in , ,

Teen Upsets Parents By Letting Uncle Help Pay For Tampons After She Gets Her Period In His Car

DoraZett/Getty Images

People who experience menstruation already have a difficult time accessing low cost hygiene  products. This isn’t typically a responsibility shifted onto young people by their parents.

One Redditor however got into trouble with her parents after her uncle bought her some tampons.

The now deleted Redditor turned to the “Am I the A**hole” subReddit for perspective on her parental conflict.

She asked:

AITA for not paying my uncle back?”

The OP (Original Poster) explained her dilemma:

My parents and I (female, 14) are visiting my uncle and cousins (14, male and 11, female). My parents told me that whatever I forget to bring, I have to pay for myself.“

My period started 2 weeks early on the first day here and my parents said they were too tired to take me to buy pads and tampons. I asked my uncle to drive me to Target and told him I forgot a couple things.”

“He said OK and drove me.”

“I bled onto the seat in my uncle’s car and my uncle figured out why we were there pretty quick. He bought me pads, tampons, chocolate, chips, a heat pad and took me to Starbucks.”

“I tried to pay but he wouldn’t let me.”

When we got back to his house and my parents saw that I had a lot of stuff they asked me how I was able to pay for it all (I lost my job in January and haven’t found a new one since). I told them my uncle paid and they started yelling at me about how I went behind their backs and broke their rule.”

My uncle told me to go to my room (I’m gonna live here during the school year because there’s this really good private school by his house and he’s offering to pay my tuition so I have my own room here) and that he’ll handle my parents. He says that I didn’t do anything wrong but my parents are still really mad at me so I wanted to know if I was the a**hole.”

The young OP made some comments that showed her family dynamic more clearly.

When I was 11 I watched my neighbor’s daughter while my neighbor did stuff around the house and occasionally went to the grocery store.”

“My parents are okay financially, they just don’t want to pay for me. They don’t give me extra money.”

“I’ve been paying since before that but it was usually birthday/Christmas money.”

“I have to pay for most of my stuff (clothes, electronics, school supplies, makeup, skincare stuff, etc…). I’ve been working since I was 11 but it’s usually babysitting and dog walking so I don’t know if it’s illegal.”

Redditors weighed in using one of four judgments:

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

Redditors were united in their responses to OP and their feelings about her parents.

“You are 100% NTA. Your uncle realized what was happening and did the right and decent thing. You are a child after all.”

“Your parents acted horribly and arguably borderline abusively by refusing to take you for necessary supplies. I’m very sorry your parents are terrible but glad your uncle is decent and you’ll be with him and your cousins during this next school year.”~RoboClaus

NTA. I don’t even know where to start. First, your uncle sounds like a great guy, keep him close. Next, your parents are a**holes for multiple reasons;”

“1. long drives suck, but if my daughter needed tampons or pads, we’d be heading to the store without question.”

“2. How could your parents treat hygiene products as if they’re a luxury… as a kid you shouldn’t have to pay for any of that unless it’s an emergency and your parents aren’t around.”

“3. They said you went behind their back? What kind of manipulative assholes are they that asking to get tampons is betrayal?”~TheGodMathias

Massive NTA, OP: Bodies tend to do funky stuff all the time. Getting your period at an odd time can be a reaction to stress fluctuations etc… Especially considering your age.”

It’s important that you do not feel crap or like a burden about the crappy situation your body puts you in. So I think your uncle really is doing the right thing here.”

Paying him back would be using your finances to shame you for something you can’t control.”

“Also sure maybe crisps were not essential, but did they make you feel better?”

“Also at the age of 14 having a job shouldn’t be about maintaining yourself.”

“It should be something you do on the side, and the money you make should go into a piggy bank and be used for ‘fun’ things, such as: going to the movies, getting makeup or a game, maybe going to a swim park etc...”~JNBirdy

At 14 we still take so much of our life experiences and expectations from the adults around us. The uncle is doing an amazing job at showing OP that periods are nothing to be ashamed of and being a supportive adult who will no doubt be a major influence on her future.”

“NTA OP, and hold on to your uncle, he’s a superstar.”~Lady_AutumnShade

By paying your tuition to allow you to live with him, I suspect your parents must be grossly neglecting you for your uncle to volunteer to board you at his home.

Be grateful and if ever he offers a more permanent option to stay with him, take your Uncle up on it and don’t even think twice about going back to your ‘parents’…(more like DNA donors to me tbh) NTA.”~colflame

“NTA. I’m blown away that parents would refuse to take a 14 year old to get period products. At that age you are still getting used to it.”

“Plus those things are a necessity. It’s not something like a tooth brush where, while still a necessity for proper hygiene, you can handle waiting until morning to go buy a new one with little consequence.”

“Not having period products can result in a bed that looks like a gruesome murder scene, not being able to go out to do a lot of things, and a ton of embarassment.”~ Eviltechnomonkey

Several Redditors related to the OP’s situation. 

“Oh honey… I need you to listen to me here, hun, you’re not the a**hole. I know it seems like it to you.”

“If I had to guess, you’re likely feeling like a burden for even needing something, and not buying it yourself. That is not your fault. You are a child.”

“This isn’t normal. This isn’t okay. What you are facing isn’t okay. Please don’t excuse it with ‘well I didn’t really need this’ or ‘its not always like this’.”

“This is abuse, plain and simple. it might not be physical, but it’s emotional abuse and neglect.”

“You are a child, a young girl barely in your teen years. You’ve been working since you were eleven. You speak about ‘losing your job’ as if you were twenty.”

“You’ve been forced to grow up way too young because your parents decided that they just… don’t want to care for you. This isn’t your fault. You’ve done nothing wrong.”

“You’re not a burden for existing and needing care. You’re supposed to need care. You’re supposed to need support. You are a CHILD.

“It is the nature of children to need support from their parents, but you, like many of us, didn’t and don’t receive that.”

“Your uncle has clearly recognized that. Your uncle is doing what any grown adult, especially one with his own children, should be doing. He’s taking care of you.”

“I know it’s hard, but please try not to feel guilty for being given things. You do deserve them, even if that voice in your head that sounds like your parents is telling you that you don’t. You are worthy of love. I promise you.” ~ moonlightmoose

Menstrual hygiene products are not a luxury item and should not be treated as such.

We wish OP the best in her situation.

Although if she’s living with her uncle it sounds like her situation has already improved drastically.

Written by Heidi Dockery

Heidi Dockery is a Maine artist & nature enthusiast with an affinity for libraries. She studies Criminal Justice with a special focus on psychology & sociology at the University of Maine. When not studying, painting, or re-reading the works of Terry Pratchett, she volunteers & enjoys various activities most would label nerdy.