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Teen Upsets Her Foster Sister By Not Leaving Any Of Her Things When She Moves To College

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Moving out can be very difficult, though not always for the person doing the moving.

It may be overwhelmingly worse for the person watching someone leave, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor livingsituationTA was surprised when she received a much more emotional goodbye from her family as she left, though not for any reason she may have expected.

After the negative response, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she made a mistake.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for taking my things out of my room because I’m moving and making my foster sister cry?” 

The OP developed a relationship with her possessions.

“So I (18 [female]) am moving out. I’ve been sharing a room with my foster sister (Jess – 16) for 3 months.”

Throughout my life, I have had many foster siblings and have been forced to give my things up for them, which I think is where my possessiveness of my belongings comes from.

“I told my mum I was going to pack my stuff beforehand and she said sure, but that her and Jess would be out while I do so.”

The OP packed what made sense to her for her new life. 

“I didn’t take all the furniture, but I took things like my keyboard, my plants, my books, posters/art, all my clothes, etc. I also took the butcher’s block that I had.”

“By the time everything was packed, my side looked a lot more bare, but it wasn’t too bad.”

“I also took the cats (which was always the plan between my mum and me).”

But her decisions were not well-received.

“Well, when the pair get home, Jess looks at the boxes and runs upstairs before sobbing.”

“My mum runs up too and starts ragging on me.”

“Apparently, she didn’t think I’d take ‘all my stuff’ (things like my trinkets and my lamp) and that I took some of Jess’ favorite things (like the posters on my wall that I bought with my own money, or my graduation candle holders).”

“I apologize to Jess but say that everything in the boxes is mine, through gifts or my own money.”

“I even offered to buy her some duplicates or similar things, but she said she wants my ones.”

The OP’s mother wasn’t done criticizing.

“At this point, I leave because I realize my presence isn’t making anything better.”

“My mum texts me later and said it was a d**k move not leaving some posters up or a few books, but in my mind, these are my things, and I am entitled to them.”

“My relationship with my mum isn’t over, but it’s strained, and now I’m wondering if I should have just bit the bullet and left some things behind, even though they’re mine.”


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 affirmed the OP had every right to keep her things.

“NTA. It’s your stuff. You have every right to take it.”iliedim-dyinginside

“NTA. Your mom is, though. Forcing you to give your stuff foster siblings to the point they think it’s theirs. Then get mad at OP for leaving with their stuff.”Mera1506

“NTA. While sharing is important, being forced to share is basically theft. It’s not your fault your foster sister likes your things. You like them too. So yes, take all of your stuff and get out of there.”Zombie-Giraffe

“The thing is, it’s not even forced sharing. her mom is just straight up expecting her to give her things to foster sister.”l3gion-1183

“NTA. They were your things. You had no reason to anticipate Jess’s reaction nor duty to remedy it.”

“My guess is she’s more sad about you leaving than your posters, and the boxes and barren room really drove that home.”

“Maybe as a 16-year-old foster child, she has abandonment issues? Her refusal to accept the replacement posters would certainly support this theory. So I don’t know if I can call Jess TA.”

“Your mom, however, is definitely TA for blaming you for Jess’s reaction and–once again–demanding that you sacrifice your own things for your foster siblings.”JeepersCreepers74

Others were concerned about the OP’s mother’s behavior.

“The OP was even generous enough to offer to buy Jess some stuff of her own. I get that as a foster child Jess might have abandonment issues but that doesn’t mean that OP has to give up her things.”

“The real a**hole here is OP’s mom for berating OP. That’s only enabling Jess and making her feel more entitled to OP’s belongings. OP’s mom is failing both girls here. She could have used this as a bonding moment with Jess to take her out and buy Jess her own books and posters that Jess could keep forever.”PaddyCow

“NTA Mom even could have given OP the money to take foster sis to a vinyl shop or videogame store for posters, and take her out for ice cream or something after. As a sort of, “we won’t see each other nearly as much now, so let’s have our own sort of going away/moving out party”, but that would depend on how close of a relationship they have.”Kaydotz

“NAH, with a TA to OPs mom.”

“Would it have been a nice gesture for OP to offer to leave some of the stuff that she doesn’t care about as much, to a young girl who’s possibly dealing with some serious emotional issues from being in the foster care system? Definitely.”

“Does it make OP an AH to want to keep her stuff? Not even a little.”HearingConscious2505

“Having the right doesn’t prevent you from being an AH. But clearly the mom was the one AH of the three of them.”

“She expected something unreasonable and unstated, and thus didn’t prepare herself or her foster daughter for what usually happens when a person moves out: They take their belongings. I can see why it might upset the foster daughter, but that’s on mom, not OP.”mbbaer

It sounds like there is more to emotionally unpack in that home than the OP may have expected. But the subReddit was able to agree that, while the situation was complicated, the OP still had every right to her possessions.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.