Losing someone is never easy.
Whether that someone is an immediately family member, close friend, or beloved pet the sense of devastating loss can be truly debilitating.
So, it’s natural to seek comfort during such a difficult and painful experience.
What happens, though, when the person you went to lean on instead kicks you when you are down?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Pheonixkraken when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for throwing my friends dead girlfriend in his face when he was making fun of my dying dog?”
OP began by adding a bit of clarity, and some background.
“I guess making fun is the wrong term, more like bringing them up in an argument.”
“For context, we’re both in high school, when my best friend was in middle school, his girlfriend at the time passed away.”
“Understandably, he was scarred, he never healed from it, and of course, whenever he needed to talk about it, or was just sad about it, I would be there for him, as a shoulder to cry on, or as someone to talk too.”
“I also have a dog.”
“I have had this dog since I was three years old, so she has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember.”
“She is of course, very old, but she also has cancer, and is blind and deaf, essentially, a walking corpse at this point.”
“My mom came in to tell me to say my goodbyes to her, because she likely wasn’t going to make it through the week. Ofc, being sad, I thought it to be a good idea to reach out to my friend, as he had so many times to me.”
So, OP reached out to her safety net…
“Instead of being there for me, he decided that it was a good idea to have a debate about whether or not I should put my dog down, and how she should’ve died a long time ago.”
“Obviously I wasn’t in the mood for this, and, as politely as I could, told him I didn’t want to debate him on this, and that I was just sad and wanted someone to be there for me.”
“To which he continued to dig into it.”
“At this point I was pissed, as he began to start making jokes about me being an animal abuser, to which I blurted out that he was a prick, and that I was hurting at the moment, and his jokes were making it worse.”
Having had enough, OP lashed out.
“I then said ‘I will remember this the next time you reach out to me about your dead ex-girlfriend, you f*cking prick.'”
“Obviously not the right thing to say.”
“He was, at this point furious at me, stating that I was never his friend, that none of my friends like me, how he hopes my dog dies violently and painfully and such.”
“I eventually apologized for bringing his dead ex in to the conversation, but he has yet to apologize for anything he has said to me, and likely won’t.”
“I understand where he is coming from, but I was so shocked that I had been there for him so many times about serious issues, but the moment I want someone to be there for me, he tried his best to make things worse.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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 decided: NTA
Some responses were quite direct.
“Next time he needs a shoulder to cry on you need to lean the other way.” ~ KalKrypton
Many questioned the friendship.
“Stating that you will remember it doesn’t make you TA.”
“But despite that we are all humans, we all say stupid stuff when emotions get in control of us.”
“He was the one provoking you into saying it and you felt wrong for what you said and apologized. Definitely NTA.”
“You are better off without him as a ‘friend’ ~ Titariia
“Agreed, this person is not OP’s friend, they are an emotional black hole” ~ educatedvegetable
“I don’t think you were harsh enough.”
“He is not your friend.”
“He’s definitely not somebody I would want as a friend.”
“Who thinks joking about your friend’s dog dying is funny or appropriate? Distance yourself now.”
“High school is almost over and you’ll get a whole new set of friends. Maybe some people with sympathy” ~ PettyWhite81
“Sweetie this person is not your friend.”
“Anyone who 1 insults you while passing it off as a ‘joke’ and then 2 wishes violent death on someone you love, is not worth keeping around.”
“You deserve better. Just because he has trauma didn’t mean he gets to minimize sad things happening to you.”
“I’m so sorry you’re losing your dog. She lived a long and happy life with a great kid.” ~ Yrxora
“NTA and you shouldn’t have apologized because what you said was less wrong than what he said.”
“Also he let his true colors out after.”
“If you’ve been friends for so long and helped him with his dead ex he should be there for you but instead he makes jokes and everything.”
“Sorry to say but that is not a friend.”
“You still sound young so you will find other real friends.”
“Let me tell you, that sometimes having no friends (which you choose) is better than having toxic friends like that.”
“I’ve known people before that treated pets like they are exchangeable. I’ve lost my cat after 17 years and it hurts.”
“You don’t deserve a trash friend like that. Take care of yourself, because that ‘friend’ obviously won’t.” ~ Mundane_Sunday
Others tried to comfort OP.
“I really admire how much empathy you are showing, but my darling, you did nothing wrong.”
“You both have similar pain.”
“Even though he may still have an open wound, yours is fresh.”
“All you were searching for was support and he couldn’t even return the favour.”
“I feel like his response is coming out of anger and grief, but that DOES NOT give him the excuse to behave this way.”
“He only values you when he chooses to need you, but now he’s proven that you don’t need him.”
“I’m so sorry to hear about your family dog.”
“Goodbyes are never easy. Remember how lucky you are to have someone who makes saying goodbye very difficult.” ~ KimonoMom
“I’m really sorry to hear about your dog, it’s never easy and your friend is a jerk for not understanding how painful losing a beloved dog is.”
“It’ll get easier in time, sending positive vibes” ~ horrerr
Some pointed out that OP didn’t actually say anything mean.
“You didn’t say anything that wasn’t ‘careful’. You didn’t say anything about his dead gf, you only said stuff about so-called friend’s behavior, on the topic of grief.”
“Saying, ‘I’ve been there for you about your grief, if you can be here for me and mine, you are a bad friend and I won’t be there for you any more’ is perfectly legitimate.”
“It’s really no different from what you said, and I bet he would have been even angrier.”
“No, you did nothing wrong, except maybe not telling the friend he clearly wasn’t a friend.”
“NTA” ~ Neenknits
“All you did was bring her up, you didn’t say anything mean or hurtful about her or his relationship with her.”
“He was persisting in saying mean and hurtful things about your beloved dog and your relationship with her, even after you repeatedly pointed out that it was hurting you.”
“He’s the AH.”
“You could have said ‘Well at least my walking corpse of a dog is still walking; your corpse of a girlfriend is rotting.”‘
“Or ‘someone really should have put your girlfriend down sooner so she’d be free of her AH of a boyfriend.”‘ ~ BaitedBreaths
Commenters tried to see both sides.
“Hi, I’m just hoping on the comment to say first, I’m very sorry about your dog.”
“Second, NTA definitely.”
“And third, even though your friend was a major a**hole and said in an awful way, he kind of had point… sometimes people hold onto their pets because they love them so so much and their own pain prevents them from doing what’s actually best for their pets.”
“But if your dog is suffering, please do something about it, or in your case ask your parents to, I understand it hurts like hell but it’s what’s best.”
“I’m very sorry again.” ~ Sortadumbfoxesfan
“While the point about putting the dog down was valid and worth mentioning – as soon as you told him that was off the table to discuss, he should have respected that.”
“But he kept at it. Poke a hive of docile bees, the result is not going to be nice.” ~ Johnny-Fakehnameh
Leaning on your friends in your time of need is a crucial step in mental health.
Assuming, of course, that your friends offer compassion and kindness during your rough time.
Make sure to cultivate the relationships that invigorate you, and perhaps prune those that do not.