Families often use manipulation and emotional blackmail to get you to do things you don’t want. While you might feel a sense of duty toward your family, putting your own well-being first is vital. You have no obligation to maintain a relationship with someone who continues to hurt you.
When a young woman gets a full scholarship to an excellent college out of state, her family tries to manipulate her into staying back to help her sister and her kid. She asked the forum, “Am I wrong for planning to move out of state for college, leaving my single-mother sister alone?”
Here’s her story.
The original poster (18, F) has a twin, Mary. They don’t have any more siblings. Mary got pregnant when she was 14. She couldn’t find the father to tell him she was pregnant, and he is still nowhere to be seen.
“We have lived with our parents in a 2-bedroom apartment for nearly a decade. So, when Mary gave birth, her baby had to stay in our room,” says OP.
OP HELPED HER PARENTS TAKE CARE OF MARY’S BABY
OP’s parents worked more to provide for the baby, so it was mostly Mary and OP at home taking care of her baby.
“If I weren’t at school, my parents would demand that I go home and help my sister with her baby,” says OP.
OP FELT NEGLECTED
OP had no life, privacy, love, or attention since her sister had her baby.
“I know the baby and mother take priority, but I felt so alone,” says OP.
At 14-15, it was tough for OP to come to terms with her parents not asking how she was doing anymore, not congratulating her on her achievements, coming to her games, taking care of her when she was sick, etc.
OP BECAME RESENTFUL
“I became resentful of Mary and my parents, but I did a good job of never showing them that. I knew the feeling would pass, and it did by the time I was 16,” says OP.
OP ALSO CONTRIBUTED HER INCOME TO HELP CARE FOR THE BABY
OP got a job at 16, so she had some time to myself outside of school and her niece.
“My parents then coerced me to contribute almost 80% of my wages to help Mary care for her baby. I’ve always been a pushover, so I couldn’t say no, especially because Mary and the baby did need that money,” says OP.
Most of the money OP’s parents made went to bills, rent, and car payments.
OP GOT A SCHOLARSHIP TO A GOOD COLLEGE
OP told her parents that she got into an excellent college out of state on a nearly full scholarship and plans to go.
“They asked how I think it’s okay to leave them to take care of Mary’s baby. I asked why I should stay in a shared bedroom with my sister and young niece for my college years,” says OP.
They said not everything is about what OP wants, and sometimes people make sacrifices for the family as they are doing.
MARY ALSO TRIED TO CONVINCE OP TO STAY
“Mary jumped into the conversation by saying she wouldn’t go off to another state and leave me a single mother alone if the roles were reversed. I said she wasn’t alone; our parents were there. She said it’s not the same because they’re always gone for work,” says OP.
Am I wrong for planning to move out of state for college, leaving my single-mother sister alone,” asks OP.
Here’s how people responded.
GET YOUR NIECE A 23&ME TEST
“Get your niece a 23&me or AncestryDNA test, and then download the raw file and upload to the free sites for more matches. The father doesn’t have to be tested based on matches to determine who he is. DNA detectives on Facebook and DNA search angels can help sort the matches.
Run and go to college. Your life doesn’t stop just because your sister made bad decisions. You deserve to have the life you want!”
FAMILY IS NOT EVERYTHING
“Came here to say this. Family is not everything. Trusted, healthy relationships are everything. Family is just the random luck of the draw.”
DON’T LET YOUR TOXIC FAMILY RUIN YOUR LIFE
“Anyway, congrats on your scholarship! You will have a great life and future, and don’t let your toxic family ruin it.”
GO, LIVE AND THRIVE
“Congratulations on your huge accomplishment!! That’s amazing, and getting any scholarship is extremely difficult, so hats off to you. Your hard work and dedication are paying off!
Leave and go live your life. Your sister made her choice; she had a baby, not you. Your parents chose to take on the responsibility for your sister and not make her do it herself & that’s great for them. You are not them; you are not the mother of your niece.
You do what’s best for you, what will make you happy. You are your priority and responsibility! Go live and thrive! You got this!!! Sending you a virtual hug from an adult who only wishes she would’ve put herself first when she was your age!”
DON’T HOLD YOURSELF BACK BECAUSE OF YOUR FAMILY
“Please, please, please, do not hold yourself back because your family thinks dragging you down with them is okay. This isn’t normal behavior.”
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