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'AITA for holding the past against my mom now that she needs help with her sick husband?'

'AITA for holding the past against my mom now that she needs help with her sick husband?'


"AITA for refusing to help my mom now that her husband is sick and throwing the past in her face when she pleaded with me?"

My mom and I (25f) have a contentious relationship. We have been mostly estranged for the last 7 years. I say mostly because she has made some effort to stay in touch while I faded away. My dad died when I was 4. Mom and him were not married but they were together.

She leaned heavily on my dad's family for a couple of years. Then she moved us away so she could start a better life for us. After moving she met John and married him. I was told, more than once, by John and my mom, that John was now my father and I was told to call him dad, refer to him as dad with others, and not to correct anyone who used the term dad/father.

I was to correct those who said he was my stepdad. I didn't want to do this but I was punished and John yelled at me multiple times for 'disrespecting his love' and I was berated and told he was stepping up to take me on as his daughter and the least I could do is to respect him as my father.

When my mom gave John children, it became very clear he never saw me as his. I was treated differently. I was not given the same anything. Yet the rules remained in place that I call John 'dad' and would get punished for any instance of not. Mom always took his side, always backed him up, always agreed that he deserved some kind of respect for this stuff. I still have some bitterness over this.

I didn't want John to be my father but at the very least if I'm going to be forced to address him as such and to correct people who spoke the truth, I felt like I should have been treated better at least. But that didn't happen and I moved out the day I turned 18 and stopped speaking to or seeing my mom and John.

She would reach out, sometimes I would read or listen to her speak. But I felt good not having them around. Now John has been diagnosed with a neurological condition and my mom is caring for him. She asked me to come and help her. To help him. To help out their children. I refused.

She told me she needed me, they needed me, and I'm their daughter. I told her I didn't care, I wouldn't help and after everything they had done, they deserved nothing from me. I told her she failed me as a mother and as far as I was concerned they were already dead and buried and nothing to do with me.

She said I was being unfair, holding onto the past too much and lacking in compassion. She tried to tell me to think of the good times. I told her she failed me. She forced me to say stuff I didn't want to say as a kid in order to appease her husband who didn't treat me like his kid anyway.

A family friend reached out after the disagreement and told me I should be ashamed and while they were imperfect back then, they are still my family and I piled on a woman who is doing the hardest job imaginable (caring for a sick loved one). AITA?

Here's what people had to say:

Ericwyss wrote:

Huge NTA. Your mom and stepdad both failed you as parents. Both of them disrespected your memory of your father. Your stepdad forcing you to call him something he wasn't entitled to and didn't live up to. Your mom choosing him and his kids over you - I mean the only parent you had left didn't want to protect you.

Now she can live by her choice. And that family friend can help her if she is so concerned - because it turns out she is not your friend. Children are dependent on the grown-ups. So when people don't support their kids when they need it - they can't expect to get support when they get older. I wish you a great life and future. Did you ever reach out to your real father's family?

Independent-Ninja-65 wrote:

It's funny how you have to have compassion for them when they need something now but they didn't have to have any for a kid who just lost their father and was discarded when other kids came along. The family friend can go help if they feel so strongly. Absolutely NTA.

CissiE_33 wrote:

NTA. It sounds like your life would be very miserable moving back and helping out. You will be an unpaid maid. You lost a lot growing up. Now it's your responsibility to create a good life for yourself where you can be happy. Of course you want to help out family. But not the ones that treats you badly and don't actually care about YOU!

Indie_gal75 wrote:

NTA. You cannot force someone to have a loving relationship with anyone unless they are willing to. You didn’t like referring to him as your dad and he clearly treated you differently from his own children. Your mother forced you into loving him as a part of your family instead you encouraging you to try and accept him. There is a difference here.

OP is definitely NTA here, this seems like a classic case of her mother reaping what she's sown.

Sources: Reddit
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