Home is supposed to be a safe place.
A place where you are allowed to be whatever version of yourself you are most comfortable in.
This doesn’t just apply to the owner of the house, of course, this is for everyone who calls those four walls home.
What happens, though, when a frequent visitor to that safe space makes you feel unsafe within it?
This was the issue for Redditor and Original Poster(OP) Unlucky-Owl-8087 when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for encouragement.
“AITA for kicking out my brother even though he saved my life?”
OP began with the background.
“I was in a terrible marriage, I got married to a 21-year-old right out of high school.”
“I didn’t know how I was going to get out.”
“I had no money, no career, and two young children to care for.”
“My brother took me in.”
“He paid for college and his wife looked after my children when I worked my first job.”
“I owe a lot to them.”
“I have build a life for myself and without their sacrifice, I would have been adrift in life or worse.”
OP’s daughter embraced her truth.
“My elder daughter is trans.”
“She came out 6 months ago.”
“It has been a hard adjustment for all of us but she is thriving.”
Happiness seemed attainable…
“Her grades are better, she is a happy teenager right now.”
“My brother doesn’t approve.”
“He has been berating me for letting my child indulge in delusions.”
“He gets upset when he sees her dressed in feminine clothes.”
“She doesn’t come out of her room when he visits.”
“He isn’t outright cruel but it is obvious that he doesn’t approve of her and it is hurting her, she used to look up to him.”
“I have tried to talk to him about it but he doesn’t listen to me, he has always been stubborn to a fault.”
OP issued an ultimatum.
“I told him not to come to my house if he isn’t going to treat her respectfully.”
“He got upset and he is not talking to me.”
“My mother is furious with me.”
“She thinks I am being ungrateful.”
“He has done a lot for me.”
“She thinks I should have been firm but I shouldn’t have kicked him out of my house.”
“I feel like I am in a terrible position.”
“I feel incredibly ungrateful for kicking out my brother who saved us, it would have taken me years more to get out of the marriage.”
“I know I am doing the right thing but it feels all wrong and horrid to kick my brother out when he has done so much for us.”
Having explained the situation, OP asked for guidance.
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 suggested excellent scripting for the next conversation.
“Here’s what you say, ‘Brother, I am SO grateful to you and wife, I literally believe that all those years ago you saved my life’.”
” ‘But here’s the thing’.”
“‘Trans kids are the highest risk for self-harm and suicide, and statistics show that having accepting parents and close family like you—if just you and me accept her for who she is and no one else—risk of suicide goes down almost 90%’.”
“‘You took action to save my life, but now I need to do what is needed to save my child’s life’.”
“‘I’m grateful to you, but I can’t allow you to cause harm to my daughter no matter how grateful I am’.”
“‘I’d love to have you onboard for loving and embracing her and I’m happy to hook you up to resources if you feel like you don’t understand, but I won’t allow you to keep risking my child’s life or well being over this’.”
“If you have to you tell your mom that in a choice between your bother’s feelings and your child’s life you will ALWAYS pick your child’s life.”
“And include a link to the stats for mental health and self-harm for trans people for both of them when you talk to them.”
“Thank you for being willing to go to bat for your daughter.”
“Thank you for being an accepting and supportive parent.”
“Signed, An NB Trans Sibling” ~ LimitlessMegan
“Tagging on to this for the real emotional nuke button option.”
“‘I am more grateful to you for saving me from where I was then than I can ever say, and the only way I can express this is by paying it forward, protecting someone else in our family who needs it now’.”
“‘I’m just so disappointed that it’s you they need protecting from’.”
“I also want to say that my heart is warmed by seeing so many accepting comments here.”~Cooky1993
Others offered encouragement.
“OP please don’t back down for your daughter’s sake.”
“Unfortunately, there will probably be enough people in the world who won’t take her seriously or even bully her.”
“She should at least feel safe in her own home.” ~ Tanooki07
People pointed out that he made his choice.
“NTA. As I read it, you didn’t even kick him out. You gave him the choice of leaving, or respecting your daughter.”
“He chose wrong.”~BloodWynne65
There were reminders their brother’s past kindness doesn’t change current cruelty.
“Helping you out earlier in life does not give your brother a lifetime pass of a**holishness.”
“Good for you for standing up for your daughter.”
“Don’t give an inch unless he is willing to change his ways.”
“This is the hill to die on.”~faenmeg
“This is a horrible situation OP.”
“For starters, definitely NTA.”
“Good actions don’t mean we should ignore bad actions.”
“And your brother being stubbornly rude about your daughter is a horrible action.”
“I think you need to sit your brother down (away from your own home – neutral place) and tell him exactly this.”
“That you owe him so much and love him dearly, but you need to look after your daughters’ wellbeing and as yet his actions have been negative to that.”
“That he has a clear choice – be kind and polite, or not be invited over anymore (but that you will regret that bitterly).”~tiaallyce23
Home is supposed to be a safe place.
That safety needs to be protected.
Sometimes, even from family.