Family Christmas gatherings can be the best of times or the worst of times. While grinning and bearing bad dynamics can sometimes be the move. Other times, the best way to handle familial disrespect is to simply walk away.
AITA for leaving my family’s Christmas party early and taking the gifts I’d bought for my family members with me?
For the last few years, I avoided spending Christmas with my family because I have a bad relationship with my brother. My parents defend him when he says some pretty awful things, and we’ve had small Christmases because of the pandemic.
This year we were going to my grandparents’ place and there would be lots of family there. I thought it would be easier to avoid my brother and there'd be more people who might be annoyed at my brother if he decided to be a jerk.
But like every time my brother decided to get drunk and make fun of me for my weight. He has this “joke” where he pulls food away from me at dinner when I’m about to take some and he says I don’t need it because I’m fat.
Or he says I should go jog a lap around the house to earn it. He did it multiple times and every time I told him he needed to stop acting like a jerk. Like always my parents ignored him, but so did everyone else except my uncle who laughed at me with him.
I told my uncle to stop laughing because it encourages him but he didn’t. I ended up leaving halfway through dinner and taking all the presents I’d brought with me.
I didn’t make a fuss, I just picked up my bags and left because we hadn’t done presents yet and they were all still together in my bags.
Later multiple family members told me I was being childish and trying to ruin Christmas for everyone by walking out. They said I brought the whole mood down for the rest of the night and everyone had a bad time because of me.
Even though a few of them agreed my brother was being a jerk, they said they didn’t do anything wrong and I punished them for no reason. I think that sitting around and not saying anything when he was making fun of me was wrong.
I feel like if they weren’t even willing to say a single thing against him or standing up for me they don’t deserve to get gifts from me.
Also, I think it’s a bit of an overreaction to say I ruined Christmas just because I quietly walked out and because they all got one or two less presents than they would of.
The internet had a lot of strong feelings about OP's treatment.
NTA. Your family was more upset by losing your presents than they were with the way you were being treated. They’re not worth your concern.
NTA. You made a good choice by leaving. The fact that you left quietly shows a level of class and respect that your family seems to lack. I hope you find others to spend the holidays with who actually understand the meaning of holiday spirit.
Find some happiness and don't let them guilt you about it. Blood relative doesn't mean you need to absorb abuse.
NTA. This is a pretty typical (and a**backwards) family dynamic. Everyone agrees that the bully (or abuser) is wrong, but they also agree that the victim should just keep quiet to keep the peace.
You brilliantly asserted your boundaries without making a scene. You didn't ruin Christmas -- they did by expecting one innocent person to suffer just because no one wants to stand up to the bully.
They ruined Christmas for themselves. They're just mad because deep down they do know that they're wrong for staying quiet, and you being so reasonable just makes them look extra bad. Good job, OP. hugs
NTA, well done. No further comments. Lots of other posters here need to learn a lesson from you about not just sitting and accepting people's bulls**t for the sake of people sitting quietly by. You win. F**k everyone else in the story.
NTA, I’d go low to no contact for a while. Where was all this noise when you were being disrespected in front of everybody? It seems it only got personal when they realized they were getting no presents from you.
NTA. It wasn't that you punished them for no reason. The reason is none of them stood up for you that time, or it seems, ever. You didn't make a scene, so you didn't ruin anything. They did, particularly your entitled AH brother.
I would go a step further and say that you will avoid further family events if your brother continues to act like a brat.
When they hem and haw, ignore it and repeat the point: you aren't going to go out of your way to be teased and mocked, and be around people who find that behavior acceptable.
Clearly, OP is NTA, but the rest of their family is.