Internet sides with woman who told her mom she will not take care of autistic brother after she dies
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Parents can inflict considerable trauma by showing favoritism or preferential treatment towards their children. In this case, a woman turned to the internet for advice after she confronted her mother for making excuses for her autistic brother and declared she wouldn't be taking care of him after she's gone.
The woman, who is actually the younger of the two children, acknowleged that her brother was autistic but also asserted that "he is a lazy a**hole who weaponizes his incompetence to a high level." For years, she did her best "to be a 'good sister' despite my frustrations," but lo and behold -- she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 18. Her mother, however, insisted the doctors were wrong and continued to expect her to "basically act the role of older sibling."
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Posting on Reddit's 'AITA' forum, the woman (u/hellmouthtv) asked fellow Redditors, "AITA for telling my mother I will not be taking care of my autistic brother when she dies[?]" She prefaced it by saying, "I’m sure everyone’s immediate response is 'well you didn’t need to SAY IT' and that’s fair, totally fair. but i did say it. so uh. hear me out?"
Brother diagnosed with 'Asperger's syndrome'
"I (20F) am the younger sister to my brother (22M) and I currently live with him, and my mother (54F) in a 2 bedroom apartment due to some really unfortunate life circumstances that I’m not gonna entirely delve into here. (rent is evenly split between all of us)," the OP (original poster) began. "My brother may be autistic, but I also believe he is a lazy a**hole who weaponizes his incompetence to a high level. He’s held 3 jobs in his life, been fired from two, still chews with his mouth open, and insists he can’t put away the dishes because he 'doesn’t know where they go' despite us living here for almost 2 years," she added.
The embattled sister continued, "For some context, My older brother was diagnosed with 'Asperger Syndrome' when he was 11 years old, due to OUR SCHOOL having a psychologist follow him around for 3 months due to behavioral and grade issues, this obviously lead to some different treatment from my mother towards the two of us, with me being expected to basically act the role of older sibling -- Defend your brother from bullies if you see it at school, allow him to hang out with you and your friends because he has 'struggles,' and always always make allowances for the things he doesn’t do. like his laundry. or any chores whatsoever." She added, "I accepted the responsibility, did my best to be a “good sister” despite my frustrations, my own struggles, and how he made so many of my friends uncomfortable that they refused to come over to my house."
"I did it all because 'well he has autism, so he sees the world differently,' so imagine my shock at 18 when I get diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder," the woman revealed, adding, "My mom insists the doctors are wrong, shocker to none, because 'you’ve always been better at socializing then your brother' as if I was ever given the option to avoid it like him. He never would show up to family holiday events, they didn’t make him. But if I tried to skip out? I’d be dragged kicking and screaming."
She said she finally confronted her mother in an argument last week.
"And maybe it’s because all of these revelations have been rolling in my head for the last two years, but in an argument last week with my mother, when she was insisting I do my brothers laundry, since I was already doing a small load of my own at the laundromat when I snapped and told her 'I hope you know, that when you are gone, there will be no one to do his laundry and pay his rent when he gets fired again.'" Her mother was understandably shocked. "She is mad at me because 'he’s family' but I don’t really get it, I’ve had to learn to live with my autism, find my own resources, and do it mostly without support from either of them, and O don’t want to accept a future drain on what i’ve worked so hard for. AITA?" the OP asked.
Fellow Redditors overwhelmingly supported the OP, with some claiming she was being discriminated against. "Grrrr, it just burns me that girls on the autism spectrum are so often missed or diagnosed late (along with lots of other disorders). NTA [Not the a**hole]," one commented.
"Your brother is using his autism as an excuse for everything he doesn't want to do and your mom is enabling him. He's 22 and it's time he grew up, but that's on your mom, not on you. NTA," another added.
"NTA - And yes, it needed to be said. He needs to learn to cope, or get a proper diagnosis and treatment, and if it's actually bad enough he might need a part time carer. That's something that needs dealing with before you mom passes. That could be decades from now or she could get in an accident next week," someone else chimed in.
"NTA. Autistic women have been masking since early age due to social/family expectations/obligations. Yes, we see the world different, and we need to just f*CK work with it, the world/society won't change for us. Being the sister/friend/maid will burn you out, it's only a question of time," another offered.
'I feel a little bad'
Despite the support, however, the OP shared in an update that she felt "a little bad" for her mother due to the backlash. "So uh, this is just cause I feel a little bad with how much my moms getting it in the replies, though you all are lovely," she posted, adding, "My mom was a victim for the majority of my young childhood by my alcoholic father who she kicked out when I was 12. 2 months later she was diagnosed with cancer, and would fight off and on for the next 4-5 years, before having a sudden cardiac arrest when i was 18 years old. while i do still hold her responsible for her direct actions, i hope this can help explain why the parentification happened...she didn’t just wanna neglect her kids." Be that as it may, does it justify the mother's treatment of her daughter? Let us know what you think.
This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.