It can be utterly shattering for a kid to notice how much better another person has been treated by their parents. This realization can cataclysmically shift how they see their own parents and childhood.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a teen asked if she was wrong for walking out of a birthday party after it made her upset. She wrote:
I (15f) have no clue how birthdays work. My birthday has never been celebrated or even acknowledged my entire life, and I have never received a cake or birthday gift before. It is the same for all holidays as well. A couple of days ago, my mom told my little brother (9) and I that we were going to a dinner party of her past student for high school graduation. She teaches SPED. We said okay.
Before we went to the party, my mom told us we had to pick up a cake first. It was a cake with his name on it and balloon frosting designs. When we got to the party, my mom said “happy birthday!” And handed him the cake. I was really upset and wanted to cry but I ignored it. And it was his 21st birthday. He had graduated high school years ago.
I felt really upset the entire time, watching him blow out candles, being sang happy birthday, opening gifts. My brother whispered to me asking why we were at a birthday, when mom said we weren’t allowed to do anything birthday-related. I said “because nobody cares about us.” He said “if you ever plan on running away from home, I want you to take me with you.”
I really wanted to cry in that moment so I asked him if he wanted to take a moment and we left the house and took a walk around the neighborhood. We came back when it was time to go home, and mom yelled at me during the car ride. She wanted me to take pictures of the party and her, but she couldn’t find me and she said I humiliated her.
I told her that as her children, we should take priority and that it’s super hypocritical of her to be so against birthdays yet celebrate someone else’s, and even buy them a birthday cake! She told me it’s because he’s autistic and needs to be happy. And I said “right. And we don’t need to be happy, right?” She told me I was being a spoiled brat. AITA for ditching?
Soggy_Garage_5735 had one big question:
NTA, are you guys Jehovahs Witnessess?
And OP responded:
NTA, but why is your Mom celebrating this person's birthday, JH's don't celebrate any birthday, it's against their "creed", so your Mom is going against her JH's teachings, she's a hypocrite, I believe JH's can get in trouble for gifting a cake & joining the party.
I just want to give you a big hug ❤️ I am so proud of you for standing up for yourself and your brother. Depending on where you are & when your or your brother's birthday is, I will gladly throw y’all or pitch in to throw y’all a birthday party. Hell, come over for Christmas. I care about you both and so do so many other people you haven’t met yet.
You care about your brother and he cares about you, do something small when you can safely. Celebrate each other and the small things and work like hell to get out of there. Please pm me if you need anything or want to talk ❤️
NTA, big hug from this mom. <3 I can’t fathom not caring about my kids like that.
NTA. I know that it feels like forever, but in the not-so-distant future you won't have to live with your mother anymore and you can do as you please. In the meantime, do well at school, read good books (if you have access to them), save up a bit of money if possible and prepare for the day that you can leave.
You probably can't take your brother with you, but the two of you can do your best to stay the best of friends. Take care.
OP is NTA, her and her brother deserve a mom who shows care and affection.