Raising a child isn’t easy, but it should be common sense that little ones need a lot of love and attention. Unfortunately, some people aren’t lucky enough to be raised by parents who know the difference between right and wrong, and that can cause a lot of trouble in their relationship. These real life stories take the cake for parenting fails that will make you think twice about starting a family.
Hide Your Spare Key
This incident happened exactly one year ago today. My wife and I are in therapy, not so much because of issues we have in our marriage but because both of us have horrible families, and neither of us until meeting our therapist had strong spines about it.
We are very low contact with my mother-in-law. She more sucks than is horrible but she also has some substance issues she’s dealing with, namely an addiction to pain medication.
Anyway, let’s go back a year and a few days. My wife is due any second with our first child. So the plan was to have both sets of parents at the hospital after the baby arrived and my wife and I had time to bond. Her parents accepted that, my dad who is an enabler was okay with that, but my mom was not. She demanded she be at the hospital earlier, and we told her no, she had to wait.
Finally, she said OK after she saw we weren’t budging. So the baby was born. It’s a boy, and we hadn’t found out so it was a big surprise. Anyway, both sets of parents come, everything’s good. Until suddenly, it took a dark turn. My wife was getting tired so I walk my parents out; hers had already gone home. My dad went out to get the car while I waited by the front door with my mom.
She then turns to me and says that my dad and her are filing for custody of the baby. Before I can speak, she claims my wife is on substances like her mom (my wife doesn’t even drink) and that she saw how my wife was around the baby and she fears for his safety. I’m stunned. My dad pulls up and she gets in and leaves. I go back upstairs and my wife sees my face and knows something is up.
I really don’t want to tell her but I’m not going to lie to her, either. She’s as upset as I am, so I text my mom that she’s not to contact us anymore. I then block her number. At this point, my younger sister is blowing my phone up and I know it’s my mom. We go home the next day, and my wife had tearing and therefore needs medication.
She refuses pain medications because of her family history but says she will take Advil. So I go get some things at CVS, she and baby are sleeping (him in his cot) at home. I’m in line getting us dinner when my wife calls me sobbing. She woke up and there’s no baby. I run home and we are both a mess at this time. Then my neighbor comes over and asks what’s going on.
She sees me running like my feet are on fire, so I tell her. She tells me, “Wait, so your parents weren’t supposed to take the baby?” Yep, my mom came and kidnapped my baby. I immediately call the sheriff’s office, since my best friend is a deputy there. As soon as I tell him and his partner what happened, they head to get our baby.
Turns out my dad wasn’t involved in the actual kidnapping, although I’m sure he knew about it. My mom knew at the time where we kept a spare key and let herself in. We went all the way and pressed charges. According to my friend, they had a nursery waiting at their house. Our baby was returned to us. My mom was sentenced, but because of her standing in the community she was only given a slap on the wrist.
However, the negative attention she got after that event spurred her and my dad to move. Thankfully, my sister turned 18 before then and she stayed with us a few months before going a few states away to school. For a long time, both my mom and my dad were radio silent. However, my mom has tried to reach out in the last few months.
Thankfully we’ve learned from this. We now have cameras, a security system, and no spare key outside. Our neighbor, who is now a great friend, has our spare. We are three months along with our second child, and I’m hoping my mom doesn’t find out about it until long after.
Story credit: Reddit / not2daysatan90
By Some Miracle
A family member of mine recently found out she had gotten Zika, and she was six months pregnant. After trying to get pregnant for years with no luck, she had given up hope of ever having a baby, but by some miracle she was able to conceive.
When she told her mother-in-law the news about the Zika, that horrible woman said to her, “I should have known this would happen when I first met you and saw the way you were dressed.”
Yes, this broad really did imply that because she wore short-shorts and tank tops, she wasn’t a worthy mother. The poor girl was devastated and blamed herself for getting Zika even though no one knew it was in the area at that time.
Still, she decided that she would carry the baby to term. He was born two weeks ago. No microcephaly. No health issues of any kind. Also, and this is the real kicker, he tested negative for exposure to Zika.
Story credit: Reddit / StarryEyedSucker
Change of Plans
I had my graduation from engineering on the same day as my mother’s birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with choosing the date. But you couldn’t convince my mom of that. My mother said I “ruined her birthday”—and then she got a cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March, mine is in August.
Story credit: Reddit / my_name_isnt_zelda
Try Again Next Semester
I’ve been a TA for a couple courses at my university, which is fairly competitive and the students are generally all top notch. Once in a blue moon, though, someone slips by the admission process. My worst experience was as a TA for a lower division math course. She was a freshman student, and spoiled doesn’t begin to cut it.
Her family was clearly loaded, and I suspect she went to some insanely expensive private school that wrote her application for her. This girl would be in designer clothes and on her phone or laptop the entire time in lecture. Obviously everyone does this sometimes, but this girl was clearly just chatting with her friends and shopping for clothes all the time.
When she failed to turn in the first four problem sets, I sent her a quick email to let her know that homework contributed to a significant portion of her grade. I also said I’d still accept them. I never got a response. So she gets a blatant F on her first midterm. Like, it’s not an F that could be rounded up to anything significant.
She was at a point where she should’ve just dropped out and try again next semester. I sent another email saying this. This time I got a response, with her stating she could make the grade back next midterm. Alright, I think, suit yourself. So I continue through the rest of the semester. She’s still failing…until something absolutely ridiculous happens.
At the last meeting of my discussion section, SHE SHOWS UP! Not just that, but with her parents. Oh my god, it gets better. She stays after the session to introduce me to her parents, and then hands me a stack of papers and informs me that it’s all the homework for the semester. Meanwhile her parents are sitting there all proud of their little girl.
I take the stack graciously and, in my most professional voice, let her know that I’d be happy to take a look at it, but she won’t get any credit. Her parents’ faces completely fall. Her father starts to insult me. So I show them everything: The abysmal attendance record, the 0% homework score, the low, low, low midterm scores.
Now she’s starting to tear up and the parents are seriously fuming. Not wanting to put myself in the middle of the rest of the storm, I mumble that I have a class to get to and sprint out of there…but not before I hear the student getting chewed up so loudly that people actually poked their heads out of classrooms. She never showed up for the final.
Story credit: Reddit / Anyun
Two days after I graduated high school, I came home to a jaw-dropping discovery. It was a totally empty house. All my stuff was in a U-Haul, and my mom and stepdad had moved without me. I have been financially independent ever since, but a heads up would’ve been nice. My real dad was not involved in this situation since he was on the other side of the country.
I am still close with him but he is very low income so he could not help me with this. I went no contact with my mom for about a year after this, but she weaseled her way back in. I think I see her in person once every two years, and I do not acknowledge my stepfather exists. I have been considering going no contact with my mom again recently.
Story credit: Reddit / doubledang666
Always Check Twice
I worked daycare and was told to never accept babies sleeping in car seats or sleeping children at all. So if Mom or Dad brought a kid asleep, I immediately woke them up and pulled them out of their car seat. This made so many parents displeased with me but it’s policy.
I used to think it was to help the kid be on a schedule, then one day a grandma brought a baby asleep and he was not waking up at all. Just would raise his head, whimper, and go back to sleep. Immediately my boss called 911 and grandma was trying to downplay “he had a rough night, he’s just tired, etc.”
I knew this baby, he wouldn’t sleep if he thought he was going to miss out, we had music playing and kids loudly singing and dancing. In the chaos, grandma slipped out and at some point, someone called the parents.
Turns out Granny had a history of giving kids stuff to knock them out when she babysat, but this time she did it to a six-month-old and that’s why he wouldn’t wake up. I think they pumped the kid’s stomach and he had a stay at the hospital. Legal actions were taken and the family moved away.
To clarify, the policy was put in place because my boss knew abusers have been known to do this. They’d break the kid’s arm, dose them, dump them with the sitter who lets the baby asleep all morning then because the kid was with the sitter all day, it’s easy to blame them for the baby’s injury. Or worse, the baby died and they do this to blame the sitter.
So yea, to this day if I’m babysitting, I don’t accept sleeping children. I flat out refuse to watch kids at their home while they’re sleeping for the same reason. I’ve pretty much stopped doing any child care because as much as I love kids, watching parents make bad decisions on purpose when they know better, was killing my soul.
Story credit: Reddit / 56149
Just a Quick Ride
This happened a couple of weeks ago. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. She passed in a hospital, and I was outside talking to the owner of the funeral home. This dude was also my godfather, and I had a very good relationship with him. It might sound weird that my godfather is the owner of a funeral home, but to me, it’s not.
He’s known me since I was a baby and he treated me like I was his son. Also, to me, his job is just like any other job, and it even has its benefits. Anyway, we were just outside the hospital, talking to each other. Parked in front of us were all the company vehicles, including the one you are all thinking about: The hearse. All of a sudden, this Entitled Mother approached us.
EM: Hello. Me: Uh….hello. She had her kid just next to her and he was holding a drink. EM: I was wondering if my son could take a ride on the limousine. She then pointed her finger to the hearse. It took me a while to respond for two reasons. The first one was because that day, I had so many thoughts going through my head, and a stranger coming to me out of nowhere caught me by surprise.
I am a very introverted person, and I find it difficult to talk to people I don’t know. The second reason was because I was holding in my laugh. She legitimately thought that the hearse was a limousine. Me: I’m sorry to say this, but that’s not— EM: Are you going to say no to a little child? At this point, I don’t know what to say. Me: Miss, believe me. You don’t want your son to go in that thing.
EM: Ugh…Why are you so stingy? Even if he spills his drink in the limousine, it won’t be a problem. You have enough money to buy a limousine, so you’ll surely have enough to clean it. This is when my godfather comes in. GF: Excuse me, miss. What do you want to do? EM: I want my son to ride the limousine! My godfather then said the most epic thing I have ever heard.
GF: thinks for a bit Well, sure he can ride the limousine. But only if he has a coffin to be in. The mom is a bit confused about this response. Then she takes a good second look at the “limousine,” and realized her mistake. I have no idea how she confused a hearse for a limousine, perhaps the company logo was out of her view or something.
However, when it dawned on her, her skin got pale and she just walked away as fast as she could with her kid. My godfather and me just look at each other and start laughing.
Story credit: Reddit / manuelgennaromusic
I'm Not the Best Person to Ask
I worked as a nanny for a 1% family. The stuff I saw haunts me. I remember having one parent complain how rude it was a friend hadn’t offered to fly them to Miami on a private jet for a weekend getaway, and they were “forced” to go first-class. Had the other parent tell me they thought it was really “sweet” I was happy to help others and never be wealthy.
They would also spring last-minute trips on me and their kid all the time, so I’d stay in the main house with their child while the parents were country-hopping. Poor kid never had any sense of who was going to be where. There were business-related videos of the parents on YouTube, so it got to the point where I’d play them on an iPad so the kid had some sense of consistency.
Just to be clear, the kid was absolutely adorable and very sweet (which made it really hard to leave, I felt terrible), but it was pretty disheartening to think they’d probably turn out like their parents in a few years. The best part about the parent complaining over the first-class flight was when they asked me if I thought they were overreacting.
Literally asked me “Wouldn’t you be upset? Don’t you think that’s rude? They’ve been doing better [financially] now that they have Company X money they could have sent a plane etc.” and I’m thinking, well I’m pretty sure my entire year’s salary couldn’t pay for one chartered flight, so you know I’m probably not the best person to ask.
Story credit: Reddit / throwawaaayyytoday
I was halfway through a counseling session with a couple with a four-month-old baby. I asked about the baby, and the mom said, “She’s in bed at home.” I said, “Ah, grandparents babysitting?” The dad went, “No, she is at home alone. Nothing can happen to her. We bought a special mattress. One where she can’t suffocate.”
At this point, my jaw was on the floor, and I was just staring at them for a couple of seconds. Then I asked how long it took them to get here. They told me about 15 minutes, so I said, “Alright, the session’s over. I want you guys to go home immediately and call me when you arrive. Please hurry. And never ever leave your baby alone!”
Story credit: Reddit / tasjekoffie
We Need to Talk
When I was growing up, “I need to talk to you” quite literally meant impending doom. It meant that I was going to walk into a room, have a screaming battle for 30 minutes, cry, and want to sleep forever over and over again. I have PTSD from it all. Now my boyfriend’s mom, every other day, comes to us and says “I need to talk to you guys later” and it makes me live in anxiety now.
It’s almost always something trivial that could have been said in passing. God, please just say it in passing. Don’t say that we need to talk later and then have it be something that you could’ve just said right then and there. I really hate going through the whole day in anxiety like that.
Story credit: Reddit / as_hole__
Cutting Down Costs
My parents were married for 25 years before they divorced. A visiting nanny took great interest in my dad as he was a seemingly easy shortcut to citizenship and comfortable life. She actively pursued my dad, who obviously failed to put up much resistance. My mom found evidence of money transfers and love letters, and that was that. She filed for divorce.
The nanny eventually married my dad, and my sister and I got a stepmom who was younger than us. This woman was a monster. She would monitor all phone calls between my dad and me. She banned him from visiting us at Christmas or during the holidays, and she bought my sister and me a pair of socks each for gifts. In comparison, she treated herself to overseas vacations and ridiculous amounts of plastic surgery.
It wasn’t the gift itself that was the problem, it was the sneer on her face while she handed them to us. Eventually, we just stopped talking to my dad. During this time, mom would receive harassing phone calls that she should give up her house, and in exchange, the nanny would care for my sister and me. We were still in school, and my dad agreed to support us until we finished our post-secondary education.
I believe the demands had to do with both being upset she hadn’t taken our family home as she fantasized she would, and the fact that she thought supporting us directly would cut down their costs significantly.
My mom just laughed at the audacity of her calls–they were completely ludicrous. But it gets worse—we later found out that she committed a shocking offense—she had hurt him not once, but twice, after losing her temper.
He had to visit the ER and claimed it was an accident each time. They also managed to have officers ask that they stay out of an entire city after a very public fight at a restaurant. She had also broken countless items around their home while they argued, and basically was totally crazy. The day her citizenship papers arrived, she told my dad she was filing for divorce.
I try not to keep tabs on her but I have recently heard that she married an even older gentleman in his late 80s who is quite wealthy and she is just waiting to collect her inheritance.
Story credit: Reddit / Wrexasaurus
Drop Everything For Me
I’m very busy at the moment. I’m in college and I work a full-time job. During the week, I go to the gym after work so I don’t become obese and develop diabetes and heart issues. My health is important to me. I only recently started caring more about myself and my health. I’ve also started pampering myself. I get my nails done now! I actually get my hair cut more than once every 18 months or so.
I feel like a real person who is worthy of basic human decency. I do, however, still live with my horrible parents. I can’t afford to live on my own. With the money I’m making right now I might be able to rent with a roommate but I literally have no friends or acquaintances. So I live with my parents. It is definitely not ideal and I have an escape plan.
Anyway, so I’m busy. My mom sees that I’m cleaning my room today because I only have time to clean my room on weekends. I’m also doing my laundry and washing my bedsheets. I have almost a week’s worth of classwork to do as well because I was recently sick and fell behind in a class.
I really am focusing on school because I want to pass the class that I am falling behind in and I’m teetering on the edge of failing it.
Despite this, she “asks” if I can clean the bathroom. Her words are, “I’m sick so I’m going to have you clean the bathroom today.” I tell her how busy I am and that I’ll get to it when I can. Me saying that to her made her absolutely lose her mind. I was confident but polite. I explained it to her and she knows my situation.
I might not get to it right this moment, but I might be able to do it this evening or tomorrow. This isn’t good enough for her. And I finally got her to admit it. I asked, “Do you want me to drop everything I’m doing right this moment to clean the bathroom?” She said “Well…this is my house and my rules.” I interrupted her here.
“Do you want me to drop what I’m doing right now so I can do what you want me to do?” And this wasn’t a rhetorical question. I genuinely wanted to see what she would say, though I already had an idea. She finally said, “I don’t think it’s too much to ask you to do something when you live in this house!” I said, “I didn’t say it was a big deal, I said I would do it when I have time.”
In the end, she truly did want me to drop everything I’m doing to do some menial task that could be done literally any other day. But she chose today so she could get a rise out of me. I’m glad I stood my ground and didn’t allow myself to get emotional and cry because she isn’t worth my tears anymore.
Story credit: Reddit / 2confrontornot
Protecting My Health
I recently moved out of my parents’ house, about 600 miles away, for a new job. My mother calls me a couple of nights ago, saying I received mail from my old apartment complex that I lived in during college. I recently changed my address but apparently it hasn’t gone into effect yet. She asked if she could open it, and I said yes since it wouldn’t be anything important. I quickly regretted that decision.
As I hear her rip it open (over the phone) she says, “Oh wait it’s from your psychiatrist.” No idea how you mistake a letter from a doctor for something from an apartment complex. I should’ve stopped her there, but it would’ve made her angry and she would’ve read it anyway. I started seeing my psychiatrist about two years ago when I was officially diagnosed with depression/anxiety.
Whenever my mother was angry and we got into an argument, she’d threaten to call both my psychiatrist and therapist and tell them I’m crazy. Because of this, I called my psychiatrist and asked them to make sure they never shared any of my information with her.
Well, they (rightfully so) wrote it on my file when I called, and this letter she opened was from the office with a check for a few dollars as a refund for overpaying a copay, and also a brief snapshot of my contact info and patient profile.
Next thing I know, I get a text from my mother with a picture of the paper, which says in all-caps “Do not release information to [mother’s name] as per patient” in the notes section. Needless to say, she was not happy.
She went on about how embarrassing this is for her, especially since she did me a “favor” and called the office a couple of weeks ago to ask what time my recent appointment was (without my permission).
I explained to her I did this because she threatened to make false claims about me to them and say I was a danger to myself. She claimed I was making this up, that I wasn’t “staying on topic,” and just because I say something doesn’t make it true. She said I needed to “own up” to my part, and told me to leave her alone. So I did. A couple of hours later, she starts calling me repeatedly, so I blocked her number.
So then she started repeatedly calling the house phone that I have for emergencies, so I had to unplug it. I haven’t unblocked her or spoken to her in several days, as this entire situation and her behavior just disgust me. She has the nerve to try and blame me for protecting myself and my health information. This has given me a glimpse into what no contact is like, and honestly, it sounds great so far.
Story credit: Reddit / NotRoyMoore0
He Needed Witnesses
My parents divorced when I was an infant. When I was 28, my dad married an 18-year-old girl. He needed two witnesses for the wedding and asked me to come, so I did—but I had a surprise move up my sleeve. I’m gay, and I passively-aggressively brought my girlfriend with me. While my dad was never terrible about it, he did kind of just pretend that it wasn’t a fact because it bothered him.
Story credit: Reddit / H20rabbit
I'm Trying to Be the Bigger Person
I was no-contact with my mother for two and a half years, until I had a medical event. She’s begged to be part of my life and I’m trying to be a bigger person. But when she started barking at me about being disappointing, I harped back that she was 50% of the reason I’m in this place. Because I’m just now coming to terms with the damage she has done to me.
And I told her this: I told her she was neglectful and violent, and when she tried to say otherwise, my dad went to bat for me. My dad is not biological. He is her boyfriend for the last 10+yrs. This might be the first adult, the first parental figure to ever go to bat for me, and it was a magical feeling. To know that not all adults are horrible, and it’s not every man for himself all the time.
There’s no deeper insight here. I stood up for myself and for once in my life I had someone else tell me that I was right. There’s going to be a lot of healing that comes after this.
Story credit: Reddit / VJohns11
There's No Way Out of This
This was a really cathartic moment for my brother and I. We were talking on the phone and the conversation turned to our mom. He has only recently realized the damage she’s done to both of us individually and our sibling relationship, while I’ve known for a while now.
We were talking about the fact that because of how emotionally messed up our family was, we had no proper role models for how to communicate or be in a healthy, loving relationship.
And he was saying how sometimes that creates tension with his girlfriend because he won’t be able to articulate how he’s feeling and she’ll get frustrated because his lack of communication makes it seem like he doesn’t care. But they talk it out, and he’s trying, which makes him one step ahead of me (relationship-wise) and about a billion steps ahead of our parents.
Anyway, our mom would always hum when she was angry or upset, but never reveal the reason. He said to me, “My girlfriend was just humming the other day and I think I scared her with how upset I got. I couldn’t really explain it at the moment. I was just like, ‘I’m really sorry but you NEED to stop humming.'” I knew exactly what he meant.
For us, the sound of someone humming means “Mom is mad, and I don’t know why, but it’s my fault somehow, and I’m probably going to get in trouble, and no matter what I say or do there’s no way out of this,” He was eventually able to explain this to her, but my God! When he told me that, in a weird way I was so happy.
I think because it validated that I wasn’t just “crazy” for going into a cold sweat and getting palpitations whenever someone hummed around me.
Story credit: Reddit
My parents divorced around their mid-to-late-30s. They had me when they were young. When I was 21, I visited my dad’s house for the night and a girl he had been dating was over. So, he walked downstairs and asked me what I was up to.
He then said the most horrendous thing he’s ever told me: “You know, she’s about the same age as you, do you want to get intimate with her a little bit? I’m sure she won’t mind.”
I declined, then went straight out the door to stay with friends instead.
Story credit: Reddit / Mtwilliams2448
Hit the Nail on the Head
I have been struggling with my mom ever since I turned around 12. I don’t want to go into detail but she’s been the cause of most of my mental health problems while simultaneously telling me that she has done nothing wrong and that I was the reason she “acted this way.” I’ve always felt crazy and wondered if I was overreacting, but she never let me talk about her to my therapists.
I tried once and she found out somehow and the aftermath hurt me so much that I never tried again. So for years, I was wondering if I really was a terrible child. My thought process was “if I was a better child, then she wouldn’t be this controlling,” etc. And yet at the same time, the few friends who knew of my situation tried to tell me that she was NOT normal.
Well, I went to a new therapist today and very hesitantly told him about my mother. Oh my God. He very gently told me that she was a narcissist, and her behavior was very typical of narcissistic parents.
He told me a few symptoms of narcissistic parents and he hit the nail on the head for every single one of them. The relief I felt when I realized that I was NOT insane and NOT a terrible child made me nearly cry from happiness.
I’m not a bad person. I never realized how much stress and self-hatred that belief gave me. I’m not a bad daughter. I was brainwashed.
Story credit: Reddit / Binary_ink
Today Was the Tipping Point
My parents have been threatening to kick me out since the 7th grade, so that’s not a new thing. But today was the tipping point. My dad asked me about making something for my brother’s boat. His phrasing was more along the lines of curiosity versus actually wanting me to do it. I said it would be possible and thought that was it.
Later tonight, my mom came down to where my brother and I were hanging out and started ripping into me. She was talking about “being disappointed in me” for “never helping.” I, unfortunately, defended myself.
From there it, escalated into me being lazy, me being disrespectful, and me never washing dishes. The first kicker is that I do help, but with the dishes, my mom only decides to do them as I’m eating or doing something on my own.
The second kicker is that the whole reason we are fighting is over something that is my brother’s. My dad blew up in my face after I unsuccessfully tried to explain and mend the situation. I was supposed to leave then and there. No car keys, shoes, or wallet. Luckily, I left those things in my room—since I had been planning this for years.
When I got up there, I started shoving everything into suitcases. My desktop came with me too. My dad came up, floored that I was taking everything. “You were only supposed to take stuff for a couple of days and then come back and apologize.” All my mom was worried about was me taking a towel with me. I’m so glad I planned ahead.
All of my documents are safe, bank account secure, no major loans, and a fiancé I can live with. I’m nervous about health insurance, but that is it.
Story credit: Reddit / salt-mistress
My dad is dating a girl younger than me. I’m 25, she’s 23, and he’s 50. I hate the looks of other people, and it makes me uncomfortable to be around them. It’s so weird for me to watch him teach her how to do laundry or the dishes. It’s like he’s raising another child. He gets angry that she doesn’t know how to cook or clean, but she seems to be trying her best.
She just left her mom’s house and now she’s supposed to be responsible for taking care of my dad. They also fight all the time because he has zero respect for her. She usually goes and sulks in the car or in their room. There is absolutely zero communication between them. And the cherry on top? My dad usually buys her something after they argue, so nothing really gets resolved.
She has like every scent from Bath and Body Works because that’s where he goes after they argue. He used to buy his ex-wife Clinique after they argued so I guess he’s lucky the new one likes stuff that is much cheaper.
Story credit: Reddit / ikimdoit
The True Weight of the Matter
I’m still in shock to be honest. I went no-contact with mom and my four siblings six months ago. I had been attending counselling to finally deal with my baggage after trying (and failing) to cope alone for 30 years. I finally admitted the mistreatment. The counseling opened my eyes to how awful my family was and the damage it was now doing to my three children.
I feel incredible guilt for allowing my children to be hurt in this way. Anyway. My mom didn’t take too kindly to me stopping her from seeing my children when I went no-contact, since she genuinely thinks the kids are her possessions. She began a smear campaign, contacting ex-partners, friends, clients, etc. She got a solicitor and tried to get visitation rights.
And then she started stalking us. Coming to my house, being at the children’s school several times a week and trying to talk to them, etc. She once tried to take them from school and was stopped by a teacher. She wrote letters to the children and used another child to hand them the letters in school. And finally, she wrote the children weekly letters delivered to my house.
The language in the letters has been likened to grooming techniques by the authorities. So after six months of this, six months of me being unable to collect my children from school because of fear, six months of being essentially a hermit and being unable to answer my phone or open the door, I called the authorities on her and told them everything.
They were amazing. I was expecting the “oh, it’s a family falling out but she’s your mom” comments. But they didn’t. They believed me, they took it very seriously, took statements, and were so supportive. They said it was stalking and that validation was just amazing. So they detained her—something that never happened in her life before. She is not allowed to come near me, my house, or my children’s school.
Story credit: Reddit / drowninglice
My World Turned Upside-Down
My dad is married to a 25-year-old waitress. I am 26. When I was 18 or 19, my family used to go to the place she waited at and every time, I would silently pray we were going to be seated in her section because I had a huge crush.
My dad would always be a dad and drop some dad jokes, and I always thought she was laughing at those jokes to be polite…but it turns out she thought they were genuinely funny.
Then, my whole world turned upside-down—they got together five years ago, and my crush was quite literally crushed. He still goes to the same place to eat, and she’s still his waitress…but the jokes are worse now.
Story credit: Reddit / scroggybottoms
Cost of Entry
My mom always made it clear she had complete disdain for everything about me. I was cold and unemotional (because showing emotions got you mocked in our house), my interests were stupid, and she ragged on my fashion sense so much that her favorite insult was “well, that’s very you.” In response, I became very accomplished at school, seeking any sort of positive feedback from an authority figure.
However, my chosen fields of study were never going to make me any money so they weren’t worth anything to her. According to her, I apparently thought I was “better than everyone else.” As a result, I think I developed a core belief that since I had no intrinsic worth, my only worth was in what I could offer people—knowledge, therapy, favors, food, support.
I’m a chef and I never show up anywhere empty-handed. If I’m invited somewhere or friends agree to come over, chances are I’m bringing something absurdly extravagant with me to “justify” my presence.
Having been in therapy for a while now, I’ve realized that I don’t need to pay a “cost of entry” to socialize with people. I’m invited places because people actually enjoy having me there, not because I’m going to bring a 12-layer cake.
It’s so hard to actually believe that, but it’s been eye-opening to realize how my lack of self-worth has shaped my relationships over the years. So, for any fellow unloved kids out there: Just because the people who should have loved you didn’t does not make you unlovable. You are worthy intrinsically, and not because of any utility you offer.
Story credit: Reddit / thatonetinyspoon
New Wife, New Life
At 49, my dad divorced my mom to marry a 25-year-old woman. He had six kids with my mom. The new wife was two years older than his oldest child and is five years older than me. I tried giving her a chance—until I found out what she made my dad do. She made him reverse his vasectomy and have a child, who is 25 years my junior.
He stopped paying for college for former kids and stopped paying alimony to my mom after 10 years. He moved to Texas with his new wife, then retired and eventually passed. His entire estate went to the new wife and her kid. My mom never recovered. She had never finished college, and because she got married and quickly had kids in her early 20s, she had no real means of support.
She was always the dominant one in the relationship and she was hurt quite badly by the affair and subsequent divorce. She always assumed he would come to his senses and come back to her, right up until she got the divorce papers. That knocked her over. Dad then took her youngest kid to live with him, basically saying, “You aren’t doing a good job raising him,” which messed her up again.
No inheritance for the first six kids. His new wife never read the will and basically kept everything.
Story credit: Reddit / romons
Pass the Blame
In my house, I was always blamed for the smallest things. Whether it was for spilling a little bit of water or leaving my book lying around on a table or even for sleeping in on weekends. I am not saying I was right all the time, all I’m saying is I could’ve been corrected better. Instead of being told why I was wrong or why I should not have done something, I was always yelled at for it.
This simply made me better at hiding my faults, not omitting them altogether. However, today I left a giant jar of almond milk I made as a gift to a friend. I had left it in the fridge and in the morning I heard a loud shatter and I knew it was my almond milk. I walked over and saw my mom, who obviously caused the mess, just standing there. Her first reaction was to yell at me, as per usual.
I told myself there are two ways I can handle this. I could either yell back and create an argument, or I could be calm about it. So, I chose the latter. I picked up a cloth and a broom and insisted that it was an accident, and that we all make mistakes and that accidents are not intentionally done. I also told her that her mistakes didn’t make her a bad person, instead, they were just mistakes.
I also reminded her that the almond milk I made could be made again and that it’s not worth getting upset over because there is really no point crying over spilled (almond) milk. She was definitely taken aback by it and she did not know how to respond.
I told her that I would clean up the mess and while doing it I was so proud and had so much hope that maybe this vicious parenting cycle was going to end with me.
Story credit: Reddit / DisastrousSir4
A Controlling Relationship
My dad loves controlling people. He used to always go on about wanting an Asian wife because he thought she’d be really grateful and meek towards him. He fancied the idea of not getting into any arguments. Not long after admitting those desires to me, he—in his 50s—met and married a 21-year-old Chinese woman.
I was 23 at the time. The age difference doesn’t bother me—however, what is disturbing is my dad’s behavior. The way he treats her in public is revolting. He is so condescending and talks really slow like someone would to a toddler.
He tells her off and calls her names. It was so sad to see. I don’t know for sure, but she may have left him because when I was last in contact with him, he never brought her with him or spoke about her.
Story credit: Reddit
A few days ago, my mom called me. I currently have very limited contact with her, so this is maybe the sixth time we’ve talked in seven years. She tells me she wants to send money for my son’s birthday…but there was a catch. She will only do it if she can talk to him on the phone. I said a flat-out no with no argument or insults, just no. She started with the phrase that always gets me: “I just don’t understand.”
This would have sent me into a rage spiral about everything that happened, which would have turned into a fight, had she said that a few years ago. But now I have a magic phrase all my own: “I’m sorry you don’t understand, I have to go.” It’s so awesome! It cuts her off and it ends any further argument. I wish I had known that 30 years ago, and just thought I’d share.
Story credit: Reddit / that1chick1730
Kept on a Short Leash
As I now know, it’s normal to have a front door key when you go to school. However, I didn’t get a key until I was 16, and it was only for the front door, not the door to our apartment. So I was always dependent on my mother when I went out and had to go back to the apartment.
For years, I asked for my own key, but it was always just “I’m home anyway, we don’t have to give you one. Just ring the bell and I’ll open it for you.”
Sounds logical in theory, but it was terrible to live through. Quite often I came home from school and stood in front of the locked apartment. There was no reaction to my ringing, and knocking didn’t help either. Sometimes I sat in front of the door for two hours, even in wet clothes when it rained. And what was my mom doing? Sleeping, usually.
When she once remembered that her daughter had long since finished school, she arrived and let me into the apartment. No apology or words of remorse. Only afterward did I understand that this was just one of their methods of controlling me and keeping me on a short leash.
Story credit: Reddit / Chassy1337
Healing Takes a Long Time
My parents married young, as was typical in the ’60s. A decade into their marriage, he was caught with our babysitter. He eventually left our mom and married her, but that only lasted a few years. My dad then played the knight in shining armor to a succession of young women who were ‘down on their luck.’ It was the same pattern over and over.
They were always about the same age–late teens to early twenties. It didn’t matter how old my dad got, or how much older we, his children, were compared to them. Ultimately, his work took him to the Philippines, and he became involved with a young woman there. He said they were just friends and all of his many trips there were apparently to help her and her family.
We rolled our eyes. Eventually, our dad informed us he married her so she could come to Canada for a better life. We were taken aback when he told us her age—she is about five years younger than the youngest one of us. I don’t have any beef with her. She’s kind, decent, and hardworking, albeit too submissive and deferential to my dad. I’m sure that’s part of what he likes about her.
My problem is really with my dad alone, who has repeatedly proven himself to be a self-centered narcissist fixated on younger women. He congratulates himself for ‘saving’ all these people and helping them out of their miserable lives when he’s never used the time of day for his own kids or grandkids. He’s lied and broken promises his whole life, and for that reason, I have no respect for him.
When I got married, I would not let him walk me down the aisle. I’ve spent years in therapy trying to untangle a lot of issues surrounding my dad.
Although my head knows what he is and that I shouldn’t care about him at all, the sad reality is that part of me inexplicably still wants his love and approval. Not only has he messed up our own relationship, but he’s contributed to my own legacy of being unable to commit. Healing is a long process.
Story credit: Reddit / IdleOsprey
My mom changed the locks and kicked me and my baby out at 8 pm five nights ago. Now I’m ruining Christmas for the entire family by not showing up. We are out. I’m free and no-contact for now. Her plan backfired, and now the texting of emotional novels has started.
I’m contemplating changing my phone number. I’m holding my baby in a warm apartment, with full bellies and friends, and we have our own room and bathroom.
This is what I’ve been saving for. Wish me luck as I finish my education and move forward with life. I’m working towards my Bachelor of Nursing now, with a goal of finishing with my master’s and being a nurse practitioner. I’m being guilt-tripped, but have to stay strong, for myself and my child. These classes are not easy, but failing would just be what she wants.
Story credit: Reddit / thirdcoastgrill
Too Much For Me to Handle
When I was 19, my dad married someone six months younger than me after meeting her in the psych ward of a hospital. At the time, my father was 39, and he was recovering from an addiction. My father has always dated women much younger than himself, but I was conditioned to it. At the very least, he had never dated younger than me.
I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but when he brought her to my cousin’s wedding, chaos ensued. No one had met her until that point, and it was just really messy. My dad and I were really close, but I was edging away from him because his addiction was too much for me to handle. When he married this girl while I was on vacation, it just kind of sealed the deal.
We had always talked about me being his “best man” if he ever got married and it just showed me that I would never matter more than his pleasure and his women. They are now separated, but I still don’t talk to my dad.
Story credit: Reddit / radigail
New Communication Tools
Yesterday my therapy session was largely dominated by discussion of the way my mother controls me by using my children. She’s my only babysitter, so I dropped my daughter off so I could go to therapy. Immediately, my mom demanded that I enroll my daughter in a private expensive preschool (“TODAY!”). I just told her to stop being so pushy and left.
Before I got to my appointment, she had texted me “I’m a pushy mom, I care about what’s going on…” I explained this to my therapist and he gave me two responses to use when presented with the bait. “I’m sorry you feel that way” and “What do you want me to do with that?”
I was unable to contain my visible excitement. I knew she would hate that. I had already responded “omg” to her text before, but I have those tools in the back of my head for next time.
And he suggested I stop using her for babysitting so she doesn’t have that string to pull. I went home and arranged babysitters and rearranged my schedule so now I don’t have to ask her for babysitting. She can if she wants, but she can’t hold it over my head anymore. Also there’s the gem “I’ll let you know what I decide” as a way of de-escalation if she’s making demands.
Story credit: Reddit / has-8-nickels
Kids Will Be Kids
The whole reason I was a huge tomboy who was allergic to all things girly was because of my mother. My mom forced gender expectations on me, and because I had a bunch of brothers I immediately thought that I just didn’t want to be a girl if being a girl was less fun than my brothers got to have.
They got game systems as presents the same year I got a fake vacuum and baby doll. It was no wonder I didn’t want to be a girl.
My mom pushed me more and more into being a girl. The harder she pushed the more I wanted to be a tomboy. She doesn’t like the fact that now I wear dresses and makeup because she feels like I should have done those things when we could have had mother-daughter moments. But I would have done that stuff had she just allowed me to be myself.
I remember, once, she told me that I was finally getting a corgi puppy. You see, I had been wanting a Corgi for years and I had collected Corgi books, Corgi stuffed animals, all kinds of Corgi things, so it was obvious I wanted one like most girls want a pony. So we get in the car and I’m so excited. We get to a large building and we go inside…and my mom reveals actually it’s a glamour shoot.
She knew I wouldn’t have agreed to go with her if she told me the truth. They put me in a tube top and a pound of makeup and took all of these really adult pictures of me (I was 14) and of course, I was mad and I hated it. To make matters worse, she brought other family members there for “moral support” which I just found embarrassing.
That same month, we got a new dog, but it was what my little brother had been asking for, a Boston Terrier. You know. To rub it in I guess, she gets my brother a dog. She seriously doesn’t understand why I am still mad about it. Please let your kids be themselves. I always liked pink. I just lied about it because I also wanted to play Pokémon, which was “for boys.” Everything fun was for boys!!!
Story credit: Reddit / LawrenceCatNeedsHelp
I'm Living My Best Life
When I was 18 or 19 and lived at home, my parents were afraid that when I was walking around late at night and locked my door, that I was wearing dresses. For the record, I did wear dresses occasionally, but mostly it was because I was gaming and I didn’t want my parents to come in and scold me for not going to bed. One time, my parents made a huge scene out of it.
It was around 11 pm and I had to assure them that “I am comfortable with my gender and my masculinity.” This is where my dad said that seeing me in a dress “would be his biggest nightmare.” Now, fast forward a year or so. Today, I live on my own and currently have gone no-contact with my parents. I just bought my wig and pads and I have looked at a dress that fits perfectly for my drag, which I’ll probably buy soon.
I now have a full on drag persona, “Bordelmutter,” and she has this medieval look and a thick German accent. I am going to be performing in drag at my university, where we have this theater thing. Basically, I am living my best life and things are actually turning out okay.
Story credit: Reddit
What Answer Would Be Acceptable?
I used to babysit a lot throughout high school and let me tell you, most kids love to talk and they love wild, weird speculation. They’re creative as heck and have strong opinions they’re not afraid to broadcast far and wide.
Ask a kid why the sky is blue and they probably won’t be able to give you a scientific breakdown on light refraction, but they can come up with some creative explanation or at least shoot their best guess.
And sure, kids can genuinely say “I don’t know” and mean it. And that’s fine! Frankly, I wish some more adults could own up to gaps in their knowledge without shame.
But “I don’t know” was my go-to response to questions when I was young, not because I didn’t have a single idea or opinion or wild guess. It’s because I learned early on that my ideas and opinions and wild guesses would usually be met with unpredictable, extreme, or scary reactions.
Saying “I don’t know” could at least save me some time to figure out what they wanted to hear. Because let’s be honest, what answer to “Why did you play in the mud?” would have been acceptable? “Well you see, I’m five. Still new to this planet. Still categorizing interesting substances and textures and it turns out mud is slippery and fun.”
“I saw a kid make mudpies on TV and one thing led to another…” “My mushy child brain is running in tutorial mode and I’m literally not equipped with the tools for rational decision making.” “A goblin told me to.” Let’s be real. Since my parents were narcissists and everything was about them, what they were really asking me was, “Why did you do something I consider unpleasant to spite me?”
And even as a kid, I could pick up on that. It wasn’t about the action, it was about how they felt about it and what was I going to do to fix that for them. In reality, kids don’t really do things specifically to spite their caregivers.
Thinking that is insane. We wouldn’t make it as a species if our offspring openly and intentionally had it out for us. I could honestly answer “I don’t know…” because I never set out to annoy them as an end in itself.
But they were right, it turns out. All those times they’d scream or sigh, “I don’t know isn’t an answer!” with disappointment and frustration, they were right. It’s not an answer. You can’t answer a question that isn’t a genuine inquiry. You can’t respond to an accusation, a judgment, the unchecked rage that disguises itself as a question. Not in a way that’s real anyway.
Even now as an adult I still struggle to answer even the simplest question with ease and honesty. I catch myself telling small lies for no reason, and that’s a darn hard habit to break. The lines connecting my thoughts and feelings to what I’m able to communicate are frayed and damaged. All worth it, I guess, so they wouldn’t have to feel things they didn’t like.
So now, let me pose my own question. Do I miss my parents? Absolutely not. And that’s one of the few things I can answer with honesty.
Story credit: Reddit / audyaudvi
She is Healing Me
My daughter is almost four, and I was making something for her for school (a bag) and I said something along the lines of, “Oh no, I think I screwed up. The bag doesn’t look as nice as I wanted” to my husband. My daughter was there too. She looked at me and looked at the bag and said, “It’s okay to screw up sometimes, mom. The bag doesn’t have to be perfect, it looks very good.”
I was so stunned. I was the golden child and perfection was expected of me all the time. I would have been certainly punished for messing up. I thanked her but I cried in my bath afterward. I know she is just saying something I told her in the past, but gosh I feel my kid is healing me sometimes.
Story credit: Reddit / MovedfarawayfromNs
Keep the Peace
We were in the car on the freeway with my mother-in-law driving. We had just finished shopping at the mall and were on the way to Costco before heading home. There was a lot of traffic on the freeway and going into Costco, so my husband told his mom, “Let’s just go another time, mom. We can just go get boba before we go home.” I literally looked at him IN SHOCK.
My heart started racing. His mom said, “Ok, hon,” and we went to the boba spot. She said it nonchalantly, not angrily, not begrudgingly. Just an “Ok that’s no problem” tone. It made me reflect on whatever suggestion I would give my mom. Had it been her in that situation instead of my mother-in-law, my mom would have said, “WHAT?! We’re here already! Don’t be stupid!”
Or something of the like. Every suggestion I had ever given to her when I was a child was met with a dramatic response or critique. It didn’t take long for me to never suggest anything. I had to just go with the flow and do whatever she wanted to keep the peace. Screw that noise. I’m still working on expressing what I want to my husband, my family-in-law, and friends without always letting them pick.
And naturally, I’ve adopted her habit of being inflexible about plans. I am also working on that and have been better the more I realize how I react when plans have to change. I’ve been no-contact with her now for almost five months. It’s the longest I’ve ever been no-contact, and oh my goodness my eyes have opened to the evil woman who raised me.
Story credit: Reddit / lovenote123
What About Me?
A few days ago, it was my little sister’s 15th birthday, and her best friend wrote her a list of “15 Reasons Why You’re An Amazing Friend.” My sister then went to tell our mom. She replied with: “Were any of those 15 things about me?
Like how awesome of a mom you have? Or how great your mom cooks?” I was dumbstruck. That has to be the rudest thing to say to your daughter who just turned 15 and is telling you about a birthday present she received from her best friend.
To go and make it about yourself…Just downright appalling.
Story credit: Reddit / Aquarithyst
Her Story Always Changes
Once upon a time, I didn’t even know what gaslighting was. It was something so ingrained in our family dynamic that I didn’t realize how awful it was. My mom is the worst for it. I never had a name for it, but I just knew there was no point in ever challenging her about anything because her story always changes. Well, this weekend I was the one to gaslight.
I’m ashamed to admit that this is not my first time, but I’m actively working to change. My partner very kindly did lots of housework, as this is a contentious issue for us at times. When I saw he had done so much, I didn’t know if saying thank you and making a big deal would cause tension, so I left it with the aim to say thank you later.
As I was making lunch, he made a lighthearted comment about how I didn’t thank him for doing the housework. Instead of apologizing and saying it in the moment, I replied “I did, don’t you remember?” As soon as the words left my mouth my heart sunk. Yuck, what was I doing? So I quickly caught myself and tried to make amends.
“Oh shoot, I didn’t actually say it, did I? I just thought it. Doesn’t really count when you do that, sorry.” I then proceeded to tell him how thankful I was. I hate that this is an automatic response for me to lie like this, but hopefully, if I keep challenging myself I can eradicate it from my reflexes entirely. Each day is a new day to get better.
Story credit: Reddit / DrRobotniksMachine
An Appropriate Reaction
As a child I dropped a bowl of ice cream. The bowl shattered and I stained the rug. I started sobbing, because I expected to be yelled at, or even hit, because I’d broken a bowl from a set, and had stained the carpet. Instead, something completely different happened. My step-mom told me to stop crying and said she’d serve me more ice cream. I was confused.
I broke a bowl, that’s a bad thing, why am I still getting my treat? She told me she knew I didn’t mean it, and the bowl was less important than my own safety. That was the first time any woman my father had dated (including my own mother) had ever treated me kindly. It was the first time I realized not all women are like that, and I wasn’t necessarily destined to grow up to be a woman like my mother.
Story credit: Reddit / prockibo
My dad will never let anyone use his car. He’ll go to the grave that way. His excuse is “You’re not on the insurance.” No problem, he owns it, it’s his decision. Yesterday, he had to take his car for repairs and was left without a car. They shuttled him home, but he wanted to go to Wal-Mart. He comes and asks me if I could take him. I was very busy working from home, and said no, he’d have to wait.
He then asked to just “Borrow my car” and proceeded to grab my keys before I even answered. I said no, and he got enraged. I told him he’s not allowed to drive my car because he isn’t on the insurance, and he flipped out. Started saying he just needed to grab a couple of things and would be right back. I said no again and told him to hang my keys up.
Then he said, “I’m taking it anyway.” So, I told him I was dialing the sheriff to report my vehicle, and I swear his head was about to fly right off his neck. He put my keys back and waited for three hours for his car to be finished and they shuttled him back to his car. Then he didn’t even go to Wal-Mart after all. My grin has still made my ears sore.
Story credit: Reddit / evanjw90
I Never Looked Back
My daughters are 17 (almost 18) and 18 (almost 19). My oldest just got a job and my youngest, who is a senior, is currently job hunting. We also have two other people in the house currently job hunting. Last night we were talking and my youngest said if everyone found a job, we should move to a bigger place. My oldest agreed. I was shocked and asked them if they want to keep living with me?
They both said yes like it was a no brainer. See, I moved out of my mom’s house the night before my 18th birthday and never looked back. I couldn’t wait to be away from her. I was so touched that they don’t see me the way I saw her. I feel like I accomplished something.
Story credit: Reddit / green_mms22
I'm So Proud of You
My wife is a heck of a strong lady. She doesn’t break down. We were having a date night at our favorite pizza place and we were talking about how things had been going. She’s been making a ton of progress since we got together years ago, and I only said one thing and it put her in tears: “I’m so proud of you.”
It wasn’t until later that I thought about it and realized that probably not many people had said that to her before, if any.
She’s doing so well, and I am so very proud of her.
Story credit: Reddit / tempthethrowaway
I Never Forgot This
My adult son had a situation come up at work today. He was driving home and called me because he wanted to vent about it. It was a situation similar to something that came up at his prior job and he swore he’d never put up with that again. And he didn’t. He wanted to talk to me about it, so I listened. Then he said he was pulling up at his house and so he had to go.
He wanted to leave that part of the day behind and not take it inside to his wife and kids. It feels good being a sounding board. It feels good being a safe place to turn to when bad stuff happens. I didn’t have that myself, but I can BE that for him. I am 51 and have gone no contact for over 30 years. Let me tell you something—you never fully get over the stuff truly bad parents do to you.
Sometimes when I see my son and daughter-in-law with their children, how gentle and loving they are and how awesome they are as parents, I pine still for what those kids have. I’m not jealous of my grandkids per se, it’s not that. It’s that you see what you didn’t have, and you never, ever stop wanting it. But there are compensations. There are friends who come along and fill in those gaps.
You find mentors and parent surrogates. And not everyone gets good parents in life, but everyone can BE that to other people. When I was in second grade and getting my school picture taken, the photographer reached in, gently turned my chin, and said to me, “Look this way for me, princess.” Do you know, that was the first time I’d ever been called a pet name?
I never forgot this. His kindness touched me to the core, I’d experienced so little of it. So when you go about your day today, please be kind to other people, especially children. Almost 45 years later, I still remember that man’s kindness and his face.
Story credit: Reddit / speecyspicymeatball
Like The Sister I Never Had
My dad is married to a woman who is 10 years younger than me. She ended up being like the annoying little sister I never had. I stayed with them for a few years while I was trying to go back to school, and she would go through my stuff and take my things without asking. When I saw her wearing my shirt, I asked her about it. Her response made me livid.
She said she found it in the laundry room and she simply assumed I didn’t want it anymore. She would also take the things I just bought, simply because she liked them. Oh, and by the way—she doesn’t work either!!
Story credit: Reddit / serialspooner
The Opposite of Your Mother
I just got a call that my grandfather passed about an hour ago. I managed to say goodbye to him on Sunday. He was the father of my mother, who I cut contact with eight months ago. He had been sick for some time, so we knew this day was going to come.
On Sunday, all his children and grandchildren—including my mom—were there. Someone asked my grandfather, “Is there anything else you want? Anything else we can get you?”
He said “No, having all of you here is all I could wish for.” He paused for a second. Then he continued with the single most heartbreaking sentence I’ve ever heard. He looks at me and says, “Well all of you except for one; I would have wanted to save her from this.” He continued, “All the horrible things you’ve had to go through, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.”
He then said, “You’ve had to suffer through so much, and to end up this successful, I’m so proud of you. I always hoped and prayed you’d end up where you are. And look at you. Despite your mother, you got a house, a job, a car, and a loving husband. I’m so proud of you.” He started crying and said, “You are the opposite of your mother.” I’m crying right now.
I’m going to miss him so much. But those words, coming from my mom’s father and knowing he validates my pain, are so wonderful. He’s like the proud dad I haven’t had for years. I feel like those things he said to me will give me the strength to stand my ground against my mom. I’m afraid about the funeral since she might be there, but I promised my grandfather I’d be there so I will…for him.
Story credit: Reddit / Naydraa
Incredible Age Gap
Six months ago, my 71-year-old dad left my mom for another woman. Their age gap is unbelievable—she’s 25 years old, whereas I’m 33 and my sister is 28. She’s currently six months pregnant, but they’re not married because my parents’ divorce hasn’t gone through yet. Once that happens, I’ll have a stepmom who is eight years younger than me, plus a newborn half-sister.
This will be my dad’s third marriage. The first one ended because he slept with his brother’s wife.
Story credit: Reddit / LooseyL
His Word Against Mine
My dad is the type of guy who is always right when talking to his children. I can’t say anything against him because it will be his word against mine, and his word will always win. Doesn’t matter the topic or the research. I can find 12 government articles about something and he’ll say I’m stupid for believing in the internet. He’s also the type of guy who, when he ends up being wrong, will never take the blame.
I’m watering the plants when suddenly the hose stopped working? I’m a piece of garbage who broke it on purpose. He tried to fix something with his laptop and ended up breaking it?
Oh, it was an accident, the laptop broke itself anyways, my fault for recommending it four years ago. So anyway, one day I went to a new eye doctor with my dad because there was a possible problem with my eyes (false alarm by the way, I’m fine).
Note, the doctor is Chinese and so is my dad. So I started to ask a few questions. My first one was something like this: “Does reading in the dark worsen your eyesight? Because my dad says it does, but from what I found on the internet, he’s wrong.”
My dad cuts me off. In the middle of elaborating on my first question, he says in Mandarin (he speaks Mandarin but understands English fully), “Ha ha, teens are a handful. Just tell him he’s wrong so he can stop being bothersome about this.”
The eye doctor wants none of this. He slam dunked on my dad. He says in fluent Mandarin, “Actually, your son is right. While it can strain your eyes, it doesn’t cause nearsightedness. Sometimes your children can be right you know, you need to listen to them.” Then my dad says, “Well, the way he said it was disrespectful towards me, he wasn’t being filial.”
Then the eye doctor STRAIGHT UP SAID TO ME (in fluent English) “You know, I think filial piety is kind of a joke. Anyways, back to your questions…” Shut my dad down, then went back to me. Then as my dad tries to cut him off later to demean me, the eye doctor says, “let me speak please” or “wait until I finish my sentence.”
He then says to me in an annoyed tone, “parents think they know everything.” After we were done, my dad went to apologize for my behavior, to which the eye doctor replies “You know, he wasn’t being disrespectful. That’s the problem with Chinese parents, you need to loosen up and stop trying to control your children’s lives.” My dad had no words after this.
Didn’t even want to talk about it. I kept mentioning the Mandarin-English stuff in this story because here we have someone Chinese-American, who’s older than my dad, basically shutting down his narcissistic values and getting visibly annoyed. I couldn’t believe this happened afterward. Except it did happen. Highlight of my life.
Story credit: Reddit / Critical_Definition
The Daughter She Never Had
I just reconnected with my aunt, who was the only family member to call my mom’s mistreatment of me out. My mom cut her off after she got CPS involved when I was only 11 years old, and we haven’t spoken in over 11 years now. My aunt offered to take me in, get me a car, and help me with college so my mom can’t use money to control me.
She even said I could rent out her other house in Austin, my dream city to live in. She invited me for Thanksgiving too. I haven’t felt this much love and care in so long. I’m so shocked, in an amazing way. She kept telling me I was the daughter she never had, and I just feel so good about life right now and having a family finally. No wonder my mom trash talked her my whole life.
I said to her, “in just one phone call with you I have heard more I love yous than I have heard in my entire 22 years of life.”
Story credit: Reddit / indigoojade
A Little Too Easy Going
So I was always told I’m easygoing and mature for my age. It drove my now ex-boyfriend crazy that I was never picky about literally anything. During a fight about my non-pickiness, he called my parents narcissists. I didn’t know what it meant, so I looked it up and was like “yeah I can kind of see how he would think that but my parents just raised me to be less of a bother.”
Fast forward to now being newly married. My husband is so loving and amazing to me. He was making breakfast and the following conversation happened. Sam: “How do you like your eggs?” Me: “However you are making them is fine!” Sam: “No, how do you like your eggs?” Me: “I don’t understand.” Sam: “If you were making the eggs, how would you cook them?”
Me: “I’d ask you how you want them then make them that way….” At this point, he comes into the living room and holds my hands Sam: “If you were home alone making eggs for yourself, how would you cook them?” Me: ” Oh, sunny side up. But don’t dirty a pan for me, just make them however you want.” Sam: “This is not ok.” After some soul searching and more research on narcissism, everything makes sense.
Story credit: Reddit / irish_lass19
It Was Almost Worth It
I attend college in Arizona, while my horrible mother and enabling stepdad live in Maine. I’ve gone very low contact with them over the three years I’ve been in school. In the summers, I’ve managed to get a job or internship to keep me out here. Four months ago, my mom sent me an email telling me I was coming to Thanksgiving. She wanted the family together and had a photographer coming to take photos.
This was so we could fake being a happy family for a few hours. I told her I would not be coming because of my job on campus. Her response was deranged.
She then called the school, who told her that a) I’m over 18 and therefore they can’t tell her anything, and b) when she threatened to pull me out, the awesome lady at the register told her, “Good luck, he’s on a full scholarship and pays for everything himself.”
When she realized she couldn’t lie to the school she had my stepdad call me to beg me to come. This guy stood by since I was 12 and watched my mom degrade me and lie about me, and did nothing. Screw him. I ignore his calls. She then called my biological dad, who laughed at her and hung up. We have our issues but he’s genuinely a good guy who has dealt with mental health issues his entire life.
So thanksgiving, I woke up (school was closed that day so I didn’t actually have to work), went to the gym, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at my favorite cafe. I came home and was getting ready to throw laundry in the washer and make myself chicken and noodles in my crockpot. Then disaster struck. Campus officers pretty much busted down my entire door. So yeah, guess what happened?
My mother called them up and claimed I had told my sister (who I don’t even talk to because she is easily swayed by my mom) that I was going to attack the school.
Yeah, so that meant a trip to the campus authorities, them searching my room and car and finding nothing, my RA and two floormates defending me, and finally me showing them emails of my mom threatening me that I’d be sorry for not coming to thanksgiving.
After that, they apologized. I was allowed to go back to my dorm, and the RA and I managed to put the door back on. Oh, but there was a cherry on top. Soon after, my grandma called to inform me my mother had been detained because she had filed a false report. It almost made that horrible experience worth it, just for her to get a little piece of what she deserved. I hope more karma is coming for her.
Story credit: Reddit / samiamgreeneggsinham
Think About Me For a Change
I was home from college, and while in my parents’ house I walked up the stairs in a way that my father didn’t approve of. So my dad is yelling at me about I-can’t-remember-what, saying I’m too loud, too quiet, too quick, too slow, not using the railing correctly, something.
And I ask, very sarcastic: “So every time I walk up the stairs, I need to stop first and think about how you want me to do it?” His reaction astounded me.
He gets this beautiful look on his face, this smile like he’s seen Jesus, and he says: “Finally you are beginning to understand. Yes! Before you do anything, before you walk or talk or even take a breath, you should think about how to do it in a way that I would want you to! And when you have learned to do that, then you will have finally begun to love me.”
He continued: “Then, and only then, can you begin to really love me the way a parent should be loved by their child.” I swear that this is nearly word-for-word what the man said, right to my face. And this is why, after I graduated, I did not move back home. I packed up and moved 1,000 miles away, and I never regretted it for a second.
Story credit: Reddit / Bellamy1715
Not Worth The Price
My boyfriend wears hiking boots all day, he just loves them. I just wear cheap sneakers and such. For as long as we have been together, he has been working on getting me to buy hiking boots for myself. His reasons are valid in that they are objectively better than the cheap and unsupportive shoes I always wear, but I could never justify the cost.
I could not spend that amount of money on myself. I could not convince myself I was worth $200 hiking boots. But now, after almost two years, he had finally convinced me to let him buy me the boots as a birthday gift. Another reason that helped wear me down was that I really needed to walk more. For the exercise and so I would leave the house and relax.
Walking was horrible for me. I actually enjoy being outside but walking was so much effort, within minutes my legs, feet, and back would start hurting and I would be tired. This, I thought, was because I’m overweight and out of shape. I really needed to walk more so I could get to a point where I could walk more than a mile without pain. So we went to a specialty store to get boots.
I was a bit embarrassed because I have flat feet. I was always told this was just a cosmetic issue, and my mom used to make fun of me for it. I got fitted for good hiking boots and special insoles for my flat feet. When we got back, my boyfriend and I went on a walk. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I could walk. I could actually walk without pain, hardly tiring at all.
I noticed that the boots completely changed the way I actually walk. Turns out my flat feet are not just a cosmetic issue. I lack the stability in my feet to walk normally, and I need to compensate for the lack of stability with muscle tension. Now that I had supportive boots that gave my feet the needed stability, I could walk. It wasn’t me being out of shape, and it wasn’t me being overweight.
It was a medical issue. I wasn’t being whiny about walking, I just wasn’t supposed to be in pain. But now I’m even angrier at my parents. My extra mobility was noticed as soon as I was born. My feet have always been obviously flat. My parents know how important good shoes are because they invest in them for themselves. But not for their children.
My mom has high-end hiking boots, she also has flat feet but not to my extent. THEY KNEW HOW MUCH OF AN ISSUE IT CAN BE. But I was told my feet are just ugly, that I need to stop whining and just walk, and that $40 was too much for shoes for me.
Story credit: Reddit / secretguineapig
Out For Vengeance
We made our wedding a costume party, so everyone was dressed more wildly than my mother-in-law was, and she wasn’t able to take, like, any attention!!! She just looked like another person in a crazy costume and didn’t stand out at all. It WORKED!
But that only made her go out for revenge. She also tried to crash our first look. However, our wedding party was primed on this woman, so they were on it and stalled her long enough for us to get it done.
She still made fun of my fiancé while we were taking our wedding party photos and tried to pop one of her favorite humiliation stories about him, but everyone just ignored her. She did stage a situation where she purposefully missed the bus to the venue and was left behind and had to be driven over. She talked about how horrible the people on the bus (and fiancé and I by association) all were to leave her behind.
We also had a friend read a 20-minute (funny) story over dinner so that there was no room, nor time, for toasts, because she is particularly fond of telling stories about how awful and unlovable a child my fiancé was, and also tormenting him with this song she made him sing before every single dinner of his entire life. People were done eating by the time the story ended and had begun to get up and dance.
If looks could hurt, hers would have started a nuclear meltdown. We set our first dance to come on by surprise and the DJ privately told us what song it would come after, so we literally ran to the dance floor and did it last minute so that she didn’t have time to mess things up. Of course, she did not help clean up at the end of the wedding. It was my family and the wedding party who cleaned.
But we survived, especially with the help of our very attentive wedding party, who fielded her and did what they could to buffer us. Oh, and she never found out our hotel room number, either!! We did it!!
Story credit: Reddit / chibi-usa
It's All In Your Head
We were having a discussion and my mother was ticking me off. I was feeling courageous, so I said, “Mom have you ever heard of gaslighting?” Her reply was so perfect, I almost burst out laughing. She says immediately to me: “I’ve never gaslighted you, it’s all in your head.” The irony. Somebody. The irony.
Story credit: Reddit / Stovential
Stop Being Dramatic
Basically, my mom has always been the type of person who, for some reason, can be the only one in pain, the only one with a hard life, only she can be in tough spot, etc. One day, I woke up with a terrible pain in my lower stomach.
I thought it was period cramps so I just laid there until she yelled at me to get out of bed. I did but I had difficulty walking, which was very weird because, usually, I’m extremely strong for pain. She looks at me all disgusted and asks “What are you being dramatic for?” And I said, “I have a weird pain here.”
She went on a rant about how it’s probably gas, how I’m being dramatic, how everyone from my star sign is so dramatic and made me take this medicine for gas, then making me walk around the house while watching me. I kept telling her it wasn’t doing anything and that I was sure it wasn’t gas, but she just kept shaking her head.
An hour or so passed, and I decided to call my grandpa to tell him what’s happening. At that point, I was almost crying. I tell her I’m going to the hospital while she huffs and puffs, telling me I’ll be humiliated because it was going to be just gas, and how I was wasting everyone’s time but “If it’s so bad for you, go! Since you’re crying like a baby.” So we went, and my grandpa stayed there with me.
I did the exams and all of that. My grandpa had to leave because it was my cousin’s birthday (always her first, but that’s another story), and my mom came over to stay with me.
We eventually went to the last doctor before being discharged, and she looked at the exams and went “you have five kidney stones. The pain you were going through was renal colic, and it says here you didn’t take the drip medicine, so you were just…Going through that awful pain.”
My mom goes “Oh, no, she does that. I knew it had to be gas.” She goes “Ma’am, renal colic is one of the worst pains, and it has nothing to do with gas. You making her walk around the house probably worsened the situation if anything.” We were discharged and she didn’t look at me until the end of the day.
Story credit: Reddit / slimyguts
I moved out of my mother’s house as a child because I was taken away by CPS too many times. I have been with my amazing boyfriend for over a year and we are expecting a baby. I have been no contact with my mom for several years, but she found out we were expecting through my sister. She called me from a blocked number yesterday. The conversation made my blood boil.
She demanded I backpay her a “living fee” from the age of 0-11. Her reasoning is that “If you can afford to have a kid, you can afford to pay me back for all those years I took care of you when I didn’t want to.” I immediately hung up. She did try calling back, but I am not longer picking up “Blocked Caller ID” calls. This just goes to show that these people never really change, and can never be happy for you.
Story credit: Reddit / bookwithnowords
We Hardly Speak
My horrible mother wanted me to give her a lung; I said absolutely not. We hardly speak, but I’m still driving her to some health checkups. I drove with her car because she is in no condition to do so, but she always criticizes my driving.
Everything I do is nitpicked and prodded repeatedly. As I said, we barely speak now, but that won’t stop her from speaking about me indirectly like I’m not even present in a passive-aggressive way.
One statement keeps repeating in my head: “If this illness doesn’t kill me soon, it’ll be in a car wreck. Either way, both could (while coughing uncontrollably) have been prevented.” You see how insensitive and manipulative she is? She effortlessly degrades and tries to guilt-trip me all the time. Anyways, we get to the doctor’s office and after the usual workup, the hard truth comes out.
The doctor told her that even if I said yes to giving her my lung, there is no way they would be going through with the operation due to evidence of clear coercion of me on her part. She can’t help herself and would argue with me in front of hospital staff.
I guess the nurses overheard her threats toward me and informed the transplant team. That and me having a conversation with the doctors privately a couple of weeks ago.
So, what does my mom do next? She goes crazy and starts yelling belligerently at the doctor, making absurd accusations and threatening to sue. Everyone except her and my dad knows she has no credibility or basis for a case. She did this to herself. It’s all on her and I refuse to feel guilty for caring about my health and future.
Story credit: Reddit / MoreCheeseIWant
It Just Clicked
I just realized WHY I was so overweight as a kid. The answer absolutely blew my mind. So I’ve been recently spending time with my parents again after a while apart. I’m currently sitting beside my mom, who is sniffling as if she is crying, but it’s all for attention. She asked me if I wanted a cookie. I replied, “No thank you.” She said “just one.” I politely said I was full and couldn’t eat one.
She then put two on my lap. I left them alone. Didn’t move them. That set her off: Why do I always refuse her kindness? Why am I ungrateful? It just clicked that she did this to me all the time as a child. I was so scared of these kinds of reactions that I would eat everything she gave me. My mom made me an overweight child. On purpose.
Story credit: Reddit / HowOriginal99
You Deserved Better
Most of my siblings and I always had a rocky relationship with our parents. Rocky is an understatement. We were emotionally and physically mistreated up until the point where we could fight back. When that happened, our parents eventually resorted to only emotional tactics, this time more severe just so they could make up for the lack.
We were all raised as homeschooled Christian kids, so we were pretty sheltered. The values that were taught in our household were: Jesus hates loose girls who do things like show their shoulders. Periods were a shameful thing, not to mention any form of intimacy. We learned how babies were made at 14, six years too late. TVs, cars, cats, beverages, etc. were not of God.
Phones of the lowest quality were required as soon as we turned 16 so they could call us to check where we were in the house. God forbid you’re Muslim, Orthodox Christian, or French (they really hated the French for some reason) and came anywhere near our house. We weren’t allowed to go anywhere without them, and while I was “tame,” my younger sister grew rebellious as time went on.
Once, she decided to sneak out and drink with the neighborhood kids, who we saw only once (the don’t-go-anywhere-without-us rule included the backyard) in our lives. It was the week before her 18th birthday (we didn’t celebrate that anyway, just knew the date). She took her phone with her, and then pretty much got stranded out where they all were.
Since our parents promised to force her to sleep outside with the stray dogs if she went anywhere without them, she was too afraid to call anyone for help. Besides, our house was really far away. I can’t bear to think of the next events. She got in the car of a very tipsy guy from the neighborhood, who proceeded to get the car flipped over in a ditch. It went up in flames.
Four people, including her, perished. Only the driver survived but was scarred for life. My parents continued to mock her even after she passed. They had the nerve to blame her, and they had the nerve to tell everyone in the family that she basically got what she deserved, which our much younger siblings believed instantly. It was their fault.
If only they were normal people, she’d be able to call them and tell them she was scared somewhere in an alleyway. I moved out of that place two months later, and spent the next seven blaming myself for my sister’s passing. It still surprises me to this day how a parent can blame their child for DYING. Rest in peace, Martha, you deserved a better life. I’ll always love you.
Story credit: Reddit / thr00waeyaway
Make a Game Out of It
My siblings have made a game out of our family’s narcissism. When someone goes into an “I” rant, we all whisper “aye aye captain” to each other. There are prizes, ha. This happens particularly when my mom and brother get together.
My brother literally calls himself the “country Steve Jobs,” and every time we see him it turns into a 3+ hour lecture on his finances, his savings, his properties, and his career advancements.
Complete with paycheck stubs, bank statements, and lots of self-ego stroking. It gets much worse when my mom is there because she hypes the heck out of herself when it comes to his successes. Like every other sentence is “that’s my son,” “you get it from me,” “I raised you right,” etc.
Which is hilarious because then he gets mad and more aggressive with his own “I’m amazing” statements,” which, in turn, sets her off and it turns into an “I’m amazing” off.
What’s sad is he doesn’t actually make a ton, just more than average. And my mom has always worked minimum wage, so I’ve got no idea where this ego is coming from. So to make it fun, the normal siblings have made a game out of it. Anytime someone makes an outrageously egotistical statement starting with “I” we whisper “aye aye captain.”
The object is to not be caught, and if you get caught you have mimic the person’s outrageous statement back to them with a totally straight face or you lose.
So, if my brother says “I’m gonna lift this entire family up, I’m the only one smart enough to do it” and you get caught whispering to the others, you have to repeat back to him “I’m sorry it’s nothing, I’m just agreeing because I believe you’re the only one smart enough to lift this family up.”
If you crack a smile or laugh at that point, you’re out. We also have “hard mode” where you have to say “aye aye captain” and salute. So the last one standing usually gets a prize. At first, we played for nothing at all, then candy, but it’s now so predictable that anytime we have plans to visit my brother we all chip in to buy a prize. Last time I won a grey fuzzy blanket.
It’s literally my favorite thing my siblings have done together and my sister is amazing for thinking it up, so yeah. It really helps with an otherwise difficult parenting situation.
Story credit: Reddit / SpareActuary4978
He Was My Hero
The last time I sat in my dad’s lap, I was 18 years old. He was talking to me like I was five and had convinced me I had lied about damaging my brother’s car because I told my brother before I told him. He was doing a sickly baby voice about how I should be disappointed in myself. His friend, Bob, who was sitting nearby, chimed in. He said one short sentence that forever changed my life.
“It’s weird that you still force her to sit in your lap.” That moment ruined my father’s life. Suddenly the facade of perfect dad had crumbled, and one of his favorite offense tactics was forever marred as “weird.” He could no longer force me to sit in his lap without weird hanging over our heads. As a result, he never once asked me to sit on his lap again.
His friendship with Bob was irreparably damaged too, and I’ve never seen him again. I moved out a little over a year later. Bob, you were my hero. All it took was for another adult to SAY SOMETHING. To shame him for just a moment. To make him question his own “perfection.”
Story credit: Reddit / TheNamesNel
It's My Party
My therapist just asked me what my earliest memory of my mom is, so I started telling her about my 5th birthday party. My mom—who was single, 24, and with a three-year-old son also—was throwing me a party for my birthday.
It was going to be at my house with all my friends from kindergarten and my family. I was very excited and had been looking forward to it for a good long while. And then my mother ruined everything.
About two hours before the party started, my mom took me to my room and told me that if I couldn’t clean my room up in time for the party, she was going to cancel it. It was dirty, messy, and disorganized, like me.
Of course, as a five-year-old, I couldn’t clean what she had allowed to become a disaster area, especially with no support from my parent who had never shown me how to clean up after myself (because she also never cleans up after herself).
I was heartbroken about my party being canceled because even from the start I knew I couldn’t clean it in time. I don’t know why, but it took my therapist saying the words out loud to me: your mother would not have been able to cancel the party in two hours, especially over a room that she could have closed the door on. The truth was much darker.
She probably never even sent the invitations, made any plans, buy any supplies, etc. Instead, she allowed her five-year-old daughter to think that she didn’t deserve a party because she was dirty, messy, and disorganized. And unfortunately for me, I really believed her. What kind of person does that to their child? A narcissist. I hate that she disgusts me over and over again, but I still have to fight wanting her approval.
Story credit: Reddit / hoffaloski
I Know Something You Don't Know
My mom said, “Why are you hiding that book?” I told her it was something personal. She immediately pounced on me, attempting to snatch the book from me. I drew back, and she kept reaching for the book. My mom grabbed the book from me and ripped it.
Then I calmly walked out of my room—I knew something she didn’t know yet. My mom soon realized she had ripped my math book, the book she was planning to make me spend the entire day working on.
Story credit: Reddit / The_Powerful_Entity
I Might Not Even Pick Up
When I was a kid, my mom was a pretty awful parent to me and my siblings. Resentful, a bit of a tormentor, never hugged any of us, and mainly told us how we ruined her life. You get the picture. I moved out at 17 to keep my sanity. I’m 28 now and never had much of a relationship with her after moving out, as she never once admitted that she had done some really messed up things to us.
My sister is married and has two kids, my brother is divorced with three kids. I got a call that nearly ruined my life. It was the hospital, and they said that my mom managed to drink her liver out of order and needed a transplant. All of us siblings were found to be a match. My sister and brother, once they realized that cutting out a part of your liver isn’t risk-free, backed out. But that wasn’t the end.
I was told that I have something called situs inversus, meaning my organs are abnormally placed, and that it would make the risk of surgery even higher for me. 4% risk of fatality within two weeks of surgery, and a higher risk of other awful things happening. And of course, a 100% guarantee that my mother will drink that liver away anyway, too. What happened afterward chilled me to the bone.
At that point, EVERYONE—the doctor, my mom, my siblings, everyone—is telling me I should do it. Why? Because I don’t have kids, so who cares if the risk is high. My family never valued my lifestyle, as I decided not to do their life script. I bought a cabin in the wilderness in the north and work from home, so I rarely have to leave my lovely little hideaway.
I make enough money to live the life I always dreamed of, but apparently, that doesn’t count since I don’t want kids. And my mom, who never cared if I lived or not, suddenly thinks she deserves my liver because she gave birth to me. Screw them all. The doctor said to me “Well, it is an increased risk, but your mother needs a new liver and at least you don’t risk leaving children behind.” I was so stunned.
I can’t believe I even tried, that I agreed to be tested as a donor, as if she would have magically changed and I would want to risk my health for her. I’m leaving the city tonight, taking the night train north, and will hopefully be back in my cozy home tomorrow. When the doctor calls to hear my decision, I might not even pick up.
Story credit: Reddit / PlasticCaterpillar6
They Don't Even Know
I just earned my master’s degree with a 4.0 GPA. My family doesn’t even know. Instead, my coworkers celebrated with me, and it meant the world to me. I haven’t reached out to my mom about it because I know I will be disappointed in her lackluster reaction—not that I deserve a huge deal to be made or anything, but come on, she’s my mother.
I’m just really happy I was recognized and celebrated by my amazing colleagues today. It felt incredible. I cried. It really meant SO much to me to know they cared so much about my achievement. As it turns out, these folks are more like my family than my real family is.
Story credit: Reddit / letmebe03
I Still Feel Shame
This is kind of a pat on the back, and kind of just a vent to acknowledge one of the many ways my mom screwed me up. When I was around 10, my mom and I were stuck waiting at a train crossing in her car. I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror, and for whatever reason thought “Hey…I’m kind of pretty!” I feel shame even typing that sentence out today, thanks to my mom.
I had recently seen something on TV about celebrity lips and I was thinking about whether or not I had pretty lips. I then decided that my lips were kind of pretty. Again, shame. That’s when I made a huge mistake. I asked my mother if she thought my lips were pretty. She Hit. The. Roof. Stuck in that vehicle with her and with no escape, she scolded me and shamed me until I felt like a tiny ugly piece of garbage.
Something to the effect of “Were you just staring at yourself in the mirror!? Do you know what that is called? Vanity! Vain people stare at themself in the mirror. Vain people think that they are pretty. People who think they are pretty on the outside are UGLY and hideous on the inside.
"People who are pretty on the surface are ugly deep down, and if you’re ugly on the inside you might as well be ugly on the outside, too.”
This was the first time I remember her saying something like that to me, but nowhere near the lat. It really stuck with me. To this day I can’t compliment myself in any way without feeling ashamed, like I’m a bad person for even thinking something positive about myself.
Not my looks, my artwork, not anything. I also do not accept compliments well. I deny and downplay. I’m trying to work on that because it really pushes away my husband.
Fast forward 25 years. I’m sitting in my car in a drive-thru with my eight-year-old daughter. She’s looking at herself in the mirror. She turns to me and asks, “Mom, do you think my eyes are pretty? I think my eyes are pretty!” Her eyes are gorgeous! She has beautiful hazel eyes. But my reaction hit like a ton of bricks. The memories of my mom lecturing me came flooding back and I instantly teared up.
I asked my daughter to turn and look at me so I could see her eyes. I looked at her for a good little while and I replied to her, “Your eyes are beautiful! You are beautiful on the outside and you are absolutely gorgeous on the inside, too. I love you, beautiful girl!”
I assume my daughter will probably never think of that moment again, maybe it didn’t make much of an impression on her. But that moment with her really hit me and affected my heart and soul.
I felt like I was given a re-do of an awful moment in my life with my mom, and I chose to fix that moment for my daughter. I want her to know that she’s beautiful and to never feel ashamed to believe it or to hear it. I want her to smile and say “thank you” when someone pays her a compliment. I want to be able to do that, too.
Story credit: Reddit / SittyFemoidPigeon
Finally Feeling Validated
When I was three years old, I was in the washroom and decided to try on my mom’s necklace. In all fairness, it was a beautiful thing that she had worn to her wedding. But I dropped it in the toilet. Then, three-year-old, impulsive, later to be diagnosed ADHD me…flushed it. And obviously, it flushed, never to be seen again. I have always felt terrible about this. I have apologized for many, many years.
Age six, age nine, age 13—I’m sorry mom for flushing your necklace down the toilet. She would only give me petty, insulted responses back. So recently, at a dinner party with all of her neighborhood friends, my Mom decides to pipe up and tell the story of how awful little me destroyed her property.
One-upping everyone’s light-hearted tales, of course. Mom starts the story: “When she was three—” And then the most beautiful moment happened.
Here she gets cut off by Tom, a teacher and great guy: “She was three? Shouldn’t she have been supervised!?” Mom didn’t even get to tell her story! The entire party agreed with Tom instantly, “No way it’s the three-year-old’s fault!” My mother was stunned and didn’t say anything as the conversation moved on. I have never felt that amazed, and god, so relieved and validated about the whole thing.
Story credit: Reddit / Spontanemoose
They Have My Back
I had a gallbladder attack and it was very scary. My husband wasn’t sober at the time, so he couldn’t drive me to the ER. He called his mom at 1:30 am. She dropped everything and came to pick me up and take me there. She stayed with me all night and was my advocate. I cried so hard because my own parents wouldn’t do that for me and I’m just so happy to have a wonderful caring mother figure in my life.
Almost 10 years ago, while long-boarding to work, I fell and broke my elbow and ankle. I called my parents to take me to the ER, and they promptly dropped me off. But my dad didn’t even get out of the car because “parking costs too much,” and my mom refused to stay with me because she had to work the next morning. I was 20 and sobbing, begging her to stay with me because I was scared and in pain.
She kept saying no and just left me there, saying to call my dad when I was released and he’d pick me up. She texted me 20 minutes later, angry that I made her look like a bad mother and that all the people in the waiting room were giving her the stink eye cause I was crying so much and “carrying on.”
It was that night that made me realize I could never rely on my parents for anything other than some petty insults and guilt. They now live a province away and my mother-in-law lives 20 minutes away from me. I’m so glad to have married into a caring family that actually has my back when I need it.
Story credit: Reddit / arielrecon
I Haven't Spoken to Them Since
When I was around six, I started developing eczema, or atopic dermatitis, rashes around my hands and arms. Progressively, they’ve gotten worse, and now at 21 the rashes cover over 60% of my body, are constantly bleeding, and react painfully to movement or even water from showering. That’s where I’m at right now. I have a computer to type this on, but I’m in bed typing this with my thumbs on my phone.
It’s even on my palms and the tips of my fingers now. Growing up, I would ask my parents to take me to a doctor about it. Their reply to me was chilling. They were both full-time workers with successful careers and plenty of income, but they even rejected an allergy screening while they bought a third car (a convertible) between themselves, citing how expensive it would be to test me.
When I finally worked enough to get my own healthcare and took my screening…it was $20. By that point, however, I was already distancing myself from them.
I knew something was wrong with me, but they told me for years and years that I was being overdramatic, that these symptoms were in my head. When I was 19, still in college, they excommunicated me for questioning my gender identity and made me homeless.
I’m now 21 and still haven’t spoken with them since. Thankfully, I’ve been transitioning on my own with great success and have a place to stay, so no worries there. But recently I got the shock of my life. Two days ago, I responded to an ad for medical volunteers for atopic dermatitis research, and met with the doctors.
As it turns out, they’re researching an injection and a pill-based medication that would merely be a competitor to medication that has been successful and FDA-approved for years.
For years, there has been an answer to my sleepless nights and bloodied sheets. My inability to run or swim or exercise. My waking up to flaky, itchy skin all over my legs. At the worst, I would maybe have watery eyes, but I would have had clear skin as early as middle school.
The doctors criticized the weak medications my parents allowed me to take instead, and cited their severe side effects and long-term issues.
They were disgusted at my parents’ neglect. It was the validation I’ve needed for 15 years. I’ve been approved to begin participating as a volunteer for their medication, and am being paid and covered for all related treatments. I’ve lost my job months ago due to my condition worsening beyond being capable of…pretty much any job, so having essentially free healthcare is exhilarating.
If I’d never distanced myself from my family, I’d probably never have had this medication. Huge mental issues are high in my level of severity, or so the nurses told me, and I believe it.
Story credit: Reddit / Ashinonyx
Break the Cycle
I was in the other room and my child came to me and said, “Momma, I am so sorry but I broke your mug.” I asked her if she got hurt? No. Was there a mess to clean up? Yes, she had cleaned her drink up and the pieces were on the kitchen counter. She had ABSOLUTELY NO FEAR of telling me she broke one of my favorite things. And, the world didn’t crumble around her in my rage.
The mug is fixable/replaceable. Her STILL knowing that I am a safe place and value her feelings over objects is not. Thankfully that is still intact. I just want there to be some hope for all of us that we can break the cycle.
Story credit: Reddit / mrswiggsmagoo0922
Lack of Empathy
I just realized last year just how many of my mother’s “funny childhood stories” about me involve me crying. Like 90% of them. I don’t think she understands just how bad it makes her look, either. For reference, a “funny” story from someone’s childhood doesn’t normally include that person crying from actual pain, serious injury, distress, or betrayal of their trust.
It certainly shouldn’t include you laughing at them while they cry about those things instead of comforting them or getting them help. An actually funny story from my childhood: At around eight or nine, I had somehow come to the conclusion that “gluteus maximus” (a term my gym teacher often used instead of “butts”) was actually “bootius maximus,” and this is where the word “booty” came from.
This made such complete sense to me that it was somehow a major part of my worldview…Until one day in gym when I fell on my butt doing gymnastics. The teacher asked if I was alright. I said the dumbest thing ever. I said, “Yeah, I just fell on my bootius maximus.” She went, “What?” I replied, “My bootius maximus. You know, my butt?
My gym teacher, valiantly choking back laughter, probably to spare my feelings, said, “Um. It’s gluteus maximus. With a G.” I was indignant. “No, it’s not! It’s bootius maximus! As in booty!” “No, I promise you, it’s gluteus.” I felt like nothing in the world made sense anymore. Outraged, I howled, “BUT WHERE DOES THE WORD BOOTY COME FROM THEN?!”
This teacher, who was normally no-nonsense, started laughing uproariously. She had to call over another teacher to cover for her while she left for a few minutes to compose herself. She kept bursting into giggles every time she looked at me for the rest of the period. I think I probably made her semester. But my mother’s idea of a funny story from my childhood was much different.
When I was about 11 or 12, we had two large, wonderful dogs. Both were mutts. The female, about three years old at the time, was beautiful, with thick black fur, incredibly patient, and smart as a whip. She was honestly smarter than most people I’ve known. The male was about a year old, golden-red fur, also beautiful, very protective of me, and dumb as a bag of bricks.
He was a good boy, he just didn’t have a lot going on upstairs. So my mom would sometimes give the dogs ham bones after most of the meat was off it, but they could only have them outside. We lived in a place that gets very hot in the summer, so Female Dog would often try to sneak in with the bones (remember, thick black fur) to chew them in the air conditioning, where all the family was.
We were sitting in the living room watching a movie one day, and my brother let the dogs in. Female Dog settles down by me on the floor and slowly starts chewing the bone she snuck in, hoping no one will notice. It took a couple of minutes, but mom finally noticed. Instead of telling me to make the dog go back outside, my mom said, “Hey, go take that bone out of her mouth and throw it outside.”
Now, I was 11 or 12, and I had never, ever seen this dog be aggressive to people, and I was raised to be unquestioningly obedient and trusting of my mother. So I just said, “Ok!” and stuck my fingers into my dog’s mouth to pry the bone out from between her teeth.
Now, I want to reiterate that this was an awesome dog. She was sweet and patient and smart, and willing to put up with a lot of her human’s nonsense.
But every dog has their limit, and this was hers. She didn’t snap or even break the skin much. She got my thumb between the bone and her tooth, and bit down just enough to teach me a lesson and make sure I wouldn’t be doing anything that stupid again, and then released it. The skin was just barely broken. But I, being a kid, still screamed and started crying. My mother’s reaction shocked me.
She immediately started laughing. The male dog shoved his way between the other dog and me, alternating between glaring at her, trying to check me over to see where I was hurt, and looking confused at my mother.
All while my mother laughed so hard she nearly peed herself. My dad came in and asked what happened. I told him, still crying, that mom said to take the bone away from Female Dog, and I tried, and she bit my thumb.
He gave my mother a “what the heck?” look, and she immediately said, “It was a joke. I didn’t think you’d actually do it. Why did you do that?! That was incredibly stupid.” She started laughing again. “But you said—”
“You should know not to stick your fingers in dogs’ mouths when they have a bone or food!” Completely ignoring the way I would always get yelled at if I didn’t instantly jump to do anything she said, whether it made any sense to me or not.
My dad sighed and asked to see my thumb. It had already stopped the tiny amount of bleeding. He got it cleaned and put a band-aid on it, and told me that I shouldn’t put my fingers in a dog’s mouth to take a bone, no matter who tells me to.
For years, my mom loved to tell the story of how I was too dumb to know she was joking when she said to take a bone out of the dog’s mouth, and I got bit as a result, which is still so funny to her. Shows an incredible lack of empathy. Both for her daughter’s pain, and how her part in it makes her look.
Story credit: Reddit / bookobsessedgoth
Laugh It Off
So my partner was talking to me about that Netflix show Abducted in Plain Sight and I was like “Oh man! I have a funny story, I was almost kidnapped once!” My side of the story differs from my mom’s because she’s a narcissist.
She said the guy grabbed me from his car. Anyway, I launch into my story of how when I was about four, my mom brought a dude home and she disappeared into her bedroom, leaving me alone briefly with him in the living room.
Next thing I knew, he had picked me up and put his hand over my mouth and was headed for the door. Instinct took over, and I helpfully removed part of his hand he clearly wanted me to bite. He hollered, dropped me, and my mom came running back. He booked it out of there. My mom would never admit to putting me in danger. She did agree that I removed a chunk of his hand.
I got him right in the web of his thumb and forefinger. I was laughing at this, but my partner had gone very still and looked at me, aghast with horror, until I stopped laughing. “Isn’t it… Funny?” “No, it isn’t.” And then he hugged me tightly. In retrospect, it isn’t funny. Looking at it from the perspective of someone whose family dynamics were a whole lot different, it isn’t funny at all.
My mom always laughed it off, and it’s just one of those moments where I realize she was trying to downplay a critical parental failure moment.
Story credit: Reddit / RedeRules770
I'll Be Gone Someday!
My mom dropped by this morning. She’s always been horrible to me, but today she got more than she bargained for. My nine-year-old daughter told me out loud that she loved me, and though I encourage it, saying so is a no-no when my mom is around. To her, it must imply my daughter loves me MORE than her, and if my daughter doesn’t follow it up with a quick “I love you too, Grandharpy,” there’s heck to pay.
Well, today my daughter didn’t follow it up. So my mom takes matters into her own hands and goes into this monologue about how “I love you the most! And I am going to die some day! And when I’m gone, I’m going to follow you wherever you go with my arms around you the whole time!” After a pause, my daughter, totally blankly, replied, “You’re creepy.” That kid rocks my world!
Story credit: Reddit / Campaschristmas
Everything Was My Fault
I’m getting married next year and I really want to wear a rainbow wedding dress. However, all my google searches for rainbow dresses the last few days have seriously dug up some old trauma I thought I had worked through and I need to talk about. My mom had three babies. My older brother who passed at 32 weeks’ gestation and was born “sleeping”; me, the scapegoat; and my younger brother, the golden child.
For being the scapegoat, I had a weird relationship with my mom. From birth everything was my fault, standards for everything changed on a cruel whim, and I was always in the wrong. But I got the fun added twist of not just being unable to live up to the golden child, but also to a sainted stillborn one. I was constantly reminded as a kid that I was her “rainbow baby.”
This meant: How badly she wanted me to be her rainbow after her storm but also how, and I quote, “she didn’t want a new baby, she wanted the one that was gone,” so I could never live up to or replace her first child. We visited my brother’s grave every week and “talked” with him. Baked him a birthday cake. Bought him Christmas gifts. All normal enough ways to grieve a stillborn.
In no particular order, here’s where it starts to get awful: My great-grandmother gifted me a family heirloom upon my birth as the first baby of the generation. My mother has refused to give it to me, insisting it rightfully belongs to my deceased brother.
She has it locked in a trunk with his hospital stuff. She hates my great-grandmother to this day (the woman has been deceased for years now) because she dared to overlook my older brother.
My great-grandmother helped arrange his funeral but apparently, that’s not good enough. My mother dramatically left both my 8th grade and high school graduation ceremonies in tears because “she never got to experience this with my older brother.” Of course, she didn’t do this when the golden child graduated. She also pouted at all my recitals and sporting events for the same reason.
ALL OF THEM. MY ENTIRE LIFE. (But again, just mine). My best friend in high school happened to have the same birthday as my deceased brother. I dared to celebrate her birthday ONCE, which lead to weeks of screaming and cold-shouldering about how I never loved my brother (who was gone before I was born) and how I was an ungrateful, unloving monster.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Once, when I was about 13, my mom physically went for me, and while defending myself I broke the necklace that she wore in honor of my brother. She was distraught I broke her necklace. More upset that her stupid dumb necklace was broken than the fact she just beat her living child.
I remember screaming at her. Saying she never loved me. That she wished she could have her perfect angel baby and I could never live up to her imagination. That the reason she loved my younger brother more than me is that he was a better replacement. She didn’t say anything. She just sat there and looked at me. She had her necklace repaired and still wears it.
I still believe all of that. But my mom still loves to call me her rainbow. Loves to go to church and talk about how Jesus gave her a rainbow. And I hate it. I hate when I see people talk about their rainbow babies. Babies are human beings. They will grow up to be independent adults. Babies shouldn’t be born to fill the hole in your life, assuage your sadness, or replace a sibling.
Babies shouldn’t have to bear the expectations and weight of someone who can never make a mistake and never disappoint you. Babies aren’t blank slates, they grow up to be people. You can’t replace people. All I wanted was a rainbow wedding dress and now I think I’m going to have to go back to therapy before I even think about getting married.
Story credit: Reddit / clevercalamity
You Owe Me!
Last fall, my 18-month-old little girl fell and fractured her skull. I took her to the emergency room for a spongy spot on her head where she hit it, and ended up staying at the hospital with her literally all day while she got scans and tests.
It was not how I had planned or wanted to spend my Saturday, and I found myself saying out loud to her, “I sure hope you are grateful to me for spending all day in this hospital with you. You owe me big!”
I mainly said it jokingly, but I stopped in horror after I said it. I realized I sounded exactly like my mom, who all of my life lorded her care of my multiple medical conditions over my head, as if she was somehow entitled to compensation or a pat on the back or a trophy for providing the minimum requirements for a child with extra medical needs.
I was ashamed. Even though my daughter was a baby, even though she didn’t understand what I had said, I backtracked immediately. I said out loud to her, “No!! I am happy to be here with you in the hospital. I am HAPPY to give you whatever you need and make sure you are healthy and safe. I love being your mom, and you don’t owe me anything for doing my job.”
It felt good to know I am permanently breaking that cycle, and that the emotional blackmail and guilt trip buck stops with me. I want to do better for my own daughter.
Story credit: Reddit / chewbubbIegumkickas
It's Her Own Fault
My mom tried to “unintentionally” screw up my wedding and pouted when it didn’t go her way. First, she showed up in white and when she saw the “Oh NO” look on my face, she said, “Why are you so serious, it’s like I’m getting married too!” My bridesmaids also went completely silent. My dad walks in and he wasn’t really dressed formally, but I didn’t care.
I wanted him to walk me down the aisle. She began to reprimand him for how poorly he dressed so said he shouldn’t do it, still in front of my bridesmaids. She asks me for my phone while I’m getting my hair done and I tell her it’s not on me at the moment. But she needed to call my aunt, so she sends dad to look for auntie. My auntie is in the chapel sitting down with the guests, she doesn’t need to be found.
My dad finally walks me down the aisle. My husband’s parents are in the front, my dad is seated in the front…my mom, meanwhile, is in the back of the chapel. Picture time! She doesn’t want pictures. She takes one with me but leaves soon after. Wasn’t at the reception. We haven’t talked since. It’s weird she fears looking like a “bad mom” but she made herself look like a total jerk, and it’s her own fault.
Story credit: Reddit
Block Their Numbers
A few years ago I was finally able to move out of my parents’ house after getting a big break in a west coast tech job. This cued a series of jealous snubs and behaviors from my parents and sister. My parents have always seemingly been upper-middle class until the financial crisis. That’s when the horrible truth came out. My mom actually had 100k of credit card debt.
She had been lying to my dad about how much the house was paid off. My sister who went to college for teaching racked up $100k of student loan debt plus $30k for a new car, plus thousands more for a “finding herself” tour of Europe.
She is able to just barely afford all of the payments by living at home rent-free. This didn’t stop them the entire time from making endless comments about my financial decisions, like buying used cars or avoiding iPads every year.
They constantly belittled me for decisions like that and told close family members I was “poor” all the time, completely ignoring their own financial woes. For the most part, I kept my financial situation under wraps because I didn’t want them constantly asking me for money.
However, when I got a huge break with my new job and it was revealed that I was done with my student loans, it was apparent that the whole time I was much better off than them.
When I moved out, this caused a break in the typical family routine. I was no longer there as their punching bag and couldn’t be blamed for everything going wrong in the house. They came undone immediately. It caused my mom to start blaming my dad, my dad to blame my sister, and my sister to just be miserable because she couldn’t blame either parent as she was financially dependent on them.
This was exacerbated by the fact that my sister was struggling to pay off debt and sometimes ignored the payments and my parents had to step in. I am currently low-contact with my family for several other reasons. The only reason I stay in contact is because my grandmother is near the end of her life and I don’t want her to be stressed from an open family feud.
This year, I decided to check in with her, which necessitated a trip to see my parents and sister. By the way, my sister is dating this awesome guy who’s been coming around more often. Cue the lunch alone with my parents before my sister and her boyfriend came in. After 10 months of dating, my parents are already pushing for her to get married to the guy, and they were planning to move in.
I pushed back, asking if it was happening too fast. They went ballistic. They just kept saying “no” with those crazy eyes they always get during arguments. I decided to keep pushing because, well, screw em, and they keep bringing up how they seem so perfect for one another and talking about how amazing they seem. Then I realized something crucial.
All of her student loans and car loans are co-signed by my parents, who can’t help afford them either. They want to be financially rid of her but they can’t kick her out without destroying their credit. They’re literally trying to marry her off to this guy (who has a decent job and a nice credit score but nothing else financially) so he can help shoulder her debt and provide an out to the situation.
This all seems pretty awful, so when he and she came, it became apparent he had NO CLUE about any of this. He made a comment about how he liked how “independent” my sister was. In private, he also made a comment to me about how he liked that she was financially stable while she was away in the bathroom. I just decided to out her then and there.
I told him to pry a bit more and to maybe get credit checks together before moving in. It’s been a few weeks, and I didn’t think anything of it. Maybe he DID know all of this and he was enamored by her. It sucks since he seemed like such a nice guy. Well apparently not, because my mom and sister have been going mad now, texting me about ruining her relationship all weekend.
Apparently, he asked her to do a credit check before renting a condo together, since both their names would be on it and he couldn’t afford rent without her. She refused but he pressed and it caused a fight. He then revealed that I mentioned the credit check and from what I’m hearing, my sister had a meltdown at home over this.
I live in a different part of the country and I’ve just been sipping drinks, enjoying the show, and knowing I saved someone from a financial succubus. I would block their numbers but at this point, I’m just entertained by some of the stuff they’ve come up with texting me.
Story credit: Reddit
My worst nightmare just happened. I’ve been no-contact ghosting my father for the past few months as I process repressed memories. I was going for a walk and out of nowhere his car pulled up in front of me, and my heart stopped. But it wasn’t over. As I walked past, he leaned out of the window to hug me, because that’s totally what you do when your daughter has been avoiding you!
He’s always given unwarranted hugs and has trespassed my bodily autonomy frequently in the past. I turned him down because I never want to touch him again. He was so mad. I got a barrage of “wasn’t my fault” lines like “It was only out of fear.”
I was like, you know what, nah. So I told him that’s not how I remember things. He came back with “I’m not evil” and “Get over it, if you want to stay in the past, then stay there.”
I’m proud of myself. I simply told him that I don’t want a relationship with him, and that was the end of it. He drove off in typical fashion and furiously spat “stupid witch!” as he sped off. All I could do is walk away smiling and laughing. He’s not my problem or responsibility anymore. I’m never, ever putting up with his gaslighting ever again.
Story credit: Reddit / vvrine
They Shouldn't Take Credit
I finally got my master’s degree. I sent a text to my mother to spread the news. She congratulated me, but when I came back from work she dropped the hammer on me. She sat me down for a “talk.” The funniest part is that she shut up during the whole conversation and let her idiot boyfriend do all the talking instead. But I knew that every word he said was actually hers.
She often does that when she knows she’s going to look like a jerk, but whatever. He went on to say that now that I graduated, I shouldn’t forget the people who helped me get where I am. I should find a job and support my family financially. I internally screamed. My mother never supported me, she was even jealous I studied more than her.
When I was a kid, she didn’t care if I went to school with clean clothes or with something in my stomach. She didn’t care if I got enough sleep to wake up in the morning for school because she was more busy partying with her friends than letting her daughter sleep. My teachers thought I was an abandoned kid. Nope, I had parents but they didn’t care about raising me.
Yet I succeeded at school. I had good grades despite everything. I understood from a very young age that the only way to get out of this nightmare was through education. And that’s what I’ve done. Middle school, high school. For me, it was like fighting for my life in there. She didn’t support me during my college years, either, for what it’s worth.
At home she mocked me by calling me pretentious for going to college, while outside she bragged to her friends, “look how educated my daughter is, thanks to me she goes to college.” Her assuming she gets any credit here is so laughable. I paid for my studies myself. I worked after school, I worked during the weekends. I fought to get where I am today.
I’m going to fight tomorrow to build the life I always wanted. I don’t owe her a cent for something I fought for since I was a kid. The victory I obtained this week is MINE only. No one should take credit for that.
Story credit: Reddit / XX_bot77
I Don't Have Any Proof
When I was 12, my mother and sister cut my hair. I had long, straight blonde hair, which my mother made me wear in a braid every day. I was not allowed to wear it down. One day my sister saw me playing with one of my friends and decided that my hair was “too adult” for me. Their next logical step was to cut it ALL off. They put it in a ponytail and cut above the elastic.
The ends of my hair hit just below my ears, essentially giving me a bowl cut. Since they did it themselves, it was also choppy and completely uneven. I was already a weird child who lacked social skills, but the terrible haircut really hammered it in. I became the weird kid that my entire class tormented for the next year. My sister told me this a few days ago and I didn’t process how strange this was until this morning.
It all hit me like a wave—the absolute insanity of blaming a 12-year-old child for potentially looking too adult and attracting male attention. When my hair grew out, the color deepened and I never got those natural streaks back. In all my childhood photos my hair is either boy-short or tied in a tight French braid. I don’t have proof that I ever had beautiful hair, but I guess I have to take their jealousy for their word.
Story credit: Reddit / goatmansportsfan
I Hope I See Her Again
My Uber driver was an older gentleman and started asking me about Christmas plans. I went into trying to get both my parents’ and in-laws’ visits into two days and it eventually led to me saying that if I didn’t go to my parents’ house, I’d never hear the end of it from my mom. He goes “You know what that is? That’s emotional manipulation and you just have to tell her to stop.”
He said his mom was like that and one day he told her to stop and he wasn’t playing her games. She didn’t talk to him for six months and then got over it. I thanked my Uber therapist and hope to see him again.
Story credit: Reddit / trustmeimnotadoctor8
My boyfriend and I have been together for just over 10 years. We went to school together and I love our life together now. He showed me what it meant to be loved unconditionally and that life is not a series of over-the-top dramas piled on top of each other. Coming from a family where every day was dramatic and theatrical, it was a shock.
Growing up, I thought everyone’s life was like mine. When I left home and found out life didn’t need to be that hard, it was a relief. It doesn’t matter what I do, I’m never good enough for my parents. So my boyfriend and I like to live a discreet life. We both work full time, and when we get home we like to spend it together, looking after our pets, watching Netflix, and going to the movies.
We’re not flashy types by any means and have worked hard to create a financially and emotionally stable home. I’m so thankful I found someone when I was still young enough to show me how life could be. If I had been left with my parents any longer I don’t know what would have happened to me. Anyway, we’ve decided to get married.
No engagement and no big wedding plans. We just want to get married. And we’re going to Las Vegas for my 30th birthday in November with our best friends, so we’ve decided to just do it then. $100 wedding chapel, short fun ceremony, and then a nice meal and night out. Sounds perfect. No hassle. The other reason for doing this is my family will cause drama if I have a real wedding.
My divorced parents can’t be in a room together without screaming at each other and I’ve got ridiculous family members on both sides and the whole thing will end in a brawl. They won’t be able to be civil for a day for me. I know this from other recent family events, and after the way I’ve been treated I don’t think they deserve to come to my wedding, and that’s that.
You can’t change my mind. So we’ve booked it all and I decided to tell my parents now because I know it will be more drama if I just do it without warning. Their response has only made me want to cut them off completely. I told my mom and as expected, she was horrified that we would do something “so tacky” and forgo a beautiful traditional wedding.
I explained to her my reasons in the softest way possible and also said that I just can’t justify spending thousands on a wedding that ultimately isn’t for me as it’s just not my style. She told me I was selfish, which I expected, and then started saying she was always planning on giving me loads of money to have my dream wedding but now I’ve “lost the privilege.”
I told her I never expected that kind of money from her and I hope she can now spend it on something for herself instead. She then asked if we could at least have a celebration meal/party when I get home and I obliged as I was likely planning this anyway. This immediately made her happy and she started saying how she won’t get to miss out on HER special day after all. But she didn’t know what was coming.
I told her that there would be ground rules. My boyfriend wouldn’t want the party to be a spectacle or over the top, and I agree. She then started complaining that my boyfriend was a wimp who was too afraid to publicly declare his love for me. I corrected her but she wasn’t listening. I also told her to keep it hush-hush, as we were planning on telling people over the course of the next few weeks.
We didn’t want a big announcement on Facebook or anything like that. She agreed. A few hours pass and I get TWO separate phone calls. Once from my grandad, another from my uncle, both to talk about how I shouldn’t stand for my boyfriend forcing me into a quickie Vegas wedding and he needs to man up and give me the wedding I’d always been dreaming of.
My mom had told them this fake little narrative in her mind that the only reason she wasn’t getting the dream wedding she wanted for me is because my boyfriend wasn’t man enough to give it to me. I corrected them and then called my mom and made it very clear that this is not the case, and reminded her how I explicitly stated she was not to tell anyone.
Especially my grandad, who was next on my list to tell myself. She “apologized” and asked me to give her just one promise. I asked her what it is. I wish I’d never heard her answer. She told me to lose some weight so she can at least proudly show her friends pictures of her beautiful daughter on her wedding day. Wow. I’ll gain weight for my wedding just for that comment.
I called my dad on the phone to tell him. He’s somewhere in Asia chasing women under 21. He was very disinterested, I’m not sure he really even listened. He asked what the overall plan was and I explained we were going to be in Vegas anyway for my 30th. That’s when he stopped me and asked if I was getting married before or after I turned 30.
I said two days before. He said “Good girl. No girl of any value gets married for the first time after 30. This way you can tell people you were 29 when you first got married without lying.” Screw having a party for family and friends when we get back. My family has no right to be at my wedding. I will take every pleasure in getting married in Vegas and have the most fun day doing so.
My parents can just enjoy all the photos I’ll be posting of their “fat 30-year-old daughter” on Facebook. Good riddance.
Story credit: Reddit / brittafiltaperry
I Refused to Meet Her
When I was 19, my mom found out that my dad, who was 46 at the time, had been cheating on her again. The way she found out was horrible—she had found lewd pictures of him with his new girlfriend.
My parents separated and my dad moved back to Vietnam. After a few years, I accidentally found out that the woman he was cheating with was a year younger than me, a fact that completely grossed me out especially considering that they met when she was 17.
I refused to meet her at first when I came to visit him the first time, but I later realized that was pointless and petty. They now have a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old. The worst part is that Vietnamese custom dictates that I refer to her as my elder and myself as a child. My kids also have to call their kids their aunts and uncles.
Story credit: Reddit / nlieo
So years ago, when I was still living with my mom as a teen, a theater production I had wanted to see since I was a child did a one-time event in our city. It was the only time it had ever, and probably will ever be shown there. She promised me months before that that for my birthday she would finally take me to see it. Well, the tickets went up.
I asked if she had bought them yet, and she flipped out because I “kept reminding her.” The result was heartbreaking. Of course, they all sold out (but not so quickly that she couldn’t have got one if she’d tried).
All I wanted to do was to go to the theater with her and spend some quality time. We had never even been to a cinema together, so at the time I was perhaps craving that connection more than anything.
Now keep in mind that whenever my parents want to go and see something themselves, they get the tickets for it instantly. It also wouldn’t be the first time she had led me to believe she would do something she had no intention of doing. Anyway, cut to today. My fiancé’s mother messaged me to tell me that she had ordered tickets to see this same play, which is coming to the current city I am in after many years.
It’s not here until the END of the year, and she still thought ahead and got me them. I am just so humbled to have someone like her in my life. My mom gets jealous of her, but she can suck it. She never even tried with me.
Story credit: Reddit / StuddlyCactus
I Can Think For Myself!
Long story short: My father sucks and my stepmom wants a divorce. We are all ok with that, he’s not. My sister is already looking for a new home for him. My Sister: “Look, I found an apartment for you.” Dad: “You really want me to go? Do you know what you’re saying?! You are far too young to understand that! You still can’t think for yourself!”
My Sister: “Well, actually I CAN think for myself.” Dad: “Do you really think your mother would be better off without me? Would she really be happier?!” My sister: “Yes.”
Story credit: Reddit / MieptheMiep
Karma Will Pay
My grandma passed when I was 16. My grandma was a hard-working, no-nonsense kind of lady. She ran her own upholstery business for 50 years and had five kids. My mom was the middle child and her and my grandma always clashed. I honestly think it was just my mom’s sense of entitlement, wanting more than she earned or more than the other kids, and my grandma refused to play along.
With five kids, she ended up with 10 grandkids, and when she was dying she drew up a will. Being a practical lady, she decided to allocate her assets based on what she perceived would benefit each child/grandchild the most.
For me, she created an education trust because she knew I wanted to go to college. For my brother, however, she ended up leaving him her delivery van from her business because he was in a band and wanted a touring vehicle. Then she got to my mom, and all hell broke loose.
My mom got some heirloom jewelry, and that was it. Now, my mom was obsessed with jewelry so I think my grandma thought she’d like it. But needless to say, my mom was livid. She flat-out said my trust (around 30k) was worth so much more than a van and jewelry and it simply wasn’t fair for my grandma to leave me so much.
At the time, I said grandma knows college is expensive and it was her choice how she split her assets, not mine. Fast forward to my second semester of freshman year of college, I was 18. I had actually received scholarships that paid for my entire tuition so I expected my trust to last me well through undergrad and on to grad school if I wanted, which I did.
I ask my mom how I obtain access to it now so I can control it myself now that I’m 18. My mother’s answer made my jaw drop to the floor. This is when my mom told me that the trust was empty. It turns out that my mom had been withdrawing funds the entire time and claimed they were education expenses. The way she did this was…incredible.
She is a college professor, and in high school, I had taken some classes at her school to get a jump on college. My mom actively encouraged it and had me even take classes in the summer. Because I was the child of faculty, my actual out-of-pocket costs were $25 a credit hour.
However, my mom obtained the bills for each of the courses before her faculty discount and withdrew funds from my trust for that amount.
Then for the first semester of my freshman year, she obtained the bill before scholarships and used that to finally drain the account completely. I was totally stunned and couldn’t believe she’d just admit to it. I demanded my money back. Her next response was even more blood-curdling. She then tells me she “used it to benefit the whole family.”
Yeah, by buying herself a plot of land right in the nicest part of the city. She explained that now she could use the land as collateral for a construction loan to build her dream house, which apparently somehow benefits me in her mind. As I was 18 and had no money to go after my mom in court, I was left devastated and decided the best I could do is not ever return home from school.
I got a job and an apartment and cut my mom out, except for occasional holidays. Fast forward again to five years later at Christmas. My mom had her “dream house” and this was right at the peak of the housing boom so it was super overvalued She was so proud of herself, bragging about her big financial windfall. I couldn’t have been more upset. But only a few months later, it all comes crashing down.
Turns out, my mom never paid taxes on the money she took from my account or the property taxes for the land and house. The county sent her a letter about the property taxes stating she needed to pay up. She probably got letters before this and ignored it, I don’t know. This was a pretty high tax area and her house had a very high value, so she owed back taxes and penalties over $100k.
She obviously didn’t have that lying around. She hired a lawyer and was trying to work her way out of it, and tried to blame anyone and everyone but herself. My mom complained that it was the bank’s fault because on every mortgage she ever had, they took property tax out with the monthly mortgage payments. However, in this case, my mom didn’t actually have a mortgage…
She was paying off a construction loan and was responsible for her own property taxes. She ended up dragging out this court battle for a bit because she was freaking out about how to pay the bill. She then asked for the house value to be reassessed. During that time, the housing market crashed big time and her once very overvalued $700k house was now worth $220k on the new assessment.
But here’s the kicker. She somehow believed that now her back taxes would be adjusted to this new value. But obviously, they took taxes based on the value of the house at the time and only adjusted any future taxes for the new value.
This is when reality finally hit her and she realized she had to sell the dream house to pay off taxes. She ended up getting the $220k for it but she still owed $150k on her construction loan and $100k in taxes.
So she was left with no house and $30k left to pay on a construction loan for a house she no longer owned. She declared bankruptcy and moved into an apartment and spent the next few years paying off her debts—she had credit card debt and other stuff too. She’s now retired with no savings, bored and lonely, still blaming the entire rest of the world for her mistake.
I still refuse to visit her but I will take her calls occasionally. I did go on to finish school, get a good job, and have my own house that I actually pay taxes on. I’m not happy she took my money and I don’t forgive her for that but I was happy to see she paid a huge price for taking from her own child. You know what they say: Karma always gets you in the end.
Story credit: Reddit / nthing2seehere
I Just Had a Breakthrough
Ever since I was in middle school (I’m currently 22), my mom has been trying to “fix my acne.” Our bathroom cabinet was full of bottles of Proactive, little tubes of prescription creams, and jars of wipes that promised a noticeable difference in four hours. No matter what, nothing worked, and I was left with nothing but irritated skin and those irritating little dots all over my cheeks.
It would cause arguments. My mom would insist I wasn’t using the products correctly, or I wasn’t using them at all and wasting her money. Then it proceeded to the tried and true argument of “You’re ungrateful and selfish.”
One day recently, I was out with my friend helping her get stuff for her wedding. Since we were just going to the craft store and then getting lunch at a buffet, I decided to forgo my usual heavy makeup look.
Luckily, my mom was still sleeping, so I could avoid the whole “Are you REALLY going out like that?” conversation and just hopped in my friend’s car. She turned to say hi, squinted at me, and then said “I didn’t know you had freckles.” This blew my mind for an extremely disturbing reason. See, I didn’t either. I pulled down the mirror on my side of the car and stared at my face.
I didn’t see any freckles, just the ugly acne spots that I usually cover with foundation. We went back and forth for a bit before she, in her usual blunt fashion, pointed to my face in the mirror. “That one big red spot is acne. These little brown dots are freckles.” My mother had actually convinced me that my freckles were acne and none of the products would work on me and had me thinking it was my fault.
It seems stupid, but I started crying. The I-just-had-a-breakthrough kind of cry. I know what I’m talking about in therapy next week.
Story credit: Reddit / tacticianallie
We Have No Contact
So I was maybe 12, and it was around Halloween. We had one Halloween decoration, and it was a life size skeleton hanging in our tree by a noose. A woman came to the door (very nicely, apologetic) and explained that her best friend lived down the street, and that her friend’s daughter had just taken her life by hanging.
She said that her friend had to pass out of her house every day and that it was really hard for her to see the decoration. My mother’s response was out of this world.
My mom yelled at her: “It’s just a Halloween decoration, I’m not taking it down, tell her to get over it.” And she slammed the door on her. I was so repulsed, and 20 years later I STILL think about it all the time and think about how awful that poor woman must have felt. If that was me, I would have instantly removed it and sent the grieving mom flowers.
I still to this day watch my Halloween decorations to make sure I’m not depicting something that could be triggering to someone. And this is one of the 3 million reasons I went no contact with her 10 years ago.
Story credit: Reddit / voodoo-mama_juju
A Punishment From Above
I’m 32 now, and I ran away from my mom when I was 14. I was sick of being manipulated, having no privacy, and just generally thought of as less than a person. I wanted out and I took the first opportunity I could get. I got lucky. To this day I don’t know how, but I met some people on the streets who were trying to escape their parents too and we looked out for each other.
I’m not saying it was easy or even fun, but it was 10 steps up from living in that narcissistic place that my mother called home. My mom couldn’t find me, though I have no doubt she tried for years. I took it to extreme levels to make sure she could never hurt me again. I have never uttered my real name since I left that place. There were only ever two people I told who I really was.
Even then, I never told one of them my name, and the other only found out. By the time I was 15, I was four states away, had a fake name/identity that I was proud of, and a group of people I could trust more than I could my mother. CPS didn’t even find me until I was almost 16, and that was only because I let my guard down due to a pregnancy.
When I was seven months pregnant, two months before my 16th birthday, I ended up in the foster system. I’m not proud of what I did next. But I am glad I did it all the same. I told CPS that my parents had been homeless too, that I had been born on the streets, and that they had now passed. CPS barely even looked into my story, they just stuck me in a foster home.
It turned out to be an okay one. They had a couple of other kids and were in it for the money and didn’t care what we did so long as it didn’t affect them. Still better than living with my mom. My older foster sister was there for my daughter’s birth, too. She had been in a similar situation to me and was kind and supportive during the last months of my pregnancy.
My daughter and I lived in that foster home for another year until that family’s licence got revoked. By that time I was 17, had a job, almost finished high school, and was on track for college. I ended up living in an apartment with my older foster sister for another year with our daughters. I got into college, and got good scholarships due to grades and circumstances.
I could pick any college in the country, but decided to stay in the city I was comfortable with, near my foster sister. Everything was great until I was 21. That’s when it all fell apart. My daughter was five, starting school, my foster sister’s daughter was eight, and my foster sister was 23. I’d known that my foster sister had depression.
She’d been dealt a bad hand in life, much worse than mine, but I never knew how severe it was. One night I came home after collecting the girls from school and found my foster sister, my best friend, had taken her life. It was awful. The only good thing was that eventually I was allowed to keep her daughter. I wanted her, I fought for her, all the while dealing with mourning the only person who ever really knew me.
But I wasn’t going to let that sweet, wonderful little girl be raised in the foster system. My foster sister had obviously been planning what she’d done for a while because she had written out a will. In it, she made a heartbreaking request. She asked me to raise her daughter. Once I graduated college at 24, my daughters and I moved.
I had been offered a job across the country and we decided it was time for a change. We wanted to road-trip it and thought it would be fun. We planned a 10-day trip, with me giving my original home state a WIDE berth. I didn’t want anything to do with it. My daughters were eight and 11, and we chose together where we wanted to stop, what we wanted to see, and what we could miss.
Neither of them thought it was particularly weird that I wanted to avoid a certain state, as they knew I hadn’t had a happy childhood and assumed it was memories from that. They weren’t exactly wrong. But all my precautions didn’t matter.
Soon enough, I ran into my worst nightmare. On day seven of the trip, at least 1,000 miles away from my original home state and in a fairly crowded city, I ran into my mom and dad.
I recognized my mom instantly, and I’m fairly sure she did the same to me. I managed to keep a lid on my emotions. I looked past her and pretended I didn’t know her. It was too late. She, however, started chasing me down the street, shouting my real name. I don’t know how I did it, but I barely even flinched. All I wanted was away from the crazy woman and the memories that she was bringing up.
My dad didn’t recognize me at all. I’m fairly sure he thought my mom had finally lost it. By this time, I had grasped my daughters’ hands and was trying to get them out of there as fast as possible. She kept chasing me, screaming my real name, until my oldest daughter got annoyed and turned around to try to shut her up.
If I had realized what she was doing before she did it, I wouldn’t have let her. I knew engaging with my mom was way worse than ignoring her. My daughter made a fatal error. She shouted to her “I don’t know who you think she is but my mom’s name is Kate NOT Elizabeth like you keep shouting. Why can’t you go terrorize someone else.”
I admit, I was angry at my daughter for letting my mom know my new name. It took a lot to calm down after that and have a conversation with her about why you don’t give strangers’ personal information and why engaging with crazy people isn’t a good idea, but I managed it.
To this day it is something I am most proud of, that I managed to raise my daughters as real human beings and not things like my mom and dad tried to do for me.
My daughter was sorry, but ultimately it was my fault because I hadn’t taught her that yet. We’d lived in a fairly small community before. Everyone knew everyone and it had never been an issue. Anyway, I should have known that my mom wasn’t going to let this go, but I wasn’t thinking that at the time. I just wanted to get the heck out of dodge, so we did.
My daughters didn’t even put up a fight, which made me feel 10x worse because we had plans in that city, stuff I’d wanted to do for ages and my daughters were looking forward to as well. I drove as far as I could for the next ~10 hours, just to put some distance between me and mom. I didn’t hear from her for about another six months.
My guess is that that is how long it took her track me down with the name she now had for me. In that time I’d got my life together really well. I’d bought and moved into a nice house with my daughters, was dating a nice guy, had a good job and a substantial income. I was happy. Then it all unraveled again, in a horrific way.
One day, she appeared. One morning there was a knock at the door fairly early. My daughters and I were only just getting up. I thought it might be the guy I was dating, as he was always doing things like bringing me coffee early because he knew I didn’t have much time in the morning with two girls and a fairly demanding job. Still, he usually didn’t come that early.
I didn’t think much of it, though, because his job had weird hours. Instead, I opened the door to my mother. I was shocked. “What the heck are you doing here?” I bit out. It was all I could say. It was like 6 am and I had just woken up. She just starts bawling her eyes out, kneeling on the doorstep and praying. “Thank you Lord, for bringing her back to me. Thank you Lord.”
Of course, she didn’t do this quietly, so it brought the attention of not only my daughters but my neighbors too, most of whom I was on fairly good terms with. My youngest daughter stayed out of sight the second she realized who it was at the door. Then she did the most brilliant thing. After a minute of me looking completely repulsed at this scene, she held up my phone and mouthed 9-1-1 at me.
I nodded and she went upstairs to make the call. I was trying to get my mom off the doorstep and off my property, as well as get my oldest to get inside and stay there. Neither were listening. My neighbors were coming over to see what was going on. Two of them told me they had called 9-1-1 and one asked if I needed that before they realized someone else had done it.
I wasn’t keeping quiet about how much I wanted her away from me. When officers showed up, my boyfriend was also with them. He was an officer too, and when he realized that this was happening at my house and that it was my daughter who had made the call, he asked to come along and see if I was okay.
When I told the officers I had no idea who this woman was, they carted her off with a citation for trespassing. My boyfriend stayed with me while I got the girls ready for the day. Eventually I had to go and explain to the neighbors about what was going on.
My boyfriend came with me and convinced me and a couple of the other neighbors to install security cameras around their homes. But that wasn’t the end. After about another year, my mother had terrorized me so much I had to get a restraining order.
She had to stay away for me for at least a year, not that that stopped her. She’d somehow managed to buy a house in my neighborhood, so that was her “address.” Throughout all this I never heard from or saw my father.
Life was a little better by that stage, though. My boyfriend and I got married, and I had another baby. Another little girl who is adored by all, especially her older sisters. And then came the twist.
My mom found out about this too. She took it to the next level after that. Tried to crash my wedding, tried to come to the hospital for the birth, did everything she could to see the new baby. By this time, my family and I mostly took it for granted that we had a stalker. She was just there and we wanted nothing to do with her.
I once ran into her by accident at the local supermarket. I would have let it go, but she ran up to me and tried to take my four-month-old from my arms. She kept saying how I must need so much help without my Mommy there to help me and the brats that I put up with had to make things worse. I love my daughters, all of them, and I was really angry about that.
Word of advice: Never make someone who just had a baby angry, especially if she is an officer’s wife. Not only did I call the authorities for her violating the restraining order, but I also managed to get her up on charges for trying to take my baby daughter. At this stage, the restraining order became permanent at long last.
Throughout all this, my husband one day came home with the file on the person who was originally “me.” He said it might help me to know who my mom thought I was. The revelations were heartbreaking. My husband said he and his colleagues had looked over “my” file and decided that running away might have been the only reason I was alive.
I’d told my husband long ago who I really was, and he agreed that what I didn’t wasn’t right but it may have been right for me. At that point, my family and I decided we had to move. My husband had a job offer in another town and my oldest daughter was just about to start high school, so if we were going to move it was now or wait until my middle daughter finished high school.
It took four years for my mom to find us again. To this day, I don’t know how she did it. We told very few people where we were going and even fewer our actual new address. This time though, she didn’t knock on the front door, or try to engage me in anyway. What she did was so much more bone-chilling. She tried to burn my house down, with my husband and youngest daughter in it.
I was at work and my two older girls were at school. My husband had the day off and wanted to spend it with our youngest daughter. He was going to pick the older girls up from school and we were going to meet for dinner later that night. My husband and youngest daughter were upstairs when he heard someone come in the front door.
The older girls hadn’t been well in the last couple of weeks, so he thought it was one of them. He was wondering why they hadn’t called for a ride home. He waited a few minutes for them to come upstairs like they normally would, or at least call out because they normally did, but they didn’t. So my husband went to see what was up. What he witnessed haunts him to this day.
My mom was in the living room going through everything, tearing stuff up left and right. She started throwing around family photos, expensive gaming consoles, TVs, and anything she could get her hands on. Once she had thoroughly destroyed the living room and kitchen, she went back out the front door…and came back with a can of gasoline.
By this time, my husband was back upstairs with our daughter and had called 9-1-1. This whole scene was all caught on our home security camera. Once my husband realized what my mother was trying to do, AKA burn down my house, he managed to sneak downstairs and get our daughter out without my mom knowing a thing.
The authorities showed up just before my mom was going to light the match. That’s when they heard her yell to upstairs, not knowing that my husband and daughter weren’t up there anymore. She thought she was speaking to them. Her words still send a shiver down my spine. “This is how God punishes people who keep daughters from their mothers.”
She knew full well that they had been in the house, and that she had blocked the only stairway and thus the only way out of the house. I’d been called at work about it, and my daughters and I raced home to see my mother being taken away.
She was brought up on a whole slew of charges, including stalking. They even found plans on her to do away with my husband and two older daughters, whereupon she would keep me and my youngest underneath her house so that we would always be with her.
Story credit: Reddit / KaityWaity
I Can't Even Look At Her
This happened a few minutes ago and I am beyond angry. I have been sick for days now. I have long curly hair that reaches the end of my back. Because of the fever I’d been having, I hadn’t been able to brush my hair and it was all tangled. So my mom told me yesterday that because I cannot take care of my hair, she’s going to cut it all the way to my shoulders.
I was almost too sick to speak, but I still told her no. Today, I was feeling a little better and got up, took a shower, and combed my hair. While I was doing this, my mother came in behind me and took the comb and started combing my hair gently and very sweetly. Or so I thought. Suddenly, I felt something on my back—it was scissors. I froze.
Still, she said she was just trimming my hair. But when I looked in mirror, she had cut my hair 4-5 inches. That is a lot for curly hair, and it will take YEARS to grow back. But I’m not angry about hair. I am angry about her trespassing on my boundaries, yet again. I hate her so much right now. I don’t even want to look at her face, even though I live with her.
Story credit: Reddit / bedandbedsheet
I Didn't Want to Cause a Scene
I don’t have contact often with my biological father, but I knew he’d remarried again. Somebody on my biological father’s side of the family found out about my baby sister’s wedding and they all crashed it. During the reception, a woman I thought looked familiar walked over to me and asked if I was who she thought I was.
I confirmed my identity to her and explained that she looked familiar to me as well, but that I didn’t remember her name. She told me her name and reminded me of a shocking fact— I used to babysit her when I was in high school and she was in middle school.
I asked her how she’d been and whose guest she was at the wedding. To my shock, she informed me that she was my biological father’s wife and she wanted to let me know he was hers now.
I was so stunned and not willing to cause a scene I excused myself and left her standing there.
Story credit: Reddit / RagaMuffinSun
They Weren't At My Side
I’m sick, and have a “wish” from the Make a Wish Foundation. My mom was going on a rant and calling me selfish because I won’t use my wish on something that will “benefit the whole family.”
Namely, I want to visit Japan, but since my parents don’t have a passport and are constantly working, I decided to go with my aunt and older sibling because they’re the only adult supervision that my parents would approve of.
I’m the one who underwent rounds of chemo and multiple medicines to stay alive, and the wish is supposed to be something the person really wants. I don’t want to spend it on something small like a laptop because I can buy that with my own money.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so I want to go all out but my parents are holding me back. Even my doctor told me not to pick something cliché like Disney World because it would be a waste.
My parents weren’t even at my side during my treatments. My sibling was the one who took me every single week for nearly three years.
Story credit: Reddit / kaistem
I Was Her Doormat
The only daughter of a narcissistic mother and a depressed, absent (emotionally) father, I devoted myself to school and an after-school job at age 15. I had four brothers, one of whom I loved dearly, another brother who was emotionally awful (breaking heads off my dolls, hanging them from the staircase, calling me very misogynistic names), and two younger ones.
I lived a lonely childhood finding comfort in my dolls, school, and my dog. My parents were very involved in their church community and social events. I always felt they had children to fill some societal expectations. Clearly, my mother did not enjoy being a mother. She would gloat and take credit for any of my perceived successes (school, mainly), quite publicly when possible. But she did much worse.
She would also hurt me when she felt like it—things like refusing to drive me to a musical audition in NYC—and mock my “talents,” or humiliate me verbally in front of others. My music teacher had trained me for months for the audition and I stopped going to lessons out of sheer embarrassment after missing the audition. My mother’s favorite saying was that she “rued the day I was born.”
Then I moved away for college. Everything changed in an instant. I survived and thrived. I went to medical school in my late 20s and met a fellow medical student. When I told my parents we were getting married, they wanted a church wedding and to invite their many friends. I never enjoyed being the center of attention, was ambivalent about religion, and the idea of this type of wedding terrified me.
I was passive and caved to everything they wanted. Two-thirds of the guests were their friends. The other third was my in-laws. I have a very small circle of close friends and most were in graduate programs or abroad during my wedding.
About five of my friends were present. I lived several hours from my parents at the time and the wedding was being held where I lived. But that was only the start of the horror show.
Most of the arrangements were handled by my mother by phone, as she was paying for it. I picked out my own dress, picked the band, and met with the wedding planner at the event location. My only requests were good food for guests who traveled for the wedding, an open bar, and a relaxed wedding. My mother came to town a few days prior and insisted she stay with me and my fiancé, in my home.
This was part of her control. Being in your small home, hearing everything, controlling everything. Once, she stayed in my college apartment that I shared with another woman, sleeping on our couch, without ever asking permission. When I arrived home from a date, she called me awful names. I never had the fortitude to stand up to her.
There was also the financial control, as she paid for my undergraduate education and made it clear that it could be taken away from me at any time. But I had no idea what was coming. Two days prior to the wedding, my mother met with the wedding planner with me. Everything was in place. My mother was unusually quiet for her.
I was so happy that she was not interfering, meddling, controlling, as had been my lifelong experience with her. I felt overjoyed that my mother seemed to respect me and was not being her typical drama queen self. I thought that she was finally treating me with respect and maybe even a little love. I still was looking for her approval as a 30-year-old woman.
Later that day, she returned for a one-on-one meeting with the wedding planner, without my knowledge. The night before our wedding, there were a few details to work out. Guest gifts had arrived unwrapped, and flowers needed to be picked up from hothouses as they were to be taken to nursing homes after the wedding. That’s when I noticed something was wrong.
My parents disappeared to go out and socialize with another family. My mother expected to be catered to and waited on, and did not pitch in to help with anything. I was up until the early hours with my sister-in-law, the night before my wedding, wrapping guest gifts and coordinating final details. My father then told me “We are only paying for the first wedding” just as he was about to walk me down the aisle.
I was stunned and tried to function normally. The wedding itself was a blur. Our friend drove us to the reception in his classic car. My father-in-law and his family moved the flowers from the church to the reception.
When we arrived at the reception, my father came over to me to tell me that some of our wedding gifts had been taken from the gift table outside the reception hall and they were unable to stop them.
Ok, bummer. But why tell me now? Why could this not wait until tomorrow? The train wreck kept on coming. My now-husband came over from his family to advise me that my mother had canceled the open bar but his family would pay for it. I was trying to wrap my brain around my mother canceling the open bar without talking to me.
I then realized nothing had changed. My mother was continuing to manipulate me cruelly. If she had told me in advance, it would have been different. I could have made different choices or paid for it myself. My parents have no religious objection to drinking, they are well off, and they never opposed to an open bar in advance.
She just decided to exert her control, 24 hours before my wedding, and to let me learn about it at my reception. I ugly cried at my own wedding. I could not stop the flow of my anguished tears. Friends rushed over, trying to understand my grief.
My grief was not over mixed drinks. It was an overwhelming understanding that my mother would never respect or value me, even on the day of my wedding. And here was the most crushing part.
It was that I now understood how publicly my mother would humiliate me if given the opportunity. After 30 minutes of trying to pull myself together, I returned to my wedding. I smiled, I greeted guests, I danced with people. I never had a chance to eat anything. My in-laws had the wedding planner open the bar. I behaved like a happy bride, as was expected of me.
Kindly, someone in my wedding party made a plate of food for me to enjoy with my husband in our room, after the wedding. The next morning, my husband and I held a brunch for our out-of-town guests and family. We paid for it and delayed our honeymoon by a day so we could visit with family we rarely see. We showed up on time.
Once inside, I realized my parents and all my brothers and their wives were already seated, and very early. Then my mother outdid herself with just one sentence. My mother stood up and announced in front of all our guests—my in-laws had just arrived too—that I had ruined the wedding for her and so they were not going to stay for brunch.
Every member of my immediate family then walked out and left. My in-laws and other guests were speechless. Apparently, my mother was so angry that my husband and in-laws stood up to her at the wedding and reopened the bar, she organized this family walkout. For what it’s worth, my mother helps my all of my brothers financially.
Money has been her primary control over the years. They are all frightened to stand against her. We enjoyed our brunch as best we could, avoiding the gazes of onlookers to the drama. Fast forward 25 years. I am still married to the same man. We have six lovely children and a successful medical practice. I cannot bring myself to look at my wedding pictures.
Writing this brought tears. I try not to poison my own daughters regarding a wedding, but I do tell them eloping would have been a happy way to start my married life. I have no contact with any of my family anymore. The wedding was not the end of contact, but the first of many traumas brought on by my mother. My marriage would not have survived my mother.
My mother would always call me a “doormat.” She was correct. I never stood up for myself. I had to remove her and family members who were willing to gang up on me. Life is good these days.
Story credit: Reddit / Mugsy1988
My fiancé and I have been together for eight years and engaged for three. I was doing my PhD program and was juggling planning the wedding. My fiancé took much of that work, but it was perfect because our dream venue was booked until after my graduation, so what we did is book our dream venue three years in advance.
It is really a beautiful venue, and the only slot we got was September of this year. My sister got engaged a few months ago to her fiancé. They were planning on having a spring wedding next year. They had no venue lined up, but had a few vendors lined up as well as a set date.
Yesterday, our parents invited us and our significant others to a family BBQ, where my sister announced to our extended family that she is expecting.
Everyone was so happy for her and my brother-in-law, who is a great guy. My Nan asked my sister if the wedding was still on the set date or if they were going to wait. because of the baby. She said no, that she hoped to move it to September. No big deal for us.
We don’t have many out-of-town guests, so they could attend both weddings no problem. Nan was happy and asked my sister if she needed help planning such a short notice wedding. This is where the horror started dawning on me.
My sister then turns around and says, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I was really, really hoping we could kinda, like, take your venue? I really cannot stress myself too much with planning a wedding while going to maternity classes. And I think it is so beautiful! It would really mean a lot to me.”
It went silent, but everyone was looking at me expecting me to say, “Yes of course everything for my little sister!” My brother-in-law looked very uncomfortable and told her that they had talked about this and that it was not okay to put me on the spot. But my sister just said, “Don’t be like that! My sister wants to do what’s best for me, so it’s no big deal right?”
I just said “Well, it kind of is. I don’t know. I have my heart really set on the venue.” Cue the crying. She stormed off. My family’s reaction infuriated me even more. Nan told me that I was being selfish because she needed the venue more than I did.
I tried to defend myself and my mother said, “You waited three years already. Would it have hurt you to wait a few more months? When has your sister ever asked you for something?” A few comments later, my fiancé got really mad and we left.
Later, my sister called me crying and said that it was unfair that I always get what I want and that I could have done this one thing for her. Dad said it is just a venue and what matters is the person who you are marrying. He is kind of right…but we have been planning for so long.
My fiancé is furious with my family and doesn’t even want my sister to come. Now my family is threatening not to come because I am being selfish and my sister needs it more than me because having a baby is too stressful.
My brother-in-law called me and apologized for the inconvenience. He told me he had discussed it with my sister and she had told him she would not ask.
He is properly mad with her now and warned me that my sister is blaming me for “potentially ruining her marriage.” My father has sent me about five texts along the lines of, “I hope you are happy. Your sister hasn’t stopped crying since yesterday” and so on and so on.
My fiancé and I have decided to boot my sister from the bridal party and replace her with my aunt, who is the only family member that took my side. We have not decided whether or not we will invite my family as a whole. Furthermore, my mom took it upon her to tell on us. She called my fiancé’s parents and told them that it would be best if my sister gets it because she is pregnant.
My future father-in-law told them to screw off and basically ripped my mom a new one for expecting something so ridiculous. He said they were going to lose me if they kept playing favorites. So my mom is now crying too and saying that my father-in-law is a jerk. This is just getting so pathetic. It seems straight out of a bad soap opera. And then it practically became a soap opera.
Sometime after this, and after hearing I was upset about her selfishness and posted this story on the Internet, my sister started contacting me again and saying I was being unfair. That she is family and that she asked it nicely because she loves me. She also underlined the fact that the opinion of internet strangers doesn’t count because family is more important and I should focus on making my family happy.
The only text I sent back was this. I am sorry that you perceived it that way. I did not in any matter distort what happened. As you might notice I didn’t describe your tone nor exaggerated anything. Perhaps you have that night different in your mind than I do, but I digress. I am sick and tired of bending to your will. My whole life I have been your servant and your doormat.
Remember all the birthdays I had to share with you because you would throw a tantrum because you didn’t get presents? Or when you cried so that I would fill out job applications for you? But the thing that has hurt me most till now is when you ruined my graduation. I am done. I admit that I also spoiled you but I will not any longer.
If you want to marry so bad before your baby is born, then you could look at [hotel x] that offers last-minute weddings. I have spent too much time planning MY wedding to gift it to you. And if you want to ruin our relationship over this, then go ahead. I will sleep sound and safe knowing that it wasn’t my fault. She only sent me a “Wow…You must love me so very much.”
And blocked me. She unblocked me this morning to send me a supposed message from MY wedding planner talking about rebooking the venue. Throughout this, my parents haven’t actually written me since the thing with my father-in-law. My older brother contacted me and wanted to know what happened because he got a weird story from mom and dad.
Mom had told him that previous to the BBQ, I had offered to give up the venue to my sister and that I humiliated her on the day—my brother wasn’t at the BBQ. I told him what really happened and he had no problem believing me. We talked a lot about our parents’ behavior and he confessed that his moving far away was partly due to our parents being jerks to us.
He told me that mom was mad at me for betraying my family. I haven’t written my parents because I have to come to terms with the fact that they love my sister more than me, if they love me at all. Anyway, we continued with OUR wedding. We put passwords with the majority of our vendors and also with the venue directly. We didn’t talk to our planner yet, which is why my sister’s text worries me so much.
Also, we canceled the catering that my parents paid for. So short-term, we won’t be able to get full catering like we wanted to. But all our friends and my fiancé’s family will help us prepare a buffet, and everyone is going to chip in. That will be our bachelor party. As we will have to spend more on our food now, we canceled our bachelor parties and will have a family and friends cooking session.
We called my planner and she was actually really horrified. She told me she never had as much as talked to my mother or sister since the day we went to book the venue.
She assured me that even if they were to call and say that I wanted to give it to my sister, I had to be present to make any changes. So we informed everyone that will work for us on our wedding and they offered to hire security for that day at a reduced price.
I am finally realizing just how toxic my family is. I will try to sort it out. If they apologize from the bottom of their hearts, they will be allowed into my wedding, but if not…Then well…I still have my brother, who will be walking me down the aisle, and my aunt.
Story credit: Reddit / paperweightfairy
This Story Could've Ended Worse
My parents are both absolutely evil and I’m ripping myself apart for not cutting off every single connection with them when my body, mind, and soul were screaming at me to do so. If it hurt, it probably happened to me under age six. I was homeschooled as an only child in the middle of nowhere under what I can only call, straight-up brainwashing tactics.
I am still reeling from the fact that not only have I failed to escape from their stuff, but I’ve also allowed my child to be possibly severely harmed by them as well. I’m a single mom who works two jobs and I, unfortunately, live in the same area as my family in question.
After severe emotional mistreatment from both of them throughout my pregnancy after I left my son’s father (which was mixed with favors and things I desperately needed at the time), I felt obligated to let my mother watch him at three months and beyond because I couldn’t afford childcare anymore.
I’m a nurse and a waitress, working minimum wage. Plus, my mother was showing symptoms of being depressed, and my son really seemed to cheer her up. They both acted out loving him very much. I soon learned how horribly wrong I was. Two months ago, I was put on sick leave; my son had caught Fifths disease and I had ended up catching it from him.
We were both still sick, but I had to go back to work. So back to the parents’ he went. My mother is a registered nurse. Unbeknownst to me, she mail-ordered Ivermectin—an antiparasitic for animals—from Canada. She wanted to “fix” his symptoms. She was giving me her usual nutty spiel about another miracle medicine when I dropped him off.
I thought she was trying to suggest I ask his pediatrician about it. I tuned her out because I’d heard enough and much more insane things come out of their mouths every day. Besides, I was going to be late. I kissed my baby’s forehead and left. A severe snowstorm came in that night so I had to leave him overnight with them.
When I got there the next morning he seemed very tired, but I figured it was time for his mid-morning nap since it was 10 or 11. That’s normal for him. But as soon as I got home, I knew immediately something was wrong.
He’s normally a sweet, calm happy baby who takes a while to get upset about something. Now he was screaming at the top of his lungs, was pouring sweat, and, after barely an hour, a rash started forming all over his body.
I immediately rushed him to the ER. They initially assumed sepsis but thank God they drew blood. They kept asking me if he took any medications, and I kept telling them no. He’s healthy. Always has been. They kept asking me. Are you sure?
I called mom to ask if she’d possibly fed him anything new…That’s when she owned up and told me what they’d done to “help” him. When she kept going, my heart stopped.
Since they had little to no dosage information and it had no approval for use on babies, they administered a near-fatal amount IN HIS BOTTLE. If I hadn’t brought him in as quickly as I did, the hospitalist informed me he would’ve gone into total organ failure and passed within hours.
He was flown from the regional hospital to the biggest medical center downstate and spent three weeks hundreds of miles from my place.
His dad came through and supported us, and is consulting a lawyer, which I have zero problems with. My baby has recovered unbelievably well, from the Ivermectin and the Fifths disease as well thanks to the excellent care he got. But this story could have ended horribly. And I don’t doubt it’s ended differently before.
Story credit: Reddit / true-columbine