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Siblings shuts down brother when he says 'fake funeral' at rehab was traumatic. AITA?

Siblings shuts down brother when he says 'fake funeral' at rehab was traumatic. AITA?


Desperate times call for desperate measures. But in retrospect, when the desperate times have subsided, the measures might look a bit absurd - even if they were necessary in the moment.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, the OP asked if they were wrong for telling their brother they don't regret his fake funeral and that he should be thanking their parents. They wrote:

"AITA for telling my brother I don’t regret his fake funeral and he should be thanking our parents?"

My brother used to be an add*ct. Now when he was 21 he ended up in the hospital and my parents basically forced him to go to an extreme rehab. I won’t say which to keep this anonymous. Not playing, I know the rehab was hard. It had a you leave once we won’t let you back in, had a ton of strict rules. One of the things they did was have the family give a funeral for their kids.

We went in, didn’t talk to him and he listened to us reading what we would say if he did die. It was a lot, but in the end, it seems to have worked and he has been sober for 4 years now (25 now). We were at family dinner and the topic was brought up. He got really upset with mom about if and it started a rant on his end about rehab. I had enough after he said she didn’t love him to do that.

I told him I don’t regret his fake funeral and that he should be thanking mom and dad that he is alive. He left after calling a me a jerk and I am unsure if I should apologize. Dad thinks he need to hear it since none of us regret it.

People quickly spoke up in the comments.

IAmTAAlways wrote:

NTA, brother is definitely still an addict with an addict's brain. His resentment is going to cloud his recovery for as long as he lets it happen. Until he is able to let that go and realize that it was either rehab or dead, then he really isn't any better and hopefully is still seeing an addictions counselor or has a sponsor and goes to meetings. Be wary because it could just be because he's using again too.

OkManufacturer767 wrote:

YTA. That funeral was good for you. He's made it clear it was not good for him. This makes you and the family wrong for your reaction. There is zero evidence that the funeral is what happened. It's a crappy therapy tool. Y'all should apologize.

Monstrissimo wrote:

Nope NTA. Bro sounds like an ungrateful jerk and with that attitude he may start using again. He sounds like he resents what was done to him and people like that often relapse. I would keep an eye for signs out just in case.

boopitybobbiti wrote:

YTA. I'm a recovered addict who's been to a (very good) rehab and this funeral thing sounds extremely f#$ked up to me.

autumn_yellowrose wrote:

YTA. This will likely get many downvotes but, I think a lot of people forget that addicts don’t just become addicts because they want to. No one wants to become addicted to alcohol, meth, heroine or any of the other nasty stuff out there. There’s usually some underlying problem that enables the start of the addiction and then feeds into it. Family systems help enable or feed into the reason the addict uses.

I think people don’t like hearing that though. They want to think the addict alone is responsible for all the wrongs, when they are a symptom of a disfunction in the family. I would encourage you to look at your family dynamic and have some more empathy for your brother.

I say all this having a family riddled with addiction including my own brother. If he ever came to me and said something similar my first reaction wouldn’t be to dismiss him but to want to understand why he felt that way and apologize if necessary.

This is a split vote, but what is for sure is that OP's brother felt violated by the experience, and the family should acknowledge that.

Sources: Reddit
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