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Teen snaps after mom won't let her go on trip because autistic brother feels left out.

Teen snaps after mom won't let her go on trip because autistic brother feels left out.


The world is still a very hard place to navigate if you have a disability.

Parents of disabled children often devote a lot of their time and energy into caring for their child and making sure they're given the best life possible against the odds. While this is a noble use of energy, it can leave siblings in the shadows as they watch the other kid receive the lion's share of attention. If not addressed, this feeling of being erased can boil into resentment and eventually lead to full-on confrontation.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a teen asked if she was wrong for snapping at her mom and saying she doesn't care about her autistic brother.

She wrote:

AITA for telling my mom that I don’t give a f*&k about my autistic brother?

My (16F) parents didn’t have much time for me after my brother (9M) was born and it got even worse after he was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. My dad is rarely home and my mom is always busy with my brother so neither of them have time for me. I’ve known my best friend “Rachel” since we were in kindergarten. Her mom is the nicest person I’ve ever met.

Rachel and I played soccer but my mom was rarely able to take me to practices and games so Rachel’s mom would always take me. I used to be in the school choir and my parents went to like one performance during the six years I did it. Rachel’s mom was at every performance for me even though Rachel wasn’t in choir.

Those are just a few examples, but Rachel’s mom has always been there for me when my parents weren’t available. My mom never really cares what I’m doing unless she needs me to watch my brother so I spend a lot of time at Rachel’s house. Once I spent a whole weekend there and my mom didn’t even call to ask where I am. Rachel’s family go on a lot of vacations and they often take me.

They’re going to Disney World during Thanksgiving break and invited me to come with them. I asked my dad and he said I could go. They’ve already planned and booked everything and I’m really excited. I’ve been to Disneyland once with my family and it was horrible.

My brother threw a huge tantrum on the first day because he wanted to go on the rides alone and sit between mom and dad so I had to stay in the hotel most of the time. My brother found out that I’m going to Disney and he had a really big meltdown. He loves Disney and he was mad that I was going without him.

My mom told me that she was planning to go to Washington to visit my grandparents. My dad didn’t say anything about that so I’m pretty sure she just made that up to stop me from going. And even if they are going, I don’t want to.\

I don’t want to go on a fourteen hour car ride with my brother and I’m pretty sure when we get there they’re either going to make me stay with him while they go out or take him out and leave me alone in the hotel (I also wouldn’t be allowed to go out on my own). She told me that I need to think about my brother and his feelings are more important because he’s younger and autistic.

I told her that I honestly don’t give a f*%k about my brother’s feelings and I wish he was never born. He was there when I said all this and he’s been crying and screaming for the last three hours and it’s giving me a headache.

My mom has been trying to calm him down and my dad said that he’ll still let me go because he understands I’m frustrated (he also grew up with neurodivergent siblings so he knows what it’s like). My mom said that I’m a rude, ungrateful brat and I need to be kinder to my brother. AITA?

EDIT: Idk if this is important but we live in California and went to Disneyland in Anaheim. I’m going to Disney World in Orlando with Rachel’s family. I think my brother does somewhat understand that Disney World has more fun stuff which makes him more mad. I didn’t tell him anything and I’m pretty sure my dad didn’t either, so either he overheard us talking or my mom told him.

EDIT 2: I was 11 when the Disneyland incident happened. My brother was mostly nonverbal then but when we were about to leave the hotel he started screaming and saying no while pointing at me.

My parents calmed him down briefly but when we got on our first ride he started screaming again so my parents told me to go back to the hotel. I snuck out the second day and went on like two rides before I ran into my parents and they told me to back because they didn’t want me to be out there alone.

EDIT 3: I don’t blame my brother for what happened at Disneyland. He was four. I blame my parents for not finding a better way to handle the situation. He was nonverbal at that time but he can talk now. He isn’t high functioning exactly but he does understand what’s going on around him. He has basic life skills but can’t be on his own for very long.

People chimed in with all of their thoughts.

copper-feather wrote:

NTA. They've left you behind in hotels so they can enjoy vacations? They've gone days without even noticing you weren't home? Go be with your real family OP, because they sure aren't it.

randomcharacheters wrote:

NTA. Who cares about a few unkind things you said when they took you to Disney, and LEFT YOU IN THE HOTEL because your brother said so. That's pretty wild, you deserve your fun Disney vacation too. And when you graduate from HS/college/whatever, invite Rachel's parents. Her mom sounds like the best.

CompletelyPresent wrote:

NTA. The reason I'm excusing the devastating comment in front of your brother is because your mom has already prioritized him. This really sucks that a special needs child has hogged all the time, leaving none for you. Luckily, you have your friend and father to make life easier.

This situation really highlights the complexity of having an autistic child - sure the right thing to do is help them, but is it right to give them 100% of your time and attention?

Comfortable-Sea-2454 wrote:

NTA - you are 16 and very frustrated that your brother has taken over your parents' lives completely leaving you out in the cold. THEN when you get a chance to go on vacation with your friend and her family, said brother throws a tantrum and dear ole Mom wants to take the vacation away from you to keep brother from screaming.

Soft Y-TA for saying what you did in front of your brother, who is another innocent in this whole mess, but you are entitled to be a 16 yo and have some fun on vacation.

'They’re either going to make me stay with him while they go out or take him out and leave me alone in the hotel (I also wouldn’t be allowed to go out on my own).' - and your mom doesn't understand why you don't want to be with them.

ParsimoniousSalad wrote:

NTA. Your mother needs to understand that your life is not all about your brother. Your father might do well to talk to her about this. I'll add that your feelings against your brother are entirely created by the way your parents have treated you both. They are understandable. It doesn't mean they won't change, though.

OP is NTA here, it sounds like her parents need to do some serious emotional clean-up work if they want her to be in any contact with them after moving out.

Sources: Reddit
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