Dealing with disrespectful family members can be particularly fraught when they’re your elders.
A woman on Reddit found herself in this sticky situation when she stirred up family drama by choosing to leave her birthday party because her toxic grandmother was there.
She wasn’t sure about how she’d handled things, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Suspicious-Pet on the site, asked:
“AITA for walked out of my own birthday party”
“A little background: my grandma is a very traditional Asian woman, and always have favored my younger brother. When I was born, she took away her gifts for me as soon as she knew I was a girl. She gave my mother and I hell before my brother was born.”
“After he was born, however, she only gave me hell. Please noted that my parents and brother protected me as much as they can so please do not hate on them.”
“My birthday was last week and my parents threw me a small party. They wanted (had to) to invite my grandma. I didn’t like that idea and told my parents to not give me a party regardless since my best friend couldn’t make it anyway.”
“They went ahead with the party planning without my knowledge. On that day, I came in the house, everyone yelled surprise, and I saw her. I didn’t know what got into me, I just said ‘Well, I’m gonna bound’ and walked out. I just drove around, found a bakery, and ate a cake.”
“When I came home, my parents didn’t bring up the incident. They wished me a happy birthday. We had a nice dinner and they gave me gifts.”
“However, I later heard from my brother my grandma gave me mom hell, told her she didn’t raise me well, told her this is why she should just married me of, etc. I felt so bad for my parents, especially for my mother and felt like an AH.”
Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
For the most part, they were firmly on her side.
“NTA. Your grandma would’ve made your birthday hell and you have no obligation to be somewhere that you do not want to be if there are toxic people present” –HufflepuffPrincess7
“I’m a big fan of respecting traditions, especially of other cultures. But i draw the line at ‘traditions’ that actively devalue humans for things they have no control over…like your gender.”
“I don’t respect that tradition, and neither should you. I’m not sure where your parents fall on this spectrum, but I’m guessing their on the side of ‘grandma’s wrong but we can’t do anything about it, really.’ For your sake, I’ll assume they’re powerless to stop her from being awful to you (and your mom) and give them a pass in general.”
“But your grandmother is a hateful AH; i do not care if that’s how she was raised. If she was hurt by this as a child or young woman (who presumably produced her own daughter), there’s no reason to continue such behavior into future generations.”
“And, honetly, after you asked your parents to not throw the party…they threw it anyway. That makes them AHs, too. You would not have needed to get away from your grandmother if you hadn’t come home to a surprise party you asked not to have. So that’s on them.”
“Ultimately, your grandmother’s anger and hatefulness because you do not have a penis is toxic and wrong – it was wrong then, it’s wrong now and it will always be wrong. You don’t need that sh*t in your life.” –FrnchsLwyr
“If OP’s family is still bringing grandma around her then they’re not doing a good job of protecting her. The fact that they feel like they have to doesn’t help.” —DrWhoop87
“This right here describes a fundamental truth that a lot of people have yet to allow sink in. No culture, tradition or custom has any right to trump basic human rights and liberties.”
“If your culture says let’s make copious amounts of cinnamon donut sticks once a year, that’s wonderful! Nobody should disrespect that.”
“If your culture says women are inherently inferior and should have less rights than men, then that part of your culture can fu*k right off. Not a single person in the world has any obligation to respect that, ‘cultural sensitivity’ be damned.”
“There was recently a post on here where OP’s hands were tied by her cultural traditions and it exposed her to being financially manipulated, and a lot of people were preaching about the lack of cultural sensitivity in the comments.”
“But cultures and traditions are not living things. They don’t breathe, they don’t bleed, and they don’t suffer. They don’t have rights. Humans have rights. Humans matter more than traditions.” –RealArgonwolf
“You chose not to take her bs anymore, as is your right. You didn’t fight with her, call her names or anything to escalate, you simply removed yourself from the situation. Don’t feel guilty that she rained the hell she probably rained on you on your mother instead.”
“Your parents could have avoided her obnoxious behaviour by simply not inviting her. THEY chose to invite her knowing you didn’t want her to be there and how awful she would treat you. They chose to put you in an uncomfortable situation.”
“Why do your parents till tolerate her presence and bad behaviour? You say they do their best to protect you. They don’t. They could protect you completely by not forcing you to be in grandma’s company. Why don’t they?” –Quadrantje
“Gently, NTA. Sounds like something that would happen in india. I am sorry if my assumption is wrong but this hits home. If your parents and brother are understanding, you need to talk to them and get your boundaries fixed. I don’t think you should be around your misogynistic grandma” –I-got-wheeled
Hopefully OP and her grandmother can find a way to peacefully coexist.