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Woman refuses to attend sister's wedding, 'I am not comfortable around children.' AITA?

Woman refuses to attend sister's wedding, 'I am not comfortable around children.' AITA?


"AITA for refusing to go to my sister's wedding, knowing that it means most of our family won't attend?"

I (40F) am significantly older than my sister, 25F. As such, after she was born, I was repeatedly looked over and parentified by my parents in favor of her. Examples of this include giving my old clothes and toys to her (without my permission), rather than preserving them as a keepsake of my childhood.

In short, my inner child has had to do a lot of healing over the years. I am low contact with my parents and sister, but apparently she is engaged and wants me to be a part of the wedding party.

Now, I am not comfortable around children of any age. It is part of my trauma; being around them for me comes with a sense of responsibility that reminds me of the neglect I suffered at the hands of my family. My sister knows this, so I assumed with her asking me to be in the wedding, that the wedding would be childfree.

During a discussion, she mentioned her fiancé’s best friend’s daughter would be serving as flower girl and our cousin’s son would be ring bearer. I reminded her that I would not be comfortable around children and expressed my disappointment that she would invite me to be in a wedding that is not childfree.

She looked sad for a second and told me that there were many young children and families that are close to her and her fiance and the day would feel “incomplete” without them, and if I really wasn’t comfortable around children to that extent, she would understand if I am unable to attend.

I was shocked that she would uninvite me in the favor of random kids and it reminded me of being thrown aside in favor of her when we were young, so I left to collect myself. I attempted to ask my parents to talk some sense into her but, surprise, surprise, they took her side. At this point, I was deeply hurt and needed an outlet, so I did something that might make me TA.

I am friends with some other family members on facebook, and I made a post about how my sister was kicking me out of the wedding and that my parents were taking her side, all because of the trauma that they contributed to themselves. I didn’t go into detail because I didn’t think it was anyone else’s business, I just wanted to vent. Now, people are apparently refusing to go to my sister’s wedding unless I am reinstated as part of the wedding.

She and my parents are begging me to come but still refusing to budge on the children being there, so it doesn’t make much of a difference to me. I do feel bad because I didn’t know that our family would refuse to come but I cannot go to an event that has that many children running around or retract my statement because I don’t want the family to think I lied. AITA for refusing to go?


EDIT: for those of you suggesting therapy, I am in therapy. My therapist is incredible and helped me realize how heavily my past has affected me. I have yet to discuss the facebook post with her, but we'll see what she has to say.

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

JPenelope said:

YTA. Your parents giving your hand-me-downs to your sister is not parentification. It's economics. You didn't lose your childhood because your sister wore your old sweatshirt or played in your old playpen. One could easily turn things around and your sister could complain that she was treated worse because, while her older sister got all her things new, she had to make do with 15-year-old leftovers.

Just because your sister has asked you to be at her side on one of the most important days of her life does not mean that she and her partner need to cater the entire event to your preferences. Their wedding is about them and what they want.

Your sister didn't uninvite you. She accepted that you declined the invitation because apparently being within 100 feet of anyone under the age of 18 gives you hives.

Blasting her all over social media deliberately omitting details so that she would look like the villain is the true cherry on the cake. "My sister wanted children as flower girl and ring bearer for her wedding, as is customary for almost every western-style wedding. I'm gutted that she would dare to do this because I once babysat her as a teenager (also pretty standard)."

Look, maybe there are details that you omitted where you were actually neglected and abused by your family in favour of your younger sister. But the fact that you would choose to omit them rather than include them to support your point of view suggests to me that you know that you were not nearly as hard done by as you want people to believe. You're just selfish.

UltNinjaPS said:

YTA. You were 15 when she was born and mad she wore your baby clothes and got to play with your toys without your permission. So if she was never born you would have all your old clothes and toys displayed throughout your house?

You need to grow up. Sounds like your trauma is kids, any kids, get more attention than you. Won’t go to your sister’s wedding cause there will be kids there...good grief. Upset your stuff isn’t preserved as a keepsake of your childhood. Get over yourself.

JsCTmav said:

There's certainly nothing wrong with you not attending a wedding where you will feel uncomfortable. Heck, there's nothing wrong with you not attending a wedding for no reason at all other than you don't feel like going. But that's not what you're doing here.

You lied publicly lied about being "kicked out" - you simply weren't able to dictate that others get uninvited because they might make you uncomfortable. It's not your wedding - you could just not go, you didn't have to make false claims. YTA.

Oh, and do seek therapy. I don't doubt that you have traumas from how you were treated in the past, but a parent giving a younger sibling clothes or toys that an older sibling outgrew is not an example of being overlooked or parentified. You would likely benefit from discussing with an unbiased third party.

UncomfortableKumquat said:

YTA. You are FORTY YEARS OLD. You need a better therapist because it appears yours has not helped you at all. You have had DECADES to come to terms with your childhood (also, you're traumatized by hand-me-downs? REALLY?).

The entitlement you're displaying by being upset that your sister invited you to HER wedding that wasn't child-free is absolutely astounding. I truly don't know how you get through the day.

Fearless_Spring5611 said:

YTA. Not your wedding. You're not the main character. You objected to the wedding and gave a choice - you, or all those other guest. Your sister chose everyone else over one low-contact family member. So you've now manipulated the story and trashed her wedding all because it wasn't about you. Main Character Syndrome much?

INFJPersonality-52 said:

YTA You told people she kicked you out of the wedding. That’s a lie. She said she would understand if you couldn’t make it. You seem to really be playing the victim here. My dad treated my baby sister better than me and I was proud of him for learning to be better.

I love my sister so much, if she invited me to her wedding, nothing would stop me from going. But instead, you don’t like children. That’s a weird reason but whatever, just don’t go to the wedding and stop whining about it. You are acting like a child and you need to grow up.

No one was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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