.”
“I thought she told my dad, but told me that he still didn’t know and she wasn’t going to tell him. Especially not about me leaving my job.”
“I felt awful and spiraled into a depression because I felt like this was shameful.”
“When I asked why she said ‘he wouldn’t take it well.’ This went on for a while.”
“I understand some of her hesitation. One of my siblings died nine years ago, and I know this is scaring her shitless and would scare my dad equally. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a parent who had a child die and learn your other child is sick.”
“But, as pathetic as it may sound, I just really needed both of my parents. I know she was scared, and so was I.”
OP told their dad.
“I finally called my dad and broke the news to him without telling her first as it felt wrong that he didn’t know.”
“He was sympathetic with me but very obviously upset he was left out of the loop. He is now upset with my mother and my mother is upset with me for telling him. She told me I shouldn’t have gone behind her back.”
“I get it. I don’t like communicating with my parents like this and very rarely have in my life. I have a lot of respect for them, and this was not the best way to go about it.”
“Now every conversation is strained and feels forced/weird. I feel like I messed things up with her. I can’t figure out if I was being selfish wanting him to know.”
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.
“NTA. You got diagnosed with a life changing medical condition that will impact you until your own death and your mom expected to hide that from dad??”
“Nothing was gained by hiding this from him and hiding it from him clearly upset him. Sounds like your mom is TA. Parents should be supportive of their kids especially when it comes to health. Can’t believe your mom expected you to pretend nothing was wrong.” ~ AceofJoker
“I also believe this is it. I think mum is probably traumatized by loosing one child already and OP having to quit her job makes this sickness oh so real and threatening. And telling dad meant her having to face her own fears and deal with them.”
“I kind of get it, though i think it’s unhealthy to deal with it this way.”
“OP, are you able to ask your parents to visit you or go and visit them? I think it is really important that you guys talk in person. This is all traumatic and scary.”
“It is for you, it is for them. At least in my world trying to share the fear and pain and bringing it to the open will eventually help all of you, if you are all able and willing to do it. Good luck and all the best for you and your parents.You are NTA – well actually its all NAH and terrible for all of you.” ~ MadameMimmm
“I wonder if maybe OP’s dad had severe mental health problems after the death of their other child and mom is scared he’ll take turn for worse now that OP is severely ill.”
“It wouldn’t really be the mom’s place to tell OP about this if dad isn’t ready to talk about it with OP.”
“Hiding problems from him wouldn’t really be the way to go long term, but there doesn’t always have to be a bad guy. Sometimes, there’s just a bunch of imperfect people trying to handle a difficult situation in a way they consider to be the best.” ~ pstrocek
“I don’t know how dangerous this condition is, but just imagine that the worst case scenario (whatever that may be, severely disabled, other dangerous conditions or even death?) comes true and that’s the first time the dad hears about it (IF he even hears about it then, maybe he’ll know when he sees OP after a long time?).”
“Image how devastating that has to be, to know your child is suffering for a long time but only finding out when it’s too late to help (financially, emotionally etc).”
“He is rightfully upset with the mother. Of course he will worry, he’s OPs dad, he loves them, but not knowing or finding out too late would be so much worse for him (and OP obviously).”
“OP this is not a ‘Please don’t tell your dad you are interviewing for a new job and he might get too excited and then disappointed when you don’t get it’-thing, this is a ‘You both need each other, he should know what happens in his kids’ lives and create good memories before it might be too late’-thing. Don’t apologize for needing your dad as well as your mom. NTA” ~ lilli_neeh
OP needs support from both their parents.