Strained relationships between children and their parents can be hard for an outside observer to understand, especially when that observer is a sibling. Redditor u/SisTatDrama96 posted on the ‘AITA’ subreddit after a conversation with his older sister went south.
u/SisTatDrama96 wrote, “My sis N has always had a strained relationship with our parents especially my mom. I am clearly not privy to the reasons because things are fine with me and my parents. When N went to college she met her creative writing professor as a freshman and they got close immediately. They would do a lot together and worked closely on a few different writing projects. N never specifically said this, but it was obvious to anyone who saw them interact that they had a substitute mother/daughter type relationship. Which hurt my mom a lot to see. I always thought she’d grow out of it or that the prof would move on but ten years later they were still very close.”
“About a month ago the prof died unexpectedly and it devastated N,” OP said. “She was really dperessed over the holidays which of course was all in front of my mom and was a difficult reminder that N loved the prof as a mother way more than she ever loved my mom as a mother. She still talks to my parents and stuff and they don’t fight or anything but N is very distant and doesn’t tell them anything about her life beyond the bare minimum. My mom tried to comfort N but N was doing her distant thing and didn’t want comfort.”
“Something unfortunate that happened to N is that when she got the call that she died, she was brewing tea and in the shock of the news she spilled boiling water on her arm which burned her kinda badly on her wrist,” u/SisTatDrama96 added. “I think the burn was like on the borderline of 2nd and 3rd degree, and definitely still looked pretty rough during the holidays. N said it was especially hard because in addition to the physical pain, every time she looks at it she is reminded of the moment she found out the prof died. Which I totally get.”
“I was on facetime with N and she said she talked to her tattoo artist friend who said that the burn should be able to heal well enough to get a tattoo over it. N then excitedly told me about her idea which is a type of flower that the prof gave her a bouquet of for her undergrad graduation. My mom was so embarrassed that day because she didn’t get N flowers but the prof did and N was parading them around so happy and it was a reminder of their connection. I guess N and the prof exchanged these flowers for every special occasion like birthdays etc.”
“So now she wants to get a decent sized tattoo in a highly visible spot of something that will remind everyone of the prof. I told N that this seemed really cruel to my mom who already feels cast aside and like she’s in exile from N. And that’s without the constant permanent reminder. N kind of scoffed and said ‘I can’t believe you think you have the right to tell me not to do this,’ called me an ass and hung up and is still not talking to me except for a very brief text saying congrats for a promotion I just got. My parents aren’t commenting. My dad said I should have just kept quiet even though he agrees and my mom made no comment but seemed grateful I stood up for her. I feel like I was just being protective of my mom. But AITA?”
Redditors told the nosy OP that he needed to shut up and sit down because his older sister would never have the same relationship as he does with their parents.
Buried in the comments were some important notes about the sister’s relationship with their parents.