Her family dismissed her health concerns her entire life, and now that she’s a working teenager, they want her to cover her grandfather’s surgery. Is this the kind of responsibility she should shoulder?
From a Teenager’s Pocket
OP (Original Poster), a 19-year-old woman, has been asked by her 41-year-old mother to pay for her 68-year-old grandfather’s cataract surgery. This was after her family realized the cost would range from $1,200 to $1,700.
Weight of the World on Her Shoulders
In OP’s mind, her family probably bought this up since they knew she’d been saving up for a car. They also know she has a side gig and a new job.
She was keen on helping until her boyfriend and friends spoke up about their opinions. OP wrote, “I wouldn’t have felt burdened about this hadn’t my boyfriend and some other friends told me otherwise.”
Ignoring Her Concerns
OP shared that her family has always been the type to neglect her needs. They had always turned their backs whenever she needed help buying anxiety medications and paying for court-mandated therapy.
Moral support was also close to non-existent.
Her boyfriend doesn’t like her family, which is an understatement, and told her it’s ridiculous of them to ask her for help when they need it. He pointed out that whenever OP asked her family for the same kind of support, they just told her she was “fine” and basically neglected her.
Feeling Bad for Grandpa
Even so, OP doesn’t want to abandon her grandfather. OP tried to explain to her boyfriend that she doesn’t want her grandpa to die “sad and miserable,” especially when he’s in another state all alone.
The Worst Person Ever
But he insisted, saying it doesn’t matter. He pointed out that her grandfather was being “selfish” by asking for the most expensive things, like having her grandmother buy unnecessary, useless items and continue demanding more.
Her boyfriend said, “He’s selfish and narcissistic that he’d go as far as to push your family into a money crisis to the point you have to pay.”
Worries and Detrimental Thoughts
Furthermore, he explained that it wasn’t fair to OP and she shouldn’t even have to worry about stuff like that. He reiterated that they wouldn’t do the same for her, even if she’s the younger one who still has a long life ahead of her and is physically and mentally struggling.
Her Conscience Is Eating Her Up
Unsurprisingly, several friends told her the same thing. However, right now, she already feels awful for even considering taking her words back.
OP really doesn’t want to see her grandfather miserable and depressed, but she’s also aware that her partner and friends are right: all of her “selflessness” was never repaid. She said, “Most likely because I was raised in a world where ‘self-care is a form of selfishness.’”
A Conflicted Soul
Now, OP can’t figure out what she should do, wondering if she’d be the “a**hole” if she refused to pay for her grandfather’s cataract surgery or not.
Everyone Pitch In!
In a comment, OP clarified that all of them in the family don’t work the best jobs and that they, excluding OP, have to put together money to pay bills, buy food, and downpayment for their house. Most of the money goes to those that are a necessity.
They also rarely buy “luxury” items such as games, nice furniture, and more. And if they can, it’s usually because OP’s stepdad was able to have a considerable amount of money, and even most of that goes to bills and other necessities.
The Only Luxury She Has
Because OP doesn’t pay any bills, she can save up and buy things for herself at her luxury, which her mother doesn’t like at all.
She wrote, “I assume this is why they’ve asked me for money, but even my ‘luxury money’ is maxed to $100, and the rest of my earnings goes to my savings account.”
OP also clarified that she can’t undo anything because her mom can see and access her savings. She noted that her mom “has taken and put money into it at her leisure.”
She wrote, “And as for every other option, that’s really making me see that they might be just using me as an easy outlet at their expense without considering mine.”
The Community’s Opinions
Some Redditors believe OP’s family might be lying to her, saying her grandfather’s surgery might already be covered by health insurance.
“Not the a**hole. What if you are being lied to? At 68, your grandfather ought to be on Medicare. Medicare covers cataract surgery. Self-care is not selfish. The selfishness of people pushing that on you is outrageous,” one Redditor said.
Another person commented, “Not the a**hole. Lie to them and say you don’t have it. Buy yourself a cheap, reliable car. Move out. If you become successful, then help those you can. You are an adult now. No one is going to take care of you. That’s your money. You don’t even know how expensive it’s about to get. There are ways your grandparents can get the money for cataracts. It’s definitely covered by Medicare. Someone is lying to you.”
People agreed with OP’s boyfriend and said her family could find other ways to pay for her grandpa’s cataract surgery. Aside from that, they suggested OP seek therapy to sort out her past issues and trauma.
A Redditor wrote, “Your boyfriend is right. You almost must be the victim of serious mental and emotional abuse to believe that the only two options here are that either you pay for the surgery or grandpa dies sad and alone. Victims of abuse tend to just accept their abusers’ choices without realizing there are a dozen other options.”
The same person added, “For a sum under $2,000, there are dozens of ways a family of people could raise that money. Make them try those options and just buy your car. You are not the a**hole, but you really need therapy.”
Not the Youngest’s Responsibility
For some people, it’s difficult to see who is wrong in OP’s situation. However, they do think financially relying on a 19-year-old is not right, especially if they neglected her before.
A commenter said, “Not the a**hole. There seems to be a lot more going on and a long family history, which makes it hard to rate who is the a**hole in this story. But I don’t think that a family should ever be in the financial situation to rely on a 19-year-old family member to pay for medical treatments or even put pressure on the youngest.”
The same Redditor wrote, “Sure, there are circumstances where people get in financial distress and need support, and it’s totally fine. But cataract surgery is normally not a very urgent medical issue, and, therefore, there should be other solutions to solve this. You mentioned your family is selfish and neglected you, and I feel they’re continuing this behavior.”
What do you think? Should OP pay for her grandfather’s surgery?
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This post first appeared as A 19-Year-Old Refused to Fund Her Grandfather’s Eye Surgery, Although It Meant He’d Die “Sad and Miserable.” Her Selfish Family Doesn’t Deserve Her Help After All the Years of Neglect! on Quote Ambition.