It is important to support each other when coping with mental health issues. For thngdtlike eating disorders it can take a long time to recover. However, sometimes things aren’t always as they seem.
One woman wondered if she had really crossed a line by eating steak in front of her militant vegetarian sister who is suffering from an eating disorder.
Redditor ashlyndover2021 asked the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) community:
“AITA for eating meat in front of my vegetarian sister who has an eating disorder?”
The sisterly Original Poster (OP) explained what happened:
“So it was my (F22) birthday last week and I had just finished uni. My mum wanted to meet up and celebrate these achievements with me so I reluctantly agreed to go for a meal with her and my sister (F19).”
“I try to stay away from home as much as possible, mostly because my sister is obnoxious and my mother enables her behaviour. For context, all three of us have a thyroid condition that makes it harder to keep weight off. My sister and I tackled this issue in very different ways.”
“I busted my arse off at the gym and adopted a healthy balanced diet consisting of fruit, veg, and lean meats and saw fantastic results. Meanwhile, my sister went vegetarian and decided that was enough. No exercise and she still eats a whole lot of junk food.”
“As a result, she has barely lost any weight. I know that this gets to her and that it has led to eating disorders. I do feel sorry for her in that regard, mostly because I have been there myself, but she really doesn’t help herself.”
“When I lived at home, my sister used to shame me for eating meat, telling me my diet was unhealthy, despite the fact that her supposedly healthy alternative consisted largely of chocolate and crisps.”
“In her mind, veggie=healthy and carnivore/omnivore=unhealthy, with no sense of nuance. My eating meat eventually got to her so much that my mum banned me from eating meat in front of her, which I thought was ludicrous and added to my reasons to stay away as much as possible while at uni.”
“When I told my boyfriend (M22) about it, he couldn’t believe it. Anyway, I met my mum and sister at the restaurant but brought my boyfriend for emotional support. Everything seemed pleasant enough at first but then I ordered the steak and my sister became restless.“
“I try to stick to chicken, turkey and fish generally but will treat myself to a burger or a steak on special occasions. I saw my mum trying to calm my sister down. She shot me a dirty look as if to sarcastically thank me for riling her up.”
“When the steak arrived and I cut into it, my sister started gagging as if she was about to throw up. People were staring at us and I began to feel self conscious. My boyfriend could see that I was upset and asked her ‘Is that really necessary?’”
“My mum of course immediately jumped in to defend my sister, telling him it’s not her fault because she has an eating disorder. She then quickly turned on me, calling me ‘selfish’ and blaming me for my sister’s outburst.”
“At this point, I was struggling to hold back tears. My boyfriend didn’t like the way my mum was talking to me and told her as much. My mum and sister then got up and left, leaving my boyfriend and I to foot the bill.”
“The next day, I got a message from my mother calling my boyfriend and I horrible people for taunting and harassing my sister. She said I should have ordered something else and that I’ve made my sister’s social anxiety worse by humiliating her in public. So AITA?“
The OP asked Redditors to weigh in and rule:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors ruled she was NTA and not responsible for her sisters reaction.
“NTA. It sounds like they are the ones who suggested going to dinner and it’s unreasonable of them to expect you to only pick something they decide you are allowed to eat. I don’t know if your sister has been officially diagnosed with an eating disorder but even if she has, she can’t expect other people to cater to it whenever she goes out for a meal.“
“If it is severe enough that she gags at the sight of meat, then she and your mother should have realised that a restaurant probably wasn’t the best option for places to go celebrate your birthday and graduation.”
“You didn’t taunt or humiliate your sister; they were the ones causing a scene and expecting you to cater to her diet choices the way you were forced to when you lived with them.”
“I applaud your boyfriend for standing up for you like that and making it clear that he won’t allow them to verbally abuse you for something that wasn’t your fault.” ashphodel2020
“NTA – intentionally making gagging noises when other people eat meat isn’t an eating disorder, it’s an a**hole disorder.” Alert-Potato
One Redditor was a little skeptical with OP but still agreed.
“Agree NTA altho I’m skeptical that the steak order wasnt a LITTLE bit of justified spite from OP 😛 surely it wasnt just that she happened to be craving her very occasional steak on this particular meal.” RickyNixon
“NTA. Fake-gagging when someone around you eats food you don’t like? That’s something a child would do. Let’s put this in perspective.”
“Did she gag at anyone else in the restaurant eating meat? How about in the dining hall at her college? She may well just be trying to piss you off. If not, she needs therapy for this eating disorder.” DisillusionedDick217
“First of all Happy Birthday and congrats on your graduation! NTA. Your sister sounds like an obnoxious nightmare (if I was to wager a guess even if you had ordered a salad she probably would have managed to find an issue with it).”
“It is exactly the reason why so many people dislike other people who follow plant based lifestyles and your mother is ridiculous for coddling her. It was literally YOUR birthday and YOUR achievement and she made the meal all about her.”
“Side note: your BF sounds like a keeper.” TheRestForTheWicked
Being mindful of a legitimate issue for someone is one thing but being treated poorly because of what she chose to eat wasn’t the celebration OP had in mind.