Fighting fire with fire almost never goes well, but sometimes it's the only move left in your arsenal.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her SIL she's overweight. She wrote:
I really dislike this woman so I am coming here if I should apologize. My brother got married a few years ago to Shelly. She is the type of person that will say something rude and then when someone points it out, tell everyone it is true so what’s the harm. My mother despised her and actually opts out of most events just to avoid her.
I moved back home about a year ago and at the time I thought people were just being rude to her or overblowing the things she says. I was wrong. My first proper introduction to her she told me my outfit looked bad on me and it wasn’t hiding my stomach. I give a present to a birthday party and she tells me I am cheap. (I got a bubble gun for a 5-year-old, he loved it) This goes on and on.
I talked to my brother and he told me she is autistic and she can’t help it. I then talked to her and I told her I won’t put up with her being rude. Now it’s my son's third birthday and I invite the family (I wouldn’t have invited her but I don’t want to cause waves). She made a comment about my house decor, I told her it was rude and to knock it off.
I lost it when I gave my son a piece of cake she made the comment that I shouldn’t give him any since he looks fat. I told her to apologize and she told me it was the truth. I told her that she is overweight, that if she took care of herself more she wouldn’t be fat, that this was the truth and she is rotten on the inside and her looks are just as bad.
She ending up crying and leaving. My brother is pissed and I was called some fun names. Everyone is torn if I should apologize or not.
NTA. Did your son hear her comment about not giving him cake because he looks fat?? A comment like that can have a lasting effect on a child. My daughter, who is over 30 now, remembers a comment someone said about her looking fat when she was 8. She has never forgotten that comment.
Having autism should not be an excuse for being rude and hurtful! If she can’t control her comments don’t let her near your kids.
I'm autistic, and while I can't talk for all autistics, this doesn't make sense to me. I can say the wrong thing because I don't register that it is hurtful, but that is because I don't see it as hurtful and therefore wouldn't have reacted if someone told me the same thing (given that it was accurate).
This has caused me challenges, both because I might not realize that I'm committing a social faux pas, but also because when people try to hurt me by saying similar things back, I'm mostly confused if it isn't accurate or true, or I don't even realize that it is an attempt at hurting my feelings because yeah that's accurate.
If SIL is hurt by being called the same thing she calls others, she is aware that it is hurtful. The social implication of it doesn't go over her head, she knows it hurts people's feelings. She is then still making the choice to say it.
If she was just stating things that were true, and didn't understand that it was hurtful, she wouldn't have a problem with you just stating true things back. So she could simply be one of those autistics who are just an AH as well.
NTA she insulted you multiple times as well as insulting your child that is a grown woman she should know better. You reacted accordingly. The fact that she is autistic doesn’t excuse the fact you set your boundaries and she broke them. Yeah you're NTA.
I do not know whether or not that woman is autistic. I can say that I have read enough stories where people who are just being AHs and speaking without a filter defend themselves by saying they're autistic, but I have to say... as the mom of two children diagnosed on the spectrum...autism does not equal AH.
Now, it's possible that someone with autism is raised by someone who never bothered to teach them social norms or anything like that and just told the people around them "they're autistic" like it was some kind of shield against society. And that's BS.
Autistic people capable of conversing are capable of learning societal norms and are capable of learning rules and are capable of understanding that it's not kind to hurt people's feelings or talk about certain things.
The world is NOT "I can say whatever I want because I'm autistic and you just have to deal with it." Autistic people live in the world, too, and we ALL have rules to follow. I don't know whether or not she's autistic. I *do* know that she seems to suffer from "can dish it out but can't take it." NTA.
I'm autistic, but I would never say these things. I think some people use autism to try to get away with stuff, but that gives people with autism a bad name. Yeah, I approve of you giving her a few home truths. NTA.
OP is NTA, but her brother and SIL are big ones.