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'AITA for not caring if my adopted sister feels included on our trip for our late dad?'

'AITA for not caring if my adopted sister feels included on our trip for our late dad?'


No one will ruffle your feathers quite like family.

"AITA for not caring if my adopted sister feels included."

I(23F) have a biological brother (24) and an adopted sister (27). She was adopted when I was a year old and she was around 4. For most of my life, my sister received all the attention from our parents and my brother and I were just there.

My parents would bend over backwards to make sure she felt like a part of the family, which is great, except they didn't bother to make my brother and I feel included. When she was 19, we found her biological family and they have a great relationship now. But I feel like this completely ruined our own family dynamic.

Our dad died 5 years ago, and it seems like she just moved on from our dad to the other dad and is also slowly moving on from our family to her biological family. Her biological mums side also seems to have a problem with us because we are White and my sister is Black so everytime we try to be involved in activities, there are always jabs at us and I think they encourage her to become distant from us.

My mum still acts like my sister is the centre of our world though. The last two Thanksgivings, we had to have family Thanksgiving dinner days before because my sister was going to have Thanksgiving with her bio family. Same for the previous Christmas, we exchanged gifts by the 20th, and my sister didn't even bring my nephew as he was at his bio grandma's.

My final straw has been a trip we had been planning in honour of my dad. On the 5 year anniversary of his passing, we were going to plant an orchard in a certain African country my dad worked and lived in for years and we visited many times. Planting this was something my dad had planned before he d**d and had it planned to a T, so we would only be executing his plan.

We had agreed that the 5 year anniversary felt like the perfect time. Except now, my sister's biological sister will be getting married around the same time ( not same day), but it means my sister can only join us after the actual anniversary day.

My mum says it's okay, we can plant the trees a week or two later, and she actually said that when we plant the trees doesn't make much difference we'll still be honoring him, but that my sister will only ever get to attend her sister's wedding once. She says it's a week's worth of work anyway, so it's not like we were going to be done on the actual day.

This made me mad and I have told them I will be breaking the ground on the actual anniversary day with or without any of them. She said I was being inconsiderate and that I should think about how this will make my sister feel like she doesn't matter to the family. My sister has been part of our family the same amount of time I have been , only she can exclude herself.

My brother keeps flip-floping between coming with me to be there for the anniversary, or waiting for my mum and sister some days later and I honestly can't also blame him. AITA for insisting I am not waiting on anyone? The trip is in two months.

The internet weighed in with their two cents.

BrightFirelyt wrote:

I think I get it. This is one last straw, right? Over the past nine years, she’s treated you less and less like family while your mom never even made an effort to make sure you felt like family to begin with, and she’s been hijacking every major event to suit her own timing without any regard to you or your brother or the rest of your family and none of the grievances you’ve aired have been heard.

This isn’t about her going to a wedding and joining the rest of you a day or two later, it’s about your mom trying to make all of you postpone despite the significance of the planned start date. If the work won’t be done for a week anyway, what’s the difference when she comes to get her hands dirty with the planting except that she won’t be there at the beginning?

A wedding is important. Of course she wants to attend. But it’s not the wedding of anyone important to you, so I can totally understand your frustration. It’ll be okay. Go on as scheduled. Plant the orchard. Even if you start alone, it’ll be good for you to have some time alone with the memory of your dad so you can grieve and process in peace. I hope it makes your grief a little smaller in the process. NTA.

OP responded:

Thank you, you've expressed better what I feel than I could myself.

RayonJersey wrote:

Stop arguing with your mom and brother, it’s pointless. Control the one thing you can control, your presence. “I’m available on Thanksgiving, not the day before.” And then stick to it. Be unyielding and then everyone else will have to make their own decisions. I’d distance myself from people who don’t make me feel good about myself. Make your friends your new family.

feminist1946 wrote:

NTA. Go and create the project as planned. It is you honoring your father that counts. What they do is their business.

Emotional_Layer-2270 wrote:

NTA. You need to distance yourself from your mom and let her fall on her face. She is delusional to how she treated you and how much your sister actually cares. Honestly find yourself a therapist and distance yourself.

WellThatsJustObvious wrote:

NTA for how you’re feeling; it sounds like you’ve built up years of resentment and considering your adopted sister seems to have gotten two families and you and your brother the scraps of only one I’m sure is super hurtful.

Have you ever had a deeper conversation with your mother about how all this is impacting you? Might be good to put it out there; and if it doesn’t work out, maybe consider putting distance between your mum and sister and yourself, and some therapy to unpack it all. Perhaps wait so you can all remember your father together and then start putting yourself first?

OP responded:

No, we've never really had any deeper conversations except maybe when we were younger. My parents would always tell my brother and I that we were lucky that we never went through foster care like my sister when we tried to question why she got special treatment, but that's as deep as it ever got.

thesleepymermaid wrote:

NTA. You all made a plan you felt honored your dad and if they no longer wish to attend on said date that's their decision. You don't need to bend over backwards for someone who clearly has shown 0 respect to you and your family.

Ill_Reporter_8787 wrote:

NTA. It's good to leave the ball in their court—"I'll be there on the anniversary. You have two months to make your decision. Let me know your plans so we can meet there." Leave their arrangements to them—do NOT sponsor a lovely vacation for people who may try closer to the date to rearrange things behind your back. Make sure you're lead coordinator for everything so they can't meddle.

wlfwrtr wrote:

NTA Chances are something will come up and she'll change her mind and not go at all. Tell mom that it's okay if she wants to wait for sister since she's the only mom ever cared about anyway. Let brother make his own choice. Go and continue with your plans. Mom wanting to change plans is not only disrespectful to you but all those in the other country who have been helping plan this on their end.

OP responded:

That was my thinking as well, we have communicated with people there already and they would be expecting us on that certain day. It feels a little disrespectful to tell them to wait.

OnyxEyez wrote:

NTA. Your brother is not an ah as he's also struggling. But I struggle with your sister being an ah - at 4 she was old enough to remember her family even if it was bad, so I understand if she sees her family as treating her well now why she would attach herself to them, as she still always loved them and missed them, and her sister's wedding is very important to her.

Also, growing up black in a white family under those circumstances can be very hard. The big A** here are your parents. They put her before you all, and continue to.

For one thing, given her background and race, treating her different could actually make her feel like she is different from your family rather than making her feel a part of it, and by always scheduling holidays around her enables her to continue that separation.

(Note: I am not saying she doesn't have a responsibility as an adult, but the pattern was set.) Your parents also put you last, continue to do so, and don't seem to care. You say you haven't discussed this with your mother since maybe as a child, and maybe you need to, so even if she doesn't agree, you can get it off your chest.

Also, while I think her bio mother is an ah for getting in between you, she may be using her guilt, pride, regret, and satisfaction getting her back as motivation, and I think you are unlikely to be able to change that, and trying will drive more of a wedge between you all.

As far as the planting, I do understand the date being important to you - i have weird attachments to days as well. What if you go early, visit the site and talk to your dad on the date, and maybe dig a little of the ground? You don't have to dig a big hole, but you will be there in the anniversary, and touched the ground where it will be, but have the planting when everyone will be there.

This is a very hard situation to be in, and I feel for you. NTA

ETA: As the child of an ab#sive home, those feeling of love and betrayal never go away, even as an adult, and that is really hard to deal with for your sister.

OP responded:

Yeah, sadly my parents set a pattern that am not sure will change. I don't think I even know how to talk to my mother about it, I don't want to feel guilty of anything. After listening to the comments here, I think I'll just wait and go there when everyone is available, plus it would be expensive to be there for longer.

Sources: Reddit
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