Redditor aita33EH567 is a 25-year-old male who suffered a major loss and sought professional help to cope with his grief.
During a holiday gathering with his family and relatives, he made a shocking discovering during a conversation about the tragedy in the family.
He was infuriated and responded in a way that made him feel guilty afterward.
So he sought the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit, where he asked:
“AITA For kicking my brother-in-law out and reporting my therapist?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“Let me explain. Even though I don’t like to talk about it. I (male) 25 was involved in an auto accident (I was the one driving) and lost my dad who was with me at the time.”
“I had untreated PTSD for nearly a year. I couldn’t speak about it to anyone. My sister got me in therapy 2 months ago because she said that I needed it.”
“This is our first holidays without dad and I wasn’t intending on doing anything this year but the family decided to come and spend time with me. My aunt, my cousin and her kids, my sister and my brother-in-law, and my mom.”
“My brother-in-law started bringing up the accident in detail exactly the way I’d describe it like he heard it from me and the number of sessions I’ve attended so far.”
“Brought up the name of my therapist and asked if he’s the one I’ve been seeing. Then he started asking me how I’m doing/if my therapy sessions are benefiting me or not/and telling the exact time I got into therapy.”
“And then casually said that I shouldn’t tell people that I feel responsibility for what happened implying that I told my therapist that.”
“I was taken aback I asked how he knew all that. My sister said she didn’t tell him and I didn’t tell anyone.”
“My brother-in-law looked confused when he noticed how upset I was and said that it was a ‘coincidence’ the therapist happens to be one of his friend’s brother.”
“He’s known my therapist for 5 years and that’s how he knew since his friend said my name sounded familiar. I was shocked.”
“Everyone was looking at me and my aunt started talking about me ‘telling everyone’ about the accident.”
“I was so infuriated I found myself lashing out at my brother-in-law and he started talking about how I need to deal my anger issues disregarding that he told the entire family about my sessions.”
“After arguing with him and listening to him blaming me for how I reacted. I ended up telling him to leave. My sister sided with him then they both left.”
“My aunt defended him and said that I shouldn’t have yelled at him and hurt my sister’s feelings. That he was just worried about me.”
“I was so mad especially when they all started guilt tripping me and berating me for what I did.”
“I sent my therapist an e-mail telling him what happened after I couldn’t get a hold of him and mentioned that I will be reporting him and file a complaint against him for disclosing information without my consent.”
“So far I haven’t heard from him and what bothers me is that I’m not close with those people and hearing them gossip about me like that is not okay.”
“My brother-in-law has always been like this but it never occured to me that he’d do this. The family said I ruined dinner for them and that I overreacted and was lashing out at everyone for no reason. I feel terrible.”
“They said they gathered to comfort me and I caused a scene.”
Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:
NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
NAH – No A**holes Here
“NTA – I’m sorry this happened to you. You’re not the a** at all.”
“Your therapist violated your confidentiality and that’s a very serious thing. Report them and let them suffer the consequences. Focus on your betterment and it doesn’t matter what others say. You didn’t ruin Christmas.”
“I really hope you’re able to find peace someday.” – dusktildawn9
The OP responded to the above comment.
“I know my brother in law he’s always disrespecting my boundaries and to even think about him talking to people about personal stuff like that is incredibly infuriating.”
“And they tell me that I need to control my anger. They’re blaming me for how I reacted and they still have no idea that I’m now having an issue with my therapist.”
Redditor dusktildawn9 continued to support the OP and offered suggestions on how to move forward.
“I also have family like that so I keep minimal contact with them personally.”
“I believe your anger is justified. I don’t believe that emotions should be bottled up and suppressed. Feel what you need to feel.”
“What your therapist did was illegal and you probably signed contracts at the beginning on the sessions about confidentially. Contact the boss if there is one, and the licensing place where the therapist is located.”
“If they did this w you – there’s chances they did this with other clients as well. Notify your doctor and ask them to refer you to someone else after explaining the situation.”
Others siding with the OP offered their two cents.
“You could write your aunt and sister an email outlining why toy reacted so negatively. They might not understand the utter breach of trust that slammed into you today. Writing us good because if you get too upset, you can take a break and come back to it.”
“Regarding your therapist, nail his a** to the WALL. His employer, his licensing board (check for both professional and state licenses), online reviews, etc. Use bullet points and detail everything your BIL knew, when he was told, etc. Be precise and factual with these. If you want any help, LMK!” – captain_paws_tattoo
“INFO: is your BIL involved in computers / networking in some way that he is able to read the therapist’s notes? It sounds really odd that one of the things he knows (talks about with?) is the exact time that you checked in to therapy.”
“That little nugget makes it sound like he’s reading notes, because I can’t see any way that the therapist would say, yeah he checked in at 4:58 pm. (I am a social worker so I know a bit about these things).”
“You absolutely should report the therapist; that person should know better by now. If you’re in the United States you’re required to get HIPAA training every year or two.” – floridianreader
“So sorry your family is blaming you, the victim, and telling you your very-much-justified reaction is unjustified. How would your family feel if you chummed up to their doctors and tried to get at their health information?” – INFP4life
“NTA. Your therapist definitely should be reported and hopefully lose their license. Therapists should never be sharing their clients’ names, much less going into detail about what the clients are sharing with them.”
“The people who ‘ruined’ dinner are the people who ‘decided to spend time with you’ and then did not stop your BIL from deciding to share what is going on with your therapy to the rest of your family.”
“You rightfully wished that your privacy be valued, but he couldn’t be bothered to show you that respect.”
“The person who ‘ruined’ dinner was your BIL, and everyone who sided with him.” – Thriftyverse
The OP replied to Redditor Thriftyverse.
“You’re right. Part of me believes he did it on purpose.”
“This isn’t the first time he gets involved in personal matters and I’m not sure if he shared with other friends and how long they’ve been gossiping about what I’ve experienced.”
“I believe (like you) that he did it on purpose as well.”
“But please remember; The person most to blame in this situation is your therapist. If I am understanding the timeline correctly, your sister found you a therapist (who just happened to be related to your BIL’s friend).”
“Then the therapist mentioned your name to your BIL’s friend, and this led to the therapist sharing a bunch of information about you with BIL and BIL sharing it with the rest of the people at dinner.”
“Understand that there is a very, very narrow set of circumstances where a therapist can ethically share the fact that you are their client, not even mentioning anything about your therapy, and someone being related to you isn’t one of them – unless you yourself have given written permission for that specific relative to be apprised.”
“You didn’t do that.”
“If the therapist had not been disclosing, there would not have been a problem.”
Overall, Redditors believed the OP was NTA and that his anger was warranted.
And while many people believed the brother-in-law was out of line and was considered the real culprit for “ruining dinner,” the therapist was viewed as the bigger A**hole for violating the OP’s trust.