A Woman Set Boundaries With Her Parents About Her Special Needs Brother & Reddit Cheered Her On

As an adult, setting boundaries with family members can be tense or daunting, but it is essential to maintaining healthy, respectful relationships. Just ask this Redditor, who drew a line in the sand with her parents after an unfortunate series of events involving her special needs brother — and a lifetime of emotional neglect.

Writing on the infamous /AmITheAsshole Subreddit, user @ScreamingAH gave some context: She (27F) grew up with a sibling with autism (30M) who was “doted on” by their parents at every turn.

Growing up, I never felt important,” she recalled. “Everything I did was for my brother. I got high marks, my mom would say it’s for my brother. I won a high jump competition, my brother got to keep the medal. My presents were suited for his needs. Nothing was ever mine. And I was never allowed to touch any of his stuff because that might upset him.”

Years of this neglectful dynamic have led @ScreamingAH to harbor a lot of frustration toward her parents, “maybe even resentment.” But she refrained from ever bringing it up. Her brother wasn’t able to control how he acted. Plus, she honestly believes her parents were “doing their best” by triaging the siblings, even though it negatively impacted her.

Things got better when @ScreamingAH moved out of her childhood home for college. “I’ve felt so free ever since,” she wrote. “I visit them twice a year, for maybe a couple days each time, and therefore don’t mind the treatment as much as before.”

Alas, her true feelings came out when her family decided to surprise her for Christmas this year. They came over to her place unannounced and stayed for almost a month — which, who does that?! That’s a major red flag if I’ve ever seen one.

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