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'AITA for ruining my mum's engagement party after she abandoned me when I was 11?' Updated 2X

'AITA for ruining my mum's engagement party after she abandoned me when I was 11?' Updated 2X


"AITA for 'ruining' my mum's engagement party after she abandoned me when I was 11?"


I (17M) have a strained relationship with my mum (35F) after an incident that happened about six years ago. My mum was super strict and a helicopter parent, so we fought a lot over my grades and the trouble I got into at school.

She had essentially abandoned me, signing over custody to my dad after I had told her something along the lines of "I hate you" and "I wish I lived with dad" - typical things an angsty preteen says to their parent.

But that fight seemed to have broke her and she cried before dropping me off at my dad's apartment. I thought it wouldn't be a big deal and I would just see her the next day after she proved her point, but she left me there.

After that, things got essentially worse for me. My grades dropped and I kept getting into trouble at school, almost to the point where I was kicked out. My dad never had job security so money was tight. His gf also wasn't fond of me, saying I was "dumped" on them. I wanted to go back to live with my mum.

I thought to apologise, but my mum had essentially moved on with her life. She went back to college to get her degree and was always studying, and later on was focused on her new work.

On the weekends I would get to see her, things were tense between us. She tried so hard to be the "fun" parent, eating takeout and leaving me to do what I wanted, but it was so unlike her, and we became more estranged.

Three years ago, she started dating Paul (39M), a widower with two daughter (9F and 13F). She started treating his daughter's like they were her own and they started calling her "mummy", which irritated me.

Eventually they moved into my mum's house and changed my childhood bedroom into one of the daughter's room. I was livid when I found out, saying some mean things about the girls, and refused to go back there for my mum's weekends, but she was confused on why was acting this way.

Because of this fight, she thought I wouldn't be attending the engagement party when she announced her and Paul would be getting married. Besides, she didn't want there to ruin the perfect picture of her new family. So I made it a point to go for the party, and called her out on her behaviour.

I wanted to confront her and tell her she wouldn't have to bother with me after I go off to college, but I may have taken it a tad too far. Everyone kept talking about how Paul's daughters were like her children and how it would be when she had more kids and it snapped something in me.

I called her a horrible parent and told her she was trying to replace me with "the little brats" after she had abandoned me, along with some other insults I don't really remember.

Paul kicked me and my dad out, saying I was an ahole for making his fiancée and girls cry, and ruining the engagement party. He said I won't be allowed to the wedding unless I called and apologized.

I may have taken it a bit too far but my dad agrees she had it coming after abandoned a young child at an age when I needed my mother. So AITA and should I apologise?

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


This is above the pay grade of this sub. You are a child and she is an adult and your mother. She needs to do the emotional work of creating the conditions for your reconciliation. If she can't you need to focus on your own growth and figuring out how to establish yourself in life.

It doesn't sound like she's going to be coming through on that so you are on your own. That is of far bigger significance than whether you are "the asshole" or not. Take care of yourself. NTA.


Kiddo, sorry this happened. What she did was selfish and she hasn't made up for what she did. You are still young and can learn from her mistakes. Your best course of action will be to succeed in life. Be the best whatever you want to be, find happiness.

Don't let her crush you. The happier you are the easier it will be to forget about someone who only cares for herself. And, like others have said, therapy- you probably have CPTSD... traumatized people often react poorly, but she caused the trauma.


I don't think that is fair to the mum, reading OP's comments she seemed like a normal person that was pushed to the edge. Even with her trying to fix things with weekend time, still pi$$ed OP off. I think OP needs therapy.

OP has a lot of questionable stuff like yelling at kids. Sadly it seems nothing the mom did was good enough. Normal paretning, pis$$d OP off. Giving OP what he wanted and not living with someone they hate, pi$$ed OP off. Laid back fun parent, pi$$ed OP off. The mom can not win.

EDIT: Also mom didn't even abandoned him, he saw her on the weekends, she gave primary care to dad (like he wanted). She didn't ghost him.


Someone already said this is above this sub’s pay grade. It is very obvious that you have some deep emotional issues towards your mom and you feel abandoned. Ultimately she is the parent and she has to take the majority of the responsibility for the way your relationship has turned out. But quite frankly, I think you need to really take a look the role you played in this as well.

You acknowledged that you hurt her feelings when you told her you hated her. You just assumed you see her later. Did you apologize to her? You said she tried to do fun things with you on the weekends but you also said you didn’t like that either.

At not point do you actually say you apologized to her at all. Instead it seems like your behavior escalated and you continued to lash out. Your mom could have possibly tried harder but it seems like she is damned if she does, and damned if she didn’t.

You have made your feelings of hurt and resentment and abandonment very clear in this post. At what point do you acknowledge that your mom is also a person with feelings and that you may have continuously, without apology, hurt her too? Not sure if I want to call you an AH, but I don’t want to call your mom one either. NAH??

The very same day, the OP returned with an update.



There's a lot going here and I haven't had the time to look through everything so I still haven't decided on what to do, but to answer some questions:

"Helicopter parenting" - I mentioned some of the things my mum did but it didn’t give the entire picture.

Some people say it was just usual parenting but it felt so constricting and it was very different from when I was at my dad's. I also wasn't the smartest kid out and sometimes it felt like I was being punished for that.

"Did we have arguments before?" - my mum and I were prone to screaming matches if I didn't immediately do what she said. No, I never hit her, it was mostly shouting.

"Did I apologize?" No, I didn't. I know that would would be my single biggest regret. I don't know if that warrants the rest of what happened or if it would've changed anything.

"What was the trouble at school?" -It mostly had to do with phasing out or losing my patience. I got into a couple of fights with other kids who teased me on my home situation but it was nothing serious. As mentioned, I'm not an academic, so there was always trouble with that.

"Therapy?" - I spoke to someone when i was younger and my parents had me see the school counselor two years ago but I find it hard to talk to other people. I'm also on meds, which were supposed to help with my moods.

"Dad/mum's situation?" - My parents seperated when I was a baby. My dad is 40 and used to work in construction until he got injured and could no longer pay child support.

When my mum transfered custody, she began to pay support. I'm with my dad full time and my mum on weekends when I feel like going. Winter break my mum takes me out of state to gran's where we stay with the rest of the family.

I can do the math, I know how old my mum was when she had me and that I basically ruined her life, so there's no need to point that out. There is an overwhelming amount of attention on this post that is giving me mixed messages.

I regret posting this because of how confused it has gotten me about my parents and childhood, but I do appreciate the support and advice, especially from other people who had similar issues. I will try and do another update when I figure out what to do.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's first update:


You have a surprising amount of grace for 40 year old dad, given how little you've shown to your 35 year old mom.


Somehow more grace is given to the older dads instead of the younger moms.


It makes no sense that OP is 1 year younger than his mom was when she had him. She put off college to raise him and he's still this whiny about paying the consequences for his admitted bad behavior. He thought about apologizing for his words because he thinks kids verbally abuse parents all the time and they don't take it to heart.

The very same day, the OP returned with another update.

"UPDATE 2: final update"


So, a lot has happened. I never expected this post to get this much attention with so many mixed reactions, and honestly it confused me to say the least. While this forum was blowing up, I had to go to school like normal.

Its been a few weeks since the engagement party and a kid who there had been relentless mocking me for what happened. I thought he would eventually let it go, but yesterday when he brought it again, I lost was cool and got into a physical fight with him. He was given detention but I was suspended.

The school called my mum and got Paul instead. Since she was in a meeting, he came and got me. Things were awkward in the car ride, and we didn't say a word to each other until he asked me if I was going to apologize to my mum.

I told him I didn't even want to go to his "stupid wedding". Paul was confused when I said this, and told me that my mum had gotten mad at him for saying I couldn't attend and that she knew I wouldn't apologize if they told me to because I was stubborn.

He said she had called my dad weeks ago and said I could go because she really wanted me to be there and my dad said he would talk to me. I don't know why, but when I heard this, I burst out in tears, embarrassingly enough.

I don't know if it was the suspension, or reading all the comments, but I really couldn't hold it in anymore. It took me way too long to stop and Paul was really freaked out so he parked somewhere and tried to calm me down.

I ended up telling him everything, about when happened when I was a kid, and how I felt about my mum. I also confessed that I wished she would yell at me or scold me for my outburst because it felt like she didn't care anymore and just hated me for what I said. (It is f'ed up. I know)

I thought if I ever repeated what I wrote on this post to another person, they would think I was human garbage. But he just listened to me and let me get everything off my chest (I guess thats what being a girl dad is, ha).

Surprisingly, he didn't blame me. In fact, it was the opposite. He said he understood me. He works with her so he knew that my mum was a tough woman, and he had never seen her cry before until that day and was unsure about how to approach her after, so he didn't blame me for not knowing how to talk to her after what happened when I was child.

He didn't give me details but he assured me that my mum didnt hate me, and the situation is more complicated than what I know. Paul said I shouldn't bear all the blame, and if I was comfortable, maybe myself (and my mum) could go speak to the therapist he saw after his wife had past.

He was mad at my dad tho, apparently this was not the first time my dad had said he would talk to me about something and just didn't. Paul suspected my dad wanted to get me to have another outburst at the wedding because he was still somewhat resentful towards my mother.

I don't know how to take this because, while my dad didn't really like my mum, I don't think he would actually do something like that. Either way, I think I owe to myself and my mum to at least try and reconciliate, and deal with my trauma so I could let go of my anger towards her. I at least apologized to Paul's girls (my dad wasn't home so I spent the rest of the day at my mums).

The 9 year old forgave me almost instantly, like she didn't actually cared and asked me about dinosaurs for the rest of the evening. The 13 year old is still pretty mad, but mostly because Paul had her give up her new room and share with her sister.

I tried to say I was okay if she took back the room (I wasn't but it only seemed right to give it to her after what I did) but Paul said they'll make a plan when they remodelled.

I knew I needed to apologize to my mum as well, but that seemed just so much harder. I know you guys recommended writing a letter but I didn't really have enough time nor did I know what I was gonna say yet.

There is these flower bushes in our garden tho, and I have a vivid memory of when I was a kid, my mum getting mad when I destroyed one only to forgive when I had given her the flowers from them.

It is a bit pathetic for her grown child to give her weeds because he couldn't get a word out, but I think the gesture meant the same for her like it did for me. She finally asked me if I was better living at my dad's, and honestly, I don’t know.

I know you guys don't think the best of him, and things did seem to be worse when I stayed with him, but he was a decent dad. And I didn't want to just lose him like I did my mum.

She said she would speaking to him after our meeting with the school on Monday for the family therapy and if i was opened to the idea of staying with her some nights during the week too.

As of now, Paul had spoken to her and she already made the appointment for us to see the therapist next week. She also spoke to me about anger management classes too, and said she would go with me if that what's I wanted.

I honestly don't know if what's going to happened with school, if the therapy would work for us and if I would ever be able to truly let go of my built up resentment. But I feel like everything's gonna be okay.

Thanks for all the comments, even the horrible ones, got me thinking just a bit. I will never be posting on reddit again but I do appreciate having the space to find the words to say what I needed to. And everyone who shared their deep (and some dark) stories that made them relate to my relationship, I hope things turn out okay for you too.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's final update:


I wouldn’t be surprised if your dad engaged in parental alienation so that he could continue milking your mother for child support money. It wouldn’t be as obvious as telling you your mom is a bad mom.

But chipping away at any trust you might have had with your mom by assigning the worst motives to her actions, probably feeding her some bs to her about you (like she’s “abandoned” you when she’s trying to work to improve her employability and have more money to raise you with) and failing to pass on messages from her or from you.

"my dad agrees she had it coming after abandoned a young child at an age when I needed my mother."

This is an example of your dad weaponizing you to hurt your mother. Your mom had visitation of you, she paid child support and tried to be the parent you claimed you wanted. Instead you claimed she abandoned you, even though she was doing a lot more for you than actual deadbeat parents that abandoned their children.

Where did you get the idea that she abandoned you, when it was just a swap in primary custody? Did you believe your dad abandoned you for the first 11 years of your life even though he didn’t pay child support and didn’t have you even 50% of the time?

Your dad knew you were going to blow up like a bomb at the engagement party and hurt everyone nearby like collateral damage. He didn’t care if you burned all those bridges. He was likely patting himself on the back for ruining your mom’s event.


Paul seems like a stand up guy. Meanwhile OP's dad has been weaponizing him against his mom. He's a snake. I hope OP gets the help he needs.


Yeah, my father and his then girlfriend tried to do the same thing to me and my sister when we were kids (I was 11, she was 5). It didn't work because our mom fought like hell for us, but it almost did.

My former stepmother was also incredibly abusive in ways I didn't truly understand until years later, so I managed to pick up on what they were doing long before my sister did.

A major problem with OP's situation is that he was just a child, and didn't get enough time with his mom to understand what was actually going on, so it became much easier for his father to turn him against her without him ever realizing it. He really is a snake.


The only AH was the POS “fun dad”. He acquiesced to his 11 year old son and gave him everything he wanted relegating the mom to being the needed disciplinarian, and the cliche drama ensued. She was not a helicopter parent, she was a good mom.


"I will never be posting on reddit again"

Sounds like "concluded" might be a better flair, unfortunately.

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

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