For some, the 18th birthday is a long-awaited gateway to sudden freedom after an adolescence that felt eternal and fraught with conflict.
But one Redditor recently discovered that the old friction points of family life can be sneaky, showing up when she least expected.
She explained the incident in a post on the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), under the temporary and anonymous moniker throwaway30164, conveyed the thrust of the issue with her post’s title.
“AITA for laughing at my mom after she and my dad insisted i tell my friend’s boyfriend to leave my house?”
OP began with a complete description of her parents’ style during her early years.
“I [20-year-old female] moved out on my 18th birthday and never looked back. I mostly moved out due to how strict my parents were.”
“When i say strict, i don’t mean something like home by 10pm. I mean, I wasn’t allowed to have friends older than me (even by a few months) i wasn’t allowed any guy friends.”
“If i had a project to work on at school and got partnered with a guy, my mom would tell my teachers to make me do it alone. I was only allowed on my phone if someone (mom or dad) was there to monitor what i was doing.”
“Weekdays my bedtime was 9pm and weekends 9:30pm. I could only have sleepovers if it was at my house and all of my friends have to be questioned to make sure they were ‘clean,’ meaning they didn’t have boyfriends, no tattoos, went to church, you get it.”
For OP, the next move was clear.
“So you can imagine, i had literally 1 or 2 friends.”
“By 18, i didn’t have any plans, i just packed my stuff and left. My parents weren’t happy and tried for months to get me to come home but i didn’t plan on it.”
“Anyways, i landed a damn good job and was able to get my first apartment shortly after. My friend is over at my house almost everyday with her boyfriend and we just hang out.”
But OP’s clear independence came alongside at least a little bit of loyalty.
“I didnt cut out all contact with my parents but i limit it to only only special occasions.”
“My mom wanted to have a zoom family call whatever it’s called and asked me to join. I figured what the hell i’ll join and say hi.”
“As i’m talking to my little cousin, in the background you could see my friend’s boyfriend come into the living room area. Everyone’s face kinda froze and i didn’t think much of it.”
And just like that, things began to feel familiar.
“My mom asked who it was and i told her and she immediately gets annoyed? She started asking why he was leaving my bedroom, which he didn’t.”
“The bathroom is the same way towards the bedroom so i could see why it would look like he left from my room.”
“She and my dad proceeds to ask me why i have guys at my home, why is he 21 hanging around me (i just turned 20 but yea) it was like i was 15 again”
“My mom then insists i have him leave.”
OP responded in the only well she felt made sense.
“At this point my friend and her boyfriend hears this and goes like wtf? I didn’t know what else to do but laugh.”
“I said ‘are you out of your mind’ and laughed some more. I realized they were serious and said my goodbyes and hung up.”
And yet, OP was left wondering about how it all went down.
“Later i started getting messages that my parents are upset i laughed at them and my family says it’s in my best interest to apologize because i was being an a**hole for laughing.”
“AITA for laughing?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors totally agreed with OP. They felt laughing was a warranted, and even gentle response all things considered.
“NTA. I would laugh at your family that told you to apologize too. Keep laughing until they all realize they sound like one big joke.” — Mejai91
“[To be honest], I laughed a little while Reading this. Obviously, your parents did Not get the hint that they did Something wrong when you left the House as early as you could. Maybe they will get the hint now.”
“I am kinda curious how they will react when you get a SO :-)” — Teufels_Advokat
“NTA. Laughing is a lot more respectful than what Would probably have come out of my mouth.”
“[In my opinion] your laugh was actually a pretty emotionally healthy way to react. No guilt or shame or rage at their demand. Just, you’re ridiculous. Good for you.” — Pistalrose
“NTA It’s absolutely hilarious that they think they can tell you, an adult what she can and can’t or should do in her own damn apartment.”
“It’s either laughing or getting angry at their insane request.” — the-mirrors-truth
Others aimed their commentary at her parents’ continued desire to be strict with a 20-year-old adult.
“NTA. You’re an adult living in your own house, you can have whoever you like visiting. Your parents have some serious issues.” — Future-Ambition1859
“NTA in the least. Congratulations on escaping such a warped, toxic home environment. It is great that you are trying to maintain a relationship with your parents.”
“They don’t have to approve of your lifestyle but they have to respect it. Next zoom meeting turn the camera off LOL.” — zwergschnauzer
“Wow, the audacity of these people! They sound abusively controlling, good for you for being independent! NTA.” — queen-of-winter
Some explicitly advised how to respond to her family’s request for an apology.
“Absolutely NTA. Do NOT apologise, because then they’ll think they can start to dictate what you do in your own home. Simply let them know that unless they wanna pay all the rent, it’s your home and your rules and they should respect that.”
“They probably won’t, but if they get arsey then just say you’ll be limiting your contact with them even further until they’re prepared to treat you like the adult you are and apologise for trying to dictate the rules in YOUR house.” — Dispositionate
“NTA, and I think apologizing would be a big mistake because they will take it as you accepting their right to authority over you.”
“They aren’t going to accept that things have changed and gracefully step back, you are going to have to enforce things every time. Feeling embarrassed will help deter them from attempting a move like this again.” — AppleThrower5000
“NTA. It’s quite the opposite. It would be in your best interest to not apologize. If they still haven’t understood, there will come a day you will have enough of their sh** and go [no contact]. That’s all they gonna get” — forestotterqueen
In edit added beneath the original post, OP explained that she heard the advice loud and clear.
“I seen a lot of people telling me to go no contact. I’d feel terrible if i did such a thing but someone did point out they’ll never change their ways so i think i might have to.”
You know, i’ve got no idea how to set boundaries but i’m sure there’s a few articles that can help me with that.”
“I did block them from all of my social media accounts except facebook so i think that counts? I’m not familiar with setting boundaries sorry.”
We hope OP’s further internet research yields even more benefit and helps her clarify those boundaries.