There are moments in our lives where joy is to be expected.
Marriage, Birthdays, Vacations.
All of these are meant to be joyful, exciting times for everyone involved.
What happens, though, when the happiness you are meant to feel is replaced by sadness?
This was the problem facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) frfobfr35t when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for advice.
“AITA for crying (of sadness) when my sister announced her pregnancy?”
She began with the players and background.
“I (17 Female) have an older sister ‘Beth’ (23F).”
“2 years ago Beth gave birth to a baby boy ‘Leo’.”
“She suffered intense postpartum depression, to the extent where her boyfriend (Leo’s father) kicked her out (with the baby for some reason) and she came to live with us.”
“I can’t go into details, but her depression was severe.”
“It made life a living hell for me … to come home from school and deal with my extremely depressed sister and a newborn baby.”
“At the time Beth literally couldn’t stand to even look at Leo and my parents were busy with work, so I was put in the difficult position of doing most of the care for baby Leo, even though I literally had zero experience with babies and my depressed sister wouldn’t lift a finger to help.”
“I would describe that year as the worst of my life.”
“I feel like my sister’s post-partum depression was rubbing off on me because I felt sad every day.”
Things did turn around, eventually.
“Beth was in therapy during that year and she did eventually get better and gradually started wanting to be more involved with Leo.”
“Her boyfriend eventually took her and Leo back (I wasn’t happy about this but it’s her decision) and she started actually being a good mom to Leo.”
“I was relieved honestly and so were my parents.”
“It was like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and every day I came home from school I could come home to a happy environment instead of a sad, toxic one.”
“So flash forward to last weekend … Beth, her boyfriend (now fiance), and baby Leo came over for dinner.”
“My grandparents were also there.”
“After we’d finished dinner we were having dessert and out of the blue Beth and her boyfriend made an announcement she was pregnant with a second child.”
“I did try to put on a brave face and not show my emotions but I was teary-eyed and my grandmother noticed.”
“She leaned in and asked me what’s the matter and unfortunately the floodgates just opened uncontrollably.”
“It seemed everyone was caught off guard but they all immediately knew what I was crying about.”
“I could hear Beth’s boyfriend mutter something and then storm off out of the room but I didn’t catch what he said.”
“Beth started snapping at me and it’s a bit of a blur but I think she asked ‘why the hell are you crying?’ and I said something like ‘how do you know you won’t get depressed again and I’ll be put in the same position??’. “
“She was really angry and my parents had to diffuse the situation and send them home.”
“Now in the aftermath, I’m getting a lot of criticism from my parents.”
“They think I overreacted and made a happy moment into a sad moment.”
“They believe Beth is right to be pissed.”
“They wish I could’ve been more supportive and happy for my sister instead of making it about me and my feelings.”
“They also think I’m an a**hole for questioning her choice to have another child just because she had postpartum depression after the first child.”
“I’m not an expert so I don’t know, but it’s a big fear of mine that the same thing will happen again, and ill be stuck in the same position.”
She was left to wonder…
Having explained the situation, OP sought the judgment of Redditt.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses were understanding.
“NTA – you were 15 years old and taking care of a mentally ill woman and a newborn. Yes I can see why you might be upset.“~laughingsbetter
Others were furious at the family.
“I am almost 16, and I could not imagine what that would be like, it makes my blood boil. Everyone in that family should piss off, Jesus. Especially the idiot fiancée” ~xcosmiclily
“You are a kid who was forced to raise your nephew because apparently, every single adult around you was failing to do their job.”
“It is horrific that your parents let all that weight fall on you, and all of the parties involved should have anticipated what this news might mean to you.”~TipTopC
Responses were also concerned for OP’s mental health.
“Not just upset.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that reaction was PTSD-related.”
“I can’t even imagine being put in the position of looking after a newborn, which is NOT easy at the best of times and dealing with a woman with severe PPD at the age of 15.”
“Especially with no help or support from your parents.”
“OP: Outside of what everyone else in your life is saying about this, I do feel like you need to try seek therapy to process what you went through the last time around and how to deal with the trauma that you obviously went through.”
“The fact that everyone is framing this as you ‘making this all about yourself’ as opposed to ‘d*mn, she clearly went through something major the last time this happened’ is telling, and I think that you need to have a sit-down with your parents about this.”
“And if they refuse to listen, you need to make plans for yourself to remove yourself from the situation when the baby comes.”
“(Also NTA X 10)”~Felis_Dee
The boyfriend was also judged.
“Actually shouldn’t the blame first go to the boyfriend? He threw out his severely depressed partner and his own child, where the hell was he when OP was being forced to look after the kid??”~ximina3
Sadness and fear are normal, natural reactions to traumatic events.
We need to remember that not everyone shares our experiences and while birthdays and vacations can be joyous times, our history deeply influences our reality.
Be patient with those around you that might not find joy in your special event, but more so, be patient with yourself for not finding the joy in someone else’s.