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Woman Upset After She’s Called ‘Ableist’ For Uninviting Narcoleptic Boyfriend From Group Vacation

Nicola Ranieri / EyeEm/GettyImages

Redditor RobynLuxB is a 25-year-old female who had been planning a trip to go to Spain with a group of people that included her 24-year-old boyfriend and her mother, who is a travel agent.

But when a friend dropped out of the travel plans, the Redditor made a decision she thought would be in the best interest of the remaining members of the vacation group.

The decision involved making the unilateral decision to disinvite someone closest to her.

After facing backlash from her sister for the decision, she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA)

“AITA for ‘uninviting’ my BF from our group vacation because of his narcolepsy?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Me (25F) and my boyfriend (24M), ‘Charlie,’ have been dating for 11 months, and we have known each other since we started college together. At the age of 15, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy. So it was a ‘thing’ I knew about before we started dating.”

“We’ve been planning our week-long vacation to Spain with a group of friends since we never got the chance to travel after graduation, plus my mother. She’s a travel agent and she offered to pay half the travel expenses.”

“Our group was: Me and my mom, my bf and his best friend, and two of mine. We bought the tickets, we booked our airbnb, everything was okay but four weeks before our flight, Charlie’s friend told us he had an unexpected personal issue. So he was out.”

“Charlie was clearly bumped to hear about that. He had to take a ‘forced nap’ that day, and that was an alarming reminder about his condition.”

“We weren’t dating at the time, but I remembered how bad his condition was during finals week at college, or at any stressful time.”

“Now, hear me out. Charlie’s narcolepsy is the type where his muscles can suddenly go completely limp or weaken without warning under stressful or high emotional conditions, so it’s not only that he gets ‘sleepy’ during the day, but sometimes he will go fully DOWN.”

“Also, Charlie is quite tall, 6’3, slim but muscular.”

“Now, can you imagine three 5’4 girls and a petite 62-year-old woman dealing with that situation, all by themselves, in Spain? lol I was somewhat reassured by the fact that his friend could’ve helped with that, but without him in the picture now, it was a completely different scenario.”

“My mom planned the trip and we all know vacations can be stressful. At that moment I came to the conclusion that Charlie’s condition appeared to be a potentially serious travel itinerary problem.”

“I decided to protect Charlie, and avoid a lot of potential inconveniences for him and the rest of the group. I asked Charlie if we could take this trip without him.”

“My main argument was that since his friend wasn’t going, we planned to make it more of a ‘girls’ trip’, and I didn’t want him to feel left out. Of course, I didn’t mention his condition cause I didn’t want him to feel bad.”

“I promised him we could take another vacation soon (less stressful). I knew he was having trouble finding someone to take care of his dog since he has no friends near his apartment, so I used that as another reason for him to stay.”

“Eventually, Charlie said it was ‘okay’, and that he completely understood my reasoning. He took it pretty well and was very understanding.”

“We already booked a place for 6, so I asked my sister if she wanted to join us. When I told her the full story, she was visibly upset.”

“My sister said it was a sh**ty-move and it was ‘ableist’ to ask Charlie not to go, but I don’t think that’s true. Our trip is next week and honestly, I want to go with a clean conscience. Reddit, AITA?”

Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many Redditors did not support her decision.

“Info: How are you going to take another vacation with alone if you won’t have someone to help you with him? Are you planning to always have a guy third wheel your vacations.”

“Basically YTA. You’re putting limitations on what he can do based on his condition than lying to him about it.” – ImpossibleHand5086

“YTA. Your bf can decide for himself if his condition will be a problem.”

“I’m also sure this guy has other friends he could invite. Or a father. Or an uncle. Or cousin. Or anyone else. Did you even think of that?”

“My guess is you are just being selfish.” – Shoddy-Tutor-8290

“YTA. If you’re gonna date a guy who can collapse at any moment, you can’t exclude him from regular activities because he could collapse at any moment. I can’t believe I have to explain that one.” – asami47

“YTA. I think you should have either been honest with Charlie about your concerns and reasons, or not told anyone else the real reason. There’s a very real risk now that Charlie will find out the real reason and feel betrayed. You should talk to him about it.”

“Also, I knew a narcoleptic once. He had medication he could take to stave off episodes. Does Charlie not have that option?” – letsdoitforthememes


‘I decided to protect Charlie, and avoid a lot of potential inconveniences for him and the rest of the group.’

“You did it for you, let’s not pretend.” – IHaveSaidMyPiece

“I love OP is pretending she’s doing this for her boyfriend, when it’s crystal clear that she does not want to deal with his condition. And then lying to him why he has to stay home, when telling him the truth would at least give him the chance to decide for himself if the trip is too stressful.”

“I wonder how she’s imagining a future with him if a simple vacation (with friends as help) already feels like an ordeal… Is she planning on taking a male friend on honeymoon with them if they ever get married? Having kids? Better not ever let him watch them alone…”

“YTA, OP.” – NaturalLack4448

“My mom has narcolepsy with cataplexy and has these episodes quite regularly especially in response to extreme emotions. We have to make sure she is sitting or laying down before we give her any emotional news, good or bad.”

“All of her muscles paralyze and some occurrences are worse than others, but it’s always a concern. This used to be more controllable but she can no longer take the medication that helped her in the past due to its long-term effects on her heart and since then the cataplexy has been extremely frequent, happening everyday sometimes multiple times in a day.”

“I only say this because every person is different and narcolepsy in general is not well understood by the public. However, it never stopped my mom from going on vacations and we’re all aware of her condition.”

“OP you’re aware of your boyfriend’s condition, it’s something you can deal with or you can’t. There’s no way to know for sure if he will experience the effects of cataplexy while on the trip or if it would even impact you at all if it did occur.”

“Also, you’re lying to him about why he’s uninvited. What if he wants to take you on trips in the future that would just be the two of you?”

“YTA for excluding him due to his medical condition and lying to him about it.” – SweetBasic7871

After reading many of the negative comments, the OP acknowledged her mistake in edit. She wrote:

“Hateful DMs aside, I’m glad I made this post and I’m not deleting it.I’ll take the hate as earned and also as genuine concern for Charlie.”

“For me, this was just a white lie I told my boyfriend, hiding my fear that he would not be safe and that I was not prepared to help him in that situation. But thanks to my sister and your replies I can see now that it was more than just a white lie, it was a huge-ugly lie hiding my own ableism and selfishness.”

“I’ve to say, believe me or not I was genuinely worried about him, but instead of talking to him, I removed him from the equation, and took away his agency.”

“I did what was easier and more comfortable for me, not him. That was f’ked up and a sh**ty thing to do to someone I do care about.”

“Thanks to all the people that shared your own personal experiences, and I’m sorry I brought up so many negative memories by sharing my sh**ty actions. I tried to reply to most of you, but I can see it’s not working since I’m still getting downvoted and you’re not going to see it.”

“I just want to say that it was not my intention to perpetuate a negative view of people with Narcolepsy, and I was just talking about Charlie’s experience. Charlie is quite unique in many ways. He does suffer from fainting and both cataplexy and sleep attacks more frequently than most PWN.”

“I’ve known Charlie since I was 18. He was there for me when my dad passed away two years ago. That’s something I’ll be forever be grateful.”

“Even if we break up some day, he will always be that person to me. I love him as my boyfriend, and I love him as my friend. I’m afraid, scared sh*tless, but I’ll put myself together and talk to him.”

“I owe him that conversation, the truth and an apology. I owe him a lot, actually. I agree when people say ‘he deserves better’, he does. and I want to be that better person for him. That’s all.”

While the OP said she planned to have a conversation with Charlie, it’s hard to tell if this is a relationship she is wanting to maintain and work on, especially after she mentioned the inevitability of a possible breakup.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo