Everyone has their breaking point.
And Reddit users are very sympathetic toward this mom and have expressed their full support for her decision to cut off her daughter and let her live her life. Let her learn practical lessons about life which may finally wake up this young woman to the reality that no one is an island. She needs to learn to respect other people — or she’ll reap what she sows, without a safety net to catch her.
Yes, this young woman is a product of a broken home. Her mom did everything to free her and her sister from their abusive father. She could not change the past for them, but she and her current husband have been giving them all the love, support, and comfort that they can.
Here is this mom’s story under the username u/BeaAndZoesBadMom and posted on Reddit’s r/A,ItheA–hole forum. She wrote: “(Fake names for privacy) I am a mother to 2: (21F) Zoe and (17F) Bea. Their biological father was a narcissist and would demean Zoe and Bea. It took years of court battles, but my husband, Tim, and I finally got full custody when Zoe was 16. Zoe had been in therapy since my initial divorce. Zoe has always had a tendency to be demanding and cruel to others. I myself have gone to therapy and taken parenting classes to help Zoe. I’ve read books and tried every resource available. A big help was having Zoe channel those emotions into positive outlets (such as kickboxing).”
For the first couple of years, Zoe enjoyed her therapy, but she suddenly stopped upon turning 18. From then on, she regressed and started behaving cruelly and demeaning again, which worsened with time. In Zoe’s mind, her past gives her the right to mistreat and disrespect people. She has no appreciation for anyone, not even her own current family. OP and her husband have been supporting her studies, they gifted her with a car, and she lives in their house without paying for anything.
Unfortunately, Zoe feels so entitled that she would not even do a simple chore around the house. If she’s ever asked to (such as refilling the dog bowl), Zoe creates a scene. She has also been cursing her mom and stepdad for not giving her all the money she wants since they also have to save for Bea’s education.
What made this mom reach her breaking point?
OP wrote: “Tim and I left the house last Sunday for a doctor’s appointment. I learned Monday from Bea that Zoe had gone on a rant about how I was a selfish bitch since I asked her to put a frozen meal in the oven because Tim was feeling tired and he would need food ready as soon as we got home. (Tim is a cancer survivor. He completed chemotherapy at the beginning of the year. He is still weak/sick often yet has continued to work from home to help support us.) Zoe told Bea that “Tim is a fucking grown-ass man! Why can’t he make his own damn food instead of me doing everything because he’s fucking useless.”
Upon learning this painful truth about the depth of her daughter’s ingratitude and heartlessness, OP finally made her decision. She said on the post, “When Zoe came home, I explained her car is still in her name and her last year of college has been paid already. I told her that she had a month to move out and the year’s end to find her own insurance. We will pay for nothing anymore. Tim and I will no longer be treated as ATMs and burdens while providing everything for her. If she wants to act like she’s an adult who knows everything, then we will treat her as one and let her support herself.”
That decision was criticized by OP’s sister, who reasoned that no parent would turn her back on her child, especially considering what Zoe went through with her biological father. Nevertheless, OP believes that, regardless of Zoe’s traumatic past, her daughter has no right to be merciless toward other people.
Is she an a–hole?
JaayJaay1970 advised the following: “If she wants to come back, make therapy mandatory.”
But this Redditor Solivagant0 didn’t think it would be enough: “You can’t help a person who doesn’t want to be helped no matter how much you try. If somebody doesn’t want to change, even the best therapist won’t be able to do anything.”
NightTimely1029 agreed wholeheartedly. “This is literally the old adage: You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Therapy only helps, truly helps, those who know there’s a problem and are seeking ways to fix it. This sounds to me like Zoe doesn’t see a problem that needs her to be in therapy.”
This AITA member named chaosworker22 shared a similar experience: “No. That will help nobody. Zoe sounds like my brother. He is non-compliant with treatment, has been for literal decades. My parents have done everything they can to help him, but they’ve had to draw a line. The first step was deciding that at 18, he had to move out, but they would still financially support him. He just couldn’t stay under our roof. He declined, ran off on his 18th birthday, dropped out of high school, and played the victim. He’s come back several times over the years when he hits rock bottom, only to get in a fight and run off again. It took until he was 30 for our parents to finally put their foot down. They are done paying his bills and letting him stay when he crawls back. They’ve at least given him a phone and helped him find a new apartment in the area, but he can’t come home anymore. He won’t go to therapy, and it’s too hard on all of us. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.”
What do you think?Whizzco