When a child endures difficult—or even tragic—circumstances, their parents must help navigate through the chaos.
That can be an emotional struggle, to say the least.
But navigating it all becomes even tougher when those parents have other children who still need their care and attention.
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit illustrated just how complicated that situation can be.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by last-kid on Reddit, explained how it all went down. Her title for the post captured how strained the family dynamic became.
“AITA for telling my parents they only have one daughter and she is six feet in the ground.”
OP began by discussing the beginnings of the family’s difficulties.
“This all started when I was 12 years old and my younger sister was ten. Let’s call her Abby.”
“Well, Abby started to get sick and no one in the family knew what was going on. I started to be dropped off at my grandparents as they went to different doctors.”
“I’m not going to go into her illness but when the doctors figured it out it was bad. So a lot of time was devoted to my sister.”
As things progressed, a pattern began to form.
“When I was 14 it got worse and I started to be left at my grandparents for longer amounts of time. It started with just staying the weekend and then maybe the whole week.”
“I would bring it up and they told me that they have to focus on Abby. Soon I was staying there for months.”
“By the time I was 16 I was basically living there full time. I would maybe see them every other month.”
“If it texted them about the whole thing the same response was always sent, We need to focus on Abby right now.”
OP then jumped to the present time.
“I’m 19 now and Abby has passed away from her illness. Her funeral was two weeks ago and I attended through facetime.”
“I got a call today from my parents and they wanted to met up and be a family again.”
For OP, it was not that simple.
“I told them that they abandoned one child for another. I am not their child anymore. That they only have one daughter and she is six feet under the ground now. I soon hung up”
“I’ve been getting texts calling me an ass and that I should understand that they needed to focus on ABBy and to suck it up basically. So AITA”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to provide feedback by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors threw their support behind OP. In fact, they had trouble keeping back their own anger.
“NTA. They had the f***ing nerve to ask you to come to their house after they threw you out like trash and deprived you of a relationship with your sister.” — neverthelessidissent
“NTA. Was it harsh? Yes. Was it deserved? Also, yes. While I can sympathize with dealing with a terminally ill child, they still had another child that needed their love and attention too.
“A child that was losing her little sister, probably scared, and lonely and then f***ing abandoned for seven years. Yes, Abby needed them.”
“But you did too and they failed you miserably. And they failed Abby too, who might’ve enjoyed a relationship with her sister in the few years she did have to live.” — RedoubtableSouth
“NTA that’s some bs. They did not have to neglect you to also attend to your sister. They could have included you, instead they robbed you of not only parental love but of time with your sister.”
“Those are years you could have made memories to tuck away. They chose to neglect you. If you don’t want them in your life, they have to live with those consequences.” — velvet_wire
Many spoke from a place of experience.
“NTA As a parent who had a terminally ill child, I made sure that my other kids still knew that I loved them and even organised people to sit with my child in hospital while I spent quality time with my other kids.”
“It’s hard being a parent knowing that your child is going to die, but you don’t ever push away your other kids. I’m so so so sorry that you were abandoned by your parents and I’m sending you huge hugs and love right now.”
“You have every right to be angry at them and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise as none of them were in your shoes. Take time to grieve for your sister and your lost relationship and most importantly please be kind to yourself you do matter.” — G8RTOAD
“NTA, I worked with pediatric oncology patients. And we make sure to keep siblings involved because we understand how hard it is on y’all also.”
“Your parents should have included you during this time. It’s still raw that your sister passed maybe in time you can have some sort of connection with them. Not necessarily as a family.” — ConsiderationOk5540
“NTA. When my aunt was killed by a drunk driver we took in her children. I automatically took a back burner. I was deeply affected by my aunts passing and got really depressed etc but I knew that I wasn’t the one anyone wanted to be focused on.”
“So I suffered in silence. I blew up with my parents because my mom finally made a comment about me never telling them anything. My mom was blindsided by it while my dad knew what I was talking about immediately. Parents are dumb. You are 100000% NTA.” — pandaluver1234
And some took a more measured tone. They simply highlighted OP’s right to choose her own circumstances.
“NTA. You’re an adult now and can make your own choices, and they left you with secondhand family and neglected to talk with, visit, or properly parent you.” — Least-Pain5412
“NTA, they aren’t entitled to a relationship with you.” — sadclownc**t
“NTA. You don’t have to suck it up for anyone’s sake. Your feelings are valid and if you don’t want to go play ‘happy family’ anymore then don’t.”
“As long as you don’t have any regrets- move on.” — Hellga_AK
“NTA. You need to put yourself first because no one else will.” — ThackeryyBinx
As OP gears up to take on adulthood without her parents to consult, we wish her all the best.