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Woman defends older brother; mom says he's made 'everyone's life a living hell.'

Woman defends older brother; mom says he's made 'everyone's life a living hell.'


There's a 'black sheep' in nearly every family... but there's usually a lot more to the story than that. A young woman posted about a family dispute and ended up learning much more than she was prepared for...

'AITA (Am I the A-hole) for defending my brother?'

throwawayah2028 writes:

I’m actually also surprised I’m defending my brother but here goes. So my older brother had issues. He was essentially one of those bratty and evil kids you read stories about. He got older and got into d%$gs and stuff. Our parents had enough and kicked him out after he became uncontrollable. It was mostly done for me as I was still pretty young.

We didn’t hear from or about him until he was in his early twenties. Turns out, he was married, had a good job and a kid on the way. Now he has 3 kids and is still happily married to a very lovely woman.

We see each other on Christmas, Easter, thanksgiving and a week during the summer but he mostly comes so our parents can see the kids. He usually doesn’t say anything and keeps to himself. At first I was afraid, confused and resentful for a lot of things but I have since forgiven him. He’s not a bad guy - honestly never was. He just needed help.

My parents hosted Thanksgiving and it was pretty normal. The usual. All of a sudden, there’s a sound of glass breaking. My nephew accidentally dropped a plate while trying to help my mom set up. My mom loses it. She starts yelling at him. The poor kid starts sobbing (he’s only 8) and runs to his mom.

My brother obviously asks our mom what that was about and that it was just an accident and my mom immediately goes “oh shut up, maybe if I yelled at you more you wouldn’t have made everyone’s life a living hell.”

My brother didn’t even react. He and his wife just gathered their kids and left. My mom immediately started to cry once she realized he wasn’t coming back and said that she didn’t deserve this and that he has no right to keep her away from her grandkids.

I told her that he actually does have the right to do that especially since she lost it on his innocent 8 year old son. My mom started to cry even harder and said that she didn’t need my opinion and that she can’t believe I’m on his side after everything he did and everything she did to protect me from his addiction etc. “I kicked my child out of the house for you.” Is what she said.

In a way, I guess she’s right. I probably should’ve kept my mouth shut. But my brother has grown so much as a person and it didn’t feel right to hear her still blame him for the actions of his child/teenage self. AITA (Am I the a-hole)?

What do you think? Should OP have kept her mouth shut and let her mom say those things? Or is there so much more going on than OP seems to realize...?

Reddit ruled a big NTA (not the a-hole), but also agreed that the brother wasn't, either.

MisfitIncarnate says:

NTA. Your mother shouldn't have lost it on a 8 yr old. Makes me wonder if she has history of abusive behavior that could have contributed to your brothers addiction.

ScorchieSong agrees:

The suggestion that more yelling would have prevented him from going down a bad path speaks to that.

Prior_Bumblebee_9704 suggests:

Yeah OP, I’m not sure how old you are, but you definitely need to have a long talk with your brother (without your parents) & find out exactly what happened when he was younger. I think it will be very eye opening for you. I also think it’s very admirable that you stuck up for him the way you did & even though he wasn’t there to see it he’d be very grateful. Absolutely NTA.

Then OP shared:

Idk if it’s the worst thing but when my brother was a child, he would refuse to go to church and threw tantrums and the sort which used to make my mom very upset as she was extremely religious at the time. She told me that she has regretted some of the things she said to him but won’t tell me what she said.

But apart from this, I don’t believe there was anything that could be considered bad and she ended up distancing from the church not long after and it was never mentioned again. The only reason I still remember this is because my aunt made a comment about it earlier this summer.

Naijprincess responded:

This is the problem. Your mother just let you see a bit of what she put her child through in that encounter with your nephew.

Vegetable-Bee-7545 concludes:

So your mother abused your brother (and yes she did) and expected your brother no to act out. Every negative thing that happened in your brother during his childhood was due to your mother. She didn’t kick him out for you, no she kicked him out cause she couldn’t abuse him anymore because he learned to protect himself.

OP explained:

It was after a really bad fight which resulted in me getting hurt and they were afraid for my safety - which is why my mom said she kicked him out for me. But if I were in my mom’s situation, I would not have done the same things she did.

I don’t blame my brother and don’t agree with my mother in the slightest. Especially as I’ve become older. But my brother hurt me in many ways and I have permanent scars regarding that so I hope you understand why I feel some resentment. He is definitely not a monster and never was. But my big brother physically and verbally hurting me (intentional or not) is a really hard thing to just stop thinking about.

And MaryAnne0601 wants to know:

Did you ever stop to think that maybe your brother fought so hard against going to church was because he was being abused there? Take a look at all the recent cases from all the various religions of child sexual abuse.

To which OP replied:

You know what, I remember one of my high school teachers talking about the rampant abuse in churches and used the church my mom went to as an example. It’s always been something I could never get out of my head.

And then veni_vidi_dixi brought up a very good point:

The more you reply defending your mom, the more your parents sound like abusers. I know you don’t see it yet, but that’s definitely the perspective of anyone outside looking in.

I think it’s telling that your brother and his wife had a clear plan if your parents behaved badly. They acted calmly and efficiently. That doesn’t happen when people are surprised. They had talked about boundaries and exactly what they would do if your parents reverted back to their old ways.

It seems like OP and her brother had two completely different childhoods...

Hopefully, if there is/was abuse in the family, that cycle will end here. Good luck out there, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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