This Redditor got separated from her younger brothers when they were taken away from their abusive parents. But now her brothers are angry that she got a better life than them!
Leaving Their Toxic Life
OP (Original Poster) is her abusive parents’ eldest child, and she has two brothers. The three of them got separated from each other when she was six, and they were four and one.
A Better Life
She was fortunate to get taken in by her paternal grandmother, but sadly, she couldn’t take her brothers. OP ended up getting adopted by her grandmother while her brothers were left to the foster care system and were adopted by a foster family they didn’t know in their area.
Breaking Their Bond
Sadly, all of OP’s contact with her brothers halted when she was legally adopted at nine years old.
She said, “Needless to say, losing them was devastating.”
Building Her New Family
However, her grandmother didn’t allow her to wallow in her grief for long. She told OP to start calling her mom when she got adopted, and she grew up considering her as her one and only mother.
OP added, “I also started calling my four uncles—her sons—my brothers.”
Losing the One Link They Had
Though OP’s paternal relatives were in her life, she could not say the same about her father.
Her birth dad was out of the picture and ended up dying a year after she was able to find her biological baby brothers.
Never Giving Up
OP was 24 when she was finally able to bring her brothers back into their family.
She wrote, “They would come over for some holidays and build relationships with some of our family members.”
A Fragile Bond
Even so, OP’s brothers never became close with her mom—their grandmother—because of the “pain and resentment” they had for not being adopted.
OP’s brothers were also “deeply troubled” with severe alcohol and drug abuse. She explained that it was the “kind that lands you with multiple DUIs, jail time, accidentally burning down a house, and homelessness.”
Death Can Hit You Hard!
Their family already had tension, but everything got worse 5 years ago when OP was 33, and her mom—her brothers’ grandmother—died. She was OP’s only parent, and it was the “hardest loss” she had ever experienced.
Treated as One of Her Own
Although OP’s mom was actually her grandmother, she didn’t forget to leave OP an inheritance equal to what the rest of her biological kids received.
OP explained, “When my mom died, she left her house to her five children, which included me and her four birth children. Since my biological father, who was also her son, died about 10 years prior, he was not in the will. We sold the house, per the will, and split the money five ways. I got $140,000. My mom didn’t leave anything to my brothers or her other grandchildren.”
A Sensitive Topic
However, while she was grieving, it also brought up a “ton of anger and resentment” from one of her brothers, who’s furious that OP was adopted and he wasn’t.
The older of OP’s brothers was in a negative headspace, which led to a lot of “tension and degradation” in their relationship; she felt like he was trying to hurt her after a series of “really negative” interactions. Fortunately, her youngest brother, although also an addict, has always been “sweet and loving” toward OP.
Conversations on Money
Though OP’s mom died years ago, the issue with her brother’s resentment hadn’t been resolved. A few months before this story was posted, OP’s brother showed up at her house, yelling about how he couldn’t believe that OP didn’t share a cent of the inheritance with him or their younger brother.
Her brother demanded that she let him know how much she got and once again told her what she did was wrong.
OP wrote, “I was home alone with my four-month-old baby, who he had not met or expressed any interest in, and it was super upsetting to have him get so crazy aggressive, seemingly out of the blue.”
The Way Things Should Have Been
Her brother continued, saying that if their dad were alive, he was sure he and his brother would also get a share. OP’s brother told her that she should “at least” give him and their younger brother what would have been their dad’s share.
However, OP’s basically estranged from her brother. In fact, they hadn’t spoken to each other a year before this incident happened, and she hadn’t spoken to him afterward.
She said, “I keep thinking about whether I should give them some money. Am I the a**hole for not sharing with them?”
Redditors’ Opinions on the Matter
For users, OP giving her brothers money is just a short-term solution. They’re distraught, and some money wouldn’t be able to help them that much.
A top commenter said, “Not the a**hole. Your brothers have serious issues, and money is not going to fix it. You guys have gone through hell. First, take care of yourself. If you can, after that, try to help your brothers. It’s not your job or responsibility, but they are still your brothers, and anything you can do to help will be good for them and will make your life better, too. Bringing them back into the family was a good start. It sounds like it may be too late for your older brother. Feeding his drug problem will not help him. If he is unable or unwilling to be helped, that’s on him.”
Life Is, Unfortunately, Unfair
People also reminded OP that it is what it is. It wasn’t her fault her grandmother—mom—couldn’t adopt her brothers, so it wasn’t up to her to be responsible for them now.
A woman wrote, “Not the a**hole. While the situation was tragic, your mom—grandma—didn’t leave anything to her grandchildren. She adopted you, so you’re her daughter. Your brothers have adoptive parents, so they can inherit that way.”
“Not the a**hole. Unfortunately, life isn’t meant to be fair. You had no control over what happened, and sharing money with drug addicts didn’t even occur to you because it would have been an awful idea. You don’t owe him or them any money or an apology,” said another user.
What should OP do? Do you think she should give her brothers a share?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Give Her Estranged, “Troubled” Brothers a Cut of the $140,000 Inheritance She Received From Her Grandmother Who Adopted Her. Now They’re Furious, Thinking She’s a Selfish Jerk! on Quote Ambition.