We have all been encouraged in some way to cooperate with a family member because they’re family, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Typically, the person who is blamed for this isn’t actually the one at fault, either, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AdSpiritual1886 was appalled after their parents demanded not only that they allow their brother to come live with them, but that they would take over caring for him, too.
After always living with the “golden child,” the Original Poster (OP) thought it was time to say no.
Conflicted, they asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my parents I would not care for my obese brother?”
The OP struggled growing up with their brother.
“When my little brother Teddy was born, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. According to my mom, he wasn’t breathing for at least three minutes.”
“Since then my parents often used that as an excuse for Teddy’s behavior.”
“My childhood became a living h**l with Teddy:”
“‘Give Teddy your candy! He died coming into this world!'”
“‘Let him play with your friends! He died coming into this world!'”
“Let him open your presents! Teddy almost didn’t have a birthday!'”
“I had to put up with Teddy’s tantrums, abuse, fits, and bad behavior. If I touched a single hair on his head, I got punished while Teddy got away with whatever he did.”
The OP eventually limited contact.
“It became so bad that when I was 15, I moved out of the house to live with family members away from Teddy.”
“My contact with my parents and Teddy is limited.”
Teddy’s career choices cost him his health.
“Currently I’m 35 and Teddy is 26.”
“When he was 18, he decided he wanted to be a competitive eater which turned into just eating. Teddy now weighs almost 600lbs.”
“Cause of his weight, he can’t hold a job and lives with our parents who still cater to him and pay for everything.”
“Since Teddy requires round-the-clock care, my parents hardly leave the house. They weren’t present at my wedding, only see the grandkids if I bring them around, and all family events like dinners have to be held at their house because its hard to move Teddy.”
Teddy eventually ended up in the hospital.
“A few days ago Teddy suffered a bad fall that put him in the hospital. My husband and I at least came to see him.”
“My parents complained that the hospital wasn’t feeding him enough, didn’t have a wheelchair big enough for him, and naturally they didn’t want to hear anything about his weight. It would be easier to turn water into gold.”
Their parents pulled the OP to ask for help.
“To make a long story short, my parents pulled my husband and me aside and asked for a large amount of money for Teddy’s care.”
“They said that they didn’t have money to keep caring for him and were having to dip into their retirement funds.”
“They even suggested that once Teddy is cleared to go home, he move in with us cause my husband and I are well off with a bigger house and so ‘We can get a break cause we have to care for him all year round while you just visit.'”
“I said no. My husband told them h**l no!”
“We both work full-time. Our kids are enrolled in sports and dance.”
‘We made it clear that Teddy would not be moving in with us nor would we be moving our schedule around to deal with him or giving them the money, even though we could afford it.”
The OP’s parents did not appreciate this.
“They said, ‘He’s your brother! You almost didn’t have a brother!'”
“We left the hospital. My mom later called me, berating me for abandoning the family and Teddy and demanding money.”
“I told her I would not care for Teddy under any circumstances.”
“Even if something happened to her and my dad, I would not care for my brother and he’s her problem. Not mine.”
“My mom cursed me out over the phone and hung up.”
“I do feel a little bad cause Teddy is my brother but he made my life h**l and my parents refuse to take any responsibility for his behavior.”
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 they were not wrong for not wanting to do this.
“NTA. I feel bad for you and teddy. You were both failed by your parents.” – MoonlightxRose
“Your parents have done your brother a great disservice and did not prepare him for the real world.”
“There is no way you should take in your brother. I do feel bad for him, but this is not your burden.”
“If your parents truly cannot care for your brother, he belongs in a care facility. You should not be paying to care for him.” – GreatWhiteNorthExtra
“NTA and I feel so badly for your brother because they raised him to be like this. But at some point, he has to take responsibility. That responsibility, however, is not yours.” – Lola_M1224
Others pointed out the parents were really not doing the brother any favors, either.
“They may need a call to Adult Protective Services – it’s unclear whether Teddy is a vulnerable adult who is suffering from neglect. If he isn’t disabled, that’s a different story.” – chi_lawyer
“I’d call someone an AH if they allowed a cat to get into that state, that these parents enabled their own child to get into this state is appalling.”
“Yes, he’s an adult and should know better, but they’ve clearly enabled him since birth, so he stood no chance of developing self-awareness.”
“If you asked them, I’m sure they’d swear they love him, and they’d mean it. They’re just too blinkered to see that what they think is love is actually just a slow, painful murder via baked goods.” – droppedelbow
“I over 300 pounds until my mother perished.”
“It’s been an uphill battle to lose the weight due to the fact that, even with my own chronic joint problems and comorbidities due to the massive weight, I only stopped gaining after no longer having to abide by her ‘diet.'”
“And that, only after being hospitalized because of other issues. They refuse to help him at his peril and instead demand that the child they abandoned to do the work for them. In turn, blaming her for abandoning them. How rich.” – twilitfall
“Even if he ate 3000 calories a day, 50% more than recommended daily intake(which eating healthy, cereals for breakfast, veggies and lean cooked meat for lunch/dinner) he would be losing several lb per week.”
“It takes 12 calories to sustain an lb of fat and not burn it per day. He’s 600lb+ let’s round it to just 600lb. And let’s also say he has 200lb of muscle&bone there, he’s not just 100% fat. That’s 400lb of fat left. 400*12= 4,800 calories to sustain that fat alone.”
“Now add in his regular adult recommended intake, assuming he was 200lb, 4,800 +2500. He’s eating 7300 calories minimum per day. More than 3x the average person needs, moving towards 4x. And he can’t move!”
“They are bringing him, enabling him, with unhealthy portion sizes to kill him.”
“If they need money, they need to stop feeding him, coz I guarantee if you had three extra mouths to feed in your household it’ll cost a pretty penny.”
“Then assume they are not feeding him healthy foods in enormous portions, coz a 400 calorie salad is actually quite large, it’s enough to fill your plate on its own, and he’s not eating 5 or 6 plates of salad for lunch and dinner. Junk food, instant meals, oven dinners, takeaways, all cost far more than making food fresh.”
“Their decisions are driving them to poverty and killing him, keeping him a prisoner in his own body.”
“Edit: 1lb of fat contains 3500 calories. As he’s eating 5000 excess calories per day, he could be losing that instead. 5000*7= 35000 calories per week. He could be losing 10lb in the first week alone with zero exercise.” – Sirix_8472
Some were worried about the OP being blamed for everything.
“And the dear mother has no right to tell OP that she’s abandoning her family when her family abandoned her long ago.” – HeyYouShouldSmile
“I get the feeling that somehow that’s gonna be aaaalll OP’s fault. 🙄 (according to the parents. I can just foresee a lot of “you didn’t help your brother…” sorta vibes from them)” – Plastic-Technology
“If anything happens, op will be blamed for not taking enough care of him, monitoring him enough, putting him on a diet before it was ‘too late.’ Etc etc etc” – slanid
Though the OP felt some guilt for what ultimately could happen to their brother, the subReddit urged the OP to reconsider. While he is still a brother, that does not make him the OP’s responsibility.