Not everyone has the luxury of eating whatever they want, whenever they want.
Some people need to be a bit more careful and disciplined, owing to allergies and medical conditions.
Making this even more complicated is the fact that sometimes the food they can eat is more expensive than everyday groceries, putting an added financial burden on top of everything else.
Redditor Jazman0917 was among those who found themselves in this unfortunate situation.
Not helping matters, the original poster (OP)’s stepdaughter began to eat her special, expensive food.
When she continued to do so despite being told not to countless times, the OP found herself losing her temper.
Wondering if her behavior was justified, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for making my step daughter feel bad for eating all my snacks/drinks?”
The OP explained how her stepdaughter’s habit of eating her special food only seemed to get worse, despite her continued pleas to stop.
“My stepdaughter is 10.”
“I’m 30 F[emale] and I have diabetes, as well as other food allergies that prevent me from eating a very large variety of foods that are purchased for consumption in this household.”
“The foods/snacks/drinks that I can eat usually tend to be on the more expensive side and I have to spend way too much time shopping around for bargains so I can actually eat.”
“My stepdaughter is fully aware that these are the only things I can eat and we had no problems up until roughly 6 months ago.”
“I have been in her life for 8 years so yes, this is a new behavior.”
“So, my favorite food and drink are burritos and diet sprite.”
“I can’t have either of them due to my allergies and it took me forever to find a brand that I could actually have.”
“But due to the fact that both of these products are way too expensive, $19 for an 8-pack burrito and $12 for a 6-pack of the sprite knockoff, I don’t get them often at all.”
“Maybe once every 3 months or so.”
“I caught my stepdaughter eating and drinking both multiple times and had to sit her down and tell her that I didn’t want her eating those, as they were expensive and for me specifically, and offered to buy her regular brand of the same items.”
‘She said yes, so I went out and bought them for her, just to find that she still was eating mine and not touching hers.”
“I asked her why several times and she shrugged her shoulders and walks off or says ‘I don’t see why it’s a big deal, it’s just food’ and rolls her eyes.”
“So I told my husband to do something about it because he knows my dietary restrictions very well and knows how important not only that is but also how much I love those specific items and can’t have them often.”
‘He speaks to her, everything after that seemed fine.’
“However, I just bought the burritos and knock off organic sprite again yesterday.’
“I went to go get myself some around 10 pm when my stepdaughter was supposed to be in bed.”
“The entire liter was gone.”
“I couldn’t find it anywhere.”
“So I go into my stepdaughter’s room and she is sitting with not only the sprite in her lap but 2 burritos as well.”
“This is when I noticed everything else.”
“My green tea sitting on the floor, gone.”
‘My meal containers that I had packed for work under her bed and on her dresser.”
“I thought I was going f*cking mental because I couldn’t find them anywhere and turns out she has been eating them.’
‘I’ve gone many days at work without food because of this.”
“So I told her I had never been so absolutely disappointed and repulsed that someone could lack that much respect and empathy for another individual and walked out.”
‘I woke my husband.”
“He went down and saw everything but came up and started screaming at me because apparently, I made his kid cry, and now he is worried about her developing anxiety about eating.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed 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
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for yelling at her stepdaughter.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s stepdaughter needed to understand that she couldn’t continue eating her stepmother’s special food.
Many people were concerned about the stepdaughter’s behavior, fearing this might be the early signs of more serious issues.
‘While your husband may be worried about her developing anxiety, I think you guys both missed the boat.”
“What you are describing is NOT normal behavior.”
“It is likely time to talk to a therapist at this point.”
“And as others are mentioning, consider a small fridge/freezer that you can lock away from her.”-SDstartingOut
“But this is family therapy time, not AITA time.”
“Something is up with a 10-year-old hoarding food, especially just your food.”
“No need to put up with it but sounds like you’ll need a therapist to work with her.”- capmanor1755
“I wonder what happened to the child in the past six months to cause this deliberate cruelty?”
“I hate to say get a fridge with a lock because although it will, temporarily at least, solve the stolen-food problem.”
“I can’t stop thinking there’s some reason why this started after 7.5 years of sharing the household.”
“Perhaps therapy for the child is in order.”- TemptingPenguin369
“You didn’t yell at her.”
“You told her you were disappointed.”
“If she cried, that’s on her.”
“She probably really did feel bad.”
“I think all three of you need to sit down and talk about this though.”
“There’s clearly something else going on with her for her to suddenly be acting out like this.”
“Most kids don’t just suddenly switch to this behavior for no reason.”
“At the very least, you and hubby need to talk because while I understand his concerns that his daughter might develop an eating disorder, your health can’t be compromised in your own home, and your stepdaughter has been more than adequately cared for what with you buying her versions of the foods she’s been stealing for her to eat.”- Critical_Answer_4456
“For your stepdaughter, it sounds like she’s getting to the age where she starts to push boundaries.”
“If I were you, I’d lock your snacks up.”
“Otherwise she will continue to do it because she does not respect that you’ve asked her not to.”
“For your husband, shame on him.”
“He knows why you have specific snacks and should absolutely support you.”
“I understand it’s upsetting to see your child cry but that doesn’t make her actions acceptable.”
“He needs to man up and parent her properly.”- Special_Respond7372
“NTA at all.”
“How dare your husband yell at you when you are being left with no food.”
“You bought her her own snacks and she is still eating yours.”
‘Time to get a refrigerator with a padlock on it for the garage.”
“She seems to have targeted your food for whatever reason and it’s not going to stop with just talk.”- highoncatnipbrownies
‘It looks like you are your own with this.”
“Your husband and stepdaughter are on a united front on finding it acceptable to disrespect your belongings.”
“Lock your items from now on.”
“But I can’t help but wonder why the sudden switch with your stepdaughter.”- stacity
“But something is going on with your SD.”
“This isn’t an eating disorder, it’s not about binge eating and hiding food.”
“She’s deliberately targeting you personally by deliberately eating only the food that you specifically need for your medical conditions while ignoring basically identical products bought for her.”
“She’s deliberately sabotaging your meals so that you have to go hungry because she’s stealing the safe food you had prepared.”
“It seems strange to say that a 10-year-old child is bullying you, but that’s what it is.”
“The question you and your husband need to get to the bottom of with a therapist is why?”
“Meanwhile, she cannot be allowed to tamper with or steal food that you must have for your health.”- Sha-Nanegins
The OP disclosed in an update that she and her husband did consult her stepdaughter’s doctor about her behavior, and there will be more talks going forward.
‘We did have a talk and raised concerns with her pediatrician as well because there was like a sudden switch in her.”
“She has never met her mother and nothing has changed in the household/school, but she wouldn’t talk to us about anything that was going on.”
“Her pediatrician stated it was probably just puberty and suggested therapy, so we did start her in that last month but I guess another talk might do us some good.”
One hopes that the OP’s stepdaughter didn’t start stealing her food out of malice.
Whether or not that is the case, one hopes this young girl gets the help she needs.
And that the OP’s husband realizes the effect his daughter’s actions had on the OP’s health, and learns not to react like that again should something similar happen.