Deranged Family Drama

You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family. And we’re sure that if these people could, they would go back to the drawing board and hope for a family a bit less intense, selfish, or twisted. These Redditors came together to share their stories of completely deranged family drama…and each one is more jaw-dropping than the last.


1. Be Careful What You Wish For

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.

kaistem

2. Aunts And Uncles

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.

nlieo

3. Good Tidings Gone

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.

bookwithnowords

4. An Expensive Sandwich

Many years ago, I got a Subway sandwich. The girl behind the counter was incredibly flirty with me so I asked her out. Later, she very much wanted to hurry up and do the thing. We did. I pulled out. At a later date, she gave me a rubber to use “so I didn’t have to pull out.” How ironic that it magically broke that night.

Days later she drops a bombshell: She’s pregnant, and it’s mine. I stuck it out until when she was supposed to be 3 months pregnant, she looked 5-6 months. Then surprisingly (not), she was having a “premature” delivery. The kid that came out was completely done cooking. Full head of hair, able to lift his head to look around with his eyes wide open.

She still stuck to her story that it was mine. We took a blood test and it wasn’t mine.

_BigMike

5. Definitely Not Taking That!

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.

Mtwilliams2448

6. All Her Excuses Went Down The Toilet

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.

Spontanemoose

7. Younger And Younger

My father is an irresponsible creep. It was just the two of us when I was growing up, but he made it clear that he resented having to take care of me on his own. He’s now in his 60s, whereas I’m 34 years old. His current wife is around 30 years old, but that’s not even the most shocking part—she’s actually the oldest wife he’s ever had!

His last wife was 19 when they met, but even that was better than his girlfriend before that, who was a few months younger than me when I was 17. I always make sure that his wives know that I’ll always be there for them and their kids when he leaves, because he’s GOING to leave. It’s interesting watching how surprised they are when he does.

Batai2368

8. Big Day, Big Problems

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.

Mugsy1988

9. A Big Surprise

I was working in a hospital and a woman came in for belly pain. We found out and told her she was 10 weeks pregnant. The husband at the bedside started laughing, grabbed his coat, and left the room explaining to us that he had been in Afghanistan until three weeks prior. He looked back and her and just said, “Well, that’s that Brittany.”

mjrfrankburns

10. Boundaries, Meet Grandma

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!

Campaschristmas

11. A Beautiful Connection

My mom passed suddenly when I was 16. My parents had four kids, my mom was the love of my dad’s life, so he was completely devastated. The only thing that kept him going afterward was us. He lived in a depression for a very long time, and for 15 or so years, he was always putting us above himself. Finally, my dad and a girl he worked with found a connection.

She is younger than my youngest sister. My dad was 65 and she was 28 when they met. We did not trust her, but she proved us all wrong—they have been married now for five years. The truth is, my dad was poor and retired living on social security, so this was not a case of a gold digger. They truly loved each other. Last week, my dad passed while fighting heart failure.

He was 70 and she 33. She was by his side the whole time taking care of him as best she could. My dad told me he hoped I could find someone to love me half as much as she loved him. Our friends describe him as the dad everyone wishes they had.

HeyLookWhatICanDo

12. Monster Of The Bride

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.

Permalink

13. At Least He Was There For The Birth

When I was around 16 my older brother was having his second child with his long-time girlfriend. One day after school I go over to their house to hang out with them and the girl starts going into labor. Everyone helps load her into the cab of his truck and we speed off to the hospital, which is a little over an hour away.

Now I am in the bed of the truck along with a friend of my brother’s, speeding down this two-lane highway to get this girl to the hospital before the baby comes out. We make it on time and they take her back into the delivery room to have the baby. A few hours pass and my dad, mom, and three other siblings show up along with my grandmother.

We wait around, and about six hours after arriving, the baby pops out. So when we were given the all clear we all rushed in to see the baby, the mother is laying on the bed beaming saying she loves my brother and she is so glad that they had another little boy. Well, the nurse walks in, pushing the baby in his little crib—and that’s when it hits all of us.

The baby is half Black and we recognize who the dad is. It’s the friend who is there with us standing in the room with this look on his face. My entire family along with my brother walk out of the hospital and just leaves the mom and friend there together at the hospital. Apparently, while my brother was locked up, the friend offered his girlfriend some “comfort.”

The guy never did step up and take care of the little boy, my brother eventually got locked back up and my parents took in the two boys for a long time and made the mother jump through the CPS hoops to get them back.

Santiago_S

14. The Good Grandma

I’ve been no-contact with my dad since I was kidnapped by him after the divorce. I don’t want to talk about him really but he is evil. Real evil that wears human skin, and truly believes he’s a god. So my paternal grandma calls me the other day and tells me she’s been robbed. I was worried for her, but she talked over me. “I’m fine, and I need to tell you why I called. You said that anyone that had contact with your father was going to be out of your life.”

I paused, and waited, my heart in my throat. She continued, “One of the things they took was his social security information I still had. I had to call him. I told him that I wouldn’t tell him a thing about you and told him that he just needed to know that his social security info was taken.” I didn’t really say anything because I really didn’t know how to respond. “I wanted you to know I talked to him because you don’t want to be involved with people that are involved with him.”

Guys. My grandma’s house was broken into and she went out of her way to make sure we were square. I would have never known, but my grandma values her honesty with me and her relationship with me above anything else. My grandma loves me, believes me, and cast her own son out of her life because of the disgusting things he did to me. There are good people in the world.

Made_you_read

15. A Surprising New Friend!

My father moved overseas for work when I was in college, and during my first time visiting him, he waited until I was out there to drop the most shocking news of my life—he told me he was seeing someone “kind of young.” At the time, he said she was in her mid-twenties, so close to my age, but still older. That was already really weird for me. My initial assumption, given her age, was that she was after him for money or US citizenship.

That’s the stereotype, after all, and I wasn’t sure what else a girl that young would want with my fully American father. Their language barrier was significant, as were their cultural differences. I was quick to discover two things: first, she was actually only 19, nearly a year younger than me. Second, and possibly more surprising…we got along really well.

We’re peers now. While my dad was at work all day, we’d hang out with her friends, go grocery shopping, and cook dinner while watching Chinese soap operas. It was great! I still don’t understand the relationship AT ALL. But at least I can appreciate the friendship we have since our closeness in age gives us a lot more in common than most people have with a parent’s significant other.

Grimpleshins

16. What Is Love?

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.

Bellamy1715

17. That’s Not How These Things Should Go

I was at the US embassy in Korea, in line behind a couple getting a birth certificate for their new child. The woman at the window asked for a little information about the couple. As he was telling his story it came out that they had only met eight months prior to this appointment. The baby was currently about 1-2 months old.

The woman at the counter said something like, “Hm, so you met eight months ago and babies take nine months…” The man looked really confused for a second and the women blurted out, “He came earlier than expected.” This seemed satisfy both the man and the woman behind the counter. Or so it seemed for a brief moment.

A few seconds later, the woman behind the counter said to the woman, “So I see you lived in the US most of the last year, up until nine months ago, what were you doing there”? The man looked at her, flabbergasted. I guess he never knew she had ever been to the US. The women looked around really nervously while saying something about an ex-husband.

The guy she was with started crying and the person behind the counter asked them to step into a private room.

morgan3000

18. Old Sins Cast Long Shadows

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.

PlasticCaterpillar6

19. Ripping Off The Band-Aid

About a week ago, my six-year-old daughter had a very loose tooth. A “hanging by a thread,” 90° angle, so loose it hurts, loose tooth. I was afraid she was going to swallow it while eating. I should mention that, through a series of happy accidents (and dental work!), we have yet to have to actually pull a tooth out of her head. The first couple came out at daycare, the next few during some dental work, and the last one popped out while she was eating a gummy sucker.

She started complaining that it hurt. I explained that it hurt because it was so loose and needed to come out. She started crying. I wasn’t sure what to do. I knew it needed to come out, but I didn’t want to pull it if she wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to scare or traumatize her. But it seemed silly. I mean, it’s just a little baby tooth. I know that she’s barely going to feel it, but she doesn’t know that, and she’s terrified.

I thought back to when I had loose teeth as a kid. I have made it my general parenting rule to do the opposite of whatever my parents did. So I reached back into my cloudy childhood memories. I generally don’t feel that my childhood memories are reliable. I’ve blocked a lot out, I’ve changed details, and hearing my parents’ versions of events repeatedly had made me question things.

I couldn’t remember details, but I do remember being restrained and held down. I remember the floss being tied around my tooth, and then it being pulled out. I don’t remember pain, but I do remember being terrified and confused. Suddenly, I had my answer. I picked my baby girl up and calmly re-explained that it was hurting because it was so loose and needed to come out.

She started crying harder. I held her while she calmed down, and then we talked. I promised her that I would not pull it until she was ready. I told her we could eat some crunchy/chewy food to see if it comes out. She said it hurt too much to bite with it. I told her that the only other option was to pull it out, and her eyes filled with tears. I again promised her that I would not pull it until she was ready.

She agreed, we pinky promised, and she ran off to play. She came back to me half a dozen times over the next few hours, asking for reassurance that I would not pull it until she was ready. I reiterated my promise, and assured her that this was up to her. After all, it’s her body, not mine. Four hours or so after the initial tears, my daughter reappeared in front of me.

She looked scared, but determined, and was clutching her favorite stuffed unicorn tightly. All she said was “I’m ready,” and opened her mouth. I took her tooth between my fingers and plucked it right out of her mouth. Her free hand shot to her mouth, and, with a quick little gasp, she exclaimed, “I did it!” I matched her excitement and told her how awesome she did.

We rinsed her mouth out and put her tooth away for the tooth fairy. I thought that was the end of it. Much to my surprise, it was not the end of it. My sweet, amazing girl spent the next four full days telling anyone, and everyone, how brave she was and how proud she was of herself. I cried the first time that she said it. At her age, I was being taught that saying, or even feeling, anything good about myself was “bragging.”

I was taught that saying things like “I’m proud of myself” made me a stuck-up brat, and that nobody would like me. Even when my parents were “proud of me” (which was just the wording they used to brag to other people, never said to me directly), it was only for “accomplishments.” Things that could be measured. High grades (though that was expected regardless), sports wins, music awards, and the like.

It was never instilled in me, and frankly never occurred to me, to be proud of myself for what I AM, instead of for what I DO. And yet here is my six-year-old daughter, not only knowing intrinsically that she has worth, but harnessing that sense of self-worth to do hard things. And above all that, being comfortable enough in her own skin, and confident enough to vocalize that she’s proud of herself, and why. I know it seems like such a little thing, especially to those who didn’t grow up like me.

But to me, it was such a huge moment, for my girl and for myself. I so often feel like I’m just plodding along in parenting, trying to do my best, but only have a reverse blueprint to go off of. And that’s hard. It’s hard to know what’s definitely wrong in parenting, but not know exactly what’s right either. But this small anecdote made me feel like we’re doing something right.

I know we won’t be perfect parents, no one can be. But this feels like such a huge step in the right direction. And, thanks to what I learned from my little girl, I can say that I’m proud of myself, too. I’m breaking the cycle, I’m brave and strong, and I’m proud of myself. For what I’ve done, AND for who I am.

kr112889

20. The Troublemaker

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.

LooseyL

21. Right Where You Belong

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.”

indigoojade

22. No Tricks, No Treats

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.

voodoo-mama_juju

23. You Need To Get Your Eyes Checked

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.

Critical_Definition

24. Some People’s Lives Are Just That Messy

My brother’s ex-wife cheated on him with a man at that man’s own wedding reception. As soon as she found out she was pregnant, she started having regular bouts of intimacy with my brother out of nowhere to make it believable it was his. I guess they weren’t too “active” at that time due to work stress or whatever else.

About six months after the baby was born, my brother started hearing whispers around our small town. That suspicion mixed with the fact that his daughter looks nothing like him and so he got a paternity test. It turns out it was the other man’s after all. My niece is three now and my brother still claims her as his own, even though he is now divorced.

i_am_umbrella

25. Hit The Road

I grew up in a household with a narcissistic dad and a borderline personality mom who often left us for long periods of time to do God knows what. When I was 12, I learned that I had a half-sister who was 17 and living in another town a few hours away. She had problems in her house too, although mainly economic problems, not actual neglect caused by ill will. We wrote letters to each other, and in one letter I shared with her my fear of the long summer holiday.

Being stuck in the house without even school to escape to was awful. She made a promise to come and save me if it got too bad. “Just let me know and I’ll find a way to help,” she wrote. A few days after, I posted a letter where I told her about how my mother had stopped providing meals, and my dad was emotionally mistreating me. That’s where I got the surprise of my life. 

She showed up on our doorstep. She told my dad that I was going to spend the summer holiday with her family and since my dad hated kids, myself included, he happily agreed, no questions asked. We took the night train north, I was so excited. She didn’t take me home with her—she took me camping. We spent the entire summer hiking amazingly beautiful trails, usually tenting but sometimes renting a small cabin for the night.

It was the happiest summer of my life. I suddenly had a sister who cared and enjoyed spending time with me. She could fish and trap birds, and cook, and she showed me how to read maps and the names of the constellations in the night sky. When the summer ended I was transformed. I wasn’t shy or confidence deprived anymore. I was a strong and resilient kid with an entirely new outlook on things. And I knew what I had to do.

I reported my parents for lacking parenting skills and I was placed with a foster family. Neither of them made a fuss to keep me, so it was easily done. I often think about that summer, the one that changed my life so profoundly. I don’t know if it was that I gained a sister, or that she showed me that I can survive—and thrive—even on the roughest, unmarked trails. It wasn’t until years later that I learned the real story behind that summer. 

At the time when she made me that promise, my sister lived with her family in a tiny apartment, with no place for yet another person or another mouth to feed. In fact, she had been told to get out herself as soon as possible to make room for her siblings, and she was now awaiting the day when she could move into her student apartment.

I was amazed to hear that our wonderful summer was an emergency solution, her way to keep her promise and also give me an unforgettable summer. Yet she did it so well that I never once realized that we were there because we had nowhere else to go. Today I turn 30. My sister is still my best friend and this summer we plan to hit the trails again.

hikingsisters

26. One Big Unhappy Family

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.

samiamgreeneggsinham

27. Stop It, Sister!

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!!

serialspooner

28. Can’t Make Up For This

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.

tacticianallie

29. A Close Shave

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.

bedandbedsheet

30. Last Wishes

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.

Naydraa

31. A Family Matter

After dating for about five months, my older brother’s girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant. He’s not concerned at all about not being the father and breaks the news to our family who was very supportive. About two months later, we get a group text that she’s going into labor so we are obviously very worried about the baby being born so early.

He’s concerned too but the baby comes out and is perfectly healthy, and he’s totally oblivious that it’s just not possible for this baby to be fully matured. Looking back I’m sure he was just in shock, and really hadn’t had time to process everything but nonetheless he didn’t see any red flags at this point, but our entire family did.

I reached out to our other brother because he happened to know the guy this gal dated before our brother. So my oldest bro reached out to this guy who confirms that they had relations approximately 9 months prior. My oldest brother breaks this news to me but isn’t sure how to tell my brother. A day or two later, I go to the hospital to visit brother.

At this point some of us had talked to my brother about the fact that something is very off here. I am sitting there in the hospital room with them when the nurse comes in with the birth certificate asking for his signature. Out loud, in front of the nurse and mom I tell my brother that he cannot sign that paper until a paternity test is done.

The nurse, bless her heart for helping, immediately agrees and says that if there is any doubt as to who the dad is he shouldn’t sign it yet. Well as you can imagine, it was not his baby. He was devastated and certainly he was pretty embarrassed about it all but he was eternally grateful to me for being there when it all went down.

The strangest part is that I had a customer cancel an appointment on me that day which allowed me to get there earlier than I otherwise would have. I won’t push religion on anyone but it was one of the moments in my life that made me believe in a higher power.

luuuckyme

32. Free At Last

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.

Ashinonyx

33. It’s My Party, I’ll Cry If I Want To

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.

hoffaloski

34. Going Places

My dad wanted me to be a construction worker, and after high school that is what I did. I hated it and got myself fired after six months. He was severely angry with me and said I was good for nothing and going nowhere. I took a job cutting meat for $12 an hour and saved over $10,000 in one year and went to university. He accused me of thinking I was better than him—he barely passed high school and has no post-secondary education.

He then refused to give me a single penny to help. He makes over $100,000 a year and had no debt and no mortgage. I paid for my first three years of school in cash, working 20 hours a week while in school collecting my pharmacy prerequisites, and I worked two full-time jobs each summer to save up enough to pay tuition in cash. At one point I was $2,000 in debt, working 30 hours a week, taking an extremely heavy course load, suffering from IBS and complications from that—and still received no help from my father. But he wasn’t even done yet.

He actively tried to sabotage me by providing me with no space to study at home. I would be studying for finals and he would ask me to rewire the basement for him and then go completely ballistic on me when I would say I don’t have time but I’ll gladly help after finals. After my mother divorced him and moved out in September 2017, it all got so much worse. I was getting my last three prerequisite classes to apply to pharmacy school at the time.

He would torment me every day, sabotage me, watch me struggle to afford to feed myself and pay for gas to get to school and offer no help, etc. I am 23 and I have grown a lot of grey hair in the last three years from stress. One night while I was playing X-box after writing a midterm, he comes down and starts screaming in my face and going completely ballistic again for no reason. He would not stop threatening me and screaming in my face.

I threatened to call the authorities on him and he started freaking out even more. I knew what I had to do. I drove away in the night and stayed at my maternal grandparents’ house overnight. I skipped school the next day and waited for him to go to work, came home with my grandpa’s SUV, and loaded all of my belongings up and moved out.

He has tried to contact me dozens of times now by sending random pictures of things, random messages like “what’s up” but never any apologies or admittance of wrong-doing. I have not replied to any messages, not even once. My last memory of him is backing out of my driveway and disappearing into the night. I finished my last prerequisite in April and applied to pharmacy school, and this week I found out I was accepted.

I have done this almost entirely on my own with absolutely zero support. My dad just refused and my mom just isn’t capable since she doesn’t make a lot of money. I am the first person in my family to ever go to university. This is the proudest I have ever been of myself.

Permalink

35. A Problematic Father

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.

IdleOsprey

36. Just Deserts

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 chaos 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.

nthing2seehere

37. But 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.

Aquarithyst

38. Too Little, Too Late

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.

StuddlyCactus

39. Better Off Without Him

My biological father is Greek with very pale skin and my mom is a white Western European. When I was born, I had very dark skin and a full head of thick black hair. He didn’t seem concerned but his mother freaked out and called my mother and grandmother not so nice names and left. Apparently, my dad seemed happy for about a week.

My father ended up splitting on us when I was about 3 weeks old with no explanation. A couple of months later my skin lightened, all of my black hair fell out, and it turns out he was the father. My father and I tried to form a relationship when I was in high school. It went okay at first and then he got weird very quickly.

He insisted I call him dad, insisted on regular visitation, and routinely showed up at my friends’ and boyfriend’s houses causing a scene. He insisted I get family pictures with his new lady and his five other kids, none of us have the same mother, and this is not including the baby he had and ditched before he got together with my mom.

Cherry on top, he was working for my now husband’s parents when my husband and I first met. Once his parents found out who he was and what had happened, they fired him so I would never have to run into him at their business. He had it coming anyway so they were glad to finally stop making excuses for him and let him go.

juliatheplant

40. Give And Take

So, growing up I was basically like Harry Potter. My parents and sister would constantly make fun of me for being a nerd and interested in computers, etc. Additionally, my parents have always been socially and financially illiterate and unable to move up at work because of how (willingly) uneducated they were. They would always complain about things happening at work, like perceived slights, but they would never confront people directly and just took it out on me at home instead.

They didn’t know how to converse or deal with things. On top of this, they would refuse to bring me to doctor’s appointments because they didn’t want to take off work or pay the copays, and I would constantly be sick or have medical issues without any proper attention being given. As such, school was difficult and embarrassing. This was all done while they would buy new cars and go into debt trying to keep up with the neighbors.

I do remember one day when my dad was complaining about how “he’ll never be rich,” once again complaining about his financial woes even though he didn’t want to work harder or get an education. He said to me, Well, unless you make it big, then I will.” I wasn’t going to let that fly, and I got him good. I said, “Well, if you’re not paying for my clothes or helping with college then you’re not getting anything.”

They both made a big deal out of it and my mom started yelling at me, but I just let them let it out and held my ground. I ended up getting a big break in a tech job a few years after college. I didn’t tell my parents about my finances but they were able to figure it out as I paid off $50,000 of loans in a year that my grandma co-signed for, so they were able to see it being wiped from her credit reports when they had to take over her finances because she developed dementia.

Fast forward to Christmas. I am only in touch with them to ensure they don’t mess around with my grandma at this point. Every year I just give them a simple $20 gift and I get the same and it’s as pleasant as that situation can be. I don’t change my gift amounts for them, of course, but I notice when my mom and dad have finished their gifts, my mom looks like she’s about to pout all day.

It’s the same look when my dad tries to tell her she can’t buy a new car every year or something. I don’t think much of it but when I visited my grandma at the nursing home she asked me if they “liked the house.” I thought she was going crazy but then she said something about how they were watching YouTube videos of kids who made it big gifting their parents mortgage money and the parents crying. That’s when it dawned on me.

They thought I was going to gift them with a house. Not only do they have these delusions, but they also probably don’t even remember the promise I made when I was a teenager to my dad. Or maybe they just didn’t think I would have the balls to deny gifting them any cash. I have never been so happy.

Pemalink

Bad parentsShutterstock

41. The Long And The Short Of It

I’m an adult. For as long as I can remember, I’ve hardly ever cut my nails. If I cut my nails then I do it in the bath or shower. My husband has thought this is weird and asked me about it. I’ve always told him that if I don’t do it in the shower then it makes my nails bleed and get sore. This is just something I remember as a child. But I’ve also seen my husband cut his basically whenever with no consequence.

So I came to the conclusion that I was different. Except when I was pregnant, I got so big I couldn’t reach my toes. So my husband helped out. He didn’t cut them in the shower, just outside in the air. They weren’t sore and they didn’t bleed. So I thought that was strange. It bothered me on and off, and I would think about it. So I ended up googling “how to cut your nails.”

Then it brought back memories of my mom pinning me down on the bed, actually sitting on me, while I screamed that it was hurting. So I’ve discovered that nails bleed and feel sore if you cut the skin when you cut them. Or if you cut them too short. I’m not different, it’s just my mom used to try to cut them as short as possible, which made them sore.

This in turn made child-me decide that having my nails cut hurt, which made me fight it, which made mom mad. This led to skin being caught because I wouldn’t hold still and she just did it anyway. The theory around water came from getting a hold of clippers once in the bath and doing them myself. I just assumed this was the trick and then somewhere down the line forgot all this stuff.

LittleAstroGlitter

42. Her Own Worst Enemy

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.

The_Powerful_Entity

43. The Worst Wedding

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.

radigail

44. Line ‘Em Up

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.

has-8-nickels

45. Those In Glass Houses

One of my favorite cousins just did 23andMe with her dad and discovered that they were not biologically related at all. This is especially horrible because my aunt (her mother) is one of the most ridiculously zealous and judgmental people I have ever met. She screams at the baby cousins when they don’t behave perfectly.

She literally threw a pocket bible at a woman in a grocery store. And she likes to send me unsolicited long letters about “God’s plan” for my life. Surprisingly, her husband is the most fun and laid-back person I’ve ever met. He did not deserve this, or her.

toss_my_potatoes

46. Errand Boy

My brother and I are minding our business, sitting in his room and watching Into the Spiderverse when my mom opens the door, stands in the doorway, and starts demanding my brother does a favor for her. The thing about my mom is that she is constantly forcing whoever she can find to handle her business for her. Because we’re the only people she has left at this point, that “honor” goes to us.

She wanted my brother to go pick up her pills (she’s a bit of an addict) from her friend, who lives nearly an hour away, and my mom and decides she’s not even going to go with him. He told her he wasn’t going because that’s her friend, her pills, and a two-hour drive for pills she doesn’t even actually need (hence why he’d have to drive all the way out there and not to a pharmacy). This makes her even more insufferable than normal.

She tries to guilt-trip him into going by himself. Mom: “What if I drove and got into an accident, you would feel guilty!” Brother: “You can’t drive without violating your court terms And what if I get into an accident?” Mom: “Well I’m not feeling well, why can’t you be a good kid and do a favor for your mother?” Brother: [see above reasons] Mom: “You can’t force people to go places when they don’t want to!”

Brother, without missing a beat: “Oh, you mean like you’re trying to force me right now?” I laughed. Before I can even turn my head to look at her properly, she’s gone. It was a seriously satisfying moment.

-TheForkOnThe Left-

47. No Means No

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.

evanjw90

Bad parentsShutterstock

48. Moving On Up

After telling my parents a few weeks ago that I’m moving in with my best friend, my parents were completely against it. Well of course they would be, they’re the reason I’m moving out. While I am going to have to pay rent paycheck-to-paycheck, I’ll do what it takes to get away from here. I even graduated college one year early to move out earlier. Plus, I’ve paid off all my student loans and have no outstanding debt.

I finally am free to work on myself, and stop letting their trauma and manipulation determine what’s best for me. Only, they threw one final wrench into it. My dad called me yesterday, saying how he’s so glad I’m not moving out because “It was a bonehead idea. I’d ruin my life if I did.” Funny, because I never said I’m not moving out. He’s still confident I need them in my life and am staying.

I didn’t say a word while he was speaking, and just let him keep going with his manipulation. “Plus, me and your mother are putting our foot down. You’re not allowed to move out now.” Excuse me? I’m 1000% positive I don’t need your permission. I’m 21, can sign a lease on my own, and wasn’t ASKING to move out. I was TELLING. It’s not your decision, it’s mine.

evea8

49. My Megalomanic

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.

Permalink

50. It’s Always Me, Me, Me

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.

brittafiltaperry

51. Flying Solo

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.

thirdcoastgrill

52. The Truth Hurts

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.”

MieptheMiep

53. Just To Be Clear

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.

that1chick1730

54. Out Of His Depth

My parents got divorced when I was twelve. They had one of those informal “let’s just see if we can work things out” talks to see if they needed an actual hearing. For whatever reason, I was there. I thought it was awesome at the time and felt so mature but I now understand that it was terribly irresponsible of my parents to allow me in.

So my parents are trying to hash out child support when Mom looks at Dad and says, “I just want you out of my life. I don’t need or want anything from you. She isn’t yours.” Cut to an immediate paternity test proving I was in fact not my father’s child. He left and just like that I had no dad anymore. Not that he was much of a one in the first place.

ICanHandleItOK

55. A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

My brother works professionally as a family counselor. I have been no contact with my family for 15 years. I left when my mom hit me, I called the authorities, and my brother and father told me I did the wrong thing. I sometimes wonder how my family is, so I googled my brother and found his LinkedIn which had a link to his YouTube. It has videos ranging from topics like golden child, relationship red flags, daddy issues, etc. He’s such a hypocrite.

I tried watching one video but couldn’t finish it when he started calling our father a “good example.” Spoiler: He is not. Like, how delusional are you? I’m so glad I’m no contact. I just feel sorry for any misleading information he imparts to his patients. Let this be a warning that not all counselors and therapists are good people. You might have to see a few before you find one that is right for you.

ZeldLurr

56. A Friend In Need

Ever since I was small, my parents made it very clear that they wanted me to be a boy and they never hid the fact. They never physically or verbally hurt me but they never showed me any love either. They would feed me but I don’t remember anyone ever asking me if I liked it. They would give me medicines when I was sick but I don’t remember them asking me if something hurt or if I was okay.

Anything I asked for, the answer was a no. The consequences were devastating. At some point, I stopped asking for anything. I realized very young that expectations and wants only led to disappointment and hurt, so I stopped wanting anything. No one cared about what I was feeling. I stopped feeling anything. Other adults didn’t like when I said “I don’t care” about anything. They got worried when I never cried even if I was hurt.

This made my parents upset. So, I used to ask myself “What would people do?” and do that. My parents kicked me out when I was 18. I didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t sad. I didn’t care. I thought what would people do? They would go to college or work. So I applied for a scholarship and went to work. I made a few friends. I laughed when I was supposed to even though I didn’t find it funny.

I smiled even though I never felt happy. I acted like I was upset or angry sometimes even though I never felt any of it. I always avoided people touching me because I didn’t know how to respond. I never asked for anything and I cloaked it as independence. I never dated anyone and I cloaked that as asexuality. I did everything possible to make sure people thought I was a person, but I never felt like one.

I felt like an alien or robot who was pretending to be one. I was living alone. All the pretending usually made me exhausted by the time I got to the apartment. That was my safe space. When I was 21, one of my friends got kicked out of the dorms. He asked me if he could sleep on my couch until the end of the month so he could save up some money. I never learnt how to say no. Even though I knew having someone in the house was a bad idea, I didn’t know how to say no.

And people helped their friends. So, I said yes. He was watching something on the TV and the mom in the show was hugging her son. He said how he wished he could have a hug from his mom. I was doing dishes and nonchalantly mentioned that I have never been hugged before. I never would have said that but it slipped out. I didn’t even realize I said it out loud. The next moment made me fundamentally different.

He wasn’t angry. He asked me if I wanted one now. I didn’t reply. I don’t want anything. He asked me if he could please hug me. People let their friends do what they ask for when they say please. I didn’t know if I wanted a hug. But I didn’t know how to say no. So, I said yes. He hugged me. I will never forget that feeling. It was warm. It was comforting. I didn’t remember ever being hugged.

I didn’t remember the last time I was touched so gently. I just stood there like a statue and he kept holding me. After a few minutes, I remembered that people hug back. So, I hugged him back. It felt nice. People don’t hug for that long. So I let go. Then he let go. That night was the first time I remember crying. I didn’t know why I was crying but I just remember that I couldn’t stop. After that, I wanted to be hugged again.

I could never bring myself to ask him. I didn’t know how to. Month-end came. He was going to leave the next morning. That night I knocked on his door because I wanted to be hugged one more time. He opened the door and asked if everything was okay. I wanted to ask for a hug before he left. But my throat closed up and I couldn’t get the words out. He asked me if everything was okay and if I wanted a hug.

Again, my throat closed up and I could not get myself to say yes even though I desperately wanted to. He hugged me anyways. I apologized for being needy and I promised I won’t be selfish from tomorrow. He just hugged me tighter. He didn’t let go even after I let go. I wanted to tell him not to go. I wanted to tell him to stay. Because the friendship I had for three weeks with him was one of the most real relationships I ever had and I didn’t want to lose it.

For the first time, I felt like a person, not just someone pretending to be one. But I couldn’t bring myself to be selfish again. So I woke up early the next day and made some breakfast for us and waited to send him off. He came out and asked me if it was okay for him to stay another couple of months as he didn’t save up enough yet. I knew he was lying. I knew how much he had saved up better than him and I knew he had already finished packing the night before.

I wanted to say so much, but I could only say “Thank you.” Another week later, he convinced me to visit a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with extreme anti-social disorder and emotional self-neglect caused by my childhood. Which is medically fascinating. Self-neglect is when someone cares too little about themselves and too much about others. The opposite end of the spectrum is sociopaths who care about themselves too much and too little about others.

I ended up not caring about anyone, including myself. It has been seven years since then. I got the help I needed because someone finally looked closely enough to see that my mouth was duct-taped behind the mask. I still have ways to go. I still have trouble going no-contact with my family. But my biggest accomplishment is learning to ask myself “What do I want to do” instead of “What would people do?” And then comes the truly happy ending.

I married that friend two years ago. I always tell him how his hug probably saved my life. Ever since that night, a day hasn’t gone by when I don’t receive a hug from him. He is my hero. It’s scary to think how and where I would have ended up if I kept living like that. But I don’t want to imagine that. So, I am not going to.

aitanarcfarm

57. Your Day In Court

Today was the final day in my long and tedious process of getting emancipated from my mother. I’ve had issues with my mother since I was about 13 years old. She forced me to attend a school two hours away instead of the one 10 minutes away. Then she banned me from seeing my paternal cousins, who were some of my closest friends at the time.

She then divorced my dad and made up lies about him, so I’ve only been able to see him a weekend a month for the past three and a half years. The struggle continued, but fast forward to me being 16. I got a full-time job selling glasses, enrolled full-time in college classes, and got my driver’s license on my 16th birthday. To get to work and school, I fixed up one of our old beater cars. This also gave me the ability to visit my dad whenever I wanted.

One day, I was with my dad when my mother freaked out and said I couldn’t drive “her” car to my dad’s house. I tell her that’s crazy, but the registration was in her name so there wasn’t much I could do, except maybe buy my own car. So that’s what I did, I bought my own car (without her knowing) and had my dad sign the title for me. Then she went absolutely over the top.

I considered emancipation at the time but decided it wasn’t worth it and that I could suffer through it for another two years. Horrible mistake. Then my 17th birthday rolled around and I signed for the army THE DAY I turned 17. I went to basic combat training that summer and returned to find my mom had emptied my bank account she had access to while I was gone (around $700 total).

Luckily, I had opened an account with my dad prior to leaving and transferred most of my savings there, I also changed the direct deposit for my glasses job and the Army to the new bank account. But still, I was pretty upset about the $700.00. Then, about two months after I got back from basic, I was in a car accident and it totaled my car.

I still had to get to work so I borrowed my mom’s car (the same one as before that I fixed up). She let me borrow it for about a week before deciding I wasn’t being “grateful enough” and revoked my driving “privileges.” Luckily my older sister and my brother-in-law were able to take me to work each day for about two weeks until I could buy myself another car.

At that point, I was living with my sister because my mother was too manipulative to be around…I considered emancipation again but I turned 18 in six months anyway, so what’d be the point in that? But I said screw it and filed the petition anyway. I was entirely self-supported, my mother was emotionally harmful, and I was already the manager at my job making good pay, going to college, yada yada.

Through the emancipation process, my mother got more and more crazy. She started by calling my high-ranking uncle in Florida trying to get me discharged, then she reported me as a runaway child, then she reported the business I manage to labor and industries for “breaking minor labor laws.” But life went on, until today when I finally had my court hearing.

The judge granted me a decree of emancipation and I am now officially an adult. I’m on the top of the world right now. It’s such a relief to be free from my mother. I turn 18 in three months now, but escaping my mother for these last few months is one of the best things I think I’ve ever done.

FormerChiId

Bad parentsShutterstock

58. You Don’t Deserve Her

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.

thr00waeyaway

59. So Many Children!

My brother-in-law is 30, and his wife is 55. She has seven children from four previous marriages and relationships. That’s bad enough, but it gets worse—three of her seven are over 30 years old. Her youngest is 10 and lives with his father, but the other six are older than 18 and live on their own. At least two are also married. The look on their faces when they came and saw my brother-in-law at the wedding was definitely something to behold!

Dvalamardace

60. State Of Emergency

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.

arielrecon

61. Cutting To The Quick

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.

goatmansportsfan

62. Credit Where It Isn’t Due

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.

XX_bot77

63. Do What You Gotta Do

My grandfather was a tall, lanky fellow with a long face. He was of British descent, with somewhat dark colouring, and very, very distinctive features. My grandmother was blatantly, blazingly Irish. Pale as heck and completely blanketed in freckles, with a mischievous, dainty little nose, and reaching a grand height of 5’3.

Somehow, none of my grandfather’s odd-looking features appeared in any of his children. And apparently, there was a good reason for that. Neither child was his, and he knew that, and was totally okay with that… extremely happy about it, actually. See, my grandpa nearly lost his life in an accident. He survived, but it left him infertile.

A few years later he met a woman. She was unmarried, with a 2-year-old daughter she’d given birth to after a fling with an Irishman. My grandpa married her and adopted my aunt as his own and loved her immensely. A few years later, I guess they decided they wanted another child. But IVF wasn’t exactly an option in that time and place.

Apparently, they asked a neighbor to offer his services. And grandma had another baby girl. They all thought it was a fantastic arrangement; practical and resulting in joy. He was a truly wonderful father, and his children adored him.

The_Awktopus

64. Aye, Aye Captain

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.

SpareActuary4978

65. A Thousand Times No

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.

MoreCheeseIWant

66. The Sound Of Silence

I was an only child. I had lots of toys, always had healthy food, good clothes, two loving dogs, and an adorably decorated bedroom. My parents even took me on vacations, I took piano lessons, and we had cable. I thought, “What right do I have to feel I was robbed of something my parents should have provided? I knew my mom was “a little crazy” and extremely manipulative, but I wasn’t sure how to validate feeling like I missed out on childhood when I had been provided with more than so many others.

I realize I missed out on having a mom—on being treated with respect. My entire life, up until about 22, I was dependent on my mom for something. She worked at a university and employees’ kids got discounted tuition—the deal of a lifetime for a child who had no college fund. But this also meant she held something over me: “If you don’t do this and treat me with respect, I won’t sign the paperwork.”

All. The. Time. I found ways around her controlling nature. I got two jobs and worked as a cleaning lady in between them. “If you call me again while I’m at work, I’m shutting your phone off.” So I put my phone on my friend’s account and I pay him the difference now. “If you think you can act like that I’ll pull your car insurance.” So I moved over to my own car insurance. Same company except interestingly, my rate went down??

She was constantly reminding me what she had paid for. Continuously threatening to pull a resource from me. Persistently demanding obedience. Endless requests for me to apologize for something I did, something I said, something I refused to do that she disagreed with. In late April, I cut her off. I wouldn’t help her with a project, and was told I needed to apologize for my “bad behavior.”

I didn’t apologize. I didn’t say anything, actually. I blocked her from calling and texting me. With a phone I purchased. With a phone plan I control. With the dignity I hold for how I am talked to and treated. It wasn’t meant to be three months. “Just a few days” I thought. Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. Peace filled my life. I don’t feel as drained. I don’t feel I have to impress. I don’t feel controlled. I don’t feel dismissed.

Even if you had all the necessities, if you were “spoiled”, if you were pacified with nice things, your feelings and how well you deserve to be treated are VALID.

WonderWomanPhi

67. The American Dream

I’m 23 and my dad is 64. Last year, he married a woman who was 22. My parents weren’t really together—they never got married, and they split soon after I was born. My mom’s black and my dad’s an Iranian immigrant who came to the U.S. in the ’70s as a student and never left. My dad was pretty transient; he moved up and down the East coast and eventually settled in New Jersey.

I didn’t keep much contact with my dad, but I started talking to him again a few years ago. He didn’t have much companionship, so eventually he went back to Iran and met a woman who already had a kid and was divorced, looking to make a better life for herself. So, my dad married her, and she and her son came over just before the Trump ban.

My dad talks pretty freely about his relationship with his wife. When he revealed his true feelings, I was caught off-guard. He said things like, “Obviously she doesn’t love me. She just used me to come to the U.S.” Both my dad’s wife and her son have had a hard time learning English. The wife had a mental breakdown last year and checked herself into a psych ward.

My dad’s pretty poor and lives in a not-so-good neighborhood with not much to do. It sure seems like my stepmother is isolated, and until she gets used to everything, she’s pretty much at my dad’s house all day long.

breadstuffs

68. Actions Have Consequences

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 counseling 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.

drowninglice

69. In The Money

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.

Permalink

70. Everything Goes

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.

salt-mistress

71. Still Related

Before we met, my husband was in a relationship for 10 years and they had a little girl. The girlfriend had postpartum depression so he did most of the raising of the baby. They broke up when the kid was about four. They had an agreement that she wouldn’t sue for child support as long as he paid daycare and anything else she needed and it worked well for them.

When the little one was six, he went to pick her up from daycare and the ex flipped out and demanded he had no right and he better take her back or she would call the authorities and report she’d been kidnapped. He took her back to daycare and told them to tear up the check he’d just given them because he was going to cancel it.

It was not the right thing to do but he was angry and not thinking. They ended up going to court and the court asked if he wanted a DNA test. He wanted everything done by the book so he said yes. Test results came back that he was not the father. But that wasn’t even the worst part. See, his daughter looked so much like him…because she was his brother’s.

Stormchels2

72. Winning The Sick Olympics

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.

slimyguts

Bad parentsPexels

73. A Side Of Sass

My mom suffocated me. She follows me to school, she yells at my teachers and friends and embarrasses me, she starts fights with other kids’ parents. She’s a nightmare and no matter what, SHE is always the person who’s been hurt or offended. She has literally, repeatedly said, and I quote, “I’ve never hurt anybody. People always hurt me and I just don’t understand why!” She’s 55 years old.

No one lives that long without hurting anyone. That’s just inhuman. She literally claims to be inhumanly benevolent. Yet I’ve seen her do vile things to people. But on to today…My big cousin, David, came over with his mom today. David just graduated with an engineering degree last year and when I posted on Facebook about struggling with a science project, he volunteered to come help.

Now, David is like an older brother to me. He used to be around all the time, but when he graduated high school, he stopped interacting with anyone in the family except through social media. I wondered why. My mom always said that he was on substances or that he let white people poison him against us or some trash like that. Now I realize what actually went on. He was just fed up with the narcissism and horrible behaviors.

So, today, I was extremely excited to see him and have him help me with my project. But who decides to get up early on a Sunday to “do [my] project for [me]”? My mother. Unbelievable. She completely takes over and undoes everything that is done to that point. Like, he starts making this terrible-looking ramp out of a pool noodle and popsicle sticks.

I got upset and when she asked what was wrong I said, “I’m going to fail. You’re going to make me get an F on this project. I don’t even need your help, David is coming.” And here come the tears, and yells, and screams. Our front door is open and she’s just yelling and yelling about how she’s been victimized yet again. Luckily, David pulled up and heard her from outside. And it’s like he knew perfectly how to neutralize her.

He playfully yelled inside to me: “Come unlock this screen door! Quick! I have to save your mother from the threat you’re posing!” My mom’s husband started laughing his head off and to save face, she laughed too while I went and let him in. Then it took a weird turn where she was thirsty for David’s validation. She started fishing for him to compliment the terrible model she’d put together.

He starts talking in a thick, over-the-top New York accent and said “Geez, I dunno. This looks like a stack of bad ideas, bad execution, and hatred for one’s own daughter. But you wouldn’t know anything about any of that, would you Auntee?” Again, my mom’s husband laughs so hard he spits his coffee out. And she’s forced to save face and just plays along and tells him to “Do better then, Mr. Engineer.” And he had these perfect responses to her all day.

It was like watching a seven-year-old play one-on-one with Lebron James. But the best one all day was when she starts going on and on about how I victimized her and I never take her side and I just hate her. She said the phrase “You ride me like a newborn pony.” And David dunked right on her. He says, “Well, not a newborn pony. They’re way too small. Maybe a full-grown horse.”

My mom’s husband laughed so hard he had to run to the bathroom because he said he was peeing on himself. My mom looked utterly stunned. Here was someone who did not give a single care about her poor, poor feelings and she couldn’t make him leave without obviously ruining my project which is worth 50% of my triad grade, which David mentioned over and over and over again.

He says stuff like “make me leave and your daughter fails 8th-grade science. And that would make you a bad person. And I don’t think you’re a bad person.” And he said everything as if he were joking! It was so perfect. I cried after he left because I finally felt like someone understood what I was going through and really went the extra mile to be there for me.

Science and math have always been subjects I struggled with. I’m much, much better with English and literature and art classes. So to know I’ve got someone like him to help and who gets what my mother is like makes me feel like I’m not alone. And my project is easily going to be the very best one in the class. I’m not 100% sure what David does for work aside from him being an engineer, but he said he works on cars at a shop in the city near us.

Actually, my mom even had to dump on that because according to her, “You’re wasting your degree,” to which he responded, “You’re wasting your breath.” My assigned topic is Newton’s three laws of motion. He brought in an old transmission and a clutch from a car that was in a bad wreck and we built a model on this big board. We actually put the whole setup together piece by piece with metal dowel rods like it’d be in a car.

He showed me how it worked and explained what this does in a car and then gave me this sheet with a bunch of equations and diagrams he drew on it that represent the physical relationships at work between specific components of the two systems. He then said that he wasn’t going to let me keep the sheet and instead he was going to teach me the stuff on the sheet enough for me to be able to present it to class and at the science fair.

So we sat there and when he started talking about math and science my mom left the room and he and I spent hours going over the math and the physics. He also helped me make notecards so that I can remember what we went over today. I keep crying when I think about this because it felt like he cared about me doing well for me and not so he could show me off.

My mom always brags about me doing well in school but it’s always backhanded. She pretends she has to do my work for me and stand over me while I write my papers or do my art projects when in reality she just won’t leave me alone. But David just wanted me to do my best. He kept saying how “You can do this.” And it felt so great to have someone believe in me and help me.

When we were finishing up, my mom started complaining about the model. “How is that big thing going to get to her school?!” She catches the bus and I’m not getting up and putting that heavy, greasy thing in my car.” David: “Luckily for everyone here, I didn’t take that transmission and clutch out of my car, so I’ll come to pick her up and take her to school.”

So guess who suddenly decided she needed to come too? But I’m okay with it because David will be there and I’m sure he’ll be able to neutralize her again. When David was leaving, he asked me to come out to his car because he had something for me. Turns out, he went on my Facebook a few months ago and found out my mom broke my iPhone. So he bought me a new iPhone.

He said it was for birthdays of mine he’d missed and because I was doing so well in school and he was proud of me. We talked for a while about everything. This has been the best day of my life and I’m not even kidding. David, I needed you and you came through and I’ll never forget or be ungrateful. It may seem silly to you, but those jokes, the project, the phone—it all means the world to me.

trappedbyMother

74. The Same Sense Of Humor

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.

scroggybottoms

75. A Second Opinion

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.

Binary_ink

76. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

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.

clevercalamity

77. Pregnant Pause

I’m 23 years old. Keep that in mind. First of all, every time it’s time for my period, my mom asks me if I had it. That’s one thing. I always let it slide I guess because she’s my mom. I’ve been on birth control for almost five years now. It’s very normal for me to have a light to zero period while taking it. I’m not sure what the issue is this time, but I didn’t have my period last month, and of course, my mom asked me about it.

It’s happened a million times before. But for some odd reason, she now thinks I’m pregnant. And she’s really stuck on it. I went to the gynecologist just last week, and they didn’t say anything about me being pregnant. And I’ve told her that a million times. But this morning, it got 10 times worse. I wake up to a phone call from my dad telling me that my mom just texted him saying she thinks I’m pregnant.

He was angry I didn’t tell him that I missed my period. Like….how is that any of his business? He began asking me all of these questions about my menstrual cycle. I don’t think it’s any of his business about what my body is doing. I don’t think it’s either of my parents’ business quite honestly. He told me that I have to take a pregnancy test and send him a photo of the results.

I just feel like regular people do not have to deal with this. I don’t even know what else to say.

moonchild2384

78. In The Know

My sister got pregnant in high school and later met her now husband when she was five months pregnant. She is white and her boyfriend is black. The baby’s father was white and not present. One day, I was with our entire family, including my now brother-in-law, visiting the baby. My sister was still in recovery from her C-section.

Brother-in-law picks up my niece and holds her lovingly, the nurse looks at him and says, “She should darken up in a few days.” We all had a laugh. We knew he wasn’t the father, but the nurse didn’t. I always wondered if she assumed adultery. They have two more girls together and he legally adopted my niece.

MetalPixie311

79. No Safe Space

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.

true-columbine

Bad parentsShutterstock

80. But He’s My Friend!

I’m 34 and my 53-year-old mom married a guy she met in my younger sister’s friend group who is around four years younger than me. The age gap between them is staggering—almost 20 whole years. My sister was really mad about it for a while, but I never really cared. It’s my mom’s fourth marriage, and she has had a very long struggle with mental health issues. I just want her to be happy.

The guy is really nerdy and they had a video game-themed wedding at the local Elks’ Lodge. Now they live in an RV with two cats on just his income, because she has been unable to get a job since 2009. I worry about my mom a lot, but for now, it seems to be working okay.

ieilael

81. Drive On By

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.

vvrine

82. It’s Not All In Your Head

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.

VJohns11

83. Me? Fail? Never

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.

RedeRules770

84. A Stressful Situation

My sister had three kids and a husband, and she went to El Salvador for school since she is a geologist. She contracted a parasite that ate out one of her intestines and it lead to her in a hospital getting surgery after surgery. Anyways, she met another patient in a room close to her, and one thing leads to another and she’s out of the hospital, and pregnant.

Her husband wasn’t suspicious because they hadn’t seen each other in ages and were very happy to see each other. However, the baby was born with hair redder than fire, which made no sense since both my sister and her husband had jet black hair. This immediately ruined literally everything and sent my sister through years of guilt and depression.

Time has healed most wounds, and her husband is surprisingly dealing with it better than anyone thought. He even takes the kid when all the other kids go to stay with him.

ImALlama

85. Grow Up

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.”

TheNamesNel

86. The Surprise Brother

First of all, my father is no saint. He has cheated on his current wife many times. The step-mom in this story–we’ll call her Linda–was actually his latest mistress. Linda is older than me by two years and younger than my older brother by one year. We first met her on one of our a few weekends away with my dad. The only reason she was there was that my dad knocked her up and she had just given birth to my baby brother.

Because my dad wanted us to have a relationship with him, we got to spend one weekend a month with them at his vacation house. This was a lot of time spent with my dad compared to the last 20 years of my life, so I went along with it despite the whole cheating element. But then the drinking started, and things just really hit the fan.

When they drink, Linda turns into a raging, jealous, paranoid banshee and my dad loses his temper really easily. During one of their many fights, she accused my dad of cheating on her. In a fit of rage, he charged at her, and she reacted in the most shocking way—she actually used my baby brother as a shield. We had to pry my baby brother from her because they were both hurling stuff at each other.

My dad decided to stop drinking but she didn’t, despite having a health condition that gets worse when she drinks. Eventually, my dad and Linda broke up (not on good terms), but my dad kept up support for my new brother. When my brother was three or four, Linda took him away and told my dad he couldn’t see him anymore. My dad stayed in contact with Linda’s mom to get updates about my brother, but he didn’t know where he was.

He sent child support to Linda’s mom every month. Linda’s mom eventually told my dad the cold, dark truth—the kid wasn’t actually his son. Linda had cheated on my dad with her ex-boyfriend and pretended it was my dad’s because my dad had more money. As far as I know, my dad has stopped child support, but he checks on him from time to time. The good news is…my dad has sworn off mistresses to live a quieter life.

I mostly feel bad for my non-baby-brother because he’s caught up in the middle of this.

Schatzi_sugoi

87. Glass Half Empty

I’m my family’s big secret! I’m adopted and at some point, I managed to find my biological father. He begged me not to reach out to any of my half-siblings as it would “ruin his life and standing in the community.” But that’s not even the worst part. I’m actually not even his first secret child. I have an older half-sister that he also begged not to reach out to the family.

So that’s two kids he’s had because he cheated on his wife. I can only imagine how often he actually cheats on whoever woman he’s with. My half-sister and I refer to 23andMe as “23andMark,” because who knows how many more kids he might have out there. I’m pretty sure he’s been terrified since at-home DNA kits became a thing.

When I tell this story, people usually ask me why I don’t tell his wife. I just tell them I don’t need to. She already knew about my half-sister, and now me, because she answered his phone when I first called asking questions and promptly told me to leave her family the heck alone. Also, screw him for asking me to stay quiet.

But at the same time, I don’t plan to blow up his life or reach out to my half-siblings. In fact, it is largely because of my half-siblings that I haven’t done anything. I did not sign up to be a wrecking ball or to destroy a family. Imagine finding out that everything you thought you knew about your dad was a lie in the worst way possible. I know I’d be devastated.

I may not have met them but they are still my half-siblings and I do care about them on some level. They are just as innocent in all this as I am, so I don’t want to be the one to hurt them like that. I really hope that he will just realize one day that he can’t keep a secret like this forever and that he will have to come clean to them himself.

Then there’s the question of why I don’t just mail his kids DNA testing kits anonymously. Realistically, it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets curious and does it on their own or gets gifted one from an unwitting family member or friend. Believe it or not, some people even ask me why I don’t just blackmail or demand money from the guy.

He’s a terrible person, so he should pay for what he did, right? The answer to that is pretty simple. That’s just not the kind of person I am. I don’t want his money, and I never have. I go to bed every night with a clear conscience, which is more than I can say for him. And that’s worth a lot more to me than anything that money could possibly buy in my opinion.

I have a roof over my head, a husband who loves me, a beautiful daughter, a great dad, and two new half-siblings that I adore from a distance. From my perspective, I’m already rich.

BellaTrixter

88. A “Shameful” Family Secret

My great-grandmother hated me. I was an “illegitimate” child, and my parents split when I was three. When my dad got his girlfriend pregnant, my great-grandmother said that she would cut him out of her life if “He didn’t marry this one.” My father married my stepmother, who was a single mother, and my great-grandmother was fantastic to my step-brother and my sister, but not me.

She flat-out refused to have anything to do with me. I spent Christmas with the family, but I came home crying to my mum, asking why Grandma wouldn’t talk to me. For the entire four days I was there, she ignored me, while cuddling my brother and sister as much as she could, because they lived in another country by then.

I didn’t find out any of this until after she passed. I wasn’t included in her will—the only grandchild not included out of about 7 grandchildren, and many more great-grandchildren. My dad took some of his inheritance and passed it on to me, along with a few heirlooms, keeping up the pretense that she didn’t hate me up into my 30s.

I was so hated by her that I’m only just starting to meet family members, who had no idea I existed. My dad, siblings, and nana were forbidden to speak about me to other family members, so the few who met me when I was a baby had forgotten I existed. I’m 36 now… It’s a long time to be keeping me a secret from the rest of the family.

My sister only told me all of this a few years ago, though she’d known my great-grandmother hated me from when we were kids because she would speak very hatefully about me behind my back. My nana’s partner confirmed it a couple months ago, with my mum finally telling me about it the last Christmas I ever saw her.

ngatiara

89. Getting The Message

Sooooo, I have a huge number of stories about this monstrosity of a man that I call my father-in-law. I really didn’t expect to have many more new ones at this point, but life is full of surprises. Some back story is that this man has been awful towards me and mistreated me for many years. Never physically, mostly in the form of extreme name-calling.

Some of the other things he’s done to me have included gaslighting, making me feel guilty for completely normal things, blaming me for his lack of relationship with my son, etc. It goes on and on. Some more backstory is that I was pregnant with twins until January—when tragedy struck. They were stillborn. My husband and I were heartbroken, and are still trying to grieve and move past this.

Anyways, this morning I was at my computer working from home, making my to-do list and relishing the fact that I lost another pound on the scale, when suddenly a Facebook message comes through from my father-in-law. Now, this is weird because we’re not friends on Facebook, even though we have sent messages to one another in the distant, distant past.

Also, I don’t really use Facebook anymore. I haven’t for years at this point. But nevertheless, this man apparently somehow found out about my babies dying. He sent me a message so disturbing, it’s impossible to forget. It said: “Doesn’t karma suck? The worst part is you still have a lot more coming 🙂 !” Word for word, complete with the emoji and all. I was fuming—but, only for a few minutes.

It was like a PTSD response or something, because my adrenaline was running, my hands were shaking, I was afraid, the whole nine yards. But then I realized that this guy is just sad. He’s sick and hateful. He doesn’t love my son (his grandson), he loves his possessions and he hates me for taking one of his possessions (i.e. my son) away from him when we moved out of state.

He never even asked how my son is doing after losing his baby brother and sister. Sick, sick, sick. So, I made up a plan for revenge. I came to the decision to post on Facebook for the first time in like four years. I told all of those friends about the babies, the tragic loss, and finished off with the beautiful message my father-in-law sent me this morning.

Behavior like this cannot live in the sunlight. It thrives in the shadows. I was afraid of him for years, but I’m not afraid of him anymore! He doesn’t have anything to take from me. He doesn’t hold any power over me. I’m already getting messages from his family telling me how disgusting he is. I’m sure he’s heard about my post by now. Public shaming for the win! In addition, my son is going to be 14 years old this month.

He’s old enough now to hear the truth about his grandfather. So, if he wants to hear about it, I will tell him. If he doesn’t, I’ll respect that. My response to my father-in-law? “My son will know who his grandfather is. He loved those babies too.” So, good luck to my father-in-law in trying to have a relationship with my son any time soon.

Does he not realize that my son actually loves me and our family? What a doofus. I’m sure he doesn’t even realize that my son isn’t a sweet six-year-old anymore and that he’s capable of having his own thoughts and opinions now.

gimmecoffee722

90. One Gifted Lady

My fiancé’s mother is a single mother, and she is waayyy overly attached to my fiancé. She seems to think she is entitled to be a part of every aspect of my fiancé’s life and that she must always come first in all situations. For example, she was livid when we got engaged because we didn’t visit her first after the proposal. She pitched a fit that we had stopped by my parents’ first to show them the ring.

When we did arrive at her house, she was so angry that she ended up throwing a cake at us in her driveway. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She has made my life a nightmare since we got together, but it became much worse when I got pregnant. She has made numerous attempts to convince my fiancé to leave me because she doesn’t believe I am pregnant with his baby.

Her “proof” is that I was too fat, so I must be lying about the due date. This is just one of the many things she has done to hurt and embarrass me. We have limited our contact with her as a result, but she always seems to find a way to weasel back in. So, last week I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Both our families were not able to come to the hospital and will likely not be able to visit in person for a while.

My parents told me they planned to decorate the front of my house to welcome the baby home, and my mom said she had ordered a bunch of things off Etsy for the occasion. When I arrived home, I was surprised to see that there were no decorations. I didn’t think much of it and just assumed my family had run out of time. It wasn’t like them to forget, but I assumed there was a good explanation. Then I got a heart-stopping phone call.

My mom called me after I was settled and asked me how I liked the decorations and presents. I asked her what she was talking about and told her that there was nothing outside when I got home. My mom proceeded to text me several pictures of my house fully decorated in pink baby gear. I also noticed several wrapped presents on my porch in the picture.

They were also missing along with a large banner, balloon arrangements, and several other decorations. My mother told me one of the presents contained a little sweater knitted by my grandma that I wore as a baby. I had been looking forward to receiving this and passing it on to my daughter. I was extremely confused as we live in a rural area so porch pirates are not very common.

I asked my fiancé to check our security camera. He pulled up the footage and we were both shocked at what we saw. We saw his mother taking everything down and putting it all in her car. The footage was very clear and you can easily see her license plate in the video. My fiancé was livid and immediately called his mother. She tried to deny it at first but soon admitted what she had done.

She claimed she was angry that she was not given the opportunity to decorate our house herself. She said my family had insulted her by excluding her, and she began to cry about how horrible we are to her. My fiancé was not having it. He said she had one hour to bring everything back to our place or he would be calling the authorities.

She then laughed and said that she had already thrown everything into a donation bin and told us good luck finding it. My fiancé has already driven around to several donation bins in the area to check but hasn’t found anything yet. We now agree that she will have no contact with our child in the future. I am beyond done with her and I just hope this is all over.

RedSky988

91. You’re Not Welcome

My son is 4.5 weeks old. Immediate problems with my mother-in-law started mid-pregnancy. My wife and I had been trying to have kids for a while (two miscarriages last year). Needless to say, this pregnancy had been planned out from the start. Part of the plans were of course the delivery itself. My wife did not want anyone but me and her friend/photographer in there during the delivery.

The rest of the family would be given updates and allowed in after we had spent some bonding time with our son. It’s worth pointing out that the last part is hospital policy regardless, which we didn’t know at the time. We didn’t want people waiting in the lobby because I was not going to be out there dealing with their emotions and needs during the whole ordeal.

My singular concern was to be there with my wife and child. We had been telling friends and family this from an early stage of the pregnancy. Every single person we told had all unanimously said, “Okay, no problem.” Because why should it be a problem? Everybody, that is, except my mother-in-law. She would always say, “No, I’m going to be there, you can’t keep me away.”

We would resist, but as time went on it started becoming more and more heated. Mind you, this woman has a lifelong history of being controlling towards her children, so this isn’t new territory. The week my wife was due, it ramped up a notch. It all turned into actual arguments and all-out hostility. She began calling me a “sperm donor,” claiming this was all my attempt to shut her out, etc.

We started getting screenshots of messages from family members where she had started a complete smear campaign against me and was trying to turn her entire family against me. Even more confusingly, she had tried that with my own mother. So my wife ends up giving birth late at night with a surprise c-section, while our son ends up in the NICU for a couple of hours.

My wife was out of it, and I was trying to bounce between her and our son, all the while my mother-in-law was apparently going berserk because we weren’t dealing with her needs. Next thing we know, she shows up at the hospital in the middle of the night causing a scene. Security rightly stopped her at the entrance and didn’t allow her up.

My son and I had finally been reunited with my wife about 20 minutes prior to this. The hospital, as mentioned, doesn’t even allow calm rational visitors within this time. Let alone lunatics in the middle of the night ranting and raving in the ER lobby. So of course this was, once again, my fault. I set up the hospital regulations. Silly me.

It’s important to note that my wife had tried at every step to mitigate this disaster. Even so much as trying to talk her mother down WHILE SHE WAS IN LABOR, telling her to come around 8:00 in the morning so that she can bring her boyfriend and son. Not “Come back when I’ve finally rested from being in labor all night.” Just “come at a reasonable time with the rest of your family.”

So the attacks continued. We had a local private detective come in and we tried to get a restraining order, but the hospital is in a different county than where we live. They suggested contacting the PD where we live when we leave the hospital. You bet I called them within the hour of being home, but that department said they couldn’t do anything unless she actually broke the law.

But we’ve at least begun building a paper trail. One incident with hospital security, once with first PD, one with our local PD. Since then, we have had further attacks on our character, which my wife has fought back on as much as possible. All of these decisions were hers from the beginning and she has tried to correct my mother-in-law’s version wherever possible, yet the mother-in-law still uses it as an easy attack against me.

She has still not seen my son, and is currently not welcome around him. She will go behind bars if she so much as tries to come around my son at this stage. There have been enough written notices and contacts with law enforcement to give us the paper trail. After witnessing her mistreat her children for years, I will never let her around my child so long as she continues to act this way.

She will certainly never watch my child. There will be no unsupervised visits. I have zero regrets that she has never met her grandson. He has had so much quality time with his extended family. Everybody else has been so happy to meet him, and he is a very happy baby. He is missing nothing.

WillCodeForFalafel

92. Two For The Price Of One

This is a story about my brother’s ex-wife. She did many terrible things during their marriage including instigating a fight with him over the phone, recording him getting mad, and then reporting him to the local authorities. At the end of the marriage, she stopped making payments on their house, and eventually, it was repossessed. They finally got divorced—but what she did next was the worst of all.

We were all shocked to learn she began dating our younger brother. They lasted for two years and we found out she would have secret dates at my mom’s house. Our brother told us after they broke up that she began giving him attention as young as sixteen years old. Our whole family is disgusted with her.

ProjectKurtz

93. The Mother Of All Pettiness

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.

my_name_isnt_zelda

94. Like He Never Even Existed

My brother who passed on. We never, ever talk about him. It’s so strange, growing up I knew I had a brother and I knew he was hit and killed by a car walking home, but I don’t know anything about him aside from that. I’ve seen his pictures, I know what he looked like. I don’t know anything about his personality, his likes or his dislikes, the type of music he listened to. I once found his comics in my mom’s closet when I was younger, but that was about it.

It is almost like it’s just a story and he wasn’t a real person. It wasn’t until my grandfather passed on about 11 years ago that my mother and I walked to his grave. She broke down into an inaudible mess, and it really hit me for the first time ever that he was a real person, as crazy as that sounds. I don’t understand that pain of losing a child, but it hurt to see my mom mourn like that, almost as if it had just happened.

The only time since then he was ever mentioned was by my dad a few months ago. Out of my mother, father, and sisters, I’m the tallest. My dad told me how the only one of us who was taller than me was Jimmy, and how he always seemed to keep growing, how he probably would have towered over me. I almost cried. I wish I got to know him.

Br12286

95. A Sweet Treat Before It Ends

When I was in kindergarten my dad would routinely show up, sign me out of class, and take me for ice cream. Best memory ever. In retrospect, my dad knew he was dying, and passed when I was 6. He routinely did stuff like this. I feel as if I missed nothing, I’m now 35.

50calPeephole

96. Ring Around the Rosie

My great grandmother gifted me her wedding ring to propose to my now wife. Back when I was a little kid, she gave it to my mom to give to me one day. I had waited and dreamed about that perfect proposal for my entire life. I had not yet proposed to my girlfriend when my mom just abruptly handed her the rings and explained what they were and what I was planning on doing with them. I was devastated.

I hadn’t even proposed yet! She completely ruined my lifelong plan, the surprise, the build up, etc. I’m still very sad to this day that this moment was ruined for us like that.

dokiardo

97. Family Friends With Benefits

I have a regular breakfast place that I had been frequenting on the weekends for about a good five or six years. One day I went into work later because of a doctor’s appointment, so I decided to pick up some breakfast at my regular place. I walk in and I take a look around to find a spot to sit at and I see my dad. He’s sitting in a corner spot with some woman I don’t recognize.

He looked shocked and I decided to walk over. He stands up and gives me a kiss/hug and introduces her as a coworker. It was the most awkward introduction of my life. My dad was an AC Repairman and was strictly on the road. No women in his office. I pretended like I believed him, said hello and sat down on my own. Definitely one of the most awkward moments of my life that will stand out for a long time.

More background: My mom and dad haven’t been together since before I was born however, he was married to another woman when this took place. The waitresses were all my friends and a couple of days later when I went for breakfast, they proceeded to tell me how he met that lady there every week. I never brought it up to him and pretended it never happened.

That was about 14 years ago…I still go to that breakfast place and the girls told me after that day he never came back to that restaurant. In a couple of weeks, it will be one year since he passed. I’m glad I got this opportunity to think and talk about him.

StumpedatUserName

98. I Said What I Said

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.

Stovential

99. A Familiar Face…

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.

RagaMuffinSun

100. A Job Well Done

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!!

chibi-usa

101. The Mother Of All Bad Mothers

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.

KaityWaity

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 45, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

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