Throughout our lives, many of us are placed in hard situations that we can’t navigate without some sound advice. While our friends and family are great places to look for insight, sometimes it’s your family that you need advice no. So, why not ask the Internet for advice on how to cope?
Recently, one brother wrote into the popular Reddit thread “Am I The Asshole,” asking if he was wrong for “despising his mentally handicap sister.” While on first glance, it seems rather foolish to say such a thing—it turns out, the Internet was on his side.
He even admitted that the title of the post made him sound awful.
The title makes me sound horrible but hear me out.
But, he went on to explain:
My sister is severely autistic. She requires attention almost 24/7 and cannot be left alone. She is non-verbal and cannot take care of herself at all. Despite the fact that she is only 12 she is extremely destructive and violent and destroys anything she gets her hands on.
I hate her. That should be wrong to say but it doesn’t feel like it.
I was only 6 years old when she was born and since then i’ve never solely had my parents attention. Even since I can remember the world has revolved around her. I was moved out of my room into the basement at 7 because she needed to be in the room next to my parents. All of my toys as a child were destroyed by her and my parents simply ignored me when I complained. Even when I was 14 and she destroyed a mac my school gave me I was in the wrong.
Along with this I am expected to take care of her and drop everything I do for her. I can never make plans with friend because my parents “expect” me to be there if they need me to take care of her. Even when I do somehow get time to myself I am required to leave if they need me. If i do not then I am punished. The recent example of this is when I went to see the new spider man movie, and was “grounded” because i turned my phone off in the theater.
It seems as if I am nothing more than a slave to them and anything involving her simply overshadows me. This last week I was chosen to give a speech at a school event. I was so exited and my parents promised to be there, but they never showed and claimed it was because of my sister. Anytime anything like this happens for me they are to busy with her.
I’ve held this in for so long and it finally spilled out today. While talking about colleges with my father, he joked that I should get a degree that pays well so when their gone I can take care of my sister. I don’t know why but this caused me to break down. I cried and screamed about how it always about her. I’m nothing more than a caretaker to them, that they always make it about her and that I’m expected to be her “slave” for the rest of my life.
I’ve locked myself in my room since then and my parents have not come to check on me. Am i the asshole here?
People online truly sympathized with the Reddit user’s situation because, he didn’t sign up to have an autistic sister—nor should it always be his responsibility to take care of her.
These are perfectly legitimate and understandable feelings. You have done nothing to sign up for taking care of another human being (it’s not like she’s your kid), and that was wrong of your dad to “joke” about, because it sounds like he probably is really thinking along those lines.
Be honest with your parents about how you feel- make clear that it’s insane that you’re expected to be a full-time babysitter (grounded for no phone in a theater? That’s fucking bullshit). —JayConz
Others said that he should go away to college and get away from home.
I hope you go to college far away from home. Later in life make sure your parents understand that you won’t be taking responsibility so they better have care and funding in place. —Face2098
Another user said that the parents had wronged their son.
Your parents wronged you in my opinion.
I can understand why you have such resentment but, I feel that it’s mainly towards your parents. If you are 18, feel free to write them a note explaining how you feel. I highly suggest not projecting your anger towards your sister as it seems that she can’t help it. Your parents are the ones who deprived you of affection and a childhood. Your parents are putting pressures of adulthood/caregiver on you, and have been for a while, it sounds. —fallformysub
And, another placed it totally on the parents.
This is a parent problem, not a sister problem.
I am a parent of one autistic child and one neurotypical child, and I will tell you that we would never treat our NT child like his role is to care take his sister. If she ruins his stuff, we replace it. We have also given him some separate space, with a lock, so that we can prevent her getting into his stuff. Now if he leaves it out that’s another story, but we try our best.
Are there ways in which having a sister with a disability still might suck for him? Of course. We’re a family, and what impacts one tends to impact us all. But we try to mitigate that, and at least sympathise when we can’t. We also make sure that he benefits in whatever ways we can. Like the fact that he has never had to wait in a long line at an amusement park because of her skip the line pass. 🙂
It sounds like you parents haven’t done any of this, and have, in fact made everything worse for you. That is not your sister’s fault. She can’t help who she is, and at only 12, she is still learning and growing and you may still have a great relationship once you are both adults. Your parents, on the other hand, should have done better by you. The brunt of your anger belongs on them. —Kitten_Foster