r/BestofRedditorUpdates Oct 06 '22 Silver 1

I(29M) can't seem to forgive my Sister(26F) after she completely bailed on me when I was on the brink of being homeless REPOST

I am NOT OP. Original post by u/Artishockers in r/relationship_advice

This was previously posted here a year ago.


 

I(29M) can't seem to forgive my Sister(26F) after she completely bailed on me when I was on the brink of being homeless - 27/09/21

My sister from a young age has had only one person to rely on and that person was me.

We come from a broken family with one parent that was only around till I was 5 and the other who was stuck in a cycle of addiction.

Because of our situation I grew up very quickly and shielded her from as much as I could, she obviously was aware of what was going on but she was not in the crosshair. I started with stealing from our mother to make sure we had food and bills were paid, I got a part time job at 13 because we couldn't rely on our mother and when I graduated I immediatly got 2 jobs and we moved out.

I had to push my Sister through highschool(She wasn't an easy teen for obvious reasons) ontop of going month to month trying to get as much money together to pay our bills. At 19 she finally graduated after being held back a year, she changed her tune a lot and she started working as well and had her own place when she was 21.

I finally got a shot to do something for myself and got a degree, as a result I got a much better job but unfortunately that was right before the pandemic hit so I pretty much went from hired to fired as I was a new hire.

Now the reason I am saying all that is not to pat myself on the back but to stress why my reaction is the way it is.

I was out of work, on the brink of losing my apartment and only had one person who I expected I could turn to, my sister. She was recently married, lived(still lives obviously) with her husband, so I asked if I could stay a few weeks at most a few months until I got a new job, it was a No. I was taken aback, but it remained to be a no. A week or two later I was kicked out of my apartment, I asked again and it was a no, at this point I am homeless and the only reason I didn't end up sleeping on the damn street was because I could crash at a few friends until I got a temporary job, I rented a room with a bunch of roommates for a while, eventually got a job in my field again and am now doing fine.

That said, I have not spoken to my sister since, she has called, messaged, banged on my door, sent crying voice messages, apologised dozens of times, tried to explain herself, tried going to my job, tried going to friends, everything. I haven't said a word to her it's been over a year now, she recently had a child and she is still desperately trying to reach out. She claims her husband refused to let me stay, he even reached out several times to beg me to reach out, but to me the one time I need her she basically tells me to F myself, I feel like it was the last push I needed to just end that chapter of my life.

I feel bad but just...Not bad enough, I guess? Even my friends and my girlfriend are on my case that I should forgive her and that they understood it at first but now think I am being an asshole, what would you guys do?

 

UPDATE: I(29M) can't seem to forgive my Sister(26F) after she completely bailed on me when I was on the brink of being homeless - 05/10/21

So I had a huge amount of people inquiring as to what ended up happening and asking me to make an Update should anything happen and while I wasn't sure if I would or even should I eventually decided to just go ahead and do it.

Let me start by apologizing to the people who commented on my post. I made my post and it didn't seem to gain much traction at all so I more or less stopped looking at it for about a day I think only to figure out the next day that I had gotten a lot of comments. Unfortunately when I decided to reply to a lot of the comments I had been reading I realized that this Subreddit locks the comments after a certain amount of comments have been made or Karma has been reached, I am afraid I was not aware of this admittedly very odd rule so that's on me. I did end up reading most comments and would like to thank everyone offering advice or just saying something supportive.

First to answer a couple of questions that I was unable to answer along with addressing some incorrect comments in the previous post yet I saw asked quite a few times.

1: The first few No's were without reasonable explanation, I was not aware of her given reason that her Husband was not okay with it until later.

2: She did not know she was pregnant when she declined and most of it happened before she would have even been pregnant in the first place. I mean most of this took place over a year ago, I even put that in the post so I am not sure how that Math would even work.

3: I am not an Anti-Vaxxer or Dirty or something, there were quite a few comments that theorized this would be the case for her refusal, I got my 2 vaccination shots the moment I could them and well while my personal hygiene is not exactly anyone's business I shower once a day and my apartment is spotless.

4: A lot of advice and comments seemed to be from the perspective of functional families with a functional family structure, that is not the case here, the primary reason I am so gutted about this entire situation is exactly that, this isn't a case of "Well I don't want my Cousin to stay in my house he can stay somewhere else." This is a case of me having sacrificed my entire youth and a significant portion of my early adult life for someone that I played no part in creating or have any parental responsibility for and the first and only time I ever asked her to do something for me as the only person I could reasonable fall back on and her not doing that, that's more then a familial spat, that is a straight up betrayal. That's also an answer to the people saying that she "Owes" me nothing because I "Chose" to be a "Parent".

Anyway, with that out of the way.

I decided to follow some advice given by several people.

I told my girlfriend and the friends who involved themselves or were involved by my sister to back off or to lose my number, they do not understand my perspective and they likely never will and I need to get that through my head as I have a tendency to talk about my life as if it is a standard, but it is a standard only to me, luckily most people don't go through any of that.(I Obviously had a longer and face to face conversation with my GF and with individual close friends but it boils down to that.) One friend kept pestering me about it and I ended up dropping him as a friend but my GF was apologetic and most friends were either apologetic or said they'd drop it.

I ended up writing a long E-mail to my sister and while I will not copy and paste the entire thing here as it contains a lot of personal information and far more horrible stuff that I am unsure will even be allowed on a sub like this it more or less boiled down to me explaining to her how her refusal to take me in for what ended up being a few weeks made me feel and I detailed a long list of things I had done to take care of her.

I ended up finishing my E-mail telling her that even if I take her version of the story as truth and her husband is the cause of me not being allowed to stay that it is entirely irrelevant to me, because that just means she didn't fight for me at all. I also informed her I have no interest in meeting her child as of this moment and I have no interest in reconnecting with her and if that changes in the future I will be the one to contact her, I told her to let this be a lesson to her as it has been a painful lesson to me.

Boiled down I have decided to move on and keep the door on the tiniest of cracks. She has responded a lot since that moment, she seems unable to accept it, but I have not responded since.

I don't have anything else to tell you I am afraid and since the sub only allows one update well it is what it is, again thank you all for taking the time to respond to my post and thank you all for your insightful replies.

 

Reminder - I am not the original poster.

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u/LadyDriverKW Oct 06 '22 Silver Hugz

This post makes me sad for everyone.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family and protected my younger sibling. I protected them so well that their view of our childhood is not very accurate. To them, it was when I left for college that things got bad.

Because of that dysfunction, we both have extreme trust issues. Which meant that when we had a problem about 2 years ago, everything completely disintegrated. We are kind of OK now, but it will never be 100% again.

So when I read this, I see similarities. And I feel sympathy and sadness.

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u/Cashewcamera Oct 07 '22

Same. I come from a dysfunctional household. My mom simultaneously made me a parent and then vilified me anytime I tried to make things better. She drove a wedge between me and my sisters and I thought we were doing better but when I needed support they weren’t there for me. I finally went No contact last year and it’s sad but better.

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u/JCXIII-R Oct 07 '22

Same. It broke my fucking heart. When I stopped being able to move mountains for my younger sib, because I got very sick, they dropped me like a brick. It hurt so bad.

In their world, all the protecting and caring you did is just "normal", and anything less is you being "selfish". The main character syndrome is hereditary...

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u/GabbyIsBaking Oct 07 '22

Yup. Parentified elder sister here. Me and my twin spent most of our childhood shielding our brother from the worst of the stuff mom put us through. Now that we’re adults, he tells me I need to cut her some slack and not to take the shitty things she says to me personally. Whereas I see her narcissistic abuse for what it is.

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u/weirdpicklesauce Oct 07 '22

Yes. My sister totally dismisses the abuse all the time and says things like “it wasn’t that bad” “you need to get over it” or “you’re being hard on them”

She was the one who stayed out of things while I had to make sure my parents didn’t kill each other or hurt us, I dealt with the brunt of it all and tried to protect her and it hurts to have our traumatic upbringing dismissed by her

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u/CurlyConnie Oct 07 '22

I hear you. My younger siblings minimize our abuse as well and tell me I’m being harsh. It’s super hurtful :(

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u/amyandgano Oct 07 '22

Also parentified elder sister here, I took care of my brother when our dysfunctional parents couldn’t. I truly think that he respects me less now than if I had rejected him like everyone else.

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u/yeastyboiii Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 07 '22 Helpful Take My Power

I want to respond to you because I’m the golden child younger sister in my dynamic and I “made it right”. I can’t take away the abuse that my narcissistic parents put my elder sister through, but I can help her with the privileges I got from them. I don’t speak to either of my parents. My elder sister lives with my husband and I at the moment. She’s the most amazing woman I know.

You are so loved by me and every other golden child little sister who couldn’t understand the dynamic at their age. I hope your brother comes to this realization on his own, but you can’t make him come to it.

Remember this: the scapegoat survives 💕

Edit: what made me realize I was the golden child? I went to therapy basically. My sister and I were both abused by our parents in different ways, but she was always their first target. I unlocked a lot of traumatic memories in which I realized that she always jumped in front of me to prevent me from getting attacked (my mother was INCREDIBLY physically abusive). I have one particular memory of my mother and sister fighting over her cellphone (she also had two black eyes because our mother is dangerous) and I was on the stairs crying. Of course when the police arrived, they never thought to ask me what happened so my father was not able to remove my sister from the home with my sister and I. My father was more financially abusive— he stole my sister’s credit. I realized it was wrong at some point (he was going to try to steal mine as well), so I removed my SS card from the home and told on him. Everyone in the family called me a “little b——“ for a minute, but I knew I had done the right thing. It was really difficult to be the family whistleblower, but that was how I tried to make it right for my sister.

It came to a point where I realized that I could not be a good sister to my sister/mom and still speak to my parents, so I cut them off. Simple as that. I love my sister more than the people who gave birth to me. She’s more my mother and my father than either of the assholes who were in charge of raising me.

We’re really blessed to have good grandparents. They busted their ass to make sure we were safe and got us away from the house we were raised in. I know they feel guilty because they didn’t get custody of my sister and I— it went to the man who instantly used my sister’s credit. If only I had communicated with them more, I know they would have gotten us out sooner. I can only do my best though. C’est la vie 😅

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u/dizzymorningdragon Oct 07 '22

Damn are you me? Ditto, I adore my older parentified older sister, and I want to (lovingly) bash into our middle brother's head how much she has done for us

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u/yeastyboiii Oct 07 '22

I don’t have any brothers so I don’t want to bash anyone’s head in, but if I did I probably would 😂

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u/lou_parr Oct 07 '22

There are worse things. I shielded my little sister from the worst of it, then my mother's new boyfriend took an interest in her and there was nothing I could do. Partly I didn't know as much at the time as I do now about what happened, and partly that my mother bluntly told me that I could accept him or she'd send me to live with my birthfather. My mother is not very nice but the birthfather is an absolute abusive shit. People who worked with him called him Hitler, put it that way... he was that sort of manager.

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u/[deleted] Oct 07 '22

[deleted]

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u/smacksaw she👏drove👏away! Everybody👏saw👏it! Oct 07 '22

he tells me I need to cut her some slack

Spoken like a true Golden Child

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u/PM_ME_CUTE_FEMBOYS You can either cum in the jar or me but not both Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

I cant imagine the heart break one must feel, to endure all that pain and sacrifice and abuse to protect your younger sibling.. only to have them side with the abusive parent, thanks entirely to all the abuse and sacrifice you endured to protect them from.

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u/instantnoodlefanclub Oct 07 '22

Yes I was going to say his complete loss of trust is also a symptom of a childhood full of trauma.

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u/KentuckyMagpie Oct 07 '22 Silver

Oof, yeah. I’m 43 and I’m only just realizing how messed up a lot of stuff I dealt with was. This spring and summer, I was not able to provide what my parent wanted. What they wanted to happen was not their only option, not by a long shot, but it was their favorite. Unfortunately, it would have been a really bad decision for me and my children, and I had to say no.

The fallout has been immense, and super stressful. I’ve been working on it in therapy, and I’m looking back at my life and going, “Oh holy shit. This was never normal.” And the one time I actually enforce a boundary, and this family member takes it to a nuclear level. We are on speaking terms, but it is extremely tenuous.

Anyway, I also feel sympathy and sadness reading this.

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u/Cheezslap Oct 07 '22

Stay strong and trust yourself, Magpie.

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u/peanut_butting Oct 06 '22

This is so sad to read.

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u/throwawaygremlins Oct 06 '22

Sissy made a HUGE mistake.

I’d like to hear her version of the story, but I think she just wasn’t gracious enough…

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u/Avacynarchangel Oct 06 '22 Silver Helpful Masterpiece Glow Up

There is a quote I read long ago that seems to fit here...."needing someone is like needing a parachute. If they aren't there the first time chances are you won't be needing them again."

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u/BigVariation3 Oct 07 '22

It’s crazy how this happens. I helped a friend move several times. Helping someone moves sucks! When I needed help he declined. It was the beginning of the end of our friendship. It wasn’t that in particular, but that was eye opening and started the fall of our friendship.

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u/GabbyIsBaking Oct 07 '22

Man that sucks. I helped my twin and their family move from Florida. They felt super bad this spring when they couldn’t help us move apartments so my BIL just hired movers for us as a gift. I cried, I’m not used to those kinds of gestures.

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u/MazzoMilo Oct 07 '22

Such class, love to see it.

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u/themetahumancrusader Oct 07 '22

How wonderful. They went above and beyond to compensate when they were unable to help you themselves.

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u/trowzerss Oct 07 '22

Oh, see, that's the thing. Even if sis's husband was giving her a bad time about him moving in, she could have found other ways to help. But it seems she offered nothing at all. If she'd said, "Sorry, my husband won't agree with that and I don't want to pick a fight with him right now for reasons, but let me ask around my friends if someone has a spare room, and if not I'll help put some money towards a motel and storage." But a flat no, no attempt to help, that's a different thing.

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u/BigVariation3 Oct 07 '22

Wow that is awesome! Worked out for everyone.

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u/shabamboozaled Oct 07 '22

You know, people always say" you aren't entitled to anything." or " Don't give if you expect something in return" but, like, I totally agree with letting go of those who don't reciprocate. F 'em. What do they expect.

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u/mmmmpisghetti Oct 07 '22

There's a fine line. If a relationship isn't going both ways it's not worth your time or effort.

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u/robhol Oct 07 '22

Most people who go on about "entitlement" are just dicks. Of course acting decently should entitle you to being treated decently in any reasonable society.

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u/Tytticus Oct 07 '22

Yep. 'Don't give if you expect something in return' applies to having a hidden agenda where you do X for someone because you secretly want them to feel obligated to give you Y in return, it doesn't apply to having a healthy expectation that relationships are about give and take. No one is so special that they deserve a relationship where the other person always gives to them while they offer nothing. And if someone is going to scream that the other person isn't entitled to anything, then they don't get to be all confused when the other person has enough and walks away. After all, 'not entitled to anything' also applies to them, so they're no more entitled to someone's friendship than they are to their help.

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u/EmykoEmyko Oct 07 '22

The entitlement argument goes both ways. The sister is now finding out that she is not entitled to her brother’s love and support. Other people don’t owe us anything, so we should be nice to them if we want them around.

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u/threecolorable Oct 07 '22

Yeah… I don’t expect something specific in return, but I’m eventually going to stop investing my energy in relationships where I’m the only one making an effort.

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u/excce Oct 07 '22

The worst part is that it seems like people like this just completely don’t notice or give a shit when someone leaves their lives, because they live as the main character and everyone is just floating by. Man I fucking hate people like that lmao.

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u/iamnooty Oct 07 '22

Man that stinks. I've had people help me move many times and I ALWAYS pay it back when someone asks because its the fair thing to do. What a jerk

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u/Pika-the-bird Oct 07 '22 Silver Helpful All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

People who grow up like OOP did don’t ever normally ask for help, because their earliest experiences tell them no one will help you. So the fact that he trusted and needed his sister enough to plead for her to throw him a lifeline… words can’t express how crushing her betrayal is.

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u/TwistNothing Oct 07 '22

The worst part is, oftentimes as a result of that upbringing you end up creating a social circle where it’s often not expected for you to get help, either. You’re so used to providing for your own needs and helping others that when you do ask for the first time, you’re also possibly discovering that some of your circle isn’t willing to help you and that just pushes that feeling further.

Related anecdote, I went through some traumatic stuff a few years ago and let me say it definitely revealed all the people who were truly not there for me. I don’t have any real family except my uncle (the rest are abusive or estranged/distant) and when I was in the hospital completely alone for almost a week because I nearly died from sepsis he basically texted me “Ouch! Good luck!”, meanwhile we live in the same city, he’s retired and active and financially well off. Before that moment I had kind of idolized him but even though he’s apologized since, I’m honestly deeply hurt about that and I’m not sure I’ll ever ask him for anything genuinely again.

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u/ayuxx Oct 07 '22

because their earliest experiences tell them no one will help you

This is definitely what I learned growing up. It conditioned me in such a way that asking for help for anything never even crossed my mind for the longest time. Like, it wasn't that I was afraid to, it was literally not a thing that existed in my mind.

I've since learned that it is an option and that I can't do everything by myself. But then I developed health problems that rendered me unable to work/make money and a few other key things like get groceries, and when I asked for help, everyone I knew turned their backs on me. Talk about reinforcing what I learned as a kid. Now I don't ask for help anymore because what's the point? If I die because I can't do everything myself, then I'll die.

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u/SuchMatter1884 Oct 07 '22

u/ayuxx I’m so sorry you endured such a dysfunctional childhood. I can relate. It takes me until I am proverbially hanging from the edge of a cliff to ask for help, and unfortunately the people I’ve often reached out to just weren’t willing or able to help. They probably had no idea how desperate I felt. (I suspect it’s because I’ve done a pretty good job of wearing a mask that projects to the world that I’m super-together, when apparently I’ve been dissociating for years—trauma therapy has been schooling me!) I’ve also been dealt the blow of health problems, too, which derailed my life. I’ve been alone for a long time because I’m scared of needing someone and then being betrayed by them. I’m scared of the rejection so I stay trying to do everything myself, but I’m getting older and life is draining and I’ve decided that I’m going to work on my trauma in the hopes that I can find the right folks to trust. No one should have to go it alone. Sending you support and solidarity.

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u/ayuxx Oct 07 '22

Support and solidarity for you as well.

I think I had the same problem with no one realizing just how bad things were for me. Even I didn't really understand it when I was in my early 20s because I had experienced so much emotional abandonment as a kid that it conditioned me to emotionally abandon myself, and I pretty much almost completely lost touch with my inner self (feelings, wants, needs, etc). So things looked better on the outside because I was so detached from myself.

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u/SuchMatter1884 Oct 07 '22

I hear that. I hear you. I hope things get better. For both of us.

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u/Bern_After_Reading85 Oct 07 '22

That’s kind of how I am. I absolutely hate asking for help, and I almost never do. So when the time comes when I do ask, I really and I mean REALLY need it. OOP strikes me as the same way. Must have been devastating, I don’t see how their relationship could fully recover.

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u/Boner4Stoners Oct 07 '22

This x1000

My childhood wasn’t really traumatic, but asking for help is always something that’s been extremely hard for me.

My Sr year of college, my girlfriend (now ex-gf for unrelated reasons) got diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer. I was out of state for an internship, and flew back for the surgery.

She was basically a vegetable for quite a while after, my mother and her wife drove 8hrs over night to be there for me.

Meanwhile, it turns out my father was in the same hospital with his wife at the same time (she wasn’t in critical condition or anything, just there for a scheduled surgery much more mild in nature). I asked if he wanted to come swing by and check in, and he gave some BS excuse that his wife didn’t want him to or whatever.

He couldn’t take 10 minutes to come check in on me while my gf was basically a vegetable after brain surgery to remove an aggressive medulablastoma. That hurt, a lot. I’m on good terms with him these days but that’s something that will always be a sore spot for me.

My ex made a mostly full recovery btw, she’s in full remission and other than some slurred speech she’s back to normal.

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u/throwawaygremlins Oct 06 '22

Ooh I like this!

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u/Speculater Oct 06 '22

I don't doubt her husband said no, but then she just accepted that. OP was right, she didn't fight for him the one time he needed her.

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u/Automatic_Ad1987 Oct 06 '22

She could have helped in numerous other ways. If it wasn't reasonable for him to stay there she could have helped with money, accommodation recommendations, etc, but it was just flat rejection and "you're on your own".

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u/RedoftheEvilDead Oct 07 '22

Flat rejection with zero explanation for that rejection. Lack of explanation can be just as bad, if not worse, than the rejection. It really speaks that "not only am I not willing to help you, but I don't even care enough about not helping you to explain why I won't help you."

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u/VTSvsAlucard Oct 07 '22

Redeit loves to tell people "no" is a complete sentence, and while maybe good advice when dealing with bad people, not great when you actually want to preserve the relationship.

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u/playallday1112 Oct 07 '22

Regular people who have never had to live outside a normal situation are really unsympathetic to people in different situations. My mom, who has never had to struggle or take in relatives, was PISSED that we let my MIL live with us for a while. MIL had no where to go until her bf secured an apartment. She was big mad when she lived with us in our apartment but absolutely lost her shit when she had to stay a few more weeks in the house she helped us buy. It's like she was mad that MIL didn't help us but was reaping benefits of my mom's money. It was crazy to me. MIL was family. But my mom always had money or my dad so she doesn't have any empathy for poor people. She sucks.

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u/Speculater Oct 07 '22

Yep. I was raised in abject poverty and sleeping at family's house, in your car in their driveway, friends' couches, pay by the week motels, or shelters when you had to was normal to me. I never had security until I joined the military, ironically.

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u/AdvicePerson Oct 07 '22

I never had security until I joined the military, ironically.

Not ironic; by design.

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u/No_Cauliflower_5489 Oct 07 '22

I never had security until I joined the military, ironically.

Not a coincidence. The age parents are encouraged to kick kids out of the house is the exact age that teens are legal to join the military. The military being the one place that provides poor people with college money.

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u/Logic_Lover_2514 Oct 07 '22

Yeah I remember hearing about a mice empathy experiment. The mice were put in some kind of major discomfort (I believe it involved water), with another mouse nearby. The ones that hadn't had to go through the water side of the test left the other mouse to their fate. Whilst the ones that had experienced it went helped the other mouse.

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u/Shaylock_Holmes Oct 06 '22

This is the part that would have hurt me the most. Not just the “no” but how you didn’t raise hell because your partner said “no”. No offering to help me find a place. No offering of giving me some type of money for a hotel. No help even searching for a job. Just straight up “no” with little to no explanation until later. I have 3 brothers. If my partner told me my family couldn’t stay with me while they are homeless, they’ll be very upset when they come home from work and my brother is sitting on the couch watching Bob’s Burgers with me.

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u/mocha__ Oct 07 '22 Take My Energy Heartwarming

I grew up similarly to OOP. Our home life growing up was hell and our parents were abusive alcoholics. And when my dad passed, my mom moved onto another addict a few months later it didn't get any better. I was kicked out immediately and my brothers went with my mom.

She eventually kicked my middle brother out too and my SO's response was immediately "what do we need to do to get custody?" No hesitation, no questions asked, just "what do we need to do here?" My SO and I were still relatively early in our relationship too. I had my brother during a time when I was living with my grandmother as well and even she didn't want to take him in, but did for a short time. Yet, this dude I hadn't even been together with that terribly long was looking up lawyers, laws, etc. immediately.

We've been together for eleven years in a few months. And no matter what issues we have had, remembering that makes me love him so fucking much I cannot stand it. It is the absolute first time in my life I remember someone actually giving af about any of us. My brother still sees my SO as a dad figure, calls him on father's day, gets him a gift, etc. He got him some cupcakes with some dad message on them one year and my SO actually cried.

And it was something that made me realize I deserve love. I was in my early twenties and didn't realize I deserved any sort of love my entire life. I never asked him to take in my brother or have to deal with any of my family shit. The most he knew at the time was that my family wasn't great and growing up my house was abusive. I was still too anxious to actually delve into it. But dude didn't even hesitate. He knew I was close to my brother and he knew he didn't want a literal child on the streets. That was it. He had only met my brother a few times before that.

A lot of people don't realize what growing up in an unstable environment does to kids and the bonds it creates and to have someone turn on that is crushing. It surpasses the general idea of "Well they are family" and I can understand why if OOPs sisters partner didn't grow up that way (my SO didn't either) he wouldn't understand. But the fact that this was someone close to her in a really shitty situation and he just put a firm no and her to also just go "okay" is crushing. I legit get where OOP is coming from.

Reddit and some people get this idea in their head that you don't owe anyone anything and I guess on some level that is true, but people fail to understand context or the fact that doing something like this will break a bond. And if that's what it is, OOP certainly owes his sister nothing in return and is within his right to cut her off. It sucks for her and for him, but what's done is done and sometimes you cannot forget shit like that.

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u/Shaylock_Holmes Oct 07 '22

I’m sorry that you had a similar upbringing to OOP. Your comment made me tear up because of how your partner stepped up when they didn’t have to, how you speak about them, and how your brother has embraced him in the way he was embraced. Happy 11 years together (soon) and I hope you continue to be together for 100 more years. And if you believe in life after death or reincarnation, I hope you two find each other again.

It really is true that chosen family can be just as strong, if not stronger, than the family we were given. I’m so happy the two (three!) of you have each other! Thank you for sharing your story with us!!!!

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u/LucyAriaRose please sir, can I have some more? Oct 07 '22

Your SO sounds amazing. I'm really glad you and your brothers have him. But you also sound like you've turned out amazingly as well. 💜

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u/750more Oct 07 '22

Thats what gets me too and why I don't get why ANYONE in his life is like forgive and move on. Even if her husband said NO she should have been busting her butt to find another solution. Called all her friends, sold her personal stuff, donated plasma, but to just say sorry no, good luck being homeless to the brother that gave up so much for her. If I were her friend and heard she had done that, she and I would no longer be friends because that is stone cold cruel.

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u/IronPedal Oct 07 '22

Because they weren't the ones betrayed, and having everyone friendly again is better for them. Sounds like OOP has shit friends.

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u/throwawaygremlins Oct 06 '22

I want more details.

OOP didn’t seem like some deadbeat smelly loser. Lots of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Did BIL just not like OOP? Did he just want his privacy? Like why did he say no? 🤔

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u/SnooKiwis2161 Oct 07 '22

I'll hazard a guess that BIL had a different classed upbringing - the sort that believes "well, someone will take them in" because they think there is always a fairy godparent around the corner waiting to greet the unfortunate with money and 2nd chances.

It never crosses their mind that some people have no support system through no fault of their own.

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u/thekittysays Oct 06 '22

Yknow my first thought went to thinking maybe the husband is overly controlling. Considering the shitty upbringing and how people from abusive/neglectful homes are more likely to get into shitty and potentially abusive relationships, that maybe husband is not so nice behind closed doors.

Obvs I have no evidence for this but it's where my mind first went for why she would ditch her bro who basically raised her, in his hour of need.

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u/PBJDee Oct 06 '22

As someone from a crappy family, this is where my mind went too. My sister was famous for finding dudes that wanted to control her. I was too independent and stubborn for all that, but my weakness was the love bombing gaslighters. Thank goodness I woke up, but yeah, I thought the same as you.

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u/Good_nuff Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

My god the love bombing gaslighters. Love bombing feels so fucking good when you didn’t get enough love as a kid.

Edit: not saying live bombing is a good thing. I’m saying it’s like a drug. Addictive and very pleasurable….until it tries to kill you

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u/cottagelass Oct 07 '22

Love bombing is amazing until it hurts. I nearly broke up with my husband when we first started dating because I thought he was love bombing me like past relationships did.

Shits scary. They go from loving to angry as soon as they feel you are trapped. It took him ages to make me less flighty and scared that he would be the same once I was trapped

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u/throwawaygremlins Oct 06 '22

Ooh you might be onto something here. And then after sister comes crawling back apologizing, her husband apparently trie to get OOP and sister to mend fences too.. 🤔

I don’t know if sissy can ever “make it up” to OOP.

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u/thekittysays Oct 06 '22

Ye that's the only bit that throws a wobble in it, cos usually abusers like their victims isolated. I dunno, it's all conjecture but it would explain her decision a little bit. She may just be a selfish arse though. I don't think she can do anything, and I totally understand why OOP feels as he does. Maybe he'll forgive her in the future but I'm not gonna judge him if he can't.

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u/georgiajl38 Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

Or maybe...when big brother is working, he's doing very well for himself and shares with little sis...and the hubby doesn't want that to disappear

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u/cageytalker Oct 06 '22

I thought maybe with her being pregnant, they were hoping he’d contribute financially? That was my guess of why all of a sudden the BIL would get involved to mend them now.

All help OOP had given before, they finally realized is all gone.

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u/ZestycloseCrow4 Oct 07 '22

That and also his wife is probably having an ongoing mental breakdown because the brother who raised and protected her won't speak to her anymore and I'm sure that's more than her husband bargained for.

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u/cageytalker Oct 07 '22

You’re right, this is becoming a bigger hassle for the husband.

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u/auntbat Oct 07 '22

I agree that sis will not be able to make it up. Betrayal is the word he used and it is accurate. Even if staying with her was not an option, flat out abandoning him during his greatest time of need is unforgivable (especially after he sacrificed so much for her)

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u/DogsandCatsWorld1000 Oct 06 '22

It would be interesting to know the relationship between the OOP and the BIL before this. Did the sister tell her husband the details of her childhood and how much the OOP helped her? I feel sorry for all involved.

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u/DandalusRoseshade Oct 06 '22

Her sister didn't offer anything either; no money, no rides to get important shit done, nothing.

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u/madlyqueen Oct 06 '22

I was thinking this, too. Even if husband refused to let OOP stay, she probably could have done something to help OOP.

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u/RedoftheEvilDead Oct 07 '22

Not even an explanation. Nothing says, "I don't care and can't be bothered" like just saying no, end of sentence.

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u/boxofsquirrels Oct 07 '22

It doesn't even sound like she showed any empathy with the refusal.

"No," and "So sorry- I'm trying but husband won't budge" land very differently.

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u/Consistent_Rent_3507 Oct 07 '22

If my husband says no to temporarily housing my soon-to-be homeless brother/quasi-parent I would literally tell DH to go play in traffic. Never, ever in a million years would I allow a loved one to live on the streets, and especially in this case when the OP sacrificed so much of his childhood to make sure she was ok. I am enraged and deeply saddened for him and, personally, would probably be unable to move past the bone deep betrayal. He was there when she had no one. She turned her back. Unforgivable.

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u/Speculater Oct 07 '22

The thing is, I agree with you. But my younger brother is on the streets and dying of heart failure. He's a lifelong addict and I can't trust him. This guy is clearly not that. I couldn't imagine doing this to someone with their head on their shoulders.

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u/Corfiz74 Oct 06 '22

Yeah, I'd like to read her letters with her justifications - they'd probably make a good TIFU post.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 19 '22

[deleted]

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u/LadyK8TheGr8 Oct 06 '22

I’m not sure. My dad was abused and his sister was oblivious to it. He recently talked to her about it and she had no idea. It’s a different situation

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u/flyingcactus2047 Oct 07 '22

Similar happened with my mom except she was the one that was unaware. For some reason her stepdad only abused her mom and brother, not her

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

[deleted]

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u/Zoss33 Oct 07 '22

My mum and 2 of her sisters were raised by their oldest sister, who was only 2 years older than them. From the age of 4, oldest sister was “mum” because their parents couldn’t parent. when the oldest sister moved out at 17 because she couldn’t take it anymore, my mum and her sisters completely lost it because they thought their “mum” had left them. My mums sisters didn’t speak to the oldest for years.

They’re now in their 60s and even then, not all of them still get what the oldest went through or why she’s so mentally unwell as an adult.

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u/viener_schnitzel Oct 07 '22

That’s so unbelievably sad, I hope your Mom is friends with the older sis now.

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u/Zoss33 Oct 07 '22

They’re on and off speaking terms.

2/4 sisters got personality disorders. 3/4 have been diagnosed with ASD (their mum was on the spectrum too). All have experienced C-PTSD and depression, and either were abusive or got into abusive relationships several times over.

My family is not exactly “normal”

It’s really sad tbh. I hope one day they will work it out, but tbh they can never stay on speaking terms for more than a couple years

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u/Umklopp Oct 07 '22

I think this is just how kids are wired. It's similar to how many children think their teachers live at the school: kids struggle to think about any context outside of their own. As far as the kid is concerned, parents exist for the sole purpose of parenting them.

Children might be highly imaginative, but they're awful at imagining the internal lives of others.

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u/lastduckalive Oct 07 '22

But the issue is children eventually turn into adults who know teachers leave school, younger siblings of parentified children often never have that lightbulb moment. My mom did everything but die for her 5 younger siblings after being left a near orphan at 13, and although all women are now grown in their 40s and 50s, none of them have ever appreciated what my mom did and sacrificed for them.

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u/Umklopp Oct 07 '22

Oh, they definitely should have pulled their heads out of their asses several decades ago. I'm only pointing out that they may be incapable of treating your mom appropriately. They could figure it out if they felt like engaging with their issues, but isn't being an asshole so much easier?

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u/comomellamo Oct 06 '22

She had to know, specially after OOP describes how sister made it through HS.

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u/devdevgoat Oct 07 '22

I think the sister had no idea what OOP’s contribution to her life really meant until that baby showed up and she realized just how fucking hard her brother really had it raising her. Told him ‘no’ when her and her husband probably had that ‘pull yourself up by yourself bootstraps’ mentality… then had real life show up and wreck shit with no OOP to help/lean on.

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

Having grown up in abuse myself, yes, OOP’s sister knows. She was protected, but even the best protection has cracks that let pain through.

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u/Ok-Commercial-4015 Oct 06 '22 Silver Helpful Ally

Sadly protecting my brother from abuse led to him blaming me for our parents divorce and the family falling apart. Sometimes they know and just don't care. Still breaks my heart knowing my brother will never see me as family (we are half siblings but raised together 100%) even after the blows I took for him....

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u/TD1990TD Oct 06 '22

Thank you for being a decent human being. Your brother might not have recognized you, but we do.

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u/StinkyKittyBreath Oct 06 '22

Yep. I was abused growing up. One of my siblings moved out when I was young and things got worse after that. They apologized to me because they felt like they abandoned me. I didn't feel that way. They were young. They could t protect me forever. And they helped me in other ways. Even though we did t live together, I know I was saved to some extent by having somebody that cared about me.

I'd do whatever I could to help them if they lost their home. No drug or addiction issues so I wouldn't have to worry about anything. My husband wouldn't say no, but if he did I'd either ignore it or move out. You don't just forget the one person who tried to help you when you were abused. That's awful.

That said, abuse victims often go on to be in abusive relationships. Her husband may be abusive towards her, which does complicate things.

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u/HaloGirl1996 Oct 06 '22

My brother recently apologized for feeling like he didn't protect me enough. He was 6 years older, so he was gone when he could leave. He did protect me when I needed it. It was never physical, but if he noticed I was distressed he took me out and we walked around the neighborhood for a bit. After his apology, I told him he had nothing to apologize for because he had his own life and that it was inevitable for him to leave. Everything is okay now.

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u/JustEnoughForACoffee Oct 06 '22

Having been the one in oop's shoes growing up (no drugs thankfully but one abusive parent and one not intentionally neglectful parent (she was going through her own shit and I was left to raise my two younger siblings for a bit) there is shit that you can't hide. Flinches when being caught off guard, bruises when something is thrown that you can't exactly play off, the obvious fact that you are not the parent yet you're performing the parental duties.

I'm only three years older than my youngest sibling. Two years for the older of the two. Even doing your absolute best, everything perfectly, shit still slips through.

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u/tattoovamp Oct 06 '22

It's 1 thing to say you can't stay here, but it's another to offer no follow up.

She could have asked around for housing, offered cash, given rides, been a reference for her, so many things!

And yet, she offered nothing.

Yeah, I don't think she could come back from that.

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u/Majestic-Constant714 Oct 07 '22

I think that stood out to me too. Sometimes you can't house another person. I couldn't. But she didn't offer an explanation or money for a cheap motel for a few nights or...anything. Just "no" and then nothing until she knew he didn't need her help anymore.

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u/raspberrih Oct 07 '22

And not even concern, which is free.

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u/turning_a_new_leaf2 Oct 07 '22

And she could have offered more explanation for her no as well, instead of just saying no and silently implying he can just go fuck himself

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u/Lodgik Oct 06 '22

A lot of advice and comments seemed to be from the perspective of functional families with a functional family structure, that is not the case here

I've been noticing that Reddit has actually been getting better about this. I think most people on the site are becoming more accepting of the idea that not every family is like their own, and sometimes the arguments that happen between family members aren't just petty squabbles that don't actually matter.

And the few who don't get that generally get downvoted.

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u/Smithwick_GS Oct 06 '22 Wholesome

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

The dynamics of dysfunctional families can be so varied that the general functional family wisdom is more harmful than helpful.

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u/bs-scientist Oct 06 '22

This is such a good way to word it.

I of course don’t know what OOPs childhood was like. But basing his story of my own, I wouldn’t talk to my sister for a LONG time if she did this to me. I don’t think I could go forever, but it would be a good long while.

That’s a hurt that I hope I never have to feel.

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u/Redpandaling Oct 06 '22

If you're curious, it's the opening line to Anna Karenina by Tolstoy

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u/tulipinacup Oct 07 '22

I can’t imagine treating my brother this way. He protected me from so much shit that went on between our very dysfunctional parents.

When my brother finally left his abusive wife, I insisted he stay with me. There is nothing that could keep me from giving my big brother a safe place to stay in his time of need.

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u/lollygag-and-panic Oct 06 '22

It's a great quality to know your worth. I'm sure it came from years of being treated horribly.

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u/BritishBeef88 Oct 06 '22

Reminds me of the quote from the first season of True Detective: "I know who I am. And after all these years, there's a victory in that."

When the one solid relationship you have left is proven to be unequal it would probably be tempting to let it slide just to keep that relationship. I'm impressed that OOP values himself higher than that.

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u/Automatic_Ad1987 Oct 06 '22

Can someone explain to me why the accounts that feature on this always get suspended? Does reddit do it when the account gets listed here?

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u/12172031 Oct 07 '22

Might have something to do with throw away accounts that people make for these type of post. It probably triggering some spam or ant- bot feature. A while back, I needed some advice and created a new account to ask a question. When my first post didn't get any respond, I tried to post again a week later but was told that my account was suspended and couldn't make new post. I almost gave up but there was a link to contest my suspension so I gave it a try. I didn't have high hope that contesting it would work but my account got unsuspend a few days later.

I think a lots of people make new account to ask these type of questions or seek advice and once they got the answer they probably doesn't log in again and since they are not going to post using the same account again, they don't care if it get suspended.

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u/Uxt7 Oct 07 '22

Was wondering that myself. I've noticed a lot of the OP accounts being suspended. It's weird.

Unrelated but I just wanna say, the relationships advice and regular relationships subreddit are ass. Their rules regarding update posts and locking and removing posts are stupid

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u/DZHMMM Oct 07 '22

How can anyone blame OOP. Truly.

He sacrificed so much of his life and she turned him away. This is a hurt that will NEVER leave him. her husband 'not allowing it' is BS. period.

He sacrificed so much of himself, and she was allowed to be selfish due to him sacrificing so much. Its sad she doesn't see that.

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u/washah76 Oct 06 '22

That’s heartbreaking. Some people are just selfless without bounds in an environment that stifles that. This man took over his parents role and then some for his sister, and when push came to shove, she fell right back over and hid behind her husband. Like he said, the fact of the matter is she didn’t fight for her brother when he’s been fighting for her most of his life.

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u/ravynwave Oct 06 '22

Your last sentence says it all

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u/d2r7 Oct 06 '22

Agreed. What sister did was betrayal.

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u/pygmy Oct 07 '22

Having a family/friend who only ever takes, it hurts so much more if they aren't there for you the one time you ask

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u/PryingApothecary Oct 07 '22

I’ve been in the position of OP. I was always there for my older sibling and mother. They completely turned their backs on me the one time I needed them. The funny thing is they shot themselves in the foot. Being treated like nothing finally made me snap and stop caring about them and the next time they asked for help, I turned them down coldly. I’ve never helped since actually. Their lives spiralled very badly without their useful doormat to fall back on, and as much as I don’t relish it, I can at least hold my head high that I didn’t sacrifice any more self-respect. The only thing I regret is giving up pieces of myself and life for undeserving people.

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u/NathanielTurner666 Oct 07 '22

I doubt anyone will see this as I am commenting 500 comments in. But I resonated with OP when she said that people from a good, healthy family upbringing just dont understand and probably shouldn't weigh in. They are completely free from the hell that living in a fucked up family does to us.

My brother, sister, and half-brother have lived a harrowing life. I had a mother and father who were both alcoholics and drug addicts. I still love both of them dearly but a lot of damage has been done. They both had even worse childhoods than we did, and I know it doesnt excuse it but when it comes to my feelings for them, empathy and understanding is better than anger and resentment. Even though anger and resentment goes through my mind from time to time.

I dont even know if I want to go into any of this, it's such a vast series of experiences and trauma that I dont even know where to begin.

I might just make an appointment with my therapist for the first time in a while. But I will say, for those of us who have gone through hell, been homeless as a child, tried to help your parents get clean as a child, and had to use what little mental/emotional energy you have to try and save everyone you love from this despair... it takes a lot for us to trust someone. Those we give our heart to is no small gesture. Its everything. For someone to forsake that trust... it's the ultimate betrayal.

I dont know about other people in my situation, some I do know become tortured selfish people. But I try with all my being to help and care for other people. Especially those who I've deemed worthy of my devotion. That's hard to earn. The only person I punish for all of this is myself. I'm 30, been struggling with alcoholism and other drugs since I was 16 years old. I've been working on it. It's been a struggle. I slip up a lot but I am nowhere near how I was years ago. There are people in my life that I love with all my heart and I know for a fact the feeling is mutual. I dont want to do to them what my mother and father did to me. They dont deserve it. At all.

My mother and father had their problems. Drugs and alcohol made them someone else. But I saw who they were every now and again without that poison. They were sweet, loving, and beautiful people. Those are the memories that I try to focus on. If I was sick, or had a toothache, or was sad and just needed someone, they would stay by my bedside late into the night. That was love and it meant so much to me that I knew that if I ever had a partner or a child, I would shower them with that same love. I could tell that that's what they lacked as children, and they desperately needed to express love like that. That's who they truly were as people. I dont think of the poison they used to numb themselves with. That made them this other being that wasnt them.

I was in my darkest moment about 7 years ago. I met my girlfriend and she had a similar upbringing. She was the embodiment of every moment of love I had throughout my childhood. I fell in love fast. She was the person I had been looking for all my life. We only dated for about a month or so and I had to move back home. Without question, she flew to where I lived, and we got a shitty little place. Was staying with an asshole and only a month in got kicked out. All we had was my dad's truck and she stuck by me the entire way. We were homeless for a couple weeks, but we were in the trenches together. We were still working and saving money. We fought for each other. I felt so bad I brought her into my own hell but she stayed.

We were so young nobody would even rent us a hotel room. Until we found one shitty little room at a shitty hotel that did. All we wanted to do was spend all of our time together, and be there for each other. We were working for my dad, i was an airbrush artist on the beach. I love painting too. But my dad wasnt doing well at all. He dove deep into alcohol, and became really emotionally abusive. My gf finally said after a few months, "I love you but I need to get out of here, you need to get out of here. I'm going to KY and I really want you to come but it's up to you."

We both went to Kentucky. My dad tried to make it seem like I had given up on the family. But under his abuse at that point I was close to suicide. My gf was this ball of love and light that kept me from falling into the abyss.

We are still here in KY. It's beautiful here. I love her more and more each day. We have a lovely dog who has taken it upon herself to be like a therapy dog. Whenever we are sad she will come up to us and give us kisses and just love us. We shower that dog with love. We live on a beautiful farm. We try to spend as much time as possible together.

When I would hang out with my dad, and when we were in a serene place that made us feel at home and at peace, he would call it our "Sanctum Sanctorum". Which is latin for "Sanctuary of Sanctuaries". I love and miss my dad dearly. He passed 2 years ago. But I have finally found my Sanctum Sanctorum. I think he would be happy for me. My brothers and sister have found that in their own way. And I try to help them as much as I possibly can. My sister has 2 beautiful little boys and I love my nephews very much. I'm so proud of my brother too, hes truly become a man and has grown so much.

My mom still struggles with addiction but shes taking steps to get clean. Shes a hard worker and I love her very much and I know she loves us. It's a struggle for people like us. But I'm happy we are all trying to be better.

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u/dream-smasher Oct 07 '22

Truth be told, thru the end of your comment, i was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But it didn't. You are still happily in love with your girlfriend, and at home in your Sanctum Sanctorum.

I am happy for you.

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u/Majestic-Constant714 Oct 06 '22

She apologized and explained herself, but OOP doesn't owe her forgiveness and/or contact. Whether she knows about everything he shielded her from doesn't even matter, because she's old enough to have realized that he sacrificed years of his life for her. He didn't have to and it would've been much easier for him without her. She betrayed him and has to deal with the consequences now.

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u/saturnspritr Oct 06 '22

I remember having to beg my parents from across the country for some support while I looked for another job because I was on the verge of homelessness. It was humiliating and I begged them. I got a $50 gift card to red lobster. And I got incredibly lucky in that my landlord just said take a few months and just get me the money when you can. And I pulled myself back from the brink. But it took a long long time to forgive my parents enough to build some relationship back. I’ve never forgotten it though and it’s the worst feeling in the world begging for help from people you love and they don’t come thru for you.

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u/44morejumperspls Oct 06 '22

Red fucking lobster?! Jesus Christ

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u/ordinaryarchitect Oct 06 '22

Thats what I was thinking. Like cmon. Literally any grocery store in their area would be better...

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u/FaustsAccountant Oct 06 '22

Sounds like a re-gifted gift card

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u/oranges214 Oct 07 '22

Parents: "Can you help us we are sick and old and now we need you to move in to care for us."

Saturn: "Here's a $50 gift card to Red Lobster."

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u/Majestic-Constant714 Oct 07 '22

Bonus points if it's the same card they got from their parents.

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u/bradlei Oct 07 '22

Double bonus: the card is expired.

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u/VaJJ_Abrams Oct 07 '22

Just to remind them that they'll be expired soon too

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u/tsh87 Oct 06 '22

Outside of childhood, that feeling when you need someone and they just don't show up... it never goes away.

No amount of explanations, excuses or redeeming acts, can erase that feeling.

That feeling of thinking that you live in a world where you have people you can depend on and then realizing that world never existed and you really are out here on your own.

Even if you let the people back in it's just not the same. And it's very strange space to be in when you recognize that you do love someone fully but just don't trust them at all.

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u/JBredditaccount Oct 06 '22

I don't know how to phrase this so it doesn't sound like I'm criticizing you, but why did you forgive them? That's fucking horrible.

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u/saturnspritr Oct 06 '22

A couple of reasons. One- it’s been coming up on 20 years and I don’t have it in me to hold grudges a long time, like it takes a lot out of me and I don’t feel good or better or anything for it. It just makes me tired.

Two- I was slow and had a lot of distance. So I got to dictate how and what kind of relationship I wanted. So I had all the control with what I wanted to do.

Three- I don’t expect my parents to be anyone other than themselves. Like they have their faults. And I acknowledge them. I can’t make someone change who they are. I can only control myself. So I guess it’s more, my expectations are realistic. I shouldn’t expect a Tiger to be a vegetarian. And if I do, after they’ve showed they eat meat, well, it’s a Tiger. Why did I expect different.

I want the relationship I have with them and I have that and that’s good enough for me. I’m at peace with it.

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u/CutieBoBootie Oct 06 '22

You forgave them? Damn. Maybe I'm not built for forgiveness cause I wouldn't

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u/DevilGuy Oct 06 '22

Exactly, sometimes there is no way to make amends and people who've never experienced the level of loss and betrayal the oop did will never be able to understand and should just shut up about it. My response in such a situation would "Give me back all the years I sacrificed so you could have the life you live now, then we can talk about how sorry you are."

Sometimes the right answer is to bury the past and move on.

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u/Geistbar Oct 06 '22

Her explanation rings hollow to me, too.

It's just her husband said no. But she's still with that husband, she didn't offer to pay to put him in a cheap motel for a few nights, didn't offer to take food to him while she couldn't house him, etc.

If you're really that close to a family member I find it hard to imagine that you'd just take a blanket no from a SO on housing them briefly when that family member is homeless. The sin here that even her explanation is damning. It tells OOP that he wasn't important enough to her for her to insist on it.

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u/heyyyng Oct 06 '22

Right? And if it’s really because the husband was not agreeable, how did he all of a sudden have the willingness to lose his ego and beg OOP to talk to her?

She can accept that her brother is homeless, but can’t accept that he won’t talk to her ever again. What a self-centered b.

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u/tunamelts2 Oct 07 '22

It doesn't quite make sense...but then again must people are quite irrational. She's devastated that he won't contact her, but she didn't lift a finger to help him avoid homelessness? What the actual fuck?

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u/nickkkmnn Oct 06 '22

She apparently didn't even give a proper explanation , just some empty bs...

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u/megamoze Oct 06 '22

She’s apologetic now that OOP doesn’t need anything from her. My dad is exactly like this. It’s easy to show remorse when you’re no longer on the hook for something.

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u/sanguinesolitude Oct 07 '22

"You weren't here when I needed you, and now I don't."

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u/AnnaTheBlueRogue Oct 07 '22

Imagine being raised by your brother, your brother deciding he didn't need a childhood, but you did, your brother sacrifices basically his innocence to preserve yours.

And when you have the one chance to repay him, you say no! YOU SAY NO MULTIPLE TIMES!

Holy mother of fuck. I have a semi-decent relationship with my family, and even then, this possibility has always made me not wanna sacrifice my wellbeing for theirs.

Fucking hell, man.

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u/BarefootandWild Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 07 '22

If you’ve come from any sort of dysfunction growing up, you’ll understand the heavy heart of OP’s feelings of betrayal.

From what I’m reading, OP sounds like he’s used to being hyper-independent and reaching out for help at his lowest point, only to be rejected, is less about the situation (hubby said no/there’s no space/I’m pregnant/insert whatever excuse you can think up), and more about feeling emotionally abandoned.

From reading the post, It was obviously apparent growing up, that OP has been re-triggered all over again by the one person he saw as his emotional anchor. I’m with OP here, I’d stay well away from the sister. Trust is earned drops and lost in buckets. She lost OP’s trust here.

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u/PeacefulShark69 Oct 07 '22 edited Oct 08 '22

Yup, I'm with OP as well.

It wasn't just "no". She offered nothing, zero, nada. She didn't offer to help him find a room, gave no money, hell, even concern which is free.

I come from a dysfunctional family too and I've spent years being judged for being standoffish with them by people who just cannot accept that my upbringing was radically different than theirs; that our families are NOT the same. Flushed down the toilet too many hours of being stunlocked in arguments with my gf, because she forgives everyone and wants me to do the same.

Like OP, I took the time to reflect and think about it. I forgave a small few and I tolerate them. The rest I pushed away. So I'm right there with him.

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u/Ambs1987 Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

As the oldest child of drug addicted parents who raised my sibling. I get it. I 100% get it. We sacrificed and took the brunt of shit no child should ever have to. We asked for nothing in return. She needed help for a few weeks and sister said no. I would be floored just the same as op. No I don't think my little brother owes me, I'm not a dick, but I do think if I was on the verge of homelessness I would hope he'd let me take the couch for a bit if it's the first time I'm ever asking for something for myself. It's not about owing it's about respect. It's about appreciating the sacrifice a child made to protect another child. It's about going hungry so your sibling can eat. It's about sharing a toothbrush. It's about giving them the only winter coat you guys have. She should've been there for her sister especially after the childhood they endured together.

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u/My_2Cents_666 Oct 06 '22

I went NC with a friend who I’ve known for 50 years. I was suffering from depression and suicidal ideation for two years when I reached out to her (phone call bc LD) and told her what I was going through. Besides one text at Xmas, she ignored me for 10 months. I could not get past it and just recently cut her off completely. Don’t even like her anymore.

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u/Edendari Oct 07 '22 Take My Power

Sadly, i have a pretty similar situation.

I was a big hand in raising my sister and she recently turned her back on me. If it wasnt for a generous friend, my dog and I would probably be dead.

She knows what its like to have people turn their backs on you as all our relatives had, yet she did it anyway.

I dont think ill ever be able to forgive her. As soon as I can get out of here, im planning on making sure she will never be able to find or contact me again.

I feel like im garbage that has been thrown away by everyone ive ever cared about.

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u/Icy-Patient1206 Oct 07 '22 Take My Power

I’m sorry to hear of what happened to OOP and relieved in an awful way too — because I went through something similar, and made a similar choice, and reading through this post and update, made me feel less alone in my decision to cut my brother out of my life and never, ever,ever imagine that I could rely on him for anything ever again.

I was the eldest sister doing a fair amount of parenting. Our parents were around but worked really long hours, with lots of travel or night shifts.

I used to help my brother with rent or food when he was short on cash. But when I was struggling my brother turned his back and I became homeless. I’ve had my share of traumas, but I’m generally considered responsible and pleasant to live with. I was employed and willing to pay rent. Eventually the situation resolved — and I was able to get a good job and pay for my own place.

But being turned away by my younger brother really gutted me in a way that nothing else ever has. Outright abusive people are easier to handle and make sense of (for me once I learned the patterns and the signs) than the close family you think will be there for you the way that you were for them, but who then turn away with some pallid excuse for their indifference. The betrayal hits harder because you don’t expect it.

During my time being homeless I was helped by people who had overcome big family rifts, or had struggles of their own. So I wonder if there really is something to that idea that help is most often offered by those who have been there.

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u/averbisaword Oct 06 '22

I wonder if the sister has truly realised and come to terms with what she’s lost.

I think not yet, but she will.

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u/Helioscopes Oct 06 '22

Oh she has, that's why she has constantly tried to contact him and kept trying after the final email. She knows she fucked up for real, and whether the 'my husband didn't want to' was a real reason, or an excuse to shift the blame and absolve herself, she knows very well she is at fault too. She knows she lost the only close family member she had.

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u/GuidanceLast4605 Oct 06 '22

Maybe but the realization and accompanying agony will deepen with the years.

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u/Pennymostdreadful Oct 07 '22

It likely will. My mom is a uneducated bipolar method addiction and I cut contact with her 10 years ago. I still get emails asking me to forgive her. They've changed over the years. From demanding to begging and pleading to a kind of resigned sadness.

I'd love to tell her that I forgave her years ago, and that I miss her too. But I can't take the chance that she'll come back and fuck my serentity or worse, damage my daughter. It hurts though, grieving for someone who's still alive. The years don't help.

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u/Seb_veteran-sleeper Oct 07 '22

Coming to terms with what you've lost is relatively easy, and I assume she did so pretty quickly.

Accepting that losing what's gone was your own fault, and understanding why you lost it, is much harder, as it requires that you recontextualise yourself as a person who did a great wrong.

And beyond that, accepting that what has been broken might not be fixable is a whole other level of acceptance that will likely leave a wound that never truly heals.

I am not going to claim to know whether or not she deserves that wound to never heal. Sometimes the world is unfair, and a situation can leave two people who both deserve better, but for one to get it, the other must lose it.

For her to be happy, her brother cannot be. It is especially sad given how much of his happiness he already gave up for her sake.

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u/Weasel16679 Oct 06 '22

I bet the sister is so shielded and overly protected before she never had to face the consequences of her actions. Now that she has to make big girl decisions she’s horrible at them.

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u/kittynoodlesoap Oct 07 '22

This is why you don’t take your loved ones for granted. The sister messed up BIG time.

I totally get op. If I spend my youth sacrificing for someone and they couldn’t do one favor for me, I would forget their existence.

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u/BritishBeef88 Oct 06 '22

Heartbreaking but understandable. If you're driven to wall again and again for someone, but they're not willing to extend even a short-term bit of relief during a bad time, it leaves a sour taste. Sure, she wasn't obligated. But neither was OOP and it must feel to him like the relationship was very one-sided.

The sister might not have realised how serious her 'no' would be taken. Not everyone truly understands the consequences of their actions until they're living them. I wonder for what reason the husband might have not wanted him there. He seems to suddenly regret it, if he was truly responsible, because he was trying to push for contact too.

A lot of advice and comments seemed to be from the perspective of functional families with a functional family structure, that is not the case here

I wish this could be pinned in multiple subs on reddit. It makes my blood boil when people from functional families make a blanket comment that lacks empathy or even an attempt at understanding. The people who rail against no contact, who try to harass OPs into giving second chances, who scream 'faaaaaaamily' and act like some bizarre digital flying monkey for strangers. Good for them for never having experienced this hell, I guess, but I do wish they'd be more neutral in their approach.

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u/altaccount_28 Oct 06 '22

I would bet the husband has heard all the stories about how if you let family live with you they never leave. Hell Im living in one of those stories right now. On the other hand I would also bet he had no idea that this no would be the death knell for OP and sisters relationship.

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u/BritishBeef88 Oct 06 '22

I can understand that - it's happened to me before, though for me I was just being a stupid doormat because they had form with this kind of behaviour. From OOP's POV it sounds like it's the first and only thing he's ever asked for help on and has otherwise been self-sufficient. It sucks that he'd be judged based off of other people's second-hand anecdotes, especially when the risk is homelessness.

I doubt either the husband or the sister realised how this would change everything. I think that even if the sister knows how much OOP went through for her she's never had to walk a mile in those shoes and it never occurred to her that the relationship would become so unequal that OOP would consider it broken.

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u/Esabettie Oct 06 '22

Exactly! She was so used to the dynamic they had that didn’t occur to her that it could change and if became her turn and she didn’t stand up to the challenge he would be seeing her differently

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u/mcgriff4hall Oct 06 '22

Yeah if she posted this on her POV Reddit would be backing her up, saying never let family move in with them - especially during the beginning of the pandemic.

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u/Boycubpiglet Oct 06 '22

"Your house your choice!"

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u/Prysorra2 Oct 06 '22

That would depend on the backstory she would give for the brother here. I've seen AITA really surprise me with their perceptiveness (and honestly kinda scary verbal brutality)

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u/Seb_veteran-sleeper Oct 07 '22

The big lesson for anyone reading AITA is to wait a while before gauging what the response is. I find that often the early response can be kind of crazy.

This is why so many slightly controversial posts will have top voted judgements saying 'going against the grain' in a sea of other judgements, because the early opposing opinions later got buried in downvotes.

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u/econinja Oct 06 '22

More people should practice boundaries with toxic family and family who don’t show up when you need it the most. It saves a lot of long-term heartache and trauma.

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u/The_Jade_Rabbit88 Oct 07 '22

One day I hope op can heal. Sister messed up big time and husband should have had a convo about why it was a no despite the extreme circumstance.

This is heartbreaking. I’m facing eviction as well from losing my job and I’m dreading asking my brother for help. Scared to be told no despite taking care of him when we were young (parents emotionally checked out when we were 5/1 yo).

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

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u/leopard_eater I’ve read them all Oct 06 '22

Same. My older brother and I could see it, and tried to protect our younger sister. She have precisely zero fucks about the money, the food, the medical support, the jobs and housing we got her. Had she not died when she did, the state would have taken away her child that she had just to get some extra welfare.

Never once did she allow my older brother to stay with her, despite him giving her his entire 10k life savings a few months earlier as she was supposedly homeless and her child was starving, when he was temporarily homeless after being robbed of his day to day money. She also refused to temporarily loan me back some expensive kitchen items I’d been given for wedding gifts (a food processor, microwave), when my husband abruptly left me with three children, claiming that she needed them for her own son (but she’d never used them at all).

In a twist of fate, her son was placed with me after she died. That’s when we found out that she had almost 120k in the bank, multiple designer clothes, and a car that she drove around purchased by my parents (the same ones that refused to teach me to drive, because I was a woman). That wonderful boy is now 16, formally adopted by me and my second husband, and identified as a brother by his three older biological cousins/my other children. He only knows love from us.

My brother is now a lawyer, I’m a Professor. Our parents, who we haven’t spoken to in years, still talk about what a wonderful selfless person and mother she was to people in our town, and how lazy, selfish and degenerate my brother and I are. Between my brother and I, they have eight grandchildren, ranging in ages from 26 to 4. They’ve never met any of the children under the age of 16, and haven’t seen any of my children since they were 5 or younger. They never will.

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u/NoMarwanWay Oct 07 '22

As an internet stranger. You are strong and I am so proud of your growth. Your trash parents will join ur sister soon enough. Atleast that’s a comforting thought.

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u/leopard_eater I’ve read them all Oct 07 '22

Thanks for your kind words. It took a while, and worked very hard, but now my brother and I have our own families that have broken the cycle. He has a lovely wife, and I have a lovely husband. Four great kids each. Self belief, money in the bank and capacity to help others. All my parents have is spite, fuck them.

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u/PJsAreComfy Oct 06 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

100% agreed. Having also played that role and experiencing a betrayal I can say it's more heartbreaking than anything else I've ever experienced. Not just because it's hurtful but it makes you question everything - what you gave up, whether it was ever really appreciated, who you could have been if you'd made different choices, where you went wrong, etc. It's not a minor issue; it's a serious mindfuck that shakes you to your core.

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u/Sufficient-Trick-386 Oct 06 '22

As a middle child who was protected then did the protecting, I will always be there to help my siblings up when they are down. All my siblings would do the same. There are minor learning experiences they don’t interfere with but if I needed a home they’re there. If any of them needed a home I’m here.

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u/UnderDubwood Oct 06 '22 edited Oct 06 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome Take My Energy

I’m getting really fed up of this “you don’t owe anyone anything” attitude I keep seeing on Reddit. It’s not progressive to absolve yourself of responsibilities towards others, it’s individualist. Surely we want to help and protect those who are vulnerable?? Like that’s literally how society improves??? Especially in cases like this where someone, who is experiencing a tragedy, is rejected by someone they’ve spent their whole life caring for.

“You don’t owe anyone anything” may apply to more arbitrary situations, like not having to host a difficult friend who is in your town visiting when they could afford an hotel, but in this scenario, that outlook is just callous and selfish.

Edit: in case it wasn’t clear, I’m commenting on the responses OOP received from fellow redditors, which obviously harped on about how she didn’t owe him anything.

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u/pitathegreat Oct 06 '22

This reminds me of the post from a woman who’s younger gay brother called asking for a place to stay because his boyfriend was beating him. She just had a baby and didn’t want another person in the house, so she was considering directing him to a homeless shelter. In spring of 2020.

I mean, it’s an option you can take, but holy shit.

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u/44morejumperspls Oct 06 '22

A lot of people on Reddit seem to have a weird, legalistic view on relationships.

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u/hollyslowly Oct 06 '22

I have to stop myself from commenting, "You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole," multiple times a day.

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u/whilewemelt Oct 06 '22

I think these people are really young. I always think of them as teenagers who spend too much time Infront of the computer...

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u/[deleted] Oct 06 '22

I read an article recently about a study on how the pandemic has affected young people. It basically said that people have worse social skills and have lower empathy than before the pandemic and that this is highly pronounced in young people. It explains a lot.

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u/Echospite Oct 07 '22

I got my job straight after lockdown, when my new coworkers were just coming back to the office. Nobody wanted to talk to me or each other. We all ignored everyone else. Coming from retail where most of my coworkers were at least good at pretending to be bubbly, at first it was a relief but then it just felt unnecessarily cold.

After a few weeks of this my boss had a meeting and was like “… you guys know you can talk to each other, right?”

And I just blurted out “wait, you mean it’s not normally like this?”

Boss and coworkers very sheepishly admitted that usually it was a lot warmer.

Coworkers went out of their way to engage me and each other after that, and the new folk who came after me didn’t have the same problem.

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u/5leeplessinvancouver Oct 06 '22

I’ve noticed this too. I’ve seen a few questions in advice subs where OP has generously spent substantial time, effort, and money to help out a friend or family member, and are understandably upset when that friend or family member refuses to do one small favor for them in return.

The number of vitriolic responses that are all “THEY DONT OWE YOU THEY DIDNT ASK YOU FOR HELP YOU OFFERED IT”… holy moly. Makes me wonder how any of these people have relationships in real life.

Of course you shouldn’t expect tit for tat and go through life keeping score with everyone, but are they even a friend if the relationship is entirely to their benefit?

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u/SephariusX Gotta Read’Em All Oct 06 '22

Had a friend with this mindset so a few of us stopped offering him help and he got into the mindset of "selfishness is human nature and they won't help you unless it benefits them".

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u/dantesrosettes Oct 06 '22

Thing is, self interest includes maintaining your relationships and taking care of social obligations. Sounds like he's short sighted.

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u/kittycat0333 Oct 06 '22

“You owe to others what you would expect for yourself in their shoes.”

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u/rcl2 Oct 07 '22

Reminds me of someone I knew long ago.

In college, I had a friend who I helped out of a domestic violence situation. A couple years later, I was going through a personal life crisis and needed help, and I reached out to many people including this friend. She said she would get back to me, then ghosted me.

I did not help her because I wanted something in return, but I thought she was a friend and that she would have some empathy towards my situation. I know now that was false.

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u/bofh000 Oct 06 '22

I see a lot of comments of the type : it’s not your relatives’ responsibility to prevent you from becoming homeless. It’s technically nobody’s responsibility after you become of age. But family ties aren’t based on technicality or legality. Sure, you have no legal obligation to do anything for a relative about to live on the streets, but is shows very clearly you are a heartless asshole not only for refusing to help, but also for excusing your deeds with technicalities.

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u/Schlemiel_Schlemazel Oct 07 '22

Humans didn’t become humans in a society like what we have now. We evolved in tribes for millennia. Modern ideas of responsibility are nothing to our familial tribal bonding ethos which goes something like “you protect members of your tribe against all dangers and they protect you.”

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u/jellie199620 Oct 07 '22

100% it is not her responsibility but relationship do require give and take. I don't understand why she couldn't have at the very least tried to find him other housing? Why not call and see if you can find someone who could house him as a favor to you? Maybe see if you could help spare some money for a motel. Help figure out shelter situations in general. Even just something small......

But absolutely no action taken for someone you know who sacrificed so much so that you could have a good life. It is heartless.

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u/Few_Peace4888 Oct 07 '22

Unsure why anybody would think the OP should reconnect with his sister. Can’t see any justification for her actions at all. If my brother or sister where about to be homeless and my partner didn’t want them to move in I would be making very very clear that supporting family is a dealbreaker for me. I would imagine this woman’s marriage will probably now be extremely strained due to the husbands decision to not allow him to stay; but ultimately she could have put her foot down and said either her does or we will be getting a divorce- she didn’t do that, she isn’t family.

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u/spaceyjaycey Oct 06 '22

The sister knew OP wasn't some deadbeat relative. She knew OP was someone who worked two jobs to take care of her. She had to know OP wouldn't stay one second longer than necessary. I can't blame OP for not wanting anything to do with the sister.

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u/NoItsNotThatJessica Oct 07 '22

Yes she knew her brother and knew she had to help him. But she turns her back in favor of her husband? I adore my husband, but if he were to block me from being there for my sister if she needed me like this, then that would be our last night together as partners. His ass would be out. And if it were vice versa, my ass would be out.

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u/davearneson Oct 06 '22

I went through something similar with my aunts. I forgave them after a couple of years for the sake of having a relationship, and then a few years later, they did it again. It was a very deep betrayal, and I cannot forgive them.

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u/ScyllaOfTheDepths Oct 06 '22

I don't really know what sis expected here. You can't just turn familial obligation on and off when it suits you. It's either there or it's not. I've had several family members try to pull this with me and get shocked when I don't want them back in my life, but they've shown me that their love is conditional and temporary and I've chosen not to accept it because of that. OOP's stance is 100% valid. He wants people in his life he can rely on and sis doesn't want to be someone to be relied on, so there you go. If she regrets it, okay, good, but that doesn't change what happened. An apology isn't an eraser that just makes whatever you did go away and more people should really realize that and understand it.

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u/Ed98208 Oct 07 '22

Hell, I'd be incredibly shocked and hurt if any of my immediate family refused to take me in for a few weeks when I was facing homelessness (I would do the same for them, no questions asked). And I didn't take care of anyone like the OP did with his sister. But I still think he should hear her out.

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u/AriesDaydream Oct 07 '22

Very heartbreaking how the sister reacted and refused to help. Also very telling that the husband might not be the issue since she's now "free" to bombard OOP and even the husband has reached out.

I'm probably reaching here, but it just feels the sister finally had a "normal" life and didn't want OOP, who represented her past, to come into her new life.

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u/Inevitable-Okra-3229 Oct 06 '22

Oh this just broke my heart. You can feel how much this hurt him. Good on him for finally putting himself first. The sister is an AH but I think she realised too late what she did and her and husband decided to use him as a scape goat.

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u/clj73 Oct 07 '22

Just glad the Sister will always remember what he gave up for her and how hard it must have been for him. As she brings up her child every step and hope she remembers that he done it with no support network and him being younger and having to deal with looking after his sister. Never once putting himself 1st. It’s unbelievable that she’d turn her back and went along with her husband. As for her husband not wanting to let someone crash or be homeless and choose homeless is someone that wouldn’t be my Husband for much longer.

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u/blueconlan Oct 07 '22

Honestly the thing I’m most pissed about is little sister showing up at OOPs work- to make a scene so she can feel better- is she trying to get her sibling fired?! That shit is unforgivable in and of itself.

I could maybe understand saying no to letting her live there if the husband was controlling and abusive but risking getting OOP fired after they just got their life together- no. Unforgivable.

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u/Proud-Tie557 Oct 06 '22

when someone shows you who they are believe them .. what will you get from this relationship but disappointment