If you clicked on this post, then it probably means you enjoy mess — and wow, do I have a messy story for you today.
Recently, a Reddit user who goes by the username u/Accomplished_Bar5656 (who we'll call Accomplished for short) shared a post about why she had to take out student loans despite her great-aunt setting up a fund for her, and it's quite the ride.
The post was originally shared in the Am I the Asshole subreddit, where people present sticky situations to readers and allow them to decide who was wrong in the given situation.
Here's what happened, according to Accomplished: "My great-aunt set up savings accounts for all of her female relatives," they said. "In our culture, education for women is not really valued and she thought that was bullshit."
Unlike other women in her family, her great-aunt lived in London and received a college education. She went on to become a doctor, marry a British man, and move to practice in the US.
"She funded the education of as many of her nieces and grand-nieces as she could," Accomplished said. "When she passed away, she left money for every girl relative she could."
This led Accomplished to believe her future access to education was secure. However, "My parents managed to access the accounts that were set up for my sister and I. They used it to pay for my brother's wedding. My sister didn't care because she got married two years out of high school and had no intention of going to college. [But] when I graduated, I went to the bank to get money for school and it was almost all gone. There was like $13,000 left."
In the US, college can cost students about $35,500 a year on average.
"I asked my parents about it and they said they had needed the money. [And when] I finally found out where the money went, I got furious," Accomplished said. "I got student loans and moved out. I am a great source of shame to them and I don't give two fucks. I am currently suing them for the money that was left for me."
"My entire family is against me. They all think I am a complete asshole for airing private family business in public, and that I am putting money ahead of family. My friends are all on my side but they are all Americans and don't really get my culture."
"My brother called me up and offered to pay for my university if I drop the lawsuit. I agreed as long as we had a legally binding contract. He said I was being an asshole for not trusting him. I said he should not have accepted my money for his wedding. It is causing all kinds of embarrassment in our community," they said.
"I am somewhat ashamed to be doing this but I don't want to have this debt I should not have. Am I the asshole?"
WELL. Acknowledging the cultural differences, people in the comments largely agreed that they could understand how this was a tough situation for Accomplished to be in. However...
...any money in that fund was not her parents' money to use. It was her great-aunt's money, and it was meant for her.
"Not the asshole," user u/Timely-Ask-1327 said. "Your parents didn't borrow your money. They stole it. I hope you have all the documents to show that money was yours. ... If you have a chance to start life without student debt, you do whatever you can to do that."
Others encouraged Accomplished to stop feeling shameful about protecting herself, and they pointed out that what her parents did was much worse:
"Your parents brought shame upon themselves by stealing from you," u/beepbeepboop74656 said.
"You aren't the one putting money ahead of family," u/Mopper300 agreed. "They did when they stole your money. ... Your great-aunt would be proud of you."
"[There] wouldn't be dirty laundry to air if they hadn't shit on your education fund in the first place," u/curious382 added.
And many suggested she tread cautiously when making deals with her brother about the money and/or lawsuit moving forward.
"Relying [on a] formal, binding, legal contract is essential," user u/ProfessorYaffle1 commented. "If your brother is honest and trustworthy, then there is no reason for him to object. If he isn’t, there is every reason to get it formally drawn up."
One user took a second glance at Accomplished's post — specifically where she shared how her brother was seemingly offended when she asked for a contract before dropping the lawsuit.
"This shows he had no intention of actually paying you. Get out, get your education, never look back," u/chaos8803 said.
User u/TheBakerification agreed, adding, "Yeah, pretty clear there's 0% chance he actually had any intention of paying her and was just hoping she'd fall for it and drop the suit."