How stone-hearted do you have to be to deny helping someone because you’re mad at them for no significant reason?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for not caring and refusing to help a depressed half-sister after our father’s death?”. Here’s the full story for your context.


childhood, technology and family concept - little kids with tablet pc computer and smartphones in bed at home
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The Original Poster (OP) (60’s) has two sisters (60’s), and they were born from their father’s first marriage. Unfortunately, their mother passed away when they were young, so their father was left all alone to take care of them, and OP admits it must have been challenging to do so.

“I mean, we were teenagers at that time. Our father was an immigrant from Italy and saw the horrors of war firsthand but was always a good father and also a decent man.”, says OP.

What Happened Post The Second Marriage?

father daughter fight
Image Credit: Oleg Golovnev, Shutterstock.

OP’s father married his second wife, the stepmother, and they stayed together until his death. Bear in mind the stepmother was the same age as OP and her sisters and so the relationship between them was always strained.

Stepmother got pregnant, and at that time, concerns were raised because of their advanced age. Unfortunately, their father passed away fifteen years ago, OP and her sisters were in their fifties, and their half-sister was only 12. She’s now 27.

“I should mention that my half-sister was the apple of our father’s eye.”, says OP.

When OP’s Father Passed Away

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When OP’s father passed, OP made it very clear that she didn’t want anything to do with the stepmother and half-sister anymore, that all the ties were gone, and so they had no contact for a couple of years even though they lived in the same street.

Stepmother took OP’s half-sister out of school after their father’s death, purposely ruining her daughter’s life.

What Does OP Say About Her Half-Sister?

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“I know that my half-sister did not have the normal experience of growing up; she also lost her friends, she missed out on the experiences, and I always knew it would come to this because stepmother is a terrible person.

I recognize that I did have the privilege of keeping a normal life after a parent’s death and while it is a shame that my half-sister hasn’t had the same chance, I choose not to intervene.”, says OP.

Fast Forward A Couple of Years

Close-up photo of a sad african american young woman. Brunette bored at home, tired or stressed. Upset girl sitting on the sofa, having a headache or feeling depressed
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Fast forward a couple of years, OP found out her half-sister has severe depression, hasn’t finished her studies, and is practically a doormat.

Their father left each daughter a share in his estate, but half-sister was very irresponsible with hers. She tried to reach out to OP and her sisters, saying her psychiatrist told her she “needed a support group,” and said she’s alone and can’t count on anyone else.

OP Dismissed Her Half-Sister’s Concerns

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The half-sister is going through a difficult time and wants to cut ties with her mother/their stepmother. She says she desperately needs someone.

“We tried to explain to her that a lot of time has passed, there’s no bridge between us and our father’s already dead. As in, there’s no bond anymore.”, says OP.

A Couple Of Days Ago

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OP got a call a couple of days ago from the psychiatrist (apparently, the half-sister gave OP’s number to him in case of an emergency), who’s very worried about her.

“To put it bluntly, I told him to forget my number, to never contact me again, and made it clear that I don’t want anything to do with the stepmother and half-sister. I also told him I would never forgive my half-sister for what she did to our father, destroying his legacy. Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.

How Can You Be So Cruel?

I am all alone. Sad red haired gloomy woman holding a cushion and thinking about her loneliness while being at home
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“You’re the jerk. What ‘legacy’? This girl has suffered pretty much her whole life and didn’t ask to be born. Yet…you blame her for being born anyway. You’re probably right though to not be supportive of her because you’re not what she needs. Not at all. Strangers on the street would probably be kinder.”

You Sound So Cold

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“You’re the jerk. You sound so cold. You’re bitter your dad remarried and had another child. You took it out on that child. It’s not her fault she was born.

If your stepmother was awful, by all means, cut ties with her, but the kid was innocent. The very least you could have done was make a phone call to social services if she was being neglected/abused.

Also, what legacy? Your whole post is about your wicked stepmother and hating your half-sister by extension. Then you drop the ‘she ruined our dad’s legacy’ line in at the end with no explanation.”

The Only Person Ruining Your Father’s Legacy Is You

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“You’re the jerk. You’re blaming an infant for being born and losing your father’s attention, you’re blaming a preteen for what her mother did to her, and you’re claiming she is ruining your father’s legacy.

No dear the only person doing that is you, you are clearly not the person your father thought he raised you to be.”

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