Spending Thanksgiving or any holiday with one’s family can be a delicate issue.
While there are plenty of people who simply can’t wait for some quality time with their loved ones, others are much less eager to spend the holidays with their families, for countless reasons.
Indeed, Redditor Math-Dragon1720 couldn’t wait to spend their first Thanksgiving away from their family, and instead have a “friends-giving.”
But after their family expressed their disappointment in the matter the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for skipping my family’s Thanksgiving dinner?”
The OP first shared an unusual condition their sibling carries, which presented a number of challenges for the family over the years.
“My family is unhappy I decided to skip Thanksgiving this year.”
“The reason I didn’t go is because it’s not a regular Thanksgiving dinner, since I have a sibling who has avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (Arfid).”
“This disorder means they will only eat a small list of foods to the exclusion of all others.”
“At Thanksgiving the only foods on the menu were corn, green beans and roasted sweet potatoes because my sibling won’t eat anything else and can’t tolerate being around other foods even if others are eating them and not my sibling.”
“Growing up with this was hell.”
“The food we had in our house was extremely limited and we didn’t go to restaurants or to people’s houses except for our grandparents because there would be food not on my sibling’s list.”
“We never had birthday parties because we couldn’t have cake or snacks in the house and it was hard having friends over because of the limited food.”
“One time my sibling saw me after school walking home with a friend and eating a muffin my friend gave me and got so upset because I was eating a muffin when I was near them and the house.”
“My parents were really unhappy with me for that.”
“When I was in high school we had to stop visiting my grandparents unless they came over to our house because they moved into a seniors community with a dining room and meal delivery and my sibling didn’t like the food from either place. “
“My uncle follows my siblings list too.”
“I was in high school when I went to a restaurant for the first time in my life.”
“The aversion to being around food my sibling doesn’t like is so strong and can cause things like vomiting and other distress.”
So when the OP finally had the opportunity for an authentic Thanksgiving dinner, they jumped at the chance.
“I wanted to have a real Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in my life so I went to a friend’s house.”
“I’m 20 and I had turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams and other Thanksgiving food for the first time in my life.”
“I moved out in September and this was my first big holiday since I moved out. I told my family I’d be skipping more dinners at home because I want to eat other things besides what’s on my sibling’s list.”
“They called me out and are trying to convince me to change my mind.”
“Christmas is a big one because I said I’ll visit and do presents but I have my own plans fit dinner. I’m not planning to never visit but I don’t want to eat there now.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where the felt the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
There was a firm consensus that the OP was not the a**hole in wanting to enjoy their first turkey dinner.
Most notably, several Redditors who also suffer from Arfid came forward by expressing how poorly the OP’s parents handled their sibling’s disorder, and were appalled by their choice in forcing the OP to only eat the foods their sibling could tolerate.
“I have this disorder!”
“Your parents have handled it terribly.”
“There’s no reason you had to follow the restrictions this disorder imposes on your sibling, and it’s much better for us with this problem to be exposed to new food, even if we can’t eat it.”
“At thanksgiving I basically ate bread but I still attended to socialize and see my family because even though I can’t eat food that makes other people happy, it’s my disorder and nutrition and social discomfort to manage.”
“Your sibling’s prognosis for improvement is likely irreparably damaged by now due to your parents’ actions.”
“Nobody’s health benefits from their current rules.”
“I’m sorry your family imposed such arbitrary, unfair restrictions upon you instead of letting you live freely simply because some of us cannot.”- angeryacorn.
As someone with this disorder I could never imagine my family willingly restricting EVERYONE’S food, much less I myself trying to do this to others.”
“Maybe my case isn’t as serious as the sibling’s but with this extent of problems I can’t imagine how they’re even functioning in public.”
“I’m wishing you the best and hoping you can enjoy many more Thanksgivings with friends.”-SophiChuZilla.
“I also have this disorder!”
“And it definitely does not make me restrict what other people eat.”
“I like you will go and eat what I can (and appreciate when there is something I can eat) but agree this has been handled by parents very poorly.”
“In no world would I be upset by the sight of someone else eating a muffin.”- littlestbonusjonas.
“As someone with ARFID, it’s not really the sibling.”
“There is seriously something wrong with OPs parents.”
“That is 100% trained behavior and if the parents are that extreme, sibling might not have learned enough self awareness to realize how ridiculous it is.”
“I can admit I have a problem, but my parents never catered to me when I was a kid and I’d never consider telling other people what they could and couldn’t eat.”
“With the exception of turkey, which is a point of contention in my family. But I literally sit in another room during turkey cooking and carving.”
“I also, until the age of like 20, didn’t realize that other people didn’t grow up in a world where it’s typical to always bring your own food to parties, holidays, and sleepovers.”
“It’s very easy to assume your life is normal for everyone, and if OPs parents never taught them better…..”-Eldi_Bee.
But even those who did not suffer from Afrid agreed that the OP’s parents were beyond unjust in forcing their sibling’s diet on them, and the OP had every right to enjoy their first proper Thanksgiving dinner.
“Your parents shouldn’t have expected you to also only eat the foods your sibling would eat – that wasn’t fair to you in the least.”
“I fully understand your desire to skip meals at home and think you have every right to make that decision.”- NUT-me-SHELL
“I don’t blame you.”
“I’m kind of surprised you all weren’t malnourished with such limited foods.”
“NTA and enjoy being a foodie.”
“If you are on facebook, there are a ton of great food blogs to follow.”
“I got into them during lockdown.”- Lola_M1224
“Your parents did both you and your sibling a massive disservice.:
“There is no way that diet was meeting either of your nutritional needs, and while I don’t know much about the treatment of ARFID nor how your sibling was treated, I cannot imagine your sibling received proper care if they are still even unable to be around other food.”
“Importantly, your life should never have revolved around this and it is atrocious that they were upset with you for eating other food outside the home.”
Indeed, one has to wonder if the OP’s parents were really looking out for the needs of the OP’s sibling, when they may have in fact been threatening their health.
Here’s hoping everyone in that family finds the help they need.