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'Glass child' teen refuses to go to family therapy, ignores parents' begs, 'they made their choice.' AITA?

'Glass child' teen refuses to go to family therapy, ignores parents' begs, 'they made their choice.' AITA?


'AITA for refusing therapy with my whole family and ignoring my parents begging to try?'

I'm (16m) a glass child. My sister (15f) was born with chronic health problems and a physical disability. Her life hasn't been easy and she's pretty often in pain and limited in what she can and can't do.

It meant our parents were always making special time for her and doing what they could to let her enjoy being a kid. It also meant my parents weren't really my parents.

They would take her places and leave me behind at home or with someone else in the family. I never got that same time with them. They even missed two of my birthdays completely because they had focused so much on bringing my sister to concerts...

...She wanted to go to that they forgot my birthday and didn't even get me something small like a $5 gift card which they did a few times when their money was more focused on my sister.

I spent most of my time with my paternal grandparents when I was younger. But grandma died 3 years ago and grandpa lives in a nursing home in another city so I don't have them anymore and that made it more difficult.

2020 was also super lonely because I felt lonely and like my parents and sister were a family and I was the intruding roommate. My sister actually had a temper tantrum in April of 2020 and broke some of my gaming stuff and not only was it never acknowledged at all but it wasn't replaced either. They only focused on the fact my sister was so upset that she did it.

A few months ago I decided I needed to talk to my parents to see if it could get better. They decided we needed therapy together. In therapy it was recommended we spend more time together like they do with my sister. So we did that once a week.

They still spent the rest of the week focused on my sister. It only just started when my sister got so jealous and had a meltdown over them focusing on me and she accused our parents of preferring me to her.

My parents asked me then if I could be understanding and give more time before we focus on us because my sister really needed them and couldn't deal with sharing them at that point. I was so mad and hurt but I also felt so done.

So I told my parents not to bother because their only child clearly needs them and I'll be out of their hair as soon as I can be. They went back to my sister being their only focus and I stopped caring.

This made them suggest all four of us to go to therapy, but with someone new since the old place we went to would not be happy with them ignoring the advice. They told me it's all that will work now. I said no.

They told me this is how we work on things all together and fix things. I told them it was too late. That I didn't have them being my parents for 15 years and I'm expected to be okay with that until my sister feels okay about sharing.

I told them they made the choice of whose feelings mattered more and just like always they put her first so I was done and I didn't want to fix it. They have begged me a few times since and they told me they're willing to work on it so I need to be reasonable. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

many_hobbies_gal said:

I am so sorry about all of this. No you NEVER deserved to be treated like the red headed stepchild. Ok I get your sister was born with issues. But your parents never figured out how to navigate a life with both children and it sounds like you were cast aside for her needs.

This is a poor excuse on behalf of your parents. Let me add this. I know your feeling bad, please remember you sister didn't ask for her lot in life either, she didn't ask to be placed on this pedestal by your parents. This is on them. Your sister learned to navigate within the family based on what your parents did, same as you.

I don't blame you for not wanting to participate in therapy. What good is it going to do if they simply change therapists because they aren't willing to do what it takes. Perhaps a better option would be therapy with just your sister at first. I can understand how your feeling towards your parents and sister. NTA.

northerntropicaz said:

NTA. And you’re exactly right, suck it up until you’re old enough to leave and look after yourself properly. Then don’t look back. I’m so sorry you’ve been treated this way. That is so awful, just reading it made me feel ill.

aquavenatus said:

NTA. Your parents made their choice. Unfortunately, it’ll be several years before they realize they lost you forever. Start making your future plans now, so when the time comes you’ll never have to return to them. I’m so sorry.

Marie_Witch said:

NTA. They made their bed and they can lie in it. I’ve never understood why parents with multiple children always treat one better than the other. My mother has 3 children and she does this and always makes one of us the new random golden child of the month/year and I hate it. So sorry you’re going through this man. Have you ever considered individual therapy just by yourself to process everything?

squigs said:

NTA. Geez! They weren't exactly trying were they? They've unfortunately turned your sister into a total spoiled brat. She can't take being told "no" and they can't bear to say "no." Unless they can learn to deal with your sister's tantrums it sounds like it's a waste of everyone's time.

Far_Prior1058 said:

NTA - I would recommend you go to individual therapy. I assume you have an exit strategy? Also, depending on where you live you could start to work. This would allow you to start saving money while going to school and prepare you for what you have planned after high school. Are there no other relatives you can get help from?

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

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