Teen life is complicated. Whether they’re dealing with the fallout of a global pandemic, juggling the stressors of school and family, or handling the pressures from peers and social media, there’s a lot going on in the average, everyday teen life. So we can understand why one teen took to Reddit’s Am I The Asshole forum to trying to get some clarity about their father’s new baby.
Reddit user marshmellow meme is 16-years-old and writes about not wanting to meet the baby that their dad just had with his new girlfriend. According to the original poster (OP), their dad left their mom when they were 13. The OP says they’re still recovering from their parents’ split, along with other issues they’ve had to deal with throughout childhood.
“I don’t have the greatest relationship with my dad due to him cheating on my mother before he left as well as him being overall emotionally neglectful,” the OP admits. “Last year I was starting to win my battle with depression until he told me his girlfriend was pregnant. This sent me spiraling again and I’m still in a bad place. I know my dad wants me to meet his baby who was born last December, as well as develop a good relationship with his girlfriend, but I don’t feel ready.”
The OP knows that it’s not the baby’s fault, but they’re still upset about the dad moving on with a whole new family.
Everyone always says “it’s not the babies fault” and I wish they’d understand that I know however it’s hard not to be upset at the concept of my dad having a new family at all.
“I feel like the people around me aren’t respecting my boundaries especially my brother and dad who get genuinely mad at me over not wanting to [meet the baby]. But I don’t know, so am I the asshole?”
The Reddit community is standing behind this teen’s decision not to immediately jump into these new relationships.
User AlleyKatArt said: “It’s absolutely not the baby’s fault. But the baby is a baby and won’t remember that you didn’t immediately establish a relationship from infancy onward. It’s not like you can’t change your mind any time within the next 3-4 years and establish a relationship before the kid even forms memories.
“Your father did something horrible to your family and this baby is now an unfortunate symbol of that for you, fair or unfair. Refusing to meet the baby isn’t taking it out on the baby. The baby isn’t owed a relationship with you. NTA.”
User snarfblattinconcert agreed that the teen doesn’t owe anyone anything. “Same goes for the girlfriend and Dad. People asking you to appease Dad or Brother (or Baby) over getting yourself in a good place are not worth having in your close ring of people to support you until they can prioritize your well being.”
Another Reddit user, Important-Dust-9675 said that they just recently met a sibling of their own. “I met my half-sister for the first time at like 19 … So YES meet the baby if/when you’re ready. Even after 19, my half-sister and I have a great relationship from the beginning. You can’t force someone to love you or force yourself to love someone. Explain this to your family (if it’ll help tell them about my story) and try and make them understand it. Take your time.
The OP is only 16-years-old and although they shared that they’ve had a rough time with the dad, they still have a good head on their shoulders. As one commenter mentioned, it’s not the fault of the baby, but it’s also not a burden to put on the teen. The teen is right for prioritizing their own well-being and recognizing that some boundaries need to be set. We wish them the best on this journey.
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