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Teen Called Out For Using Family Therapy Session To ‘Dump’ All Of Her Issues

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Redditor Ok_Owl6725 is a 17-year-old big sister who aired her grievances over the family living arrangement in the house.

And while communication is important, she was criticized for not considering the time and place to air out her grievances.

After contemplating her sanity from the family fallout, she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for using family therapy to dump my issues?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My parents called it ‘dumping all my issues therapy’ like it was a bad thing. Like we’re not there to figure out the problems.”

“Therapy is me (17 female), my sister (12 female) and my parents 54 male and 51 female.”

“I have issues with my family. Stuff that I have tried to get off my chest before but they wouldn’t listen.”

“My parents had a second child in a two bedroom house, where the second bedroom is tiny, and chose to never move for more space, which meant we have shared a bunkbed since we were little and we have no personal space in said room.”

“My sister has nightmares regularly and wet the bed until a year ago. My parents told her to get into my bed when it happened (after she washed up). She would wake me up and make me move to let her in, then she would wet my bed sometimes, and it would even get on me on occasion but my parents told me to be a good sister.”

“My sister wants the perfect sister. She wants me to be her friend, who listens to everything, who wants to share a bed with her, she wants a sister who will stand up for her, and give up stuff for her.”

“Like a few weeks ago I was going away overnight with a friend. She begged me not to go because she sleeps better knowing I’m there.”

“She started crying hysterically because I told her I wanted to go and she’d need to get used to me not being there.”

“My sister has been babied more by our parents. I know that is a big problem with us all. And I have been called a terrible sister for it. Because I don’t want to be pissed on in the night, because I don’t want to share a single bed, because I want space away from my sister.”

“During the day she is normally a lot better but nights are rough. Mornings too. And I’m tired. I don’t enjoy being her sister. I don’t like that she’s been my roommate for 12 years.”

“I brought all this up in therapy. My sister was embarrassed and upset that I felt this way. My parents were furious and said I dumped my issues in therapy and had no right to do that to them or to my sister.”

“Maybe I’m crazy but AITA?”

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 thought the OP was not the a**hole here.

“NTA. Therapy is literally there to dump issues and then discuss and manage the issues. So uh. I think they’re just mad that the therapist now knows how badly they treat you.” – Melodramatic_Raven

“Yep. In fact, at the next therapy session, mention that your parents were mad that you ‘dumped all your issues’, and ask the therapist if he/she could go over what is supposed to happen during a therapy session.”

“Additionally, I’m guessing that your parents went to therapy in order to hear a therapist say that ‘the family problem’ is that you’re not doing exactly what your parents want with a big smile on your face while whistling a happy tune.”

“That the therapist is doing the right thing – bringing all the family problems into the light to discuss them – is probably annoying the crap out of your parents, because they have to face the fact that they are not treating you equally to your sister and have mildly abused you.” – androiddays

“You hit the nail on the head! It’s never a good idea to be in therapy with you abusers, and this is why. Don’t keep silent OP, keep telling it like it really is, Christ, at this rate you’ll need therapy from the therapy with these people.”

“One more year, that’s all you legally obligated to endure, start an exit strategy. Get a job, save every penny someplace they can’t get their hands on it, find all your documents(birth certificate, social security card, passport, whatever) and hide them in the same place, invest in a small biometric fire safe if you have to and keep it at a trusted friend or family members house.”

“Also lock your credit. NTA.” – randomusername71175

“I’m a therapist and OP, please tell the therapist what you wrote here. Your parents should be thrilled you are being honest with them in family therapy. They should be listening.”

“Family therapists need everyone to be honest. You are doing your part. Your parents need to do theirs by listening to you and validating your experience. If they can’t/won’t, that is important for the therapist to know.”

“The therapist can hold them responsible for doing their part. I see my job as a family therapist as paying attention to power dynamics in the family and making sure the most disempowered family members, usually the kids, are heard.”

“Parents often expect the therapist, as another adult, to take the parents’ side. But good therapists won’t do that.” – PNW_Parent

“NTA. OP, your parents are mad because you made them look bad… which is accurate. You’re not upset you have to be the perfect sister, in reality, they’re making you a third parent.”

“THEY’RE not letting her into their bed knowing she pees the bed. THEY’RE not staying up with her when she has nightmares. THEY’RE not comforting her and entertaining her when you go out.”

“I can GUARANTEE your sister’s expectations are because your parents have TOLD HER that’s what a ‘good’ sister does. You SHOULD be done with it.”

“You should tell them you are done having her in your bed. You are done being woken up. You are done parenting her. THEY need to figure it out.”

“And if you can’t speak safely at home, do it in therapy. Tell the therapist you feel like you’ve been made to be the third parent and you just want to be a kid too.” – crystallz2000

“NTA. What else is therapy for if not to talk about issues? Or were they hoping the therapist could convince you they were right and you need to put little sister first forever?”

“What about if/when you go to college or get a job and move out? Your sister needs to learn to function without you as a crutch. She is 12, beyond time she should be becoming independent in some ways.”

“I hope you are actively planning for your future and independence. And ask for individual counselling sessions. Sounds like you need some privacy during therapy as well.” – del901


“‘Family therapy’ might have good intentions, but in practice, it’s the opposite of actual therapy. You’re airing your issues to the people causing them, who are then getting defensive and telling you that you’re selfish, etc. for having those issues.”

“The situation you describe is not you being a sister, but a third parent–just one who has no real authority or say in how things are run. Let your sister start piling into your parents’ bed and wetting it, and we’ll see how they like it.”

“Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do here. You can (and should) push for actual therapy, though I can probably guess how that will go. You are close to old enough to move out, and that is probably your best option, though this may not be workable.” – ProbablyLongComment

“NTA. Discussing issues is literally what therapy is for – you are 17, it’s not your job to parent your little sister. If you can do some therapy with just Sis, it might go a long way to helping your relationship.”

“Your parents seem… not ready to face their issues. Your Sis is as she is because… well. I think you know.”

“Good luck OP, stand your ground, and don’t feel guilty about being honest in a space meant for honesty. Again, NTA!!” – SisterAlliance


“Bed wetting at 11+, and hysterical crying when you want to leave for the night? Climbing into bed with you and not your parents for comfort and wetting the bed multiple times? That’s not suspicious at all /s.”

“Perhaps you should bring your sister to the therapist alone for some one-on-one counseling to help her get to the bottom of it.”

“Hopefully it’s just a misplaced attachment to you because of your parents hands-off approach, and not the reason some people here suspect.” – ScammerC

“NTA – Your parents’ comments prove they’re doing therapy in bad faith. Be careful now that they’ve shown their colors: they may mine your disclosures for ammunition.”

“Bed wetting is not normal for an 11-year-old. Your sister has unresolved issues. You have a legitimate complaint about being forced to endure it. There’s really something off about her crying hysterically when you go away for one evening to a sleepover.:

“You’ll be an adult soon. Start saving money/making plans to leave. Might be best to make those plans privately, because your sister can be expected to go into meltdown and your parents may undermine you because they don’t want to deal with her.” – Texandria

Overall, Redditors thought the parents were to be blamed for paying for therapy and then having the audacity to be frustrated with the OP for bringing up a genuine concern.

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