Content Warning: Drug Use, Addiction, Rehabilitation
As much as we might like to think of our loved ones as perfect, every family has some secrets that no one likes to talk about.
But sometimes a person will go so long without confronting their secrets that they’ll begin to believe the cover story, side-eyed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Aggravating_Scene428 was living in their parents’ basement after buying their house from them to prevent them from losing their home after investing large amounts of money into paying for their older brother’s rehab.
But when their brother started telling everyone that he was just a bum living off of their parents, the Original Poster (OP) decided to set the record straight.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for outing my brother to his in-laws and kids?”
The OP was living with their parents as a way to help them out financially.
“My parents live with me because I bought their house when they were going to lose it.”
“They were going to lose it because of all the money they spent keeping my brother out of jail and keeping him in rehab.”
“My brother is clean and sober now. Married, with kids. Religious. With a father-in-law who gave him a great job.”
“He has never paid my parents back one cent.”
Meanwhile, the OP was making a good life of their own.
“I own a home that I now share with my parents. They live in the main part of the home, and I live in the basement suite with my girlfriend and my dog.”
“I make good money and my parents deserve to have a good life. They did what they thought was best.”
“I got my degree after working hard to pay for it; I just had to take on some debt to do it. I’m out of the debt hole now and working hard to move up.”
But the OP’s brother tried to make himself out to be the better sibling.
“My brother had us all over to his house for a BBQ. It was a good meal and his kids are alright for being his offspring.”
“He then proceeded to mock me for still living at home, smoking weed, and playing video games while living in sin.”
“I told him to shut up and leave me out of whatever was going on.”
“He said that he just knew I could be doing so much better if I applied myself and looked for guidance.”
“I thanked him for the meal and my girlfriend and I went to leave.”
“He yelled that he was just telling me what I needed to hear to motivate me.”
The OP had heard enough of the lies.
“I got upset so I said I was motivated.”
“I said that I liked to smoke weed and to drink. But I also paid for it myself with the money I earned from a job. I never stole from our parents to pay for drugs.”
“Looking him straight in the eye, I said that I lived in the basement of a house I owned because I couldn’t afford two houses, one for me and one for our parents.”
“I pointed out that since they went into debt to pay for his lawyers and rehab, I was subsidizing his lifestyle. I said that my college fund went up his nose.”
“I may be bitter.”
The OP was torn over how they reacted in that moment.
“We left. I guess his wife, who knew everything, had never told her parents. He’s pissed at me for talking about his past.”
“My parents understand why I blew my top but they think I should have kept it in until it was only family there or just walked away.”
“I think I should have probably just left. I’m probably going to apologize to him but then stay away.”
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 found the OP to be NTA and their brother’s behavior to be disgusting.
“I think it was nice of you to refresh your brother’s memory since he basically insisted on you doing so.”
“His past would have stayed there if he hadn’t decided to call you out for taking care of the mess he made. Seriously, what did he possibly expect to gain by needling you?”
“NTA.” – SnooRobots1438
“Sometimes you do HAVE to react in the moment. Between the anger and the resentment, you know if you don’t react, the person will do it again.”
“How sad that OP’s brother has to talk him down in order to make himself feel like a man! And what bulls**t had he fed his in-laws to feel a need to degrade his sibling like this?!”
“It is not like OP failed to try biting his tongue and leaving. He did try that! His brother persisted and demanded a response!” – fromhelley
“Most of these situations absolutely need to be handled at the moment. If it’s okay for OP’s brother to berate him in public, it’s perfectly fine for him to respond in kind.” – ICWhatsNUrP
“Your brother is a condescending hypocritical AH. He knows exactly why you’re living in the basement: because of him.”
“Was he trying to look good in front of his in-laws? He obviously doesn’t understand that calling you out in front of them, even if what he said had been true, would have been an AH move; but even more, expecting you to take it, after everything he has done was not going to happen.”
“Good for you. NTA. Not one bit.” – ReaderRabbit23
“About what your parents said about needing to wait until it was ‘family only,’ the In-laws ARE his family and they have a right to know the kind of person who will be raising their grandkids.”
“You’re NTA, clearly. Your brother needs to drop his high and mighty act, AND your parents need to put him on a plan to pay them (and in turn you) back.”
“You stunted your life because your brother f**ked up everyone else’s and every party (you, your brother, and parents) needs to come together and have that talk. Since he’s doing so well now, he can start providing for those who provided this life for him.” – Wrong-Sink7767
“NTA. Your brother’s superiority complex and attempt to shame you into whatever version of life he feels is appropriate. He wants an audience for him to show off his shiny new glass house forgetting just how unstable the foundation was.”
“He decided to imitate this interaction, and it’s no one’s fault but his own that his own past secrets are now on show.”
“He learned a valuable lesson in not being prideful. Now he’s responsible for explaining his past. Bummer. He has to do what he was trying to shame ’inspire’ you to do. Turnabout is fair play.” – gurlwithdragontat2
“Your brother has rewritten history in his head so that he’s the better child.”
“It allows him to hold himself up higher than everyone else, ignoring everything that you and your parents did. Especially everything that you gave up.”
“Honestly, the fact that you did such an amazing thing for your parents after they essentially forfeited your future for him and his drug habit speaks volumes about you.”
“Your parents need to understand that ‘keeping things in’ is what brought stuff here. To them losing their home because they were so focused on fixing your brother and giving him every possible chance that they didn’t care what happened. Even though he doesn’t seem to care how any of that impacted anyone else.”
“NTA.” – rak1882
“Nah, the in-laws were sold a lie. Imagine you apply for a job in the future, and the owner happens to be friends with the in-laws, they’ve talked about their loser son-in-law’s brother who does drugs and is stuck staying in his parents’ basement, so you get denied this job.”
“Or just general talk around town is that you’re a loser living in your parents’ basement because you have no money or ambition. Maybe that costs you relationships in the future, a girlfriend who hears this through family friends, etc.”
“Instead, you exposed the truth, and now the in-laws know you as the guy who stepped up responsibly and bought your parents’ house after they got into debt due to supporting your addict brother.”
“Truth matters, and lies can have unintended consequences. You wouldn’t have said s**t if he wasn’t lying about you in front of other people so he brought it entirely on himself.” – cryf**kedmy
“Nah, bro. Your parents are once again trying to ‘help’ your brother. The Christian in him thought it was okay to mock you and your lifestyle in front of others, which I’m guessing included your nephews and nieces.”
“He opened the door for a public spectacle, so then he needs to eat s**t in public, too. Also, God d**n that dude for having the audacity to call you out when he’s not even trying to mitigate the circumstances he put you and your parents in. F**k him; maybe big daddy-in-law needed to hear the truth.” – KungFuKennyEliteClub
“Nah, your response was epic. I would have stood up and given you a standing ovation for setting things straight! Good on you for not letting that self-righteous hypocrite get away with trying to humiliate you in front of ‘family.'”
“If your brother has no qualms about criticizing you in public, then he should be perfectly fine eating his own s**t in public view, too. I would have absolutely bathed in the glow of his shocked Pikachu face. NTA.” – smarteapantz
Very few thought the OP was a little bit in the wrong but understood his reaction.
“Eh, very very light ESH, but I also don’t blame you for blowing your lid. Your brother was asking for it.”
“Was it the most mature thing for you to do? Nah. Would it have been better to just leave and discuss with him in private? Probably. Is this going to cause problems for him with his in-laws? Unclear, but the potential is there.”
“Did he play stupid games and now is upset he won a stupid prize? Oh, you betcha. Is he absolutely a colossal AH? Definitely, where does he get the audacity to behave this way?!”
“Either way, sounds like someone you don’t need to have in your life.” – caityjay25
“ESH. Y’all probably shouldn’t be around each other.” – Wide-Heron-1015
“NTA for saying what you said, but YTA for outing him in front of everyone. You should have had a conversation in private.” – Important-Brother608
“You’re obviously bitter, which makes sense. Your parents always liked and preferred your brother whom you hate, that must have been hard. YTA still, seems like you’re the only one unable to move on.” – Zestyclose-Gap-9341
Though there were a few outliers who believed that the conversation could have waited for a more private setting, most were shocked that the brother was so insistent about casting his sibling in a worse light, especially since his sibling’s living situation was entirely his doing.
At least now the brother’s in-laws would know the truth, as they already should have, and the entire family could act accordingly.