She Did Everything for Her Autistic Brothers, but When She Felt Like She Was Missing Out on Life, Her Parents Branded Her Selfish and Resentful

A woman recently reached out for advice about whether she should temporarily leave home to prove to her parents how valuable she is. Here’s her side of the story..

Her brothers were autistic

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A 22-year-old woman had two brothers, aged 16 and 19, who were both autistic.

She was their third parent

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Being the eldest child, the woman had always been there to help take care of the brothers. She said, “I’ve been parent number three alongside my parents since they were born.”

She didn’t mind at first

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The woman didn’t mind helping out when she was younger, and in fact, she understood it was a normal thing for her to have to do—she was the oldest, and it meant her parents could get a break sometimes.

Her father worked a lot

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One of the reasons she needed to be so responsible was that her father worked a lot and was the only family member earning any money, so she had to help her mom out.

Her brothers could be challenged

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One of the issues the woman had was that she knew her brothers were more capable than her mother thought. She said, “My mom is full of love for us, but it makes her try to keep everything as easy as possible for my brothers, who do have the ability to be challenged, learn, and grow.”

They were in school

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Both boys were in school, although their autism did cause them problems. Her oldest brother also had a mental illness that had kept him out of school for years before it had been diagnosed.

She had no other life

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The woman dearly loved her brothers, but at 22, she was starting to feel as though she had no other life and was missing out on all the things that someone else her age would usually be doing.

She discussed it with her parents

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The woman decided to talk to her parents about how she was feeling, but their response was not what she expected—or wanted to hear.

Her father called her resentful

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To her surprise, her father told her she was being selfish. He even accused her of harboring some kind of resentment towards her brothers. He said that what she was doing for them was something that any young woman living at home would do.

He said she’d have to move out

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He had further harsh words for his daughter. She said, “He recommended that I get my resentment under control or move out.”

It wouldn’t go well

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The woman knew that if she did leave, things wouldn’t be great at home. She did so much that if she wasn’t there, nothing much would get done at all.

She was tempted

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That thought was what made her wonder if she should move out and go stay with a friend, even if only temporarily, so that her parents could see just how much she contributed and how valuable she really was.

Was she wrong?

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Was the woman wrong to want to teach her parents a lesson, or was it the perfect thing for her to do to show them how needed she was at home?

The internet responded

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One person said, “Yes you are the oldest and should occasionally help out at times, but not in the sense of raising these children that you did not give birth to.”

Another person commented, “Don’t move out for a bit. Move out PERMANENTLY.”

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