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Son runs away from home due to parents' polyamorous lifestyle. 'I feel unsafe in my own home.' AITA? BIZARRE UPDATES

Son runs away from home due to parents' polyamorous lifestyle. 'I feel unsafe in my own home.' AITA? BIZARRE UPDATES


When this young man runs away from home due to his parents' lifestyle, he asks the internet:

"I am so disgusted by my parents. AITA?"

I hate my parents being poly. I want to stay away from my parents and live with my grandpa. I am 17 years old and home doesn't feel like home ever since I was 10 years old. My parents like to hook up and date other couples.

They started doing it since I was around 9 year old. I figured out when I was 12 years old and I was snooping on my mom's phone. I admit it was wrong of me to do that. I thought my mom I was cheating. So I told my dad.

They both sat down with me and told while they love each other, they like to see other people. They assured they weren't getting divorced. However it's like we stopped being a close family of three but it became me and my parents.

When I was 11 years old I started to be forced to be at a grandpa's 6 and a half days each month. My parents started going on adult vacations with their adult friends more than we went on family vacations. It was extremely isolating.

Their dates with other people took more of a priority in their lives. I remember my mom dating a dude when I was 14 years old. She was practically gone almost every other weekend.

I have tried to tell them with how I felt. I just got responses like "We love you but we're more than just your parents. We have a life too." Too an extent, I get that. I mean the world shouldn't revolve around me. But it seems that this other life they have is more important than being around me.

Despite being the kid, I've put so much in trying to spend time with my parents just to be pushed away. I did so recently but I have given up.

My dad hates going to Canada so I asked my mom if we can take a short trip there, just the two of us. I asked here if we could do it anytime during August. She said she couldn't go since her and dad would have to go on a business trip.

Two days after that,I found out it was a lie. I was upstairs and my laptop wasn't working. So I asked if I could borrow hers. She said yes and told me it was in her bedroom. She had multiple tabs open.

As I was working on the computer. I got an instagram message saying "We can't wait to see you and hubby on the trip." I opened it up and my heart broke. Apparently their "business trip" was vacation with another couple at an adult resort.

I poured my heart out to my grandpa. He felt really bad for me. He told me to wait for my 18th Birthday. It's four days from now and I can't wait to leave this pathetic excuse of a family.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

ch55 writes:

I am so sorry. My mom did the same thing post divorce and it never got better. Some people just aren’t ready to be parents- it’s up to you to end the cycle of abuse and learn how to create stable friendships and kinships for yourself.

Edit: I really meant to add more to this initially but my kids started screaming and I just kind of quickly abandoned my train of thought and settled for the first comment. It seems rude though to me reading it back so I wanted to add to it.

The pain I feel from feeling neglected, rejected, and abandoned by my mom is constant. I have to adjust my behavior constantly, and now that I’m a mom it’s a whole new journey in itself but I am hoping to always have the awareness in myself to see how my actions affect my kids.

And I know first hand that kids really need to feel like they’re their parents priority or they will deal with pain and trauma from that kind of neglect…. Forever.

I am so sorry that this is happening to you, but I am so glad you are fighting for yourself. Acknowledging that what they have put you through is wrong for a parent to do, and that you deserve more, and better, from your kin relationships.

Luckily you have your grandfather, and if you keep your heart open and kindness in your heart, there will be so many new connections you will make in your life that will make your life feel….. fulfilled finally.

But the hardest time I have had with the transition into a life accepting my mom will never be around again, has been trying to be more open, nice, loving and willing to strangers/new friends. Not… strange strangers, but yanno lol.

I hope the rest of your days show you love and friendship and kindness. You deserve that.

blonde245 writes:

Tell them what they told you "I'm an adult now and I have to live my life the way I see fit - just like you have all this time". Then do not discuss it further.

They have earned this because they put their sex life before their child time and time again. I understand that parents need to be a couple during their marriage, not just parents, but your parents took this too far and neglected you in the process, even after you tried to talk to them.

Please live your life to the fullest once you get to your Grandfather's. Don't let their selfishness impact your adult life. Enroll in a tech or community college and learn some skills, if you haven't already.

Also take some classes at school or in your community about hobbies you are interested in. Go build and good, happy and solid life - you deserve it!!

doodscool writes:

Oof, your parents put you in a really shitty spot. I’m so sorry for that and the pain it’s caused you. Yes, of course parents do have lives outside of being there for their kids but it shouldn’t be to the point of their child feeling this heavily neglected. You’re right in that they took this way too far.

I would be rather honest with them. They may not be ready to hear it but that should stop you from speaking your truth. Explain how their poly lifestyle led to you feeling very neglected by them and that this household and has gotten to feel very toxic for you.

Let them know you need space and time away from them to heal from years of feeling unwanted and at the bottom of their list of priorities. And that’s why you’re moving out. If it’s easier to say in a letter, do so.

You’ll be 18, there’s f all they can do about it. Either they’ll choose to really hear you and commit to making some changes or not. I’m guessing at this stage they’re going to be dismissive as they’re likely not ready to own up to what they’ve done while they’re still in the throes of this lifestyle.

It doesn’t change the fact that you can and should take space from them to heal regardless of their response.

As someone who also had emotionally and physically absent parents, going out and living my own life and taking lots of space from them has helped soften the tension and let us move forward with a better dynamic when we do spend time together.

I would also request support in getting therapy. What they did to you does leave wounds and it can be hard to recognize the ways that impacts your other relationships until much later.

Talking with a therapist regularly to work through your childhood abandonment will serve you greatly as you move into the independent adult phase of your life. I had to grow up young too and in many ways I was mature for my age.

But being around such low emotional intelligence has its impact and in many ways my emotional development was stunted too. I was in survival mode for so many years, just reacting to everything as it came, with few healthy tools to properly process my emotions.

I struggle to trust my own feelings to this day and I can imagine someone who went through what you did might feel similarly.

If you don’t click with your therapist, try another one. A good therapist is worth their weight in gold and worth the investment in yourself.

Another interesting concept is Ho’oponopono. It’s a Hawaiian teaching about forgiveness you may want to look into when you’re ready to go there.

Remember forgiveness isn’t for the other person, it’s for yourself. But start with truly processing everything you’ve been through before doing all that.

If you like reading, Becoming the One, Discovering the Inner Mother, and Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents are some great reads.

thanatos writes:

Poly here, with 8 kids from my wife (had to put that because some twat has been following me saying on here and didn't understand extended family when poly) been with my wife and my partner for 27 years BUT, no matter what, and over wife and partner, MY KIDS HAVE ALWAYS COME FIRST!

They come before dates, come before sex, come before work, come before anyone and anything else on the planet. Your parents just flat out have neglected you and placed their relationship dynamic over you.

Don't care if you're mono, poly, swinger, or whatever, ones kids (especially when young) should be your priority in life. Our kids think of my partner like a second mom, and her kids think of me like a second dad/grandpa, and there's tremendous love and a huge support system.

That's not what you had, and I don't blame you for going to live with your grandpa, at all.

The aftermath of your decision is that they have to come to grips with the damage they did and that, now, you're going to be as distant to them as they were to you... They are reaping what they sowed and that's going to be a tough pill to swallow for them. Sucks to be them.

You have done NOTHING wrong in this, it's 100% them. Fuck the aftermath, that's for them to deal with. You enjoy loving with your grandpa, since he seems to be the one who actually cared about you all this time.

I'm sorry this happened in your life, there are toxic parents no matter the relationship dynamic, but it's worse when poly because so many preach that poly has it's shit together when it doesn't fit a lot of people who have it as their relationship.

Just like mono relationships can have toxic people in them, poly can as well... That's in the people, not the relationship style. I know plenty of people in both mono and poly that are shining examples of both but, your parents aren't it. Good luck to you and your future.

I know it will be hard, but please don't judge all of us poly people as your toxic parents, and try your best not to let it f up how you engage in relationships later on, no matter the dynamic. Possibly seek counseling to help you get past it, for a healthier relationship later on.

psychoex8 writes:

You are completely valid in your feelings. That is a lot of trauma to hold on to as a kid, I can't imagine the pain you might be feeling. A lot of us had to spend years in therapy to overcome all the shit our parents put us through. Hold close to your grandpa, he really loves you.

Go live with him for awhile and start to find yourself. I know it hurts now, soon you'll be an adult & you can separate yourself from them for a little while. Start to process some of the things you had to experience.

I'm so sorry. No child should have to see the things you did. Unfortunately are parents are only human and half the time they don't realize how their actions affect us.

My dad did similar things. He even had an affair with my best friends mom, forcing us to move away from my childhood home. He had countless women in and out of his life. You know just typical bs.

I'm turning 25 in a month & my relationship with my dad has never been better. I think he had to sit back and realize how he hurt me after I left the house at 17. It gets better kid.

stefswife writes:

As for how you deal with the aftermath of your decision….. you put yourself and your needs first. For once in your life, you need to be the priority. Unfortunately, your parents weren’t the ones who did that for you.

I absolutely understand your feelings on this matter. Just substitute gambling and you pretty much told my own story.

As a child I had a lot of resentment and feelings of abandonment because of my parent’s actions (and inactions). As an adult, I do understand that while yes, you do deserve a life outside of being a parent, there has to be a balance. Your parents (and my parents also) were not able to find that balance.

And it causes such deep feelings of abandonment, self doubt, unworthiness, etc… for the children. This stays with you… and I have recognized that it affected my other relationships for a long time. I have seen some people who have said to not cut contact with your parents.

That decision is entirely up to you and what you feel is the most beneficial to you. Even if your parents do “come to their senses” and realize what they’ve done…. The damage has been done and will be hard to fix.

You needed them in your formative years and they weren’t there. You and they will never get that time back. They made their polyamorous bed and now they have to lie in it. I’m glad you had your grandparents.

Therapy would also be a good idea. This is not your fault and was never about you. I hope that one day you can see that.

fancey55 writes:

If they get upset: "think of it as a break. I have tried to build a real relationship with both of you, for years and years, and I'm tired of feeling pathetic for chasing something that only I want.

I want to feel like I matter and I need to be someplace where I feel wanted, and Grandpa is the only other person I really have. I appreciate and love both of you, probably more than is healthy for me, but this will allow you two to live your lifestyle without me getting in the way...

and I won't have to feel bad about myself for trying to plan things for us to do together only to discover you fabricated a business trip as an excuse to avoid spending time with me one-on-one.

It is just hurtful and feels shitty and I want to see if it is possible for me to feel better if I remove myself from this environment. I am sure once you are free of me for a couple weeks, you'll be wondering why I didn't do it years ago."

freeeze0@ writes:

When somebody chooses to have a child, that child becomes a massive and important part of their life. Obviously they should be able to do things for themselves too, but not when it’s jeprodisring their relationship with their child, or their kids mental well-being.

I’m so sorry that your parents have abandoned you like this, I am also essentially no contact with my family and while it was difficult at first, it gets easier overtime.

A support system outside of your family definitely helps, and if you have access to therapy that is also a route you should try, although I understand that it’s not always accessible (it wasn’t for me).

Just remember that you’ll be ok, your grandpa sounds lovely, maintain that relationship, but don’t let him talk you into forgiving your parents unless that is what you want.

jinzforasoda writes:

I’m polyamorous and have 2 kids. If my children ever came to me and said that I wasn’t around enough or that it felt like I was putting a relationship before my connection with them—I would immediately fix it. Less date nights, more time at home, more connection and communication.

This isn’t an issue with your parents being polyamorous, it’s an issue with your parents being selfish. You’re not wrong to be upset and you’re not wrong to move out.

You came to them and told them you needed more connection from them. You said you need more support, more time, more reassurance that you were loved and priority.

They failed to do that and you leaving at 18 is the consequences of their own inaction. They put their own wants above you and they failed to provide you the emotional support you came to them asking for.

And now, OP's update 2 days later:

Well the situation got worse. Yesterday my mom asked me what I want to do on my birthday. I told her I am going to hang out with my friends after school. She asked about doing a party like last year. I told I would rather just kick it with my friends and go bowling.

Then she asked if I wanted her and dad to take me out for breakfast. Again, I told them I wasn't interested. My wonderful dad told me to spend some time with them and "think about us" for once in a while.

I guess I've been bottling up my emotions for a while now and I was about to lose my shit any day soon. Well, I lost my shit there and then. I told my dad to shut the hell up. My parents were shocked.

My mom admonished me for talking to my dad that way. Then I told her to shut the hell up too. I revealed that I knew about the trip. I straight up told them " I know these activities of yours are your own business but it always seems those activities mattered more than me. Stop pretending you give a shit about me."

I went up to my room. I could hear my mom crying downstairs. I packed my shit. I called my grandpa to pick me up. My mom was worried and asked me where I was going. Then they both started following me outside the house. My grandpa was waiting in the driveway.

My dad asked him what was going on. My grandpa was pretty blunt and told him everything. Then he said he was disappointed in my dad. My dad started to get emotional and told to put my stuff back in the house and that we can talk about it. My grandpa said it was too late.

Then my dad snapped and told him to not to get involved and what my grandpa is doing is illegal. My mom started to beg me to come back and said we can talk about this situation. I ignored her.

I am chilling at my grandpa's home it was only five minutes from my school so I'm lucky in that way I guess.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's story:

tata431 writes:

I've never understood polyamorous parents who pull this crap. I'm polyam, and my partners know that my child is my priority, period, end of. They know if my kid needs me, that's where I'm gonna be.

They know I don't have tons of free time because of my kid, and they respect it and have told me "If that child wasn't your priority, I wouldn't be with you". These parents don't just suck, but so do their partners for not checking in about this.

Polyamory is about communication, respect, understanding, and prioritizing. When you're a parent, that part of your life should be more important. That's not to say you neglect other relationships, but your child should always come first, period. You chose to bring them into the world, and that means you have an obligation to put them ahead of other things.

I cannot IMAGINE foisting my child off on someone else to go have a trip to go meet someone for a week at a time. In fact, I've done ONE overnight away from my kid for a date, and I felt so, so guilty that when I came home the next day, my whole day was about "Alright buddy, what do you wanna do?"

I had no interest in sex, either (the person was completely understanding and supportive, and we watched stuff like Over the Garden Wall and Samurai Batman, and played a couple games before we fell asleep).

And mind you, I'm not a helicopter parent. My kid is their own person, and they have their own wants and needs, but they come first no matter what. Anyone who'd prioritize dating over their own kids, ESPECIALLY to the point of neglect, doesn't deserve to be a parent.

I haven't done an overnight since, because the idea of putting a person I'm seeing/possibly sleeping with over my child as a priority blows my mind.

These parents suck, the partners suck, and grandpa is the only adult in this whole scenario that isn't a raging asshat for this. I hope this kid heals, and that his parents are in misery. They deserve it for neglecting him.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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