We’ve all had that one wonderful friendship that tragically fell apart.
For many of these friendships, they end because of a move, a major life event, or even a difference in opinion.
A young woman realized an accident wasn’t enough to ruin one of her oldest friendships, but her friend lying to her and about her certainly was.
After reacting to her friend’s lies, Redditor throwawayonionrings2 wrote into the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, wondering if she went too far.
The Original Poster (OP) asked the sub:
“AITA for abandoning my wheelchair-bound best friend in a mall parking lot?”
They were childhood best friends, but the OP learned there’s a breaking point for every friendship.
“I’ve been friends with (let’s just call her A) A for about 11 years. 3 years ago she was involved in a car accident which left her wheelchair-bound.”
“I’m 16 now, and I’ve been her best friend since I was 5. Her crash was a rough time for me personally as well, of course not as rough as hers, since my friend was in a car crash, and I just lost my dog.”
“But I put her in front of losing my dog, even though 13-year-old me was wrecked, and tried my best to be her ‘rock’ while she was in tough times.”
After the accident, the dynamics of their friendship significantly shifted.
“After she got better, we hung out and was the same as before. Just that as time went on, I felt like the power balance wasn’t equal anymore.”
“I was always taking care of her, and everything had to go her way.”
“To an extent, I was okay with this since I couldn’t fathom going through what she was going through, so I kept my mouth shut and was there for her. Every phone call, every text, every ‘can you do this for me’ I did it.”
The friendship also developed new emotionally-based problems.
“But at one point, I found that I held some resentment towards her, and this grew as everyone around me just expected me to take care of her.”
“I couldn’t do certain things because it reminded her of when she could walk, and I couldn’t hang out with other people cause she felt like she was ‘losing me’. I had to get up whenever she wanted to get something, pick up whatever food she ordered, tie her shoelaces, carry her bags around, walk her dog, take her things to class, and so on.”
“Whenever I complained or tried to vent, I was always hit with the ‘but imagine what she’s going through, poor thing.’ And so, the resentment grew and grew.”
Their friendship came to a full-stop when the OP’s friend lied to her face.
“This blew up yesterday. Yesterday, we were at the mall picking things out (even though because of my asthma I really didn’t want to go out) and she got caught with some unpaid clothes in her bag.”
“She just blamed me, in front of everyone in the store, and only when the security camera showed her putting something in her bag, she admitted to lying.”
“I was furious, and after I called a car for her, told her to ‘stay away from me and find someone else to take care of your lazy a** since I’m not your f’king mom’ and left her in the (surprisingly well lit) parking lot.”
“Her mother (who was absent through a lot of this time due to god knows what) phoned my mother, saying I ‘broke her daughter’s heart and abandoned her in a parking lot’ and everyone, except for my dad, is telling me that I ‘crossed a line and put her in danger’, and to put myself ‘in her shoes’.”
“Everyone is telling me that I’m not a true friend and that I’m selfish. It’s kind of getting in my head, and [I don’t know] if I’m as right as I thought I was…”
“Sorry about how long this is, this was about 2 and a half years worth of venting, but AITA?”
Fellow Redditors replied, rating the OP’s situation on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some affirmed for the OP her friend was not a real friend at all.
“Apart from the (justifiable) resentment, she committed a crime and tried to blame it on you. That has nothing to do with her being disabled and everything to do with her having no morals and no regard for you.”
“And the ‘you can’t do this because I can’t’ and ‘you can’t have other friends because me, me, me!’ is so selfish and manipulative.”
“This person is not a friend.” – pint-sized-monster
“This! 100x this!”
“Not only did SHE cross a border when she decided to steal, she also tried to blame YOU and could have gotten you in a s**tload of trouble with her s**tty accusations.”
“Being disabled isn’t an excuse for being a thief, nor for being a terrible person towards somebody who always had your back.”
“Truth is, you didn’t break her heart. She broke yours and you had enough. Rightfully so.”
“Definitely NTA” – KingFisherDutch
“The friend and her mom sound narcissistic honestly. They ignore the big elephant in the room (OP’s friend being a thief and an entitled ungrateful person) and just focus on OP reaching her breaking point, as if the friend didn’t put any stress on OP and did nothing wrong and OP is just crazy and overreacting.”
“That is some typical manipulation psychopaths and sociopaths do. They do you wrong then manipulate you and everyone else into believing you are the one who is a bad person.”
“They acted as if it was OP’s job to take care of her. A normal person would have been grateful for OP’s services instead of acting like they were entitled. It’s no surprise the friend id acting so entitled when her mom is the same.” – emab2396
These Redditors couldn’t believe the trouble the OP’s friend was willing to get her into.
“She could have ruined OP’s life permanently. What if the store had prosecuted OP? That could have affected their ability to get into college and get a decent job later in life. OP’s life could’ve been destroyed. You, OP, are NTA.” – Zealousideal-Slide98
“NTA – You both sound like you could benefit from some therapy. She probably feels like she has no control in her own life so she is trying to control you. You are unable to maintain a healthy relationship due to age and inexperience.”
“But the reason for the judgment is framing someone for a crime that could lead to serious long-term repercussions is very much a conscious decision that catapults it straight into asshole territory.”
“And as for the people saying what you did was dangerous; she’s in a wheelchair, not completely incapacitated. Removing any and all responsibility for herself because of her condition is part of the problem. She needs to learn to rely on herself more.”
“If I were your parent I would be livid with her and her parents for glossing over the fact she tried to give you a criminal record.” – TomokataTomokato
Another specified that she may have reacted in a big way, but the OP was more than justified.
“This happens all too often when one person does something crappy over and over again, and the other person kind of explodes, [and] all anyone can focus on is the exploding part of it.”
“I think you need to sit your parents down, or anyone whose opinion you care about in this situation, and explain that you’re a kid. That you empathize with all she’s been though, but you’re done with being a caretaker.”
“I would also ask your parents how they would feel if there hadn’t been video proof of what happened. Would they have just paid for a lawyer and anything else that might have come from being accused of shoplifting?”
“What if your friend accused THEM of something, like abusing her, would they still go out of their way to help her? They probably just delt with your friend’s mom freaking out and are focused on that, so I would refocus them on what could have happened to YOU.”
“Also, I highly recommend blocking this friend on everything. If a lot of people are upset with you, you can make a general post along the lines of, ‘Imagine having your best friend in the world commit a crime and then blame it on you. Some friendships have a breaking point. This was it.'”
“A lot more people can understand this rather than being frustrated by taking care of her, which will get those, ‘imagine what she went through’ responses, so don’t even go there.” – crystallz2000
After receiving an overwhelming number of responses, the OP shared a few updates.
“I did not expect this much attention, so this was very unexpected. Thank you guys for being so nice to me, and for giving me advice, I really appreciate it.”
The OP apologized for the ableist language in her original post.
“Sorry about the term ‘wheelchair-bound’ I didn’t know that was offensive, and I never really talked to her about her wheelchair (sensitive topic for her and I didn’t want to push) so I never really learned the correct terminology. I can’t change the title, but I’m sorry!”
Then she clarified why the loss of her dog was so important.
“Dog thing: Yeah, my resentment kind of started with my dog being forgotten. While it is nothing to what she went through, I really liked the dog and I had to bury him myself, which started my unjustified and immature resentment. (I was mad no one even talked about the dog, totally petty but honestly, that started it).”
“I never really resolved my resentment, which is my bad, because, in the place I live, it’s horrible for people with disabilities. As I accompanied her in her life, it gave me some insight on how hard life was for people who couldn’t walk, and so my resentment would be suppressed with this feeling of gratefulness for my ableness.”
The OP also described where she left her friend at the mall.
“I left her in the exit of the parking lot, and there were glass doors to the outside. She had her phone which she could use to call her mother (don’t know if she did tho) and there was security in ‘yelling reach’.”
“She could move around, still, it wasn’t great leaving her like that, it wasn’t cool and I could have hurt her. (Also for those wondering, the car was the car we took to get to the mall, so we knew the driver and it fit her wheelchair)”
Finally, the OP shared what she had done since her initial post.
The OP explained to everyone involved what actually happened.
“I told my parents the full story, my mother was fuming when she called A’s parents, and they said they would talk to her.”
“I also called everyone who was ‘against’ me so I could tell them the full story without having to be mean and unnecessarily public. Most of them quickly gave me the NTA.”
“I called her too and told her leaving her in the parking lot was wrong, but I wouldn’t apologise for it as I could not forgive her for what she did. I told her to take care of herself from now on, and that I wouldn’t be her friend anymore.”
The OP’s father helped her through her resentment and grieving process.
“My dad got me a new dog, and my parents hosted a real burial for my last dog, (just us three because of the pandemic) but it helped me a lot. My dad told me he was proud of me for doing what I did and told me about boundaries and how important they were.”
All things considered, the OP is sort of relieved this happened.
“In all honesty, I’m sort of glad this happened so I wouldn’t have been with her longer. I learned a lot about boundaries, toxic friendships and how to talk about my emotions.”
“Thank you guys for being so supportive, I really didn’t expect this much people reading this, but thank you. I’m not friends with her anymore, and but I’ve got my dog, so it’s fine.”
Though the last three years must have been hard, it seems the OP has learned a great deal about setting boundaries and how to effectively work through her emotions. There’s inevitably more healing to do after all of this, but she seems to be well on her way.