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Teen Called Out For Refusing To Keep Giving Her Family Financial Support After She Moved Out

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We’ve all heard the cautionary tales of how money changes people, whether it’s their personalities, their priorities, or even how they function in a relationship.

But when it comes to family members, money seems to have a particularly negative effect on their character and how they treat the people who seem to have some cash to spare.

One young woman came to terms with this recently on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor PiShyner made a decision that inevitably would make her life better, including healthier boundaries in her relationships.

But when she saw what was happening to her family, the Original Poster (OP) questioned herself.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for saying I don’t owe my family financial support when asked to continue helping?”

The OP’s family struggled financially. 

“I’m the oldest of five. My parents have me (18 [female]), my brother (15 [male]), my sister (14 [female]), another sister (12 [female]), and another brother (10 [male]).”

“My parents always struggled to afford having kids, but they kept having more and things got tighter over the years.”

“At first, it wasn’t too bad. It just meant no birthday parties or eating out ever.”

“But then it became no special birthday dinners and making torn school backpacks work three years in a row. It meant wearing clothes a little too small, and eventually, it meant eating really basic, cheap meals and not saying you were hungry after.”

When she was old enough to work, the OP’s money went to the family.

“When I was 12, I started doing some odd jobs for people, and my parents would use that money to put toward the household.”

“Then when I was 14, I became a babysitter, and that money all went to the house.”

“When I was 16, I started a more official job and would hide some money, but the rest was taken and used for the family.”

“I resented the h**l out of it. I told my parents as much.”

“They would say it was my job to help the family, too, as the oldest and it would be unfair to keep my money and spend it on me when they were struggling with bills and food.”

When the OP moved out, she refused to continue helping.

“I moved out three months ago, and that all stopped. I have not given a single cent to my family since, and it has been difficult.”

“I basically had to cut them off because the requests were endless.”

“My siblings would ask for lunch money, money for school supplies, etc.”

“And while I know they’re kids and innocent, I want to be able to stand on my own two feet, and I don’t want to always support my family.”

“I did when I had no choice, but now I want to be selfish.”

But then there were consequences. 

“Things have fallen apart since they lost my money.”

“They ended up defaulting on rent, and now they’re in sheltered accommodations, and I’m being blamed.”

“I told my parents it’s not my job to support them and I don’t owe them that support.”

“Now I’m the a**hole with them and my siblings, because I would rather see them homeless than help again.”

“AITA?”

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 confirmed it was absolutely not up to the OP to finance the family.

“NTA. They are the parents, not you. You have every right to use your money on yourself and your life that you are building. Your parents need to figure out how to provide for their children. Do not let them gaslight you.”Basicwinemom

“NTA – you’re correct. It’s not your job to support them or your siblings. They made their life choices, this is on them.”

“Who in their right mind thinks it’s ok to take all of their 12 year old’s ‘odd job’ pocket money for crying out loud?!?”

“Incidentally next time they start laying blame at your feet, I would point out that not only isn’t it your responsibility to fund them, but you cannot afford to fund them and yourself.”

“Also, they started taking money from you from the age of 12 and 3 of your siblings are that age or beyond. Maybe they need to be earning some family money and taking their turn! (Not that I think that’s right, but you mentioned they are all on you about it.)”

“Outrageous.”Sooz817

“NTA! You didn’t give birth to those children so it’s not your job to support them. Your parents abused you. I’m sure you have a lot of guilt surrounding the situation but take care of yourself.”Late-Impact-9517

Others wondered if the OP could help the younger siblings out. 

“I hear you.”

“Also not from the West.”

“But our cultures operate on reciprocity. OP looks after a sibling or two. It’s understood that they will forever have an open door policy for OP or OP’s offspring.”

“OP, this not your fault. But your siblings are innocent. Is there any way you could teach them how to get jobs so they have lunch money etc.”

“I think if they are left totally dependant on your parents for guidance they could end up like your parents. Could you give them tips on getting small jobs, baby sitting etc?”encouragement_much

“OP is NTA, at all. So very sorry your childhood was basically stolen from you. Agree it would be bonus if you can help your younger sibs, if you can and if you want. Better still to get CPS involved to help them more. Godspeed, OP.”funchefchick

“NTA, but your parents are. I’d recommend calling CPS. You are an 18 year old. You’re an ‘adult,’ but most 18 year olds are still heavily reliant on their own parents, not helping keep a family of 7 afloat.”

“With that said, if you are in a situation where you could take one of your siblings in, especially the presumably relatively self-sufficient second-oldest or oldest sister, that might relieve some of the pressure all around. But if you aren’t in such a situation, or just flat-out don’t want to, that’s perfectly fine, also.”username_taken_alre

Some pointed out the siblings were old enough to work if they were going to criticize the OP.

“OP’s siblings are old enough to either work legitimate jobs or side jobs but still reach out to OP for money? I’m guessing the parents are pushing them to reach out for the cash.”ilovemelongtime

“The parents are ultimately at fault, but OP got a job young. The other siblings are asking her for money presumably because they aren’t working themselves. It’s not fair of them either to think OP is the a**hole for not giving them what she is earning.”Vettepilot

“Another way to look at this – how will this cycle of parent-created poverty be broken? How many generations will suffer from your parents having too many kids to take care of? To make poor financial decisions as the parents and then foist these errors on the kids? Handcuffing their futures before they even get started?”

“OP is making the first hard steps to stop this mess from continuing. OP’s siblings will have to make their choices on this matter as they age into adulthood.”bigbura

The OP was undoubtedly in a position of feeling guilty and worrying for the safety and survival of her family.

The subReddit affirmed she had done the right thing, however, in taking care of herself first.

Anything else she could do, from providing information about financial resources or taking care of one of her siblings, needed to be an entirely optional second.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.