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Man refuses to take care of disabled sister; tells parents, 'it's not my job.'

Man refuses to take care of disabled sister; tells parents, 'it's not my job.'


When this man is tired of caring for his sister, he asks Reddit:

"AITA For telling my parents that I refuse to take care of my disabled sister in order to prioritize my own career and hobbies?"

(35M) My sister Daniella (33F) has Rett syndrome and will never be able to live independently. Growing up, my parents forced my older brother Henry (42M) to essentially be a third parent and caretaker for Daniella.

Then they expected that of me after Henry moved out when I was 10. I was forced to quit all my extracurriculars.

I was never allowed to go anywhere or do anything outside of school hours because they would need someone to complete chores while they were at the hospital with Daniella or look after Daniella while they went out to “have fun.”

It was very common for them to say things like “You get to see your friends every day at school. We only get to see ours two nights a week!” They would be out until midnight most times and I would be on my own taking care of Daniella.

I moved out the day I graduated high school. I only talk to my parents for family emergencies, because any other conversation becomes about me again becoming a full-time, unpaid caregiver for Daniella.

Recently my father experienced a health scare. He is fine, but it made my parents realize that they are getting older and will not be able to take care of Daniella someday.

They finally got Daniella on a waiting list for a care home, but it’s obviously a very long wait and it’s very likely that my parents will either pass away or become unable to care for Daniella before it will be her turn to enter the care home.

My parents explained this to me and said how since I have the ability to work from home with my job, I can start “taking over” certain days with Daniella’s care to “get back into the hang of” it and be ready in case I need to become her full-time caregiver.

I explained that I would not work from home, because it makes less money and I want to focus on advancing my career. I also wanted free time for my own hobbies and outside social life. My parents called me selfish and said that I need to realize caring for Daniella will not leave enough time for “those other things.”

I told my parents I would not be caring for Daniella. I’ve spent my entire childhood taking care of her and I’m done. Now other family members and some acquaintances are telling me what a horrible person I am because I am prioritizing career advancements and hobbies over my own sister.

Some are calling my ableist because Daniella’s disability isn’t fair to her or my parents and I am essentially saying disabled people shouldn’t be accommodated by refusing to help care for Daniella. I believe that disabled people all deserve to have their needs met.

At the same time, I’m not obligated to keep putting my life on hold for Daniella and my parents. I know on the outside it sounds horrible to prioritize my career and hobbies over my disabled sister, but I won’t return to revolving my life around caring for Daniella because it’s never going to stop if I do. AITA?

Let's find out.

scrappy177 writes:

Holy crap. NTA. You gave up your childhood for your sister. You aren't giving up your adult life. Even if you provided zero care for her when you were a child (which is a crazy expectation to have of a 10-year-old to begin with) you don t have to cancel your life to take care of her.

badrussiandriver writes:

Yep. NTA. The parents should have put Daniella on the list for a care home 10, 15 years ago. I had an alcoholic drug addict brother. Both parents enabled THE F** out of him, ignoring all signs and telling me to 'mind my own business' when I'd tell them he needed to be dealt with.

I burst out laughing when the remaining parent told me 'It's time for you to take over the care of your brother.' Excuse me? He's stolen god knows how much from me, AND abused me from day one, you think I'm gonna continue the Enable Train?

Nope. Not my corpse to carry, parent. I could picture myself working 70 plus hours a week -JUST- to continually replace all the s**t he'd steal for his habit. Nope, he's already cost me too much. Time for baby boy to sink or swim.

notthelizard writes:

NTA. Have those relatives who are criticizing you help with Daniela's care. You didn't choose to be born, you didn't choose to have siblings, and you didn't choose to be born in full health. All that is on your parents, they failed all of you quite miserably. Please live and enjoy your life to the fullest. I wish you and your brother all the best.

Well, looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for his going forward?

Sources: Reddit
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