Choosing to go off to college is really jarring for a lot of students who suddenly find themselves with new responsibilities, new boundaries and potentially an entirely new approach to life.
But when the family does everything they can to push back from that experience, moving to another town may seriously be the best option.
This was particularly true for one young woman, who went off to college, leaving behind a family who only saw her desire for further education… as a cover-up for having a sex life.
According to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, Redditor FrameClear4317 explained her assuming went so far as to establish a betting system surrounding the sex life they were certain she would have.
Despite the strangeness of the family’s assumption, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong for distancing herself from them:
“AITA for giving my family the silent treatment over their sl*t bet?”
The OP explained her family had always kept her on a short leash.
“I’m a freshman in college and before college, I was homeschooled basically my whole life. Because of that, I have pretty bad social anxiety.”
“Regardless of that, I was really excited to go to college and finally have freedom (Apart from the [pandemic] safety measures.)”
“My parents really didn’t want me to go and threw a huge fit about it since they think I only want to go to sleep around and drink.”
When the OP decided to create some distance, the family started making huge assumptions.
“Every time I spoke to them while I was away they would try to get me to come back home so I stopped answering their calls as often, which really p**sed my mom off.”
“I went from talking to my parents multiple times a day to around once a week though I would still speak with my siblings.”
“They were literally obsessed with the idea of me leaving their home and becoming a ‘whore’ which was odd since they’d never been like that before. They have this idea that I’m a ‘good girl gone wild’. They used to let me have co-ed sleepovers and hang out with guys whenever I wanted.”
But the assumptions went much further than the OP ever expected them to go.
“Anyways, I was talking to my sister (15) and she told me about this bet that my family had made. I guess in retaliation for me not answering their calls, they were betting if I’d become a sl*t in college.”
“They were speculating on when I’d lose my virginity, how many guys I’d sleep with, if I’d sleep with a girl, etc. She sent me a few screenshots and it seemed almost like a big passive-aggressive joke.”
“It wasn’t just my parents in it; It had my siblings, cousins and aunts. While they were seemingly kidding, I felt extremely embarrassed.”
“I didn’t know how to bring it up because I didn’t want my sister to get in trouble for showing me so it went on for a while.”
When the OP reached out to her mother, her mother gaslit her.
“I finally texted my mom about it and asked her if she would please delete the chat or at least add me to it so it wasn’t just my family talking and clowning me behind my back. I didn’t mention that it was my sister who had shown me it.”
“My mother insisted that they weren’t talking about me and that I was being a primadonna even though I literally have evidence.”
In reaction, the OP reinforced her boundaries.
“Since it was obvious that they weren’t going to delete it, I told my mom that I wasn’t going to come home for Christmas and I wasn’t going to come visit her after her surgery (She’s having surgery soon and asked me to come). Partially out of anger and because of embarrassment.”
“Christmas is my mom’s favorite holiday and she always goes all out for it. She wanted me to be her caretaker after the surgery since after Christmas ‘her money will be tight’ and she didn’t want to pay for one.”
“She says that I’m abandoning her and I think that she stabbed me in the back.”
Fellow Redditors commented anonymously, rating the OP’s silent treatment on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP, insisting on the importance of healthy boundaries.
“You’re the first woman in your family to go to college, demonstrating independence, determination, and intelligence, so your family’s response to this is to A) gossip about some imaginary sex life you must be having (because winnenz don’t go to college to improve their lives or start a career, they just go to have sex, lulz!), and B) demand you come home and give up your life to be an unpaid caretaker for your mother?”
“I think this is a perfect time to put some serious distance between you and your family. Instead of being proud of you and celebrating your achievements, they’re humiliating you to punish you for stepping out of the role they imagined for your life. I cut my dad off for similar reasons, and have zero regrets for doing so.”
“I’m really sorry to say it, but your family doesn’t care for you. A family who cares doesn’t treat its’ members like this.”
“NTA – you’re not giving family ‘silent treatment’, you’re drawing a perfectly healthy boundary against toxic behaviour.” – ShelfLifeInc
“NTA. Wow. Their little betting pool is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read about on this sub. I can’t imagine talking about my own child that way.” – valerian_spiel
“My jaw is hanging. I can’t wrap my head around. This level of horrid behavior. What kind of people are these?” – Nyankh
“It’s so creepily archaic and misogynistic.”
“The OP is nothing but a potential wh**e in their eyes. I can’t imagine seeing my child, my beautiful, good, timid child in that light. They are so caught up in their sh**ty, toxic, belief system they don’t see the person in front of them.”
“I would try to avoid them at all costs all the time. Start creating a new family outside of that toxic cesspool.” – SardineSling
Others agreed and believed the family wanted to hold the OP back.
“They’re crabs in a bucket, they don’t want you to have anything that they don’t have.”
“They are attacking where they think you are weakest because of course a woman having consensual sex outside of strictly defined (if arbitrary) parameters deserves to be shamed and degraded by their family! Hopefully you see how utterly ridiculous that is and how cruel their behavior is.”
“I’m sorry, there is no justification for what they are doing to you, it’s reprehensible. Do whatever it is you need to do to keep yourself safe and happy.”
“Don’t let people who don’t have your best interests at heart take up space in your life, you only have so much to give. Spend it on people who encourage and support you.” – Different_Text
“Your mother doesn’t want you to help take care of her after her surgery. Your mother wants to try to trap you and force you to drop out of college.”
“Stand your ground and absolutely do not go home. This private chat reveals their true thoughts.” – dontwantthis00000
“NTA Your family is a bunch of a**holes. I’m curious, are you the first of your family to go to college? It almost sounds like they are jealous or resent your decision to go so they’re disparaging you in the only way they can think of.” – Dull-Community
A few also encouraged the OP to support her sister’s endeavors.
“Please OP talk to your sister. Tell her that even after this you don’t regret going to college. Because your parents are gonna try to brainwash your little sister so she won’t go to college like all the women in your family.” – EmilieVitnux
“This. OP, above all else, take this opportunity to be a good role model for the one member of your family who actually seems to give a s**t about you.”
“Make sure that no matter what your family says, your sister knows that going to college was not a mistake for you and that you don’t regret it.”
“Because your family is doing this partially to ensure that your sister doesn’t go against the gender norms they’ve set, so a positive female role model who’s in college would be the best thing for her.” – spla_ar42
Though it’s hard to establish new boundaries with loved ones or to think about cutting your entire family off, sometimes creating some distance is for the best.
Especially when they’re doing something as toxic as placing bets about someone else’s love life, instead of seeing the value in their furthered education.