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Redditor Refuses To Pay For Cousin’s Wedding After ‘Ruining’ It By Having A Panic Attack

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Awareness and education about mental health is important. Knowing what is happening when friends or family have a mental health crisis can be as important as knowing the Heimlich maneuver or CPR.

After a public breakdown, a young person found themselves at odds with their family. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor Friendly_Owl_8054 asked:

“AITA for not paying for my cousin’s wedding despite ruining it by having a mental health crisis?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My favorite cousin was supposed to get married last year but postponed to this year with only close family and friends invited, a total of 30 people. I was excited to go as I live alone and my parents died when I was in college, so I try to make family a priority when I can.”

“At the wedding, my aunts kept picking at me for being single, as family does when you get to your mid 20s with no partner, and something in my brain apparently broke.”

“I don’t fully understand what happened, but I started crying, just inconsolable weeping. I remember slumping to the ground crying but after that it’s like my brain just…shut off.”

“I don’t remember saying anything but according to my relatives and the hospital I kept rocking and crying. The next thing I remember, I was in the hospital feeling very calm.”

“They kept me overnight, but released me saying it was just a panic attack.”

“My cousin’s wedding did not go well because of, well, that happening. In a wedding with 30 people, one person having a not minor mental health crisis is very hard to cover up or hide, and it derailed the events.”

“She and her new husband are now raging that I ruined their wedding and now owe them the cost of the wedding. I said no.”

“I didn’t intentionally ruin their wedding. I had a terrifying mental health incident that I am seeking care for.”

“I’ve never had anything like that happen before. I get nervous sometimes but it’s never been like that.”

“I don’t even like crying in front of people. I am trying to seek therapy but the closest appointment I can get is six months from now.”

“Also, I don’t have the money to pay for an entire wedding. Yes, I have savings, but I have to save that for the possibility of something happening in my own life because I’m the only person I really have.”

“Obviously the breakdown that happened at her wedding was overemotional way of putting it, but the truth is that I am unlikely to ever find someone. I’m 25 years old, I have to take time to get my mental health in check, and even if I was 100% fine, there’s no way for me to meet anyone now anyway.”

“I only have myself. Everyone in my family has partners and a family.”

“I’m completely alone. I mean, I even had to Uber home from the hospital because I don’t even have parents anymore as they passed three years ago, and you don’t get closer to your cousins by going crazy around them.”

“They’re now threatening me with being cut out of the family. I told them they were only proving my point and have put everyone on mute since.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors had mixed feelings about this one.

“‘…the truth is that I am unlikely to ever find someone’.”

“Boy howdy, this is proof that you need help with your mental health, and soon. This kind of thinking is a classic sign of depression and of coping mechanisms that are not helping you.”

“It’s also not true, as it happens, but you’re not going to start believing that until you get help.”

“You’re NTA, you should not pay for the wedding, and you need qualified mental help. You should also consider whether or not staying in touch with your family is at all beneficial to you.” ~ fruskydekke

“25!!! You know life is long. Yours can be completely different in 10, 20, 30 years.”

“NTA because it wasn’t planned, if you had a heart attack would they ask you to pay for the wedding? No. Stuff happens.”

“Get help, and realize you can make anything of your life.” ~ Creative-Training175

“Be honest with yourself. You say you get ‘nervous’ sometimes—what are you qualifying as being nervous?”

“While you may have not had panic attacks before as severe as this one, have you had repeated panic attacks before?”

“You talk a lot in this post about being alone—have you sought therapy before this incident happened to address the very clear anxiety you have about this? There are tons of options for telehealth right now that do not require six months of waiting.”

“It could be that your family are a bunch of a**holes. But it could also be that you have put addressing your mental health on hold for so long that, while your family has put up with it for the time being, your mental health crisis brought on by some very good-natured ribbing from your aunts totaled your cousins wedding.”

“Only you can really know which is which.” ~ anglerfishtacos

“Maybe it’s just me, but I think I would be remiss to completely accept the OP’s version of what happened at the wedding. Her perspective on the events which led up to the incident might not be entirely accurate given what transpired, especially if the rest of the family seems to have no issues with the interactions her aunts had with her.”

“It could be that what an outsider would have considered to be a normal line of questions was registered as an attack by OP’s psyche, which triggered a defence mechanism which shut her down.”

“So it might be an NAH that the meltdown happened.”

“If that is the case then OP just has to decide how to make up for the event. Other commenters have likened it to a heart attack, and I think that is a good analogy.”

“If I had, and survived, a heart attack at a relatives wedding, I would not pay for a new wedding, but I would try to make up for it in some way, realizing that I did affect their wedding, even though it wasn’t a deliberate act on my part.”

“Maybe pay for a weekend getaway for the couple, buy a couple more items off their wedding registry?” ~ Fullback70

“NAH – you cannot help the fact you had a mental health crisis and honestly, your cousin cannot help but be upset that her special day didn’t go according to plan.”

“The only AHs here are your aunts, but if you haven’t reached out to your cousin to offer your condolences and reconnect, you’re heading into AH territory as well. I’m sorry you had this experience.” ~ misologous

“Ok, I am going with a very gentle ESH.”

“Your aunts suck for picking on you for being single. At 25, you are not an old crone.”

“You absolutely have time to find someone (not that there’s an age limit on love- my great grandpa got remarried at 86). Also, it’s rude AF to make fun of people for their relationship status at any age.”

“Your cousin sucks for expecting you to reimburse the whole wedding. That is ridiculous.”

“Everyone that isn’t you sucks for not removing you from the situation. You should have been escorted from the room to get some space and allow the rest of the guests (and the bride and groom) to continue enjoying themselves.”

“You suck for two things- your attitude on love (seriously. At 25 you are not destined to always be alone. Get a grip.), and for not leaving the space when you started crying.”

“I have had many panic attacks, and I’ve been able to leave the space before breaking down. Obviously everyone’s mental health is different, but once it was clear you were getting very upset you should have excused yourself.”

“Again, this is a gentle ESH because panic attacks can catch you off guard, especially if this was your first.” ~ danceofthecucumber

With so many different viewpoints, the OP didn’t get a clear answer on their culpability for what happened. But the message to seek immediate help for their mental health rang loud and clear.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.