'You are not her parent': Internet backs woman who denied stepsister's plea for help
Internet users are firmly siding with the woman who refused to take care of her disabled stepsister after her other half-sister requested to step in as her caretaker. The ordeal was discussed by the original poster (OP), u/StepsisAITAthrowaway on Reddit's popular forum 'Am I The A**hole,' The post garnered more than 48 upvotes and almost 41 comments.
In the Reddit post titled "AITA For refusing to take care of my disabled stepsister, despite the fact that my other stepsister is exhausted and I’m her only option?" The OP begins the post while detailing the context, "My sperm donor Jon was neglectful and mentally abusive to me. His wife Rita (not my birth mom) saw this firsthand but didn’t care as long as Jon played daddy to her biological kids, Cady and Lynn. Lynn was kind to me, and she is the only family member who I have kept in contact with. Cady made my life hell. She continued to be mentally abusive toward me even as she was an adult and I was still a child. Cady never apologized for any of her behavior."
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'I am the only loved one'
She further continued by saying a tragic accident three years ago left Jon and Rita deceased and Cady disabled, with her sister Lynn taking on the role of her caregiver. Prior to the accident, Lynn worked as a teacher and soccer coach, but now works as an online tutor due to her caretaking responsibilities. The family's financial situation has resulted in government assistance, but the allotted nursing hours are only 12 per week, despite Lynn's efforts to increase them. She then went on and wrote, "Lynn recently came to me and explained that she’s exhausted from being Cady’s caretaker. She explained that part of the reason she’s had such a difficult time getting an increase in nursing hours from the agency is because the agency has a shortage of health nurses. The agency’s actual recommendation was for a family member to act as a caretaker, and that the family member would be paid through the agency. Lynn begged me to help by acting as a caretaker for Cady because I am the only loved one she has with the ability to do so without giving up my current job. (I have a job in data entry and can work remotely without needing to interact with clients.) She offered to pay me on top of the money from the government agency."
In response to Lynn, OP cited that she is willing to run errands for Cady, "I told Lynn that I would be willing to help run errands for her, so she could spend the time with the nurse present doing something nice for herself like a pedicure or catching up with friends. I also recommended some online groups and classes, where she can socialize with people and pick up hobbies that can be done at home. But I told her that I was not willing to directly care for Cady in any capacity. Cady made my life hell for years. It is honestly the kindest thing for both of us that I am never put in charge of her care. Lynn was very upset but told me that she respected my decision."
She stuck to her decision
While the OP acknowledges feeling awful for Lynn's situation, she stuck to her decision to not directly care for Cady. Despite others' opinions that they should help for Lynn's sake, the family member stands by her choice. "I stand by my decision to not act as a caretaker to Cady. But I still feel awful for Lynn because I know I was her only option for a loved one caretaker. Others have told me I am right to feel awful, because I know how much Lynn loved and misses being a teacher and coach. And that even though Cady was mentally abusive to me, she is now severely disabled, and I should help her for Lynn's sake. I know I am probably the AH, but I still wanted to ask on here and possibly gain some more insight."
'You are not her parent'
One supportive user commented, "NTA, but caregivers fatigue is real. And it isnt really fair to lynn to be in that situation. Tbh i’d maybe talk with lynn about seeing if there are any types of caregiving homes in your area y’all might qualify for instead. That way lynn could still most likely have cady on the weekends and give her time with family, but lynn doesnt have to sacrifice all of her time to her sister instead of living her own dreams."
Another wrote siding with the OP, "NTA. You are not her parent- you deserve a life of your own. It sucks for Cady- but this is nobody's fault. Lynn chose to take this responsibility. Did she talk to you before she took it on? She cannot suddenly expect you to contribute to the cause. You have offered her options to help her out, and anything more is probably bad for your mental health. Please stand your ground OP."
Someone wrote citing their experience, "NTA. As someone who has been stuck taking care of a family member on her own for five years, I don't blame you. If I had known what hell I'd be going through because of this relative, I never would have done it. Even now I am planning to move in six months or less due to the fact that I just can't handle being near this person anymore. So do yourself a favor and keep away from Cady for your own sake."
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