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Dude sends his mom a pic of his dick but somehow he’s not the biggest asshole in this story

By David Futrelle

So a young gentleman turned to the Am I The Asshole subreddit today with a simple question that, at first glance would seem to have a simple answer: “[Am I The Asshole] for intentionally sending my mom a dick pic to prove a point?”

Oh dear. Obviously, unless you’re literally a modern day Oedipus who doesn’t know that your mother is your mother, there’s pretty much no circumstance in which sending a picture of your erect penis to your mother makes you anything but an asshole. So yes, he is by definition an asshole. But is he the asshole?

That’s where things get complicated.

So let’s wade into these murky depths.

I know, i Know. Hear me out.

I’m currently 20, going to college, and live a hour away from my parents. My mom has always been invasive. Living at home I had no privacy. She would always want to see what was on my phone, pc, laptop, etc. She insisted on me not having a lock on my room door and would barge in when ever and when ever. Now that I live on my own, this has only gotten worse. She demands to know everything i’m doing and stalks me on any social media she can find.

Holy crap. That’s not just invasive; it’s abusive.

I went home for christmas and during that time she found out through my sister that i’ve been seeing a girl on campus and have not told her. She has not stopped invading my life since and has demanded all the information she could get on her. I didn’t give her anything and did not let her look at my texts when she demanded to see them. Now that I’m back on campus she’s only ramped up.

It just gets worse.

Last night she called me prodding for more, and eventually she started to accuse me of “illicit” behavior with my girlfriend. She claims that “If i can’t show my mother my texts, then I shouldn’t be sending them”. My mom decided to lecture me for half an hour last night. I had enough and said I would send her a full log of our texts. After I hung up though, I sent my mom a picture of my erect penis and turned my phone of do not disturb.

Needless to say, his mother was not pleased.

I only just barley [sic] checked my phone and she had called me over 10 times last night and sent over 50 texts. My dad and sisters also blew me up with texts calling me an asshole.. I just called my dad and he said that it was way out of line and that i’m a major asshole. My mom left me multiple voice mails crying and saying that she went wrong while calling me a degenerate.

A bit excessive, but then again what on earth did he expect?

At this point our, er, hero then asks the assembled Redditors for a ruling on his behavior.

Honestly. she wanted this. She already assumed my texts had dick pics so I just gave her what she wanted. AITA?

Well, yes, you’re being a huge asshole. Sending anyone an unsolicited dick pic is asshole behavior. But sending one to your mom? Off the charts, asshole-wise.

But at the same time he’s right about one thing: she was demanding to see texts that she presumably knew would contain dick pics and other “illicit” material. So had he given into her demands, she would have seen the pic and perhaps even worse.

So I think it’s fair to say, in the parlance of the AITA subreddit, that this is an “Everyone Sucks Here” situation. And that, given her ongoing invasive and abusive behavior, the mother is the biggest asshole of these two big assholes.

Also, everyone in the family should immediately go into therapy, because holy crap.

H/T — Thanks to Twitter’s @AITA_reddit for featuring this lovely post

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
8 months ago

@Universal Kami:

Your post sounded very condescending to me. I’m sorry if I took it the wrong way, I’m a little sensitive in this area. I’ve been told for years that my experience wasn’t real.

Also, I don’t know what your childhood experience is, and I’m not assuming I do. I’m sorry that I came off that way – that was not my intention at all.

It’s awful you experienced abuse and I hope you’re getting whatever help and support you need.

Makroth
Makroth
8 months ago

Another baby bat.

https://youtu.be/GtWcmYhz9tE

Wish this would embed.

Crip Dyke
8 months ago

Baby Batritos!

Fetch
Fetch
8 months ago

if you’re insisting on being shown as conversation that you also insist must be obscene, I’m going to go ahead and call that a solicited dick pic.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
8 months ago

I am hoping this bit of brain bleach links properly, since trying to get to this Tumbler post minus the Google bits is beyond what my phone wants to do. It’s an Asian (Chinese?) cat animation reposted on a Finnish blog, for the curious.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/niuniente.tumblr.com/post/187153591003/cat-by-by-%25E4%25B9%259D%25E7%25B1%25B3-zhaobangni-1631123/amp

ETA: it seems to work. \o/

Katamount
8 months ago

I think my favourite baby bat burrito is Ruby The Flying Fox:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMh8-htFRhw

The vids a couple years old… I hope Ruby survived the wildfires.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
8 months ago

As someone who was raised by an abusive narc mother, I wholeheartedly endorse Crip Dyke’s post about abuse, and the faux comparison between the responses in an asymmetrical relationship.

People who haven’t gone through abuse are far too quick to judge what was most likely an impulsive and excessive response to a situation that was developping for years.

That being said, it also reminds me of the time my dad sent me a dick pic, after I taught him how to use facebook’s messenger. I don’t know who the dick pic was initially intended for, but I had half a mind to print that shit out and hand it to him on a father’s day card, just to gauge his reaction. I eventually let it go, because I didn’t want any more drama, and tried to move on.

And then he did it again…

Let me tell you something guys. Getting dick pics from nuclear family members is really disturbing. It isn’t and will never be an appropriate response to absolutely anything.

Allandrel
Allandrel
8 months ago

@Yutolia

When you are being abused, you are taught that a whole bunch of things are technically wrong but fine when they are done to you, or fine if the person was drunk when they did it, or ok because it’s mom and she’s “like that when she’s anxious”, etc, etc, etc…

Oh, you’ve met my mother? I grew up VERY confused about what was “rude” (her favorite insult) and what was not, because it seemed to have far more to do with who was acting than what they were doing. What was unforgivably rude when I did it (such as waking her up for anything but an emergency) was a routine action for her, and if I expressed any unhappiness at being woken up for trivial reasons then I being (wait for it) rude.

And the anxiety excuse should have been one of the warning signs to ditch my therapist long before I did. She insisted that my mother’s behavior was not abusive, because “That’s not her, that’s her illness.”

I have anxiety too, and yet I somehow manage to not emotionally abuse people.

TacticalProgressive
TacticalProgressive
8 months ago

I have had my experiences with my parents in some cases in my life growing up; not really in terms of abuse, by definitely moments of irritation with either a overly smothering mother and a father that expected too much from me because he thought I was better than I was despite the fact I had limitations as an individual that I just was unable to overcome said limitation, especially given I am on the spectrum of special needs and the challenges that brought with it.

I can understand the frustration that such a skewed and shaky dynamic would have between yourself and your parents; and for sure; trying to work a way though that somehow is understandable and should be encouraged to find consensus between all parties.

However, that being said: sending your hyper controlling mother an unsolicited dick pic is NOT the way to do it; if anything it would strike as being completely self defeating. To use an analogy: It would be like spraining your ankle and deciding to treat that minor injury by deciding to blast your foot off with a shotgun.

Naglfar
Naglfar
8 months ago

@Allandrel

I have anxiety too, and yet I somehow manage to not emotionally abuse people.

Same here. I really hate it when people blame awful behavior (their own or someone else’s) on mental illness. It doesn’t undo the harm, it functions a bit like a DARVO (at least the RVO part), and causes splash damage for everyone else with mental illnesses.

I’m sorry about your abusive mother and your therapist’s apologism.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
8 months ago

@Allandrel:

It’s amazing how them insulting you somehow isn’t rude, but telling them they hurt your feelings and to stop is…

Also, the words ‘stop’ and ‘no’ are somehow automatically rude… but calling their child names isn’t.

I’m sorry you had to put up with that

Crip Dyke
8 months ago

@Diego Duarte:

my dad sent me a dick pic, …

And then he did it again…

Let me tell you something guys. Getting dick pics from nuclear family members is really disturbing. It isn’t and will never be an appropriate response to absolutely anything.

Oh… my.

There just aren’t words. I agree it’s never appropriate and I’m sorry he inflicted that (actually those) on you.

@everyone else:

hugs & love, where appropriate and consensual, to everyone else who experienced abuse.

Crip Dyke
8 months ago

@Katamount:

my favourite baby bat burrito

My favorite baby bat burrito is AOT,K!

Naglfar
Naglfar
8 months ago

@Crip Dyke

My favorite baby bat burrito is AOT,K!

Fair enough. I haven’t seen all the baby batritos in the world, so I’ll have to hold off on choosing a favorite until I’ve spent more time erm…”studying” baby batrito pictures online.

On a side note, that news clip takes me back. Back when the Republican Party at least tried to pretend they didn’t hate the media.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Speaking of dick pics,

French pairs skater Morgan Cipres in 2018 sent a dick pic to a 13 year old girl who trains at the same US rink as he. The coaches, John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana covered it up and pressured the girl and her family to stay quiet.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2019/12/10/sexual-abuse-olympic-figure-skater-coaches-being-investigated/2629777001/

Then, a few days ago, Cipres made a vague apology on social media blaming it on the stress of the Olympic year. Because sexually abusing a minor is a totally normal stress reaction?

Anyway, this isn’t even news that anyone outside of figure skating and its fandom are talking about and it’s pissing me off.

There’s been so many abuse stories in the sport over the years. I thought in the wake of the Larry Nassar story, things would finally bubble over into the consciousness of the general public, and consequences might start happening, but, I guess not.

Sorry it’s kind of OT, but the discussion reminded me of this.

IronCthulhu
IronCthulhu
8 months ago

@weirwoodtreehugger

Psh, false equivalence. It’s not “stalking” when men do it, silly. Didn’t you learn anything from watching Twilight?

Crip Dyke
8 months ago

Holy Alfredo Sauce, WWTH, that was fucking awful. I note something you didn’t:

Cipres… then was 26

While a 15 year old sending a dick pic to a 13 year old is still horribly wrong, how we treat that 15 year old should be different, not least because there’s a lot more time for them to learn better. At 26 this isn’t about the judgement centers of the brain still being undeveloped – they largely develop by 21 and should be completely done by 25. Barring an actual disease of brain development, 26 is plenty old enough that I don’t mind publicizing the name, but when I didn’t know his age, and knowing that lots of skaters of any gender are actually pretty young, I had a moment of hesitation about going off too hard.

BUT NO. If anyone else felt a moment’s hesitation like I did because of not knowing this guy’s age? This guy’s an adult and deserves the negative press AND a lot more.

Of course, the coaches that pressured her not to talk are claiming complete innocence, but there’s e-mail from the time that references their behavior. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any saved e-mail of the coaches actually telling the victim to shut up, but based on what we do have, I don’t doubt that they were engaged in a cover up.

With everything from the Catholic Church and its priests to Penn State and Sandusky to Michigan State and Nassar to Ohio State and Richard Strauss, you would fucking think that adults would learn that taking the side of protecting a sexual predator is kind of a bad thing.

But no.

This fucking world.

Universal Kami
Universal Kami
8 months ago

@Yutolia

I’m also sorry.

I’m not particularly good at articulating my words in ways others can understand.

It’s hard to know tone over text.

I had to teach myself a lot of things, but I mostly got that knowledge from school and the people around me at school.

Lainy
Lainy
8 months ago

@Naglfar

I think it’s very big of you to admit that you were wrong and it has only respect you more.

Lainy
Lainy
8 months ago

Psh, false equivalence. It’s not “stalking” when men do it, silly. Didn’t you learn anything from watching Twilight?

Do.Not.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
8 months ago

This isn’t my mother’s MO exactly, although I certainly remember a fair bit of ‘bursting in’, no privacy, no boundaries etc – plus I grew up in a time when we didn’t have cell phones or social media.

She does what she can though, including talking to my medical professionals behind my back (when I was in my 30s and she tried to turn me having a baby into me having a mental health crisis – which I wasn’t). More recently flirting with my (then) new boyfriend, inappropriately messaging my abusive ex, telling my partner the first time she met him that I was too mentally ill to have a relationship with, etc etc. Any attempt at rational discourse is met with “I was only trying to help! You’re paranoid. This is your mental illness!*”

So I certainly sympathised with the son on this one. Wrong method. Icky, awful method. And sadly it won’t achieve what he hoped it would.

____
*I do have episodic depression and anxiety, I probably have ADD. Bad enough to sometimes affect my life negatively, not so bad that I’m a danger to myself or others. One thing I’m not is paranoid – I’m always surprised when people do malicious things to me, even my mom who does them all the time! I wish I had a little bit more of a paranoia radar.

Naglfar
Naglfar
8 months ago

@Lainy

I think it’s very big of you to admit that you were wrong and it has only respect you more.

Thank you. I try to admit when I’m wrong or make mistakes and try to apologize to anyone I could have hurt.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
8 months ago

Re: Abuse and the effect it has

I wasn’t abused as a kid.

But in primary school my teachers for grade 3 and 4 were absolute abusive trash.

You see, I was in the class with all the immigrants and the kids from social housing. I and a few others were the camouflage kids thrown in to be able to say ‘See, we went by post code!’

Back then I didn’t have German citizenship but was perceived as ethnically German. Which is funny, because one of those ancestry tests would probably come back mostly eastern and southern Slav, based on where my parents are from. But we all had German as our native language. Not that ancestry matters in any way.

But it would have mattered to those two washed up old Nazis.

They tormented everyone who wasn’t German. They tormented everyone who was different from the norm. One of the teachers gave a girl a panic attack when she failed to solve a maths problem at the black board. Even months later she couldn’t come near the school without bursting into tears.

So, I wasn’t a target. I wasn’t a favourite either. I was mostly used as a teaching aide, so the kids who didn’t speak German yet or had some behavioural issues were put next to me.

She tormented my friends, though.

My mum was head of the parent’s association for my class. She tilted against windmills trying to get something to change. Nepotism all the way down prevented her from doing anything.

So, I spent two years of schools watching my friends being psychologically tortured and watching my mum trying and failing to do anything about it because of corruption.

I had almost daily nightmares. I developed a stutter.

All from being a helpless bystander.

And to this day I am unable to trust teachers.

If I get to know someone and then learn they are a teacher? Takes me a while to adjust to that.

If I learn someone is a teacher before I get to know them? I will never trust them.

That kid’s response was a bit over the top, but I get where he’s coming from.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
8 months ago

@Mish

Herro 😀

I’m… surprisingly alright, how is you ?

I’m in the process of tying up a bunch of loose ends and hopefully getting my life back together. It’s a weird process, but so far it seems to be going okay.

Genjones
Genjones
8 months ago

I used to stay up all night even if it wrecked me the next day, because it was the only time I had even a moment without all the hovering, and dammit I was going to enjoy it. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and once I invited my parents over for thanksgiving in my home and was so proud, spent days preparing a triumph of a feast. And they were so heinous that I ghosted them for a long time and passed on every family gathering since. We talk on a semi annual basis. They actually seemed to put two and two together and seem like they’re going out of their way to be nice, and offering money all the time despite their previous negligence. I don’t really know what to make of it, or think I will ever be comfortable rebuilding our relationship beyond “on civil speaking terms”. Still feels super icky.

I also used to act out in spectacular and embarrassing ways when that was my everyday home life. For a long time I was a toxic person I’m not proud of. It took a lot of time apart from my family to heal. What he did was messed up, but I understand where he’s coming from. I see it as the product of a dysfunctional upbringing where dramatic, abusive behavior was normalized. He’s going to have a lot of work to unlearn those kind of unhealthy reactions.

I would have gone with a more measured response like a firm “I need to focus on my studies, I don’t have time for this” followed up with radio silence. I just really hope this guy has his own housing outside the dorm isn’t dependent on his parent’s financial support so they can’t retaliate.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Sinkable John,

Holy crap, that’s so good to hear! I haven’t been on here very much so sorry if I missed any details. So happy for you! Have a pic of Mei-Mei being extremely derpy on the steps this morning:

comment image

Crip Dyke
8 months ago

@Genjones:

They actually seemed to put two and two together and seem like they’re going out of their way to be nice, and offering money all the time despite their previous negligence. I don’t really know what to make of it, or think I will ever be comfortable rebuilding our relationship beyond “on civil speaking terms”. Still feels super icky.

My mom was superbad when I was a kid. She was still pretty bad when I was in my 20s. I interacted with the family very little from 25 or so on to today. But it’s clear that at some point – at least after I turned 30, and it was probably a long process, but some point – she got better.

I don’t really know what changed for her, or if she was just a person who couldn’t handle having kids. I do know that her own home was abusive when she was growing up (in the worst possible way, with my grandad abusing the fuck out of my grandma, then grandma abusing the kids, with grandpa mostly not abusing the kids, but sometimes throwing some nastiness at them so that they felt like he was the “good” one because he was the one that directed less abuse toward them, but…?) so maybe she was just stuck in some patterns from her own upbringing?

IDK. In any case, she seemed to do some nice things but I didn’t trust that there was any actual change, but then she was doing more nice things and I kept waiting for the crap to happen again, but really, since my early 30s it just hasn’t happened. It’s been a lot of years, but I think she really is safe to be around.

…and yet, it’s only now that i feel I could **start** to be around her. That may not be fair to her since she may have changed much longer ago, but my not being around to witness that change is a direct result of her actions.

So I could try again to get close to her now, but she’s already over 70 and who knows what time we would have left… and now I live in another country – not that far away, British Columbia for me, Oregon for her – but still there’s a border between us.

So I’m not sure what effort to put into things. I feel like I would be constantly on egg shells around her, but that my eggshell walking would be unfair to who she is today, so then I would feel guilty for eggshell walking, blah, blah.

It seems a lot of work to reforge a relationship that was as shitty as could be the first time around, but does make up a significant part of my history.

So what to do?

It’s a conundrum. There are no good answers.

This is all to say, take care of yourself. You’re not alone. No one else is smarter than you and thinks this is easy.

You’re good. Your feelings are valid. Just … do the right thing for you.

Drdg
Drdg
8 months ago

Hi! Long time reader, commented only few times. But this one hit close to home.

One thing that people might not get about childhood abuse – it’s not a trauma in the same sense as an adulthood trauma. It is something that is a part of the formation of your very personality and usually it leaves you more or less fucked up for the rest of your life. Sure, one can learn how to deal with the immediate reactions to triggers in a more healthy way, but it is a hard work that takes a long time.
Now, the guy in the story is only 20, living somewhat independently just recently, so he definitely haven’t had enough time to develop more mature psychological self-defense mechanisms than just lashing out in the face of his semi-independency being threatened and his (and his girlfriend’s!) boundaries being ignored once again. I was almost 30 and living on my own for at least 10 years, but I could still not always fully control my reactions to confrontations with my mother. I`m 33 now, I’d like to believe I’ve mastered self control in that matter. However, it now manifests in torturing nightmares every time after I’ve had to be in contact with her, even though I was able to keep it civil.

Another thing: I don’t get how this story can be in any way equated with sexual harassment dick picks. Everyone involved, including the mother, know very well that there was nothing sexual about that dick pick. Moreover, prior she was asking to see his private conversations actually expecting to see some sexually explicit material there. I rather see this as a clumsy way of taking back control over his own privacy.

I hope I managed to explain my thoughts clearly, English is not my native language.

Paireon
Paireon
8 months ago

Welp. Reading through this thread almost makes me feel guilty for not having personally had an abusive childhood… Although my mother was in a relationship with a manipulative, impulsive, money-grubbing and anger-prone narcissist for 25 years, so I have some pretty hands-on experience with abuse (his was mostly verbal, psychological and financial, although the last time he tried getting physical (nothing sexual – dude was painfully straight, and I say that as a straight man myself) with me went hilariously badly for him).

And for what it’s worth my mother was a teacher (and later principal), but an actually very good one from what I know from former pupils, colleagues and parents. Abuse did NOT get any sort of pass on her watch. She once had to fight for almost a year for a poor kid whose mother was a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

As for the story itself… Well, given the rest of it I’d say that while yes, it was a dick move (heh), it’s kinda hard not to feel for the guy. The mother’s response to even that was completely overblown. Plus she has no qualms about riling the rest of the family against him. While I don’t necessarily think he was in the right, sometimes there’s very little recourse left but to be an asshole.

anon
anon
8 months ago

Im of two minds

– when I beat my dad’s old ass into the ground, welp, I dont blame myself. Ive forgiven all the violence I participated in, because we were literally raised having our asses kicked by both adults and being allowed to brutally beat up each other. When I did that- it was the last time he fuckin hit anyone.

People raised in nightmares dont actually fully know its wrong, its exactly how they were taught over and over to act. I couldn’t articulate that being choked could have killed me, didnt know it was illegal, it just seemed normal

– Men getting revenge on their abusive moms, particularly this specific issue of being so controlling, with sexualized violence is a thing. I agree with the nuance of what everyone has said here and Im not equating it, but it creeped me out initially that my mind made that connection, and for his own good he has gotta try not to sink to her level like this ever again, which I have faith he will be a better personz

Betrayer
Betrayer
8 months ago

My mom left me multiple voice mails crying and saying that she went wrong while calling me a degenerate.

So the mom’s not just abusive she’s also a Nazi, or at least using Nazi tropes.