The argument of nature vs nurture is a complicated and persistent one. Sure, there are specific behavioral patterns, traits, and physical characteristics that human beings are just born with. However, as research indicates, environmental factors and learned, reinforced behaviors are primarily responsible for shaping someone's personality and determining their personality.
This means that parents and guardians are the first lines of defense in ensuring that their little kiddos don't grow up into big morons. But abuse can manifest in a variety of ways and can be taken in different directions.
Some parents can indulge in being too harsh and overly critical, but it comes from a place of bitterness. Then there are others who are overbearing but it's because they want you to succeed.
One comes from an unwillingness to fight to love their child more while the other is from a place of embracing that love and trying to prepare their child for just how difficult it can be to accomplish anything in one's life.
On the flip side, there are parents who pretty much let their children do whatever they want, which can also be construed as abuse, especially if there's clear evidence that it's adversely affecting their health and personal development.
This is exactly what this woman says happened to her brother, Teddy who suffered some frightening circumstances at birth but would ultimately go on to be a perfectly fine, healthy baby.
That is until his parents allowed their guilt to "excuse" his behavior and temper tantrums throughout the years, creating an unchained child who then grew into an unchained teenager to an adult who is in the process of eating himself to death.
Reddit user @AdSpiritual1886 posted to the AITA sub, and gave a rundown of what it was like growing up with living in Teddy's shadow and how her parents' treatment of him turned into an enormous, literally, burden. Because he was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and wasn't breathing for several minutes, she said this created a certain set of concessions.
"Give Teddy your candy! He died coming into this world"
"Let him play with your friends! He died coming into this world!"
"Let him open your presents! Teddy almost didn't have a birthday," OP wrote.
She went on, "I had to put up with Teddy's tantrums, abuse, fits, and bad behavior. If I touched a single hair on his head, I got punished while Teddy got away with whatever he did."
This culminated in Teddy deciding to become "a competitive eater" but OP says "just turned into eating." He "now weighs almost 600lbs."
Unsurprisingly, Teddy now suffers from a litany of health issues to the point where he is unable to hold down a job, causing his medical care costs to skyrocket.
"Since Teddy requires round-the-clock care, my parents hardly leave the house. They weren't present at my wedding, only see the grandkids if I bring them around and all family events like dinners have to held at their house cause it's hard to move Teddy. A few days ago Teddy suffered a bad fall that put him in the hospital. My husband and I at least came to see him."
OP's parents took issue with the hospital's treatment of Teddy, stating that they weren't giving him enough food and that they didn't have wheelchairs big enough to accommodate his body size.
OP's parents dedicated not just their lives, but their finances to care for Teddy and they asked if she could help pay for his healthcare as they were dipping into their retirement savings.
What's more, is that they "suggested" Teddy move in with her and her husband since her house is bigger and so that they could "get a break cause [they] have to care for him all year round while [OP] just visit[s]."
So how did she and her husband respond to the suggestion?
"I said no. My husband told them hell no! We both work full time. Our kids are enrolled in sports and dance. We made it clear that Teddy would not be moving in with us nor would we be moving our schedule around to deal with him or giving them the money even though we could afford it."
Her parents immediately tried guilt-tripping them into helping out: "He's your brother! You almost didn't have a brother!" OP and her husband left the hospital, and her parents rang them up, cursing her out and demanded money to help care for Teddy instead of, you know, setting the wheels in motion to get the man to care for himself.
OP decided to go in on her parents, basically telling them that she would not only not be taking care of Teddy now, but that also wouldn't be caring for him even after they pass away.
Ultimately, she wanted to know if she was an a-hole for refusing to partake in Teddy's lifelong pity party, to which tons of Redditors overwhelmingly responded that not only is she not the a-hole, but that "Adult Protective Services" should be called on Teddy's parents.