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'AITA for helping my 'golden child' sister at the expense of my other sister?' UPDATED

'AITA for helping my 'golden child' sister at the expense of my other sister?' UPDATED

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"AITA 'choosing the golden child' over my other sister?"

I (26) am the older brother of two sisters, Maya (19) and Tia (21). Our parents are complete a**holes, and Maya was their golden child. And honestly, a complete and utter spoiled b. I get that's harsh to say about a kid, but she was. She got special treatment, and would get away with murder.

Our parents basically encouraged it despite basically leaving me to raise my sisters so they could 'enjoy [them]selves'. When I was 18 (Tia was 13 and Maya was 11), I moved out. I stayed in contact Tia, though I quickly gave up on trying to connect with Maya honestly.

Our parents and Maya were absolutely horrible to Tia while I was gone. So when she was 18, Tia moved out and has stayed with me. I've made her get some therapy and done my best to be a good brother, and she's managed to be a lot happier since. Though after that I basically didn't see our parents or Maya.

However, last November Maya randomly reached out to us. Tia just ignored it, but Maya is still my little sister so I gave her a chance. In the time without us she'd really missed us and realized just how spoiled and cruel she was acting.

Apparently part of how she treated Tia was jealousy of how I was so close to her but not Maya, though it obviously doesn't justify it. She had felt guilty for a while, but was scared to reach out in case we'd reject her. She felt really sincere and was really apologetic and seemed ashamed.

I forgave her, and we started talking a lot. I became close to Maya really quickly. We get along great now, and we're actually pretty similar! Unfortunately Tia refuses to forgive her, or even respond. I think she's being a little unfair, but I understand how she feels.

From talking I noticed that Maya seems to be having a hard time at home. She wasn't going to say anything but ended up spilling when I pressed her. Our parents basically turned on her the moment we left, she wasn't the golden child anymore and had to suffer our parents bullsh*t.

Honestly, I'm ashamed to admit but I never considered how our parents would treat her with us gone. With how horrible our parents are, I wanted to ask her to move in with me.

Now, I want to make clear, I'm the renter. The rental agreement and bills and everything are all under my name. Tia contributes, but since she's still in university and my little sister its much less, and unofficial.

But when I brought up the idea, Tia was furious. She rejected it. I tried to compromise and talk, but it went nowhere. So in the end I told Tia I'm offering, and that she can be civil or I can help her move somewhere else.

Maya accepted (coming to stay next week) and Tia is PISSED and feels I'm choosing the golden child over her. But I'm not, Maya is suffering and I want to help, she's a different person now. I understand Tia hurts, and I get her anger, but Maya also needs me right now.

Tia is still angry. And our friends think it was an a**hole move. But Maya is my sister, and I don't think it's wrong to help her, I helped Tia back then too.

Here is what people had to say after this initial post:

Professional_Text_11

YTA, but this is a really complicated situation, so let me explain my reasoning here.

First and foremost, you did an amazing thing for Tia. Your parents are by far the biggest assholes in this story, and you're right for wanting to get Maya out of that environment too - kudos for helping your siblings escape abuse.

But the thing is, Maya was part of that abuse for Tia. She helped make Tia's life hell. It's good that Maya's shown sincere remorse and apologized to you, but your experience with her abuse is not the same as Tia's. Tia was hurt much more deeply by Maya, and she'll need a lot of time to process this and come to a place of forgiveness.

But instead of giving her that time to process, what did you do? You gave Tia an ultimatum: that you would be overriding her feelings, moving one of her primary abusers into her home with a week's notice, and that if she didn't accept this she would need to leave.

I understand that Maya needs you, and that this is a tough situation no matter what. But you did this wrong: you trampled all over Tia, you made her feel like her safety and her feelings weren't important to you, and you're going to need to fix that.

Crafty-Barracuda-861

NTA you as an older sibling are doing what you can for them! I admire you for it and not everyone has someone to lean on when they’re in an abusive situation! You’re not choosing one sister over the other but you are choosing your siblings over your parents and that’s very admirable

TA122278

I disagree with the points about the abuse. My abuser was actually completely cut off by his parents after they found out what he did to me.

He claims that’s abuse, I don’t think it is, but even if people claimed it was abuse I still wouldn’t want him to move into my house just because “he’s being abused now, you’re not”. That’s a ridiculous argument. Abusers are abusers. Period.

Icy_Curmudgeon

NTA. TIA can come and go as she pleases. Maya is the one that is trapped, as TIA once was. TIA has options that Maya doesn't. Time is not on Maya's side.

Retribution can be dealt with later. Right now there is one serious fire. Once that has been remedied, therapy all around to sort stuff out. Tia can always move out if the circumstances are something she cannot handle but she has to realize she is dealing with memories of what has happened while Maya is living the nightmare right now.

It is a matter of priorities. Save the one that is dire circumstances first, deal with the fallout second.

BluBox8319

YTA. Tia is right, you are putting one of her abusers above her. The thing to do would of been to help Maya find a place to stay. Instead of forcing your abused sister to give up her safety. Ask yourself this op. Do you think Maya ever would of reached out if your parents hadn't shifted their abuse to her?

Also, Maya isn't owed forgiveness simply because she's sorry and remorseful. You owe Tia an apology for even giving her that ultimatum. Your actions are no better than your parents towards her.

The next morning, after the OP saw how much attention his post got, he came back with more information:

swankycelery

I went to sleep with posts stopping, and didn't expect to wake up to all this. There were so many so I wasn't sure how to respond to everyone so I just left it , read and thought about it a while. There are a few things I want to clear up first though.

Maya isn't lying about this. I know my parents, and Maya DIDN'T even want to tell me about her issues at home. There is basically no chance it's all a lie. And she has TRIED and TRIED to talk to and apologized to Tia, Tia just won't let her.

I know what she did in the past was horrible, but she ISN'T just manipulating me to hurt Tia. She genuinely hated how she was, and just wants to live somewhere safe and happy and loved.

I get it wasn't enough. But the timeline was admittedly poorly written. We started discussing it last month, she knew this decision for a couple of weeks. While I now see it was misguided and cruel, it wasn't just a week.

I don't know of it's appropriate to go too in depth. But Maya's acts against Tia were verbal and psychological. It was disgusting and I know how deeply it hurt Tia. Our parents were mostly really neglectful, aside from verbal/emotional abuse and rewarding Maya for being the golden child. Being perfect and cruel meant she would get their love, which neither of us did.

Thanks to everyone for their perspective. I didn't realize how naive I was being in thinking this would work out. I'm going to try to see if some friends can take Maya in for now, and maybe if she can get her own place.

I'm going to try to be there for both of them, and ask Tia to forgive me for being so short sighted and stupid. I hope they can eventually work things out, but like people are saying it might just be a stupid pipe dream. I think the best plan is to help get Maya a cheap flat or something nearby, and I'll help out where she needs it.

The comments again lit up with new responses:

Lizzie3232

YTA. Maya played you like a fiddle.

Tough_Stretch

NTA. You're trying to be a good brother both by choosing to move on from your past with Maya and by trying to help her now that she's going through difficult times with your parents, just as you helped Tia years before.

Tia is justified in her feelings, but she's the one choosing not to move on and the one who's trying to make this about you choosing between her and Maya. You didn't choose, she did. You told her she could be civil, and if she couldn't you'd help her move.

She can choose being civil, and potentially finding out that Maya really is sorry for the past and is a different person now. Tia's past abuse doesn't invalidate Maya's current abuse, and she's acting like you're being unfair just by attempting to be a good brother to both.

Tia's not obligated to forgive or build a relationship with Maya, but she's also not entitled to prevent her from getting your help as payback or forcing you to choose between them. You were also abused in the same house by your own parents, and you're not using it as an excuse to be be an AH to your golden child sister forever.

KiwiNo7434

YTA For inviting someone's abuser to live with them and also why did you post this if in all your comments you keep arguing? What was the point in asking people if you're in the wrong, you're clearly just gonna let Maya stay so why not embrace being an ass?

Novel-Assistance8529

Yta. At least you should choose Tia.

ilja1995

ESH. I understand you want to help, I really do. And I think it is great that you have forgiven Maya, as she can't help how your parents decided to raise her.

But Tia just isn't ready. It is understandable she has trauma and might not be ready to see the one person that is the face of her suffering. Not by choice, but still is the case. You shouldn't force Tia to confront her past trauma on your timeline, she should do it on her timeline.

And I really do understand you wanted to give Maya a place to live. But you literally gave Tia a one-week heads-up and that does seem mean to me. Because finding another place within a week is quite hard. While I get that Maya is having a hard time, I am not sure why you are rushing so much.

At the same time, you also don't give any indication that Tia has another plan. Can she move out in a month? Tia shouldn't just complain, she should try to find a solution. And if that means moving out, she needs to find a way to do this. Can she move to campus next school year for example?

All in all, everybody should look together for solutions. You were able to move out on your own, I don't see why Tia and Maya don't have those options (at least within half a year). If you want Tia to move out, communicate with her and help her finding solutions. And she should work with you on that and not just complain.

Late_Engineering9973

YTA. You had 18 years of abuse, Tia had 18 years of abuse. Maya has had a taste of her own medicine for a wee while. You think she'd be showing remorse if she was still the golden child? Of course not. You should definitely find her somewhere to move to but it shouldn't be at the expense of Tia.

This seemed like it would be the end. Then, a full year later, the OP returned.

UPDATE: AITA choosing the 'golden child' over my other sister

swankycelery

I posted last year, trying to help my 'golden child' sister Maya, at the expense of my other sister Tia. I didn't expect so many responses or the hate I got, though I now realize how badly I f*cked up.

While I still think how people wrote about Maya was disgusting and unfair, how I treated Tia was cruel and ignorant. I was trying to help everyone and be practical, but I neglected to properly consider the emotional side. While unintentional I was just ignoring Tia's pain and trauma.

The responses were a wake-up call and I realized I was just going to ruin everything. While it wasn't meant that way, it would just hurt Tia and ruin our relationship. I managed to convince some friends to let Maya stay with them and looked for a place.

Currently, Tia still lives with me, while I found a cheap one-bedroom for Maya. It's been rough financially but I managed to get everything my sisters need, a few sacrifices don't matter compared to them.

Maya needed help adjusting and learning to be independent so I did have to focus on her initially, and Tia absolutely hated me giving her any attention so it was extremely difficult at first. But it got a lot better as Maya adjusted and grew more independent and I could balance my time better. It's not perfect but we've gotten into a rhythm the best we can.

Maya has grown a lot, and can mostly live by herself now, though I obviously still help. Therapy has really helped her and she's made a lot of friends at university.

While she still wants Tia's forgiveness, she's accepted it's not in her control and to focus on living her life and improving herself. I'm really happy she's free of our parents' influence, she's nothing like she used to be. Though I do wish I had tried harder when she was younger, rather than giving up.

Tia isn't completely happy, I don't think she'll ever forgive Maya. I've done my best to make it clear I love her, and Maya isn't my favorite but it's been hard. We get joint therapy that helps a lot, but she still wishes it was just us.

Still she's finally able to understand that helping Maya isn't rejecting her. I'm so thankful and lucky Tia could forgive me, she means the world to me. I never intended to hurt her, though I clearly completely f*cked up my approach.

We basically just avoid the Maya situation, and have managed to get back to normal. She's such a strong woman, I'm honestly so proud of her and so ashamed of how short-sighted I was.

As selfish as it is, a part of me will always wish Tia could forgive her. But I know that's impossible and selfish. I don't think Tia will ever fully accept that Maya is a part of my life. The most I'll get is Tia and Maya being in one building for my wedding, but honestly that's enough for me.

They're both victims of our parents, so I'm just glad they can both be happy and free. While it's not a fairy-tale ending, everything is going well. I'm glad I posted and was able to fix my horrible mistake.

Here were some of the comments after the final update:

millac7

Tia has major issues. Her possessiveness is not good, nor is her inability to see that Maya was just as much of a victim of your parents. I am very glad that Maya is facing her problems and actively resolving them. That is very difficult and takes a lot of hard work.

Tia needs to be careful because no one hugs a hedgehog. By being unpleasant and prickly, she dooms herself to self perpetuating the cycle of pleasant Maya being everyone's favorite, and her being disliked.

I like that you aren't trying to prove your love for one by hurting the other, because that is an easy trap to fall into.

skrena

So you’re hoping Tia stays narrow minded and never tries to move past being a victim? Suuuupeer. I imagine your life must be great to give such advice.

StalkingWilbur

Don’t listen to all the bullshit, f*ckin’ Reddit loves a story with a bad guy they can hate and a victim they can sympathize with. What you’re doing and sacrificing for your sisters is beyond admirable. You’re a good person and the world needs more people like you. I hope you too can find your peace some day.

Mondopoodookondu

Jesus Christ this man is getting raked over the coals for trying to do best for his two sisters when he himself is a youngster. He says he wishes the sisters could forgive each other which is obvious to any sane person, never said he was forcing them too.

Cyarsonix

My only comment is, I am not sure if and when you get married it's wise to have both sisters present. Not unless that is something Tia is fully on board with.

We had a post recently where a mom tried that with her two kids and OP was an abuser to their sibling. The sibling made it clear they would not attend if OP did. A lot of people thought mom was definitely the AH but debate on if OP would be if they attended. I don't know the link.

I really recommend you talking about that when it comes time. Maybe you can legally get married before the ceremony and one can come to each (some prefer the parties and others prefer the legal portion). Either way that was the only caution i wanted to point out.

I'm also sorry that you are stuck in such a harsh position where their needs do not overlap which makes your ability to meet them much harder.

Snackgirl_Currywurst

Info: how are YOU doing with all of this? You seem to care a lot about your sisters, which is nice. But you've been growing up in an abusive household as well.

The OP responded:

throwaway80736

I'm happy as long as my sister are. I know my partner doesn't fully agree with it, but if I can get what they need it's enough. I am still trying to focus on me a bit, proposing was so terrifying. I'm honestly happy with how things are. My sisters are doing so much better and I'm engaged. It's as good it it'll get I think.

It's not a fairytale happy ending, but it sounds like all the siblings came out the other side happier. Do you think this brother did the right thing?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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