When we’re old enough and ready to move out of our parents’ house, whether it’s for a new job or college or some other plan, the hope is that we will leave amicably.
But sometimes we leave because we need to take care of ourselves better than how our parents have.
One young man recently came to terms with this on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Wympsem found himself deciding between taking his belongings with him or leaving some behind for his foster siblings to enjoy.
After his parents criticized him, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he made the wrong choice.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not leaving some of my gaming consoles behind when I moved out?”
The OP had a strained relationship with his parents.
“I (18 [male]) moved out of my parents’ house six weeks ago.”
“We had a bad relationship for the last three years and I couldn’t handle living there.”
“So I decided to stay with my best friend’s parents.”
“My relationship with my parents started to suffer when I was 12 and they became foster parents. Life changed pretty hard.”
“They started taking in kids with all kinds of complex needs and it led to them taking a sibling set when I was 13, and I had to give up my bedroom and move into my dad’s old office which was a box, so the boys and girls could have rooms big enough to share.”
The OP didn’t feel comfortable in his own home.
“We then moved to a bigger house so they could foster more kids, but I still ended up in the box room.”
“Then we fought about me having a job and not treating my stepsiblings now that I had money of my own.”
“From there we pretty much fought about everything.”
“They told me I was selfish and ungrateful and I had so much, the least I could do was try to be a good big brother and embrace the fact they wanted to help kids.”
“I just resented ending up in a box room and being expected to spend money on these kids.”
“It felt like being shoved into a tiny a** room should have been enough sacrifice but no.”
“What really p**sed them off was how little I wanted to take part in the day-to-day stuff like therapies, doctors appointments, taking them to and from school, etc.”
“Once my parents moved into the bigger house, money was super tight. They are still struggling with that now.”
The OP eventually moved out.
“When I moved out, I took my video game consoles, the ones I paid for.”
“There’s my PS1 (PlayStation 1), PS2, PS5, Switch, and a GameCube.”
“My parents were p**sed. They asked me to leave some of the stuff there for their foster kids.”
“I said no, that I had bought them and I wanted to keep them.”
“They called me selfish again and said the kids deserve more of those happy things with the hard lives they’ve had.”
“I told them they should buy them for them then, but I am keeping my property.”
“They called me an a**hole and told me they were ashamed of my attitude.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed the OP must have felt terrible living there.
“I’m so sorry. You’re not selfish, your parents are. They put their wants ahead of your valid needs and inverted the parent-child relationship.”
“Plus, they expected you to care for these kids, which is parentification and abuse. Please consider therapy to process the anger you have a right to feel, to grieve your lost childhood, and to heal.”
“I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the parents that you deserve. You didn’t have a choice as a kid, but now that you’re an adult, you never have to be with people who don’t treat you with the respect and kindness you so deserve.” – GirlDwight
“You know how they say, ‘Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm.'”
“Yeah… OP’s parents set their own kid on fire and burnt the relationship to the ground to keep other kids warm.”
“In their eyes, it’s a worthy sacrifice. But d**n, why foster if you can’t even take care of your own bio kid?” – schatzi_sugoi
“NTA. I just find it weird they are railing at you about the kids and not wanting to help them when they couldn’t even be bothered to help their very own son. Or consider your feelings at all.”
“If you have another conversation with them, I might point out that the only selfish people are both of them. They wanted more kids because that is what was in their hearts. But you never were asked how you might feel coming in dead last ever since they started doing that.”
“Or how you would feel never having your feelings considered at all in any way. And then, have to give up your room for them, and being labeled selfish for not wanting to be a part of everything that was causing you misery. And they never cared about that.”
“So now that you are out of there, Now they can get another kid to replace you. That should make them happy.” – Special-Parsnip9057
Others advised the OP to take care of himself.
“For the love of everything, if you have a joint bank account with one (or both) your parents, close that account and move everything to a completely different bank.”
“Lock your credit down, and if you can’t, get access to your original birth certificate, social security card, passport, or whatever equivalent non-USA versions, request copies from the federal government as those are important documents that you’ll likely need for a lot of adult things (insurance, ID, taxes, payroll, etc).”
“Even if you had a good relationship with your parents, it’s important to have those documents on hand when you need them and not have to rely on your parents getting them to you.” – CircusMystery
“It’s similar to what often happens to the older children when divorced parents remarry and have kids. The older children’s emotional needs can become unimportant, as they’re forced into a role of pseudo-parent, martyr, and in some cases philanthropist.”
“Your parents parentified you and ignored your needs, in sacrifice of their dream. The children they foster are their responsibility, but they not only let this responsibility negatively affect their relationship with you, but they also blamed you for it.”
“You have a right to be upset about it. Whatever relationship you have in the future with them – make sure it’s the relationship that you want.”
“It’s telling that you took your game consoles. My guess is you have a strong emotional connection to the games you played. It’s not illogical or selfish that you wanted to take that with you.” – nox66
“You need to take care of yourself right now. Go no contact for a while. When they can talk to you without trying to guilt you or get you to pay for things for their foster kids, you can possibly have a relationship with them. You take care of you.” – Aromatic_Marzipan_23
Though the OP was feeling some guilt after what his parents said to him, the subReddit had his back. Not only were his gaming consoles and other possessions his because he purchased them, but he had every right to keep them for the sake of taking care of himself.