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Teen refuses creepy neighbor's request that she sleeps over their home with their son, they say she's 'disgusted' by autistic people.

Teen refuses creepy neighbor's request that she sleeps over their home with their son, they say she's 'disgusted' by autistic people.

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Teen rejects neighbor family's requests for her to sleepover with their son.

writes:

I (18F) have an autistic neighbor (18M) who is also my classmate at school. We became acquainted when his family moved into the neighborhood, and after learning that we were in the same class, his parents asked for my help with his schoolwork. So, I've known them for almost three years.

A couple of months ago, I learned that he has a crush on me. His bashful behavior and the letters I accidentally read gave it away. Initially, it was awkward for me, but I got over it soon, as he didn't directly express his feelings. Unfortunately, his bashful interactions led our classmates to assume that he might like me, which further fueled a rumor.

Additionally, a teacher who is overly invested in high school gossip kept pairing me up with him. It was embarrassing for me, and I felt powerless to address it since he hadn't confessed anything; it was just an external assumption and rumor.

Days ago, his parents were going out of town and asked me to sleep over at their place. While it wasn't a surprising request because my family has hosted him for dinner when his parents are away, the sleepover was a new proposition.

In the past, I might have agreed to it; after all, it was just a night in their guest room, and my parents were next door. But with the awkward situation at school, I declined. My parents still offered him dinner or invited him to spend the night at our house, but they declined both.

His mom kept pressing me for reasons why I didn't want to stay over, and I told her that he's a boy, so I wasn't comfortable. However, she wasn't satisfied with my answer. I trusted her enough to confide in her about what was happening at school.

Her reaction was anger, and she accused me of being disgusted by her son's feelings because he is autistic, and she insinuated that I assumed an autistic person would do something harmful to me if I stayed alone with them. Needless to say, it was a horrible day for all of us. Our parents haven't spoken to each other since.

I wouldn't label his parents as terrible people for their reaction. Given that their son doesn't behave like others his age, and considering the stigma around autism, he might have experienced ostracization and bullying in the past. But, the thought of it does make me feel like an AH.

So, AITA for rejecting their sleepover request because of the rumors and people actively pairing us, even though I might have accepted their request in the past?

Here are some thoughts from the comments and OP even responded to one.

Leading-Knowledge712 says:

NTA (Not the A%@$ole) it’s not appropriate for an 18-year girl to spend the night at the home of a boy that age when the parents aren’t there, especially when he has a crush on you. Indeed it could put you in danger and I’m not surprised that you’re uncomfortable either it.

His being autistic could add the awkwardness or risk since he may not attuned to social clues and could think his crush is reciprocated. His mother is out of line to try to pressure you.

fallingintopolkadots says:

NTA. I think SHE'S the one discounting the inappropriateness of asking you to stay overnight in a house with a person of the opposite sex (whether or not they have a crush on you) because they assume their son would never do anything inappropriate for whatever reason.

It's also incredibly rude to push you to say "yes" when you were clearly uncomfortable -- for whatever reason, why would you want someone to do something they're uncomfortable with, especially when there are other options.

It's definitely strange that she turned down having come over to your place for dinner or to stay over (since your parents would be there), and I'm also hoping your parents pulled some one the pressure off of you and told his parents that they would have not been comfortable with you having a sleepover with a boy with no parents around.

Tangerine_Bouquet says:

NTA. Rumors are hard to fight, and here it sounds like they're actively trying to pair you up. That was not a reasonable request, and when the mother pushed, you would be better to just walk away. A 'no' is a 'no'.

It is just all-round weird that they seem to want you, an 18-year-old, to 'babysit' an 18-year-old. That's not what they wanted--the mom seems to want to set you up with her son. That is creepy af. (Note that the mom is creepy; the son is probably fine, just being an 18-year-old with whatever level of autism who has a crush and hasn't done anything.)

Even you say you would previously have been okay with it, because it would be as friends, but you aren't children--it really isn't reasonable. At no time in the three years you've known them would it have been reasonable. This is 'new'--and creepy! You have nothing to feel guilty about here.

Plus, your parents invited him over, if they didn't want him alone (despite being 18), and they said no to that. You do not have to reciprocate feelings, whether the other person is autistic or not. You get to choose.

Listen to your gut. All the things others are doing not-out-loud are b.s. and you know it. Try to rise above it, and I hope you're done with school and on to new adventures soon. Nobody else gets to decide your relationships. Actually, here you are both adults, even if in high school, and you are learning to draw your own boundaries.

OP responds:

The rumor is such an issue. I fear that if I have any further interaction with him, it might mislead him or others. No, I don't blame him at all. I think his parents were being unusual, but that's not on him.

Reasonable-Sale8611 says:

It was totally inappropriate for them to ask you to sleep over. You would be in a vulnerable situation alone with an adult sized person of the opposite sex on territory that is his, not yours. Even if he is autistic, you are the same age and in the same classes. It's not the right situation to ask you to sleep over. That the young man's mother kept hounding you after you said no, was doubly inappropriate.

That the mother kept pressing you for explanations as if you had some sort of obligation to convince her that your "no" was acceptable, and that she then berated you when she found out why you were uncomfortable, was triply inappropriate. NTA.

What do you think? Was OP right to not want to sleepover?

Sources: Reddit
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