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'AITA for not attending my mom's birthday dinner over something she said about my autistic son?'

'AITA for not attending my mom's birthday dinner over something she said about my autistic son?'


"AITA for not attending my mom's birthday dinner over something she said about my autistic son?"


I am a 29f mom and I have a 3 year old son who is autistic. Sadly, my husband passed away in March and I was devastated. I knew I'd have to raise our son alone. I figured I couldn't do it all alone, so I decided to relocate to a small town 70 miles away where my parents (Retired: 63M and 60F) lived.

I moved close to my parent partly because they'd be able to help babysit my son whenever I needed to take a break. I rented a cheap house in a quiet, sparcely populated neighborhood, and I found a job in an assisted living facility.

Working at the assisted living facility was tedious and parts of the job was really gross. Also, I was being harassed all the time. I faced verbal and physical harassment daily and the management would always apologize but do nothing. After 3 months of working there, I decided that I just couldn't do it anymore and would be quiting after my next paycheck.

One night while I was asleep, an intruder tried to break into my house. I called the police immediately, but it took over 40 minutes for them to arrive. Thankfully nothing bad happened but I knew right then that I wasn't safe there anymore and I needed to move to a safer place.

I couldn't sleep all night. In the morning I called my parents to let them know what had happened and that we'd like to stay over at their place for maybe a few days while I looked for a new place.

As the soon our conversation ended, I overheard a conversation between my parents (my mom was unaware that she didn't end the call). I heard my mom say: 'She's asking to bring that little weird thing over for a few days'. And then my dad goes 'Oh God, please no'.

That really hurt me because I've always been close to my parents and thought they'd always be there for me. The thing is, I never really bothered them with my son. He's been there 4 times in 3 months.

I felt bad for myself and for my son. It hit me that I was his only true support. I've always been worried about his future and what life would be like for him when I'm gone. This just made it worse.

With everything that had happened, I decided it was best to move to a much bigger town about 45 miles away. Later that day, I called my parents and told them that we were moving.

The next day we left and we've been here for a week now. Last week Saturday was my mom's birthday. My parents are kinda poor and I'm an only child. So It's usually a simple family dinner with 3 of her closest friends.

On Thursday, I called my mom and told her that I wouldn't make it for her birthday dinner. I didn't tell her what I heard. I just feel like we're not really wanted there. My mom was angry and disappointed knowing I was supposed to help out with the cooking and dinner preparations.

We haven't spoken since Thursday. I know she's probably angry at me. I have been thinking about it lately and wondering if I was wrong for not attending? AITA?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


"My mom was angry and disappointed knowing I was supposed to help out with the cooking and dinner preparations."

This is gross. She's upset because you won't be there to work for her. You and your son don't need this kind of "support" in your lives.

You are NTA here. And, as painful as it is, it may turn out to be a good thing you got to see behind their masks. Now you can focus on finding actual support for both you and your son.

Hopefully there is a group or two in your new town that you can connect with. Autism is a difficult thing to handle but there are a lot of families going through it. I wish you the very best.


NTA. This hits close to home. I have a 9 year old daughter who is autistic so I can totally relate to this. I feel like I have lost so many family and friends and have become so isolated, almost to protect myself from these kind of feelings. Not judging you. I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.


NTA. Did you let your parents know you heard what you heard?


NTA. My heart breaks for you OP. I hope this is the end of your troubles and you find some wonderful, supportive people to surround yourself with.


NTA. But, you absolutely need to tell your parents what you heard. That had to be heartbreaking. They need to know what they did was wrong.


NTA. Your son’s potential is still untapped. And you are still mourning the loss of your husband, he is mourning the loss of his daddy. The last people you want to do it around are those who call your wonderful child names.

NTA. I admit to a bias, here. I’m on the spectrum, as are two of my adult kids, we are neurodiversity ‘R’ Us. And they are both successful in their lives. All four of mine are, as am I.

We all had challenges and didn’t recognize the source, that our neurology processes input differently. But because you know that about your child, you can help him with his differences, and celebrate them. Your parents will never do that. I’m so sorry.


NTA - Do tell them what you heard, though. Tell them why you and your son feel unwelcome. What they said was gross and inexcusable, what a way to talk about their GRANDSON who just LOST HIS FATHER. Heartless.

Your mom is only mad because she wanted what you can do for her, ie cook and clean, not who you are, ie her DAUGHTER who recently LOST HER HUSBAND and is now a struggling single mother to a young autistic child.

They don’t care about supporting you. They don’t care about caring for you, or your son. I’m livid for you and that little boy, and I’m sorry you’ve had to go through so much.


You need to tell her what you heard, follow it up with "But don't worry, you won't need to see or be around "that little weird thing" ever again, you've made sure that you will never have a relationship with your grandson". NTA, what a gross thing for her to say. Add to that, they seem to see you as a cleaning and cooking service. I'd go NC, easily.


You NEED to put it in writing and send to both your mother and father that you heard them and recite what you heard and be clear that you will no longer be bothering them with your “weird little thing” as you have only just now realized you are truly his one and only support and he deserves better than their disdain.

NTA. But you would be TA if you didn’t stand up and put boundaries in place. I am so sorry you have had so much bad happen in such a short time.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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