Seriously Dysfunctional Families

Forget putting the “fun” in dysfunctional. There’s no joy in these stories about seriously messed-up families shared by Redditors. From hidden scandals to brutal betrayals, these stories prove that blood isn’t always thicker than water.

1. Backfiring On All Cylinders

My sister had a nice job working for the FBI. Her job was to do background checks on people in need of security clearance. There was a guy there who she liked, a cruise ship captain, and he needed to renew his clearance. Her little crush led her to do something so disturbing, it’s unforgettable. To try and drive a wedge between him and his girlfriend, my sister added items to his girlfriend’s record.

The guy got suspicious and asked the staff to run an investigation. She was eventually convicted and sent to federal prison for a year. What was really messed up though was that she didn’t tell her kids, who were in their late teens and early 20s, that she had court issues. So they came home from school one day to an answering machine message saying, “Mommy can’t make dinner tonight because she’ll be in prison for a while.”


2. Mother Knows Best

I ended up terminating my engagement with the person I fully planned on spending my life with— all because if I stayed with him, I’d have ended up miserable because of his mother. Here are some things his mother did that he defended, ignored, or outright supported: She insulted me to my face, with comments ranging from my weight to my intelligence.

She took my fiancé’s ex out for monthly dinners where they’d gossip about me and post nasty rumors on a joint Twitter account dedicated to airing out details of my private life. Things like my miscarriage, or my dad cheating on my mom. She told my fiancé that if we ever have a child, she’ll dismiss it as a “mistake.” She also told him “it’s me or her.”

She slammed my hand in a car door and started crying when I screamed because it “scared her.” Then she made me apologize for upsetting her. She pretended to take me out for a birthday dinner to “try to connect and make amends,” only to stiff me with a $270 dinner bill because “I should always pay for her and my future father-in-law, out of respect.”

She mentally and emotionally mistreated my ex his whole life, so I understand why he took her side and refused to defend me. His dad passed when he was six, so she kind of used him as an emotional spousal replacement. I tried for a year to get him to go to therapy, in hopes of opening his eyes to her disgusting behavior, but he thought that agreeing to therapy would be disrespecting his mom.

We ended things and to my knowledge, he hasn’t dated anyone since. So, yeah. When you sign up for a partner, you sign up for their family too. Make sure that’s what you want to resign yourself to.


3. Just Breathe

I was seven years old and had an asthma attack at our family campsite in the middle of the night. At that time, treatment for an attack was a nebulizer machine that required electricity, which we didn’t have at our camp. My parents kept telling me that I just had to calm down and breathe better so the attack would go away on its own.

They only intervened hours later because they couldn’t sleep because of all the noise I was making as I choked and gasped for air. We drove three hours back to our house, passing multiple hospitals along the way because they were embarrassed that I was in such bad shape and blamed me for just not breathing properly. Fun times for everyone.

I still have asthma, but it has been well-managed for years now, and I’ve been no contact with my mother for over a decade. She’s a narcissist who not only emotionally mistreated me but encouraged my older brother to do so as well. This lead to him physically harming me, and when I eventually confronted her on this, she said it was my fault for “being such a wimp.”

I cut her out of my life and that’s made a world of difference for my mental health. Obviously no contact with my brother, either. I am still in contact with my father; they divorced in my early 20s. We aren’t close, but I still find enough value in the relationship to keep talking to him. He isn’t actively cruel like my mother was, just lost in his own world, I guess you could say.

I feel sorry for him that he hasn’t managed to overcome his own demons the way that I have. Overall, I am happy and healthy now. I have a lovely husband, and we’ve created a good life for ourselves. I do have C-PTSD from the years I lived through, but therapy and proper medication have helped tremendously.


4. Ain’t Family Fun

My oldest step-brother. He was the coolest of the cool guys in high school. When I was a freshman in high school, he was a senior and he was the guy every girl wanted to get with. You’d think it’d be a blessing to have a cooler sibling, but it was the opposite—for example, I had a crush on a girl in my class and I was working up the courage to ask her out, but when I finally talked to her, she told me she thought my step-bro was cute.

I made the mistake of mentioning this crush to him…he got with her the following weekend and told her to avoid talking to me. He learned early on how to manipulate people because of his good looks and self-confidence. Fast forward to his late 20s—he cheated on his amazing wife dozens and dozens of times.

He got kicked out of college for dealing, then worked for a short time as a commodities broker and made good money because he was a born salesman…however, he lied through his teeth to all of his clients and took money left and right until he was out of work. That was literally like 25 years ago and he really hasn’t had a real job since. But of course, it didn’t stop there.

He became very good at his con game. Having no job, he also had no insurance for himself or his wife and kids. One time, when his son was sick and needed a doctor, my stepdad sent him his credit card. My step-bro instead took himself and his wife out for a fancy dinner and bought a bunch of garbage from the mall. He later lied and said the card was lost. Eventually, his wife left him and he purposely didn’t work so he wouldn’t have to pay child support…What’s worse is that didn’t stop him from making more babies. He’d knock up any girl who found him hot.

His mother, my stepdad’s ex-wife, sadly got an EARLY case of Alzheimer’s in her 50s and had to be hospitalized in a nursing home. My younger step-bro made sure things were taken care of and tried to make his mother comfortable. He bought things for her room to make her happy and comfortable like a TV and a DVD player.

Well, our older step-bro took these from her room and pawned them for cash. When she eventually passed, the family had put a bunch of her things originally into storage hoping that someday she could “go back home” or something. They later learned that he had gotten the key and took everything. He sold it all over the years, leaving my younger step-brother unknowingly paying for an empty storage locker.

Then, when he came into town one time to visit for a holiday, he snuck around his brother’s house and took his mail. He ended up stealing several credit cards in his brother’s name. As he began to become less and less welcome at our family gatherings, we’d hear stories about him getting into arguments with people he had done wrong to.

Somewhere over the years, he decided he needed a new target market, so he found himself a gay lawyer who housed and fed him. The lawyer is an older guy who you can tell thinks he somehow has hit it big because he got the “hot straight dude.” Meanwhile, my step-bro regularly attacks the guy; mostly when the lawyer attempts to let anyone in the world know they aren’t just “buddies.”

My stepdad passed on a few years ago, and we were all curious to see if our step-bro would show up for the funeral or anything. He did indeed, but he was whacked out of his brain. He made rude comments to my mother, yet still had the gall to ask if he could stay at “his dad’s house” while he was in town. We all knew he had intentions to rob my mother blind.

When she declined, his reaction was utterly disturbing. He cussed her out at the funeral and made a scene.


5. Ruining The Big Day

This story is about my friend’s mother-in-law, and her wedding. Strap in guys, this is a wild ride. I did THE THING that got me banned from any of her family functions. Plus a few threats of dismemberment and bodily harm. So, a good friend of mine from university was getting married! They had been a couple since junior year of college, through her two years in the Peace Corps and currently her return to this continent.

Six years in total. She had been to all manner of family functions and always came back with a strange story about how she thinks her mother-in-law secretly hates her. But, she being a very quiet and sweet person, pushed those thoughts aside. Point 1: She is vegetarian and Jewish, while her husband is not. She was invited and went to Christmas dinner and figured she would just eat sides, plus she brought a vegetarian casserole.

Her mother-in-law, after knowing her for THREE years and being reminded of her being vegetarian just beforehand…proceeded to put meat in every dish. My friend drank water and ate her casserole the whole night while the mother-in-law cried to everyone that the friend was so rude for not eating her cooking. Anyway, back to the main event. A few friends and I were asked to be in the wedding.

My friend has a HUGE family, so this was not going to be a small affair. Neither of them is particularly religious, but my friend said it would be nice to be married under a Jewish hoopa, which is like an arbor but with four poles and covered with a white cloth and lots of flowers. Her husband said he could care less, and told her to go and rent one for the wedding.

I was at the bridal shower when the mother-in-law found out the “pretty canopy” was actually a hoopa. She almost lost her mind in front of a bunch of people, but managed to compose herself and laugh angrily that “if the Jews were being represented, so would the Catholics.” There was just one huge problem. In my head I heard a record screech. Guys…they aren’t catholic.

So after much fighting, a lot of screaming, crying, threatening to pull money (which is funny because she contributed nothing), the mother-in-law lost. The boot was firmly placed, and nothing was moving it. Hoopa yes, Catholic priest no. Things got stupid quiet, until my friend texts me the night before the wedding that she has a bad feeling.

I tell her it’s probably just nerves; she is getting married and this is a big deal! Oh how wrong I was. We all show up and get our hair and makeup done. We slip into our bridesmaid dresses and hang out waiting for the bride to be finished with her hair. She makes a comment saying she hadn’t seen her mother-in-law all day and that she skipped her hair and makeup appointment.

We all side eyed each other, took a few sips of our drinks and hoped the eerie feeling would go away. 30 minutes later as we are helping the bride into her dress, guess who shows up? If you guessed the mother-in-law, you win a cookie! Flushed from coming up the stairs, (she is not a light woman) in full hair and makeup…and the piece de resistance. A white dress.

Not ivory, not cream, full snow-freaking-white. In fact, the dress was clearly a wedding dress; it was even from David’s Bridal (which she would later shout at me). Floor length satin with a sweetheart beaded top, a bit of a train, and off-white lace on the bottom. The dress was even tailored to her—this has been one long con that she has orchestrated.

The bride burst into tears while aunts and friends ushered the mother-in-law out. We did our best to console the bride, touched up her makeup, and I made her a promise that the dress would never be seen in a photo. But she looked me in the eye and nodded with a strange expression only I could read. The game was on. The venue only supplied white wine and champagne for the wedding party, but I grabbed my purse and ran down into the reception area and managed to flag an attendant by the bar and pay him with a cool $20 to give me a bottle of red early.

I cracked the baby open, filled a solo cup to the brim with it, and stalked outside. After a few swigs from the bottle for courage, I went over to where everyone was getting ready to take photos. With one last hard stare at my friend, I got her nod of approval. I pulled out my phone, held it in front of my face like I was reading a text and walked straight into mother-in-law. I poured the entire cup of red down the front of her dress, jumped back and gasped.

The look on her face was priceless. She screamed, yelled, threatened, and promised she would sue me. People had to hold her back because she wanted to fight me. Eventually, she switched from screaming to sobbing and sank to the ground and threw a tantrum on the floor. Everyone moved back and just let her go at it and walked away to go take photos.

It was surreal, as if everyone just hit their limit and noped out from around her. The 12-year-old flower girl whipped out her phone and snapped a few photos, much to our amusement. Eventually, the mother-in-law went home and changed into a nice dark green, too small and low-cut dress. Because of this, she missed all of the photos. By the way, the wedding was beautiful.

I got glares from everyone she told that I attacked her, but I couldn’t care less as I drank and danced with friends. The bride thanked me in secret and three months later took me to the spa for a day of pampering.


6. An Unhappy Ending

My dad was notorious for the “rub dirt on it method” when I got hurt as a kid. When I was nine, I was in a nasty motorcycle accident out in the desert. I broke my fibula—like, the bone was protruding from my leg. My father’s response was chilling. He didn’t want to end his desert trip early, so he told me just not to look at it and to keep trying to walk.

I was in so much pain any time I would move that I would blackout. My brother was so concerned about it that he urged my dad to go home. My dad finally gave in…but it didn’t stop there. At that point, he was so wasted that he let my 11-year-old brother drive us out of the desert. My brother hit so many bumps, and each bump I would blackout then come to.

Once we got home, my dad then thought it would be best to sleep it off before going to the hospital. The next day, I was admitted and my dad was taken into custody by CPS.


Horrible parentsUnsplash

7. Revenge Is Sweet

If I loved a toy, my older sister would purposely break it in some way. I had a Teddy Ruxpin that I loved, so she broke his mouth off. I loved porcelain dolls, so she broke all of their limbs off. I loved Barbies, so she cut their hair. If I liked a stuffed animal, she would tear out the eyes or tails, just for kicks.

When we got older, she would take my make-up and mush the lipstick on my desk or snap the eyeliner so it cracked and couldn’t be sharpened. She’d also tap the eye shadow upside down on my desk to break it. I loved drawing and painting, so she would take a Sharpie and hold it onto the paper until it bled through every page.

She didn’t accidentally do this stuff either—she is two years older than me and she seems to get off on it. She’ll just casually walk in, break stuff, and then walk out of the room like nothing happened. When I got old enough to like boys, she would ask me who I liked and then tell me that boy liked her…even if she didn’t know the boy at all.

Later on, that advanced to her hooking up with basically any guy I liked or that she thought I liked. She did this once with a guy in my science class simply because we were paired up for a project and she saw him being nice to me. It used to hurt my feelings, but ultimately, I got my revenge. I told her I liked my friend’s older brother Derrick. Derrick was 19 and had a prescription for Valtrex.

8. A Fresh Start

Due to reasons, my mother-in-law had to move in with my husband and I for a while. I’m South Asian, and my husband is white. Indian food is what I was raised eating and I love it to this day. Currently, I suddenly have a lot more time to cook than I did before. I stocked my kitchen with rice, different spices and whatever else I would need to make what I wanted.

My husband doesn’t mind and enjoys the food. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, does not. She’s never liked me. Some stuff she says includes, “What kind of people use their hands to eat? Just use a knife and spoon like normal people.” My husband has stuck up for me on all those occasions before, but having to live with her 24/7 is wearing him down.

After she moved in, she immediately started complaining. “Why does that smell so strong? It’ll cling to the walls. Stop that.” Or, “God, are you really feeding my son that? Just eat normal American food.” At first, I decided to stay quiet. My husband did try to talk to her once, but that fell on deaf ears. Like always. So I woke up yesterday morning and go downstairs.

I chat with my husband and mother-in-law for a while. Go into the kitchen, open my pantry, and there. Is. Nothing. My rice, spices, flour, everything has been cleaned out. I had a rice-dispensing machine that I got a few years back and that was missing too. I go to the fridge, and besides milk, bread, butter, jam, and eggs, there was nothing.

I get my husband and ask him what happened to the food. He looks in confusion until my mother-in-law pipes up and says that she threw everything out. When asked why, she simply says, “My child isn’t used to eating your types of food. Just make him what Americans eat.” That made me so angry. She has this insane thing about not acknowledging that I am American, or when she does she tells people that I got my citizenship through marriage.

Wrong on all accounts. I was born here and so were the last four generations of my family. As a cherry on top, I go grocery shopping and they were out of stock on basically everything that I wanted. I come home and she still has the audacity to ask why I’m not cooking like I usually do. I’m seriously going to destroy this woman by the end of all this.


9. No Means No

I got pregnant at 13, and my mom allowed her new husband Robert to take me for the abortion. He then beat me when I got home from the procedure. She never asked, who, what, how. Needless to say, this kind of thing—and worse—had been a hallmark of my life, and I got pregnant again at 14 by a man who had been taking advantage of me

At that point, I was made to keep the baby to “teach me a lesson.” Again, no one asked. No one tried to educate me. Finally, at 25, my mom made me angry with her cluelessness, and in a fit of rage, I blurted examples of all the years of mistreatment I endured and she said, “…all these years, I thought Robert had been messing with you and that was the reason you were acting out.”

You guys, when I tell you that my head exploded at the same time all of the air left my body. I was stunned. First, she thought her now ex-husband had been harming me, impregnated me not once, but TWICE, yet she NEVER ASKED ME!!! For clarity, it was never my stepdad. Also, my mom has always had an unnaturally close relationship with my oldest daughter.

This conversation revealed why…because for 12 years, my mom thought her husband fathered my daughter. Needless to say, when I finally got some intimate education in high school, my mind was BLOWN.


10. Lost The Genetic Lottery & The Real One

My older sister has been a nightmare to live with. She constantly lies to get out of trouble that she herself causes. She doesn’t remember who she lies to either, so there are often multiple versions of the lie. One time, out of nowhere, she just up and said she won the lottery jackpot. She was just going around telling the family this and how she was going to do this and that with the money.

When the money wasn’t coming in, she said she “didn’t understand why.” “They gave me a card and the money was supposed to go on it.” So, my dad took a half-day off work and went with her to the state lottery place. They had no idea who she was, nor did they have any record of her being there before.

They even looked at the security footage and never saw her. But she still didn’t give up on her lie…Instead, she took it even further. She would get off work at like 6, for example, tell us she had a couple of errands to run after work, then just not come home to her baby, who she left with our older parents to take care of.

You would never get a straight real answer from her about where she was. I could keep going on but I think this is long enough. I just feel bad for my parents. They keep letting her do it.


11. Hateful Heart

My mother-in-law set our house on fire because we’re a gay couple. We made a big mistake when we didn’t take my mother-in-law’s threats seriously enough. We thought that she’s like a dog that barks but doesn’t bite. Speaking of dogs, the only hero in this story is actually our dog, heavens bless our dog. It happened at night. My husband and me, we’re heavy sleepers, and we were dreaming sweet dreams and didn’t notice anything.

If our dog hadn’t jumped on our bed and barked, waking us up, we would probably both be goners now. I’m a firefighter myself and I realized that the fire was too big already, we couldn’t put it out by ourselves. We escaped through the window, fortunately unharmed. Somebody had called the firefighters who happened to be my colleagues, which was a weird situation, since it was the first time they had to work on their buddy’s house.

They tried to work as fast and as efficiently as they could, but our house is damaged beyond repair, and we can’t live in it anymore. My mother-in-law got caught and basically dug her own grave because she herself said that she was hoping until the last minute that her son would come to his senses, break up with me and start to date women.

When he didn’t, she felt ashamed that she has created such a deformed human being, so she decided that it is better to have no son than a gay son. She basically said she wanted to off him. So even though at first what happened was classified as “arson with the intent to damage the property,” which would mean a softer sentence, after those words it became “arson with the intent to endanger life” and that means a much more severe punishment.

Our lawyer said that most likely she will not receive the maximum sentence because no one got hurt, but she will receive at least a couple years behind bars. And there’s not much her lawyer can help her because she confessed. She said such a stupid thing, too: “Well, but my son’s husband is a firefighter, why didn’t he save his house?”

In the middle of the night, just awoken, no gear, no tools, no equipment, caught completely unaware by the fire. Are you serious, lady? You think that just because I’m a firefighter means I can put the fire out with my bare hands? Many people think that house fire is like what they see in the movies—flames and light—but actually it is a complete darkness.

The smoke makes the room so dark within minutes that you can’t even see your own hands. Now we’re living with our friends while we find another place to live. Our clothing, our documents, passports, marriage certificate, everything is gone but of course, those are just things, we can buy them again. We’re alive, that’s the most important thing.

My husband is done with her. He’s so upset that his own mother wished him gone just because he’s gay. If before this he still hoped that their relationship could be fixed, now he doesn’t want to hear a single word about her anymore.


12. A Long Road

My mom used to drive places, and then halfway there she’d “freak out” because she hated driving, get bored of driving or some other excuse, and decide I should take over. This was from around 12 years old—yep, seriously that young—and it happened all the time, normally in strange places like when we were on holiday or on the highway.

I was then expected to take over the wheel and get us wherever we were going with no direction on how to drive or where to drive. This was also normally with my mom screaming and shouting so loud I couldn’t even focus every time I made a minor mistake or did something she didn’t like. Things she didn’t like included being on the highway while I was going slowly because I was terrified.


13. Fool Me Four Times

It’s a toss-up between four things my brother has done. First, I found out my brother and his wife were not separated and getting a divorce, even though that’s what he’d told me. It was something he’d been telling the whole family for over a year. She knew nothing about it until I inadvertently said something to her.

Then, he posted on Facebook that my mother had passed on just to get sympathy likes. She was sick, but still alive, and I had to handle the massive freak out from our relatives and friends. He then claimed he hadn’t known it would be “taken” that way, even though people were sending him public condolences and talking about her in the past tense.

Then, I got confirmation from someone who knows him really well that he lied about having cancer at one point. Again, pretty sure that was for the sympathy and likes. But there’s one last thing he did that I know I’ll never let go of. He also lied about having hurt his back so that he didn’t have to come to our mother’s funeral, only two weeks later.

He posted photos of himself online holding his contractor’s license, bragging about the jobs he was doing. He never answered me about what miracle operation or treatment he got to cure his bad back so fast, and he hasn’t spoken to me since that day. Nothing of value has been lost.


14. Mistaken Identity

So 14 years ago with the birth of my daughter, my mother-in-law wanted to be called “mama” instead of me. Why? Because she’s awful I guess. But the worst part is, it worked. She constantly manipulated my daughter into calling her “mama” even though I talked to her about how upset it made me, even if it seemed irrational to her. It was almost like she was the real mother, and I was just a caretaker.

To be fair, my daughter also called me “mama” too, until I became just “mom” when she was three years old. The smugness of my mother-in-law at all this was unbelievable, though. She used to make comments like “I told you so, I was always going to win.” It got easier as the years went by, but it still stung. Fast-forward to today, I decided to ask my 14-year-old daughter why she didn’t just call her “grandmother.”

She looked very taken aback, and told me she always knew I was her mother. Then we got into some of the ways her grandmother had been horrible and manipulative, particularly about this issue. Well, we have just left my mother-in-law’s house, and when we arrived, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law were there also with their children.

My mother-in-law greeted my daughter, and my daughter turned around and said, “Hi Grandma Alison.” My mother-in-law said, “Erm? Who told you to say that?” while looking at me. My sweet daughter then turned and said to everyone in the room, “Did you help manipulate me into calling Grandma ‘mama’ too? I always felt weird when my friends would make fun that I call another woman ‘mama’ and now I know why!”

Then she finished with, “Alison, I NEVER THOUGHT you were my MAMA, I just went along with it because that’s what I was taught. I always knew you were that OLD WOMAN with the same name as my mom.” Everyone was so shocked. She then said, “From now on, you’re Alison, my dad’s mom, Alison.” I finally got my revenge. I waited a long time, but there it was.


15. Scars Last A Lifetime

Dad threw me into a pool and I couldn’t and didn’t swim back up. He did it twice. The first time was when I was about six or seven. I recall it happening pretty vividly. The second time was after he had disappeared and reappeared in our lives. I was about 12 or 13 at that time. I still haven’t learned to swim, and I’m now absolutely terrified of the water.

If I can’t touch the floor, then I immediately go into a panic. I’m 30 years old now. Even worse, I’m a father now too and if my son was ever in trouble, my fear would make me fail in helping him. It’s a constant nightmare that I think about. Like, it’s a recurring nightmare to wake up sometimes and feel like I’m drowning.

I have looked into swim lessons so many times. I keep making up excuses to avoid following through. At this point, I feel like I need to get help before I can learn to swim well enough to help anyone ever.


16. Deadbeat Dad Of The Year

My brother married a girl. A lot of the guests made passive-aggressive comments toward our family—but that was just the start of the nightmare. The couple ended up announcing that they were pregnant at the wedding, and they were about four months along at that point. Then, they had the baby. One month later, my brother confessed to us, “It’s too much…She’s a witch and I can’t take this, I’m leaving her and moving in with a friend from work.”

Well, it turns out that friend from work is actually eight months pregnant at this point with his next kid. By some miracle, he didn’t end up leaving that girl when the baby was born, but he did get her pregnant again, about as soon as is possible. I don’t know if it’s because she wised up, but baby-mama #2 eventually kicked him out.

Now he lives in my parents’ basement and refuses to drive an hour to see his kids. One of those kids, he’s only seen about a dozen times since. The second was an improvement, but he was still only. there for 10 months of its life. The third one, he’s never even seen; not once.


17. The Revenant

I’m a single father. I have raised my son alone because when he was just a few days old, his mother suddenly decided she didn’t want a child anymore. She claimed she’s not ready to have a child and refused to even feed him or hold him. I wanted to give her some time, since I thought that maybe it’s just postpartum depression or something.

I was ready to be there for her, but she was serious. She packed her stuff and left the hospital. Her last words were that she wants to see neither me or our son ever again. I have never seen her since. But I suspect I know what really happened. I kind of feel like my mother-in-law had something to do with it. During her pregnancy, this woman was talking all the time about how young her daughter is and how inappropriate of a moment this is for her to have a child.

I don’t have any proof and I can’t tell anything for sure but I feel like she somehow secretly persuaded her to take this step for whatever reason. So I was left alone with an infant in my hands. It definitely wasn’t easy, as I was just 21 years old. I had to leave college and work very hard to give my son everything he needed. Fortunately, I wasn’t completely alone.

There were people who helped me to get through the hardest period, people who babysat him while I was working, who gave me advice on how to take care of a baby, and I’ll be forever thankful to them. When he grew up a little, it became easier. I could send him to a kindergarten and work without asking people to take care of him while I’m not there.

During all this time I hoped to hear from his mother, and hoped that she’d eventually come around and realize you can’t just leave your child like a worthless piece of trash. But even though I had left her in my contacts and she could call me or write me a letter or something, she didn’t. She never once used her rights to visit him.

When he was little, he often asked me why did his mother leave him, why didn’t she want him. I didn’t know what to answer because I always tried not to speak badly of his mother in front of him. Now my son is 25 years old. He’s a hardworking, educated young man and I’m so proud of him and I’m proud of myself that I was able to raise him to be a good person.

We stopped talking about his mother a long time ago. It was his choice. He was like—well, if she doesn’t want to be with us, then it’s her loss and there’s nothing we can do about it. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Recently my mother-in-law appeared on our doorstep. Without a call, without any kind of notification, she was just there and she had come to visit her grandson.

I couldn’t believe my ears and at first, I almost didn’t recognize her because so many years had passed. She was behaving as if she was a caring grandmother who had come to see her grandchild like she does all the time, not like she was gone for 25 years. When my son saw her, he didn’t recognize her either. I have shown him pictures of his mother and his grandmother just in case they show up one day but I never really thought that they would.

She ran up to him and hugged him just like a loving grandmother would, asking how he’s doing and commenting how big and beautiful he has become. He pushed her away and looked kind of confused. I told him that it’s his grandmother who has randomly shown up to visit him, and he was like ”oh” and walked away from her. She didn’t take this reaction well.

She looked at me and was like, ”What have you taught him if he doesn’t even say hello to his grandmother? He’s looking at me as if I’m a stranger! Haven’t you told him about his mother and me or shown him our pictures?” Well, technically you are a stranger, lady. He had never seen you in person, so why are you so surprised? You show up out of thin air after 25 years when he’s all grown up and expect him to treat you with love? Isn’t it kind of delusional?

My son said, ”Dad did showed me your picture, but I didn’t need a picture—I needed you to be there for me.” He was quite hateful with her, throwing question after question at her, and her responses were so incredibly narrow-minded and limited. It was like she wasn’t expecting him to ask any questions. He asked her where his mother was and she was like, ”Oh, she’s doing very well, she’s living together with a great man and she has two nice kids. She has gotten over that misunderstanding about your birth.”

She was acting as if her daughter was the victim here. As if we were the ones who left her. He asked her why his mother abandoned him, and she said, ”Well, she was such a young girl, it would be craziness for her to have a child at that age! She had her whole life ahead of her and a baby would only be an obstacle. You must understand it, she didn’t want to lose her freedom!”

Honestly, her daughter was older than me when our son was born; she was 24. I don’t think it’s too early to have a child, it’s not like she was 14 or something. Actually, age has nothing to do with it. I could have given up my son too, but I didn’t because I loved him and I wanted to be his father. At this point, I wanted to show my mother-in-law the door, but my son stopped me. He had one more heartbreaking question.

He asked why she didn’t want to be his grandmother. His mother left him, fine, but why did she leave him too? She said, ”Well, I had no time to take care of you. I was a young woman too, I had my life, too. And grandkids are only obligated to take care of grandparents when they’re old. So that’s why I’m here.” My son told her to leave and never come back.

He said he doesn’t want to see her ever again and he won’t help her with anything. As she was leaving, she attacked me like, ”That’s what I thought, a man alone cannot raise a proper human being! Such a rude and impolite boy, he would have turned out better in an orphanage than with you!” So according to her, the conclusion is—don’t have children while you’re young or if you do, feel free to leave them and then come back a few decades later and they’ll love you even though they have never received any kind of care from you.

But seriously, what the heck was she expecting?


18. Suffering By Comparison

Back in the day, folks use to take their kids for a driving lesson at the Trinity River bottoms in Dallas—it’s basically a levee. The road is on the levee, and you can’t go left or right. My friend was an angry kid, so keep this in mind. His dad takes said friend and his twin for their first driving lesson. His twin does GREAT. Their dad is ready to hand him car keys and go forth in life, let’s not consider stoplights, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles.

My friend, well, he keeps swerving, because he thinks he has to avoid the rocks on the levee trail, and it appears he’s veering off the road. His dad yells at him about how stupid he is, asks him why doesn’t he understand, his brother did great, all that. My friend, enraged at this point, wants revenge. He says, “Screw it” and suddenly jumps out of the driver seat onto the road.

The truck is still in drive, leaving his dad and twin in the middle and passenger seat of the truck, with the wheels not steered straight. They start rolling down the levee, and all he heard was his dad screaming like a banshee, trying to slide to the driver part of the slick bench seat of the truck. My buddy never got another driving lesson from his dad again.


19. Spongebro Stingypants

My jerk brother, who has been a real estate agent for over 20 years, took out an interest-only loan on his home 17 years ago. The loan company required him to pay the principal but he couldn’t afford it. So what did he do? He knew that my recently widowed mother had received a few bucks from her life insurance.

She loaned him $20k so that he wouldn’t lose his home. Less than six months later, he came to her for another $20k, leaving her with nothing. He couldn’t get a second job because “What would people think?” I learned about this from a journal I found of my mother’s when I helped her move. But’s that’s not all I learned.

I found out that when he would come to her house to help her, he charged her. He’d make her pay him for things like mowing the lawn and raking leaves! When he sold things of my father’s for her, he took a commission of 25%! He would also ask for gas money because she lived two hours away from him. To this day, he refuses to pay her back. He has plenty of money to buy his grandkids things like go-carts and to take them to Disney World, yet he can’t give my mom back her money.

Meanwhile, she refinanced her home just so she could make ends meet. As in, she needed to balance her checkbook to see if she had enough money at the end of the month to be able to buy an ice cream cone after church!! She tried for a couple of years to get his help in selling her home. It was in rough shape and mom couldn’t deal with it on her own.

He had taken all her money so she couldn’t fix it. He was too embarrassed about her home to represent her as an agent. I was able to help her get it fixed and sold even though I live across the country. He will no longer have anything to do with her because she didn’t use him or the real estate company he works for to sell her house or to buy her new place.

I knew none of this at the time as my mother is a private person. I was mortified when I found out. It broke my heart that I didn’t know because I could’ve helped. She is doing well on her own now, but I try my best to spoil her because she deserves it! No adult child should sponge off their parent. He’s despicable.


20. Beat Em At Their Own Game

You all, my revenge on my mother-in-law was GLORIOUS!  So I’ve been married a long time, a long time. My mother-in-law was mostly just annoying but had her awful moments, and I’ve been low to no contact for probably the last 10 years with her and my life has been divine because of that. My husband doesn’t mind because he gets lots of romance when his mother isn’t interfering in our relationship.

But way back, I tried so, so hard to get on her good side. I was such a sweet summer child. I thought to myself, she should be happy for my husband that he has me. I cooked and cleaned and threw parties and most people liked me. But she was sly, so my husband didn’t catch the nuances of her behavior. I tried to point it out, with little luck, because I had no experience with a woman like this.

We left for our honeymoon a week after our wedding, which was enough time for us to set up our small apartment and get cozy living together beforehand. We left for a week and left the keys with my mother-in-law to fetch our mail and various things. Y’all, when we got back, she had completely rearranged my kitchen, the living room, threw out some of my pictures and knick-knacks from our bedroom, and I swear she also tossed some of my lingerie.

I was upset, so upset. I cried to my husband, and he got angry at his mom, talked to her, then came home with the usual, “She can’t imagine why I’d be upset! She was being SO helpful! She didn’t mean to do anything wrong!” Then she started crying on cue and my husband was thrown for a loop, having never experienced woman-to-woman territorial rages.

He came home spewing her diatribe and simply told me that he would help me put things back. And he did, except for the kitchen—he only made things worse in there but not for lack of trying. My mother-in-law never even taught him how to butter bread. Sigh. But, I learned a valuable lesson. Whenever the mother-in-law was up to her shenanigans, she would wait until we were alone, look at me and do this evil smile with a nod to acknowledge her disdain to me properly.

I learned from the best, the very best. My mother-in-law was the town pillar; active in church and charity, and so sweet to the people she approved of. So, here is the revenge. My mother-in-law is old now, and still just as sneaky. If anything, old age has sharpened her skills, and she has taken on the role of helpless old lady quite fabulously.

There are volunteers who help her and bring her meals, sit and read with her, it’s all quite nice, really. She did a week-long stint in the hospital recently, and my husband got the key to her house to retrieve her mail, etc. Well, I made a copy of said key (without him knowing, of course) because I had a plan. During that week, I took some time off work and let myself into her house to rearrange, I mean, clean her kitchen. I also threw away some broken porcelain and other items, and took pictures off the walls and put them in the closet. Then I rearranged the linen closet, the coat closet, my mother-in-law’s closet and her bathrooms. Both of them.

I left the living room mostly alone, sadly, but I didn’t want my husband to catch on, see. Then, on the day my husband was supposed to pick her up from the hospital and bring her home, I offered to help him clean her house for her homecoming! He was mildly surprised at my offer, but I said I’ve decided to let bygones be bygones.

I will help, then get out of the way so he could help the mother-in-law get settled in. She can mostly live by herself, with a little help every day from friends and family. So we cleaned, mopped, and vacuumed. Got everything sparkly and clean. I went with him to fetch his mom and sat in the back seat.

When we arrived, my mother-in-law immediately noticed things were askew but she couldn’t tell what it was yet. Then she noticed the missing pictures. Mother-in-law: “What did you do with my pictures?” Husband and me: “What do you mean?” Mother-in-law: “You took my pictures!!!” Me: “Oh my, no mother-in-law, I helped him clean and that’s all.”

My husband confirmed that this is all I did. I asked if she’d like some tea, and she yelled at me to stay out of her kitchen. She went in herself and screamed, “What have you done?” I looked at my husband, all puzzled, and he repeats that he and I only cleaned the counters and dishes, and mopped. My mother-in-law was livid, so I told my husband that my presence must be upsetting to her so maybe I should leave.

My husband, confused because he had no idea why his mom was acting so outwardly hostile to me, agreed. So I cheerfully told my mother-in-law that I’d be on my way and my husband could call me when he’s ready to be picked up. That’s all he heard, but I did one more thing. He didn’t see me smiling at my mother-in-law because he was facing my back.

Then I nodded at her with her very own signature nod. She was livid. My husband told me on the way home, when I went to pick him up a few hours later, that she had accused me of all sorts of things, and that’s when I said, “The poor dear’s mind must be going.” He agrees, the poor thing is getting so old, after all. She should have been nicer to me.

I get to help pick her nursing home, and I know very well how to play the helpful supportive role. Thanks, mother-in-law!


21. Fight Or Flight

My dad bought a new house after my parents divorced. Behind us were two kids close to me in age, and they used to screw with me every time I visited. One day, they hopped my dad’s fence, pushed me down, and took my basketball. When I told my dad, he decided to go talk to their parents to get my ball back. Oh wait…that’s what normal dads would do.

My dad, a former pro boxer, made me fistfight both of them one at a time and “earn” my basketball back. To be fair, I had training before that incident. Learning how to fight was nonnegotiable to him, and he had me learning how to fight before I even started school. I was also threatened with punishment if I allowed myself to be bullied.

I fought them both one at a time. I definitely won against the first kid, but by the time I fought the second, I was exhausted and he was not. In the combat sports world, we called that “the shark tank.” It’s brutal. Anyway, I was tired in the second fight so It didn’t go as well. If it were a sanctioned fight, it would have definitely been a draw.

Sadly, growing up with a redneck dad means that I have a tiny redneck living in my brain that not only doesn’t fear conflict, but embraces it. If someone hurts my family, wife, or friends, I become the avatar of toxic masculinity. I’m in therapy dealing with it, and I’ve had a couple of relapses. Most recently against my wife’s co-worker harassing her and me deciding to threaten him at a company Christmas party. Not proud of that one.


22. Walk The Line

My stepbrother falsely identified himself as me one day when he was busted driving recklessly on a motorcycle. He was on probation for other charges at the time and didn’t want to go to the slammer. I missed a whole day of work going to court when I was informed by phone that there was a bench warrant for failure to appear.

Once I got to court and the ticketing officer saw me, he took me to a conference room and that’s where the disappointing truth was revealed. He literally described my little bro to a “T” and I double-checked that he had the correct home address for the punk. After he was released, I made sure he understood if he did it again. he would walk crooked for the rest of his life.


23. Out Of Her Mind

I’m a male officer, I’m dating a man, and my mother-in-law hates this. Yesterday I came in for my shift in the morning, without thinking about my mother-in-law at all. I got changed, had a cup of coffee, looked who I was going to be paired with, and when my partner and I walked out of the station to go to the patrol car, I saw my mother-in-law.

She did kind of come up to me, not close enough for a conversation but close enough so that I could hear her. She started to say something about my boyfriend and some money she needs. I saw her but I totally ignored her. I just walked past her without saying a word and went straight to the patrol car to start my shift. The fact that I ignored her annoyed her pretty badly, I guess.

She stepped back a bit, waited until we got into the car, and just before we turned on the engine and started to drive, she grabbed a rock from a nearby flowerbed and threw it into the windshield of our car. The windows of our patrol cars are quite durable, fortunately. It cracked but didn’t shatter and I didn’t end up with a face full of glass.

I wasn’t driving, my partner was driving and it was obvious that she aimed her throw right at the passenger seat where I was at. Then she probably realized that doing that to a car in front of two officers in front of a station wasn’t the smartest thing to do. She turned around and took off running. I got out and ran after her. This pursuit wasn’t very long.

She only made it to the park that’s not far from the station when I caught her. And that’s when she started to make the biggest scene I had ever seen. She had no intention of calmly letting me put handcuffs on her. Instead, she dropped to the ground and started to yell for help.  Mind you, it was an early morning, but there were already quite a lot people in the park—some were walking their dogs, some were jogging, some were just walking through to get to wherever they needed.

She was yelling at the top of her lungs, “People, good people, help me! I’m being attacked! This isn’t a real officer! He’s trying to kidnap me!” and things like this. She was yelling for help so loudly that everyone in the park stopped whatever they were doing and looked at us. Everyone—men, women, children, dogs, and cats. There was not a single person who wasn’t looking at us.

You might think that I’m a man and she’s a woman, so I should be able to hold her down, but really it’s not that simple. She was hitting and scratching and biting. She was spitting at me. Also, during the struggle, she kicked me several times, quite hard, and it was really painful. Honestly, at this point, I had all the rights to tase her. I didn’t.

My partner came with a car, helped me, and together we managed to handcuff her. The next problem was getting her into the patrol car. Our patrol cars are like vans; the back door opens and there’s like a cage with a bench where you can put the person in. And my mother-in-law wasn’t going to get in there without a fight. Even with her hands cuffed, she was kicking the door, and spread her legs very wide so that we couldn’t get her in.

When we finally got her in, she was putting her feet in the doorway so we couldn’t close the door. While she was doing all this, she was yelling that we’re breaking her bones, that we have no rights to treat her like this, that this is against the law and still asking the people to call the real authorities. During my whole career as a cop, I had never had an arrest like this.

I have detained many aggressive people, many weird people, but this right here was the stupidest thing ever. We took her to the station, and if we had trouble getting her in the car, now she didn’t want to get out. She held onto the bars and we literally had to grab and pull her out. Once inside, my mother-in-law immediately demanded to see the captain.

She wasn’t listening when we tried to explain that the captain isn’t going to do anything for her and shouldn’t be bothered with this. She insisted that she has the rights to see someone superior, and technically she’s right. So we went to get a captain for her who recognized her from the last time she had gotten in a scrape with me (yeah) and wasn’t too happy to see her.

My mother-in-law said that she wants to complain about “this officer” while pointing at me. She said that I misused my power, used way too much strength on her, and didn’t even care that she’s a fragile woman. She claimed that I twisted her hands and brutally pushed her into the car. The captain asked to see my body camera, since this is one of the reasons why we use body cameras all the time.

If the suspect says one thing and the officer says something different, then you can watch the recording and see what actually happened. So, the captain played the recording for all to see. Then he asked her, “What’s this, ma’am?” as she was clearly ignoring my orders on camera. My mother-in-law was like, “This is me fighting for my life! It’s a survival instinct. I thought he would shoot me right in the head!”

The captain was like, “No, ma’am, this is you resisting. If an officer is giving you a lawful order, you’re supposed to listen, and if you don’t listen, the officer has the right to use a certain amount of force to detain you.” This is when she amped it up. She hissed, “I take no orders from gays!” while glaring at me. She was charged with vandalism, fleeing from an officer, resisting and assaulting an officer.

And just as she was going to be booked in, she suddenly started to complain that’s she’s not feeling well. She said her heart hurts and she’s dizzy and her blood pressure is too high and she wanted an ambulance. Everyone realized that she was faking, but just to be sure that we’re not mistaken, we called an ambulance. The medics came and examined her.

Just like we thought, she was fine. Her heart rate was normal, her blood pressure was normal, and she had no need to be hospitalized. I was just thinking, “What do you think would have happened???” The charges don’t disappear just because the person is taken to hospital. She probably didn’t know that even if she was hospitalized, an officer would have gone there with her and stayed with her all the time.

And as soon as she was ok again, she would be transported behind bars anyway. She wouldn’t sneak away if that’s what she was thinking of doing. The ambulance left and even though our captain is a very calm and composed man, at this point he seemed very irritated. He was like, “Ma’am, is the circus over or are you going to give us more nonsense?”

My mother-in-law then asked him if he was going to punish me and he answered that no, he’s not going to punish an officer simply because I was doing my job. And then she looked straight at him and went, “Are you gay too?” I froze. I couldn’t believe that she really just asked that to a captain. I know he’s not gay but this was probably the most inappropriate thing she could have done.

He knows I’m gay because I was forced to come out to him when my mother-in-law tried to cause troubles for me the first time. He ordered her to be taken behind bars immediately, and even then she still had the audacity to speak. She insisted on having a phone call so that she could call her son and he could pay her bail. I’m not sure why she thinks my boyfriend is going to bail her out—he didn’t do it last time.

I called him first and I told him that his mother is behind bars, and he seemed quite delighted as he’s so tired of her. The captain offered for my boyfriend to come to the station and see the recording if he wants, but we really don’t want to show ourselves as a couple more than absolutely necessary.


24. Feats Of Strength

I saw this with my own eyes. There was a young woman and her three quite cute kids outside of a store the other day. She was on her phone obviously waiting for someone to pick them up and the kids were entertaining themselves. One of them, a boy who was about six, had a go and managed to pick up one of the big weights that were holding down the corner of a little stand outside the shop while the guy manning it was looking the other way.

The boy staggers over to his mom with it, so proud of himself, going, “Mom! Mom! Look what I’m doing! Mom! Look! Mom! Look what I’m doing! Look, Mom!” Eventually, she tears her eyes away from the screen and sees what he’s doing. She screams at him, “Put that down now! You can’t do that! What are you doing!? Put it back where it came from! Don’t pick it up again!”

The kid was all flustered, trying to do what he was told, while the man quietly took it from him and gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.


25. Sleeping With One Eye Open

There was a point in my life when I was so sick I was bedridden and constantly going in and out of the hospital. My sister and I shared a room during that time. She started calling my name when I fell asleep, only to pretend she was asleep when I inevitably woke up to respond. She kept me up most nights, throwing things from across the room to scare me awake and calling for me any time she even thought I was asleep.

Keep in mind, I was on really strong pain meds just trying to figure out if I was even going to survive or not. My nightmare mother ignored my complaining, telling me I just had to deal with the fact that my sister “talks in her sleep.” Showing her the bruises I got from getting hit by the things my sister threw at me didn’t convince her, either. Then, one night it escalated beyond my limits.

I was pretty doped up, swimming in and out of a medication-induced sleep. My sister started up again with her antics, but I was genuinely too far gone to respond. It got her all mad apparently because she got up to turn on the light and started hovering over me, threatening to harm me. She kept going on and on about how spoiled I was for pretending to be ill for attention.

I texted my boyfriend at the time, who was sleeping downstairs on the couch, and he said he would help me talk to my mother in the morning. I don’t remember if I fell asleep in bed or if I went downstairs to sleep beside him, but he was mad enough on my behalf that my mother switched our rooms around that day to give me my own room.

He was a jerk in so many other ways, but I still appreciate him standing up for me. I’m not in contact with anyone in my family now.


26. The Grinch Who Saved Christmas

My husband and I have this board hanging on our wall. It’s a list of all the things we want and need, how much it will cost, how much we saved for it, and when we should be able to have it. It has things like a new fridge, dishwasher, nice knife set, wish list items, etc. I even include pictures, model numbers, or other specific descriptions for a lot of these items. I’m very proud of it.

My father and his wife come to visit on a semi-regular basis. My stepmom always makes sure to look at my board, comment on it, and express her sadness that we are unable to afford the stuff. Within a week or so, she will buy one of the exact things on my board…for herself. Sometimes it’s a smaller item like the coffee maker, other times it’s a larger item, like a motorized toy car for her children.

Her buying these things isn’t really what bugs me, what bugs me is her rubbing it in my face that she was able to “get it first” or how I was “copying” her when I do finally get the item. It’s super annoying and childish. Anyway. I was walking through a local store’s Christmas section right after Thanksgiving one year. I was looking for board ideas and happened upon a giant, ugly, and super pricey outdoor Christmas decorations set. Which gave me an idea.

It was definitely not my stepmom’s style. But hey, why not try? When I got home, I put the set on the high priority section of my board. I went as far as to erase the money I had pooled for other things and move it to this Christmas monstrosity so we could “buy” it sooner. I was hoping this trap would be tempting enough for her, especially if I made this set seem super important.

A couple days after that, my father and her visit. She looks at my board and asks about the set. I gush over it, describing it as the way to make my Christmas dreams come true. I really lay it on thick. On Monday, we go to visit my dad at my stepmom’s request. Sure as heck, she bought and put up the entire set. It’s ugly and over the top, and I hate it.

It’s hilarious. Immediately, she dives into describing why she just “fell in love with it” and how she “had to have it.” She’s making a huge deal on every little piece and how it was soooo worth the money. Finally, she concludes her gloat fest with telling me that I really do have great taste and she’s sorry she beat me to it. That’s when I dealt her the fatal blow.

“Oh, I don’t actually like the set. I just put it on the board and said I liked it to mess with my husband. He hates the over-the-top stuff like this junk. Glad you love it though.” If her smile fell any harder, it would have fallen right off her face. The rest of the visit she was quiet and didn’t say much. She looked like a kid who got coal for Christmas.

My dad kept asking her what was wrong and got a lot of “I’m fines” and then finally she got a headache and went to bed early. She now refuses to talk to me, with none of her usual texts or calls. Best Christmas ever.


27. Those Who Can’t Teach…

When my parents would “teach” me anything, it wasn’t really teaching at all. It was showing me once super quickly, then expecting me to fully grasp the concept because I was supposed to absorb that knowledge from observation alone apparently. And when I wouldn’t get it on the first time, I would be berated or beat. When I was six, my parents tried to “teach” me how to tie my shoes.

They showed me super quick once, fast enough that I couldn’t process what was happening, then told me to do it. I didn’t understand and so they started yelling at me, telling me how I shouldn’t even wear shoes because I was so stupid. I didn’t learn how to properly tie my shoes until I was 18, and I had to teach myself. I still use the bunny ears method.

The worst part of that was that people would make fun of me for not knowing how, and I couldn’t explain the situation at home because they would’ve just thought that I was making excuses. Or, where I live, we have bags of milk. We have a pitcher where we place the bags, and I usually tie an elastic band around the corner that I snip open.

One summer, when I was five or six, I woke up bright and early because my brother was in summer school so I’d have the whole morning to myself. I went to make a bowl of cereal, and when it was time to put the milk back, my mom tried to “teach” me how to tie the elastic band to the bag. I did it, but she had told me it was wrong and so beat me and told me to do it again.

For the entire morning, she would tell me that I was doing it wrong and beat me. By the time I had my cereal, it was noon and my brother had already come home. I don’t even think I was doing it wrong because I’ve been doing it the same way since then. I’m pretty sure my mom just wanted an excuse to beat me. Yep, those were my parents.


28. She Played Him

My sister told her son that she would buy him a PS4 if he could find a used one for around $200. It took a bit of work because of the PS5 shortage increasing the PS4 price, but he ended up finding someone to agree to a $200 flat price. So, my sister said she’d get it done for him. Then, about a week later, my sister told her son that the seller scammed her.

Not only would he not be getting the PS4, but since it was his fault they got scammed, he now owed her the money for not seeing it coming or some garbage like that. Also, my sister never pays for the kid’s phone plans. She even has them on a different plan so she can miss the payment and her own phone won’t be shut off.

So, when my nephew told me about it, I had him give me a call on her phone and check the messages. I was shocked at what I found. The seller contacted her every day for four days asking stuff like, “Dude, I want you to have this thing but you need to respond.” I just keep thinking of my sister sitting around reading that stuff and still coming up with this horrific lie to try and take money from a pre-teen.


29. The Cautionary Tale Of Huggy Holly

This story requires some background, so buckle in. I promise that I’ll get to the mother-in-law part and it’ll be worth the wait. When I was six, bad things happened to me at the hands of someone I had been told I could trust. Part of the aftermath of that situation was lots of therapy and an introduction to a strange and wonderful thing called “bodily autonomy.”

I was told that I, even as a child, could tell other people that I did not want them to touch me. If anyone touched me without my consent, it was okay for me to tell them “no” and it was okay for me to be as loud and emphatic about this as it took for them to get the message. I could even push them away if they persisted! Adults might be upset if I said “no,” but that was not my problem, because adults are expected to control their emotions and actions.

At first, the only people I would allow to touch me at all were my mother, my maternal grandmother, and my aunt. It took a while, but eventually I was able to expand the list. Family members who received my permission were aware of the implications of my trust, and treated it as a serious privilege. People Who Were Allowed to Touch Me at the Time of This Story: Mom, grandmother, aunt, brother, grandfather.

People Who Were Not Allowed to Touch Me at the Time of This Story: Everybody Else on Planet Earth (This is relevant). Now, there’s a substantial age gap between me and my brother—about 14 years, because I was quite a surprise. At the time of this story, I was about eight years old. I was a small kid, and even now, I’m under five and a half feet tall.

I was a major tomboy, and my mom kept my hair trimmed into a shoulder-length bob because I was terrible at taking care of it. My brother had been dating a girl for a couple of years, and they decided that they liked each other well enough to get married. His mother-in-law-to-be was…interesting. Very, very touchy-feely, huggy-wuggy, smoochy-woochy, why won’t you get the ever-loving-heck out of my personal space-y; thus she earned the nickname of “Huggy Holly.”

Upon seeing pictures of me, she squealed that I was just the cutest thing she’d ever seen, and she couldn’t wait to meet me and give me a biiiiig hug! And pinch my cute round cheeks! And ruffle my pwetty hair! And kiss my widdle rosebud mouth! My brother told her no. “No, don’t hug my sister. Don’t pinch her cheeks. Don’t ruffle her hair. Don’t kiss her. Don’t touch her at all. Don’t even ask to touch her. If she offers you a hug, that’s one thing, but do not, under any circumstances, touch her without her express permission.”

Huggy Holly could not wrap her head around the idea that a child could tell an adult not to touch them and expect to have their wishes heeded. My brother has mentioned that he must have tried to explain it to her a dozen times. She just could not, or would not, understand. During the course of the wedding planning, there was a fair amount of communication between my family and my brother’s future in-laws.

I was brought up as a topic on several occasions, and every single time, my mother reiterated my brother’s warnings. Huggy Holly would always say, “Yes, I remember, but—” and as we all know here, “but” is shorthand for “Watch how fast I invalidate what I just said.” In this case, the “but” was always followed by weirdly rapturous comments about how adorable and darling I was and so on.

Moreover, she seemed to have unclear ideas of how this in-law thing works, because she kept talking about how much she was looking forward to “getting another darling little daughter” that she could spoil with fancy tea parties and dress up in pretty princess outfits, like she’d done with her own daughters. My mother must have so much fun dressing me up like a little doll!

I remember my mom laughing until tears came into her eyes during a few of these phone calls, because she knew exactly what kind of semi-feral wolf-child she’d raised, and no matter how much she tried to gently explain this to my brother’s mother-in-law, the information never, ever sank in. This woman believed with the holy fire of a fanatic that I was some kind of living, breathing Precious Moments figurine.

She’d be rabbiting on about this coochie-coo stuff while my mom was gazing out the back door, watching me roam the back yard, eating live ants and mud while building elaborate stages for the battles of my Thundercats and He-Man figures out of sticks, grass, rocks, and whatever mud I didn’t eat. When I could be induced to hold still long enough to be cleansed of accumulated filth and clothed in strange human garments, I was reasonably cute, but I constantly longed to fling off the constraints of civilization and go roll around in the dirt and play with the mangiest stray animals that a major urban area could produce.

I once tried to convince my mother that a huge, evil-eyed sewer rat was top-tier pet material and had bonded with me and I should totally be allowed to keep it. (She disagreed. The rat was returned to its natural habitat and went back to catching and eating pigeons in the alley behind our house. But I have now seriously digressed).

The day of the wedding rolled around. Because I loved my big brother and had opted to gracefully tolerate his chosen spouse until such time as I developed an actual liking for her, I cooperated with the efforts of my mother and grandmother to make me look presentable. I was wearing my very best outfit, which was a frilly pale-blue dress trimmed with white lace and, yes, it made me look adorable.

We disembarked from the car and went into the church to mill around in the pre-ceremony confusion. Suddenly, out of the crowd, this strange woman in a cerise satin dress which emphasized a bust that needed no extra emphasis and a hairdo like an explosion in the blonde factory came swooping at me with her arms flung wide, emitting a sort of teakettle noise.

I back-stepped fast and said, “No!” loudly and clearly, but on she came, her fuchsia lips scrunching into a kiss-pout that resembled a hemorrhoid pillow, burping out something about the “sweet little princess.” My entire assembled family—brother, mother, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, one uncle and his wife—all shouted, “Don’t!” at the same time.

It was probably the most organized as a group they’ve ever been. (My family is mostly Irish, which means we mostly fight with each other, except for my Czechoslovakian grandfather, who always watched the fights from a peaceful safe distance). My uncle, the person physically closest to the brewing disaster, tried to intervene, but the weird lady was moving like she’d been fired out of a ballista made of bad decisions, and frankly that particular uncle isn’t a fast mover even when not faced with a high-speed idiot.

Secure in my knowledge of Bodily Autonomy and armored with the assurance that defending myself from unwanted contact was the Right Thing to Do, I was prepared to act. So, as Huggy Holly stooped upon me like a Haast’s eagle upon a moa, single-mindedly focused on hugging the child she’d been repeatedly told by several different people not to hug, I took action.

I squared up, planted my feet, and hauled both fists back at shoulder level. “DON’T TOUCH ME!” I screamed at the very top of my lungs, and double-punched my brother’s imminent mother-in-law squarely in the breasts. Anyone who has ever been punched in the breasts knows that this is not a fun experience. Possessing a balcony that one could do Shakespeare off of, Huggy Holly had a fair bit of upholstering, but her momentum combined with the small contact patch of my eight-year-old fists concentrating the force resulted in a not-insignificant impact.

She reeled backwards, arms flailing Kermit-fashion, and my uncle just barely missed (so he claims; I suspect intentional action, but that’s fine by me) catching her as she toppled onto her be-satined butt, incidentally crushing the gigantic stupid frilly bow on the back of her dress. Having defended myself adequately, I shot into the cluster of my family members and hid behind my grandfather.

He was a short, cheerful, smiling, gentle old man whose heirlooms included a WWII Luger that he acquired from “a German officer who didn’t need it any more” occupied Czechoslovakia (you may draw your own conclusions). My uncle, who honestly looked as if he’d rather kick the woman, helped Huggy Holly back to her feet while she began to gasp and sob, clutching at her bosom.

“Why did she do that?!” she demanded. My mother calmly said, “We did warn you not to touch her. Several times.” Huggy Holly wailed, “But she’s so smaaaaaaaaaall and prettyyyyyyy!” “You know, dynamite comes in small decorative-looking packages, too,” my grandmother remarked, then turned to my brother. “Okay, where are we sitting?” That was literally the first time I saw this woman. She did not improve with further exposure.


Monster in lawUnsplash

30. Darwin’s Lottery

I was a lifeguard for four years in my teens. Long story short, parents expect the lifeguards to do their job for them. Either they just drop their kids off, or they don’t pay attention. So this was a city pool. We didn’t have too many terrible things, but we still saw our fair share of weird stuff. This guy, who was probably in his late 20 or early 30s, dove headfirst into the very shallow kiddie pool.

I saw it, blew the whistle, and gave him a head shake. He acknowledged, rubs his chest because he scraped it on the bottom, and I thought it was over with. Five minutes later, he dives headfirst into the kiddie section of the pool again. I blow the whistle, call him over, and talk to him sternly about how I’m not reprimanding him for any other reason than that I don’t want to have to backboard him for a spinal.

The guy agrees, says it was stupid, apologizes, and walks away. Cue screw-up number three. The guy walks away from me and over to this six-foot water slide we have for the little kids. This is the cutest water slide, but it still towers over its primary users—two-year-olds. Along his way to the slide, the guy scoops up what I assume is his son and puts him at the top of the slide, still standing up.

This kid couldn’t be more than two or three years old and had floaties on and all. The guy points at me and over the regular pool ruckus, I hear him yell, “See that lifeguard? He told me he wants you to jump off the side of the slide.” He then proceeds to point at the concrete. I see the kid’s knees buckle as he goes to jump, and my heart sinks like a rock to my stomach.

I immediately shoot out of my chair and yell “HEYYYY!”. Two things of note: First, as a guard, you’re never to stand on your tower unless you see someone in apparent danger. This is so other guards have a clear sign that something’s going down and know to pay attention and get help. Second, I have a deep voice. A VERY deep voice.

I’m usually quiet, but when I get angry, I utilize it to my advantage. As what one of my friends later described as “The Voice of God” echoes across the pool, the entire place falls quiet. The guy immediately puts his son down on the ground and starts walking toward me. I call over my manager, explain it all, and she (not the brightest of managers) tells him he will be removed by the authorities after any other incidents.

He apologizes, then goes on about his pool experience. Two hours later, I’m in the five-foot section, which is the deepest aside from the 12-20-foot sections. The guy is walking along with his friends, sees me in the chair, and goes, “Watch this.” I’m still surprised he didn’t say “Hold my drink” instead. He runs and dives in really deep. Screw up numero cuatro, reporting for duty.

In front of his son, who was behind the legs of some other guy and peeks out after his dad submerges, the guy floats up to the surface of the pool—face down and unresponsive. We had to evacuate the pool, stabilize, and backboard him. The guy kept entering his name into Darwin’s Lottery, and won. It was going to happen eventually, it was just a matter of time.


31. Ponzi’s Got Nothing On Her

My older sister opened several credit cards in my mother’s name and maxed them out. My mom didn’t find out for over a year, and her credit is still ruined. She then asked my dad to help her buy a new apartment, but she still decided to live with her boyfriend for two years while my dad paid rent on an empty apartment. She dropped out of college and sent my family fake grades so she would appear to be enrolled. She also kept the tuition checks herself.

She made my mom label all her possessions so “we” could claim them after she passes away. She repeatedly took medicine from our grandmother while she was receiving at-home hospice care. When we were younger, she would volunteer to babysit me and my younger sister, but then she’d put us in bed as soon as my parents left and have huge parties.

Oh, and here’s the kicker to that last one—She would say that if we got out of the bed, the people making loud noises downstairs would hurt us and take us away from home.


32. Daddy Issues

“My son is your children’s father and there’s nothing you can do about that.” This is the exact quote my former mother-in-law screamed at me in my own driveway back in 2006. All while her worthless, addict son literally hid behind her. My girls were three and six and my fiancé had already taken them into the house. What set her off was hearing my kids call him “dad.”

We hadn’t taught them this, they had just started doing it because her precious son only saw my girls four or five times a year. So here I have this garbage human that literally had his mommy fighting his battles, who didn’t answer his phone when I called, didn’t work or pay child support, and didn’t even know our youngest daughter’s birthday or how to spell our oldest child’s middle name.

And then I have this fiancé, this sweet, kind-hearted man who fell in love with me and my girls, who said to me when he proposed, “Those girls deserve a dad and I want to be it.” This guy wanted the job, so why should I be dealing with this fool and his mother anymore? I replied to her, “Nothing I can do about it, huh? I guess we’ll see about that.”

That was the last time she saw my kids. I never called her son again and I stopped answering her phone calls. It’s amazing how quickly he disappeared when I stopped forcing him to do his job. My fiancé and I married that fall. We filed adoption papers after Christmas. My ex didn’t contest it. He didn’t show up to court. His mother showed up on my doorstep on Easter but my husband told her to take a hike.

My children are 20 and 17 now. They don’t know my ex. In 14 years, they have not seen or heard from him. No phone calls or birthday cards. No social media requests. If he walked by them on the street, he would just be any other guy to them. He’s been completely erased from my children’s lives. He does not exist to them. He is not their father. So yeah, I guess there was something I could do about it.


33. Child Labor

When I was a cashier, this mom came in with her son’s piggy bank. The kid was with her and must have only been about six years old. He wanted to buy a candy bar with his money, but the mom told him no, that his money was going to help support the family. She then proceeded to buy a six-pack and some Belmonts with the money while the kid watched.

The poor boy had tears in his eyes the whole time. But I knew what I had to do. I refused service to her, though the manager ended up ringing her up. She was paying with mostly pennies and nickels, and while she was distracted I saw the boy walk over to the candy rack and wipe the tears from his eyes. I asked him what was wrong and he told me it had taken him three years to save that money, but his mom didn’t have a job so she took it from him.

I bought him the candy bar he wanted and gave him a bunch of quarters for the gumball and toy machines. His mom saw him trying to get one of those sticky hands from the machine and then took all the quarters he had from him. Screw that lady.


Horrible parentsShutterstock

34. Five Strikes, He’s Out

First, I came home from college one day to find out he gave away my ski equipment to his friends without my permission. Note here that my dad bought it for me; I can’t afford that stuff. His excuse? “Well, you weren’t using it.” Second, he used my dad for money when my dad was dying of inoperable cancer, and he was unable to say “no” because he was full of morphine to deal with his pain. Think that’s bad? It gets worse.

Note that my brother did not have a driver’s license at this time, but this did not stop him from taking my dad’s car. Third, in high school, he basically stole a friend of mine one summer. This friend’s parents always took him and his sister to expensive restaurants at midday. My friend’s parents, being too polite, would not send him home at those times even though I said they should.

Fourth, he wanted me to give him my old driver’s license when I turned 22 and got a new one, just so he could go to the bars. For those who are unaware, depending upon the situation, *I* could have been the one getting locked up if he was caught with my license, so I said no. His excuse? “Well, my friend’s brother did it! Why can’t you be cool like him?!?”

He also repeatedly took my mother’s car—without her permission—to see his girlfriend even though he didn’t have a license. One night, he wrecked and hit a deer. My mother, being kind, did not press charges of any kind.


35. It’s Not What It Looks Like!

My mother-in-law is an idiot who likes to talk behind people’s backs and thinks she can buy the love of my children with awful toys that get donated as soon as she leaves. She came to our house, unannounced as usual, and just let herself in, as usual, to drop off some toys that she had recently bought because we all know they didn’t get enough stuff Christmas only days ago!

So I was making myself scarce, tinkering around in my shed, and apparently she looked in the cabinet under my aquarium, saw a piece of equipment, and automatically assumed that it was some kind “intimate” parts enlarger. What??! She proceeds to go tell my wife that she thinks I have a weird side of me that I am hiding and she thinks my wife should have a talk with me.

My wife said that her mom was totally serious, a little mad even, and my wife asked her to explain. So my mother-in-law goes get my “pump” from the cabinet and shows it to her. My wife said she nearly peed her pants when she recognized it as a piece of aquarium equipment, but she held her composure and quickly walked outside and yelled for me to come in.

When I got in she said, “My mom has a question for you.” My mother-in-law asks what I need that “sick device” for? I calmly explained what it was and that she should really worry about her own life. She noticed that my wife was about to expire from containing her laughter and she stormed out of the house. It was great. I can’t stand that witch.


36. Daydream Believer

I was the kid who always “zoned out” or “stared into space,’” which resulted in a lot of adults, including teachers and my parents, thinking I was deliberately ignoring them. They tried everything, but it’s like I wouldn’t even hear them when they yelled. Then I acted like I didn’t even know what they were yelling at me for. What a little jerk, right?

I was such a little idiot. I’d stop mid-sentence, zone out for sometimes even up to or past a minute, and then pick up my sentence right where I left off. Sometimes I would stop walking for no reason. It could take me upwards of hours to finish a page of math homework. I was so slow that what took classmates five minutes to do could take me all of a lesson.

My mom would tell me things, only for me to later insist she had never said that. She would call for me, and I wouldn’t answer, until she had to yell, at which point I would turn around and insist she didn’t have to shout. In the end, it was always the same. A teacher would decide that if I didn’t want to give them respect, I could just do things alone.

I should have listened to them while they were explaining things if I was really interested in learning, right? So they stopped helping me when I didn’t understand something they had already said. Because I should have been listening in the first place. Surely, this would get the message across, right? After all, this bratty little kid has to learn to listen. And then one day, it all clicked into place.

As a result of stress, I had a grand mal seizure. I was taken to the hospital where I was diagnosed with absence epilepsy, a form of epilepsy that doesn’t have the tremors associated with typical seizures. A person having an absence seizure simply stares, having a completely still seizure with their eyes open. As a result of this, it often looks like someone is simply staring out into space, unresponsive, or ignoring you when they may actually be having a medical emergency.

So, during times when I would be “ignoring” a teacher, I was actually having an absence seizure. Suddenly, they would be yelling at me and I honestly didn’t know why. My experience of it is a little atypical; I would have seizures anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes long. I would have hundreds a day, and they persist into adulthood. Now I have to pay for seizure medication and therapy.


37. A Different Kind Of Custody Battle

When my brother was 10, he came into my care when my mom passed on. He was a nightmare; running away, throwing fits, being violent. He didn’t know how to wipe his own behind or shower and he lied all the time, trying to get me in trouble. I had to drive from Ohio to Kansas to finalize paperwork with the court. I took him and my friend for a three-day trip, just to try to connect with him. He’d had a rough year.

At the end of the trip, while we were packing up, he told me he locked my keys in the car. That was the beginning of an ordeal I’ll never forget. He then told the hotel people I kidnapped him and that he was trying to escape. The people he talked to called law enforcement. He left, and the officers came and detained me and my friend. My paperwork was in the car that he locked the keys in, so I couldn’t prove I had custody.

He was found three hours later and boldface screamed and that I was a stranger. The officers had someone unlock the car and I was able to show them custody paperwork. I spent three days trying to connect with him… I bought him stuff, took him anywhere he wanted, had heart-to-heart talks over things…and yet, the entire time, he was planning this.

He later told me he was hoping they would off me. He hated me because I was “poor” and a female. He wanted to be in foster care. He did this a few times, even trying to get CPS to take away my daughter. The entire time, all I wanted was to make sure he grew up and didn’t have to be in foster care.


38. Loose Lips

My partner and I were out shopping, and he had wandered off to look at something else, wanting to avoid the makeup and beauty counter. I haven’t physically been to the makeup section in a while, choosing instead to use Sephora online, so this was exciting to me to get to be at the actual counter and do a whole lot of swatches and drool over makeup in person.

You know that scene from Parks and Rec where Ron can sense a shift in energy and he can “smell” his ex-wife whenever she’s in a few miles’ radius? It was kind of like that. I felt someone watching me. I felt this shift in energy. I was very much aware of being alone and that there were no store attendants close by. I look over and I see my mother-in-law, and she’s staring at me and throwing me a dirty look.

She doesn’t like me. She looks down on me. She looks down on my teaching job, and she thinks I’m vapid and vain because I wear makeup. She thinks I’m a gold digger. She thinks I’m a troublemaker. She’s called me a makeup-wearing hussy behind my back. Which to be honest, I kind of own that. I dig it in a weird way. She comes over to say hello, this huge grin on her face because of course, I’m looking at makeup and skincare.

To her, this just re-iterates those thoughts she has of me as being shallow and vain. We mumble a greeting to each other, and then she says to me, “Buying more makeup?” Her tone is very surprised, as if I couldn’t possibly need more. “Yes,” I say. “Apparently I have a reputation as a hussy to uphold.” Her. Face. Dropped. She knew that I knew.

She knew that there was a mole and someone was telling me stuff about her and what she said about other people. It felt great. I walked away and left her there, and then my partner and I left before she could spy on him and try to feed him information or gang up on him.


39. Slow And Steady

I used to be a swim teacher in college teaching private lessons in people’s backyards. Generally, it was a lot of kids who had a fear of water because their parents hadn’t properly gained their trust before trying to get them to swim. One kid, he was seven, I had to sit with him on the pool deck the whole first lesson and bring buckets of water to him.

Apparently, his dad had dunked him multiple times in the pool and insisted that his son would just figure it out eventually because “that’s how he learned.” The father was never home when I was there; the mom had me come while the dad was at work. Four weeks later, she had me come later in the afternoon so he could come home towards the end of the lesson.

His dad saw his son swimming and cried happy tears. He had no idea I had been there three days a week for a month. I still remember how each of my students clung to my arms and clawed at my neck in their first lessons. I never dunked or forced anyone out of their comfort zone. My lessons had to be customized for each student to keep it fun and relaxing. The trauma in their eyes was haunting, though.


40. A Whole Herd Of Black Sheep

My late ex-husband Tommy had the worst siblings. He passed on from an overdose and the hospital called me as I was listed as his emergency contact. After I spoke with the doctors and whatnot, I called his brother and asked him to tell their mother. I also asked if he wanted to see him since the doctors said they could keep Tommy there so his brother could see him.

Because our children were under 18, the body was released to his brother. I sent several texts to his brother asking about funeral arrangements, telling him the kids may want to view their dad and that we wanted to be involved. I also told him Tommy wanted to be cremated. Tommy has three siblings, all married, and neither his mother nor any of them called any of Tommy’s kids.

I finally called his mother on Tuesday and she basically blamed his problems on me. I called my ex-SIL and went off, making sure she knew her niece and nephews were wondering why nobody had called them. Not five minutes later, all their aunts and uncles called. Only then were we invited to dinner with them. I forced my children to go. The funeral was planned for Friday and it was just really awkward. I asked about the obituary and by the looks on everyone’s faces, I knew they didn’t want me to see it. They, reluctantly, still showed it to me—and it was the worst thing I ever read.

They left me completely out of it but did mention another woman who was his friend for many years. They also suggested that donations be made to their church; no thought to set up a college fund or anything for his sons! I lost it and ended up walking out. My oldest son followed me and asked who this other lady was.

She was such a good friend that Tommy’s kids never met her! They also made the decision not to have a private viewing because they didn’t want to pay to rent a casket. Trust me, it was not a matter of having money, they are all very successful. They took the chance away from my kids to even say goodbye to their father. I’m leaving a lot out so this isn’t so long, but the worst part is yet to come…

We got to the funeral and Tommy’s family were all lined up in the front of the church. There was no place for my kids. We were left to the side like we didn’t even belong there. Everyone sat down and there were rows reserved for family, but not his kids. They should have been sitting right in front of their grandmother.

The first preacher then started talking and he listed all the people in Tommy’s family—all but his kids. The second preacher did the same thing. So far, they had not mentioned that Tommy was even a father or had kids. As I looked around at all the shocked faces, I was, once again, about to lose it.

I was about to stand up and go to the microphone, but before I could, my oldest son stood up, turned around, and faced the family. That’s when he got back at Tommy’s awful siblings. He raised his arms, and the entire left side of the church got up and walked out. I was so proud of my son, and I know Tommy walked right out of that church with us.

Want to know what they told us? “It was a mistake—Uncle C was going to mention the kids in his closing prayer.” Too little, too late!


41. Nothing Hurts Like Good Manners

My mother-in-law wants us to have children, and we won’t. My husband finally told her about his vasectomy, which seemed to shut her up, and all further interactions with her have only been mildly annoying. Until now. Yesterday, my mother-in-law told us all that she had purchased a burial plot for her and my father-in-law, and how she’s pre-planned a funeral.

She wanted to start working on their long-term medical requests and power of attorney documents. All good things! Then she starts to tell us about her estate. My father-in-law tries to change the subject, but no no, we have to talk about this as a family. Well, mother-in-law gets this smug look on her face and then goes on about how their estate will be divided up.

Basically, it gives my husband almost nothing because we “don’t have children, and the money is to support their family line.” Our response was perfect. Y’all. Her face when my husband and I both nod approvingly at this and confirm that this seems like a smart plan. I’m fairly certain that she wanted us to either fight back or cry and make a scene or beg her for money.

She controls two of her children with money but not us, and it drives her batty. She sent my husband an email last night “apologizing” for her decision and giving him a “method of communication” about this without me involved. 100%, she was trying to get him to beg her for money or change her mind. So, he popped me on the email and responded, “Mom, she and I want you to enjoy your money and have a happy and secure retirement. This is your money, you can do whatever you want with it, and we’ll never criticize you for your decision about this.”

Ha. The rest of her kids are already fighting over their bones, but not us. I’m using good manners as an insult.


42. Monkey See, Monkey Do

Once my family was on a trip visiting a temple when I was in my pre-teens. The temple was quite famous for the monkeys, and we were advised not to interact with them mostly because they would take stuff from your hands. We had finished our visit to the temple and were returning back when we saw a dozen monkeys just minding their business.

Well, my dad somehow got this idea of greeting one of the monkeys. He said “hello” cheerfully to one of them and oh boy, that monkey got mad. My dad had walked away before the monkey could lunge at him, so the angry monkey looked at me, since I was a bit behind my family members. I got scared and walked slowly, but the monkey started screaming at me and suddenly two more joined in the screaming.

I was half crying and half panicking at this point as they had literally ambushed me in the corner of the road. My parents then nonchalantly told me to just walk away from there, even though they could clearly see the three big monkeys obstructing any way of escape. I just covered my head and prayed for anyone to help me. All the while, my parents calmly looked at me as if waiting for me to come out of it without a scratch.

Fortunately, a stranger who was just passing by saw me and shooed away the monkeys. They ran away and I ran towards my family. After that, the whole trip they made fun of me and even criticized me about how I could not just walk away from the monkeys. I was so angry at my whole family, but they made it seem like I should have known better to save myself.


43. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

My brother uses all of his accomplishments to make himself feel as if he’s better than everyone. He especially loves to do it to me. My parents have always favored him much more than me and our other siblings. He’s mean to me even though I always looked up to him when I was younger. I’d come home from getting bullied at school, only to be bullied by my own brother.

He knows how to fight, and I’ve lost every fight I’ve been in with him. About seven years ago, I got diagnosed with stage 2 leukemia, and all of a sudden, things got weird—he was a totally different person to me. He even told me he felt awful because he could’ve lost me. But that’s not the sad part. I told him it wouldn’t matter if I passed on, it’s not like our parents would care.

Well, now he’s basically the same way he was before. As a matter of fact, he even jokes about my leukemia. I don’t look up to him anymore.


44. More Harm Than Good

Right now I have a lot of problems going on with my mother-in-law on top of a bunch of other issues. Foremost, I’m fighting cancer for the second time in my life. I was first diagnosed when I was 14, fought it and won. I lived a happy and peaceful life until recently, when I had my health checked for job necessities and surprise!—I’m 30 years old and I’ve got cancer again.

This is secondary cancer, different organ, nothing to do with the first one. Fortunately, stage 2 only, however my oncologist warned me that it’s aggressive, grows and spreads fast, and I could be stage 3 or more in a short period of time so we had to act fast. Hearing that you have cancer is always devastating but to me, it feels like something wants me gone very much.

I was distraught that I’ll have to go through this again. It’s a very hard fight, both physically and mentally; any current or former cancer patient will agree on that. I had a surgery and now it’s time for chemotherapy. The doctors decided on oral chemo that I can take at home and only have to go to a hospital to do blood tests and scans every few weeks, which is very good.

I wouldn’t have the strength to go there every day. I’m on a sick leave from work now and because of the treatment, I’m quite weak and I’ve lost a lot of weight. Before that my wife and I, we both had an equal share of household chores. Some days I feel better than others, however directly after every chemo appointment, even the simplest chores are often a physical impossibility for me.

I try to do as much as I can, but my wife has been amazing. She doesn’t care at all that I don’t help around the house as much as I did. She’s like, “Your only obligation now is not to die.” The other day my mother-in-law came over to visit. She knows about my diagnosis, and I was on the couch reading while my wife was doing something around the house.

My mother-in-law walked over to me and was like, “Look at that! Lying on that couch as if you’re on the beach! Aren’t you ashamed of yourself—a grown man and lying down in the middle of a day while your poor wife is working so hard!” I said, “I just had chemo, I have a headache, I’m nauseous, I don’t feel good.” Nope. She was like, “A young man like you and you cannot beat some silly cancer! You cannot cure yourself with those chemicals! Nature products only!”

Later that day, my mother-in-law was talking to my wife in the kitchen. I didn’t mean to listen, but I heard their conversation anyway. The mother-in-law was like, “You really shouldn’t let him take that poison he’s taking or he will be a goner. It’s poison, otherwise he wouldn’t feel so bad. Doctors nowadays are totally stupid, you should seek herbal treatments instead!”

As all of that came from someone without any medical education, my wife shut her up quickly and told her to stay away from things she understands nothing about. The next day I was going to take my chemo, as I’m scheduled. I’ve got to take it once a day and I prefer to do it in the morning because then I feel better in the evening and I can sleep better.

But, as I walked into the bathroom and opened the cabinet, there was no trace of my chemo bottles. They were gone, completely. I asked my wife if she moved them by any chance and she said no. We looked around but realized it’s pointless because they couldn’t fall out of the cabinet and there’s also no need to hide the chemo; we don’t have children or pets who could accidentally swallow it. Then the horrific truth hit us.

My wife remembered that just before leaving the day before, my mother-in-law asked to use the bathroom. She could have easily taken the bottles with her, considering her words about the toxicity of chemo. My wife turned into a dragon. She was literally almost spitting fire as she got dressed and stormed out to go to her mother’s house.

I had never seen her so mad before. She came back a half an hour later or so and told me that she demanded my medication from her and my mother-in-law admitted she took my chemo but that when she left our house, she threw it out. Obviously, it’s gone. We can’t search through every garbage bin the city, but just the fact that she did it blew my mind.

My wife and her mom had a huge argument, and this woman really thinks she did me a favor. She was like, “Don’t you see he’s dying, don’t you see how fragile he’s become? It’s not cancer that’s hurting him, it’s those pills! I got rid of them, I saved your husband and that’s how you thank me, by insulting me? Better go and buy him some herbal teas!”

Because of her, I missed a dose of chemo, which is very bad, and I had to see my oncologist immediately. When I told him I need more chemo, he was surprised and said, “What happened to the chemo I gave you a short time ago? You couldn’t have used it all already.” And I had to be like, “Well, you see, doctor, my mother-in-law took my chemo.” He looked totally baffled, as if the fact that someone would take someone else’s chemo is ridiculously stupid. WHICH IT IS.

He prescribed me new bottles of chemo and a new schedule on how I’m supposed to take it, and now I keep it in a cabinet with a lock. Even though my wife swore to me my mother-in-law will never set her foot in our house again.


45. Bad Grandpa

This was a bad grandparent. So, I used to nanny two kids under three years old. The boy was very shy and cautious just by nature, and it took time for him to get used to new things and people. His grandparents lived an hour away and would sometimes babysit, but of course a two-year-old doesn’t really remember people they only see once every couple of months.

One day, the grandparents came over to babysit and brought a new kiddie pool. The boy had played in a kiddie pool as a baby the previous summer, but of course, he doesn’t remember that either, he’s two. So the grandparents set up their gift, fill it with water, and I got the kids changed. I’d always stay an hour or so after the grandparents arrived to make sure the kids were comfortable with them first.

Grandpa was so excited for the little boy to see the gift…but the little boy wasn’t sure about it, because he’s basically never seen a pool before. I started getting him used to it, put his sister in, dipped my toes in, encouraged him to put his hand out and feel the water, etc. It was taking time, but he was warming up. Well, grandpa ran out of patience.

He grabbed the kid and just plopped him into the pool. The little boy immediately started panicking and crying, and then the grandpa started mocking him for crying about “a little water.” I took the kiddo inside and told his parents what happened. Scaring the bejesus of a shy toddler is pretty bad, but mocking a baby for crying when he’s scared? That’s foul.


Horrible parentsUnsplash

46. Sisters Before Misters

My brother and his (now ex) girlfriend had a super toxic relationship. I don’t know the whole story as I was never close with her (and I don’t trust my brother’s account of things), but there was something my brother did once that made me decide, “Oh, he’s not just a jerk in a toxic relationship, he’s a manipulative abuser.”

He had his friend text him pretending to be the girlfriend’s best friend—and what they did was absolutely despicable. They orchestrated this whole story in which the best friend came on to my brother, but he turned her down because he was loyal to his girl. He even went as far as to save his friend’s contact info as the best friend’s phone number.

When he showed his girlfriend the texts, it obviously looked like her best friend sent them. She ultimately believed my brother over her best friend because “the phone number didn’t lie.” Also, my brother’s a fantastic liar, so that helped. Anyway, they’ve been broken up for years now, and the ex-girlfriend and best friend still hate each other. They had been friends since they were seven.


47. Getting Along Like A House On Fire

The last few months have been rough. Near the end of last year, we lost the house to a freak accident, and we lost almost everything we owned. It’s just been a really stressful time for my little family of four. We were out for a school recital when we received the call from a neighbor, and we returned to find the house in flames. The fire department tried to save what they could, but the damage was really bad.

We ended up selling the property and moving altogether because the repairs amounted to essentially rebuilding the house. I have been married for 10 years and my mother-in-law has never liked me. I still didn’t expect her to act the way she did during this time. I always believed that even if she didn’t like me, she’d help me in a time of need because I was the mother of her two grandsons and the wife of her son, and I made them happy. I found out just how wrong I was.

On the night of the accident, we needed a place to stay temporarily, at least until we could have a few moments to breathe and get our bearings. My husband suggested we stay with his mother for the night. It was late and it made the most sense to us both. We drove over to the house. My boys were half-asleep in the backseat and we left them in the car when we went to speak to my mother-in-law to explain what was going on.

She was very sympathetic at first and said she had no problem with my husband and my sons staying…but I would have to make other arrangements. My husband lost it with her and began to yell that she was being unreasonable, and she refused to budge. In her words, I wasn’t true family and she’d never blessed our marriage in the first place, so I was not her responsibility.

We left and spent the night in our car, and we got a motel the next day. She began calling and inviting us over to stay again, and she said that she’d graciously permit me to stay in the garage for a few days. Again, we didn’t take her up on the offer and my husband told her that she was being very disrespectful. My mother-in-law got very angry in response and said that we were spitting on her generosity.

She then offered to keep the boys so that they wouldn’t need to stay in a motel while we put our lives back in order. Again, we rejected her offer. We heard nothing from her for a few days until we learned that she had been badmouthing me to people. She was claiming that I was tearing the family apart in this time of need with my grudges.

From her point of view, she’d opened her house to us in an instant and I’d turned her down and forced my husband and sons to live in a cheap motel because I didn’t like her. My husband set the record straight, but my mother-in-law did not ease up. It turned into a nightmare in the blink of an eye. She made an official complaint to the fire department claiming that I had caused the accident purposefully to destroy the house and force the current situation.

She said that I was money-hungry and had designs on her house and this was all part of my plan to take her house from under her. I was taken in for questioning and I understand why due to the nature of the allegations, but I was cleared off everything as the investigation proved it was an accident and there was no way someone could deliberately caused the accident.

She later showed up to the house while we were going through it to see what could be salvaged, and she made disparaging comments about how we should not be upset as these were just things. Yes, they were things. I’m not upset about the stove and the couch and the bed. I’m upset about the arts and crafts projects my sons made for Mother’s Day every year.

I’m upset about family heirlooms that are irreplaceable. I’m upset about the memories that were lost. The house was a fixer-upper when we bought it and we did a lot of the restoration ourselves. We had professionals handle things like the wiring, but we did the painting and the sanding and whatever we could to save money. My youngest son had a gaming console that he owned, which had been left at her house before the accident.

They’d been over for a weekend with their father and had taken the console to keep them occupied. My mother-in-law stated she didn’t have it, and we must have taken it back. My son argued with her that he’d had a conversation with her about leaving it there for the week so his cousin could use it while visiting. She gaslit him to the point of frustrated tears and kept saying we’d taken it back and it had probably been lost in the accident.

The truth came out from others that my mother-in-law had given it away after we’d refused her initial offer of hospitality. The shining ray of light through all this has been that this is the straw that broke the camel’s back for my husband. We all went no contact after these incidents and a few more, and we cut contact with her shortly before moving to our new place. She has been trying to get our address from family members, but she hasn’t had any luck just yet.

My husband made it clear that he’d have no problem cutting off anyone else in the family who gave her our address or contact information. If she can’t support us when we’re at our worst, she doesn’t deserve to be there when we’re at our best.


48. Just Like Riding A Bike

The summer between first and second grade, my family moved somewhere with a pool. My mom was adamant that I had learned to swim as a baby, so she bought floaties for my younger sister and refused to buy any for me because I “already knew how to swim and was too big for floaties.” When I refused to get into any part of the pool I couldn’t walk in, my mom called me from outside the pool and promptly grabbed me and tossed me into the six-foot end.

And surprise! I didn’t know how to swim!! I remember splashing twice, hearing my mom yell at me to stop panicking, then I went under and tried swimming to the surface as I’d seen in movies. Eventually, I got my head a bit above water, coughed out a bunch of water, and started screaming for help before I went under again. Her reply chilled me to the bone.

My mom told me to stop making a scene and swim towards the edge. I made it to the edge and couldn’t pull myself out of the pool, so my mom yelled at me to swim to the shallow end. When I tried to grab onto the edge to just pull myself to the shallow end, though, my mom kept taking my fingers off the edge and yelling for me to stop playing and just swim.

When I finally got to the shallow part, my mom and family just went, “See, you still remember how to swim. You never forget.”


Horrible parentsUnsplash

49. Reverse Robin Hood

My sister forced my father to work his regular job and then spend months fixing up the upper floor on his house so she could move in with her three kids after a messy divorce. She didn’t get a job for a long time and when she finally did, it was only part-time because “she made more money picking up shifts.” She never got any certifications even though the job paid for it.

She was only supposed to be there wreaking havoc until she got back on her feet. Then, it became until the eldest was in college…then the second…then the third. They finally had to have the sheriff evict her because she was having her dealer drop stuff at the house. It would take hours to go into all the stuff she did to my parents, but the worst is what she did to her kids.

She made all of them get jobs when they turned 16 because she needed money to pay my parents’ rent and utilities. The eldest worked 20 hours a week while in high school at minimum wage. But there was something she wasn’t telling them. My dad never charged her rent—he paid for all the utilities.

She made the kids work while in school to get money from them, and they thought it was going to the household. We are still not sure exactly where it all went.


50. Sharing Isn’t Caring

I’ve always had issues with my mother-in-law, but this year, I’m so angry I can’t see straight. We arrived at my in-laws (a four hour drive) for Christmas on Saturday. We were only staying one night and then heading back home. We don’t visit them often, mainly due to my job. I’m an OB/GYN and have very few days off. We get there on Saturday and my father-in-law is nowhere to be found.

This was after my kids hugged and kissed my mother-in-law hello. My husband asked where his dad was. Mother-in-law:  “Oh, we have both not been feeling well. We’ve had vomiting and diarrhea for two days. He is in the bathroom.” My husband: “Did you guys eat something bad?” Mother-in-law: “No. Everyone has been sick at the office!” I could have screamed. I nearly burst into tears.

Me: “How could you do this? How could you knowingly expose us to something like that? It’s Christmas! And you know I work with newborns and pregnant women!” Mother-in-law: “Well if I would have told you…you wouldn’t have come to visit.” My mouth just fell open. My husband told her that it wasn’t right and asked what if her grandchildren got sick?

Her: “They’ll be fine!” And guess freaking what. On Christmas Eve, I was up with my children. All throwing up. All night long. I woke up this morning and have been vomiting. I’m going to have to let my partner do my scheduled C-section tomorrow. And my kids are unable to enjoy Christmas because of my stupid in-laws. I’m so angry. I just don’t even know what to do.


51. A Bitter Pill To Swallow

When I was about five or six years old, I was very sick. Fever, vomiting, sweating, congestion; it was awful. There was some mix-up at the pharmacy, and they thought I was my father and gave him adult medication—basically, we got these giant horse pills. Now, normal child medication for things like this are syrups and chewable stuff for obvious reasons.

My dad comes home and tells me I have to take these medications. I have a hard time getting them down, almost choking a few times. That’s when he snapped. My dad got frustrated and literally started shoving these huge pills down my sore throat with his angrily shaking fingers. I started crying, and my nose was stuffed so I could only breathe through my mouth.

I remember my dad’s wedding ring banging against my teeth, eyes watering, gasping for air while looking at my mom for help. Eventually, I coughed it back up, crying and my throat on fire. I remember my mom demanding an apology from my dad, who just said, “Well, he’s going to have to learn to take pills like that sometime anyway” and stormed off. Darn. I haven’t thought about that story in 20+ years.


52. Attempted Identity Theft

My younger brother’s whole life is a lie. He never really worked any jobs or had any girlfriends. He didn’t get a driver’s license until he was maybe 32 would just yell at everyone to drive him places. Fast forward to him trying to put his life together after our mom passed on—my workplace was hiring and I told him about it (mainly because I didn’t think it would last anyway, honestly).

Turns out, he was doing great there, even though we would never interact at work at all. Then slowly, I started hearing these stories from people. “Your brother was telling me about a time…” He was telling everyone all of the details behind events in my life, from youth sports to my 20s to my traveling phase. But then it got worse.

He started to tell everyone at work I was sleeping with multiple women at work. Not only did I go to H,  but the women did too, and HR did nothing to him. They literally said, “Brothers will be brothers.” He told this same stuff to my then-wife, which led to our divorce. He even took my ex to the station to file a false report against me. Thankfully, that was easily thrown out.

Eventually, I parted ways with that place of employment. Two months later, he also quit that job, but he hasn’t talked to me since.


53. Cruella De Vil

Today my mother-in-law was over and as always, she started to talk about children. We’ve been married for eight years now but we don’t have children because we don’t want them. My mother-in-law has a hard time wrapping her head around this, though. She started to wail that we’re going to be too old soon (we’re both 30), and I kind of feel like she thinks our dog is to blame.

I think she sees our dog as some kind of a hindrance that prevents us from having children because sometimes she says things like, “If you didn’t have the dog, you could have children more safely” or “It’s so weird that you care so much about an animal but don’t even think about having your own child.” Our German shepherd is 14 years old now.

Of course, my husband and me realize that his life is coming to an end and it’s really hard because he has been my dog since I was a teenager and my husband has come to love him even more. He’s like a child to us and it’s very difficult to say goodbye. He doesn’t have any terminal illnesses, though, and the vet said that as long as he’s still eating, drinking and walking, we don’t have to think about putting him down yet.

So this time my mother-in-law got upset because we asked her to close this topic about children once and for all. Whether or not we have children, it’s none of her business, and we’re definitely not going to have them just because she wants us to. She went out of the living room and to the foyer to get her jacket that was hanging there on the rack.

Between the living room and the foyer, there’s this short hallway and our dog was walking there. I went out of the living room just in time to see her snarling, “Get out of the way, you dirty mutt!” as she kicked him on the side. The dog staggered aside, surprised, as he has never been hit before. Even when he was a puppy and was doing all kinds of mischief, we never ever physically punished him and this witch wasn’t going to either.

So I was like, “What are you doing? Why would you kick the dog?” She said, “Well why is he getting in my way, moving like a snail! I don’t have time to stand here forever! ” Yes, lady, the dog is slow. It’s because he’s old and doesn’t have the energy anymore to run around all the time. So…MOVE AROUND HIM! Honestly, she could have easily walked past him, the hallway is wide enough.

But no, she probably hoped that no one would see her taking her frustration about us not having children out on the dog. I told her that the dog lives in this house and she doesn’t, and that she doesn’t have any right to treat our pet like that. The dog doesn’t have any fault in anything. If we wanted to have children, we would have them regardless of owning a dog, he’s not an obstacle.

I told her that if she ever does something like that again, I will rip her head off. My husband didn’t see his mother kicking the dog, but he heard the noise and came to see what’s going on. I told him that his mother attacked our dog. First, he couldn’t believe it, and then he blazed in fury. He was 100% on my side and he told her to leave our house and never come back.

He said she’ll never step over the doorstep of our house because our dog deserves a peaceful remaining time of his life and she’s a danger to him. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I knew he puts me above his mother but I never thought he has that much of a spine. My mother-in-law was starting to say something, but my husband dragged her into the foyer.

He didn’t even let her get dressed. He threw her jacket and her boots out the door and told her to never contact us again and that if we ever decide to have children, she’ll never see them. My mother-in-law was offended beyond words. She was like, “All because of one dirty, shedding, unsanitary piece of hair? You’ll both regret it. ”

Our dog is fine, in case you’re wondering. My husband insisted that we go to the vet to make sure she didn’t cause some internal damage, but everything is ok, as much as it can be at his age. My husband blocked my mother-in-law’s phone and it looks like he’s very serious about going no contact with her. So am I. I will never understand cruelty towards animals.


Monster in lawUnsplash

54. It’s A Zoo Out There

I was volunteering at a parent-child zoo day, and saw more than a few horrific parents. The zoo had some free-roaming peacocks, and it was awful how many parents just didn’t tell their too-young-to-know kids that these birds can be mean. So the little toddler goes, “Wow, pretty bird” and tries to get a closer look, only to get chased and attacked by this thing, all while the parents watch.

Most of them said something like “You should have known better.” Like, HOW if you never teach them?! The child can barely walk, you expect them to miraculously understand that some animals have a strong territorial sense? And then your baby gets terrorized by this thing that’s bigger than them and looks like an alien for all they know, and you don’t even give them a hug afterward?

See also: that one mom we had to kick out of the zoo because she was encouraging her kids to antagonize the llama in the hopes it would spit on them. Yikes, people, have some empathy for tiny humans who trust you implicitly with their wellbeing…


55. She’s Always Watching

My eldest sister is the queen of gaslighting. She’s the type of person who tracks her followers on social media. As soon as someone unfollows her, she confronts that person about why they stopped following her. Once, 12 years after graduating high school, one of my best friends who I had lost touch with after graduating was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer.

Some of our old high school group got together and threw her a fundraiser to help with medical costs. I was the one friend of the group that sort of lost touch with everyone else and my sister started asking me questions like, “Why are you so interested in helping her all of a sudden?” When I asked her what she meant, she hit me with the dagger: “I just think it’s interesting that you’re suddenly interested in her illness when you haven’t talked to her in years.”

To this day, I don’t know what she meant, but I could only conclude that she thought I was trying to latch onto the attention she was getting by throwing a big fundraiser for her. It was so out of left-field and not at all why I did any of it. Meanwhile, my friends were so relieved to have my help as I work in project management myself. My friend passed a few weeks later.

More recently, my dad messaged the family and said he was experiencing a really bad fever and other symptoms. He asked us where he could go get tested. All of us started sharing links and info on where to go. An hour later, she texted me: “Hey, should I have left you to talk with dad about the testing? I was talking about it with them initially but you seemed to really want to give them the info about it even though you’ve never gone and I have.”

This was her main priority while our father was ill and frantically trying to find help during his crisis. His test came back negative, by the way. I could go on and on with examples of her doing this. The worst part is that my parents always tell me, “Continue being the mature one and don’t even entertain it, otherwise it will be awkward for everyone.”

So not only can I not defend myself, but I also have to just take it so the family can have fake happy dinners together.


56. A Hairy Situation

When I was younger I dealt with a lot of bad situations. My only real escape from that was my hair. I know how silly that sounds, but it is what it is. When stuff started to fall apart, I’d turn to my hair and use it as a medium to control and reflect how I felt. I’d cut it, dye it, style it weird, whatever, and it would make me feel better. In 2011, I gave myself an 80s-like purple mohawk.

This involved shaving off a good portion of my hair, and it was the last time I truly felt like I wasn’t in control of my life. Since then, I’ve let my hair grow without much messing with it other than regular maintenance. This year after the birth of my third child, my hair reached the length of my thighs. To me, my long beautiful hair is a reflection of how far I’ve come with my overall mental health and happiness.

It’s very, very important to me. This brings me to now. With three children under five, my long hair stays in a ponytail, braid, or bun. Little hands tend to pull on it otherwise. This fact for some reason has been EXTREMELY annoying to my husband’s stepmother. Every time I’d see her, at least once she would bring up what a waste my hair was on me.

She would tell me that a mother shouldn’t have a “rat’s nest” like I have or something snide like that. She’s annoying and I ignore her for the most part because she just wants attention and I won’t give it to her. Until yesterday. I was sitting on my father-in-law’s couch, breastfeeding my youngest and having a pleasant conversation with my husband and father-in-law about what we were watching on the TV.

Suddenly, I felt a tug on my hair and before I could pull completely away, I heard the scissors close. There’s my mother-in-law and my four-year-old standing behind the couch, both laughing as she holds a large portion of what was my bun. The three of us turned and stared at her. It was like looking at a cartoon villain. Now I’m devastated and trying not to cry in front of my children.

My husband starts yelling at her, asking her if she insane. My four-year-old starts to cry, which is followed by my mother-in-law, who tearfully claims, “It’s just a joke, it’ll grow back. We thought y’all would laugh.” The whole situation falls apart with my husband arguing on my behalf, my three children and I crying, my mother-in-law snot bubble sobbing, and my father-in-law trying to get us all to calm down.

We end up leaving with my husband telling his dad to divorce his wife because being married to an overgrown eight-year-old is probably against the law. Which I would have giggled at if I wasn’t so upset. My husband drives us around looking for a stylist that will take a walk in, and I call my sister-in-law to come sit with me. She meets us at her stylist’s work place.

She was off work but came back as a favor, thank God. Looking at my tattered hair was horrible. Large chunks where gone, the length was all over the place. It was awful. I felt like I lost a body part. Luckily the stylist was very talented and salvaged my hair to right above my shoulders. It looks nice, but I’m still sad looking at it. I don’t know how long it’ll take to get over this.

My mother-in-law sent me a couple half-baked apology texts like, “Sorry but don’t be a baby, hair does grow you know” type of stuff.


57. Don’t Worry, Be Stupid

This little girl was just playing at the edge of the pool, happily minding her own business, when her dad ran up behind her, picked her up, and tossed her screaming as far as he could into the deep end of the pool while yelling “time to swim honey.” At first, my dad and I (we both saw) didn’t react, because my dad has done this to me as a game after I learned to swim first. Then it took a dark turn.

We started to notice that she was struggling to surface while her dad just watched. My dad nervously asked, “Can she swim?” To which the guy just shrugs and says, “She’ll figure it out.” I have never seen my dad book it so fast to get into the water as I did that day. He quickly got the kid out of the water and then started screaming at the guy about what kind of idiot he was, while the girl was just bawling her eyes out.

I swear my dad was ready to deck the guy. This was back in the 1990s, so we didn’t have a cell phone to call the authorities, but we never saw them again after at the public pool. It was the first time in my life I had seen insane parenting, and to this day freaks me out that some people will still do stuff like this. There are some wild parents out there.


58. Walkin’ On Broken Glass

My older brother gets angry really easily. One time, he flipped over a glass table in our living room. The whole thing shattered and I cut my foot. I don’t remember what he was mad about since I was only four or five years old at the time, but he must have been in his early teens at that point. My parents replaced it with custom-fitted glass, which was pretty expensive apparently—but that’s not the worst part.

He also taped a knife to my parents’ door, which everyone assumed was a threat. He insisted he wasn’t going to do anything and that he just wanted to scare them. He was at least 20 at the time.


59. Fight Fire With Fire

I have an angel for a mother-in-law and a sane human for a mother. However, I have a truckload of stories about OTHER people’s moms and mothers-in-law. This incident just happened, and I finally decided to share. Quick bit of background: I live in an apartment complex. Two-storey buildings, with outdoor stairwells that are used by four apartments on each level.

I have a front window that looks across a short stretch of grass to the parking lot. My upstairs neighbors are generally calm, unobtrusive people and we have a sort of nodding acquaintance with each other. There’s a husband, wife, and two boys; one’s 15 while the other’s about nine. I am sitting on the couch, reading, when I suddenly hear a commotion outside.

A bunch of shouting, feet running up and down the stairwell, general panic. I look out the window, and it’s my upstairs neighbors, who are apparently losing their minds as a family unit. The husband is literally running in circles, clutching his head, yelling, “Oh my God, is it dad?! It’s dad! What’s wrong with dad?! Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God! Dad! Daaaaaaaaaaad! Wait, is it [female name]?! Siiiiiiiiis! What happened to Siiiiiiis!”

He’s naming off members of his entire family tree, as far as I can tell, and bewailing their as-yet-unknown conditions. The wife is standing on the grass, swaying back and forth, flailing her arms like a wacky-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man, alternating between making this yodeling “alalalalala” noise and yelling to the kids to “Hurry, hurry, get the extinguisher, get the go-bag, grab everything, go go go!”

The older boy is dashing in and out of their apartment and up and down the stairs at full speed (while still using the handrail; good kid) and spouting garbled literary lines like “To the last, I grapple with thee; from the heart, I stab at thee!” and “Out, out, damned spot!” to pick just two examples. The younger boy is doing laps around the wife, trying to howl like a siren, but breaking up into completely justifiable giggles.

Then I start hearing these huge whiny sobs, and at this point, I decide to step outside and get a better view of what the actual heck is going on. I look at the wife and raise my eyebrows, and she just winks at me in between “alalalala”s. I move out of the stairwell just enough to look up—and see what’s happening in front of their apartment.

The husband’s mother is up on the landing, staring in shock. She begins sobbing, “Why are you doooooing thiiiiiis?! What’s wrooooong with youuuuu all?! What’s goooooing oooonnn?!” Just like that…the husband stops running. The wife stops flailing. The kids stop sprinting. All four of them gather at the foot of the stairs, staring up at the husband’s mom.

Husband: “Mom, we have told you 10 times if we’ve told you once. We gave you that key to use ONLY IN EMERGENCIES. We’ve also told you 10 times if we’ve told you once to call or text us before you come over. Since you just unlocked our door and walked in, unannounced, using your EMERGENCY KEY, there must therefore BE AN EMERGENCY! AAAAAHHHH!!!”

Off go the kids, now running around in the parking lot. Off goes the wife, running with them, going “alalalala.” Off go my ribs, because I absolutely can’t hold back the laughter any more. The mother bursts into tears. “I just wanted to come by and see my graaaaandbaaaaabies! I wanted to drop off some presents!” Husband: “And we’ve told you that you need to call first, and not just let yourself in.”

Mother: “But you weren’t answering your phooooones!” Husband: “You should have taken that hint that we DIDN’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU TONIGHT. We were going to stop by next weekend, like we arranged, but now we’re going to have to cancel those plans because you broke the very simple rules we requested that you follow. Go home, Mom.”

Mother: “Your father won’t let you do this! Your father will hear about this!” Husband: “You think?” Husband takes his cell phone out of his shirt pocket and holds it up to show a connected call. He thumbs it to speakerphone. “Hey, dad? You hearing all this?” Father: “[Mother’s name], YOU COME HOME RIGHT NOW.” Cue renewed outburst of sobs and backpedaling from the mother.

The father has a voice like James Earl Jones with a head cold. He is not yelling, but speaking in an incredibly calm, level voice that drops words out of the speaker like lead bricks. He’s not letting her get a breath in edgewise, just repeating, “GET HOME RIGHT NOW, WE ARE GOING TO TALK.” The mother looks around and realizes that I am not the only person who’s staring; other neighbors have popped out to see what in all heck is happening.

The wife and kids have stopped running and are sprawled on the grass, laughing. The mother draws herself up, then reaches towards the apartment door, presumably to get her key. Husband: “LEAVE THAT KEY WHERE IT IS.” Mother: “But!” Husband and father (at the same time): “LEAVE IT.” The mother recoils like the doorknob just turned into a live rattlesnake and comes stumbling down the stairs.

The sobbing is drying up, and now she’s just looking mortified and angry. She stomps past her son, who just turns to track her with the phone; she stomps past her daughter-in-law and grandkids, who are still lying on the grass having giggle bursts; she stomps past the other neighbors who are rubbernecking, and she gets in her car and GOES AWAY. And I go back into my apartment and head for my computer.


60. The Runaways

When I was just eight years old, my mom told my six-year-old sister and me to “runaway if we wanted to leave so badly.” At the time, my mom had ordered us to do laundry but didn’t exactly know how to do it, and she got upset. So, us being young, we took that opportunity and packed up to leave. It all ended in the worst way imaginable.

10 minutes later, my sister was hit by a drunk driver. I still perfectly remember her Crayola crayon suitcase messed up in the middle of the road. Thank God, she was mostly fine from the crash, just scrapes and bruises. But the real pain came from realizing our “mother” would prefer to challenge us to run away rather than teach us how to do laundry.

My sister is currently no contact with my mother and I moved across the ocean. It’s better now.


61. Don’t Mix Family And Business

When I was about 12 years old, I remember my parents being pretty deep in poverty. My brother, on the other hand, had serious wealth in the insurance industry. He offered to buy us a manufactured home no strings attached. We accepted his offer, picked one out, and moved in. Then he told us what our monthly rent would be.

It was very high rent for that area of town and something you would not move onto as a low-income family. Since we’d already moved in and he had the deed to the property, we desperately scraped the barrel to make the rent. Then came the worst part—when we couldn’t do it anymore eventually, he ended up putting the house up for sale.

I was 18 at this point. So my parents moved out of state to something they could afford and I was left homeless.


62. A Dark Day

I can’t have children. My soon-to-be mother-in-law didn’t like that and did what she could to sabotage our future wedding, telling people not to attend, and calling me “defective.” My future (no more) husband and his father were going to sit down with her Tuesday night and try to talk sense into her. Well, she won. I don’t know what happened or what was said, but my boyfriend came home and we got into a big fight.

Despite what we had discussed before, he now said that he wanted kids and if I couldn’t provide them, the wedding was off. I basically said, “That sounds like your mother, not you.” He replied with, “I can speak for myself” and it escalated into a bunch of shouting at each other and I quickly put together a bag and went to my parents for the evening.

I called in sick from work the next day and basically stared at the ceiling. We first met when I was nine, 23 years ago. It went from being friends to more romantic, we dated through high school and went to college together, then after graduation, moved in together. I have never dated or seen anyone else, neither has he as far as I know.

We waited so long to get married because it wasn’t important to us as long as we were together. That changed when my dad got a terminal illness and he expressed his wish to walk me down the aisle (I’m his only daughter) before he became too ill to walk. I’ll be giving two-months’ notice at work on Monday, to give them time to find a replacement and for me to train them, then moving back to Germany.

I was born there and lived there at first and still have friends and family there. My friend has said I can stay in her spare room with her and her family until I get situated on my own there. I’m sorry, no happy ending here. The evil mother-in-law won and got me out of her son’s life. Technically, she got me out of the country. I know I could move elsewhere in town, or even in the state, but I don’t want to be alone here.

There’s too many memories, and I have a strong support group overseas so that’s where I’m going. I have been picked on so many times for so many things over the years, from my height to my accent when I first moved here to other things, but this one hurts. I was able to handle the others by telling myself, “That’s who I am, if they don’t like it, that’s their problem.”

I’m sure in a few years, I’ll think that about this situation too, but it’s too soon..


63. You’re On Your Own

My parents just threw me into life. We never talked about anything. Zero, zip, nada. I was raised rather feral, meaning I could play outside and do whatever I wanted to really, as most older folks were raised. Thing is, when I started to get into my teen years, it was my aunt who bought my first bra. My parents just…didn’t care. It escalated from there.

One day, I got a call on the phone. It was a wrong number but I talked to the guy for a while, and he offered to come over and pick me up. I was 14. My parents let me. His name was Wayne. I had a boyfriend in high school who worked the night shift, and he’d pick me up when he got off at around 2:30 am. My dad also worked nights, saw me up and waiting, and asked where I was going.

I said “out.” Just like he always did to my mom. He didn’t say anything. I was 16. I got a job and paid rent from age 17 until 19 when I got my own place. My parents never helped me with anything. Oh wait, they did get me cosmetic reconstructive surgery when I was around 22 to fix a different surgery I had for pectus excavatum (a bent-in chest) that I was born with, but they never fixed it in the first place until my heart and lungs were compressed as I grew.

After the reconstructive surgery consultation, my dad turned to me and said, “Don’t ever ask me for a freaking thing ever again.” Lovely childhood, no wonder I was an addict for 15 years.


64. A Different Type Of Bogeyman

I grew up with a single mom who worked a lot of long hours, so my sisters and I were often left to our own devices. I was the youngest so my older sisters were supposed to “watch out for me,” but they had a lot of after-school activities like sports, clubs, friends, etc. Sadly,  I got left by myself a lot, which was already bad enough…but then my sisters took it to another level.

They decided it would be a good idea to tell me that if the cops found out that I was home alone, they would come and take me away. I spent years hiding in our basement with all the blinds in the house closed, petrified that officers were going to come to take me away. I would have full-on meltdowns if I saw one of their cars drive by our house and I was inconsolable.

Now I’m an anxiety-ridden adult and it all makes sense.


65. Strings Very Much Attached

I’m engaged, and planning on getting married next fall to my fiancée. We want something very small. We have a guest list of 11 people and we want to wear clothes we already own. When we first met, she was in a suit and I was wearing a white dress. We have a mutual best friend who is helping us design custom rings, and we want a short ceremony where we just sign the certificate and we’re done, followed by a meal at our favorite restaurant.

My parents transferred me $10,000, and her parents did the same. We did not ask for this. We both called our parents and explained that we were fine for money, but they said it was a “wedding gift,” so we thanked them. My mother-in-law wanted to know how we were doing the outfits and we told her that I’d be in a dress and my fiancée would be in a suit.

She has spent two weeks trying to convince my fiancée to wear a dress so she will look “pretty” for the wedding. Every time either of us has tried to say we’d already chosen our outfits and explained why, she insisted that we both had to buy wedding dresses. My parents, meanwhile, have been nagging both of us about our guest list.

We said small and intimate from the start, but they’ve given me expanded guest lists, which includes cousins, uncles, and aunts I’ve never even met. When we tried to reinforce the “small and intimate” aspect, they brushed us off. So we met both sets of parents for lunch earlier. They said that there was a miscommunication and the money from her parents was actually a “dress budget” for both of us, meant to only be used on dresses, and the money from my parents was for “the guest list” so it was meant to cover venue and catering for an expanded guest list.

We both went away from the table to talk. We discussed it and agreed that the money wasn’t worth it, so we brought up our banking apps and transferred the money back. Then we went back to the table, sat back down, and told them what we’d done. Chaos broke loose. They responded that we were acting like children, and we said that we wouldn’t be told what to do.

My mom and my future mother-in-law promptly burst into tears, and both fathers looked pretty angry. They told us that the money was meant for us, and we said that we wouldn’t accept anything from them that came with strings attached. We repeated that we had all wedding elements, including our outfits and guest list, already decided.

We said it was final and we wouldn’t be taking suggestions, to which they said we were being unfair by not giving them a say. We then thanked them for the meal, put down a $20 each (our meals came to about $15) and left without another word. We felt justified at the time, but since then we’ve both gotten messages from our siblings, saying that we were rude to our respective parents when they were just trying to do something nice, and now we feel like we went too far. I still don’t think so.


66. Hindsight Is 20/20

I was always a picky eater growing up. One time, my mom sat me down with a small bowl of almonds and told me I couldn’t get up out of my seat until I finished it. I insisted that I hated them and they were making my mouth itch, but she thought I was just being difficult. I just started to swallow the almonds like pills because my mouth was so itchy from chewing on them.

A couple of years later, I saw an allergist and discovered I was allergic to tree nuts.


67. Green-Eyed Monster

My sister and I were born 15 years apart. I was unplanned and her teenage self was extremely mad that I was born. She basically spent every waking moment of her teens being furious that I was alive, siphoning resources and attention from our parents. She never paid me a moment’s attention, and I even remember her kicking me once.

Anyway, she moved out of my parents’ house to get married at 24, and I was not allowed inside her new house for the next two years. When I finally got to visit the house, her reaction was ice cold. She turned her back and walked away from me when I crossed the threshold. I’ll never forget it.


68. The Cherries On Top

We live on an acreage, and my pride and joy the past several years has been putting in long-term plants. Specifically fruiting varieties, berries and long-term harvestables like a rhubarb patch and even some sunflowers. I prune my trees each season. Every tree gets a once-over a few times to deal with pests. It’s meditative for me. I grew up in the city and always wanted to work towards this point.

I even talk to my trees and plants and everything I grow. It helps with my depression and anxiety. Very grounding, hah! My cherry trees were doing so, so good this year. Big, beautiful crops. I had nets up. The birds were leaving them alone. No serious pests. I watered them through a huge dry period during June, where most plants were scorching.

They made it through, and did so good. I was so proud of my little trees. I had everything ready during the week to harvest them. Got my ladder. Got my buckets. Got my canning equipment out and sterilized and freezer bags ready to rock. I had planned for a whole day on Saturday to get my cherries processed, and time on Sunday too if I underestimated.

Work had been hard all week. I had an anxiety attack at work from the stress. It’s been rough. On Friday, I got up early, checked my cherries and was excited for the day to be over so I could get a head start on some things. I roll into my driveway and tell my other half that I’m going to just throw together a quick supper then head out and pick some cherries.

He tells me: “Sounds good! Mom stopped by earlier and grabbed some cherries too.” My stomach turned into an instant knot. This was my hard work. The cherries were my reward for all of that. All the years of tending and pruning and caring and fertilizing and love. I go out and my nets are still on the trees, but the cherries are picked as high as I could reach. All of them.

All four trees are naked except for the very, very top. I started crying. I threw my bucket like a child with a tantrum. I was so mad. Those were my cherries. Mine! I went inside to husband and he asked what was wrong. I told him all my cherries were gone, that his parents had taken all of them. He immediately calls them and puts them on speaker, asking what the deal was.

The response?! The reason they took ALL my cherries? “Well they were ripe and ready to be picked! Since she hadn’t done it yet, we assumed she just didn’t want them.” Yes, because I put up bird netting for fun. Because me having the ladder out is just me doing yard feng shui. Because having buckets on hand is just me giving the buckets some sun and fresh air.

The kicker?? The best part of all of this?!?! THEY HAVE CHERRY TREES! And apple trees. And fruit bushes! When I brought this up, they said that their cherries hadn’t come in well this year. No kidding. Their trees have a fungus I’ve been telling them to deal with for years but they couldn’t bear the thought of pruning their fruit trees! So, they took my cherries as a result.

My mother-in-law had already frozen the majority of the cherries, plus given some away to friends. She turned the rest into various canning recipes. I picked what I could and ended up with a single ice cream pail worth of cherries total from my four trees. Words can’t explain how absolutely gutted I am. I cried again on Saturday as I put away all my canning stuff, realizing I wouldn’t need it for the amount of cherries I managed to get.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this mad before. My mother-in-law has had moments in the past that I could deal with. That I’ve worked through. That I can almost forgive her for. Or at least pity her for, to be so desperate for certain attention or affection from people. Even just typing this up just makes me feel so upset. My trees are something I love, you know?

I’ve taken care of them, tended to them, talked to them, and was so excited for this year to have that moment of picking a beautiful harvest that I worked so hard for, despite depression and anxiety telling me I wasn’t a gardener, couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t talented enough to have fruit trees. I proved that wrong. I had a beautiful reward waiting for me, with beautiful weekend weather, and happy cherry trees to feel pride about.

And it was taken from me. This feels like heartbreak. It’s not even about the cherries, you know?


Monster in lawUnsplash

69. Sting Like A Bee

A bee stung me and my mother was convinced I was faking an allergic reaction afterward. At the point I started to struggle to breathe, she finally irritatingly relented and made me walk to the hospital, pushing my baby brother’s stroller the entire way. When I got there, the staff were horrified and rushed me in to give me an epinephrine shot.

Luckily that did the trick. Many months later, a bee got into my bedroom, and my father called me a wimp for coming and getting him to deal with it, instead of dealing with it myself. “You have to learn how to deal with these things sometimes!” Or, like, you know, I could just…ask someone not allergic to bees to come and safely deal with the bee instead of risking hospitalization?

My parents were terrible, and abusive for more than just this incident. I have been no contact for about 20 years because of the way they treated me as a child. I have countless incidents like this from both of them.


70. Tongues Will Wag

Way back more than a dozen years ago when my now-husband and I met, we came to a rapid mutual decision—friends with extremely frequent benefits. Neither of us wanted re-marriage. We both had kids, though, and religious parents, so we tied it up in a nice “we are dating” bow and presented it as a package deal. My parents loved him.

His dad was kind of iffy with me, but his stepmother hates me. She’d managed to run off the ex-wife , so she didn’t appreciate a newcomer to share attention with. I am a brutally honest person by nature, but I put up with, ignored, or rolled my eyes and walked away from far, far more than I should have. I wasn’t trying to be the bigger person, I was simply an adult who didn’t need or want to play mean girl games.

What finally tipped the scale was when my guy’s brother, after a nasty divorce, found an extremely sweet, very innocent young woman to date. The stepmom’s target shifted from me (a hard target) to my now sister-in-law (a soft target). She could bring this young woman to tears with her barbed tongue and insults, and she enjoyed it. She was always waiting until her boys were distracted, then she would move in for the hit.

One Saturday evening, the stepmom was just viciously tearing down this girl (and me) while we were BBQing. My guy and his brother were out at the grill with my father-in-law and well distracted. The stepmom went on a hateful, relentless rant about their ex wives, and how they didn’t or couldn’t love us or they would have proposed by now.

Frankly I was ignoring her and eyeballing my now-husband’s cute little butt through the window, making some mental plans for alone time once we ditched the rest of the family. It was in that window that I caught the reflection of the innocent girl with tears running down her face, and my mind snapped back to the conversation just in time to hear that the “boys” only had room in their hearts for one woman—and that was her! I had the perfect reply without thinking.

“You can have his heart,” I said. “I’m more interested in his package and tongue.” It rolled out of my brain and off my tongue before any filter could catch it. My sister-in-law choked, then laughed until she was laugh-crying, laughing and snorting at the same time. The stepmom screamed and cried all the way out to the “boys,” wailing about the perverted godless heathen sitting in her house. Oh, but it got better.

When my father-in-law and brother-in-law both high-fived my guy, she wailed louder, ran into the house, and locked herself in her bedroom with a resounding slam of the door. My father-in-law decided he liked me that night, handed me a drink, and welcomed me to the family. He also told my sister-in-law to up her game. He knows his wife is a witch, and what she starts we are clear to finish in his book, no harm no foul.

To this day, my sister-in-law and I can make the witch run away from us and leave us in blessed peace with one simple tongue gesture.


71. The Center Of Attention

I don’t know why this even happened, but when I was eight, I was hit by a car because of my sibling. She said we were allowed to go out when, in reality, she never even asked anyone for permission. She was pushing me down the driveway and the next thing we knew, I got hit by a car. I was basically dying on the way to the hospital with fractures in my skull and my knee degloved to the bone. But that’s not even the craziest part.

Instead of being sorry for what happened, she was jealous that I was getting attention…for nearly dying.


72. The Truth Will Out

My mom was never a good mother, and I ran away at 13 to live with my dad. I then found out I have a medical condition—a tilted uterus. It never caused me issues so I never paid the news any mind. Fast forward a few months, I’m 14 now. I’m home at my dad’s alone, and suddenly I collapse in agonizing pain. I’ll try to describe the pain.

My back felt like someone had a hold of my lower spine and was trying to pull it from my body, while simultaneously twisting a knife in my stomach. All I could do was crawl my way to my bed and cry. My dad and his girlfriend came home to hear me screaming. He asked what was wrong, and I tried to act tough. “Oh it’s nothing, just my period. I’ll be fine, etc.”

His girlfriend told him that’s not normal and I needed to go to the hospital. Being the manly man he is, he didn’t want to handle lady problems, and called my mom to take me. Well, my mom shows up angry, but remains outwardly calm…until I get in the car and we pull away. Instantly, she came in with a horrific accusation. She starts telling me that I’m probably having a miscarriage.

That this is what I get for being a hussy and getting pregnant at 14. I, between sobbing and screaming in pain, try to explain what the doctor told me about my tilted uterus. She, of course, calls me a liar and tells me to shut up. We get to the ER, sign in, and she’s explaining her theory to the nurse. We finish and are told to go wait.

While in the waiting room, she never said a word to me, just glared. The nurse calls me in and tells her to wait until the exam is done. She’s not happy about this, but, not willing to argue with the nurse, she sits back down. The exam finishes, and she’s called in. The doctor explains everything I had tried to and follows up with, “She’s definitely not pregnant. It’s just a bad month and it will pass in a day or two.”

He says he can give me something for the pain, but my mom denied that offer. I was sent home to just wait it out with instructions to take it easy. Get in the car, still crying, no words from her. It’s very tense. I admit, knowing my mom, that this next sentence was a mistake. But in my delirious state I just wanted my mom’s comfort, and for her not to be mad at me as I did nothing wrong.

I said, “I told you I wasn’t lying.” She instantly pulls over the car, and simply but very angrily says, “Get out of my car now.” She left me there to get myself home. No cell, no money, in crippling pain. I managed to walk a few blocks very slowly, and the last few I literally (I really wish I was exaggerating) crawled back to my dad’s.

After finally getting home, his girlfriend found me and helped me up to my bed. She got me Tylenol, a hot water bottle and all that. I told them what my mom did. My dad’s girlfriend was just stunned while my dad just shakes his head in disgust at his ex’s actions. That was the last time I spoke to or saw my mom for eight years.


73. Don’t Listen To Your Parents

This didn’t happen to me but to my older brother, so I had a front-row seat to all of it. He was looking to purchase a house for cheap that was in a semi-rural area, and wanted at least some acreage near it. His budget was way smaller than it should have been for the houses he wanted, so he was looking at the most dilapidated, terrible houses ever.

He found one that was just what he wanted: multiple rooms, a basement, two acres of woods, and about 15-30 minutes away from nearby cities. It was only about $120,000 and he was sold on it. The problems were abundant, however, and I told him not to do it.  Meanwhile, our parents loved this idea. They pushed and encouraged him, looked at it and took pictures, helped fill out loan paperwork, and even started planning all of the restoration projects it would need.

My brother was committed all the way to the point of confirming the loan and moving there immediately. I was horrified. This house was an absolute dump made in the early 1910s and redone once in 1950. It had mold, holes in the roof and walls, old rusted wiring, peeling wallpaper, and crumbling shelves. The only redeemable part was the size of the rooms, which were pretty decent.

I begged him to not do it and it eventually made him think twice. Finally, he relented and listened to me. He stopped and decided to not do anything. Later, I brought up how bad of an idea that house was…and my parents completely agreed. Their reasons for supporting him made my jaw drop. Even though they thought it was garbage, they wanted him to follow through because it would have been a “good learning experience.”

They thought it would teach him to be careful with these kinds of things. They were literally going to let him go into massive debt and struggle so hard in order to teach him to be more careful of opportunities, and they tried to push it and encourage it instead of just sitting down and explaining all of this. I’m shaking my head at the thought right now.


Horrible parentsUnsplash

74. That’s The Tea

So my mother- and father-in-law have been staying with us for a week. It’s the first time I have ever had to stay with her. I’ve never particularly liked her but I stay civil for the sake of my husband. However, in the past week she has made my blood boil. Some of it I can put aside as just lifestyle differences. For example, she came and rearranged my kitchen, threw out some of my things, etc.

What is annoying me beyond my belief is that she was whispering and complaining about me to my husband just seconds ago, less than 5m away. We live in a small two-bedroom apartment, so it’s not like there is heaps of space. My husband and I have a great relationship and even he thinks that his parents are overbearing. Anyway, I walked outside and offered her tea.

I then told her she did a lot of talking and must be thirsty by now. She got all embarrassed and mumbled that she didn’t meant for me to hear it. I told her if she wants private conversations, my home is not the right place. That was as passive aggressive as I could be with a smile on my face.


75. Actually, Revenge Isn’t Sweet, It’s Gross

We tried to go into this residents-only community center for a townhouse community. We were immediately kicked out. Later on in the evening, my brother dragged me out of be and made me walk over to the community center, where I thought he would just knock a plant over or something. No, he wanted to get a different kind of vengeance.

He proceeded to empty his bowels on the landing by the front door, then smeared it all over the windows and railings with his bare hands. The following day. we were walking by, and the same guy who kicked us out was cleaning it. He yelled at us: “We had a visit from the poop monster last night.”


76. Good Boys And Girls

My husband has an ugly history with his stepmother, who is a terrible person. His father was a really great man who has since passed. Anyway, we adopted a beagle named Winston from the shelter when he was already over 12 years old. His owner had passed and he was so sweet and sad that we decided to take him home. He was with us for about a year and had a few health problems, but nothing major.

One weekend, we went out of town and asked our in-laws to watch Winston while we were gone. When we got home, my father-in-law was reluctant to return him as they had bonded over the three-day weekend. My in-laws had a small shepherd dog at the time named Minnie. I hadn’t ever heard them complain about her in the past but, when we picked up Winston my mother-in-law started making a huge deal about how Minnie was digging holes in their yard.

After a week or so of my father-in-law bugging my husband, we decided to trade Winston for Minnie. I know it sounds weird, but I figured it was a quiet environment for him being a senior dog, and I hated to see Minnie wind up in a shelter, which was what I suspected would happen. They had Winston for about a year when my husband and father-in-law went on a trip together.

A few days after they left, it all started to unravel. My mother-in-law called me all upset. She said that Winston had a seizure and she took him to the vet and the vet wound up putting him down. I was in shock. He had one very mild seizure when we had him and I knew he had a few when he was with them, but they said he was being medicated.

After we got off the phone, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with her story. She added the detail that the vet didn’t charge her for putting him down because he felt sorry for her. It struck me as an odd, unnecessary detail, so I decided to call their regular vet and ask about what happened. They told me that they hadn’t seen Winston and didn’t know what I was talking about.

I decided to call another vet in that same area, but I had to leave a message. This was on Friday afternoon. The vet was closed over the weekend and the boys returned home on Sunday. My husband and I went over the story and both picked out things that we thought didn’t add up. My husband asked his dad which vet the stepmom took him to and he said it was the first one I called. Ok, even weirder.

Monday morning, the second vet’s office called me back. I asked if someone had brought in a beagle having a seizure, and after a pause, the woman told me the whole, jaw-dropping story. She told me that a woman in a bathrobe and slippers (no doubt my mother-in-law) had brought in a beagle and said she hit it with her car and didn’t know who it belonged to.

Apparently, they turned it in to the pound. The pound is not open on Monday so I had to wait until they opened on Tuesday to see if it was really him. I was there as soon as they unlocked the doors. When I walked into the dog kennels, I heard him baying and burst into tears. I couldn’t believe that after everything he had been through, he had to spend four days in the pound, abandoned again.

It cost me over $200 to get him out, which we did not have to spend, but there was no way I was leaving him. When I got home, my husband couldn’t believe his eyes. We took him straight over to my in-laws’ to confront her. She dug in and said that he was having a seizure, that the vet told her he was putting him down but HE must have lied.

We knew we weren’t getting anywhere so we left with Winston and went no contact for about a year. My husband still had a relationship with his dad, but we never trusted her again. So we wound up with both dogs and Winston was totally fine. He lived two more lovely years before he developed cancer and had to be put down when his time actually came. Minnie never dug a single hole in my yard.


77. Playing Favorites

My sister got into a lot of trouble growing up, and ended up facing many obstacles of her own making, so my family poured all the effort into making sure she turned out okay. She had all her living expenses and college paid for, while I was told to join the armed forces. Fast forward 20 years, and she’s happily married with two kids and a loving husband.

What did I get for walking the straight and narrow? Permanently injured from service, discharged to prevent them from having to pay for my surgery, and stuck in poverty because I spent my best years trying to scrape together enough money to afford myself the life that my sister got handed and did nothing to earn. I don’t blame my sister at all; I still love and support her.

I just think it’s super messed up that the family went so far for her and they couldn’t have even helped me a bit with college.


Horrible parentsUnsplash

78. Evil Genius

I’m a gay man, a police officer, and I have had a WHOLE lot of trouble with my mother-in-law. This morning I came home after a night shift and was taking a nap while my boyfriend was downstairs watching TV. I didn’t hear the doorbell ring, but my boyfriend woke me up and told me that there was an officer outside our door. Then, strangely, he added that he didn’t think it was a “real” officer.

I asked him why does he think it’s not a real officer and my boyfriend said, “He doesn’t look like one.” Um, okay. I got dressed, went to the door, and asked who’s there. The person outside said “Police.” Honestly, it was enough for me to realize that my boyfriend is right. I don’t know what the rules for visits are in other countries but here, if you’re on duty and you come to visit someone at their house, you must tell them your last name, announce that you are an officer of the law, and state your purpose for being there.

That’s how officers present themselves and there’s no way around it. So yeah, this guy was a fake. I looked out of the peephole and saw a young man in a uniform that looked very much like the uniforms officers wear here, but a lot of things were missing. Our uniforms are quite plain, just dark blue with a coat of arms of the town on them, but over the uniforms, we always wear a bright green vest with “Police” on the front and back.

It also has the name of the officer on it, plus it has a walkie-talkie, a radio, and a body camera. The person outside my door had the vest on, but none of the things I mentioned were there. He did look quite realistic, though, and could probably fool maybe an elderly person or a child. But not me. Still, we let him in. I asked to see his ID and he said “no.”

I was like, “What do you mean, no? If someone asks to see your ID because they want to make sure you’re a real officer, you can’t refuse.” A real officer should have no problem with it. Then I looked down where his duty belt should be and there was just a regular belt you use to keep your pants together.  Where’s the taser, handcuffs, and baton? Did you forget it all at home, or what?

At first, I didn’t think my horrible mother-in-law had something to do with it, but then the guy asked for my name and said he’s here to arrest me because I have “illegally married another man.” That’s when my boyfriend and I both understood the whole situation. She never approved of us, and had found another way to try and mess with us. For what it’s worth, we aren’t married, but we are partners.

So I was like, “Do you have a warrant? You don’t. Have you personally observed me marrying someone? You haven’t. Are you even a real officer? You’re not, so hands off.” The guy said, “You have a wedding band on your finger.” I can wear any ring I want on any finger I want, and it’s not a proof of any kind. So I did what I had to do as a real officer.

Impersonating an officer is against the law, so I detained him. My boyfriend called to the station for someone to come and take him away, and this guy was terrified. He spilled everything. He told us that there was a woman who paid him to dress up as an officer and come to my house to scare me. He needed money, so he agreed. He described what she looked like and we were like, yep, it’s her.

But what he didn’t know was that I was an officer myself. She didn’t tell him that, and her plan was STUPID. He was also very young, just 20 years old, and I could tell that he was genuinely sorry and he was really scared and worried about all the consequences he’ll now have to face. He was like, “I would have never done it if I’d known you’re a real officer.”

On the one hand, I felt sorry for him because someone older and more evil than him had simply fooled him, but then again—you’re an adult, dude. You should have your own head on your shoulders. You should be able to make your own decisions instead of doing what someone else tells you to do.

So it looks like my mother-in-law didn’t have the balls to dress up as an officer herself, so she sent someone naive to do it for her. The guy is in the station and he’s going to face charges. Hopefully, that’ll teach him to not listen to what old, dumb hags tell him to do. No idea what the end goal was, or what he was going to do after detaining me, but my mother-in-law has really outdone herself on this one.

I have been an officer for nearly nine years and still, she obviously thought I won’t be able to tell a real officer from an impersonator.


79. She Tripped And Fell Onto The “Buy Now” Button

Less than a month ago, my sister took $3,600 from my mother to buy useless garbage. Then she played the victim and told my mom that she should have told her she wasn’t allowed to use her card without her consent by setting up security features on her card, for example. After their conversation, she set up her account so that she’d receive a notification any time transaction was made on her card. This is an important detail to remember.

I kid you not, an hour later, my mom got notified by her bank that someone used her card to buy something worth $50. Of course, it was my sister. This time, she said it was “an accident.” How does someone “accidentally” put in someone else’s bank details? My sister definitely has an online shopping addiction, and that isn’t even the worst thing about her.


80. You Are What You Eat

My nine-year-old daughter became a vegetarian about eight months ago after her friend’s older sister’s influence. She takes it surprisingly seriously, given her age. For some bizarre reason, my mother-in-law has a serious bug up her butt about it and hates that my husband and I allow it. We had a small confrontation about it a few months ago, and she seemed to back off after I made it clear I wasn’t interested in her input. And then it all blew up.

On Friday night, we had dinner with my husband’s parents and she served spaghetti. It was a meat sauce for the rest of us, but when she gave my daughter her bowl, she said “and a special veggie sauce just for you” all sweetly. Halfway through her bowl, daughter started to panic and asked my mother-in-law if she was sure there was no meat in the sauce.

She insisted there was none. I took her plate to inspect and sure enough, there was beef in her sauce. When I stated there was indeed meat in it, my daughter immediately began to cry. I took her into the living room to calm her down while my husband confronted his mom. She at first insisted it was an accident, but after he established he didn’t buy that for a second, she admitted it was intentional.

She said she thought by reminding her how delicious meat was, she would “give up that vegetarian nonsense.” She said she couldn’t see what the big deal was and suggested we get our daughter therapy because the fact she cried over it was “very troubling and a sign something is wrong with her.” At that point, I insisted we leave.

I was starting to seriously consider throwing the spaghetti in the witch’s face, but I knew it would traumatize the kids. In the car, we obviously explained to our daughter that there was nothing wrong with her and grandma was 100% in the wrong. She seemed to have already come to that conclusion on her own, though. My mother-in-law sent a half-baked text apology to my husband last night.

Basically “I shouldn’t have done that, but…—insert essay about why eating meat is no big deal and our daughter overreacted here—” He hasn’t responded because we’re still trying to figure out what to say and how to handle the situation. I’m beyond livid. He’s trying to figure out things to say to get her to understand our daughter’s feelings, like asking her how she would feel if someone tricked her into eating a dog.

However, I strongly feel like we shouldn’t have to do that. We shouldn’t have to defend our daughter’s personal choice not to eat meat and her right to have that respected. We shouldn’t have to try to validate her feelings of being deeply upset after she was tricked into doing something she is strongly morally opposed to by someone she trusted. I knew what I had to do.

I told my husband I don’t trust his mother to feed my kids anymore. He thinks I’m overreacting and we should give her a second chance once the dust settles with this, but my trust is gone. She took it upon herself to decide my daughter was “wrong” for being a vegetarian and try to “fix” her. She decided she knows best and to ignore not only my daughter’s boundaries, but ours as her parents not to push meat on her.

It also worries me because our five-year-old has a peanut allergy that she also scoffs at. She’s never tried to sneak her peanut products, but she’s dismissed it as “probably not serious” and has said how people “outgrow allergies, so she probably will too.” After this incident with the meat, I’m terrified she’ll decide to ignore that food restriction too.


81. Driving Me Crazy

My dad decided to give me driving lessons when I was a teenager, which turned out to be a driving lesson, singular. He took me to the parking lot across the street from our house and had me tool around to get used to the steering and pedals for about 15 minutes. Then, annoyed that I wasn’t catching on fast enough for his taste, he decided we should go on the actual road and I’d learn faster in a more challenging environment.

Cue him barking orders to “Speed up, slow down, HIT THE BRAKES!” in an increasingly frustrated voice as I tooled along, terrified I was going to hit someone. The culmination of our lesson came when he noticed we were low on gas, and told me to pull into the gas station. Keep in mind, my sum total of driving experience at this point was about 25 minutes, which did not include parallel parking.

I pulled into the gas station and came at the pump at something like a 30-degree angle. He grabbed the steering wheel to correct me and actually yelled at me, “JESUS CHRIST!! DON’T YOU KNOW HOW TO DRIVE?!” To which I said, “No! I don’t! You’re teaching me, remember?” He drove back home silently. That was the end of dad’s driving lessons. I signed up with a driving school after that, and we were both much better for it.


82. Food For Thought

So my mother-in-law is very nice. However, her twin sister who helped raise my husband is awful. When my husband was little, his mother had some pretty aggressive health issues and spent a large portion of his childhood in the hospital. Because of this, the sister did a lot in raising him, and since she has no children of her own she sees herself as his second mom.

My husband and I live in the same city as my aunt-in-law but purposefully avoid spending time with her because she’s rude and more than a little bit crazy. This story actually started last Tuesday when my mother-in-law called me up and asked if my husband and I could go visit the aunt because she’s been very lonely and feels like she never gets to see him anymore.

Now, I consider myself a pretty nice person and I don’t like when people are sad or lonely, so I agree to give her a call to see if she’d like to join us for dinner. Which leads to dinner last night. We agree to meet at a restaurant she likes for dinner. My first problem with her, though, is how inconsiderate she is. For example, the restaurant she picked is less than a ten-minute drive from her home, but does she show up on time? Of course not.

She was more than 40 minutes late, and didn’t answer a single one of our calls to check if she was okay. But she finally gets there and starts to chat with us—more like complain—about her life. She keeps turning the waiter away because she isn’t ready to order, and at this point I’m starving and just want to order some darn food.

Finally she’s ready and the waiter comes by again to take our order. I order French fries as my side. She gives me a look but doesn’t say anything. As soon as the waiter walks away, she hits me with a brutal insult. She says, “Do you really think fries are the best choice? You’ve gotten pretty chubby lately.” Thankfully, my husband shuts that down real quick.

He basically tells her if she’s going to say things like that, we will be taking our meals to go. She isn’t technically wrong. I have gained weight recently, but it’s because I’m pregnant, which she doesn’t know. She quickly changes the subject and goes back to complaining. When the food comes out, I quickly grab a fry because pregnancy cravings, plus I’m starving since we should’ve started eating like an hour ago.

She gives me that look again and I just know she’s going to say something stupid. And boy, I wasn’t wrong. “You must really turn him off in the bedroom eating and gaining weight like that.” What the heck?? Y’all, I’ve always been slightly chubby but I’m not overweight, and according to my doctor I have gained a completely normal and healthy amount of weight.

My husband immediately flagged down the waiter and asks for the check and to-go boxes. She starts to whine that it isn’t fair of us to leave and she was just stating the obvious, blah blah blah. My husband completely rips into her and tells her she needs to apologize, which she refused to do. As we were leaving, he told her to not contact us until she was ready to apologize.

I’m so grateful for my husband’s spine. My mother-in-law ended up calling to yell at us after the aunt spoke to her, but once she got the whole story she was on our side too.


83. Every Man For Himself

My older sister and I were walking our dogs along a wooded area near our house at night when we heard a weird rustling in the undergrowth. Both of us stopped to see if it was an animal or something, but then a guy in his 40s came out of the trees. All I remember before running is seeing my older sister about 20 feet ahead of me and still going.

She didn’t even say a word; she just ran for her life and left me behind. That was upsetting enough, but then she tried to explain herself. To this day, she insists she did nothing wrong because I was OK. I understand that people respond to danger differently, but I’d always thought she’d at least give me a signal that it was time to run instead of leaving me in the dust.


84. Grandma The Great

My great-grandmother and I were very close. As I grew up, her home was always a sanctuary away from my dad and stepmother’s horrors. She was also always very kind to my mother, even after my mother remarried, and at one point called the authorities on my father. The last year of my great-grandmother’s life, she seemed to just…deflate.

My great-grandfather, her husband, had been gone for almost 12 years at this point, and I knew she missed him terribly, but that last year she seemed to talk about him more and more, and she lost a lot of weight, but never her mental acuity. One day, out of the blue, she calls my grandmother (her daughter) and asks for a ride to an appointment.

My grandmother obliges, and my great-grandmother gives her an address—to a hospice. Turns out she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six months before, and decided it was her time rather than fighting it. She didn’t tell ANYONE because she didn’t want us to try to talk her into chemo and such when she was nearly 90 years old.

She passed very quickly after she entered the hospice, and meeting up for the funeral was the first time I’d seen my stepmother in person since I graduated from high school. I avoided her, and spent most of the time talking to my grandparents and my aunt. Even my mother came to the funeral, and I could tell she was very distraught about my great-grandmother’s passing.

It was a lovely service in her tiny Methodist church, and then she was buried next to my great-grandfather in the nearby cemetery. My grandmother asked everyone to stay in town while she handled the will, and then we’d separate everything out. I told her I couldn’t afford to, but I wasn’t working at the time and she offered to let me stay at her house.

My great-grandmother’s house was locked up like a vault. My grandmother, probably in a blessed moment of foresight, hired security to watch over the house and its possessions 24 hours a day, and wouldn’t you know, every day they had to report that a redhead in her mid-30s tried to go into the house and they had to turn her away. About three weeks later, my grandmother called everyone together at my great-grandmother’s house to “handle the will.”

My grandmother decided to do a reading of the will. Attorneys don’t normally do readings of the will like you see in movies, so my grandmother read it, but my great-grandmother’s attorney was there with a box, and he was to handout things from my great-grandmother’s safety deposit box in the bank. The will was organized by generation.

To my grandmother: the house and whatever remains of her possessions and money after everyone else listed has received theirs. To my great uncle: my great-grandfather’s personal effects, like his watches and cuff links. To my aunt: My great-grandmother’s antique sewing machine that she’d inherited from her mother, and a lot of her vintage designer dresses.

To my aunt’s husband: my great-grandfather’s classic car. To my uncle: their summer home by the lake. To my uncle’s wife: my great-grandparents’ books except the cookbooks, and the bookshelves to keep them in. To my dad: my great-grandfather’s golf clubs, pipes, and camera equipment. To my stepmom: $1, with a notation that she never forgave her for the way she treated her “precious great-grandchildren.” But she didn’t stop there.

She also said that she will enjoy watching her burn, even if it means she was condemned herself for such vindictive thoughts. I think my grandmother was fighting off a smirk the whole time she read that. It was taking all of my self-control to keep my mouth SILENT. Thank God I had tissues so I could pretend I was crying into them while laughing silently.

To my father’s first wife, my mother: $250,000, plus whatever is needed to pay off her house and student loans. Y’all, my mother wasn’t even AT this meeting. My stepmother started SCREAMING, insisting that someone had tampered with the will. “She’s not faaaaaammmmily!!!” My grandmother looks at her with that 1,000 yard stare and says: “Neither are you.”

My dad is beet red, but my grandmother has always been able to at least keep him quiet. After a few minutes of yelling, my grandmother told her to sit down and shut up. They weren’t done. To my great uncle’s son: my great-grandfather’s cabin, and all the contents. To my aunt’s children: a trust fund to pay for college, each.

To my uncle’s stepson, who he always treated like his own son: a trust fund to pay for college. To my younger sister: a trust fund to pay for college. To my younger brother: $250,000, and an heirloom necklace to give to his wife if he ever marries. To my younger brother: a trust fund to pay for college. To me: $250,000, her jewelry box and its contents, her cookbooks and the contents of her kitchen, and a letter.

To my brother and my children, should we ever have any: a trust fund to pay for college. If we reach the age of 45 without children, the trust fund is to pay out our share of its remaining sum to us. This was followed by a notation that if anyone contests the will, they get nothing. So onto the “letter.” My grandmother looks over at me and says, “I’m sorry, I read the letter to you before I read the will, do you mind if I read it aloud?”

My stepmother is already hopping mad at this point, insisting that it’s not fair, she’s going to contest the will, that my great-grandmother wasn’t in her right mind when she wrote it, etc. My great-grandmother’s attorney was right there THE WHOLE TIME, just rolling his eyes. I gave my grandmother the go ahead, because about 20 years’ worth of vindication was about to go down.

While I don’t have the letter here in front of me (it’s in my safety deposit box in the bank) here’s the gist of it: She is sorry she didn’t tell me about the cancer, but she didn’t want to worry me about something that is just a natural part of life. She is sorry that I drew the short straw when it came to parents, but she is very proud of me.

She said that my stepmother is a “homewrecker” and not to let her touch a cent of my money, no matter what my father says. That she hopes I’ll use some of the money to get the mental health help that was denied me in childhood because my father is more concerned with his idiocy than his daughter’s welfare. The rest was mostly life advice, and encouragement. Sorry, I’m crying a bit writing this, I really miss her.

You could have heard a PIN DROP in that room after my grandmother finished reading it. After a few minutes, my stepmother sputtered, “You can’t let her DO that!!” My dad just grabbed her arm, and the two of them left. As soon as they were out of the door, my brother looked at me and said, “I’d high five you, but that seems crass.”

The rest of my relatives started laughing. According to my little sister, my stepmother yelled a lot about how they needed to contest the will, and finally my father shut her up with, “I’ve divorced better women for less. That’s enough.” Which is a sick burn because my mom was his only other wife. My mom broke down in tears when we showed up with my great-grandma’s attorney to handle paying off her bills and give her a fat check.

She then started full-on ugly crying when they told her a trust fund had been set up for my baby brother to pay for his college. She didn’t realize my great-grandmother thought so highly of her, and the money wiped out all but a few credit card bills overnight. Plus, knowing she didn’t need to save for my little brother to go to college made her life so much easier.

As for me, I got the mental health help I needed (and am still getting it). I used a significant portion of the money to pay for college once I was stable, got a nice job working from home, and used some more to move to southern California since I have Seasonal Depression and not having a real winter helps a lot. As far as I know, my stepmother is still a bitter spiteful witch who knows no one likes her.

My father and I have an agreement that we do not talk about her, and I do not have to ever see or speak to her or consider her existence in any way.


85. Jagged Little Pill

I started getting migraines back when I was around 11-12 years old, and I got a really bad one while I was up at my parents’ vacation house with a friend. We were watching a movie, and it started to hurt pretty badly. I wanted to get some kind of chewable pain reliever, because I had a really intense fear of choking that made it difficult for me to swallow pills.

My dad pulled out a bottle of these massive tablets of aspirin and says I can take these or suffer through the headache. I try to swallow them with water, but I literally couldn’t and spat them out. Growing increasingly angry, my dad finally grabbed a marshmallow from our pantry and waved it in front of my face before he stuffed the two tablets in them.

He then grabbed me by the head like it was a baseball and forced my jaw open, and stuffed the marshmallow/tablet lump down my throat, forcing me to swallow. It hurt so bad and I was terrified I’d choke. I started to cry and then he screamed at me to shut up. My friend saw the whole thing and wouldn’t look at my dad for the rest of the trip.


86. Grow A Spine

I have just annulled my marriage after a week. I tried. I really, really tried. His mother tried everything to get me away from her son, and she finally succeeded.  Her son had a spine like jelly. If she told him to hurt me, I’m sure he would do it. But there was one final straw.  So, I have a very crazy allergy against Latex. I react really badly to it.

We found out when I was a toddler. I was treated in the hospital for something and I went into shock after a nurse just touched me. Since then, I have a little sticker on my driver’s license and I wear an allergene necklace. I can literally perish from sniffing a glove. My ex mother-in-law knew this, because my ex-husband told her. Last week, after I got home from work, I was angry with my ex.

I can’t remember why. Everything is really fuzzy right now. However, I went into bed early. I just bought this bed a month ago. When I laid into bed, it felt really comfy, but I could feel a small layer of plastic under my mattress. I assumed that this was normal, since it is a new bed, and I might have missed some plastic cover on the mattress. I didn’t think about it much and went to sleep.

I woke up 17 hours later in the hospital. That’s when the disturbing truth emerged. My ex mother-in-law cut up 75 latex gloves to create a little layer under my duvet cover. I do not remember, but when my ex-husband went to bed several hours later, he found me white as a ghost, sweating and barely breathing. You know why I knew it was my mother-in-law?

Because she called me to brag about it. While I was in the hospital. She told me ex that she was afraid I would wet the bed, since I acted so childish. Remember, I am a 27-year-old woman. My ex, instead of going full no contact, said he was sorry about my behavior. He. Was. Sorry. I was in the hospital for a week. My ex visited me once…to make me apologize to his mother.

Instead, I got security and told everyone he is not allowed to be back in my room.


87. Tiger’s Blood Is Thicker Than Water

My older brother had a bit of a party phase. He’s a mix of Charlie Sheen and Hugh Hefner. In high school, he would take girls to the barn behind our house and just have his own mini-raves, complete with music and the attendant, ahem, substances. Usually, he’d have these same three girls come over all the time. What he ended up doing to them is absolutely wild.

Then, at the beginning of his senior year of high school, he got two of those girls pregnant at the same time. He ditched them both and ended up dating the third girl. So today, 20 years later, this guy has six kids…with six different women. Yet, he does hold a job and he does pay child support. He is six years older than me and out of all of us siblings, he is the one who is the least successful in terms of career (but most successful in having fun).


88. A Real Pain In The Neck

My oldest daughter is now five years old, and her biological father is no longer in the picture. I kicked him out of the house when she was about one and a half and he decided that meant his role as her father had ended. Not a problem. Things are way better now. My ex’s mother is the mother-in-law in question. She had her knees replaced when she was about 50 and had complications.

She is now a paraplegic and has as many as 20 seizures a day. She is in very poor health, but her attitude is worse than her health by far. I have never met a more miserable woman, or someone who got so much joy out of making others feel bad. She is a witch. She said so many negative, ugly, horrible things about everyone around her, right to their faces, and laughed about it.

I always hated her, but back then I felt obligated to placate her. She was the “MY baby” type of mother-in-law with my daughter and it drove me nuts. After I broke up with my daughter’s father, he told her I wouldn’t let him see his girl. That was a lie. She messaged me, freaking out that she was going to take me to court for grandparents’ rights.

I let her know the only contact I’ve had with her son is the messages I’ve been sending him asking him to visit. I told her I wasn’t keeping my daughter from anyone. I would occasionally Skype her with my daughter so she could see her. Well, one day we are on Skype, and my daughter is playing with a giraffe toy. The toy somehow broke off at the neck, all while my mother-in-law is watching on Skype.

My daughter is in my lap so both of us are in her view of the webcam. She then laughs and says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if your mommy’s neck snapped like that?” I froze for a second, trying to comprehend what I just heard. When it clicked, I shut the laptop without saying a word. And that was the last time I ever talked to that woman. She’s been blocked on everything since.

My daughter is now a big sister, and my youngest’s father has been her father for as long as she can remember. Things are good, and we couldn’t be happier.


89. Nickel And Diming

My parents told me to “figure out” a way to get lunch money because they didn’t want to wake up early in the morning to give me money. They never got an allowance as a child, so why should I get free money? Why would I need money anyway? Don’t be stupid, the school will still feed you even if you don’t have money. Spoiler alert: the school will not.

I had my lunch tray taken away several times because I couldn’t come up with two dollars every day to pay for it. By age seven, I was very skilled at taking money out of my dad’s wallet or my stepmother’s purse. My sisters got their lunch money with no issues, it was just me. Eventually, I got caught taking the money and they labeled me a thief for the rest of my life.

Every time something went missing from then on, my room was torn apart.


90. Irish Twins

My husband and I welcomed our daughter into the world 18 weeks ago. She’s a darling baby and really pretty easy as far as newborns go, except for one thing: she wasn’t a son. My in-laws were obsessed with the idea of us having a son, to the point that they denied she was a girl up until the moment she was born. Why? Because “the bloodline follows the father. If you don’t have a son, our family name will peter out, because your daughter will marry a man and carry on his bloodline. So girls don’t really count.”

The day they came to visit in the hospital, my in-laws asked when we would be trying for another baby. We kind of just laughed it off, but my mother-in-law got more insistent, straight up telling us, “You need to try for a boy!” Over the next month or two, the conversation about us having another baby sort of tapers off into little comments every now and again.

I had no problem ignoring them, and we’d already told them it wasn’t happening so I just let it run off my back. Around this time, my mother-in-law started coming over daily for a few hours, watching the baby for me so that I could sleep and she also occasionally cleaned up a bit for me. She’d be over unsupervised anywhere from 1-4 hours.

Fast forward to the present day. Two days ago now, my husband poured me a mixed drink, and when I brought the cup up to my lips, I got hit with this paranoid and panicked feeling. I immediately put the cup down and insisted we take a pregnancy test. Sure enough, it comes back positive. We wait until the next morning, take a digital test and again, positive.

Based on timing, I should have been about six weeks along. After getting over the initial shock, we were excited but confused. For several reasons, we hadn’t been able to get hormonal birth control, so we’d been using condoms and lube to make sure they didn’t tear. So we weren’t sure how we’d gotten pregnant, but we’re happy with the news.

We decided we wouldn’t tell anyone because we didn’t want another baby stampede from his family, but I’m incredibly close with my sister-in-law so I decided to tell her after swearing her to secrecy. When I told her, her eyes got wide and started to water. She asked if I was serious, and was I sure. I told her I know my husband and I are young (we’re in our early 20s), but between us we make more than enough to support another baby.

She then bursts into tears and starts to apologize over and over, meanwhile I sit there with my mouth hanging open and lost. She calms down a bit, and through her tears tells me that my mother-in-law has been poking holes in our condoms pretty much since we came home from the hospital. She claims my mother-in-law told her she did it, but she thought that she was just spouting nonsense because she was upset we didn’t have a boy. And suddenly everything clicked into place.

That’s why the condoms didn’t work even though we were careful with them. That’s why she’d always shoo me off to sleep while she was around. And that’s what she was doing when she was “cleaning” my house—snooping for our condoms. And she knew I wasn’t on birth control because I remember complaining to her about how my OB-GYN went on maternity leave and I wasn’t able to find another one that took my insurance at the time.

I’m so angry I don’t know what to do. I want to go right over to her house and tear her a new one so bad I can smell my tires burning in the blacktop. I’m also illogically angry at my sister-in-law for not telling me. How could you think this was a joke when she was so specific about everything she was going to do?! Why didn’t you warn me?

I would have put my condoms in my room. I’m livid with my mother-in-law. I’m pleased with this pregnancy, but it wasn’t my choice. It wasn’t even an accident; it was her meddling because she didn’t get the Golden Grandson she wanted. I don’t even know how to handle this. I want to scorch the earth but I also still don’t want his family knowing I’m pregnant.

Also, I’m not even 12 weeks yet so the risk of a miscarriage is still uncomfortably high. The only bright side of this whole thing is that it’s snatched my husband out of his mother’s fear, obligation, and guilt so violently he’s probably got whiplash. Personally, my pregnancy has soured a bit so I’m really trying to hang on to any happiness I have about the pregnancy left.

As it stands now, I have absolutely no one to turn to. My own parents are extremely horrible to the point of no contact, and I can’t post in my baby bump group anymore because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings who had difficulty conceiving or carrying.


91. The Evil Twin

My twin brother made it his mission to make my life in school as miserable as possible. He came up with most of the mean nicknames I got called, and when we were in eighth grade, he convinced the shortest boy in our grade to ask me to the end-of-year dance because he knew that I was too nice to say no. I was six feet tall at 14.

The craziest part? We went to different high schools, but he still managed to mess with me. He would show up to school dances and threaten anyone who tried to ask me to dance because he thought it was funny. He hooked up with most of the girls in my friend group, which led to massive fighting and somehow me getting ditched for his toxic behavior.


92. I’m Not Like The Other Girls

I’m fighting cancer. It’s an early stage, fortunately, so things should go well. Right now I’m going through chemo, which means I’m losing my hair. Today I got sick and tired of finding hair everywhere I go, so I decided to just shave it off and call it a day. It’s not so bad as I thought it would be, and I kind of like this look actually.

My husband is away for a job trip and will be back after a month or so, but my 20-year-old son has a few days off before he goes back to college and he’s staying in our house. My mother-in-law came over, saw me without hair, and her reaction was beyond cruel. She just burst into laughter. She was laughing aloud as if she just heard the funniest joke ever.

She was like, ”Oh my God, you look as if God was tipsy when he made a human! You look like a shaved egg! You look like an inmate who just got out after decades! Jesus, you look so silly!” Before I managed to say something, my son heard what she said and was like, “Shut your mouth before I do it for you. Look at your own mug in the mirror, like a scarecrow from the yard of a loony bin.”

My mother-in-law wasn’t expecting this, of course. She stopped laughing and pouted that he can’t talk to his grandma like that. She said that I’ll have to be ready for comments like this because people immediately will see I’m ill. My son was like, “Well, be careful, don’t kick the bucket yourself.” My mother-in-law said, “Oh honey, I’ll be fine! I have no family history of cancer so I don’t have to worry about that!”

Well, guess what, neither do I. In my entire family I’m the first person to have cancer. When I got sick, I tracked my family’s medical history as far as I could and from what I found, not one of my relatives has ever had cancer. Of course, I don’t wish it upon her, but her thinking is completely flawed. Yes, maybe it puts you at less risk of getting cancer than someone who has a history of it, but it doesn’t grant you immunity.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate. This is a nasty trait of my mother-in-law. Whenever she sees someone with a disability or someone who, because of a health condition, visually looks different than others, she often sneers and comments that this person must have done this or that to end up in that condition and it’s their own fault. Lovely person, right?

It has always seemed so weird to me because you don’t know what awaits you in the future. Today you’re healthy and tomorrow you might not be able to get out of bed. But she’s so sure she’s going to be fine at all times and that her health is the strongest of them all. It’s like diseases don’t exist to her, it’s just something that happens to everyone else, but now her.

Then she was like, “But really, wear a wig. You don’t want to walk around looking like a bald alien. You’re a woman after all.” I told her that whether I wear a wig or not will be my choice, and her comments are highly inappropriate and I don’t have to tolerate it in my own house. She was like, “Jesus, stop being so dramatic. You know yourself people laugh at bald women. How about you just wear a wig and calm down?”

My son then said, “How about you get out of here? Be careful walking down the stairs, don’t bump your already stupid head into something.” I don’t really understand why it was it necessary to comment on anything about my hair. And if she absolutely had to, she could do so without being mean. I wish she appreciated being healthy, as that can change at any minute.


93. Sink Or Swim

I was a lifeguard as a high schooler, and some parent was trying to “teach” their five-year-old child to swim and just threw him in the deep end. The parent thought the kid was fine because he wasn’t splashing around. It was much worse than that. Instead, he was bobbing up and down with his arms going straight up, and straight out. That actually means they’re DROWNING.

I had to jump in and grab the kid, who had swallowed significant amounts of water, and call an ambulance to check him out. The parent didn’t want us to call the ambulance, but we told him it was either the ambulance or the authorities, because what he did could be considered child endangerment. Dad was losing his mind screaming at me, a 17-year-old girl.

The owner of the pool saw this, and he (a former Navy dude) got up in the guy’s face. The parent was banned from the pool for life. To this day, I’m convinced the guy was completely wasted.


94. Blood Under The Bridge

My mother-in-law killed her grandchild, my daughter. She was two years old at the time. My husband and I let her babysit the baby while we were busy with job-related things. It was summertime and they were staying in the mother-in-law’s house that has a pond next to it. My daughter loved water; bathtime was her favorite time of day.

They were playing at the edge of the pond and then the mother-in-law remembered she had to take clothes out of the dryer, so she left a two-year-old alone next to quite a large body of water. My daughter’s childlike curiosity plus her love of water resulted in her getting into the deep part of the pond and drowning. All because she considered clothes in the dryer an important enough reason to leave a toddler unsupervised.

When she realized what happened, she started to panic and call for help. Her neighbor heard her, they got into the pond and called an ambulance, but it was too late. Imagine what it’s like for a parent to come home to the person you trusted your child with and they tell you your child is gone. Somehow though, it got worse than all that.

Throughout it all, she was begging us not to involve the authorities in this. She kept repeating it was an accident and she “doesn’t know how it could have happened,” “was only gone for a moment,” ”feels even worse than we do” and “calling the authorities won’t bring her back.” We did call them, of course, and she was charged with negligence and sentenced to three years behind bars, which, in my opinion, was too light of a punishment.

Now recently she was released, and my husband was the first person she looked for contact with. He never once visited her while she was behind bars. It doesn’t matter that she served her sentence, neither I or my husband will ever forgive her for this. Besides, she hasn’t asked for forgiveness; all she gave us were excuses and more excuses.

In the courtroom, my husband told her she’s not his mother anymore and that he never wants to see her face again. Our marriage was damaged too, we were depressed, we fought a lot, and there were times when we were on the brink of divorce. We separated for a while, and I left for another country thinking that this was it for us. However, my husband came to look for me and we managed to save our family and continue our life together.

I couldn’t bring myself to have any more children for a long time but eventually, I got pregnant again and last summer we welcomed our son. He’s nine months old now. Obviously, we weren’t going to tell my mother-in-law we’re parents again, but then my nightmare happened. She saw us walking with a baby stroller and realized that once more she has a grandchild.

So she tried to get in the contact with my husband. First, she reproached him for not visiting her, cried about how hard it was for her to spend all those years behind bars, that she shouldn’t have been there because she’s too old for that, how could he do this to his own mother, how could he abandon her, etc. Then she was like, “But I saw you have a new baby, I’m so glad I have a grandchild again!”

Then she went on about is it a boy or a girl, when will she be able to see them and meet them because she wants to take care of them so much. My husband told her immediately that she doesn’t have anything, this is our child, and ours only. Our son doesn’t have a grandmother, we’ll be telling him this as he grows up, and he will never ever in a million years be anywhere around her.

We’re 100% on the same page about this. The loss of our daughter still hurts and we’re going to do everything we can to protect our son from her. He doesn’t need an irresponsible grandmother who would likely endanger his life just like she did with his sister. My mother-in-law was shocked to hear this and began to wail about us being so evil and cruel towards her, that we’re going to hold that against her forever even though she paid for it and we cannot be so heartless to prevent her from seeing her grandchild.

But what was she thinking? What was she hoping for? That we’re really going to let her around our baby? That we’ll ever trust her with babysitting again? Honestly, I’m not sure if I can leave my son with any babysitter. I don’t trust babysitters anymore, because if a grandmother can be careless enough to let a child perish, who knows what an unrelated person could do.

So my husband told her firmly that she’ll have no access to the baby and he doesn’t want to talk to her either so she should do something useful with her life and leave us alone. My mother-in-law wasn’t having it. That evening, she came to our house, asking to see her grandchild again. We didn’t let her come in, obviously, and she got mad, claiming that as a grandmother, she has rights to meet her grandchild.

We told her that she lost all her rights to our children when she let our daughter drown. If a trust is broken, it cannot be repaired and there are some things that just cannot be forgiven. She escalated it from that point. She told us that she’ll go to court and she’ll demand permission to meet the baby. I’m not sure if there is such a thing but if it’s true, I highly doubt she’ll get it considering her record.

If we need to go to court and prove she’s not the type of grandmother you should let around your child, we’ll do it. If she comes back again, we’ll call the authorities. If we need to leave this country and go live somewhere else just to be away from her, we’ll do it too. Nothing’s impossible. I’m amazed at her lack of shame. She knows very well she tore apart our lives three years ago.

No parent should bury their child, but we had to because of her, and now she comes to us as if she’s the best relative ever, as if nothing ever happened.


95. 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.


96. He Stood Corrected

When I was six or seven years old, I visited my dad at the place where he worked… or so I was told. I remember remarking about it at the time, and people laughed at me because I said it looked just like a prison. The people laughing were the guards, and I was indeed visiting my dad at the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution, where he was a federal inmate.


97. Bad Suggestions

My twin brother passed in a car wreck and my family suggested that I should date his girlfriend because…grief, I guess? REAL FREAKIN’ AWKWARD, MOM.


98. The Old Switcharoo

I secretly bought my son from a human trafficker after my wife had lost our biological child during the birth process. This is quite easy to do in my country, considering that there are a lot of very poor parents willing to give their children away. My wife regained consciousness after 4 days. Neither she nor my son know about this.


99. Pick Up And Leave

Two days after I graduated high school, I came home to a jaw-dropping discovery. It was a totally empty house. All my stuff was in a U-Haul, and my mom and stepdad had moved without me. I have been financially independent ever since, but a heads up would’ve been nice. My real dad was not involved in this situation since he was on the other side of the country.

I am still close with him but he is very low income so he could not help me with this. I went no contact with my mom for about a year after this, but she weaseled her way back in. I think I see her in person once every two years, and I do not acknowledge my stepfather exists. I have been considering going no contact with my mom again recently.


100. The Ex Factor

When I was 8, my psychotic sister took me on a joyride. She was furious that her ex-boyfriend wouldn’t take her back, so she drove to his neighborhood WITH ME IN HER CAR and caused a scene. When yelling for him outside his house didn’t work, she lost it. She stared at me with her teary, glazed-over eyes, then uttered three chilling words that made my blood run cold: “CLOSE YOUR EYES.”

When he heard us screaming, he came running to the stop sign, made her turn around, and snatched me out of the car. He then called my parents and he made sure she didn’t come anywhere near me while we waited. We thought she’d eventually snap out of her craziness, but she never did. When I grew up, she wound up sleeping with my ex.


101. Don’t Bring A Knife To A Fishing Trip

My half-brothers are a bit older than me. One day, they were both sitting on our dock fishing. The oldest brother picked up a knife out of the tackle box. It was a brand new knife of some kind, specifically for gutting fish or something. I still can’t erase what happened next from my memory. The oldest brother looked at my middle brother and said, “Hmm, I wonder how sharp this knife is.”

Then, without hesitation, he literally stabbed it into the top of the middle brother’s thigh. He was totally casual about it too as if it was no big deal that the knife was in deep enough to STAND UPRIGHT by itself.


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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