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Teen Worried She Caused Mom And Stepdad To Divorce After ‘Swimming Accident’ With Stepsister


Redditor Apprehensive-Cat569 is a 14-year-old girl who has a nine-year-old step-sister who likes to copy everything she does.

The little sister refused to cooperate when the Redditor insisted that she stop copying her.

When an incident at the pool led to a dramatic turn of events, the Redditor wondered if she might have been responsible for possibly jeopardizing the future of their family.

She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for causing my mom’s and step dad’s divorce over a swimming accident?”

“I have a step sister that likes to copy everything I do. We have a swimming pool and in the swimming pool i have a thing i like to do.”

“It is kicking off the wall and swimming to another wall, back and forth over and over again. My sister likes to copy that but she sometimes gets to close and i don’t want to accidentally hurt her.”

“Once i notice that she’s getting to close and not fixing it, I’ll ask her nicely to stop getting so close and if she can’t do that then to just stop. She usually fixes it, but this time she didn’t and i just ignored it and kept swimming.”

“Well i asked her again to please stop getting so close and when she didn’t listen, i accidentally kicked her in the side. Keep in mind i am 14 years old so im not exactly ‘strong,’ I kicked her underwater.”

“So if you have ever swam in a pool you know you can’t kick hard underwater. I also did it on accident, i was just swimming.”

“Well my step dad was on the porch and when my step sister came up for air she was fake crying and screaming that i just kicked her in the face really hard. When my step dad heard her crying and screaming that he asked me what happened and i explained the whole story about how i asked her to stop 2 times and then i accidentally kicked her in the SIDE.”

“My step sister than started saying that i was lying and i ‘kicked her in the face hard on purpose.’ Let’s just say my step dad definitely worships his daughter and favors her over me.”

“Now do I blame him? No, because I am not his biological daughter but he makes it extremely obvious that he’s loves her WAY more than he does me. So when he heard from his daughter that I kicked her hard in the face on purpose he proceeded to call me a bunch of names along the lines of a brat, terrible Sister, b*tch, arrogant and a bunch of other things.”

“Well when my mother heard all the screaming from my step sister and her dad, she came out and asked what happened?”

“I explained what actually happened and what my step sister had said happened and told my mom everything my step dad called me. My mother kicked him out and told him and his daughter to pack their stuff and leave.”

“After a while of arguing from my mom and step dad, they eventually left with all of their stuff. I asked my mom what she was gonna do? she said ‘she wasn’t sure but no one was going to disrespect her daughter ever and think they are going to get away with it.’”

“All of that was about 5 days ago and my mom and step dad have been fighting over the phone at least once a day about the whole thing. I asked her today what was happening and she said she was divorcing him. I was shocked.”

“I can’t believe this all happened because of me, i could’ve just apologized for something i didn’t even do, but it would’ve maybe stopped all of this. So AITA for causing my mom’s and step dad’s divorce over a swimming accident?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

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

Many Redditors sided with the OP as not the a**hole here.

“It didn’t happen because of you. It’s happening because she won’t sit back and let him verbally abuse you. There could be hidden factors you’re not aware of, and this was a catalyst or final straw.”

“Either way, good for her for making this decision. Nothing is your fault.”

“NTA.” – Intelligent_Stop5564

“This isn’t because of you. I think this has been a long time coming and this was just the trigger event. You must feel terrible but there’s probably things behind the scenes that you don’t know. NTA” – bethybabes

“NTA I agree and came here to say this. Parents don’t broadcast their issues with their children, I think they had a ton of issues and this was just the catalyst for op’s mom.” – Proud_Drawing5898

“Good parents don’t anyway, and since mom defended her daughter from her husband, she sounds like a good parent.”

“Step dad is a bad parent. It doesn’t matter if you’re not biologically his, OP. You live with them (at least some of the time), and it’s his job to be a parent to you and not show favoritism towards his daughter.”

“That and the verbal abuse was a breaking point. Your mom probably knew he favored his own child, and there was probably tension because of that already.”

“There’s also a chance he acted that way with your mom, and her breaking point when she saw him acting that way with you. It’s easier to stand up for a loved one than for yourself, especially if that person is your child. When he did that to you, mama bear kicked in.”

“There was nothing for you to apologize for because you didn’t do anything wrong, he did. The nine year old acted like a nine year old, it’s his job as a parent to mediate situations and he didn’t. He also likely doubled down on his behavior on the phone, and mom realized it wasn’t safe to have someone like that in the house, because it’s not.”

“Cursing at a 14 year old is incredibly inappropriate for a lot of reasons, and when you’re older (Ugh, I know), you’ll understand the scope of it better when you’re 18 or 19 and wouldn’t yell at a 14 year old, especially not one in your care.” – Proper_Garlic3171

“NTA. This right here. One argument does not blow up the marriage, it’s everything that lies behind the argument. OP, you did nothing wrong, just give your mom love and support.”

“Don’t listen to your friends, they’re also 14, they really don’t have any experience, maturity or knowledge to decipher this.” – Throwawayhater3343

“NTA. You didn’t cause this. Your step-dad refusing to listen to you or treat your fairly did.”

“You said you don’t blame him for favouring his bio-daughter, but frankly that’s heartbreaking. Biology should not mean favouritism in a healthy blended family!”

“I’m glad you mom stands up for you, you deserve it. Plenty of people love their kids equally irrespective of biology and that’s what you and your mom deserve.” – Melodramatic_Raven

“NTA. This didn’t happen because of the swimming incident. That was just the final straw in what has been building up for a long time.”

“You should speak to your mum about what you’re thinking and feeling. A lot of strangers on the internet are doing their best to reassure you, but perhaps it will mean more coming from her.” – _Kenndrah_

“Oh honey, NTA. Not at all. You’re a kid. Don’t put this on your own shoulders.”

“My guess is this was the straw that broke the camels back in your mom’s marriage. My bet is your step-dad was being crap to her for a while, and she was dealing with it, but when she saw him turn his sh*t on you, she saw it for what it was and had had enough.”:

“Your mom loves you. This was not your fault, it wasn’t even your stepsister’s really because she’s a child playing the hand she’s been dealt. It’s your step-dad’s fault, 100%, full stop. His behavior got him here. Not yours.”

“Don’t take the blame for his bad behavior. You don’t deserve it.”

“Just maybe be nice to your mom, ok? She’s going through a lot that she doesn’t want to put on your shoulders, and it’s not your place to take on her burdens, but don’t add to them for a while, ok?” – girl012687

“NTA, dont feel bad about it. It is not your fault. It is his fault.”

“My mother kicked the father of my little sister out too – because he was always mean to me and kind of bullied me. That is something parents/guardians have to do something to protect the innocent children!” – Erdbeerlexi

Overall, Redditors agreed that the OP wasn’t directly responsible for the divorce, and they suspected there were already cracks in the marriage long before the swimming pool incident.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo