Not everyone was lucky enough to have a good dad—but these fathers take “deadbeat” to the next level. From frightening fathers-in-law to deranged dads, these are the worst of the worst.
1. Here’s What You’re Gonna Do…
My ex-father-in-law used to call us up all the time and tell us exactly how we were going to handle something. Whatever the thing was that needed to be handled, he would automatically start instructing us on what we should do. He had no regard whatsoever for what we thought of it. Not even as much as a question about it.
At the time when he first started doing this, I was engaged to my ex, a college graduate, and I had been largely living on my own for a while with the exception of summers with my parents between school years. As a result, I was not used to letting anyone have a say in my day-to-day decision-making, so I was a little taken aback by my father-in-law’s presumptuous antics.
So when he did this, I just smiled sweetly through the phone at him and then researched exactly how I wanted to handle something on the computers in the library of my grad school. This continued throughout the marriage and one of the reasons my ex finally had me adulting for him is that my ex-father-in-law would call and badger him about doing something and list out the steps.
My ex would come to me freaking out and telling me about all the things that his father had told him to do, adding a few random ones too, due to his paranoia. I would call up his father, find out what he actually said, and then tell him how I was going to handle it my own way. I always made sure to thank him sweetly for his concern while inwardly rolling my eyes so hard that they fell out and rolled across the kitchen. But it wasn’t that terrible—until…
15 years into the marriage, we’re stuck living with them after my ex lost his job and my ex’s car stopped working. My father-in-law comes to me one day and tells me to give him my financial information so that he can fill out the papers for the loan for a new one. At this point, I’m in my mid-30 and was already irritated to be living with my ex’s parents when I had lived on my own for so long, so his demand did not make me happy.
I mean, I had bought four cars on my own before and the paperwork was not difficult. I told him sweetly that *I* would be filling out the paperwork, not him, and if I needed any information from him, I would let him know. I might have come across a little bit forcefully to him, which was intentional on my part, because my ex-mother-in-law quickly came over and tried to chew me out for “yelling at him.”
Speaking to him forcefully apparently did something, though, because he let me deal with my own affairs from then on with no comment on his part. But seriously? Your kid is 40 years old. If he can’t fill out the papers for a car loan, you did something wrong with him. The only reason my ex’s sibling learned to adult was that they got married, and it was incredibly embarrassing for them to have their daddy doing all their financial stuff and poking into their lives on such a regular basis.
2. Finding The Way To Grandma’s House
My dad has bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. It didn’t really hit him until he was in his teens. He managed to mask the symptoms for years with substances, as did my mom—she’s a whole other can of worms. My grandma is no longer able to take care of herself and function. She has two living sons, HJ (my dad) and Greedy Gambler (my uncle).
Her oldest son passed from lung cancer in 2010 I want to believe. Her two remaining sons are both terrible people. For the past 15 years, HJ has emotionally manipulated and harmed me. And I’ve been taking it because I truly believe that his mental illnesses are the reason that he is like this. Until one month ago. HJ called me after not speaking with me for months because he is now homeless.
I told him Gram was sick. His reaction was devastating. He said he didn’t care. He needed to stay in her condo and “I don’t care if she dies, but I’ll get the condo as part of my inheritance.” Y’all, I lost my mind. I called him a deranged, worthless substance user and I ordered him never to call me again. I hung up and blocked him on everything.
Two days later, a social worker from a hospital calls and wants to talk about him. I declined, but told her that he would work best in a permanent mental facility. She agreed, but informed me that HJ has declined all help. I told her that I still wasn’t interested in ever talking to him again, and that was the end of it. I really do feel free now.
I am content with the knowledge that my kids will never see him again. It’s been three years since. And they will never hear about him either. Also, in case you are wondering, his nickname comes from the time when HJ thought he was Jesus for six months. Yea, he literally believed he was the reincarnation of Jesus. He even made a LinkedIn page for it. That’s why his nickname now is “Hypochondriac Jesus.”
Then, something happened that I knew was coming sooner or later. My grandma has dementia, so I have been getting her condo ready for a while now for when she passes. It’s finally ready to sell and everything has been replaced, including the carpet, showerheads, repaired appliances, etc. All of the furniture is out and it’s completely empty.
Cue HJ. He has been homeless for about a month now. He has refused all help from social workers and myself for the last 15 years. He was offered a room in a rehabilitation facility and a long-term facility and he refused both. So, in his genius, he decided to try and break into my grandma’s condo. Which would have worked, except for one small detail…
He couldn’t remember what unit he was supposed to be in, and so he broke into a random family’s home and scared the daylights out of the kids. He was thrown behind bars very quickly, where he remains to this day.
3. The End Of An Era
So my ex recently decided to randomly break up with me after six years of being together. He did so without even trying to make it work. He instead started dating a work colleague of his within a week. Then, yesterday, my ex came by to discuss some things with me. During this visit, he got super angry and aggressive towards me—but that was just the start of my nightmare.
He then called his mother, who is an absolute angel in my view, but unfortunately, it wasn’t long before she decided to pass the buck along and call my ridiculous excuse for an ex-father-in-law to get him involved. They both started heading over to intervene. My father-in-law arrived first and he started screaming at me because I wasn’t willing to just give up our joint house so that I could live in student housing instead?!
I replied that I am totally willing to move when I find something suitable, but that I was under no circumstances going to move into student housing just because it was easy and quick. I have a perfect house here, and my ex is basically ruining my life, so I am not interested in downgrading my entire lifestyle just for his short-term comfort and benefit.
My ex’s dad then got aggressive. He tried to act intimidating and started blocking the only exit in the room while cornering me. Then, my ex-mother-in-law arrived and told him to leave me alone and that she would talk to me in a peaceful and mature manner. We talked for about 30 minutes and we actually managed to clear up a lot of things.
She totally regretted calling her husband into the situation. My ex is now staying at my mother-in-law’s for the next week, which is a total blessing in my book right now as he had initially voiced a pretty strong refusal to do so. He also told a lot of lies about the situation, mostly in his own favor, as you can probably imagine.
But the ending of all of this is that I don’t ever want to see my ex-father-in-law again. I told my ex-husband and he agreed that I shouldn’t have to. And if he does show up, he’ll see my wrath—which I couldn’t show yesterday because I was fighting off a cold and a shoulder infection. I finally got rid of him. I sure hope my next in-laws won’t be insane. Cheers, everyone!
4. Grabbing Your Attention
My 24-year-old boyfriend and I have been together for seven years. I know his family quite well. I have never experienced this sort of inappropriate behavior from my father-in-law before, and I’m very shocked and unsure of what to do about it. So a month ago, I went on a weekend trip to a cottage with my boyfriend’s family.
My boyfriend has two older sisters with husbands and kids, as well as a younger brother, and of course, his parents, who had paid for the trip. On the second day, when we returned from a long walk, everyone was quite tired, so we chilled and had some snacks. My boyfriend and father-in-law were sitting on a couch together, and I sat in a chair.
At one point, I stood up and leaned over the table in front of their couch to grab some snacks, and I suddenly felt a smack on my butt. I thought to myself: “What the heck? My boyfriend knows that I don’t like him doing things like this in public.” In private it’s fine, but why on earth would he do that right in front of members of his own family?
Even though I was confused, I did not want to be dramatic in front of everyone, so I just turned around and semi-jokingly said: “You’re not allowed to do that.” He then just kept silent and pointed at his father, who sat there grinning. I was now very confused but still didn’t want to be dramatic. So, I tried keeping the joking tone while saying: “You surely aren’t allowed to do that either.” It was so uncomfortable—and then it got worse.
My father-in-law now almost braggingly said to my mother-in-law, who was also in the room but reading a book on her own: “I just smacked this girl’s butt and she thought it was her boyfriend!” My mother-in-law frowned and said: “Don’t smack her butt!” But my father-in-law just continued to grin and said: “Well, it had the effect that I wanted it to have.”
I found that sentence to be very weird and unpleasant. I didn’t know how to react to the situation because I wasn’t completely sure if this was some sort of family humor that I so far hadn’t been privy to, and I did not want to be the “prudish” outsider who ruined it. Not knowing what to do with myself, I sat down on an empty couch and found something to read.
Shortly after, my boyfriend went shopping with his mom, so I felt kind of abandoned. I tried to keep myself away from my father-in-law as much as I could until they came back. So I went into another room to prepare some entertainment for the children that my boyfriend and I had promised to make. When my boyfriend came home from the shopping, we took a walk.
During this walk, I told him how I felt about the situation with his father. My boyfriend told me that in the moment, he had been too shocked to react, as he had never seen his father do anything like that before. He added, though, that he was disgusted by the situation and wished that he had stood up for me. The incident was not mentioned for the rest of the weekend.
After a month, I am still disgusted by the fact that my father-in-law did that to me. It felt objectifying and just wrong. It turned a situation where I had previously felt very comfortable being completely myself around his family into one where I don’t even want to be around them at all. I’m very cautious whenever I walk by a sitting male person.
This is even true within my own family. I know that I have a big butt. It’s a family thing that we are all rather small around the waist but with large hips. And thus, I also get very self-conscious about my body type, and the last thing I want is for random people to start grabbing my butt without my consent. This is my first and only serious relationship that I’ve ever had. I really don’t want it to get ruined by a completely uncalled-for incident like this.
5. A Messy Situation
I don’t typically take my daughter to my mother-in-law’s house for a few reasons, but mainly due to my father-in-law. He’s mentally hurtful to my mother-in-law and has been to his kids as well. Me and my significant other always knew he wouldn’t be around our child. Today, my mother-in-law needed help with setting up a brand new TV.
My father-in-law was at work for a few more hours, and it should typically only take a few minutes to set up, so I figured it would be okay. I sat in the kitchen with my six-month-old baby to be out of the way while she was working on it with my husband. Then, my father-in-law gets home super early for some reason. I mostly ignore him and I’m about to subtly tell my partner that we need to leave.
That’s when my father-in-law walks over. He reaches out to pick up my baby, when my mother-in-law tells him to wash his hands, which are black with dirt. He tells her to screw off. I try to keep things calm, so I say, “We all have to wash our hands before touching her because of the pandemic. It’s just to keep her safe.” His disturbing response made me see red.
He then yells and swears at me before reaching out for my daughter’s face quite roughly. I pull her back in time and firmly say no. He then whacks me in the face while trying to push my head out of the way. I push him away with my free hand, so he grabs it and twists it. I get him away and warn him that if he comes at me again I will do my best to hurt him.
He then starts threatening me while my mother-in-law takes my baby out of my arms and then runs out of the room as quickly as possible. My father-in-law’s gaze is still focused directly on me. I leave a minute later while he yells threats at me. He’s normally just verbally harmful, so no one expected this. I think he wasn’t used to being told no, as everyone else just backs down to his demands immediately.
Of course, I’m never going near that house again. I just wanted to get this off of my chest. When I got home that night, I reported the incident to the local authorities. He already had a history with them and other domestic issues, but I took everyone’s suggestion to make sure that there is a documented history of him having problems with me and my daughter, in case there are any further incidents down the road.
After my call to the authorities, he was actually apprehended and interviewed, but eventually released later that night. My bruise had faded by the time my appointment with the officers happened a few days later. And my mother-in-law didn’t want to serve as a witness, so there was no evidence for them to go on. On the bright side, he has been ordered to stay away and I’m looking into an order that would legally keep him from me and my baby.
6. Invasion Of The Baby Snatchers
So I’ve been having zero contact with my in-laws for about seven months now, and I’m happy to report that it’s been the most drama-free seven months of my life. Over the last few months, I’ve really been ruminating and looking at past behavior and realizing how early on in our relationship their bad behavior towards me and others began.
One story, in particular, popped up for me, and it’s pretty hilarious that it has nothing to do with me. But I want to share it anyway because it perfectly showcases what kind of man my father-in-law is. Also, it just goes to show that my in-laws are mean to everybody, including even themselves at times. Anyway, here goes with the story. Buckle up, it’s a doozy.
My sister-in-law had just given birth and the whole family was at the hospital. The whole time that we were waiting in the waiting room, my brother-in-law made it crystal clear to everyone that my sister-in-law did not want anyone in the delivery room other than herself, her mother, and her husband. Even after she had the baby, she did not want anyone coming into the room that night and preferred to see everyone else the next day.
Which is totally her right to decide. Nevertheless, an hour or two go by and my brother-in-law runs out and says, “The baby’s here! The baby’s here, and everyone’s doing great!” As soon as the words leave his mouth, my father-in-law says, “Great, so can we go in there and see the baby?” My brother-in-law reiterates that no, he can’t, as per his wife’s very clear wishes to have this private time with her new baby.
My brother-in-law then turns to face the rest of the family to just give us the details about how much the baby weighed and what she looks like, blah blah blah. But while he was speaking, I was discreetly watching my father-in-law the whole time because I know what he is like. Sure enough, the minute everyone’s backs were turned, he snuck away and walked straight into the delivery room so he could see his grandchild, because that’s how big of a head he has.
You should have heard the screaming from that room. It was a sound like I’ve never heard before or since in my entire life. One thing I can say about my sister-in-law is that she takes a whole lot less nonsense from people than I do. After he got yelled at and came back from the delivery room, every single person in the family asked him what the heck he was thinking when she had specifically made her wishes clear to him before the actual delivery?
And I said right in front of everyone, “Oh, that’s because he doesn’t care. He’s the most self-centered person I’ve ever met.” And his daughter turned to me and said, “You know what? You are absolutely right. That is a perfect description of my father.” This story is just a tiny sample of the kind of behavior this man engages in every single day.
7. A First Time For Everything
I recently dropped off my son for visitation with my ex and stayed for a minute. My nine-month-old son has started screaming in the last week, which is perfectly normal at his age. My ex’s father had surgery last week and I know he’s in pain, but then again he’s always been a little difficult. Anyway, my son was screaming and my ex-father-in-law started making comments like “that’s unnecessary.”
But I lost it when he said, “Stop that screaming or you’re gonna get your first spanking!” I was like “Oh, no you don’t!” I told my ex that I wasn’t leaving our son there and that I was taking him home. I was like, “Look, I know you just had surgery but I know you didn’t just threaten to spank a nine-month-old. That’s a completely unacceptable thing to do.”
I’m gonna let the judge in our case know why I’ll no longer be abiding by the order to split custody of our child with my ex. I just can’t believe that anyone would seriously think it’s okay to spank an infant! I was madder than a bull in a china shop, and I still am if I’m being honest! His family has always been dysfunctional, but that was a new low.
8. A Blessing And A Curse
I’m a 19-year-old girl, and I’m my parents’ second child. I have three brothers who are 21, 13, and 7, plus a sister, who is 16. We grew up poor and our parents were often dependent on financial help from relatives, friends, etc. for raising us. This is because even though my dad has a mediocre job and my mom doesn’t work, they just kept on popping out one kid after another.
My parents are very religious and believe that children are a gift from God. Personally, I think that’s total garbage. My parents’ reproductive choices wouldn’t bother me…if it hadn’t caused mine and my siblings’ lives to turn into a nightmare. While growing up, we never had new clothes or toys, we had to accept handouts from family members who were better off.
We never went out or did anything fun. To top it off, we were well aware that the rest of the family looked down on us for constantly asking for handouts. Now, my older brother and I have managed to get into good colleges and are looking forward to a future that would be better than our parents’ lives. He and I were staying at our parents’ place for a while.
One morning, my parents called all five of us into the living room. Mom said she had great news. The smile that was forming on my face instantly fell when she said, “We’re pregnant!” I lost my temper. I asked them how they could be so stupid and irresponsible. Do they not have enough financial troubles already that they have to bring in another mouth to feed?
My older brother tried to calm me down, but I was livid. After a lifetime of scarcity because of my parents’ stupidity, they still hadn’t learned their lesson. I asked them how they planned to provide for the kid. My dad told me I would have to give up the money our great uncle had left me. He had left all five of us some money which only we could access when we turned 18.
I said “Heck no!” That money would help pay for my college expenses. He called me selfish for not being there for my family. I told them if they couldn’t provide for the kid, they should get an abortion. My mom started crying and called me a heartless monster. Dad told me he was disgusted with me. I told them there was no way I was going to pay for their stupidity and the ONLY thing I would be willing to pay for is a termination.
What I was really worried about was my siblings’ lives getting even worse. My older brother and I have escaped our parents’ clutches but the others, especially my younger sister, WILL be expected to help take care of this baby. No teenager deserves to have their adolescence ruined by diapers and a screaming baby. I know what it’s like, as I had to go through that.
It was expected of me to be an unpaid nanny to my younger brothers and sister. My older brother could go out with his friends and have fun, but I had to stay home and help give baths and feed the toddlers. I decided to get some family members involved so they could talk some sense into my parents. I called my mom’s maternal cousin, who’s one of my favorite people and who is basically my aunt.
When I told her that mom and dad were having another kid, she reacted with “WHAT? AGAIN??” I told her everything and how they expected me to hand over my inheritance, and she said she was going to speak to my parents and told me not to sign over anything. I promised her I wouldn’t (of course I won’t). I also called two of my first cousins, one of whom is an accountant, so she could explain to my parents how much of a financial liability this baby is going to be and try to convince them to either abort or give it up for adoption.
I moved out of my parents’ home a few days ago. I just can’t bear to listen to my mom’s nagging about how “this baby is a blessing” and that I “want to kill it.” I’ve moved into a friend’s house for minimal rent. My mom’s cousin paid them a visit about a week ago and tried to tell them they weren’t doing this child any favors by bringing it into a life of poverty.
My mom was very rude to my aunt and told her that “a woman who chose to remain barren will never understand a mother’s love.” My aunt never wanted kids nor had any, which is one of the reasons she’s my favorite. My dad told her to get out. My aunt told me there was nothing she could do, but she did try. I didn’t blame her.
The cousin tried to explain the economic impact this kid would have and my mom cried about how “everyone was trying to take away her baby.” The “intervention” didn’t do anything. So now I’ve decided to cut contact with my parents, since I just can’t watch my family slide further and further into a hole. I’ll be maintaining contact with my sister (16) just to make sure my parents can’t brainwash her.
My older brother is going to stay in touch with all of them, which is a good thing as he can act as a link between me and the other siblings if my parents ever forbid them from talking to me. Otherwise, I’m done with these people.
9. Baby, You’re A Firework
About a month ago, my father-in-law got upset at us for not spending the night watching his daughter and take her to school in the morning, because I had a final exam at 7:00 in the morning the next day. He then proceeded to take money out of my boyfriend’s bank account, just to be a jerk, and then asserted that my boyfriend should have made me take an Uber or take the bus to the exam rather than drive me, as we had previously agreed to.
My father-in-law makes a point of saying that me getting to my final exam on time was not his priority. Since then, I’ve made it a point not to go over to his house over the holidays. He didn’t have his daughter at his house until a few days ago, but at some point, while my boyfriend and I were out, his dad texted him and said he had another Christmas gift for him.
We decided to swing by and pick it up. While we were there, my father-in-law asked if my boyfriend wanted to go to the gym with him. Of course, my father-in-law asks if I’m willing to watch the kiddo while they go, saying they’ll be back in about 90 minutes. I’d already talked at length to my boyfriend about how I felt about being roped into babysitting and then left indefinitely at the house while my father-in-law takes advantage of the situation.
My boyfriend confirms that they’re just going to have a quick workout and then come right back, so I agree. Additionally, my boyfriend’s younger brother was home from college as well, and also in the house, so ostensibly there was someone else there to take over when my boyfriend got back. Well, it turns out I was totally wrong.
His younger brother goes and grabs some Subway sandwiches for us, but then proceeds to head off to the computer room, leaving me alone with the little one. I don’t mind initially, until I overhear him on the phone with my father-in-law, telling him that he has dinner plans with his girlfriend. I’m immediately suspicious. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes, the brother comes in and asks if it would be okay if I watch the little one while he and my father-in-law go grocery shopping?
He knew straight up that I was not okay with it, but in my head, I knew that I was going to use this to drive my grievances home later on, so I said yes. My boyfriend could hear the sheer disdain in my voice and tried to talk to me about it, but at that point, the little one was hovering around and I was not trying to argue about it in front of her.
So I brush him off and tell him to just hurry up. Little brother also takes the chance to go over to his girlfriend’s house. Fast forward. It’s 10:00 PM. My father-in-law and boyfriend get back. As we’re leaving, the little one jumps into my arms and pleads with me not to go. The younger brother also tells my father-in-law that he did nothing while they were gone, and that I was handling the little one the entire time. I see my father-in-law make a face out of the corner of my eye.
He’s clearly very pleased that his daughter and I get along, because it makes her look forward to coming over to his house. My father-in-law at no point thanks me for staying an extra three hours to watch his daughter. The plan is moving along nicely. Flash forward to this morning. My father-in-law wants to go to a local amusement park for a fireworks show at around 6:00, and also wants to hit the gym with his sons before taking off for the event.
I’m super tired from the night before, which was my friend’s birthday, and I tell my boyfriend straight up that I don’t want to go, but that if his little brother’s girlfriend goes, then I would go as well so he wouldn’t be stuck alone with his father-in-law. My boyfriend says not to worry about it, and that I should just stay home, rest, and enjoy my day. He leaves on that note.
About four hours ago, my boyfriend sends me a text message saying that all of a sudden my father-in-law is telling him it’d be “okay” for him to break off from the family and go pick me up “if he wants,” because little brother’s girlfriend isn’t coming either and the little one is bugging him hard about me being there. My father-in-law was even willing to pay for my ticket and dinner.
I knew exactly what to say to ruin his day. “Nope. Tell him I have other priorities for New Year’s Eve and the rest of the winter break.” My boyfriend just messaged me saying that the little one has been sulking nonstop since my father-in-law told her that I wouldn’t be coming. Apparently, he promised her that I would be there without ever actually asking me if I wanted to come along with them for the night, and all she wants to do is go home and play with blocks.
She doesn’t want to stay for the fireworks because she’s “already seen them,” i.e. with me. My boyfriend is trying not to laugh the whole time that he’s hearing this. The moral of the story? Don’t promise your little ones that someone will be going with them to an amusement park on New Year’s Eve without ever asking or inviting them first, then subtly trying to pressure their boyfriend into convincing them to come out when they don’t show up with him.
You do that, it’s pretty much on you if you are left stuck dealing with a sulking eight-year-old while your other kid tries not to lose his mind laughing.
10. Not A Lot To Be Thankful For
My boyfriend’s grandpa physically attacked me during Thanksgiving. For some background, I’m a 28-year-old girl, and my partner is a 29-year-old guy. His grandpa is genuinely a terrible person, but my partner loves him for some reason. In all honesty, it’s pretty much for no reason. This man is old, rude, and thinks it’s hilarious to upset people on purpose.
His own family members usually bear most of the brunt of this bizarre habit of his. His own wife, as in my boyfriend’s grandma, cannot stand him. Meanwhile, everyone else just ignores or enables him. Now, on to the story of what went down last night. We were all at his uncle’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, and at first, everything was going perfectly fine.
We were all sitting on the couch, drinking a bit, and playing catch up with each other. We had been there for maybe half an hour or so at the time when things started to get weird. So I’m sitting on the couch facing the fireplace. This is an open-concept room, so there is a table and chairs set against the back of the couch where his grandpa is holding court.
Everyone is apparently discussing my career behind my back at the table. I work for a newly developing industry that is still largely outside the mainstream, so people think it’s exciting. That’s when he started. Grandpa grabs my ponytail from behind and starts jerking my head back and forth very forcefully while telling a few people about my job.
I am panicking at this point. I am completely still thanks to my awesome fight, flight, or freeze response. My partner laughs until I grab his leg and panic yell at him to get him off of me. He grabs his grandpa’s hand and pries his claws out of my hair. This whole ordeal takes maybe about three minutes or so from start to finish.
I’m destroyed. The connotations of grabbing a woman by her hair are extremely unsettling and I’ve had issues with another male family member groping me in the past, so I start to shut down. This man has just put his hands on me in an open and clearly negative way. I’m red, rashy, and quietly crying while also too physically frozen and shocked to move.
My partner asks me if I’m okay, but I’m too upset to respond besides saying “fine” and ducking my head away. Later in the car, he yells at me for overreacting because “it wasn’t really that bad.” He claims that I’m making too big of a deal about it, and that this is just how his grandpa is. Then he yells at me some more, asking what I expected him to do.
Then he asks if I want to press charges. How do I tell him that the thought of ever seeing his grandpa again makes me want to puke? That he left me feeling vulnerable and made it worse by negating my feelings as I was sobbing in the car? We had to go back to that house for family pictures later that night and I cried the whole way over because I kept having panic attacks about his grandpa cornering me in the bathroom or something.
This is a big deal, right? I’m so hurt and uncomfortable, and my heart is racing just typing this all out. I literally just started crying again.
11. Taking Out The Trash
This one happened just last night and this morning. I’m still not happy about it. I have dogs. Big dogs. We’ve already had to pay for a four-thousand dollar surgery because one of the loveable mutts ate a darn rock. Ever since that experience, we have been extra careful about making sure we don’t leave things lying around that they might swallow by mistake.
Anyway, my father-in-law was over last night. He ate a plum. And as is his tradition, instead of throwing it in the freaking trash can like a normal human being, or putting it on a plate to be taken into the kitchen, he left the bloody pit lying on my brand new white couch. Guess who found it this morning. And then guess what is highly toxic to dogs, as in they might not survive more than a few hours if they eat one.
Plum pits. Like seriously, Google it. Luckily, the mutt puked it up within ten minutes. But who the heck leaves a freaking plum pit on a white couch?! This jerk. We’ll add it to the list of: cough drops, candies, banana peels, muffin wrappers, and snack bags that he has just left on furniture and random tables. I kid you not, one day, I found a cough drop stuck to my wood table.
He stayed over a few weeks ago. I went in to clean the guest room and found the cough drop and a hard candy just sitting on the nightstand. No tissue under it, just right on the table. He’s also just left full coffee cups sitting on the couch. No one around it, just an overflowing cup sitting there. Then he gets upset when I move them because, you know… baby, dog, cat, or just plain old GRAVITY will make the darn thing spill all over my new couch!
12. 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.
13. Look Who Came Crawling Back
I’m gonna try to make a very long, messed up story short. My mom was the full time parent, always working more than two jobs at a time and taking care of more than four kids at all times. The exact number depended on whether my father’s side of the family had moved in with us rent free or not at a given time. Our absent father was in and out of our lives after she got fed up with the mental, emotional and physical challenges he posed.
We see him once a year, if we’re lucky. He has never done any true parenting and as a grown woman, now with a child of my own, I refuse to let my son be put in the same heartbreaking situations where ‘G-Pop is coming’ and then never comes to get you no matter how many times they promise and swear they will. Nope, you won’t get my son.
Be present or be gone. We’re breaking generational curses over here and cutting off toxic and damaging energy. Family is step one. We do not acknowledge you for the effort that you never put in in the first place. So no. I do not call, text, send smoke signals, or any of the other typical things that people do on Father’s Day. You did not play that role and, whenever it was time for you to, you disappeared for months and years at a time.
So, last year, my best friend and I cooked a four course dinner for the fathers in our house: as in my husband and her fiancé. The men are happy as can be and putting it all over their social media as each course comes out. My “father” goes on my husband’s page and says “I can’t even get a phone call but you getting whole seafood boils and steak? I guess you daddy now, huh?”
I NEVER SAW THIS!
I walked in from my shift at work and got right to the evening plans that I had, catering to my husband because of how good a father he is. He shows me this message after I come home from work the next day. And I explain to him that I’d been getting mean spirited text messages from my “father” since I woke up. But there were more messages now.
In the new round of messages, he literally threatened to come and end our lives. He called me out by name on his social media, made it clear he was under the impression that my husband hits me and that I deserve it. He’s clearly projecting now. He also kept that same energy when he rolled up to my door, and got it handed back to him.
He demanded to know why he wasn’t invited over for Father’s Day. I said: “Because your grandson hasn’t seen you in months and you should spend some time with him if you actually want to be a part of this family.” This made things worse. Apparently, I was being disrespectful for not feeding into his disgusting lifestyle. He added that he “never hit your mom, but I should have.” Sounds familiar, huh?
This was the line in the sand for me. NEVER bring my mother into your garbage. As soon as I said that, I let him know that he can have a relationship with my son but he and I no longer have anything left to discuss between us. He made it clear that he wasn’t going to respect me or my family as an adult. Months later, I get a message from his sister, the only family member on his side that I still talk to every now and again.
The message was basically saying that he was very sick and that none of his kids talking to him was making his health rapidly decline. Meanwhile, my brothers don’t speak to him for similar reasons. This doesn’t work. I let her know that this was a grave he dug for himself. I added that when he’s ready to talk to me like the adult I am, apology in hand, then we may be able to move forward.
That’s a big may. But, one way or the other, I let her know that him sending her and his current girlfriend to talk to me on Messenger over and over again wasn’t the way to do it. A month after this conversation, he sends a distant cousin of mine to talk to me about it. I also rejected that one with just as much respect. I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
He finally reached out to me himself like a month and half ago with the following message: “I just be mad and want to have a relationship with my grandson. I miss you.” Not an apology. Not taking responsibility for any of the things he said to and about me and mine. Nothing. I have long since moved across the country, bruh. I don’t know what you want from me at this point.
Now, I suddenly get a message from him a few days ago about how his mom is sick and how she deserves to see and get to know her great grandchild. I’m at a loss for words at this point. I truly don’t know what to do. Like his side of the family has been verbally, spiritually, and mentally damaging to me in every possible way you can imagine, since we were kids.
I get that as people get older they want to repent and repair what they’ve done wrong, but I don’t know. I still don’t feel right about letting these people off the hook for everything they did to me during my formative years. They gaslit the heck out of us growing up, and continued doing so to us as adults. At this point, my biggest concern is figuring out a way to say I’m extremely happy to not be around them for the rest of my life, without being unnecessarily disrespectful or rude.
14. Fighting Back
When my mom confronted my toxic dad, he threatened to remove me from his car insurance. For the usual short backstory, my father is manipulative, narcissistic, a cheater, and frequently makes threats to kick us out. My mother finally confronted my father the other night. It started with her once again asking what his plans were for moving, and he threw out the usual excuses that he’s “trying” (which he’s not).
He added that the two remaining apartments at a complex he was previously interested in are too expensive, blaming my mother for wanting him to pay her $400 a month in the divorce. That’s all she’s asking for, plus the house, and she could drag him for a lot more. Angry, my mother then confronted him with all the evidence she has against him. She has tons of proof of his cheating.
Russia and Latvia flight info. His secret bank account. His Russian code word that translates to “wait.” His height and weight measurements for some girl. The list goes on and on. She said his whole face and head turned bright red when she brought these things up. He completely shut down, but would occasionally say, “There’s nothing to say” and “It’s nothing.”
She went as far as to tell him that they could try and work it out if he would just admit to what he’s doing and why, adding that she doesn’t want to divorce, and he yelled that he does. He can’t handle confrontation when the person he’s verbally harassing fights back, so he ran away to the bedroom and wouldn’t talk to her anymore.
For the past two days now, he’s been moping around and barely eating. He won’t admit to a single thing, but she definitely struck a nerve with him. Well, now he’s acting like a cornered dog. He caught me yesterday while he was outside with the dog. They were in the driveway near our cars and he knew I needed to get into mine. So he chose that as an opportunity to confront me about something very personal.
We exchanged some words and I shut my car door in his face while he was still speaking. He didn’t go inside and whine to my mom like he usually does, but I texted her about it. She confronted him, and he started threatening to take me off his car insurance amongst other things. She blew up at him and he left the house for a while.
My mother seems to finally be finding her backbone lately. I really think it’s at least in part because I broke down the other day and she realized how hurt I am from the garbage that he’s been doing to us for all these years. I know it’s hard for her to stand up for herself and against him, but I’m proud of her for taking these steps. I feel like this situation is never going to end, but these recent events have given me some hope.
I want to also add something that I found rather amusing from their fight. My mother put her foot down and told my father that he has to start doing his own laundry. This man has never done his own laundry a day in his life. His mother did it for him until he met my mother in his twenties, and back then he flat-out told my mom that he has never and would never do laundry.
He’s always had a very old-fashioned point of view like that. Well, his response to being asked to do it for once was a harsh, “Fine!” He sounded like a child on the verge of a tantrum. She does laundry on Tuesdays. So, let’s see how that goes!
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. A Dog’s Life
This story sounds more and more bizarre to me the more I think about it. I am coming to realize that my father has changed from a great dad into a selfish, favorite-child-seeking jerk. I learned several years ago that I was just not in his “golden corral.” And I don’t know what I did to deserve this Little Matchgirl treatment, always looking in and never invited.
I called my dad to wish him and his wife a happy Thanksgiving. In the course of the conversation, my dad let slip that my younger sister and her son from out of state would be staying with him over the long weekend. Blah, blah, putting up Christmas lights, blah blah blah. Since I work full time and was off on Friday, I asked if I could come by and visit him, my sister, and my stepmom.
Most importantly, I wanted to bring my two granddaughters, i.e. his great-granddaughters, to meet him and the family. The girls are seven and almost four years old, respectively. He has not seen my kids for years. Dad says, sure, c’mon out. So I made plans to gather up the kids and make the 40-mile trek to his house. Well, I was in for a harsh surprise.
The next morning, I received a rather garbled text from my stepmom which I interpreted as, “Don’t come out. The dog won’t like it.” What the heck? So, I called the house. My dad answered and when I asked what’s up, he confirmed that my younger sister’s dog is not a “people person,” and “might get upset” with too many people around.
“We’ll make it another time,” he said. Uh, yeah. My sister’s freaking dog’s feelings are more important than finally meeting his great-grandchildren. At that moment, I realized that I have been making all the effort with him and my sisters, and that this effort is never, ever reciprocated. I think it’s time to be done and drop the rope.
I’m just tired of being treated like the least of his acquaintances.
18. 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 stole 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.
19. Making A Change
So, I want to start by saying that I love my dad. He’s a stubborn emotional jerk, but I love him. I know he loves me, but he often is so focused on himself and his needs that he makes me distance myself from him. He had a rough childhood. My grandfather is a verbally aggressive jerk and my grandmother is cold and passive-aggressive.
They were very enmeshed with his life, but at the same time, it seemed to be only to control him and make sure he took care of my great-grandmother (i.e. his father’s mom) so that the family didn’t have to. He was 100% taken advantage of. My dad took care of my great-grandmother for 14 years. Any time that he asked for a break or explained that his PTSD was getting worse, they would guilt him by saying “Fine, I guess we’ll tell Grandma that you’re breaking your promise.”
That “promise” was that he would take care of her so she could live out the rest of her life in her home like her husband did, and not have to end up in a retirement facility. Eventually, my dad met my wonderful step-mother (who I consider my Mama), and she helped us get out of that house and not let us be manipulated by that family any longer.
She made us realize that we didn’t have the proper training to care for her and that my aunt, the trained nurse, should have been caring for my grandmother long ago or they should have hired a professional. I guess what I’m trying to say is that my family did a number on my dad. And the consequences are that he is codependent, quick to misinterpret things and get defensive, and is only slightly a problematic person as a result of this trauma.
I understand that it’s hard to break a cycle like this, so I’m starting with myself now that I have a five-month-old daughter. Now, on to the main story of my post. My husband is deployed overseas and hasn’t met his daughter yet. So it’s just me caring for my child with the occasional help of my younger brother who lives with us, but mostly stays in his room.
My Mama and dad came to visit on their way to the other side of the country and were staying in their RV for about a week. My dad knows about my boundaries, and I wouldn’t say he pushes them as much as he questions or doubts them. But I finally stood up to him. He was holding my daughter and was getting reckless with how he was playing with her.
He was doing dangerous things like balancing her with one hand, almost dropping her where she could have hit the coffee table and laughing about it. He must have seen the look on my face, because he says to me, almost challenging, “What?! If you don’t like it, take her back!” Normally in our family, we’d just be quiet and agreeable, back down and say “no, just be careful” because we don’t ever want to look like the bad guy under any circumstance.
And I maybe hesitated for half a second before reaching out my hands and taking her. My dad looked surprised, and my Mama later told me that she was proud of me because what he did was unacceptable. I was mostly worried about what she thought, because I get along so much better with her than I do with my father. Thinking about the whole thing now, I’m proud of myself, to be honest.
I don’t think anyone in my family has ever done anything like that before. But it needed to happen. And for anyone out there who is in a similar situation and constantly makes excuses for their parents’ bad behavior: I get it. I’ve lived with the guilt of not wanting to make a fuss because of the hard life, mental issues, or whatever other reason your family members have for acting the way that they do.
20. Crying Over Spilled Milk
Okay, so my insane father-in-law has always been a bit creepy towards me, but I typically just brushed it off. He’s been a pretty good grandfather and loves my daughter deeply, to the point where he has stopped drinking and is working to give up the smokes so he can see her grow up. This is huge, because he’s had a very serious drinking problem for pretty much most of his life.
Overall, he spoils his granddaughter and puts her before even his wife, which I find hilarious because, frankly, she’s a raging lunatic. Aside from general uncomfortableness around him, I’ve never actually had any problems with the guy. I’ve never really liked him that much because of how he’s treated my husband in the past, but I put those feelings aside and have always tried to remain neutral towards him. That was all about to change.
Now, my daughter recently turned a year old. I’ve been breastfeeding since she was born and have yet to wean her entirely, as I enjoy the bonding and I’ve read so many positive studies about the benefits of breastfeeding until at least two years of age. I’ve always made it crystal clear that if it ever makes anyone uncomfortable, they can let me know and I will gladly cover myself up as best I can when feeding my daughter. Unless it’s in my own home, of course, in which case they can just get the heck out.
Everywhere I go, I try to cover myself as much as I can without overtly covering my daughter’s head, because she gets hot easily. So there has never been a time where anyone has seen anything that they weren’t supposed to. For a year, I’ve been doing this on the regular, including breastfeeding at my father-in-law’s home during visits, and no one has ever said a peep about it.
Then, sometime last month, my husband goes over for a visit without me, and suddenly it’s a big freaking deal. My father-in-law actually said to my husband, “Tell your wife to keep her freaking breasts out of my face when she visits.” Of course, my husband was shocked and confused. My father-in-law and his wife, who had previously been very vocally supportive of breastfeeding, both explained that they didn’t want me breastfeeding in their home anymore, and especially not around my father-in-law.
My husband pushed for more information because they had never expressed discomfort before and like…it’s been a whole year? It came out that apparently my father-in-law had been looking at my chest when I breastfed my daughter. His granddaughter. In front of his wife and kids. I had just never noticed because he always played it off as admiring his granddaughter and calling her cute.
Umm, what in the world??
I am repulsed and disgusted and feel violated in sooo many ways. And, as an added bonus, they all blame me for this situation! My husband’s step-mom messaged my husband and said that I should have had more decency than to be exposing myself like that in front of someone’s husband. My husband and I are both floored, and he is clearly taking my side, but the family as a whole seems split.
Some say that I should be more discreet, and others are just as repulsed as me. Anyway, I just needed to get this off of my chest because I am so grossed out and uncomfortable over this whole situation. And I’m so angry that my literal father-in-law would be so disgusting as to play peeping tom on me when my baby daughter is RIGHT THERE. To literally turn her eating into something inappropriate!
Heck, I’m still so angry just thinking about it. A few people have suggested to me that I not allow any unsupervised contact between him and my daughter from now on, which is definitely the plan as of right now. As a victim of childhood trauma myself, I am especially vigilant about the red flags and keeping my daughter safe. Under no circumstances will he ever be allowed alone with my child, if we even decide to visit them anymore.
21. The Good Father
I used to work in a small chain of bookstores/stationery shops. We’d sell books, pens, paper, and so on. It was a quirky little store, straight out of a romantic love novella. This happened a few years ago and I’m reconstructing it from my memory. This entitled mother walks into the store with her little girl. It’s rather early in the morning.
The mom looks around and asks me if I could watch her child. Me: “Oh no, I’m terrible with children, sorry.” She tells me that it’s not for that long and I shouldn’t be such a fuss about it. I still politely refuse. It’s not my job to watch children, and I’m afraid to do something wrong. What happens? She leaves the store, and who do I find hidden in the corner?
The little girl who seems to be rather shy and fearful. This happened back in a time before everyone had smartphones. The kid obviously didn’t have a mobile on her, and I suspected the mother also wouldn’t. Wasn’t too surprised that the girl didn’t know the number of their landline, either. I sigh. What are you gonna do? If something happens to that kid while being in the store and you being the only present employee, you’re gonna have a bad time.
I introduced myself, and asked her name. She told me it in full. Now this rang a bell. I had a good customer with the same surname. It turns out that it’s her dad. I didn’t get paid enough to babysit. In fact, I didn’t even get paid enough to do my normal work. I call her dad at his workplace since we saved that number in our system. The call went along those lines:
Me: “Hi, it’s bookstore XY.” Him: “Oh hi, how’s it going? I don’t remember having any open orders.” Me: “Yeah, erm, look, listen, do you have a daughter?” Him, confused: “Yes why do you ask?” When he finds out the story, he quickly apologizes for the woman’s behavior and tells me he’s gonna pick the kid up as soon as possible.
While waiting for him, I picked up one of our sale books, which was a picture book from Disney. The girl tries to read a little, I read a little. The dad arrives, and the girl runs to him and hugs him, crying that mommy was mean to her. The dad soothes her and thanks me for babysitting her. He gives me a bottle of red and buys something small from the store.
Him: “If the mom shows up again, could you not tell her that I picked up our daughter?” Me: “What. Why?” Him: “If you don’t feel like it you don’t need to. It’s rather complicated and you already did so much for us.” He leaves. In the evening, the mother shows up. Just to point out—she dropped the girl at about 09:00.
It was 5:45. A whole freaking day. Her: “Where’s my daughter?” This is where I get my revenge. Me: “Your WHAT?” Her: “My daughter. I dropped her in this store and you were here.” Me: “YOUR WHAT?” Now she was on the edge. Thus I did what I thought was the smartest thing to do. Me: “A guy came into the store and picked her up. He seemed nice. Gave me some gifts for her.”
At this point I expected her to attack me, but she just left the store. A few weeks pass and the dad and girl come to the store, both happy to see me. The dad asks me if I’ve got a few minutes. An excuse not to work? Obviously I took the time for…customer service. I gave the girl the same book we read the last time and had a talk with him.
The whole story was a doozy. The mom and dad were in the middle of a divorce when she dropped the girl at our store. One of the reasons he wanted a divorce was because the mom “wasn’t nice” to the girl. Now, in my country as a man it’s rather hard to get custody for your child. No matter what. So the mom dropping the girl in our store was a gift of the heavens.
The dad took the daughter to his sister’s overnight, and the mom pretended that she was sleeping at one of her friend’s. The dad wanted to call them just to ensure that she is fine. When he did and the friend didn’t know where the girl was (obviously), the dad faked panic and involved law enforcement. Meanwhile, the mom starts insisting that the friend must have kidnapped the girl.
The dad had proof of it being otherwise since he already called the authorities when he dropped his daughter at his sister’s house. In court, the dad apparently said something like, “She can have all she wants, even my vino collection. I just want to be with my daughter.” The daughter ended up with him, with the mother paying alimony.
When the mother dropped the daughter off at my store, she was shy, seemed small, and now she has such a big smile on her face and is curious about everything. She seemed like a bird taking off to fly towards the sun. I absolutely hated my job, but situations like these make me a little bit nostalgic.
22. Won’t Someone Think Of The Children?!
I just had the strangest flashback. So I’m the youngest of three kids and growing up, my dad always told me that he had wanted more kids. He said that he had almost divorced my mother over the fact that she didn’t want any more kids after me, even though he was so willing to provide for us and blah blah blah. Little did I know the crazy direction his complaints were about to go in…
Well, when I was around 18 years old, my mum told me that she had actually been pregnant after me, but that she’d had a miscarriage. It was a bad one too. She was pretty far along and she had to go to the hospital. This is where my knowledge gets hazy. My mum has always had reproductive issues and eventually had to have a hysterectomy.
I have no idea if she personally didn’t want to have kids after that trauma or if she physically couldn’t. But regardless, my dad always painted my mum as the selfish one who couldn’t bear to give up her luxurious existence for one more kid, and he made things out to be as if he was the only one who really wanted and loved us. Spoiler alert: that was all false.
Anyway, once my mother told me that, the next time my dad went on one of his rants about how he’d always wanted more kids, I stopped him and said that I thought he was being insensitive given that my mum had endured something so traumatic to her. His response made me 100 times angrier. He said that I must have misheard and that I was wrong. He insisted that she’d never had a miscarriage, even though I remember exactly what my mum told me.
Anyways, years of such gaslighting from him was only the tip of the darn iceberg. I’m only now just beginning to come to terms with the idea that I may have been mistreated by him over the course of my childhood.
23. Choked Up
My father-in-law and I do not have a good relationship. Last night, it finally escalated. He lives in our backyard still, but we mostly had a silent understanding that we would keep away from each other as much as possible to keep the peace and spare my wife any hardship. I’d do my best to keep up with household chores and work, and he pays for our groceries in lieu of rent or anything else.
The reason we have this arrangement is that he hasn’t been working on our property like he originally said he was going to do to earn his keep around here. What pushed him over the edge last night was that two nights ago he bought dinner for all of us. I went and picked it up, but did not take his food out to him right away.
My reasoning for this was because A) I genuinely thought he was going to come into the house and get it, and B) I was on the phone with my wife trying to find out if she was going to be stuck in Seattle overnight in the middle of some chaos, because the curfew was blocking her path to the ferry terminal, so I was feeling rather anxious and distracted by that.
Last night, he came in fuming about his food not being delivered to him while it was still hot. I tried to explain to him the reasoning for why that happened and I sincerely apologized for the confusion. His reaction was truly horrifying. At this point, he reached out and put me in a chokehold. I fought back and he wrestled me to the ground, continuing to attempt to choke me out before my wife came downstairs and broke us up.
My neck is fine. There’s some light bruising and soreness, but it’ll heal. I talked to my wife and told her that I’m willing to let this go this time, but if anything remotely close to this happens again, even so much as just a threatening voice, the authorities will be called on him. She said that was fine and that she would back me up if I ever felt that I needed to do that.
12 hours later, I’m anxious and shaken up. I already had to take my emergency anxiety medicine. And I’m finding it hard to concentrate on work today. I’ve already informed my closest friends of what happened and they all agree that I’m being too lenient and should have called the authorities on him right away.
24. The Old Switcharoo
So the relationship between myself, my boyfriend, and his father is, uh, precariously cordial at this point. My father-in-law uses the fact that he helps pay for my boyfriend’s truck, insurance, and phone bill to intimidate and guilt him into spending inordinate amounts of time “helping the family,” which is usually just a guise to get my boyfriend to spend time around him because he has zero friends of his own.
More notably, he tries to lasso us into babysitting his elementary school-aged daughter, AKA my boyfriend’s half-sister, who he has limited visitation with. He wants us to do this so that he can go on dates or attempt to go to the gym. Afterward, he got upset at us—and the way he lashed out was devastating. He emptied out my boyfriend’s bank account. This was all because we did not swing by at the drop of a hat to babysit for him the day before our finals last December.
After that incident, we took several steps to distance ourselves from him. We got a new bank account that he doesn’t know about or have access to. I started a new higher-paying job and I let him know that my schedule is no longer open to random babysitting requests at the last minute. This resulted in him being left high and dry several times when he wanted me to help him with his little one. For the most part, he pulled back after this and things were okay for a while. I didn’t see the little one or my father-in-law until her birthday in May, and that was mainly because I actually wanted to see her.
She can be a little brat, but I can’t deny that I do care about the little goof. In June, though, we did agree to help him watch the little one in the mornings so that he could go to the gym, as he had her for the entire month. He initially wanted us to do this for free, but I flat out said that this wasn’t an option, given the gas per week that we’d be paying for in order to help him out.
He agreed to fill up our tank once a week. We drive a truck, so this was actually a good deal for us. Plus, he also agreed to pay us $250 for our time each month. At times, he took advantage of our generosity and wouldn’t return to the house until 2:00 in the afternoon, which was three hours past the previously agreed upon ending time.
However, the biggest benefit that my boyfriend got out of this was that his relationship with the little one has made significant progress. Her mom talks very badly about my boyfriend to her and it hurt him to have his little sister disdain him so blatantly. But by the end of June, she was excited to see him daily and to hang out with him by going to the pool, playing video games together, biking, etc.
During all of this, my father-in-law has been in a custody battle with his ex-wife, who is a major jerk for a variety of reasons. He initially just wanted more time with the little one and tried to settle out of court, but that didn’t happen. So now they’ve been in and out of court on a constant basis for the last year or so at least. They’re reaching the finale though, with temporary custody orders scheduled to be made in the next month or so.
This brings us to what he did last night. He made the most nonsensical proposal to my boyfriend while I was at work. Prior to my boyfriend moving out of his father’s house and moving in with me, he managed to hook his father up with a fellow college student to rent out the extra room in their house too for an extra $400 a month. After my boyfriend left, the student continued to rent from my father-in-law and has been doing so for about a year.
We’ll call that student “A.” My boyfriend and I were initially renting a room from a friend, but we recently moved into an apartment very close to our college campus that has a ton of amenities and locational benefits that will help us save even more money. We have two other roommates, but they’re seldom here and it’s been wonderful having our own place so far.
Yesterday night, however, my father-in-law told my boyfriend that he was worried that his ex-wife would try to use the fact that A was still living in father-in-law’s house to keep him from getting more time with her. His master plan was to ask us to take A’s place in his house for $400 a month, and then he would give A $500 to take our room in our new apartment.
Y’all. When my boyfriend told me about this, I had to stop myself from straight-up going off on the messenger. Never mind that I pay $200 more than A does a month for our apartment, so there’s no telling if A would even be willing to pay the extra money. Not to mention the extra $500 wouldn’t do much for him in the long term. But that’s just the first problem.
On top of that, my father-in-law lives right off of a major road that has disgusting constant traffic, is further from our campus and my job and public transit, and has a much higher cost of living for groceries, gas, etc. Even if I were comfortable moving into his house, which I’m not, we would not be saving any money because the extra gas and Lyft and Uber expenses would quickly eat through our entire budget.
On top of this, the bathroom attached to the room does not have a functional toilet. A uses the one downstairs, and my father-in-law has told A that if he wants the A/C lowered then he’d have to pay extra for it. I can already tell you that I’d have to pay extra because the second floor gets unbearably hot during the summer, and I’m not going to sweat in my sleep every night.
So effectively, he’s asking us to pay him $500-ish a month to live under his rules. Now, the easiest thing to do in my humble opinion is to simply talk to A, explain the situation (which he already knows about to a good degree), and let him know that if the courts deem his presence an issue, he will be put on a 30-day notice to leave. He rents month to month, and there is no signed lease.
My boyfriend’s younger brother, who will also be attending our university, will be back from service training in the next few weeks, and he can stay in A’s room. Bam, problem solved. However, my father-in-law doesn’t want to lose the $400 per month if he doesn’t have to by prematurely evicting A, hence spoiling his brilliant freaking workaround.
Despite my boyfriend trying to tell his dad that these ideas and schemes seem overly complicated, he refused to listen and instead asked if we could come over on Saturday morning to talk about it. I am so ready to take him to task over all of this nonsense and let him know that not only is his plan convoluted and absurd, but that there is literally no net benefit for me or my boyfriend to go along with this.
Our entire life would be more expensive, more stressful, and more inconvenient. Trying to finish up our schooling while dealing with his incessant lectures and blatant time-wasting would not exactly be a walk in the park either. We also highly suspect he’s pushing my boyfriend to do this because then he’ll have all his kids under the same roof again.
And as I’ve stated before, this man has no friends, is lonely, and is obsessed with trying to force his idea of being a family onto his children. He’s made multiple attempts and comments to my boyfriend about him moving back in, but each time my boyfriend shuts him down. He’s almost certainly not going to take our refusal well, but I really don’t care at this point.
I’m not your daughter and you don’t pay squat for me. I have zero obligation to put my own life into a more difficult position just to help you out, when you won’t even treat my boyfriend and me as adults with our own priorities and our own free will. Wish me luck, everyone! Hopefully this meeting will put an end to this ridiculous saga once and for all.
25. Never Lose Hope
So this one actually has a somewhat happy ending. My father was always a yeller. He loved to go nuts on everyone, and scream and tower over my mother and me. He never physically hit me, but the mental and verbal mistreatment was always pretty darn rough. It all came to a head during my junior year of college. I attended a university that was about two hours away from my hometown.
My parents had ended up splitting up during my freshman year, and they were living apart at this point. I would mostly spend breaks with my mother, for obvious reasons, but I kept trying to make things work between me and my dad. My mother decided to divorce him, which made my dad’s anger problems even worse. To the point that anything would make him go off.
Now, I was formally diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD during my university days. At the time of my junior year, I had just started taking antidepressants. They really messed with my energy levels, and I was tired all the time anyway. Well, all of this leads up to say that at the end of one of my visits, it was my dad’s turn to drive me back to university.
Now, we were meant to leave early in the afternoon. But I woke up feeling very sick. Both my mom and I let him know that I was not feeling well and would be late getting to his house. I stayed in bed most of that day and was finally feeling well enough to travel by around 4:00 PM. So at that time, my mother packed me up, and drove me to my father’s house. That’s where things took a turn for the worse.
Now, when I got there, he was clearly very angry. So I did my usual stay quiet and scrunch up to stay small routine. I quickly grabbed my things that I’d left at his house and we started the drive back. About ten minutes away from the house, I realized that I had left my medication behind. I asked my dad to turn back so I could get it. His reaction was truly vile.
He started shouting full volume at me. His car, I should mention, was a two-seater convertible. It was a very small car and we were very close together. So he’s shouting at me at the top of his lungs, gesturing in my face, and I’m just trying to keep it together. The second we make it back to his house, I get out of the car and slam the door. I honestly did not mean to slam it.
My hands felt numb because I was that afraid. And in the scariest tone I ever heard, he called me a jerk. I ran full tilt inside the house and locked myself in the bathroom. I was crying and having a panic attack. I refused to come out and he was banging on the door. I demanded to speak to my mother. He called her up. I heard him speaking to her but the sound was muffled.
He came back and said, “Your mother doesn’t want to deal with you! She isn’t coming to get you. So you better come out and get in the car. Now.” Now, my mom has had her bad moments from time to time. And I was so panicked and upset that I didn’t question it. We drove back to my school and he dropped me off in front of my dorm. He took my bags out of his trunk, tossed them on the ground, and drove away.
I called my mom once I got inside and asked her why she hadn’t come to get me. That’s when I found out the devastating truth. She had no idea what I was talking about. Turns out my dad had never actually told her about the situation. She had no idea that I had been locked in the bathroom, nothing. He had lied to me. And that was it.
That was the final straw. I wrote my dad an email. It was long and I detailed every hurt and major issue that he had ever caused for me. But I ended it by telling him: Today I was terrified of you. I believed that you would have hurt me or done even worse to me. And you lied to me to get your way. Something you have never done before. And something you promised you would never do. You broke that trust and now it is gone.
I told him he needed serious counseling. And he would never be allowed in my life again until he got help. I told him he would never walk me down the aisle at my wedding. That if I had children he would never see them. Not unless he changed. And really changed. Then I went full no contact. For nine months, I didn’t call, text, or email him. Nothing whatsoever.
If he tried to reach out, I ignored him. I was in therapy then and used that to help me deal with it. Nine months later, I was in a play at my university. It was a bit part, nothing special at all. But my dad had seen it advertised on my university website and had noticed my name in the cast list. One night, after a show, I walked into the audience. I was going to go out with friends to eat.
But I got an unexpected surprise. My dad was there. He was holding flowers and gave them to me. I was speechless and a little afraid. But then my dad, on his own volition, apologized to me. He got choked up and was fighting back real tears. He said he was very sorry for what he did and that my words had hurt him. But he also said that he had taken a step back and looked at his behavior, and he was horrified by what he had become.
He told me that he decided that he loved me more than wanting to be “right.” He had sought out a therapist and had been in counseling for the past eight or nine months. He didn’t force his company on me. He just apologized, told me that he was getting help, and told me that he would always answer any call or communication from me if I ever wanted to reach out.
That was nearly ten years ago. I checked up on his claims, and he was telling the truth. He and I had a couple of sessions together where I went and talked to his therapist with him. My dad has never tried to justify any of his past behavior or mistreatment. He never blamed me again. He had a darn good therapist and saw them for several years.
My fiancé and I are not going to be having children. But my dad will be walking me down the aisle at our wedding. My mom will be too. My dad has helped me move across the country. He has financially supported me and has talked me through anxiety attacks and depressive episodes. He has learned to be patient and is kinder than I have ever dreamed possible.
And it’s all because he decided that he loved me more than being right. That his love for me was more important than his anger. So if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me! My dad is one of the very rare problematic parents who actually became a good one through hard work and serious effort. And it was because he took a long hard look at himself and chose his daughter and love over rage.
26. Expecting Something
I’m currently a little over five months pregnant and I haven’t gotten as much as a “how are you doing” from my dad. But my mom and dad still talk regularly even though they have been divorced for 14 years. And if my dad isn’t complaining about his current wife, he’s talking to her about how excited he is to be a grandfather. Weird coming from a guy who literally doesn’t speak to me.
In fact, on the rare occasions that our paths do cross, he treats me like I’m still 12 years old, so I’m not sure where he’s getting these ideas that he’s gonna be an active grandfather in my child’s life. His wife also just gave birth, so at the age of 28, I’m a big sister…again. I called my dad to congratulate him on his new baby, and he said thank you.
He was trying to make small talk about his new child, then the conversation turned to, “Oh, I can’t wait to babysit my first grandchild, take her to do activities that a parent would usually do, and for her to have play dates and sleepovers with her uncle,” basically parent-free visits. I’d like for my child to know her young aunt and uncle, so I’m not opposed to play dates, but I told him over the phone that I’m not okay with unsupervised visits, so sleepovers would probably be a no.
Also, you live an hour away, so it’s inconvenient for you to babysit. He just went silent and said we will see about that. My father never made the effort to interact with me after my parents got divorced, didn’t try to get to know my husband, tried to make any milestone I had all about himself, and just doesn’t even know anything about who I am as a person.
So I don’t know if he’s going to try and treat my daughter as a do-over. To make matters more difficult, my mom keeps saying that I need to give my father another chance.
27. All Over The World
Background: My dad has some mental issues. While he has his moments of crazy, they often come from being raised by my horrible grandparents. I know that my dad has good intentions, but he doesn’t have a good concept of normal sometimes. For reference, I am an adult and have been one for a while. Now, here comes the twisted story.
My dad has a club that he attends and is very active in, made up of mostly older men united by a common hobby. They lost contact unexpectedly with one of their members for a week and were very concerned until he could be located. This club’s solution was for everyone to voluntarily share their location via a location-sharing app. Keyword: voluntarily.
But my dad now wants to make another group with the same app for just my immediate family to share our locations with each other at all times. I do not want to do this, because when I was a young adult I fought very hard to not have to send them a check-in text every night. I know if I give my location, my dad will check it every night to make sure I got home, and if I am anywhere unusual or out later than he thinks I should be, he will text me about it.
I know because that’s exactly what he used to do and why I made this boundary in the first place. It also bothers me that instead of asking me if I’d be okay with doing that, he said “I am asking you to do this,” which with him really means “I am telling you to do this, but I’m trying to be polite about it.” I see the point of knowing a family member’s location if they are on a trip somewhere and I voluntarily check in when I am traveling long distances.
But I am an adult and I feel like my parents knowing my location all the time would be infantilizing. They see it as being able to find me quickly if something really bad should happen to me. Am I being the jerk here by not wanting to install the app? Is there a middle ground where I can maintain my sense of privacy while still soothing my parents, and especially my dad’s fears?
Is there a polite way to maintain my boundary or am I being paranoid? Apparently, he tried to volunteer me to join the group, without my consent, even after my mother told him not to ask as she thought I’d say no. When I did initially say no, things were rough. He first tried to argue, to which I said I wasn’t changing my mind, to which he claimed he wasn’t trying to change my mind.
If past behavior holds true, that will be the last I hear of it until the next new way of creepily stalking your family arrives on the scene. Thank you all for listening. Y’all are good people.
28. 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.
29. Holy Moly
My father-in-law legitimately and literally thinks I am a witch of Satan out to take away his son’s soul. No, that description is not at all hyperbolic. Just to clarify a few things and set the scene: I’ve never met my father-in-law. He has a serious drinking problem. My husband has had minimal contact with his father and hasn’t seen him in person in almost a decade.
He is also ultra-religious. After their eight children were born and they were done having them, my father-in-law wanted to build a hut to put my mother-in-law in once a month when she had her period. My in-laws are divorced now and I absolutely adore my mother-in-law. I feel sorry that she had to put up with a guy like that for so long.
Now for the main story. My father-in-law gets intoxicated every Saturday night and spends some time posting on Facebook, as the Boomers do. He usually uses this Facebook time to go on deranged tangents while adding anyone and everyone who comes up in his “People you may know” list without any real rhyme or reason.
Apparently, I was one of those people that he added without actually knowing. So he added me and eventually started adding my friends and family as they started to appear on his list. After a lot of messages from him, usually YouTube links to lousy rock songs that I never responded to, and several messages from people I knew asking who the hateful, ranting guy with my then-fiance’s last name was, I finally asked him to please stop bothering my loved ones as it was strange. This is where he really went off the deep end.
His response was, “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE. DELETE ME RIGHT NOW!” It was at this point that I realized he didn’t even know I was engaged to his son and had added me at random by sheer coincidence. A light must have clicked on in his head because shortly after, he started posting Facebook statuses about things he only could have found out by looking at my personal Facebook timeline.
My feed started getting flooded with “NO WITCH IS MY GONNA MARRY MY SON!!!,” “MY SON IS UNDER AN EVIL SPELL CAST BY AN AGENT OF LUCIFER,” and “YOUR TAROT CARDS ARE GOING TO DRAG YOU TO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT!!! WAKE UP!!!” A couple of weeks later, at a family function, my now sister-in-law mentioned to me that her dad had phoned her up in hysterics over the fact that his son was marrying one of those “feminist witches who doesn’t respect God.”
Apparently, he actually broke down crying while speaking about this. My sister-in-law said not to worry, that he’d eventually calm down, and that he’d disowned her more times than she can count. My mother-in-law, who was present for the conversation, just stood there and rolled her eyes while listening to the story. He wasn’t invited to the wedding.
30. Checking Things Out
I’m in the Balkans region of Europe. I’m 21 years old and female. My dad is 57 years old and male. He is also a narcissist with serious mommy issues. He doesn’t perform any parental duties, then gets upset at other people when they try to. The first of these duty issues happened a very long time ago, but the two I’m about to write about happened within the last I wanna say three years or so.
During my last year of high school, I noticed that my vision had been getting quite blurry. My head would hurt so much and so often. I’d get the ache going above my eyebrows, in the middle of them and above my nose, and spread to the back of my head. My ears were ringing too from time to time. I thought it was anxiety paired with lots of stress and exhaustion.
I was in my last year of high school and there was tremendous pressure about keeping my grades up and graduating, and then getting into college. A friend of mine got a little annoyed that I was copying everything out of her notes during class. To be clear, this was not cheating on a test or anything like that. I was simply in the back desk and could not see the writing on the darn blackboards.
When I got home and complained constantly about it, all my dad did was yell at me to leave the laptop alone and spend less time on it. That was a hard thing to do when I had countless essays and seminars to write and follow, as well as online tutorials on art to practice for the college I was planning on applying to.
Months passed by and my vision got worse and worse. Until one point when my left eye got severely infected. By this time, I had already finished high school, didn’t get into college, and was on a gap year. Yet again, he refused to take me to the doctors. That mistake almost cost me everything. It wasn’t until my eye was literally fully red and bloody-like that he finally gave in.
I didn’t leave the house for weeks and had to wear sunglasses even indoors because a small lamp with weak lighting bothered my eye so much. Three incompetent doctors later, my eye worsened and my parents didn’t do a thing except try to turn the blame on me. My maternal grandparents got angry at this. My dad continued to not do a thing about it except yell at me, claim it was my fault, and stay away from me as if I was carrying the plague.
So my maternal grandfather took me to see an expensive private specialist. They had to pull lots of strings and connections to get an emergency term. The specialist took one look at me and literally gasped. She was annoyed at the incompetence of previous doctors and how they couldn’t diagnose conjunctivitis. She told me I got to her in the last possible second and that I could have fully lost my vision if I’d waited any longer.
After 13 days of the hardest antibiotics, along with dozens of creams and drops and whatnot, my eye finally healed. I also mentioned the blurry vision and, as soon as my eye was healed, she found my diopter and hooked me up with good glasses. I was ready to come home all happy that I was gonna be able to see after the scare of a lifetime. But the worst was yet to come.
How did my dad react to the news? He screamed that I was embarrassing him and emasculating him by going to the doctor with my grandfather and acting like he can’t provide for me and his family. I calmly replied that I had been telling him for years about how I had weak vision and serious headaches. His response? Getting into my face inches away and yelling that I was lying. Fun stuff.
The second part was with my teeth. My teeth are fine. But I’m tiny, with a tiny jaw, and my teeth were a bit misplaced. Nothing much, they just couldn’t fit in the small jawline. For years, I told my dad about this and waited for the money. He’d brush it off and just say, “We’ll do it later.” We never did. Again, my maternal grandparents came to the rescue.
I spent half of 2019 and over half of 2020 (AKA the parts of it where we were actually able to go out) looking for a good orthodontist. By pure chance, I learned that my mom’s childhood friend had opened a dentist’s office. We went there and booked the session for putting braces in. The discussion literally took just 20 minutes.
My dad’s response? He refused to talk to me for days. He kept whining about how I was bleeding my grandparents dry by getting them to buy me the braces and glasses. First of all, they have a special fund set aside for me. I’m not doing that, and I would never want to put them in that position. But they keep telling me and reassuring me that they always have money for me on the side and that they’re very financially skilled in budgeting and all.
My dad was so angry when I got braces that he didn’t even want to look at me or hear me talk about them. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it still hurt. Yet another screaming match ensued about how he’s allegedly been begging me for years to go to the dentist, so literally the exact opposite of what really happened. He’s now staying away from the glasses and braces talk completely, any portion of it.
The other day, he had to take me to an emergency dental appointment because I thought my braces had broken. The wire on one side pulled out of the small orthodontic part. Unfortunately, I don’t know what it’s called in English. In any event, I thought it was broken and panicked. On the way back from the hospital, my dad asked me why I never told him that I needed glasses or braces. He also asked if my braces were okay and if I was happy he had gotten them for me.
I just took a deep breath and shook my head. Narcissists really just hear what they wanna hear, and believe what they wanna believe. Don’t they?
31. 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.
32. Child’s Play
This just happened an hour ago. As an introduction, I’m currently in my second year of college. I study Early Childhood Education, also known as Preschool Education depending on where you’re from. To those who don’t have any children or are unaware, I basically spend three years of basic studies learning about early childhood development (from conception until six years old) and all the ways in which I will teach children in kindergarten or any preschool facility.
In order to do that, I must know every single milestone and phase that kids go through, including their developmental stages, including the sociology, the psychology, and the pedagogy behind all of that. I can’t really apply a method or compose a curriculum for kids of a certain age if neither one of those fit their milestones and developmental age, and if the kids lack capacity to understand the activity we’re doing.
Maybe I’m taking it too seriously, but my job will consist of teaching and taking care of someone else’s really young child, so I’m trying to stay on top of my studies and methods while also providing the kids with good, educational time and safety. Most people I describe this to view it as a pretty responsible and uncontroversial way to spend my time, right?
Well, last year, my toxic dad decided to make a comment. He pays for my college, as it’s normal here for parents to pay. And while I was figuring out some things in relation to exams, he randomly started yelling at me. He says I’m wasting his money and my time in this course. Why? He wholeheartedly believes that my college only teaches people how to change a stranger’s kid’s diaper, serve the kids lunch, and babysit.
This comes out of the mouth of a man who’s never been a real parent to anyone. Sure, he demanded to hold newborn baby me, tried feeding infant me with solids, and played with me a bit in my early childhood. He only did the fun bits. All of that stopped when I went into school. Since then, it’s been only yelling, screaming, demeaning me, and throwing money at me for allowance. And he thinks that’s the way parenting works.
His mommy taught him that men don’t parent, women do. It’s their place to be in the kitchen and be bedroom slaves—child-rearing subordinates that never talk until they’re talked to. An hour ago, he got a call from an old high school friend. The friend inquired about us since he hasn’t seen us in years, but calls often. My dad first tried to answer with my current age.
He usually misses it. I’m 21 and he’ll always be off by a year. He said “20,” and got cut off by himself instantly switching to talk about his beloved 80-year-old mother who’s an equal piece of trash to him. He spoke about her for ten minutes. Then, he said that my mom was okay and working, then finally reverted back to talking about me.
“She’s studying some before-school child caring thing, some preschool caring. Yeah, maybe that, it’s called differently there. Can you believe that even exists? I had to ask her, do they really have a college course for babysitting!” And his dumb self immediately busted into laughter. I was ready to rip off the 400-page book I’m preparing for my colloquium tomorrow.
A man who has never parented thinks he knows what child care is. A man who didn’t allow his child to be put in daycare for her own sake and who forced his wife to leave said kid in his mother’s claws thinks he knows how daycares, kindergarten, and preschool function. I’m not supposed to be speechless, but I am enraged. Holy freaking cow!
33. A Night On The Town
This is a story about a time when my dad was an entitled parent. It’s kinda long and detailed. If you’ve ever heard the song “Started From the Bottom” by Drake, you should know that my dad is a living testament to it. He grew up very poor and in a bad neighborhood, but despite all the odds he was able to graduate high school, join the armed forces, get his Bachelor’s degree, retire as a Captain, and hold a number of high-paying management positions over the years.
Because of these experiences, he’s a firm believer in the principle of hard work, and he taught my sister and me to be respectful of others because we may end up walking through similar streets someday. But he goes overboard. Paradoxically, my dad is also one of those annoying individuals who talks down to people that aren’t as accomplished as himself.
He’s really good at belittling others on the sly. He also likes to believe that he is always the smartest person in the room and that nobody except himself offers anything of substance. But sure enough, he gets on our case if we say something negative about someone else. Every single day, when he got home from work, he’d always tell stories of how he got to fire people or humiliate them.
At first, I thought the stories were funny and perfectly just. But over time, they started sounding more and more jerk-y, as if he was boasting about getting to mess with people’s lives. I honestly felt uncomfortable going out with him because he always gave people a hard time. Didn’t have the exact items he wanted? He’ll talk to your manager.
Things take longer than expected? You get an earful. Any mild inconvenience? Everyone is charged with a capital offense. He basically walked and talked as if the world owed him every single thing that he wanted. One day, he pushed things too far. My family and I went out to eat at an IHOP on a Friday night. For the sake of the story, let’s pretend my name is “Slim.”
I’m still in my work uniform when we go out. It had been a good day at work, which is kind of an important detail. When we get in, the hostess says it would be about a 15 to 20 minute wait. My family is cool with it, and I’m cool with it. Not even ten minutes later, my dad tells the hostess that we’ve been waiting for 20 minutes and he demanded to know what was taking so long.
Seriously, Dad? You don’t see the 30 other families packed into the restaurant’s waiting area? Do you not hear the noise? I didn’t say anything, but my sister and I gave each other the knowing look. That “Dad’s about to start on that nonsense again” look. The hostess, obviously having an already difficult night, maintains her customer service smile and tells him that it shouldn’t be much longer from now and will let us know immediately.
He stands against the wall. Five minutes later, a family pays for their meal and leaves, and we are directed to a table. My dad tells the server he doesn’t want to sit at that particular table, and asks for a booth on the other side. The hostess hesitates for a moment before telling him that the server responsible for that section has a huge party, and that we may get a delay in service if we sit there.
My dad tells her to put us there anyway. I notice a young man flying back and forth to the kitchen and his tables in our row. I assumed this was our server. Sure enough, this man comes over, introduces himself, and takes our drink orders. Eight minutes later, we haven’t gotten our drinks. My dad flags him down and asks why our drinks haven’t come.
Slightly reasonable, I say. The server apologizes and gets our drinks. He returns, only to give us the wrong drinks. No big deal, honest mistake right? Nope, my dad is angry and sharply tells him to go re-do our drinks. The server asks what they were supposed to be once more. I can see he’s a bit overwhelmed, and so I just politely tell him what I wanted. That’s when my dad began to lose it.
My dad tells him to write it down since he’s “too slow to remember.” Everyone looked at him in horror. Even the server was taken aback by this comment. This didn’t seem to faze my dad, though. He returns with the drinks and takes our orders. My dad again tells him to write it down. My family is embarrassed and tries to lessen the hostility in any way possible.
After the server leaves, my mom and sister berate my dad, telling him he’s embarrassing us. Of course, my dad doubles down telling us “the customer is always right.” Some time passes and our food hasn’t arrived. I see the server is running back and forth to the massive party in the neighboring room. I think there were about 20 people in there, plus the three other families that he had to attend to in his section.
To make sure he wasn’t leaving the rest of us out, he asked a fellow server to see if we wanted refills and the like. The following interaction occurred. Fellow Server: “Hey, I’m Fellow Server. Just checking to make sure you’re all taken care of here. Can I get y’all any refills?” Dad: “Where’s our original server? Why couldn’t he come do this himself?
Me, in my head: Again, are you freaking blind?? Fellow Server: “He’s currently bringing out food and drink orders to another party. I will assist him for the time being.” Dad: “That’s disrespectful! Why are they getting their food first? We’ve been waiting for ten minutes for our food. Where is it??” Fellow Server: “Uhhhmm, I can go find out real quick. Give me a moment, sir.”
Dad: “Hurry up!” Fellow Server raises an eyebrow and leaves. Me: “Dad, chill out. It’s clearly a busy night for them.” Dad: “Don’t back-sauce me, Slim. You don’t want to start with me.” A few minutes pass, and our original server comes back with our food and apologizes for the wait. Original Server: “Hey everyone, I apologize for that wait. Taking care of a massive party, haha.”
Dad: “That’s no excuse. We’ve been waiting!” Mom: *nudges Dad* “Hunny, stop.” Original Sever: “Terribly sorry about that sir, really.” Our original server starts handing out the food. Dad: “Are you kidding me right now? My food is cold! We’ve been waiting ten minutes for our food to come. How long has our food been sitting out?
It should be noted that my dad ordered something that really didn’t need to be served warm. Also, he only touched the plate. Original Server: “I… I don’t think it’s been out too long, sir. We have a heating lamp that…” Dad: “Are you sweating?” Original Server: “Sir?” Dad: “You’re sweating everywhere!” Original Server: “I’ve been running back and forth. Not to mention the kitchen is hot.”
Dad: “I don’t want to hear excuses! You’re sweaty, and you’re getting it all over my food! Get me your manager, NOW!” Our jaws hit the floor. Our original server quietly goes for his manager. My dad, all angry-faced, starts talking about the “terrible” service and our “lazy, disgusting, and unprofessional” server. Some people are looking over at us.
My mom and sister looked like they wanted the earth to swallow them up. Meanwhile, I’m just boiling on the inside. Our original server comes back with the store manager. Store Manager: “Hello everyone, is everything okay?” My dad proceeds to lay into the service and the server. Dad: “I have a number of things to say. Tonight I have had the worst service ever.”
Off to a great start! He continued: “My family and I have waited on drinks and they came out wrong. Our server gets another server to do HIS JOB for him because he’s too lazy to do it himself. When we get our food, our food is cold. Apparently, we weren’t a priority for him. On top of that, he’s sweating in our food! That server has been a lazy, good-for-nothing, incompetent server the entire night and I’ve had it with him! I want our meals comped and this server needs to be fired!”
Store Manager: *wide-eyed* “Oh goodness… sorry about the trouble sir…” Our original server is standing next to the store manager throughout all of this, and he looks absolutely floored. He looked like he wanted to shed a tear. Store Manager: “Here. I’ll take care of your meal, and here are some 30% off coupons.” But before he could continue with his offer, I decided that I had to do something. So, I cut him off.
Me (standing up): “You know what, before all that, I need to say something.” Me to Dad (paraphrasing): “I got to say, I’m impressed with how far you’re willing to go to be an absolute mega jerk at everyone’s expense. This entire night, and every other time we go out in public, whether it’s to eat or buy groceries, you make it your life’s mission to make everyone extremely uncomfortable.”
That got everyone’s attention. I continued: “What is it that makes you feel like you can do this? Is it the money you make? What about all that hot garbage you talk about humility and being respectful to everyone because we might end up walking similar streets? Oh, it only applies to US, while you contradict everything you say? You’re absolutely disgraceful! How dare you embarrass yourself and your family with your abhorrent behavior!”
Dad: “Are you cussing at me?” But I couldn’t stop there. Me: “Shut up, I’m talking now! We’ve heard your voice all darn night. Lord knows I earned the right to speak! You see this uniform? You know I work at a restaurant too. You even told me to be careful when it comes to pretentious people. Yet here you are, behaving like one of them! This man has been running around doing his absolute best trying to make sure everyone is taken care of.
“He even recruited another server in order to make sure we were good and looked after. But if you’d take your head out your own behind, you’d understand that. But no. We didn’t even wait long for our food. You’re acting like we’re the only people in the packed restaurant, and everyone’s watching you be a jerk about it! Yes, the man is sweating, but none of that sweat touched the food, as he brought it on a tray AWAY FROM HIS BODY!”
“We are sick and tired of you acting like a snobby arrogant idiot every time we go out somewhere. You’re not impressing anybody and no one wants to be seen with you!” I then did something that I kinda regret after my anger subsided. Me (at the peak of my anger): “And your food… *pushes plate into his lap* …DIDN’T EVEN NEED TO BE WARMED UP, IT’S A FREAKING SALAD!”
At this moment, I snap out of it. I realize that the entire restaurant has gone quiet. The manager, the server, and everyone around us is looking at me, absolutely stunned. The big party was all eyes. My mom and sister looked like they turned to stone. My dad’s expression is something that has now been forever etched into my mind.
I was 6’2” tall at the time and was really non-confrontational and soft-spoken. So for me to get as loud and imposing as I had was an unfamiliar sight for my folks to see. My dad, with the plate of salad dumped in his lap, looked like he wanted to beat my behind, poop bricks, and crawl under the table all at once. It was unforgettable.
I wanted to drive my point home, so I dug into my wallet and pulled out $120 from the tips I had earned at work that night. I handed half of it to the store manager and told him not to comp the meal and that it was on me. The other half, I gave to the original server and apologized for causing trouble. I looked at my family and told them I had lost my appetite and that I’ll be waiting in the car.
The restaurant was murmuring when I left, and I sat in the car trying to process what the heck I had just done. But what happened next was the most surprising part of all. We didn’t talk about it afterward, but this event seemed to have clicked something in my dad’s head, as I never again heard him give people unwarranted trouble again. So yea, my dad was a flaming entitled jerk, but then I put him in his place and he changed his ways.
And everyone clapped (just kidding). To end this, I wanted to add a proverb of sorts from the Netherlands. “A customer is king as long as they behave in a royal fashion.”
34. 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.
35. Drinking The Night Away
My obnoxious father-in-law randomly decided to ask my husband if I had a drinking problem…because I had two glasses of something very light at dinner when he was here visiting and I had work the next morning. I know, I know, the horror!! Maybe be concerned if you saw me more than once every few years and I had a true problem or if I was harming myself or other people by driving a vehicle afterward?
But I’m a 32-year-old ADULT having a casual drink at my own darn dinner table. I’m gonna enjoy my weekday drink and go to work the next morning completely unphased, because two glasses of something very light doesn’t even get me at all tipsy. It’s especially unfortunate, too, because this was the first time that we saw him in almost two years after an awful trip, and I was actually trying my hardest to give him a second chance.
But nope. He really is a piece of trash human.
36. What’s In A Name?
My wife and I had a name picked out for our daughter only a few months into the pregnancy. It resonated with us from the start. We did not tell anyone the name until after the baby was born. This is our first child. Everyone seems to like the name, including my siblings, uncles, aunts, and my mother. It is a very pretty sounding and relatively unique name, at least where we live. There’s just one problem…
My dad absolutely hates the name for cultural reasons. He has always been quite objectively a narcissist, as well as emotionally manipulative and damaging. We are culturally Hindu, and the name has some Arabic and Islamic roots, which is a problem for my dad. Ironically, the name also has many other roots, including Sanskrit (which is Hindu), as well as Basque and Japanese.
None of those details matter to my dad, though. In his mind, he cannot stand that it is associated with another religion in any way. Even though my wife and I are not particularly fond of the culture associated with the name, we really don’t care that the name may be associated with it historically. We just happen to love the name.
My dad has been harassing me nonstop since we told him about this plan. And, as you can imagine, this is the last thing we want to deal with, on top of the pressures and stresses of dealing with a newborn that we already have. All this went down about a day after the baby was born. He is saying he can’t sleep because he is so upset over the name.
He has called it a disgrace to our heritage and culture. He is now saying he won’t talk to me at all or be involved in our lives anymore until we change the name. Typical manipulation tactic. I basically told him the name is our decision, we are not changing it, and we don’t want him involved at all if this is how he plans to behave.
I also told him not to speak to anyone on my wife’s side of the family about this. I have not been getting my wife too involved in this because, again, this is the last thing I want on her mind. I have learned to deal with his manipulation tactics, but odds are that he won’t come around on this one. However, we made it clear that we are not willing to change the name.
I asked a lot of people for their thoughts on this situation, and the clear unanimous response has been that I should cut my father off. That is essentially what has since happened. He confirmed that he will no longer speak to me or be involved in my daughter’s life until I change the name. I simply said, “Okay.” He hasn’t spoken to us since and I have no intention of contacting him.
It is fairly easy to manage so far, since he doesn’t live in the same city as us and can’t visit anyway because of the strict restrictions here right now. He has done this before and usually caves within a few months. He may reach out in a few months and, if he does, I will have to set some very strict boundaries for him that he is not allowed to cross, or else I will go full no contact with him and he will not get to see his granddaughter.
37. Fighting Back
A little background: My dad has had severe anger issues throughout my entire life. Because of this and how he’d take out his anger, I grew up to be scared of his temper. He’s a cool guy when he’s not mad, but he just gets super mad a lot. Even now in my mid-20s, I’m scared of his temper. I was trained throughout my childhood to just keep quiet and keep my head down until he was done with his fit.
However, my husband and I moved in with him a couple of months ago to save money so we could eventually buy a house for ourselves. My dad can’t stand my husband though. That’s because my husband doesn’t act like I do, i.e. timid when my dad is around. So my dad hates him for that and will go out of his way to pick fights with him. My husband usually doesn’t argue back per se, he only tries to explain or defend himself. It’s honestly a terrifying situation.
I’ve been very bad at standing up for him before, because honestly I’m just terrified and my natural response is to shut down when in these situations. I know this makes me a bad wife, but I’ve been trying very hard to do better. I’m just so scared. We’re moving into an apartment in about a month. It’s already lined up, and now we just have to wait for the previous tenants to move out.
I also found out last week that I’m pregnant. My husband and I haven’t told anyone yet, and we don’t plan on doing so until we are past at least the 12-week mark. Now here’s what happened yesterday. So for the past few days, my dad has been in a really bad mood practically all the time. Yesterday, he started yelling at my husband over something to do with the mail.
I don’t really know what started it to be fully honest, but my dad was screaming at my husband at the top of his lungs. My husband said he had had enough, and that he wasn’t going to stand for my dad treating him like that anymore. That just made things so much worse. It really set off my dad and he tried to get in his face to scream at him even louder. I immediately stepped in between them and stayed there as a physical barrier to make sure nothing bad happened.
And for the first time in my life, I stood up to my dad. I wish I could say it was a loud confrontation, full of righteous fury, just like in my most satisfying daydreams. But I can’t. In a soft but audible voice, I stood there between them and told my dad he shouldn’t, and couldn’t, yell at my husband like that. I explained that there was no reason to yell at him and that what he was accusing my husband of was untrue.
He then tried to argue with me, turning the target of his yelling onto me, but I kept my head down and simply repeated myself. I repeated myself again and again as I sent my husband into another room to keep him out of the crossfire. My dad tried to argue, but I repeated myself until he retreated into his room. I just sat there after they left. I was shaking so badly I couldn’t use my hands, trying desperately to not cry.
My stomach has been in knots since then, and I’m a little worried about the baby. I’ve been feeling cramps since the argument. I’m just glad that I’ve got an appointment in a couple of days. I think he tried to apologize to me afterwards. He even offered to pay for an item that my husband and I have been saving up for. I told him we weren’t sure we were even going to get it anymore, and thanked him for the thought.
We’ve all just been kind of ignoring the whole incident since then, even though I’m still feeling so tense because of it. When I tell this story, I never know if I’m asking for advice, reassurance, or what. But if you’ve read this far, I just want to say thank you for letting me get this off my chest. It’s been a wild ride, to say the least.
38. Not Seeing Eye To Eye
My father-in-law completely overstepped a line today and I need to vent about it. My husband wanted to go up with the kids for a long weekend to the in-laws who live 3 hours away on a remote horse breeding property. For context, our kids are 15-month-old twins. Now, we couldn’t go up for the full three days because the night before I got a call letting me know that my grandmother and last living grandparent had passed.
She lived on the other side of the world with no family there, so we stayed behind to support my parents and let them have a day with the babies as a distraction while I looked at some funeral and estate issues on their behalf. Last little bit of backstory: I have OCD, depression, and anxiety. I’m very open about it and very strict about my management of it.
I have two different support teams, medication, a mothers’ support program, and a child programme so that my kids get two days of free childcare for two months so that I can apply for work and clean and recover with less chaos from the kids. Okay, now that you know all that, here goes. So we come up to see the in-laws yesterday. Things seem okay at first—but it was just the calm before the storm.
We soon realize that nothing in their house is baby-proofed and the only thing they have for the kids are some un-mattressed portacots and some of the toys my husband and his sister had when they were infants. My mother-in-law spent most of the first day just trying to force-feed my kids and tell them that they needed to eat more.
At dinner, I ask if there’s anything I could get from the kitchen for them as I cook their meals at home so we didn’t bring any instant food up. She says dinner will be ready in an hour and till then there’s nothing for them to have. Ten minutes later, my husband goes in desperately asking for just bread and butter or something so we can feed them before bath time.
She starts yelling at him and claiming that we’re pressuring her and that there’s nothing ready and they need to wait. Finally, she calms down and we can get the kids some food. They get fed, and then my mother-in-law once again starts insisting that they’re still hungry, even when the boys are pushing the food out of their mouths.
I take them away, bathe them, give them their bedtime story, and they get left to go to sleep like they always do at home. I come to check on them five minutes later—and I couldn’t believe what I saw. My mother-in-law is in there feeding them bloody apple purée! Whatever. I let it go. But now we get to what just happened today. You might have a hard time believing it.
The boys woke up at 3:00 in the morning from pain and we couldn’t settle them until close to 5:00. Guess it was synchronized teething and growth spurts, yay twins! In the morning, my in-laws mention that the syringe we use to dole out pain medication sucks in air, so we should “be careful.” My husband makes a light joke about their tone being a bit intense, and at that point, my father-in-law absolutely flips his lid.
He yells at my husband, saying “When we’re OFFERING ADVICE (he wasn’t), we’re not insulting you! We have more than 30 years of experience with this stuff! You don’t like the tone? GET OVER IT!” We were shocked, but let it go at first. However, I warned my husband that if his dad had another outburst like that, we were leaving.
Afternoon: one of the kids bites me. He’s never done it before, but he leaves a mark. I tell my father-in-law about this and, to my utter shock, he says: “You have to bite him back. It’s the only way to make it stop. We did it to your husband when he did that.” I calmly replied: “I’m not going to bite my infant child, thank you very much.” I should have seen the red flags right there.
Lunch time comes. We take the boys out for a walk in very padded fur-lined onesies. Once we get back, I peel them off the kids and leave them in just their nappies because they were red-skinned underneath from being so warm. My father-in-law comes over to “help feed them” and immediately says: “Dress him.” I reply: “It’s fine, it’s just for lunch.”
He shouts: “Dress him now. He’s cold!” I say: “No he isn’t, it’s just for lunch.” He says: “He NEEDS to be BUNDLED UP!” I say: “Father-in-law, I would appreciate not being spoken to like that.” He repeats: “DRESS HIM NOW!” I reply: “If this is really this big an issue, I’m more than happy to just leave.” At this point, my husband steps in.
This now devolves into my father-in-law saying our routine for the kids “doesn’t work for anyone.” He also claimed that the kids are a disaster and that we don’t know what we’re doing. At this point, I was seeing red. I tell him he sees the kids at most four times a year, so how the heck would he have any idea what my routine is like when they’re home in a place where their mother is RESPECTED and able to be their mother without people interfering.
My husband is physically holding me back at this point. I start packing up the car and loading up the kids while my mother-in-law is sobbing that she doesn’t want us to go. My father-in-law is then telling my husband that my depression is making me “dangerous” around my kids, and that I’m clearly not coping well or capable of handling this job.
I missed the rest because I was clicking in the kids’ seatbelts in the car, but my husband came out and told me that he had asked his father to apologize. I told him: “I don’t need a disingenuous apology.” Nevertheless, my father-in-law quickly comes out and unemotionally states: “I’m sorry if I upset you with what I said, but if I think something needs to be said I will. At least we’ve cleared the air.” I scoffed and just walked back to my kids.
I’m furious. I’ve never been so darn insulted in all my life. And in the six years I’ve been with my husband, I have always tried my hardest to be respectful when we visit his parents. I would help with the chores and the horses. I would travel up to help my mother-in-law when she was super mentally ill and I was pregnant. I’ve already had my sister-in-law talk serious smack to them about me because “my house isn’t clean enough to be up to her personal standards.”
And even after all that, my mother-in-law still had the gall to text us when we got home and argue that her husband was in the right, and that we should be more open to people trying to give us advice. Like, as if she didn’t see the way he acted towards us? Yea, sorry but I’m not changing the way I live my life or raise my kids just because someone thinks I’m a bad parent when they see us four times a year at best and can’t even tell which twin is which.
39. 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.
40. Bad Roommates
My father-in-law got kicked out and still doesn’t understand why. This happened a few weeks ago now and I figured I’d post about it to kinda cope with the situation. So late September or early October, my father-in-law moved in with my husband, our two-year-old, and myself. It went okay at first. My husband had told me that his dad wouldn’t use his substances in our house.
I had grown up with someone who had a serious substance problem and I wasn’t at all comfortable with the idea that my child would be around something similar. That and him keeping his room clean were the only rules that we had. He did good with those rules for the first week or so…and then things went south really fast.
My father-in-law has always had a problem with me. I didn’t graduate high school because my mental illness got to the point that I had to go to the hospital. I had “ugly” face piercings, and I took his baby boy away from him in his eyes. Just an entire list that any normal person would have gotten over at some point because I make my husband happy.
He just couldn’t let it go. For months, he would make sly comments under his breath about my parenting, about how the food I cooked wasn’t to his liking, or about how I only cleaned after my toddler went to bed. I had told my husband for a while that I just wanted him gone. I had my problems with him. It’s not really a big deal, but to me it was, for Christmas 2019.
He got my husband a $400 radio that he had put time and effort into looking for. Nothing for my child. And for me? He got me something that cost $3 at the dollar store. He literally saw it two weeks later and just thought “This will be good.” It doesn’t matter, but he clearly just held his son in a higher regard than his grandson.
I would say about a month ago, he blew up. My toddler was being loud because he liked the cartoon that was on TV and my father-in-law got upset about this. He had been sleeping for the past four days at that point, and I was apparently the reason that his sleep was interrupted. So he said “This is garbage, I’m trying to sleep. Make that freaking kid shut the heck up.”
I blew. I told him to get his stuff and leave. I texted my husband to get him out or the kid and I wouldn’t be returning home. My husband sided with me and kicked out his dad. Yeah, I may have been a jerk about the situation, but later that night we were looking for evidence for confirmation of my suspicion about him using illicit substances in our house.
Turns out I was right. He was not only making his substances in our house, but was also using when no one was home. I was enraged and saw red. I blocked him on all social media, and advised my husband to do the same. He hasn’t, because he wants his dad to get his stuff out of our house first. So at this point, our house is ours again.
Now, he is apparently still talking smack about me to people, and can’t seem to understand that it was his actions that made him homeless. This man literally does not take responsibility for his actions. He blames me for his actions, but I had the last laugh.
41. Doctor’s Orders
Background: I’m 20 weeks pregnant, for starters. This past Friday, I went to the ER because I swell up horribly, and when I’m laying down I can’t breathe. They don’t know what is wrong with me, but they put me on bed rest for a week. And I’m now only allowed to lift 15 pounds for the rest of my pregnancy. This is where the real story begins.
I was sitting in the kitchen with my sister-in-law, waiting for my mother-in-law to finish changing so that I could take them to the tanning bed. I’m just sitting in the lobby reading while I wait on them, and out of nowhere my father-in-law starts attacking us about how we’re lazy and how we never do anything. I cut him off because I can’t do anything right now.
I tell him I’m on bed rest for the next week, and start struggling to breathe after the second sentence. I then tell him that I can’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds for the rest of my pregnancy. He completely ignores the first part, and says there are plenty of things I can do aside from lifting heavy stuff. My sister-in-law and I both tell him that I’m on bed rest.
He then starts tearing into my sister-in-law, because she’s allegedly lazy too. My sister-in-law has asthma, they won’t fix the air conditioner, and she’s been sick with food poisoning for the last three days. She has been babysitting one of her parents’ coworkers’ kids every single day aside from that. She also does everything they ask of her. Her younger 14-year-old brother never gets called lazy or gets asked to do anything by them.
He lays in bed all day, sleeping and playing video games. When my father-in-law is done with his attacks on her, he jumps back onto me. So, I just walk out, telling him I’m following my doctor’s advice so that my baby will be born alive.
42. Trick Or Treat
This is gonna be short and bitter, but I just need to rant and thought that some of y’all out there might find this story interesting. So my husband and I flew to Florida for a short vacation and to see my step-son who had just moved down here a couple of months ago. Since my husband’s mom also lives here and my husband’s birthday coincided with the visit, I decided that it might be nice if I treated the four of us and my mother-in-law’s long-term boyfriend out to a pretty fancy and not cheap dinner to celebrate the occasion.
We had a lovely dinner, successfully embarrassing my husband with a special birthday dessert complete with singing and all. When we were all finished, I clearly paid the check, as I had promised to do. I did this despite my step-son trying to give me a $100 bill toward paying the check, which I appreciatively but absolutely rejected. I was very touched by the gesture, but more mention it because the exchange was not subtle. It was witnessed by everyone, so it was abundantly clear that I was the one paying the check and treating everyone to this lovely celebratory dinner.
My husband then excused himself to go to the bathroom and we all started getting ready to leave the table, too. Just then, my mother-in-law’s boyfriend says “Thank you guys!” Wait, guys?? Who does he mean by “guys”? My husband wasn’t even present at this point, and I had obviously paid for everything myself. Guys? Okay, whatever. Don’t be so sensitive, right? But then, he dug in deeper.
We go to get our cars and as we are waiting for the valet to bring them around, my mother-in-law’s boyfriend goes over to my husband and thanks him directly, with a warm handshake, for buying him dinner! My husband tries to tell him that it was all me, and that he didn’t have anything to do with it, but the boyfriend starts arguing: Oh, well yeah, but he knows it was really my husband and he appreciated it!!
What in the heck? I was standing right behind them, clearly hearing every word they were both saying. He didn’t say another word about it to me directly, even when my husband corrected him again, and even when I hugged him goodbye. I know I should get over it, but I’m just annoyed and offended and insulted and feeling affronted on behalf of all women, and I’m hoping this rant gets me through it so I can stop thinking about it while I’m on vacation!
43. A House Divided Against Itself
This is the story of how my terrible father-in-law finally got called out on his nonsense. He always tries to make my wife and mother-in-law out to be the bad guys. A bit of backstory: My wife and I got married about six months ago. Due to some unfortunate goings-on, we’ve been living with her parents while we get our life together.
Her father has always had a few issues here and there, but tonight’s story took the cake. My mother-in-law is not very tech-savvy, and asked my wife to help her with a computer problem. While my father-in-law has always dealt with these in the past, he tends to be very snarky and condescending when doing so. So when my mother-in-law asked my wife to help her, she was more than happy to oblige.
My father-in-law was livid. He wanted to always be the one to fix the problems. My wife, who is very non-confrontational, asked him to let her have some space and she would be more than happy to take care of it this time. For whatever reason, this did not sit well with him one bit. He started calling her all sorts of nasty names—and then it took a disturbing turn.
He eventually threatened to slap her. I was not present at the time, and I only found out about this later. I lost my mind when she told me about it afterward. “How dare you think you’re going to threaten my wife? You will never, ever lay a single finger on her, do you hear me?” This of course escalated the situation even further. The funny part? My mother-in-law had our back the entire time, and even let loose a few shots of her own.
My father-in-law then starts trying to flip the blame back towards my wife. I kid you not, he says “If you weren’t so nasty, I wouldn’t have threatened you.” This, of course, caused more of a shouting match. Finally, my father-in-law says, “Then you two can just leave.” We all began immediately laughing at him. My mother-in-law is the breadwinner of their house.
My father-in-law can hardly be bothered to move from his chair, let alone pay for anything in the house. My mother-in-law tells him that we are staying right there and that there is not a thing he can do about it. My wife is still understandably freaked out about the whole situation, and I imagine that I won’t be feeling much better when the adrenaline wears off.
But I feel like it ended up being a small win. Plus, my mother-in-law is cool as can be!
44. 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.
45. Going Away For A Long Time
Recently, my dad was apprehended and taken to a secure hospital for mental health just before Christmas. He abandoned me as a baby and has five children who he doesn’t see. He has been officially diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and is deteriorating fast with his newly developed case of dementia. The craziest part? He’ll never get out again.
It’s clear that he will now spend the rest of his life in a secure unit. My mother has now changed her name back to her maiden name to cut off any apparent connection to him. She is also changing all the bills into her own name. She is done with him forever. I am also done with him forever. And yet, there’s one thing that’s still bothering me. I am starting to feel a pang of sadness for him. He is all alone, locked up, and no one wants to see him.
Should I go and see him one last time? Or will it be too painful? My dad isn’t fully “gone” yet. But the social worker said he is deteriorating by the week now. Oh yes, and it turns out my dear father fought my mother in court over maintenance for me and my brother. And because he paid for the best lawyers he could, he was ordered to pay 50 pence a week for us for our mother to take care of us while he didn’t have to.
As a result, my mother suffered for years and we lived in poverty. Meanwhile, he drove Jaguars and carried on with his fancy lifestyle.
46. Careful With His Words
This is an old story, but I’m thinking about it a lot these days as I’m trying to process the downfall of my relationship with my father-in-law. My husband and I are currently in full no-contact mode with his family. I always knew that my father-in-law and his second wife were very conservative. I’m from the south and it happens. My husband also warned me that his paternal grandmother in particular is extremely hateful towards certain minority groups.
My extended family is from the Midwest and I always thought that people like her were just a made up caricature of a Southern person. Unfortunately, she is very real and has an unnecessary slur for every single person in the world who isn’t both white and Catholic. I started putting her in her place when she said slurs in front of me, and let her know that she is a hateful person.
The family just seemed uncomfortable during these moments, but never said anything. My father-in-law always swore that he wasn’t hateful like her. Yet, most times where I attended any kind of family function with them, the n-word slipped. My father-in-law is very fond of telling a story involving his mother yelling the n-word at someone.
Gross. My father-in-law tried to tell me that this is “just how she is,” and that I needed to accept it because she’s old. I reminded him that my own step-grandmother married an African-American man in the 1960’s and is the same age as her, so age is not an excuse. I let them know that I expected them to be respectful during family gatherings and that I wouldn’t tolerate the continued use of insensitive slurs in front of me.
Christmas is a big deal for my in-laws and we used to always go over to my father-in-law’s place on Boxing Day. A few years ago, we were all sitting around after opening presents. My father-in-law began to tell the dreaded n-word story. I got up in front of everyone, and visibly walked straight to the front door and walked out. I went to my mother’s house.
My husband wasn’t in the room at the time and it took a full thirty minutes before anyone noticed that I was no longer in the house. The kicker? My husband and I were supposed to accompany my father-in-law and the rest of the family on a vacation a week later. I told them that under no circumstances would I travel with them without a full apology for this incident.
My father-in-law came to my mother’s place the next day and “apologized,” though it was mostly rug sweeping. I will never forget the look in his eyes though, or the sneer on his face. I know now that this was the beginning of the end of my relationship with him, because I actually held him accountable for his bad actions and I made him bother to apologize for being a hurtful, hateful human being.
I know now that this moment sparked his manipulating my husband and attempting to break up my marriage. If someone swears up and down they aren’t hateful, but still uses hateful words and laughs about it… then yea, they’re just hateful.
47. Coming Of Age
My father has controlled me for 17 years, and thinks I’ll keep contact after I turn 18. Here’s a bit of insight: My biological mom and biological dad divorced when I was around three or five years old. My mom remarried around that time and my dad remarried during my freshman year of high school. My biological dad is very controlling, narcissistic, and emotionally manipulative.
My dad has always been entitled and narcissistic. He loves to have control over anyone who he thinks is lesser than him. He’s had control over me, my brother, my mom, and my brother’s mom. Although I would love to mention the awful things he’s done to my brother, this story is about how he’s treated me and my mom.
My mom always told me it was a mistake that she married my dad. She would tell my step dad that I would end up finding out how awful my dad is eventually. She was right. My dad would control my mom. Who she saw, what she would wear, where she would go, and more. A couple of vivid stories that I remember involve times when my mom was wearing a tank top and she wanted to leave the house.
He told her to go and change and that she couldn’t wear that out of the house. He would also prevent her from going to church so that she wouldn’t meet any other men. She ended up meeting my step dad at work. Growing up, I was kind of a daddy’s girl. I didn’t see my dad as evil until I got older. In middle school, I had a cat named Mr.Kittles.
Mr. Kittles would run away often. One of the ways he got out was jumping a large white fence in the backyard. I was outside with my dad and Mr. Kittles one time and I saw him trying to jump the fence. I grabbed a hold of him before he got over. My dad told me just to let the cat go because “he clearly didn’t want to be here.” My dad ended up taking him to the vet without a carrier, even though we had one, and I never saw him again.
There were also times when he was blatantly offensive around me and even towards me. I came out to my step mom (his wife) one time and she immediately outed me to my dad even though I had specifically asked her not to. He was upset with me and banned me from having sleepovers with anyone, including the best friend I’d had for eight years at the time.
I cried for three days and my mental health was awful. I was later hospitalized because of my mental health and I told them he was emotionally harmful to me. He got mad at me for this, and told me not to call him that even though it was true. Once, I bought a cropped hoodie and I was feeling confident about my stomach because I wasn’t as chubby then.
He told me to never wear that at his house and never to bring it over again. I continue to wear a different crop hoodie that is oversized on me. I posted a mental health positivity post on Twitter and mentioned my experience with depression. I mentioned an object that he had in the house, and the thoughts that I had whenever I saw it.
In the post, I never specified what the object was. Nevertheless, he found the post and told me to deactivate all of my social media accounts because “it made him look bad.” That was the first time I ever said no to him in my entire life. He told me not to post stuff like that because I’m still severely depressed and that it was a bad idea.
I’ve made so much progress and don’t consider myself to have major depression anymore. He insists that using social media will make me want to harm myself, even though I haven’t had any desire to do anything like that in many months, so it would be a very small chance that I’d ever want to again. I’ve come such a long way.
I wanted to stay home alone this weekend and my mom made me ask my dad for permission. I was terrified to say anything to him because his immediate answer would obviously be no. I have a car and a job, and I go to school for culinary, so I can easily make my own meals. His reaction was so over the top and I know he’s going to yell at me when I go over next.
Basically, he asked my mom if me saying alone was a joke to him because of my history with depression. Honestly, I’m much more depressed when I’m at my dad’s place than I am alone. I’m absolutely miserable there. I’m 17 years old and he expects me to keep in contact with him every second of my life and see him constantly even after I turn 18.
He told me I should continue to live with him when I go off to college. I told him that that is not happening. He always tells me that I’m able to make my own choices, but what he really means is that I can make my own choices if it means I will “choose” to be with him. These stories aren’t even all of them. There’s so much more that he’s done and said. So much he’s done to make me and my mom feel guilty in various ways at many different points in our lives.
He has always had constant control of me and I’m now saving my own money to get my own things and live on my own. I’m done with him and I’m just waiting until I can finally escape for good.
48. When One Door Opens, Another One Closes
Three years ago, my father-in-law decided that he wanted to bring over his new wife’s kids from another country. He barely made enough money to cover all of his own expenses, but the wife must have insisted on it. Because my father-in-law and his wife didn’t make enough money to be sponsors on their own, they asked my husband if he could help.
Except they lied up their behinds about the repercussions of being a sponsor and downplayed the seriousness and full extent of what they were asking him to do. Luckily, my family had gone through the sponsorship process with my brother-in-law several years ago, so I saw right through their lies and warned my husband before it was too late.
I informed my husband about what responsibility he would actually be taking on, and he rightfully didn’t want to risk anything for two people that he had never even met in his life. A few days ago, it was brought up in conversation with my husband’s stepdad. He casually mentioned that my father-in-law and his wife had told my husband’s grandparents that it was all my fault that he wouldn’t help.
I probably would have cared a little back then, but now it just cracks me up at how entitled and delusional this guy can be. I’m so glad he has shown his true colors time and time again, because we can easily shut down his unreasonable requests for money or assistance now without hesitation or guilt. I don’t mind being viewed as the bad guy, and luckily my husband will always prioritize our relationship over his family.
It was a journey to get here, but here we are.
49. 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.
50. Sounds Like Someone Is Unwell
My future father-in-law is using my disease against me. I’m really stressed out and frustrated, because my long term boyfriend’s family is going to a wedding this weekend and I stated that I didn’t want to come along because I have multiple sclerosis. Recently, some new studies came out about further complications that people in my condition can have and autoimmune diseases if they are exposed to certain things at public gatherings.
Plus, I think having a big wedding during a global health crisis isn’t a great idea to begin with. My future father-in-law is now holding it against me that I previously went to some political protests. I feel like my ability to self govern my own health is being taken away from me. Like I should be able to make decisions on what I feel comfortable doing and no one else should have a say in that.
But nevertheless, my future father-in-law is trying to guilt trip me into going to this indoor wedding. I got diagnosed with my condition earlier this year, in April, and it’s already hard enough having MS and other health problems. So having someone that doesn’t understand what it’s like tell me the “right” and “wrong” ways to be sick, it just makes me wanna slam my head against the wall in frustration.
My boyfriend is 100% supportive of me, and is trying his best to explain the situation to his father. We’ve sent my future father-in-law a series of links to relevant articles and studies. My boyfriend is a people pleaser and loves his family, so he doesn’t allow himself to be stern with them. As a result, I just come off as a jerk when I get involved. Usually I don’t really give a hoot, but for some reason him trying to use my own health against me really bothers me.
51. The Art Of The Conceal
My dad is like a bull in a China shop when it comes to feelings, and I’m done coddling him. I’m going through a big, painful growth period and I’ve decided that I’m done living my life for other people. I’m very deeply taking stock of what it is that makes me happy and what I like instead of what I think others will approve of. Also, I’m almost 30 freakin’ years old, so I’m really past the point when I should have already done this.
As a symbol of my growth, I added on to an old tattoo. The tattoo is on my upper thigh and is only visible when I’m in shorts, shorter skirts and dresses, or bathing suits. Not that it matters. Because I love it and I decided that I wanted to add art to my body. I did a lot of research to find the right artist who specializes in exactly what I wanted, then went by myself to get it done.
And the experience was very cathartic. I didn’t tell my parents about the tattoo. Didn’t tell them what I planned on doing, or when it was done. And I only started wearing shorts around them once it was fully healed. I wasn’t afraid of their reactions, but I didn’t want them to try and talk me out of it. I showed the tattoo to my mom a few days before I showed it to my dad.
He saw it today and just goes “You got a new tattoo” and I said, well it’s the same one, I just added to it. And then he replied: “You know, you’re starting to look really promiscuous.” I was able to just ignore that comment in the moment, but I felt really awful about it afterwards. Because whatever I thought the reaction would be, I didn’t expect my dad to call me something like that.
I still love my tattoo, but I don’t think he’s realized yet that he has just added more padding to the wedge that was already there between us.
52. Four Weddings And A Funeral
I work for the troops, which is semi-important to the story. My sister is going through the same training that I went through. With that said, I only get x amount of vacation days a month each month and, like most things, I can’t go into the negatives of accumulated days. My sister is graduating from boot camp next week and wants me to go and attend the ceremony.
One issue is that I’m getting married in March, and I’m taking a lot of vacation days for the celebration. But also, I want to be there for my sister on her big day. But due to financial and vacation day issues, I can’t go to both the graduation and my wedding. I’m going back home for my wedding, which will be very expensive and time-consuming, so both are simply not possible.
Now, right after graduating, my sister will have to go to tech school (training class for her job) and she’ll be in training for at least two more months. And then more training at her first base. The only time she’d be able to take vacation during that time at all is two weeks in between her going from her tech school base to her first base. After that, she’s in training for at least six months straight. Here’s where my dad comes in…and makes everything a problem.
My dad wants me to reschedule the wedding so that I can go to the graduation, and so that she can go to the wedding. Ordinarily, this would make perfect sense, but everything is already paid for and booked and has been for a while now. After I told my father about these issues, he said something so to “pull the veteran card to reschedule and get a refund.”
Now, I barely even like asking for discounts at places, let alone doing something like this. After I said I wouldn’t do that, he dug in even further. He started guilt-tripping me and saying I’m a bad brother because I wouldn’t reschedule my wedding so that my sister could go and so that I could go to her graduation. He goes to these extremes every time he brings it up.
I keep telling him that I can’t do anything about it and he makes the guilt-tripping even worse. I just don’t know what to do anymore. He’s had people in our family who are veterans yell at him, basically backing me up and saying the same thing, but he just basically ignores it. I just want this to be done and over with because this has been stressing me out so bad that it’s affecting my personal and work life.
It is putting my stress and anxiety through the roof.
53. Your Mini-Me
My father-in-law is a jerk to our baby. A little backstory: my father-in-law hates me for no real reason. My husband suspects it is because I am not as submissive as he expects women to be. My husband also says it is because I have an advanced degree, a good job, and I was well-established with my own home before I met my husband. He says this “intimidates” his dad.
In terms of how he treats me, he basically ignores me entirely, even when I talk directly to him. So I basically just don’t talk to him anymore, because what’s the point? I don’t particularly like how he treats my husband either. He makes him feel guilty for not spending time with him, but the man NEVER calls or comes to see us either.
The phone and roads work both ways. My husband’s mother, who lives 2,000 miles away, has visited us more than his dad has, who is only a 40-minute drive away. Anyway, to get to the point, we had a baby six weeks ago. His dad did come visit us in the hospital, which was honestly a shock to me. I was exhausted, but I kept a smile on my face and tried to engage him.
His reaction was chilling. He came in the door, didn’t even glance at the baby, sat in a chair, and watched football on the TV. His wife even told him to look at the baby and hold her, to which he simply said “I’ve seen pictures” and went on watching football and talking about his fantasy league. He didn’t ask us anything about how the labor or delivery went, whether we needed anything, if she was healthy, ANYTHING. Just football.
When he left, my husband got teary-eyed and said to the baby: “I’m sorry your grandpa is so rude, baby girl,” and I literally burst into tears. Granted, I had been up for nearly 40 hours at this point. But still. There’s something else that really grinds my gears. He has nine other grandkids and he is not like this towards any of them. For example, he has posted to Facebook with a photo holding them at all their births.
He posts photos of them all the time, brings them presents, etc. He dotes on them. But he is ambivalent and rude to our baby? Just because he doesn’t like me? She is a BABY! She has done nothing to deserve that. It’s heartbreaking. I told my husband I was never going out of my way to see that man again and he agreed there’s no point of putting in extra effort, but I know he is hurt.
This was six weeks ago and I’m still so mad about it. Every time my husband mentions him, I just see red. As if that wasn’t bad enough already, there is another part of the story that paints the picture even better. After she was born, our daughter had to stay in the hospital for an extra five days and was nearly admitted to the newborn ICU.
My Facebook is pretty small. I basically only have friends and close family members on there. So I had been using it to keep everyone updated, but not with the specific details. Just posts like “We are still in the hospital, but hope to be home soon. Thanks for everyone’s support.” The man NEVER called his son the entire week to even see what was wrong, if she was home, when she was coming home, etc.
UGH! That jerk! Suffice it to say that I am very hurt by his actions and I definitely don’t want to associate with him anymore.
54. 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.
55. Baby Face
Lay back, buckle the heck up, get those popcorn packs ready, and tune into this new episode of “What is this 60-year-old baby crying about now?” Side note, I think this man child needs a nickname, and I would be very open to your propositions and suggestions. Here’s the story. My mom’s birthday is coming up. Per usual, my idiot dad forgot about it.
Screw the fact that they’ve been married for more than 22 years, right? He forgets it every single year. His mommy’s? He recruits both my mom and myself FIFTEEN DAYS AHEAD OF TIME to find her a gift every year. He throws some money at us, usually a fifth of the whole cost of whatever we need to buy. And then he always spits on every gift we select.
Even though Grandma the Grinch is a piece of trash most times, she surprisingly likes her gifts more often than not. But that’s all besides the point, sorry. Last year this jerk made my mom cry on her birthday. He started yelling and screaming at her before 6:00 in the morning. He was calling her names. I’d also had a huge fight with him just two days prior to that event.
So he turned around and called me a slur for lesbians. Why? I’m a 21-year-old female who happens to be bisexual, but nobody knows. He was mad because I’ve never brought a boyfriend home for them to meet. I’ve had two short relationships with two idiots who only thought about themselves and how to drag me into bed.
They were also similarly jerks to my father, so I ended things about a month into each relationship. I know, I really won the lottery in my picks. Anyway, I stay away from dating now because of my dad, how he treated me, and being terrified of meeting someone similar. Plus, there’s a lot of baggage that comes from toxic, dysfunctional, and generally harmful parents and households.
This year, my mom got an offer from her parents. She and I would swing by their place for lunch on her birthday. My good grandma was insistent, but my mom wasn’t feeling it. Instead, she suggested that she’d take out the four of us (as in me, my dad, my good grandma, and the Grinch) to a small restaurant here, less than a five-minute drive away.
If everyone agreed, we would order ahead and organize it all somehow. My mom proposed it to my dad. His response was the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. He was laying down as usual. When he heard this suggestion, his legs went up in the air like a toddler kicking. He threw the remote down and started letting out the throatiest yell I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Screeching and all.
Poor him would have to go among people when the virus is still there, even though cases here have been going down for months. We have sanitizers, and masks are necessary at this restaurant. Mind you, this is the same man who is “deathly afraid” of catching it, but he goes maskless to work. He drinks and eats ordered catering at work, and also has drinking binge sessions with his boss. Don’t even ask.
This is also the same man who nearly tore my head off when I didn’t take and pass all my exams a month after lockdown ended when I myself was terrified of getting sick. He also yelled at me when I got the flu amidst changing seasonal weather (e.g. severe rain and severe heat in August) because I went to university “to take exams.”
And then he had the gall to turn around and basically say screw me and my own health, while simultaneously lecturing me about how I’m exposing poor him and his mommy. He had also literally just taken her to a church choir practice with more than 20 elderly people there from different backgrounds and social circles, all singing in close proximity and without masks…
He spent an unhealthy amount of time yelling and tantruming. Like full-blown kiddy tantrums. It was scary at first—then it was just sad. Somehow, I think he’s actually regressing in his level of maturity. His behavior here was similar to and looked like tantrums thrown by the young kids I used to work with. Now, as far as the birthday situation went, you might wanna ask if he tried reasoning with us or bringing up a new, alternate suggestion to the one he had such a problem with.
He had a new idea. Why shouldn’t my mom, whose birthday it was, spend yet another weekend in a row slaving away over a stove just so he could have a good lunch; not to mention giving his mommy a day off from preparing one for him. That way, he can go back to laying down watching TV later. I kid you not. That was his idea.
So at that moment, I take a deep breath. And I say that would be a good idea! I ask if he has planned out a menu for this meal. I remind him that he only has a couple of days to plan out the menu, buy the groceries, and make his own freaking lunch, because the rest of us are planning on going to my good grandma’s house and his baby self will starving by himself.
His eyes widened like he was about to unleash like never before. He shouted: “I did more than enough!!” I said: “So you spent an awful lot of time gift searching, right? Got her a gift and all?” He replied: “I did.” I asked: “Where is it?” He said: “I gave it to her.” He then threw a small amount of money at her to cover the cost of a super cheap necklace she had ordered for herself.
The same necklace he had taunted her about and brought up during a fight the previous weekend. I tell him that’s not really gift-giving, just being a lazy husband. He then talked himself out the door, trying to justify to himself that he had done more than enough. I yelled back that I couldn’t wait to see and taste the meal course he was planning on preparing.
And I threw in his favorite saying: “WHAT’S FOR DESSERT? THERE BETTER BE SOME GOOD FREAKING DESSERT!” Aaaanyways, I can’t wait to see grandparents this weekend and have a few hours away from this fool! Ladies, gents, anyone in between, or whoever—Don’t ever marry a man who refused to cut the cord with his mommy. That’s my only wish. Not just for myself, but for everyone dating men.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
56. Somebody That I Used To Know
My father-in-law basically disowned me and my daughter. In a nutshell, he will not acknowledge our presence. It’s as if we do not exist. If we find ourselves in the same room as him and approach his direction, he immediately turns his back or moves seats. After his latest episode of this behavior, my husband finally decided enough was enough and went full no contact with his dad.
Since then, we have received phone calls from all over the world from extended members of my husband’s family. Some of these people, we haven’t heard from in over five years. Most have been really respectful when he apologizes for them being caught in the middle of a bad situation. He says he is fine, however he doesn’t want to discuss it further than to say that he and his father are having issues.
His uncle actually said they didn’t need to discuss it, as he grew up with the man and he knows how he is. Then he phoned my father! He doesn’t have my dad’s number, but they work in the same field so he was able to somehow trade favors with someone so that they would pass on my dad’s contact details. My dad said he wasn’t getting involved but he would pass on the message that he had called for, but that was it.
But want to know the part that blows my mind? I never blocked his number. I purposely left him in my phone unblocked in case of emergency. I know, silly me. He has my number but he has never called, never messaged, never nothing. But he will speak to my dad?!?! This has just solidified to my hubby and I that he made the right decision by cutting his father off.
If he is phoning far flung relatives around the world to pester my husband but he is so set on not acknowledging my existence, then so be it. The most hurtful thing is that I have never ever done anything to him. I have always been polite, hugged him hello, made small talk, etc. I even tried to learn his home country’s language to form some kind of bond with him.
My daughter loved him unconditionally even though she saw him so infrequently. She is still little and she has no idea what’s going on. But we are a mistake in his eyes. He told my husband that his marriage to me, his having a child with me, and his buying a home with me were all mistakes. Every time I think about it, it burns like hand sanitizer on a paper cut.
57. 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.
58. It’s The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year
I have many ridiculous stories about my ridiculous father-in-law, but this one takes the cake. For some background, I am a 41-year-old female and I have been with my husband Jay for 23 years, and married for 14. We have three children together. This happened a few years into our relationship. The crazy in-laws always had a tradition of doing Christmas on Christmas Eve.
Ever since they were little, Jay and his brothers would open their presents on Christmas Eve, stay up after midnight, and then sleep in on Christmas morning. My family always had the tradition of doing Christmas morning breakfast at my grandmother’s house next door to us, then doing lunch at my grandfather’s. As soon as Jay and I started dating and he met my family, he wanted to be a part of all of our holidays, and he was.
My in-laws didn’t like this—but the way they got back at us was demented. They started scheduling their holiday events to coincide with my family’s holiday times. This particular Christmas, they changed our invitation to Christmas afternoon. We told them we would be at my grandfather’s until early afternoon, and then head their way for Christmas dinner. As soon as we arrived at my grandfather’s, my father-in-law started blowing up Jay’s phone asking where we were.
We eat, open presents, and are about to have dessert when he starts really going at it, saying they’re ready to eat and that everyone is waiting on us. Jay is annoyed because we weren’t supposed to be at their house for a few more hours, but we decided to go ahead and leave to keep the peace. My grandfather would always walk us to our cars every time we left, and wave to us from the driveway until we were out of sight.
This particular time was no different, and I cried when we left, because seeing him standing there like that broke my heart. I didn’t really want to leave his house. We arrived at the in-laws’ house to find dinner in no way anywhere near to being ready. In fact, we all just chit-chatted for a couple of hours until the actual Christmas activities began.
I can still picture my grandfather waving from the driveway. He passed unexpectedly not long after that, and we no longer had Christmas lunches to plan for. The in-laws then switched to wanting Christmas mornings, because of course they did. I wouldn’t budge on this though. As long as my grandmother is alive, she will have her Christmas pancake breakfast with her family.
59. Ring Around The Rosie
I’m a 30-year-old female. I’ve written before about how my materialistic and crazy mom raised me to voluntarily endure torment as a child. But I wanted to finally start writing about my crazy dad. I have not talked to either of them for the past three years, but it is my dad who I will make sure never ever meets my children or enters my life again.
So to start off, I don’t remember large sections of my childhood. But I do know that as a child, I worshipped my dad, who actually turned out to be the scummiest but most charismatic con man, deviant, and philanderer I’ve ever had the horrible pleasure of dealing with. My mom favored my brother who looked like her, while I was favored by my father.
And if you guessed that I must have been the spitting image of my dad, you win a cookie! Anyway, here is the main story. When I was in 5th or 6th grade, and my brother was just starting first grade, my family and I were going back home from dinner at a restaurant. At this point in my life, my parents were physically and emotionally hurting each other pretty much every day.
My dad was also financially taking advantage of my mom who did not want to work and could barely speak English. I remember being in the back of the car with my brother, as the streetlights passed over me, trying not to get involved as they screamed at each other like insane people. They didn’t give a darn if their altercations happened in front of my brother and me. It was a nightmare.
I learned all the Korean bad words at a young age thanks to these experiences. I always tried to stop them when things got physical. And it wasn’t unusual for my dad to grab my mom’s hair in the car while driving or for my mom to smack him as he drove. Suddenly, he pulled out a black little box and screamed that he had bought her a diamond ring, but he wasn’t going to give it to her anymore.
This nut then opened the window and chucked the box out, while my mom suddenly got quiet and started to cry. She begged him to turn around on the freeway so she could look for it. My dad would always buy fancy gifts for my mom as a way of buying forgiveness from her for sleeping with other women. So I think that was what they were fighting about in the first place.
At this point, I just remember being in the backseat crying while we were parked on the side of the road, watching my mom on her hands and knees searching in the grass. He had thrown it out on the side of the freeway that was grassy. My dad watched my mom while leaning on the car, chilling as if it was no big deal.
When I tried to come out and help, he ordered me to stay in the car because it was dangerous. But there were barely any cars going by. I felt such a deep sadness for my mom. It made me sad to know that she was so materialistic and did not respect herself to the point that she chose the ring over her dignity. I think she eventually found it, but it took a while.
That night, I realized my dad really was a monster inside. From then on, I would do everything in my power to not be like him. I also vowed to never place my happiness in materials or let my husband control me to the point that I lost my independence and identity. This mindset led me to being labeled as the disobedient kid, as I actively worked to grow up against their values.
I think I unfortunately lost a lot of respect for my parents at an early age. They never once apologized for the danger and trauma they put us through, which made me question and distrust them. As I grew older, the tension between me and my parents skyrocketed as they lost more control of me and my life. During a fight with my dad, he claimed that my behavior and disobedience as an adult was due to me leaving home too early.
I left for university on scholarships and loans at the age of 18, and only returned for holidays if they bothered me enough. Now that I think about what he said, I can see that he meant that I didn’t stay long enough for them to manipulate me into being under their control till the point where I became fully dependent on them and it was more difficult for me to escape.
My dad thrived on control and reverence from others. And once he felt like he lost control of me, his illusion of being the perfect family man became completely shattered. He cannot deal with that mentally. His mini-me grew up to have no respect for him or any interest in helping him keep up his illusion like she was born to do.
60. Money Talks
I’m a 21-year-old female. Today, I experienced rage like I never have before. A couple of days ago, my fiance was in a serious car crash which could have taken his life. By what can only be described as some kind of miracle in the words of the paramedics woh saw his car wreck, despite having had to literally crawl out of the wreck of his destroyed car while it was UPSIDE DOWN, he was physically unharmed minus some shoulder and neck pain.
However, he has been really emotionally affected by the incident, as it was the most terrifying and traumatic experience of his life by far. I have been supporting him through it as best I can and, up until now, so were his parents. Until today, that is, when we were on the phone with both his parents. Literally out of the blue, his dad bluntly says, “I would really like it if I could sit down with both of you to look through your finances because I think you both are living way beyond your means.”
Umm, excuse me? Where in the world did that come from? He literally has no idea how we spend our money. Even the way he said it was extremely blunt and almost sounded aggressive. My partner just said that we’d have to think about it. I sat there too furious to even speak initially. I guess he thinks that because me and my partner are going through some financial hardship that he can just dictate to us what he thinks we should do about it.
I am so astounded by the rudeness of this. I am thinking about having my partner call him back tomorrow and asking him to apologize for what he said, but I’m honestly not even sure what I should be asking him to say. Ugh. I’m just so angry and insulted that I needed to vent. My fiance’s parents live in a three-bedroom huge house with two cars, a second holiday home, and never have to struggle for anything.
Me and my partner both have low incomes, as most of our money goes to rent and we rely on a food charity to feed us. They have no idea what we go through to make ends meet, yet they have the nerve to talk to us this way. My partner busts his butt at a full-time job, but it just doesn’t pay well enough sadly.
This is something that we struggle with every day, so it really angers me to think that this guy just wants to insert himself into a situation that doesn’t concern him and start snooping through our personal finances.
61. Literally Living in His Dad’s Shadow
I taught first grade at a small private school. My first year, I had the ultimate helicopter parent. He looked at everything and got on his child’s case about everything from his test scores to the quality of his homework. He always had questions about the curriculum, my teaching methods, etc. The child was a bit of a precocious boy, very smart but already rebelling from being under his dad’s thumb all the time.
The dad would want to come in and observe the student’s behavior. Dad would volunteer in the classroom but would spend most of his time critiquing his son. He’d then want to have long conferences about his son’s behavior. I told him I thought his son acted out more when he was there and that I didn’t think he should be in the classroom anymore and the dad’s solution was to install a camera in the classroom so he could observe him without actually being there.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. I learned a lot about setting boundaries that year.
62. Cleanup On Aisle One
I was talking to my mom about how horrible and aggressive and scary and manipulative my father-in-law is, and how I’ve had to go no contact with him because he intentionally sets off my postpartum anxiety and gets in dumb arguments with me on the book of faces and then pretends to be nice to me when he sees me in person.
My mom then decided it was okay to tell me this story, because she realized that I was no longer trying to have a cordial relationship with him any longer and I promised her it couldn’t possibly make my feelings about him any different. So my husband and I are part of a religion in which marriage ceremonies happen in a special place with a special ceremony, but only for members in “good standing.”
My husband and I had ruined our good standing through premarital intimacy (gasp), but waited (and abstained) the requisite time period to still get married in the “right” way in their eyes. I knew that after my husband confessed his indiscretions that my father-in-law had called me some nasty names. That’s old news. What I didn’t know is that at my wedding, in the special place for good people, he decided to wait until after my husband and I were whisked away to sign paperwork, and then call me a bunch more rude and offensive names.
One of the workers who was there to help things run smoothly was making small talk and asked if they were so proud of their kids. My parents replied in the affirmative, but my father-in-law just had to detail all my horrible actions and talk about how I had made their son into a bad man with my terrible womanly ways. Because their son would never do something like that if it weren’t for me, of course.
Even though he had been with others before me, but whatever. What an idiot.
63. Put Her There, Partner!
I have been living with my mom and her partner due to university shutdowns and losing my job. Due to them being in at-risk demographic groups, I haven’t had guests over and have been careful about meeting people out of the house. My dad and I have a strained relationship but I still occasionally humor him and try to catch up.
My dad is divorced from mom, and after trying to set up a meetup between him and myself, he was offended when I told him that guests are not allowed in the house for the time being. He claims that he is not a guest because I am his daughter and my mom is his ex, therefore he can come in the house if he wants to. Umm, that’s not how this works?
He then went on, like always, talking about how stupid this whole health crisis situation is, and how all of the statistics are just numbers. Another thing I’d like to mention: my mom had the virus earlier this year and hasn’t felt the same ever since. She has asthma and went to the ER twice because she was having a hard time breathing.
It was so scary. I am at this point sick of his anti-science antics and entitled mindset. The first backpedal happened after I told him “I would hate to discuss numbers with you, given that we have already done that. And my mom is considered one of those numbers, and is VERY MUCH at risk of becoming another one of those numbers. I want you to understand that just because you are Mom’s ex does not entitle you to come inside her house whenever you feel like it.”
He responded: “Just being called a guest makes me feel minimal, but I am sorry that I didn’t understand how stressful it was when your mom was sick. I am glad you were there for her. I just feel like an outcast sometimes, but that’s my issue, not yours.” I also tried to explain to him that it isn’t anything fully personal, and gave the fact that my partner isn’t even able to visit as an example.
He jumped on that word “partner” immediately and tried to correct me by saying “Partner? You mean Boyfriend.” He is a very conservative, anti-liberal, anti-political correctness type of person. I once again went in and told him: “Are you seriously correcting me on what I should call my guy? Yeah, he’s my boyfriend, but he’s so MUCH MORE than that. He’s my equal, my partner in everything I do, and my best friend. Boyfriend isn’t a word that adequately describes him in my view.”
Again, he backpedaled: “I am glad he means so much to you. I hope I will meet him one day. Sorry for not understanding.” Perhaps these aren’t the most juicy backpedals I’ve ever seen, but the fact that he didn’t blow up after I stood my ground is a huge win in my book. I am so sick of him politicizing my life, and seeing everything I say and do as an offense to him and his political leanings.
I just can’t stay silent anymore. Guess he wasn’t expecting it.
64. What Happens In Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay There…
I always assumed that the childhood memory I have of my dad dragging my mom around a hotel room floor by her hair was just a nightmare that I’d had. But apparently I was wrong, and it really did happen. I can’t recall a lot of the details behind my traumatic memories. I just remember the specific act and overwhelming emotions I felt, but not the escalation, reason for the conflict, or how it all went down.
This makes me question my memories and wonder if a frightening scene in my head was real or a nightmare, and it makes me insecure about my feelings towards my toxic parents. I had night terrors often when I was a kid. I don’t really understand yet why I have blanks in my memories of things that I feel like I should remember, and are important to remember, you know?
For instance, I have a couple of specific traumatic images and scenes in my head from my first Las Vegas trip, which was all the way back when I was in middle school. The trip was with my parents, family, and parents’ friends. I don’t even remember all the faces of those who went with us. But I do have flashbacks to this day, and remember the screaming.
I also remember seeing my dad dragging my mom by her hair across the hotel room floor as she screamed and held her head up to help get relief from the tension in her scalp. I really thought this was a nightmare and never brought it up to confirm it was reality until my dad abandoned my mom four years ago for one of his mistresses that I call ‘sugar granny.’
At one point, I was helping my mom get back on her feet. At the time, I had hoped that my dad was the only problem and that my mom was just an enabler. I was wrong, they were both bad. But anyway, I brought up questionable memories I had of her and my dad’s relationship, and was disappointed but not surprised to learn that the scenarios in my head really did happen.
I learned the background behind some of these memories from my mom. For instance, the reason that my parents were fighting in Las Vegas was because my dad had hit a big bonus but decided to give most of his winnings to his female ‘friend’ who had come on the trip with us. From that confirmation, a memory resurfaced of my mom crying and attacking my dad, grabbing his leg while sobbing on the floor, screaming “GIVE IT TO ME! WHY DID YOU GIVE IT TO HER?” repeatedly.
There is one other thing that still disturbs and confuses me though. When I asked my mom about the Vegas hair pulling memory, she started laughing and said “I can’t believe you still remember that!!” Her reaction seriously weirded me out and I didn’t know how to respond. She recalled the story I brought up as if it was a hilarious memory, not as something that probably traumatized the heck out of your kids and that you should probably apologize for.
I still don’t get what was so funny about that to her. Anyway, I am in a much better place now thanks to all of the love and support I have received from members of the public who have read about my story. I am forever grateful to them for letting me know that I’m not alone just when I need it most. Sending love your way.
65. They Don’t Call Him “The Terrible” For Nothing!
I moved across the country about a year and a half ago to be with my long distance fiancé. He’s fantastic and really attentive to my needs. I have type two bipolar disorder with hypomania, but I lean depressive and chronic migraine. Through all of that, he’s, all in all, a really amazing stand up guy. When we discussed our plans for the future, we determined that economically it would be best to move in with his parents, since he lives near a big city on the west coast and my parents live in East Jesus nowhere in the northeast.
Also, I had recently finished grad school in Florida and he really didn’t want to move there. Ever since I moved in, my father-in-law, who I call “Ivan the Terrible,” has done nothing but make snarky comments about everything having to do with my existence. He’s a total nut. He brought me in very sweetly the first night. I only met his parents briefly twice before and they seemed like nice enough people then.
But the very next day, he made comments about how my stuff was “in the way.” He next insinuated that I’d never find a job with my degree. After only a couple of months of job searching for something within my field, he suggested that I just give up and take a job at the local Walgreens instead. As chance would have it, I got a call back the very next day for three different positions.
It’s been incessant poking and prodding at me for not being good enough for his son, despite me never having done anything he can point to as “wrong” other than suffering from my chronic and mental illness. His family started to notice the slips and call him on it, as he started to poke them too, particularly his little sister, who he also doesn’t care for.
Things came to a head around Christmas this year, when his son-in-law began blatantly calling him out everytime he would say something nasty to her or me. Ivan didn’t take kindly to that, and kept having massive meltdowns. After months of all of us now pointing out his nutty behavior, resulting in chaos and blowups, Ivan and my mother-in-law are headed for divorce.
They’re drawing up papers and figuring out logistics. In the meantime, my mother-in-law has asked us to cool it on calling out the behavior, since the most recent blowup resulted in Ivan threatening to take the house during the divorce. He must have caught wind of the fact that we weren’t calling him out anymore, because the nutty behavior has turned back up tenfold.
The mask is completely off and he now says whatever horrible things come to mind without hesitation. He also has a bad history with drinking and, after 13 years clean, has sadly picked up drinking again. He’ll gaslight, scare, manipulate, name call, WHATEVER it takes to get under my skin because he knows I can’t do anything about it at this point.
He’s always questioning the validity of my jobs, the degrees I hold, and even went so far as to pull my husband aside on a run and tell him to break up with me. He said I was just another “project” for him to fix and that he could find someone better. Fast forward to last week. I work for a major cruise line and am one of the thousands of people being laid off in a couple of weeks.
I’m pretty bummed because I actually really liked my job. I was chilling on the front porch with my husband and his brother, when Ivan invited himself to join us. He just blurted out “I need to check on the flowers” and then stuck around. Mmmm-hmm. Yep, sure. I asked my fiancé if he had seen some dumb Tik Tok that I thought was funny and Ivan decided to stick his nose in and make the comment: “It’s okay if you haven’t, you’re working now and you’ll miss some of the pop culture stuff when that happens.”
He said that as if, first of all, I haven’t been working this entire time; and, second of all, as if I was talking to him at all. I completely blew my top and stormed upstairs, making sure to not break my promise to my mother-in-law and call him out as much as I wanted to. After this culmination of things, I really don’t want to have him at my wedding.
There are members of his side of the family that I’m happy to invite and I’ve gotten close with and I adore, but once the papers are signed and the 90 days go by to solidify them, I’m officially going no contact with Ivan. My husband thinks he will too at this point. I hope I’m not being unreasonable, but he makes me feel like a crazy person.
I can’t sleep, I barely eat. My mental health is deteriorating. I need to hear from people who have been in my shoes so that I know I’m not alone and that it gets better. Or it doesn’t, but it at least gets easier, or more manageable, or I get stronger or something. Things got worse on Saturday, when he started driving my mother-in-law crazy again.
He woke her up early even though she’s not a morning person. He decided that before coffee was the time to discuss the finances of the divorce. They took their conversation outside for privacy, which totally makes sense, but Ivan has a tendency to block egresses and try to physically intimidate women to make them feel unsafe. This despite him being an average height of 5’8”. Maybe I should change his nickname to Napoleon!
They finally agreed to wait on a mediator, but things were getting heated enough that, even outside, we could hear them inside. We were getting nervous for my mother-in-law’s safety and asked my husband to open a window and keep an ear out for something suspicious. Obviously, once Ivan heard the window open, this threw him into full on rage mode.
They pulled my husband into the conversation once they were done with their financial stuff and asked him if he was eavesdropping. He was honest and said “Yes, for my mother’s safety.” Ivan went nuts and pulled the “Oh, woe is me! No one trusts me! Everyone has turned on me!” card, which exactly no one bought.
Then, my sister-in-law went downstairs to try to deescalate the conversation, which didn’t help because Ivan loves to stir the pot with her. I decided it wasn’t my monkey, nor my circus, and took a nap because I knew that there was a rough afternoon ahead and that I’d be needing my energy. Of course, I was correct. About a half hour later, my husband and his sister wake me up and tell me to pack a day bag, as we were getting out of there.
I wasn’t showered or changed or anything for the day, not at all prepared. I decided to try to brush my teeth and, lo and behold, Ivan decides he’s going to try to follow me into the bathroom. My sister-in-law came in with me to brush her teeth too, as it’s a dual vanity. She asked him if she could help him and he backed off.
When she finished, my husband came in and stayed with me in the bathroom while I finished getting ready. Meanwhile, the entire time I’m using the bathroom, Ivan is posted directly outside of it, sitting in a chair seemingly waiting. This threw me into a panic attack. I didn’t know why I was being watched just trying to exist and do my daily routine.
When asked by my sister-in-law what his problem was, he said that if my husband was allowed to eavesdrop, then he could too. Once we were all finished in the bathroom, Ivan starts barking at all of us to “get the heck out” over and over again as we’re scrambling to collect whatever we could possibly need for the entire day.
He also followed my sister-in-law into her room and puffed his chest at her when she tried to collect her belongings and leave. When she walked into him trying to find a way out, he claimed she had attacked him. “She could have found a way around me and didn’t!” Umm, okay Ivan. We decided to stay at a family friend’s house while they were quarantined in Hawaii. They got stuck on vacation there back in March in their condo and so they’re making the most of it.
We basically ran for our lives. He made it a point to tell me that I knew nothing about the world, that my degree didn’t matter, and that I was a stupid idiot on my way out the door. Haha, classic Ivan. Glad to know he never changes. We got to the house and tried to make a game plan. We called our friends, one of whom is a lawyer, and asked them for their advice.
He told us to file with the authorities and start creating the paper trail. We did and they offered a civil standby to get more of our things to stay in our friend’s house for longer if we needed to, or to remove him from the home for 24 hours. We decided on the civil standby since courts wouldn’t be open because of the holiday here, and we didn’t want to risk anything should he come back.
We got a few officers to come with us and, for the most part, Ivan behaved while they were there. Ivan also tried to argue that if we wanted to come back he could lock us out. The officers, of course, straightened him out and told him, point blank, that we could literally break down the door if we wanted to since we were legitimate residents of the household.
And since my mother-in-law is an equal owner of the house, he can’t evict any of us without her say. She’s the breadwinner and always has been, by the way. Ivan has been unemployed since October of last year and never holds a job for more than a year to a year and a half. Unfortunately, in the hubbub, we weren’t able to find one of our three cats that were coming with us.
I wasn’t going to trust that jerk with our cats, so we sent my husband back to see if he could find her. And of course, he’s greeted by Ivan brandishing a golf club at the front door, telling him he can’t enter despite the officers literally having told him not even ten minutes earlier that he’s allowed to come in whenever he wants.
My husband begins recording the interaction. Our state is a one party consent state, so as long as you tell them you’re recording you are allowed to. He then pushes past him with as little force as he possibly can. Keep in mind, my husband is 6’3” and Ivan is, as you remember, 5’8”, so my husband has quite a bit of height and bulk on Ivan.
He collects the cat and some important documents, and leaves again. My mother-in-law then gets a nasty text from Ivan who is screeching about how my husband is attacking him, breaking property, etc., Theatrics, hysterics, the entire nine yards. We check in and when my husband explains and later shows us the video, we’re appalled at the lengths Ivan will go to make himself seem like a victim and just openly lie.
We finally settle in for the night. All the cats are safe, and then my mother-in-law just gets bombarded with text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. Ivan is just completely blowing up her phone and she is not answering at all. We finally get to Sunday. First, Ivan shows up to where we’re staying and decides he’s going to leave all the groceries that he doesn’t want on the front porch and trespass on this property, even though he’s been told that he’s not welcome.
We immediately call the authorities and file another report. We explain the situation and they take down all of the information, including his name and build, and look around the property for him so we feel safe going outside. We asked for a civil standby to collect more important items, such as valuables, jewelry, and sentimental items.
We also attempt to file a separate report with the authorities in the correct jurisdiction that we were staying in, with the new threatening text messages and video evidence we’ve collected. But I guess the person on the phone didn’t relay that we wanted to both file another report and do the civil standby, because the officers were only interested in aiding with the civil standby.
I stayed at our current house while my mother-in-law went grocery shopping and my husband and sister-in-law went and collected some more of our belongings. On Monday, Ivan decides he’s going to admit to everything. He leaves my mother-in-law a message saying “I’ve taken most of the money out of our joint account and I will take the rest too if you do not talk to me.”
Upon checking the bank records, turns out this was true. But the dummy did his calculations wrong and put them both in the red. My mother-in-law is sorting it out with the bank now and they seem really helpful. Apparently, they see things like this all the time. Thankfully, besides that, yesterday was much more quiet. We actually got to enjoy our day and even spent some time in a hot tub dreaming of what our life will be like once we’re all no contact with Ivan forever.
So many people have reached out to see if we’re okay. Even Ivan’s siblings have told us that they have our backs in all of this and that they feel terrible to see that he’s treating us this way. Ivan is losing all of his friends and even some of his family through his own actions and behaviors. And to be completely honest, I don’t feel bad for him.
It’s so weird being almost a third party participant in all of this. Anyway, we’re planning on filing an order of protection to get him removed for 30 days so we can settle back into the house. My mother-in-law is planning to file that the same day she files for divorce, which is tomorrow. So congrats to her for finally being a free woman!
And after that, we can go before a judge and plead our case as to why he should be removed permanently. Mostly, it makes no economic sense to displace four people and three cats versus one person who is on camera doing all kinds of questionable things. Wish us luck, and send us some love! I’ve had similar past trauma so this has been crazy for me.
66. Singing In The Bathtub
My father-in-law doesn’t seem to understand why his strange behavior is at all inappropriate. For some context, my mother-in-law and father-in-law only have one bathroom and the bathtub is a handicapped walk in tub. The first time our baby, who was only ten months at the time, spent the night at their place, I listed out his bath time on his schedule but told them that it wasn’t mandatory.
At the time, I assumed they would bathe him in the kitchen sink, like my parents usually do, since their adult-sized tub isn’t an option. When we went to pick him up, my father-in-law mentioned that for his bath he just took the baby into the shower with him when he took his own nightly shower. On the way home, I told my husband that this made me very uncomfortable.
Not because I think that father-in-law would actively do anything inappropriate, but because it will normalize something that could make it easier for a predator to take advantage of my son further down the road. I have worked closely for years with children who have been taken advantage of in those kinds of ways. I know how easy it can be for a child to be preyed upon when they aren’t expecting it.
And despite believing that my father-in-law would never harm my child, I still know that family is statistically more likely to be perpetrators, which makes me exceedingly cautious. My husband understood where I was coming from, but wanted to avoid confrontation with his father. My father-in-law would probably take it as an accusation and freak out.
We decided we would just decline to bring it up and instead, moving forward from now on, we would simply give the baby his baths at home in advance before taking him over there for the night. I was skeptical about this plan, but eventually agreed. This past Saturday, the baby (who is now 11 months old) spent the night with them again.
As we had previously discussed, we bathed him beforehand and I left bathtime off of the schedule that we provided my in-laws with. When we arrived, my father-in-law casually mentioned that at bath time he’d just jump in the shower with the baby again, and instead of addressing it outright (which I 100% know we should have done), my husband politely stated that we had already bathed him and that it wasn’t necessary.
It really felt weird to me that my father-in-law had brought it up to us so directly. I think it reminds him of when his sons were young and he views it as some kind of a bonding thing. I know that many parents bathe with their children. But he’s the grandparent, not the parent, and I truly feel that it’s inappropriate. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t see it that way.
Then, today we went over to his house for a surprise visit so that my sister-in-law could cut the baby’s hair. After she was done, my father-in-law offered to “hop in the shower with him to rinse the hair off.” I said no, as he was past due for a nap and a bottle. My father-in-law said he’d be really quick. I said no, because it would be hard to get the baby to go to sleep after.
Then, as I was making the bottle, my father-in-law asked me if I was sure. It made me want to scream “Why do you want to be naked with my baby so badly????” I genuinely think that he thought it would be helpful, but each time he asked my hackles raised a little higher. When we got in the car to come home, I told my husband that dancing around the issue was no longer an option, and that we would have to have a direct conversation with my father-in-law about the situation.
I insisted that we make clear to him that neither he nor any other family member should ever be in a state of undress with our child and that even if he’s in swimwear he should not be showering with our child. So much inappropriate behavior occurs in showers. I will not run any risks of my child being outright or inadvertently groomed due to this man’s weird habits.
My husband says he’s onboard with this plan and we will talk to my father-in-law about it at the first available opportunity. My husband also agreed to clearly state that this is a “written in stone” rule, and that if it is violated then he will no longer be able to have unsupervised access to our child. I’m just so thankful that he gets why this is non-negotiable to me.
I’m glad he is now on board for what will be a very uncomfortable conversation. Hopefully it will all go well and that will be the end of this ridiculous saga once and for all.
67. Movin’ Out
So, let me give some background here. When me and my boyfriend first got together, I lived with my dad and his partner. I paid rent every month and everything was included. The only things I had to buy myself were the toiletries I would need. I now live with my boyfriend and his parents. Let me just note, we don’t mind paying rent in the slightest.
Now, let me start the story. One day, me and my partner had been somewhere, and we were in the car on the way home. I was having a conversation with his mum, and we got onto the topic of me paying my dad rent, and she said “I’ve never taken any money for rent and I never will. At the end of the day, they are my children and I won’t take money they have worked for and earned. As long as I’m able to work, pay the bills, and make sure there is food in the fridge, I will.”
Anyway, I ended up moving in with my boyfriend and his parents, and his dad started charging us rent at the start of the year without his mum knowing anything about it. She would have gone up the wall if she had known. We just gave his dad the cash every month when he would take us shopping, so that his wife wouldn’t find out.
We buy our own food and everything we need ourselves, so essentially we pay to use the electricity. Then, this month, his dad wanted double what we would normally pay. My boyfriend said he wasn’t willing to pay that much, and said that we only use the electricity because we buy everything we need. His dad didn’t like that answer, so they argued.
His dad didn’t speak to him for two weeks after that. So about seven month ago, me and my boyfriend started looking for our own place. I was having a conversation with my mother-in-law a couple of weeks ago, just me and her. She asked me how the house hunting was going. I told her that we hadn’t found anything suitable yet but we were still looking.
So she started saying there was no rush to move out and that we’re welcome to stay here as long as we like and all that good stuff. Then she asked if there was a specific reason we wanted to move out. I said there’s no particular reason apart from the fact that we want our own space, we would like to start our own family, and the rest of the things you typically want as a couple.
So she asked if it was because of anything her or my father-in-law had done or said to upset us. Trying to assure her it wasn’t, I said “NO DEFINITELY NOT, I’M SURE THEY’LL BE FRIENDS AGAIN SOON ENOUGH AND PLUS WE DON’T MIND PAYING RENT!” I didn’t even think about what I said until a minute or so later.
And then it clicked on that she wouldn’t have even known they’d had an argument in the first place. I mean why would she? She didn’t even know he was taking money from us. She asked me why they weren’t talking, and I told her they had an argument because my boyfriend thought my father-in-law was being unreasonable by asking for double what we were paying when we buy everything we need for ourselves.
So now the cat’s out the bag. My mother-in-law point blank refuses to speak to my father-in-law and she made him sleep in the spare room for the last week. Meanwhile, my father-in-law has made it a point to not speak to me. My mother-in-law is also mad, and won’t speak to my boyfriend because she’s angry that he hasn’t said anything to her before now.
My mother-in-law is now angry at me too, because I refuse and won’t let my boyfriend accept the rent money for the last eight months back. And my father-in-law is mad at my boyfriend, because my boyfriend told him to get a job and I accidently told my mother-in-law about the whole paying rent thing. My boyfriend finds it all hilarious and wants to get under my father-in-law’s skin even more by taking the money back from his mum.
I said he better not or he’ll be sharing a bed with his dad. I really get along well with my mother-in-law and I’m still pretty civil with my father-in-law, even after everything that has happened. I literally tell my mother-in-law everything, so as well as been angry at my boyfriend because he didn’t tell her, she’s even angrier at me because I hadn’t said anything to her until this point.
What the heck do I do about this now?
68. Three for the Price of One
This one kid kept getting caught doing pot or having drugs with him in school. Then, his dad showed up to a meeting reeking of pot so badly that you could smell it in the hallway for like ten minutes after he walked through it. The guy was actually high as a kite…at the superintendent’s hearing for his son’s drug charges!
I also had a parent tell me it was my fault her 18-year-old got in trouble because I “should be watching him better!” He is in jail now and we joke that it was the officer’s fault for not watching him better! Like, they didn’t deny he did anything wrong, just that anything he did wrong was the fault of the person who should be watching him—at 18 years old.
One of my favorite inappropriate moments is when a kindergartener gave the class the finger and the parents came in to talk about this. The dad was insistent his kid couldn’t have done this because he has gross and fine motor delays and is incapable of giving the finger. I told him he had to use both hands and hold all the other fingers down to do it.
His dad was like, “What, he did?! My son is resourceful! Damn if he don’t let that stop him!” Then sat with a smug grin on his face and nodding his head and I just burst out laughing. Like, the dad was so proud his son found a way to do this that he completely forgot his kid stood up and waved the middle finger at everyone.
69. 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.
70. Light at the End of the Tunnel
Secondary school teacher here, and a new teacher at a new school. I have a year 11 student—junior—who hardly shows up to class, and when he does, he sits at the back with headphones and his patch jacket. The first few weeks, I encouraged him to try the work and he would constantly verbally torment me. His rants revealed a lot—he thinks he’s stupid, will just fail anyway, etc.
All of his past teachers told me that he’s a difficult student and I’d be lucky if he writes a sentence per class or if I don’t get yelled at that day. A few weeks into term, I broke up a fight between him and some other students. Not even a few hours later, his dad comes running into the school grounds holding a baseball bat, looking for the kids his son got into a fight with.
He had to be taken away by law enforcement, and when I saw my student next, he had fresh bruises and a split lip. I don’t know how to give up, so I probed gently and he reveals his dad was coming in to “finish the job his son was too dumb and stupid to finish himself.” We’re halfway through the year now. He’s finished and passed two assignments and is kicking butt with our current one which really showcases his strengths—he’s an amazing artist!!
He has his bad days, and still sits in the back with headphones on, but he hasn’t sworn at me in months and there haven’t been any bruises in awhile. I have hope.
71. Saying Goodbye
My husband and I were talking about my oldest son’s biological family today and this story came up. It’s only one of many with this awful man, but it is also one of the last we will ever have since it truly opened my eyes up to who he really is. Back story: this was in October of 2014. My mom had both small and non-small cell lung cancer, and she had been taken by an ambulance to a nearby hospital ICU.
She told me I didn’t need to come, but soon after I got a call from the hospital saying it was urgent and that I needed to be there. So I dropped everything and went. I don’t remember how my then-eight-year-old son got into the care of his grandfather, i.e. my father-in-law, that day. I may have called my ex and asked him to get our son.
Anyway, when I get to the hospital, the doctor tells me that it’s over and that we need to put her on morphine and to let her go over the weekend. This was a shock to me at 26 years old, having to handle this. But the first thing I did was call my ex and ask him to get my son to the hospital as quickly as possible because my mom was not going to be around much longer.
Within an hour, they had intubated her and put her on life support. We never heard her voice again. Eventually, my idiot father-in-law shows up with my son. A full hour and a half after I had called. I was sitting in the hallway sobbing, and neither myself nor my son was allowed in the room at the moment, so I hugged my boy and asked my father-in-law to just take him home.
My mom was gone within ten days. So, fast forward about six weeks. My son and I are preparing to spend our very first Christmas without my mom. Holidays were always hosted at my mom’s house. I get a text from my father-in-law saying that he would like to spend Christmas morning with my son, between 9:00 and 11:00 AM. I told him that this wouldn’t work for us, but 1:00 to 3:00 PM would be better. His reaction was truly deranged.
He Flew. Off. The. Handle. He tells me the afternoon doesn’t work for him because he’s driving to Temecula to see his wife’s family at 11:00 AM. Oh boy, a whole two-hour drive! So he insists that he HAS to see my son in the morning. I say that I’m sorry, but that this won’t work for us and that we’ll have to find another time or day.
Now, this is after literally eight years of battling this man and being called every rotten name you can think of by him because I don’t let him have his way with my son. I’ve had it at this point. But, here is the quote that made me go from hating him to wishing he was no longer alive. He told me: “I can’t believe you! You’re such a selfish witch always keeping your son away from us. He’s going to hate you when he’s older and realizes what a loser you are. You’re such a jerk you couldn’t even say thank you after I brought him to the hospital!”
Oh no, you did not. You took an hour and a half to get there and erased the opportunity for my son and mom to say goodbye to each other, and you expect me to thank you for that? And what normal, rational, or caring person would even expect a thank you while I was sobbing on the hallway floor in the ICU?! I responded by calling him a lowlife and saying that I didn’t owe him anything, and that if he wanted to see his grandson he’d have to coordinate that through his deadbeat son.
I blocked him and he stayed blocked on everything of mine for nearly two years.
72. Emergency Meeting
Buckle up kiddies. This story is absolutely ridiculous. So, my boyfriend just had a talk with his parents about his dad’s behavior this morning. They flat out admitted that they’ve been cold to me on purpose this whole time. So, since I am getting the conversation secondhand, here were some of my FAVORITE highlights: A) They know they’ve been cold to me.
So all the ignoring my greetings and being short with me that I thought I had picked up on? Intentional. Good to know. B) Apparently, they don’t feel like I’ve put in enough effort to get to know them?? Um, according to my boyfriend, when we started dating during our senior year of high school, his father-in-law admittedly had no desire to get to know me since I “wouldn’t be around for long, so what was the point?”
Like, how do you treat someone like that when you first meet them and then get all angry later when they’ve just kept to themselves in the time since? I can remember multiple times when my boyfriend had told me about conversations where his dad told him to date other girls BEFORE he told him he would do anything to get him to break up with me. So… you think I’m the cold one? Okay, and it just gets better from here.
C) They liked how my boyfriend’s brother’s ex helped them out more than I did. Um, excuse me? I can distinctly remember my father-in-law leaving the kitchen a mess on Thanksgiving last year, and just to be helpful, I went and did the dishes for them all by myself. Even after dinners that we have with them now, my boyfriend and I always clean up and do dishes together, so I don’t know where the heck they got that idea.
Also, my boyfriend’s brother’s ex was going around defaming him with false accusations. Like she’s a full-blown psycho, but my father-in-law still has a silly nostalgic love for her and the days when she had not yet gone crazy. D) They want to just start over with a clean slate with me, after talking to my boyfriend like he’s my personal spokesperson. That’s freaking cute.
An apology to him is not an apology to me. They have said so many nasty things and been so cold to me when I have been nothing but polite to them. And they think by my boyfriend confronting them about their lousy behavior means the slate is just wiped clean? Um… no one asked my opinion on this. I told my boyfriend that while I appreciate that he spoke to his parents, in no uncertain terms am I just hunky-dory and okay with them now because they realized they’ve been bad.
Not only that, but I am disappointed that he would be manipulated into believing that it would be okay. So anyway, those were some of the fan favorites from the conversation. There were so many others, but through the tears, while I was having this conversation relayed to me after the fact, those were the only ones that I could easily remember clearly.
But before I go, I almost forgot this part, which completely blew my mind. They genuinely want my boyfriend to go over their “house rules” with me, since I keep breaking them. For the love of god almighty. I AM AN ADULT. No one needs to pander to me about how I should and should not behave. I’ve realized a few things after this experience.
I think my father-in-law has extremely controlling behavior that he has instilled in his family. He has clearly convinced all of them that he is the be-all and end all of their existence. I didn’t think I wanted my boyfriend to have to go to see a counselor, until now. Honestly, after this experience, I might make couples therapy a requirement before we consider getting married.
73. Getting Down And Dirty
My father-in-law got super angry that I wouldn’t let him touch my baby daughter’s face without washing his hands first. I don’t typically take my daughter to my mother-in-law’s house for a few reasons, but mainly due to my father-in-law. He’s mentally destructive to my mother-in-law and has been to his kids in the past as well. Me and my husband always knew he wouldn’t be around our child.
Today, my mother-in-law needed help setting up a TV. My father-in-law was at work for a few more hours and it was only going to take a few minutes, so I figured it would be okay to go over. I sat in the kitchen with my six month old baby, to be out of the way. Unexpectedly, my father-in-law gets home super early for some reason.
I mostly ignore him and I’m about to subtly tell my partner that we need to leave, when my father-in-law suddenly decides to start walking over to us. He reaches out to my baby, when my mother-in-law tells him to wash his hands, which are black with dirt. He tells her to screw off. I try to keep things calm, so I say “We all have to wash our hands before touching her because of health precautions. It’s just to keep her safe.”
He then yells and starts cursing at me. He ignores everything we all said and just reaches out for my daughter’s face quite roughly. I pull her back in time and firmly say no. He whacks me in the face while trying to push my head out of the way. I push him away with my free hand, so he grabs it and starts to twist it intentionally. Now, he seriously crossed a line.
I get him away and warn him that if he comes at me again I will do my best to physically hurt him. He starts threatening me while my mother-in-law takes my baby out of my arms and then out of the room very quickly, while he is still focused on me. I leave a minute later while he continuously yells threats at me. He’s normally just verbally aggressive, so no one expected this physical escalation.
I think he wasn’t used to being told no, as everyone else just backs down around him immediately. Of course, I’m never going to go anywhere near that house again for as long as I live. And neither will my child. I just wanted to get this all off of my chest. Since the incident, I reported everything to the local authorities in my area.
As it turns out, he already has a history with them and domestic issues, but I took everyone’s suggestion to make sure that there is a recorded paper trail of a history with me and my daughter being concerned about him. I’m told that he was taken in and interviewed, but released later that same night. My bruise had faded by the time my appointment with the officers happened days later and my mother-in-law didn’t want to be a witness, so there was no concrete evidence against him.
For the time being, he has been ordered to stay away from us, and I am actively and very seriously looking into obtaining an order that would officially keep him away from me and my baby forever.
74. A Quick Fix
My father-in-law just told me he thinks he could fix my mental illness by “dominating me.” I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I just started lithium. I’ve had several diagnoses over the years and have been on a bunch of SSRIs, done talk therapy, etc. The bipolar diagnosis definitely explains the missing piece of the puzzle of my life.
Anyway, my husband was talking to his parents recently and mentioned that I had been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and that it’s been pretty hard on everyone. I’ve been in a manic phase recently and, with an 8.5-month-old baby, that comes out as a lot of anger. His mom contacted me right away saying that she loves me, is there for me, etc.
Last night, my husband got a message from his dad—and when he read it, his jaw dropped. It linked to a post by this idiot on Facebook describing how, in his opinion, women’s problems today are a rebellion against men not benevolently dominating them. My husband responds by calling the guy an idiot. And, of course, that’s where the fun begins.
It was all downhill from there. My father-in-law goes on a whole rant, talking about how the only way my husband can “fix” me is by “dominating” me. Apparently, bipolar is just a fancy way of saying I talk back? And the only way to fix that is for my husband to be an “alpha” and tell me what’s what. Sounds like a perfectly reasonable plan for dealing with a diagnosed medical condition, right?
For some background, I have a PhD in biological science and am a tenured track professor at a big R1 University. My husband stays home with our baby and is a nurse. My father-in-law told us at our baby shower that this arrangement would never work because I would resent my husband and eventually cheat on him. He also sent lengthy messages with nonsense articles telling my husband not to vaccinate our newborn son.
Like dude, pay attention to your own mess of a life before you start dishing out advice to other people.
75. Please And Thank You
My father-in-law is offended by his nine-year-old granddaughter. He has been the bane of my existence our entire marriage, which is over 20 years old at this point. He’s one of the most self-absorbed, entitled, and selfish people I have ever met. He’s the man who said he didn’t need a seeing-eye-dog because, “I have my wife.” Yeah…
One day, I went to drop off my youngest son at my in-laws’ place, which is a once-a-week thing. My youngest daughter, who is nine years old, said on the way over there, “I can’t wait to see Grandma and ask for a popsicle!” We drive up and I send the kids in. I’ve been teaching all day and my feet are DONE IN, so I stay in the car and wave goodbye to everyone.
A few minutes go by, and my mother-in-law comes out. We chat for a minute, then my daughter gets back in the car and we head out. The next day, my husband gets this text from his father: “I want you to know that I am not happy with your daughter. When she came over this afternoon to help her brother bring his stuff in, the first thing she did before even acknowledging your mother or saying hello to her or giving her a hug was asking if she had a popsicle.”
It went on: “She ran by me without even acknowledging me or saying hello to me or hugging me and she just ran and got her popsicle. When she ran by me I said, ‘Well, hello to you, too,’ and when she came back then she finally hugged me. I want you to know I am not happy with her. I think she can be, and a lot of times is, a rude person. She was rude to me and your mother today. I’m not mad at you. I just wanted you to know how your daughter acted today.”
Seriously. SERIOUSLY? So much no. Was she rude? Yes. Was she “I’m a 24-year-old entitled adult who does not have to speak to anyone to get what I want” kind of rude? Heck no. She was a “nine-year-old kid who is oblivious” kind of rude. Did she need to be called out on it? Sure. But did it deserve this type of response? Nope. Not even a little bit.
We sent back a response saying that we would deal with the manners issue, but did not want our little girl being labeled as “rude” when she was simply being childish. You know, because she’s a child?? My husband said, “She feels very comfortable at your house and so doesn’t feel the need to be extremely formal when she comes over there. Though if you would prefer that, we can teach them to be when they come over there.”
His response? “I don’t recall telling you that she is a rude person.” WHAT? Those were your EXACT WORDS. They are literally RIGHT THERE IN WRITING, in the very conversation we are still having!! He did later say that he got his wife to read the message back for him, and realized that he did say that. He apologized, which I really appreciated, but the fact is that this is what he really thinks.
He said, “She’s more interested in getting something for herself than she is in being nice and polite to people like me and your mother.” This is getting long, so I’ll wrap up with a couple more thoughts. What’s with the “your daughter” and “your mother” stuff? Why can’t he just say their names? I don’t understand what that’s supposed to be communicating.
And finally, the “I’m not mad at you, I just wanted you to know…” thing. Do you think I give a freaking flying flip whether you’re mad at me or not? I’m mad at YOU for the way you’ve spoken about my daughter!! I mean, how does a person get to that age without realizing that this is not normal behavior? I don’t think I’m overreacting by being annoyed about this whole experience.
76. Food Fight
My father-in-law has a history of testing boundaries. He loves to talk about “corrupting” his grandchildren and telling them they don’t have to listen to their parents, etc. A few years ago, he fed my first child “little tastes” of food when he had explicitly been told not to because she was too young. As a result, I now hover like a helicopter every time he, or pretty much anyone for that matter, holds my baby.
We went to Christmas dinner at my sister-in-law’s house, and my father-in-law had my baby. I was trying to keep an eye on my two-year-old and also get a bite to eat for myself. Somehow, I lost track of him and the baby at one point, and when I found them, they were in the kitchen. I am stressing out, so I figure the best route is direct.
I point blank ask him if he has fed my baby anything. His reaction was SO awful. He snarks back with “What, are you gonna smell his breath to check?” I don’t like playing his games and I can’t be sure that he is teasing, so I take my baby back and return to my seat. When I look up, my father-in-law is putting his coat on and screaming at me, “WELL, IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE A RUDE IDIOT LIKE THAT, YOU CAN JUST STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM MY HOUSE AND MY FAMILY!”
And he storms out. Obviously, this got everyone’s attention, so they ask what happened. Most people seemed to be a bit more on my side, but I don’t know how they really felt because he wasn’t actually around to influence them or make anyone feel the need to voice their support of him. I did, however, get a lot of “He was just kidding, you know how he is” type things, as well as “I think both of you could have reacted better,” etc.
Luckily, I have a wonderful husband, He doesn’t like that there was drama, but he actively has my back on this. He spoke up in my defense immediately, and he privately spoke to his mother about it at the first available opportunity. He feels that his father has put us in a bad situation. When my father-in-law says or does things that we find inappropriate, especially regarding our children, my options are limited.
Speak up for myself and risk disrespecting him, or let it go and let him get away with his nonsense. My husband thinks I probably did what was best for the situation. Most of his family lets his father do and say whatever he wants all the time. My husband has always butted heads with his father, but their relationship has improved significantly since adulthood.
We aren’t sure where this leaves us just yet. I’ve suggested accepting the ban on coming to his house, rather than a full no contact situation. We would still see each other at other family get-togethers, but my husband isn’t ready to go that far yet. He says we also won’t accept a rug sweep where everyone just pretends nothing happened, so we need to have some kind of sit-down discussion about the situation.
Sadly, knowing my father-in-law, an actual apology is completely out of the question, so we aren’t setting our bar very high. I think I’m going to request that this discussion take place at a neutral location. We’ll see how it goes.
77. An International Case
My father has secret post-it notes about traveling to other countries, and randomly took out life insurance on my mother. My mom woke me up this morning to share her snoop findings, since my dad was supposedly up at his parents’ place visiting because his father had just been in the hospital over the weekend. It’s been probably three weeks now since my mother got the divorce paperwork and since he last mentioned finding an apartment.
They’re supposed to have a “simple” and quick divorce, where they both agree to the terms in the paperwork, but everyone thinks my mom is being too easy on him. She’s rethinking her decision to not get a lawyer after what she found out today. She found a folder hiding underneath a bunch of stuff on his desk with a pile of post-it notes inside of it.
There are so many, with so much random stuff written on them. His handwriting is really awful, too. It always has been, but this makes it difficult for us to decipher some of the stuff. The really suspicious things come in the form of what seems to be usernames, the top one being a string of euphemisms for having big privates. Pretty disturbing stuff.
There’s also a note about someone’s height and weight, in the form of centimeters and kilograms, like he has to keep track of… what they look like, I guess? The worst part, I think, is the note where he has information about how many miles it would take to get from a town in Latvia to a town in Russia, and then how many miles and hours from Boston it would take to get to both of these places.
She also found bank receipts from last month for an account he must have opened for himself without telling her about. Looks like he’s depositing his overtime money into it. Some of the other notes consisted of what seemed to be song names, bands that he wouldn’t usually listen to in a million years. He’s a serious country music person and used to tell me when I was younger that the rock music I liked is the “devil’s music,” yet all of the bands referenced in his notes were rock bands.
One had nothing but the words “padaschdi” and “wait” written on it. From what I understand, “padaschdi” is just a translation of “wait.” But why write the same thing out in two languages? He also had another “I love you” written in Italian, with some other words above it that none of us have really been able to clearly decipher.
These new findings all come after I learned on Christmas that he took out a life insurance policy on my mother, after his secrets came out and they decided to divorce. She also already had one, and he knows this! HOW SUSPICIOUS IS THAT? Our lives are starting to feel like an episode of a show on the detective channel, and I absolutely hate it.
78. Truck Stop
My father-in-law took my husband’s truck, screwing us over financially big time. He then tried to gift it to his grown child, my husband’s younger sister. My husband and I were living on our own, working full-time jobs, and adulting just fine until we conceived as planned. But then things took a horrible turn. My body didn’t handle pregnancy too well and I was constantly sick, in and out of the hospital.
My employer said I could take leave and come back when I was able to work my full shifts again, which was pretty darn cool of him! Anyway, our truck starts messing up, big time, and with me not working, we didn’t have the funds to fix it. We were already full no contact with my husband’s horrible father because whilst we were staying there and he found out we were moving out on our own, he started becoming violent and hostile towards us.
He would walk past me and call me names like, “stupid witch,” “freaking loser,” dumb jerk.” Every single time he passed me, he muttered something derogatory in my direction. He also called my husband into his bedroom nightly to “scold” him and insult him. Calling him a “wuss,” a “complete idiot,” and so on and so forth. So, we left the next day while he was at work.
He comes home to find us gone and is absolutely FURIOUS! He goes totally nuts, blowing up my husband’s phone, calling everyone in the family and telling them I have “taken” his son from him, etc. Umm, okay psycho! Well, back to the point of the story. Like I said, I was sick all the time and the truck just clunked out on us.
Now, this is a 1992 Chevy 1500, and it was booted up. With the engine trouble, it clearly wasn’t worth very much. So, a man my husband worked with offered to take it off our hands for $3,500! Great deal considering it was in pretty bad shape! Only problem? My father-in-law, even after my husband turned 18, never transferred the title to my husband’s name.
Even though it was his truck. So, we informed my father-in-law that we needed the title and are selling the truck. He threw a fit and said no we aren’t. He then refuses to transfer the title and comes and tows the truck, essentially swiping it from his son. His intentions were to screw us over financially in the hopes that it would make his son leave me, whilst I was pregnant, and move back in with him.
Now he succeeded in screwing us over financially, but that just made his son despise him even more. And as the years have passed, he just continues to make his son hate him. Here we are nearly five years later, and we have been full no contact for over a year. And we plan to keep it that way. Oh yeah, and after he took the truck, he tried to give it to his youngest grown child as a graduation present, much like it was previously given to my husband as an 18th birthday graduation present.
79. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
My boyfriend and I live in a small apartment side building on his mother’s property that she’s letting us live in. Before we had gotten the cats, we consulted with her and she said it was fine. She loves cats and adores ours. My father-in-law, on the other hand, hates both cats and me. So we knew right from the start that there could be some issues ahead—but we didn’t know how bad it would get.
We had managed to keep it all a secret, until yesterday when we were cleaning out my father-in-law’s van so that they could go on a road trip for my mother-in-law, who has terminal cancer. My father-in-law asked my brother-in-law where the scratches on his chest came from. Without thinking twice about it, he says our cat did it. No hate for my brother-in-law. It was an honest slip-up, and clearly not meant badly in any way.
My father-in-law absolutely blew up. He started cussing my boyfriend out and telling him to get the cat out. He literally said he would cut the cats’ heads off if we didn’t get rid of them. I slipped upstairs to hide our favorite cat since he only knew that we had the one. Everyone was screaming. My father-in-law tried to hit my boyfriend, but the others stood in between them.
All of this happened in the driveway, in broad daylight. My brother-in-law offered to take the cats for protection, and went to his house to get a carrier. While he was gone, my mother-in-law pleaded to my father-in-law to let us keep the cats. Bless her heart. I hate that she was put in the middle of this on top of dealing with her illness. Whatever she said must have worked, because we are now allowed to have the cats.
The thing is, though, that we still don’t trust my father-in-law, and we need to install some kind of cheap surveillance camera or device somewhere in the apartment to make sure that nothing happens when we’re not around. In our state, it’s a very serious offense to harm or kill someone’s pet. So if he or one of his employees breaks in to try and do anything, we want a video recording.
80. A Little Accident
I am a 21-year-old male. When I was six years old and in First Grade, I once accidentally pooped my pants because I was too shy to ask the teacher if I could use the restroom. When I did it, I came up with a plan like, “Okay, I am going to poop my pants and I’m going to try to make it through the rest of this school day. Then when I get home, I’m going to dump my underwear in the trash.”
However, this plan didn’t quite work out. Other kids knew I had pooped myself because they could see poop stains on my pants and I knew I was stinking. My teacher called my mother about it, and my mother had to leave work early to come and get me. She escorted me to the bathroom, cleaned me up, and gave me a new pair of underwear.
When I look back at this incident, I laugh. Because it’s a funny story now that I’m all grown up. However, my father is still very negative about it. To this day, he often makes comments like, “I can’t believe you pooped your pants in school. What the heck is your problem? When you pooped your pants that day, I knew there was something off about you.”
I can’t believe he’s holding something against me that I did when I was SIX YEARS OLD! I pooped myself because I was too shy to ask the teacher if I could use the bathroom. However, I was only six. It was first grade. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only child who ever pooped or peed on themselves. He’s making me feel abnormal about something I did when I was a little kid.
81. This Hits In The Feels
My mother-in-law and father-in-law stayed with my husband and me for five days. And boy, was it a long visit! Some background: I am a South Asian American millennial woman married to a southern Caucasian millennial man. My husband and I are not religious. Both of my in-laws identify as Catholic. My mother and father identify as Muslim. Everyone has already met at our wedding.
My father-in-law and mother-in-law eat only a handful of home-cooked meals out of the year, the remainder being take out and dine in. Night 1: The first hour in, we order take out from a Thai restaurant and we somehow cannot manage to have a civil dinner conversation. My father-in-law asks me if the woman at the restaurant is “insert politically incorrect term for Asian people here,” and I dismiss it because it wasn’t the hill I wanted to lay down on.
I indirectly correct him by replying, “Yes, she was Asian.” My husband chimes in and says that it’s not correct to use the term he used and that he should be saying “Asian” instead. He tries to explain that the term describes an inanimate object and not the background of a human being. I deduce that it makes sense as to why Asians would be offended if you used an objectifying term to describe them and my mother-in-law agrees that it makes sense.
My father-in-law, however, continues to justify what he says by using the baby boomer argument: “You snowflakes are so easily offended, so sensitive, and everyone is always so concerned about being politically correct.” My husband explains that it’s just an evolution of language thing and that it’s the same concept as the regretful time when other bad slurs were normalized, and things have changed and progressed for the better since then.
My mother-in-law agrees. I agree. My father-in-law tries to refute and says it’s not language that we are disagreeing about, it’s politics. And I back up my husband and say that it is language. My father-in-law digs a grave and says that this is the exact same concept as people being offended by the word “insert offensive slur for disabled people here.”
Now I’m just angry because my father-in-law thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to still throw around this word and I explain that his words are insensitive, and he doesn’t know his audience’s relationship with someone with mental disabilities and he has no way of assuming what they could be. My mother-in-law agrees. My husband agrees.
I tell him that there are other words to describe someone’s ignorance like uneducated, ignorant, dense, asinine, and even swear words. My mother-in-law gasps that I used an obscene word at the dinner table, of all places! My father-in-law doesn’t see any reason to change his ways and mumbles under his breath. Uncomfortable silence ensues at the dinner table.
I play with my pad Thai noodles remaining on my plate, mostly tracing invisible profanities with my fork. I leave the dinner table and proceed to seethe while I wash my face and get ready for bed in the comfort of our private master suite. My husband meets me on my way back, and says that he’s making my father-in-law apologize, which is relieving knowing that my husband has my back and that my father-in-law is taking responsibility for his rudeness even though he was likely not going to alter his actions. I thought it was over—but I was so, so wrong.
My father-in-law’s attempt at a half-serious apology was, “Sorry I said stuff about [insert same slur here]s hehehe.” I have a very difficult time disguising my true feelings from my demeanor, so I can safely assume that everyone could read the very annoyed look on my face before I walked away. My husband says his father needs to be sincere and apologize for being abrasive.
My father-in-law says “Sorry for being loud,” and I just looked at him straight-faced and asked “…and?” which I did not realize I had the gall to say out loud. But then he finishes his apology with, “…and being abrasive.” And I thanked him for his apology. Even though we all know that my father-in-law did not actually feel like he was in the wrong, nor did he learn a lesson.
The next night, Christmas Eve, we are all watching trash Christmas movies together when my father-in-law has me all wound up again. I honestly don’t even remember what it was about this time. My father-in-law then claims that he’s just “being honest,” which is the lowest possible excuse for inhumane behavior. So naturally, I call him out and say that he may be claiming to be honest but in reality, he’s just being patronizing, insensitive, and inconsiderate to other people.
And my father-in-law says, “Ya know, you’re a lot like me…” I couldn’t believe what came out of my mouth next. I unwittingly interrupted and said, “What? Like a jerk?!” I suppose it was a tad disdainful and I normally would have felt contrite about my comeback, but my mother-in-law was quick to agree with me and so was my husband. Thankful for them for supporting my shiny spine and speaking up about it!
The next day was Christmas. My husband and his mother are in the garage working on a project while I am in the kitchen and my father-in-law is in the living room. My father-in-law has the audacity to ask, “So how do your parents feel about you and my son being married?” I let him finish his thought so that he can elaborate, even though I’m already feeling defensive.
He continues, “I heard this story about how a religious Muslim father took his daughter’s life for being too Western, and they later discovered the Muslim father was part of an extremist group.” Instead of giving him the satisfaction of seeing me all riled up, I simply stated, “Well, I’m still alive.” My father-in-law tries to keep pushing my buttons on the matter and I just repeat my previous statement of, “All I can say is that I’m still alive.”
He let it go. Oh, but how I wish I could have ripped him a new one. My father-in-law has met my parents. He is aware of the reciprocating unconditional love that we have for each other. I am still baffled as to why he would ask such a ridiculous question when he understands my relationship with my parents. My husband hasn’t been feeling well and, on the evening of Christmas, he announces that he needs to take a break to rest.
My in-laws and I continue to hang out in the living room, but they are both taking my husband’s temporary absence very personally. I explain that he is pretty introverted and just needs to recharge, and he’s also feeling a bit under the weather so it’s good for him to rest. My husband’s away for about half an hour and then joins us all again.
He proceeds to explain the same thing I just told my in-laws. My mother-in-law is listening while I explain that my husband has been introverted ever since I’ve known him and he even needs breaks from me. And it’s not personal, he’s not annoyed or upset with me or them. He just needs alone time. My mother-in-law hears me out and now understands that this is normal behavior, but her husband does not care to listen to our conversation.
My husband and I finish making Christmas dinner for all four of us. At the dinner table, my father-in-law is quiet and, after finishing his meal, he excuses himself to go to bed without saying a word. My mother-in-law is very appreciative of us cooking dinner for everyone, and we continue spending more time with her since she’s not ready for bed yet.
The last night of their visit we have the final showdown. My father-in-law tells my husband that next time, if he needs alone time, that he should just say he is tired instead. I cheerfully chime in, “Are you asking my husband to spare your feelings?” And my husband smirks at me and says he loves my spin on this, which is funny considering that he is very insensitive and makes fun of others for being so sensitive.
It was so amusing to watch him trying to reverse his statement and backtrack. Then, my husband points out that my father-in-law acted like a child the night before and just pouted at dinner and went to bed early, which was very passive-aggressive behavior. My father-in-law is still tripping over his words and I tell him, “Even though you may be upset with my husband, that is no reason for you to be unappreciative of our time and energy spent on cooking a meal for you.”
My father-in-law finally stops and, even though he doesn’t fully admit all his faults, him stopping was a sign of defeat. This holiday wasn’t the best, but my husband and I got to go to bed with at least one win. After the showdown, my mother and father call so they can wish my mother-in-law and father-in-law happy holidays and invite them over to their home. But the jerk had to get one last jab in.
My father-in-law then says to my mother, “When is your daughter giving us grandchildren? You need to talk to her about that.” I interrupt with, “I don’t think anyone should be telling me what to do with my body.” My mother didn’t hear my response, but I told her later and she supports me 100% and knows that I am the only person that is allowed to make decisions about my body.
She also agrees that my husband and I are the only ones that should decide whether or not we want to have children. So yeah, my father-in-law is a guy who justifies using offensive terms for no reason, despite being extremely sensitive himself. And his impolite demands that I carry on his bloodline did not get him anywhere. I suspect that next time, my husband and I will be invited for a shorter stay.
The visit was not enjoyable, but at least I know that my husband 100% supports me. He’s happy that I stand up for myself and, during each one of the little flare-ups, he agreed with all of my rebuttals, my tact, and how I generally deal with his parents. I am lucky to have met him and married him, even with all of the silliness that his father has brought into my life.
82. He Shoots, He Scores
My father-in-law is a big Second Amendment enthusiast. One year at a family Christmas party, he surprised his girlfriend with a gun and box of bullets as a present. The cartridge was in the weapon at the time. He openly said that he had loaded it before the party, and he casually mentioned that he had forgotten whether the safety was on or not.
His girlfriend then proceeds to wave that thing around the room, and even points it at my father-in-law’s chest as a “joke.” My father-in-law thinks this is all hilarious. The girl clearly didn’t understand the danger of what she was doing. I was absolutely terrified. This only stopped when my brother-in-law, a former serviceman, took the thing away from her, checked the chamber, and showed her how to use the safety.
I was raised in the Midwest and, while I don’t have a ton of shooting experience, I was taught basic arms safety as a child. When I was 19 years old, I was also involved in a friendly fire incident. Needless to say, I was extremely uncomfortable with the situation, and so I expressed to my father-in-law why I felt unsafe, hoping he’d understand.
Instead, when I brought this matter up, my father-in-law and the entire rest of my wife’s family started to make fun of me for having a ‘phobia’ of guns. They likened my concerns to a fear of dogs, and told me that I was just being silly and childish. We packed up and left, and now the family thinks we are the ones responsible for ruining Christmas.
83. The Wizards Of Dopey Place
For a self-proclaimed financial wizard, my father-in-law sure didn’t think some things through. I like to call him “Finance Dope” for short. Here’s a little bit of background info. I’ve been working as a nanny for the last ten years. I have a psych degree in childhood behavior and development, and I specifically work with very special cases.
It doesn’t necessarily pay as much as I’d like it to, but it offers a benefit that far outweighs any other job benefit. Namely, I don’t have to pay for childcare. I make $22 per hour, which is way more than minimum wage in my area. That’s actually a pretty decent salary where I live. And I’d much rather make $22 per hour and not have to pay for childcare than make $30 per hour and have to pay for childcare.
I’d say that as far as any financial decision is concerned, this is the best one that my husband and I have ever made or will ever make. Nevertheless, Finance Dope doesn’t think so. And as you guys can imagine, he’s under the impression that whatever he says automatically goes. On to the current story. My husband and I have been thinking about buying a house.
We’ve saved up for a 20% down payment and several months of my husband’s salary on the side in case of emergencies. We were looking at possibly moving out when our lease is up, a good month before I’m due to have our second child. Finance Dope, for a while, has been stashing some of my husband’s money away in an account and holding it over our heads.
We originally decided to pretend that the money doesn’t exist, because I don’t deal with manipulation. He can try, but I’d rather assume he just swiped my husband’s money than ask a horrible jerk how far I should bend over for him. But while we are talking about this, my husband brings it up one last time and asks if that will help with closing costs.
I said, “It probably will.” So my husband sends a text to Finance Dope, asking how much is in the account. This is when things start getting messy. Finance Dope starts off by denying the account’s existence, then continues by insulting my husband and saying that he isn’t financially savvy. He went on to say that my husband should be receiving his wizardly advice, which he oh so graciously offered to provide to us for free.
He even had the gall to claim that we should really be thanking him truly, before insulting our choice to move out now. As if that’s not enough already, he decides to then go a bit deeper and say I need to find “an actual job” before we think about settling down. Excuse me? What the heck do you think I’ve been doing for the past 10 years? Lounging around while my husband makes all the money?
I don’t freaking think so, you dunce head. This isn’t some high school summer job I’m doing. I’m applying actual academic studies to help troubled kids as their nanny. And I’m making more money doing that than I would if I got a higher-paying job and had to pay for childcare. Not to mention that we are two fully grown adults who have a baby of our own and another on the way.
So you can stop treating us like a bunch of little kids who “haven’t settled down.” We don’t need that money, Finance Dope. This is exactly why we originally decided to pretend it didn’t exist. You’re a manipulative, hurtful jerk who believes you have the right to be involved in your stepson’s decisions. My husband did respond to him, and it did at least temporarily shut Finance Dope up, but it wasn’t as firm as I would have liked it to have been.
It was more like a “Hey, can you please not say that again?” type thing. And this was all over text, so I wasn’t fully able to respond the way I would have wanted to either. Gosh, I’m just so freaking DONE dealing with this man!
84. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
For a bit of backstory, I got married last June to my dear husband. We’re very happy together, and he has been helping me break out of the fog. We moved across the country in August to find work. We’re now both fully employed and have our own two bedroom apartment. We also wanted to get as far away from my side of the family as possible. Mostly my dad.
My dad has narcissistic tendencies, but is really good at appearing normal on the outside. As a result of this, it’s very difficult for people to see what’s really going on unless they get to a certain level of closeness with him. My mom has been diagnosed with ASD, so my dad can essentially gaslight her into believing anything he wants her to believe. My husband and I think that he gaslights himself as well.
During and before our wedding, my dad protested all of our decisions. Even things as unimportant and benign as where the wedding procession would walk down the aisle was a point of contention with him. But the real clincher was the decision to wear masks at the wedding, and have a limited guest list. We had about 20 people present, and the wedding was outdoors.
My husband and I had been seriously ill back in March, and the last thing we wanted was for our wedding to become a super-spreader event. Therefore, we were actively taking all the precautions we possibly could. We even had the priest do a “you may now hug the bride,” which I thought was really cute. Nevertheless, my dad threw a huge fit in front of everyone and started scolding me about my decision to wear masks during our photos.
His behavior got so bad that my brother-in-law actually threatened to throw him out of the wedding at one point, but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, because of all the wedding drama and finding out that my dad has essentially been trying to control my decisions all my life, it was very stressful to maintain any sort of relationship with him.
He feels entitled to be involved in every single thing that I do, and expects to be called at least once a week to “catch up.” Then, I found out that I was pregnant. When I told my side of the family the news, my dad was really excited at first. Mind you, this was after I was safely in another state, and had taken precautions to not share my address with anyone that he had connections to.
Anyway, as I said, my dad was really excited. In his words, this would be his first “blood grandchild.” I felt really gross at hearing that, since I already have two perfectly good and cute nephews by my adopted brother. Who, by the way, is genetically my cousin on my dad’s side, if you care about such things, and has been my dad’s son since he was three years old.
Then, perinatal depression started hitting me hard. My parents’ anxiety about everything and their unnecessary and often downright mean advice made things so much worse. I tried setting boundaries, asking my dad to not give me advice unless I specifically asked for it. But his response was that “telling me his opinions and advice was how he shows love.”
Like when he scolded me for 30 minutes about how I’m lazy for interviewing for an “unprofessional job” as a nursing home aide? So in late September, I called him up and said that I needed some time to myself. An indefinite amount of time, so that I could get therapy and figure out why even seeing his name pop up on my phone made me feel so gross and wrong.
During that conversation, he tried bargaining with me and accused me of punishing him. He asked me what he did wrong, other than feeding me and clothing me and supporting me all my life. I told him that I didn’t have an answer. I told him that this was exactly what I was trying to figure out. And then, since he refused to end the call, I hung up and blocked his number, as well as everyone else in the household’s numbers. This includes my two sisters and mother, who still live with him.
The most difficult part was that my youngest sister is still in middle school and we’re really close. In hindsight, I was pretty much her emotional parent, which isn’t healthy for either of us. But I had to go no contact with her as well because she is a minor and my dad has access to all of her methods of communication. It was not an easy thing to do.
Since going full no contact, every week has ended with some attempted contact from my dad. He’s sent me an email and texted me with burner numbers, saying things like: “Exclusion is a form of tormenting.” This went on until I finally changed my number. He then passive-aggressively removed me from his Apple and Spotify family subscriptions.
I didn’t really use those services anyways, as I’m quite self-sufficient now. But that’s not where this ends. To put the cherry on top, he messaged my husband the other day. Not me, even though I haven’t blocked his email, so he could have emailed me. But he chose to text my husband. Bear in mind that this is the first text message that he has ever sent my husband in his life.
He hasn’t even ever called my husband before, despite having had his number since we first got engaged. This was difficult for my husband because he really did want to have a relationship with his in-laws. Anyway, the message was to let my husband know that he was removing me, his five and a half months’ pregnant daughter, from his health insurance policy, because I wouldn’t talk to him.
Bear in mind that my dad has three children under the age of 26 that he pays a flat fee to cover, so he gains nothing from this except the satisfaction of “punishing” me. Don’t worry, my husband and I had already anticipated him doing something like this, and so we have applied for our own family plan. Plus, I didn’t want my dad to feel like he had any ownership over my baby because he “paid for the insurance when I gave birth.”
I did want to eventually have a relationship with him again, but it seems like he’s burning every bridge he can possibly get his hands on. Effectively disowning me over my own desire for space, especially since he seems so desperate for me to come back to him, seems so crazy. If he really loves me like he says, shouldn’t he be giving me the space that I need in the hope that one day I’ll come back to him?
Almost everyone else in my extended family is too close to him or too flying monkey to stay in contact with, so I’ve essentially moored myself in another state with a baby on the way. I can’t talk to the aunts and grandmas that I grew up with about baby stuff. And I think that that is what hurts the most in all of this. My dad being a self-destructive manchild? That’s just amusing.
But yea, my dad really just took his 24-year-old pregnant daughter off of his health insurance policy because I asked him to give me some time to myself and to stop harassing me all the time. It’s been less than three months since I’ve gone no contact with him for my own mental health purposes, and I now know that I made the right decision, at least for the time being.
85. Do I Know You?
My father-in-law has ignored me ever since I married his son. That’s about it, but I’m still mad. Sorry this is choppy but I’m rocking my kid and recounting sparsely, because thinking about it enrages me. So my dear husband and I got married back in June. We had a lovely outdoor wedding and a small reception. My beloved mother spent the entire past year planning, DIY-ing, and making endless phone calls to make this happen.
My parents also paid for the entire thing themselves. We are incredibly lucky, I know. However, from day one, my father-in-law has tried to turn this into a party for himself. He demanded a 100 person guest list of his friends, a lot of them parents of his son-in-law’s former hockey teammates and other people that my husband doesn’t even know.
He also wanted it held at a venue of his choice, and he wanted his friend to be the DJ. He also asserted that we can’t have cupcakes because “That’s for children’s birthday parties.” We did not listen and served cupcakes anyway. Just a lot of demands from someone who isn’t forking over cash for this elaborate party that he wanted.
We told him no, he threw a tantrum, we ignored him and continued. So he made a bunch of snide comments and changed the subject any time the topic of the wedding was brought up. Fast forward a year. It’s March 2020, America is on fire, and nothing is certain. My husband and I toss around the idea of postponing the wedding to the fall.
After all, Halloween weddings are pretty cool and we could probably have some nice candy stations for the kids and what not. Unfortunately, this plan was not good enough for my father-in-law because, GASP, his son-in-law has a hockey game that day and he would rather go to that! So we now needed to change our backup date just to make him happy and agree to attend.
My husband actually hung up on him for that one, and told him that if he ever got tired of washing poop out of his hair every morning then he needed to pull his head out of his son-in-law’s butt. June 2020 comes. Our state is now open, so we go ahead with an outdoor ceremony at a venue we’ve never seen, making the venue swap two weeks in advance.
On the night of the rehearsal, my father-in-law gets lost because he can’t follow Google Maps. When he finally arrives, he berates my mother about how he got lost, how the place is ridiculous, and how she needs to go out and put up signs so that this never happens again. At this point, I step in and tell him that my mother has busted her butt and done everything else for the wedding, so if he wanted signs up then he could put them up himself.
At this point, he threw up his hands and walked away. On the wedding day, I am completely ignored. He does not even say hello. Doesn’t speak directly to me at any point in the day. He walks away whenever I approach him. He tells his son to screw off at his own wedding when he was told that our son was at a babysitter’s place.
I haven’t spoken to him since. My husband still talks to him, but as soon as he hears my voice in the background he hangs up. My God, I hate this man with every fiber of my being. This is only one example out of the hundreds of terribly selfish things that my father-in-law has done to my husband over the course of his life. And don’t even get me started on his weird obsession with his son-in-law.
86. A Good Night’s Sleep
My father-in-law is just a toxic pain in the neck. He always wants things done his way, or as he calls it, “the right way.” I knew since the first day I started visiting their home that we would clash a lot. For the most part, I would always just ignore him back then. After all, he was just my boyfriend’s dad. I just minded my own business, but then things got serious between my boyfriend and me.
Background: I’m pretty much a feminist, strong, independent woman, blah blah blah. My parents always taught me to not depend on anyone, and life has really drilled in that lesson for me. When I first got together with my boyfriend, I worked, had a car, paid bills, and, a month after, got my own place. My boyfriend moved in with me, and we split all the bills 50/50 after that, but I still took care of the house chores, laundry, dishes, etc.
My father-in-law is a stereotypical wannabe macho man. He doesn’t let his wife get a job, even though she’s been wanting one for years. He thinks the woman belongs at home raising kids and all that. We disagree on pretty much everything. When I got pregnant, my father-in-law cried, which I thought was super sweet, seeing as how he doesn’t ever really show any emotion.
But that was the highlight of the whole journey. As soon as we told them our baby would be a girl, he pitched in a name that neither my boyfriend or I liked. We said no. We already had a name picked out before I was even pregnant. Well, he didn’t care. Throughout the whole pregnancy, he kept asking how [his chosen name] was. I just smiled and kept telling him that this wasn’t her name.
Fast forward. Our girl is now nine months old, and he still won’t call her by her first name, just her middle name that he sorta prefers but no one else uses. A few weeks before I was due, I posted on my social media the “hospital rules” as my boyfriend and I didn’t want anyone ruining our moment. We told everyone not to show up unannounced, and to not take or post pictures or anything to do with the delivery until we had the chance to announce it ourselves.
My father-in-law started joking about how she was his granddaughter and he could post whatever he wanted. I pushed the boundaries out even further and said they could not post pictures of my daughter at all, ever. My boyfriend doesn’t use social media, so he doesn’t really care about any of this and just backed me up. I follow my own rules and we still haven’t posted a single pic of her.
My father-in-law keeps pushing and joking about posting pics online and that people would think my daughter is ugly and that’s why I don’t post pics, etc etc. I just responded that if he can’t refrain from posting pics of her online, then he just wouldn’t be allowed to take pics of her at all. Again, my boyfriend doesn’t care and just backed me up.
Every single time we see him, he questions our parenting and all the rules we have; which for the most part aren’t too outrageous, like not giving her soda or candy. Again, she’s not even a year old yet. My boyfriend just tries to stay out of the way, and when I complain about his dad he just tells me to ignore him. Finally, this past weekend, my boyfriend stood his ground, in front of all my in-laws. It was amazing!
He went out to a lake for my father-in-law’s birthday, woohoo! It was the baby’s nap time. She was rubbing her eyes and getting grumpy. My boyfriend picked her up, started rocking her to sleep, and she began crying, which she always does for about three minutes or so before falling asleep. As she began to cry, my father-in-law chimes in that “Ah, she’s not tired! She doesn’t want to go to sleep, bring her over here,”
My boyfriend shakes his head no and my father-in-law repeats himself that he wants to hold her. Now, my boyfriend and I know how bad our daughter gets when she doesn’t nap, so when my father-in-law repeated himself again that he shouldn’t put her to sleep because “She doesn’t want to,” he looks up straight at him and in a cold, firm manner says: “I know what my daughter needs and wants” and just shut him up, in front of everyone.
He didn’t say anything after that. Our daughter was asleep about a minute later and my mother-in-law just looked at her husband and said “See? He knows what his daughter wants!” Just adding wood to the fire…
87. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
My father-in-law is a major boundary stomper—so I came up with a disturbing nickname for him. I like to call him “Creepo” for short. He literally thinks that our rules don’t apply to him. And since I recently had a baby, that’s about to become a much bigger problem than it already has been. Not long ago, my sister-in-law moved to a country in Europe to live with a family there as part of a program.
So a few days prior, my husband and I visited our hometown to see her for a very informal goodbye party. This was all on very short notice. At that point, my husband and I had only a few weekends left to spend alone together before the baby came, because of our work schedules. We had been planning on getting seriously caught up with one another during this weekend, since we knew that we were running out of time.
Being informed at the last minute about my sister-in-law leaving the country in the middle of the following week threw a wrench into our plans, but we realized that the appropriate thing to do was to go and spend some time with her and send her off with a nice goodbye. We knew that this was going to be the last time we could see her before she moved away for the year.
The sudden nature of this whole thing was due to a serious lack of planning on my mother-in-law’s part. The whole ordeal had been thrown together kind of haphazardly. And in case you can’t already tell, I was pretty irritated that we had to drop our intimate plans for that weekend. Not because of having to say goodbye to my sister-in-law, though.
I knew that saying goodbye to her was really important to my husband, and it was important to me too to an extent. In fact, I’m really glad that we did make the choice to spend some time with her before she left. I never even gave that part a second thought. No, the reason that I was irritated was that we were not aware that this was going to be happening until literally the morning of
And we had spent literally every single other weekend in our hometown, which is two hours away, leading up to that point since late July because “faaaamily.” So this was going to be our special weekend together, but we had to suddenly change the plans out of nowhere, which fully could have been prevented. The whole thing was just really annoying, that’s all.
But, as a result of this incident, I made it very clear to my husband that from here until the baby is born, we’re done sacrificing our precious alone time because “faaamily.” That was no longer going to be a valid reason to change our plans. We had to get ready for the life we have ahead, and I wanted to enjoy what little time we had left as a twosome.
I said that from now on, someone would have to be seriously hurt or in the process of losing their life for us to give up another weekend together. My husband agreed entirely. So, anyway, we go to visit his family despite being annoyed. When we get there, we’re all sitting in the kitchen and politely talking, when my father-in-law randomly walks in and says to me, “Hey, are you gonna let me have access to your husband some time during October to go to the local shooting contest?”
For context, in a town about an hour away from where the in-laws live, they have an annual gun show where the biggest attraction is going to watch people shoot from gigantic machines. We live in the south, so it’s a pretty big deal here. It’s not really my husband’s thing, but he’s trying to do his part to better his relationship with his dad.
I look at my husband, who without missing a beat says, “As long as it’s a weekend, I won’t be available.” Creepo looks at me. So I explain that our time together is limited, and that therefore if it’s a weekend we both are off work, then it’s off-limits for the time being. Creepo was not happy, and I think this was the beginning of him treating me differently.
A few days later, we were crib shopping. To make a long story short, Creepo basically forced his way into buying a crib for us even after we declined his offer multiple times. Nevertheless, he just called us up one day and informed us that he had found a version of the crib we wanted secondhand at half the price, and that he had bought it for us.
We then didn’t hear anything about it for several days, until we finally brought it up and asked Creepo what was happening with the crib. He said: “Oh, it’s in the back of my daughter’s car. I’m going to bring it down one day and help you set it up. Then we can finish the nursery and go shopping for more baby stuff.” That’s when I lost it.
I almost started crying right then and there. Setting up the baby’s crib and nursery is something that my husband and I had always talked about doing alone together. It has always been a very special dream to us that we would prepare for the baby together, on our own. My own mom has really been wanting to come help, but understands and respects that we want it to be between me and my husband.
Nevertheless, Creepo continued trying to strong-arm his and wife’s way into the process by holding the crib back and promising us more “gifts” in exchange for letting them help. Keep in mind, by “gifts” he really means extra stuff that we don’t need. And if they get their way but we’ve told my mom no, it’s going to seriously hurt her feelings, aside from angering me to no end.
I reiterated our desire to save that time for me and my husband. Creepo claimed to understand. Later on, I heard my mother-in-law still talking about coming to help set up the nursery. She had just gotten home, so I explained to her that we were going to reserve our remaining weekends alone and why. I told her twice, right in front of Creepo.
Then, as we were leaving about ten minutes later, Creepo started talking again—and I couldn’t believe what he said. He told me: “Let us know what day works for you for us to come down. We can help get things set up and then go shopping for baby stuff.” Umm, what the heck had I already explained to you four times that day?! I calmly explained it one more time.
I remind him that, as expressed earlier, we really want to keep as much of that time as possible between me and my husband. He wasn’t listening. He wasn’t even doing a serious job of pretending to listen. My husband goes over to talk to him in private. He decides that he’s going to invite them to see the nursery one weekend that I’m working, but he explains that we want to set the crib up together on our own at a separate time.
Once again, he reiterates that they can bring the crib down, but will not be helping with the setup of the nursery or crib at all. We did not leave the encounter with very high confidence that this boundary would be respected. My mother-in-law then started asking questions about the registry—i.e., fishing for more items that they could buy us to show everyone else at the baby shower up next week, even though they already bought us the crib.
Out of nowhere, Creepo then brought up video baby monitors. My husband mentioned that they were not always safe, as some connect to Wi-Fi and could be easily hacked into. So, without missing a beat, Creepo responds: “You mean I could check in on my grandbaby any time I want to?!?” I must have looked terrified, because he immediately tried to laugh it off as a joke.
Then, surprisingly, my mother-in-law said very sarcastically, after a brief silence, “Yeah, that’s not weird at all…” Creepo also looooves to buy us junk. Seriously. He thinks it makes himself seem important or some such nonsense. He often finds random junk at yard sales and thrift stores that he thinks my husband just has to have, and he makes the whole thing into this dramatic show of affection whenever he gives it to him.
We had told him more than a few times that we were trying to get rid of things before the baby arrived, so we really didn’t want him to buy us anything else. That request obviously went unheeded. A few nights later, we received a sled (“for my grandbaby!”), a glue machine (“one of those that can melt plastic, yours is nicer than mine!”), and a bunch of tools that he had apparently intended to have gifted to my husband months ago, but we never were given them.
These tools included an ax. How did everything but the sled make it home with us? Creepo had literally hidden all of the items in the backseat of my husband’s car without telling him. I found it all as we were leaving, and made my husband at least leave the sled there. Creepo briefly argued about this, but eventually did reluctantly concede.
We were going to have a serious sit-down conversation with him about materialism and not buying things for us or the baby without coordinating with us first. We were very hopeful about the results that it would yield, and were prepared to give it our all. But then something else happened that completely changed our plans of how to deal with this guy.
He licked my daughter. Now, I haven’t really mentioned this yet, but it probably won’t be surprising to you after some of the things you’ve already read about him. Creepo is one of those dudes that just gives you a really weird vibe when you talk to him. Like, the kind of guy you see and just know that you don’t want to be touched by him or alone with him.
I instinctively recoil any time that he hugs me or tries to put his hand on my shoulder. He was very inappropriate with my husband when he was a young child, has a thing for the barely 18 girls. We have lots of instances of him being creepy in general, but he’s a typical Married Christian Man and in a professional career, so he’s totally normal and it’s all innocent as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
Here’s how the licking incident went down. My mother-in-law’s parents were in town from a state far away. They rarely get to see our newborn daughter, so we were visiting them at the in-laws’ house. When we arrived, my husband was holding our daughter and everyone was fawning over her. The kitchen was full of cousins, siblings, grandparents, etc.
My mother-in-law was doing her annoying baby voice as close to my daughter’s face as she could, and Creepo shoved his way in between his wife and my daughter. He squeaked in this super high-pitched baby voice, “Hi, baby!” And he freaking licked her hand. Not even like a “normal” lick (as if there’s a normal way to lick your granddaughter??). He flicked his tongue over her hand.
You know the highly inappropriate and immature hand gesture where you flick your tongue between your fingers? That’s how he licked her hand. My husband instantly recoiled with a horrified look, and I immediately perked up. Me: “Don’t lick her.” My husband (pulling farther away as Creepo continues to be in her face): “Yeah, for a lot of reasons.”
My mother-in-law (She didn’t hear what I said): “What?” Me: “I said, don’t lick her.” My mother-in-law (looking repulsed): “You licked her? Why in the world would you lick her?” Creepo: “Oh, not really, it wasn’t…” He trailed off because he didn’t have anything to justify how freaking creepy he was being. My mother-in-law looked over at me.
I nodded and made a face that indicated, “Yes, he really did.” Creepo then slipped out of the room. Everything kind of resumed after that. I kept a close eye on everything Creepo did when he was near my daughter. We don’t let him hold her unless I’m right there. Even then, probably not. Unfortunately, my sister doesn’t know that we limit any kind of contact between my daughter and Creepo, so she passed my daughter off to him when I was out of the room.
When I found out, I went looking for them. He had her in the backyard, even though everyone was inside the house. He was just walking around with her and whispering in her ear. It was as creepy as you can possibly imagine. My husband took her and brought her inside, and she didn’t leave my sight at all for the rest of the night.
My husband and I had previously agreed not to let Creepo hold her if we could help it, and he definitely would not have unsupervised time with her. Now, no one is going to get unsupervised time with her with the in-laws, except the sister-in-laws. They know that he’s as creepy as heck, and they help us keep him away from the baby.
Creepo is never holding her again as far as I can help it. If he asks why, I will gladly say that it’s because he freaking licked my baby when she was nine months old. I’m still absolutely disgusted by that. After that incident, we think that he apparently started to sense that something was up and that we were actively trying to keep him away from the baby.
A few weeks later, my parents had us and my in-laws over for the Labor Day weekend. Creepo held my daughter one time while I watched very closely. Maybe even angrily, as my mom passed her off. She doesn’t know the deal, though, so I can’t be mad at her. My mom insisted on doing bath time with the baby in the kitchen sink, and Creepo tried to watch. I carefully blocked his view with my body and made sure that he saw nothing.
So basically, Creepo is fully aware that we don’t want him near our kid, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. Thankfully, he hasn’t tried too hard to hold or touch her the last couple of times we’ve seen him—but the ordeal isn’t over yet. Creepo texted my husband out of the blue and said, “I’m in your city for a meeting. I will come to your apartment after it’s done.”
Excuse me? No warning, no invitation from us, yet you think you’re just welcome to pop on by whenever you want? My husband responded by saying that we were planning to be in his town soon and that we would just meet him then. No response, but we knew he had read the message. After two hours, we still hadn’t heard anything back.
We were in the process of getting dressed and ready to leave, but were getting food when the doorbell rang. I turned around and angrily whispered to my husband, “I told you he’d show up!” I grabbed my daughter from her walker and we went upstairs while my husband opened the door. My husband told Creepo that we were getting ready to go to town and that he had texted him earlier and knew he’d seen it.
“You’re going out of town?” says Creepo. My husband says, “No, we said we had errands to run and would visit you soon.” Creepo makes up some excuse about how he must have opened the message but he didn’t read it, blah blah blah. We agreed to meet him downtown for dinner. Once my husband and I were ready to leave, I brought my daughter downstairs.
Creepo was standing there in the lobby waiting for us. “Oh, hi Creepo. I thought we said we’d meet you in town?” The passive aggression may have been dripping from my voice. “We had some miscommunication, apparently,” he replied. “Apparently,” said my husband. I kept my daughter with me at all times and continued getting her snacks and water ready for the outing.
I kept my responses very short and matter of fact while we decided where to eat. Then I whisked past Creepo and buckled my daughter into her car seat. Thankfully, he drove separately. He’s an awful driver and I’m not exaggerating when I say that he nearly caused three wrecks on the way. Always because he weaves in and out of traffic without a turn signal, and only sometimes bothers to check his mirrors.
We got to the restaurant and brought my daughter inside in the car seat carrier. We never unbuckled her, which seemed to be a good choice. The weirdest he got with her was tickling her feet and up her leg, then tickling her thigh right under the cuff of her shorts. He stopped right as I opened my mouth to tell him to, and didn’t try touching her again.
The whole meal was kind of tense and awkward. He knew we didn’t want to be around him. He kept talking about wanting to buy us things or give us money “because I love you guys” and “I remember how hard it is just starting out.” We’ve lived on our own for eight years at this point and have been doing really well for ourselves.
He mentioned how we have my sister-in-law babysitting for us one day a week for this month and told us he has “three months of paid vacation saved up, so if there’s ever an emergency and you need me to help out…” I cut him off right there. “Thankfully our jobs are flexible and we could take care of any emergency.” Of course, he was “just saying if you ever need me…in an emergency…”
We basically just gray rocked it from then on. My husband later said, “Him watching her alone would be an emergency.” We finished eating and my husband said that we needed to go run errands now. We thanked him for the meal, which he insisted on paying for, and then we left. He said, “I love you guys so much,” and my husband replied with a cheerful, “Yeah! Drive safe!”
Creepo was supposed to be back in town a few days later for the same activity, but my husband and I agreed on radio silence as the only appropriate course of action towards him. No texts or responses, and we wouldn’t answer the door except to tell him to leave if he showed up unannounced. I told my husband, who agrees, that he’s neither invited nor welcome in our house any longer. But still, he’s crept back into our lives.
Despite our lack of responses, Creepo has been texting us non-stop ever since his last visit. I’m sure soon we’ll have to have conversations with my family about what’s going on. My husband’s sisters are very well aware and behind us on everything. My sister already knows and my parents are definitely suspicious. The plan, for now, is to find a therapist to help us determine the best plan of action for working through the issues. I have a couple I’m going to call this week.
In the midst of all this, we were just enjoying a lazy Sunday with our daughter and watching Lord of the Rings, which I had never seen. I know, I know, we’re fixing that. By this point, Creepo’s daily texts had gotten significantly weirder. They started off as guilt-trippy: “I love you so much, I’m sorry about the licking! Tell me I’m good!” type things.
Then, he started sending us random memes, with random “How are you doing??” texts sprinkled in. He also sent a daily “I love you” text, as well as some random stuff about a few of my husband’s various interests. My husband didn’t reply to any of it at any point. So this continued to go on for about a month. Finally, my husband and I decided that we needed to sit down with a counselor and get an action plan together. This could not continue to go unaddressed.
The therapist is hoping, as am I, that my husband and I will be able to start to do some individual trauma therapy. He knows he needs it, but he wants to get through this “crisis” portion first, which the therapist is also in agreement with. Our first session went well. My husband got a whole lot out in the open and we decided that we would compose a text message to Creepo and his wife together to send.
So we did that the following day. My husband and I sat down and spent a good long while deciding exactly what to say. We slept on it, and finally sent it out the next day. We were pretty to the point with it. We made note of the fact that while they had messaged us repeatedly, neither of them had ever asked what was wrong, despite the fact that there are clearly problems.
We said that due to the previous issues we have had, Creepo is no longer allowed to hold our daughter. We told them that we were setting boundaries that they would need to respect, including no touching us, no constant messages or calls, no showing up uninvited, etc. About 45 minutes after we sent this message, Creepo replied with, “I love you.”
We also got a reply from my mother-in-law four hours later, basically ignoring anything we said about Creepo or boundaries and attempting to be diplomatic and act like they’d been “giving us our space.” We didn’t hear from either of them for a while after that. My husband and I didn’t, at least. Apparently, based on what we’ve been told, my mother-in-law spent the whole day we sent the text message walking around crying and trying to ask my sister-in-law what was wrong, who just ignored her.
Creepo finally made his next move a few days later. We heard about it when one of my sister-in-laws texted my husband. Apparently, Creepo had been texting her over and over again trying to get information about what was going on with us. You know, instead of asking me or my husband any questions directly or trying to clarify anything.
My sister-in-law hasn’t given them any information, so in a weird attempt to get her to talk, my father-in-law made his most terrifying claim yet. Creepo has said that he has gotten a copy of all her text messages from her phone provider and read through them, so he already knows everything. Excuse me while I explode from laughter! First of all, the only way to get text messages from their carrier like that is with a warrant.
Second of all, if he knew everything, he wouldn’t be continuing to press her for information. So either he was thinking my sister-in-law would fall for this ridiculous bluff and spill her guts out to him, or there’s the remote possibility that he has installed some sort of keylogger or app on her phone to spy on her with. She attends a boarding school, so she’s not at home for him to be able to sort through her messages the old-fashioned way.
So what we’ve gathered is that instead of actually wanting to figure out “what’s going on,” even though we’ve laid it out pretty darn clearly, they’re trying to drill my husband’s siblings for information and trying to keep them from talking to him with this threat of “we know everything you’re saying, so you might as well talk openly to me about it.”
For a while, we didn’t say another word to Creepo or my mother-in-law after sending that initial text message. They were not asking us questions or requesting information in any way, so there was no need for us to contact them. When we held a party for our daughter, our therapist recommended inviting the in-laws but reiterating our boundaries to them a few days before the event.
If I have ever been as angry in my life as I was after what happened next, it’s been a heck of a long time. I’m having a hard time staying focused enough to write this next part, but I need to get it out. When Creepo came to the party, things got ugly very fast. We played nice leading up to the event, because we wanted to see my husband’s siblings and extended family and didn’t want to have any further issues.
But we made clear to my husband’s parents that if they did not respect our boundaries, then we would not be talking to them. It’s important to note that when my husband was in college, he liked to smoke weed pretty regularly. Now that his older sister is in college and his younger sister is in high school at a boarding school, they’ve both had some experiences with it as well.
My husband and I are pro-legalization and don’t care to discuss the specifics with people as the topic comes up, but we do not live in a state where its usage is permitted. Neither for medicinal or recreational purposes. We don’t keep it in the house, and I don’t smoke, but my husband will from time to time on the rare occasion that he’s out with friends who are doing it.
So, onto why I’m seething. Maybe some of you can already see where this is going. The night after the party, my mother-in-law and Creepo apparently hated seeing that we were still on good terms with my husband’s siblings, so they started trying to badmouth us to them. As she was getting ready to come to our place, Creepo comes up to the younger sister-in-law.
Creepo: “You know your brother thinks he knows a lot, right?” My sister-in-law did not know how to react. Creepo: “He thinks it’s okay to smoke weed. He doesn’t see anything wrong with it. So if you go over there and he offers you any, you’d better tell me.” Again, my sister-in-law was dumbfounded and didn’t know how to react or what to say.
But the most disturbing part was yet to come. Creepo continued and said: “Because it’s very dangerous and we’d have to take that baby away from them if they were using substances like that.” Are you freaking kidding me? I can’t remember a time in my entire life when I’ve ever been so angry that I was shaking uncontrollably, but that night I was. I saw red. How dare he threaten my child!
How dare he, the man that inappropriately touched my husband as a young child, the man that licked and inappropriately touched my infant child now, threaten to take my child away from me because my husband used to enjoy weed on occasion and because of the fairly moderate political views that he happens to hold. How. Freaking. Dare. He.
At that point, any remaining doubt I had about my relationship with this man was gone forever. I knew that I was absolutely done with him, and he could not be redeemed. I swore that I would never speak to Creepo or my mother-in-law again. I swore that neither one of them would ever get to see my daughter again until she is fully grown and old enough to make that decision for herself.
This incident also sparked another fear. It made me start to worry that they might have been planning something. Like they were looking for any excuse to call Child Protective Services on us, or that they were planning to file for some kind of grandparents’ rights against us. Or maybe both. So now, at that point, I was incredibly angry, and I couldn’t help but be scared. We had no reason to worry: there were no substances in our house. We never even so much as threatened to spank our daughter. We have a well-stocked fridge and pantry. Our house is “lived-in” but clean.
Anything dangerous is well out of our daughter’s reach. She’s up to date on all doctor’s visits and shots. She has plenty of clean clothes, plenty of diapers, and is absolutely spoiled rotten with toys. Plus, she’s a wonderful, happy kid. She walks around singing, she adores me and my husband, and she’s incredibly smart and observant. It’s obvious that this child is well taken care of.
But he had threatened my child and he is an attorney. And we could not currently afford an attorney by any stretch of the imagination, should he have decided to pursue any type of court action. I was at a complete loss about what to do. Do we just keep going like we were beforehand, send a letter detailing our issues, and basically say, “You’re out of our lives. See ya, bye!”?
Would it be worth calling Child Protective Services preemptively ourselves to do a home visit and have it documented that our daughter is obviously well-taken care of, to protect us in the event that they make some kind of bogus report in the future? Or is that just overreacting and possibly inviting unnecessary and unwanted attention?
Do we truly have anything serious to worry about here other than this blatant crossing of a giant red line? These are all the questions that we couldn’t stop asking ourselves. As you can imagine, we were being tormented by this veiled threat that Creepo had made. He knew what he was doing, and there was no way either one of us could ever respect him again.
You don’t get to take advantage of my husband for years, try to groom my daughter to accept the same treatment, and then turn around and threaten to have her taken away because you’re annoyed that we called you out on your totally inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. If my Mama Bear instinct wasn’t out before, it was certainly bearing its teeth by this point.
After days of going back and forth about what to do about this, we finally emailed our no-contact letter to his parents. It was written by my husband and detailed all of the terrible behaviors that he went through as a child and how Creepo behaved with our daughter, and that neither of them will get a chance to hurt our children the same way they hurt him back in the day.
Did y’all catch that? I said children. As in plural. As in…. we’re expecting number two this winter!! We are very excited and can’t wait to have all of this drama with Creepo and his wife behind us so that we can move on and enjoy our new family member very soon! Yeah, I’m not that naive. I know an extinction burst is coming, but this letter means it’s closer to being behind us, too.
We decided not to tell Creepo and his wife about the new baby at all, but I’m sure they’ll find out eventually. Our families live in a very small, very gossipy town. We’re also moving soon, and of course, we’re not giving our new address to the in-laws. I’m wondering if that’s going to have any negative issues for whoever lives here after us, but we’ll see what happens.
Anyway, since we sent the letter, Creepo and his wife have continued to be their usual weird selves. My husband’s sisters both still live at home and keep us in the loop, though their mother has been trying to control any and all of their communication. The in-laws have basically been walking around, moping and randomly faux apologizing to them about how “I never isolated you as kids,” or “I’m sorry if you didn’t like it when I held you down and tickled you and you repeatedly told me to stop,” or “I’m sorry I was such a bad parent.”
As in: Tell me I’m good. Tell me I’m good. Ad nauseum. Now, my husband also has family that lives outside of the country, but they come to our hometown to visit every so often. They had never met our daughter, and we were on perfectly good terms with them, so we tried to make plans when they were in town recently. We were having trouble syncing up our schedules.
Then, when we finally made plans with them, we made a chilling discovery. We were informed by the sister-in-laws that Creepo and his wife were camping out all day at the house where we had been invited to join them. Apparently, they were insisting on one of them going with anyone who left that might run into us, and the other staying behind to try and catch us.
They tried really hard to get us to walk into a trap. Since we were aware of this plan, we declined to play into it. I actually told the visiting relatives that we knew that my husband’s parents were there and that we weren’t comfortable coming over, so we’d make other plans another day. The next day, we made other arrangements to see them for lunch.
We fully expected to see Creepo and his wife there, waiting to ambush us. Just in case that happened, we brought multiple printed copies along with us of the letter that my husband had written to them, so that the cousins would be fully aware of what the issue was exactly. We felt this was necessary, since these cousins seem to think we all just need to get together and “resolve this problem.”
They also seem to think that we’re simply mad that Creepo offered us money, not that he inappropriately touched my husband and then tried to groom our daughter into accepting the same behavior. So we’re ready, willing, and able to set them straight if they had been planning something. Thankfully, when the lunch visit finally happened, Creepo and his wife weren’t there.
It went great! We really enjoyed catching up with everyone. Our daughter absolutely LOVED playing with her cousins, and we got to share the news about little one number two. It was overall quite a positive experience. Then, at the end of the get-together, one of the cousins came over to warn us that Creepo and his wife suddenly texted that they were on their way over for a surprise visit.
My husband and I decided that we weren’t leaving on their terms, so we planned to just ignore them when they arrived. By the way, it’s very important that I note here that my husband and I never gave any specific details to any family members except his siblings. Some had asked what this was all about, and we told them that there were things we preferred to keep private.
The visiting cousins knew that there was tension, but Creepo and his wife were saying that we were mad they offered us money. No one heard any details from us at all. I never so much as looked at Creepo the entire time we were there together, and neither did my husband. This, despite the fact that Creepo intentionally sat across the room and pointedly stared at him the whole time, trying to get his attention.
My mother-in-law followed me and my husband from room to room and kept trying to make conversation, but both of the cousins were tagging along so she was easy to ignore. My daughter was exhausted at this point, Like, wailing because someone moved a blanket off of the floor that she was nowhere near. She started asking for “home.” So we said our goodbyes, and completely ignored Creepo and my mother-in-law.
And they finally accepted responsibility, hung their heads in shame, and never brought it up again. Hahahahahah. Yeah, freaking right! We were literally not even a quarter of the way home yet when we got a call from one of my sister-in-laws. Apparently, as soon as we left, Creepo, his wife, the cousins, and a few other relatives in the area all stowed away in a room to talk about the “unpleasantness.”
Creepo was basically trying to explain why the letter we sent was all wrong or a misunderstanding. We weren’t sure if he was just describing it or what, but we knew that he and my mother-in-law were trying to “get ahead of” all of it. We considered turning around and just having it out with them once and for all, but my husband said to just let them talk smack if they wanted to, as he was confident that we were in the right.
My husband decided that from this point on, if anyone asked what the letter had been about, then he would willingly tell the details, so Creepo and his wife could set the record straight for themselves if they so wished. We decided that if he was going to refute everything my husband said, then we would set the record straight for ourselves the next day by sending out a similar letter to all involved parties.
So we got home and got another call from the sister-in-laws. They were panicking and afraid to go home that night. They still live with Creepo and their mother, and will be living with them at least until the fall. Apparently, Creepo was very intoxicated and not speaking to them, only glaring at them incredibly angrily. We’d later come to find out that Creepo had forwarded the letter to all of the adults present and tried to go through it line by line to explain how it was “wrong” and just a “misunderstanding.”
I repeat, this man sent everyone the complete, exact letter that my husband had sent him. Which is very explicit and straightforward, and outlines the details of all the terrible things that he had done over the years. He and his wife went into this conversation half-cocked, prepared to do damage control. Our best guess is that they thought we had already shared all of the details with everyone and they’d have to save face.
Except we hadn’t said a word, just had a nice day with the family we never see. So they basically went in and spread all of the gory details themselves. Completely unprovoked. In my husband’s very eloquent and well thought out words. Like seriously, he spent months drafting this letter, spending hours at a time tweaking every last word until he felt it was perfect.
The visiting cousins tried to privately ask the sister-in-laws if they believed the allegations. The sisters confirmed that they did, and then Creepo and his wife swept in to eavesdrop and control the conversation. The sisters told us they think that the cousins now fully believe my husband’s letter. The sisters left the room and are now headed back to stay the night with their grandparents and not at home.
They are seriously worried about what Creepo might do in his intoxicated state. They fear he could direct his anger at them, and I wouldn’t exactly put it past him. Though I also don’t think he would immediately resort to something like that. So, yeah. Basically, Creepo and his wife walked in assuming we’d told everyone all the dirty details, so they thought they’d get ahead of it and refute it all.
Of course, we hadn’t told anyone anything, so they really shot themselves in the foot by sharing my husband’s personal account in his exact words and his complete take on the entire situation. Saved us from having to refute all of their lies after the fact. I’m sure we’ll get more updates in the future, but for the time being, we are hoping this was finally the last straw in this seemingly never-ending saga.
We’re also telling the sisters to keep us posted on whatever happens, because we are worried about them.
88. Come Sail Away
My dad wanted to teach me how to sail when I was 11. I was terrified of the ocean but I wanted to spend the day with him so it didn’t matter much to me. I was on the sailboat, waiting for him to join me, when I suddenly felt a stomach-churning feeling. The boat was drifting away from shore. He had untied the boat and was pushing into the ocean. I guess… to “teach” me?
I was alone, not knowing how to sail, and completely panicked. It was getting dark by the time I returned home. The worst part wasn’t being stranded in the ocean. It was my disappointment. I really thought my father and I would have fun together, but nope.
89. Hitting A Wall
The last time I saw my father-in-law, he was pushing his wife into the wall because she was trying to stop him from taking a swing at my husband (his son). He had gotten furious at my son for having a typical eight-year-old’s reaction to something, and he lost his temper and attacked our son. My husband pulled his father off our son and told him to stay the heck away.
The next 15 minutes were chaos. My father-in-law was completely out of control, telling us to “Get the heck out” of his house, refusing to get out of my husband’s way while we tried to leave, daring my husband to hit him, and trying to pick up our toddler who was crying from all the noise. Our eight-year-old was howling in fear and pain and, the next day, he had a bruise the size of a softball on his hip, courtesy of his “loving” grandfather.
So imagine my delight when this llama-looking jerk texts my husband and me a link to a recall of the type of water bottles our kids use. Apparently, there’s a faulty valve or something in them. Whatever. This jerk hasn’t apologized for losing his mind on an eight-year-old and putting the four of us through an avalanche of terror because he couldn’t regulate his temper.
And NOW he thinks he should go ahead and text us “helpful” tips to keep our kids safe?? Hey dummy, the safest thing I can do for my family is KEEP THEM THE HECK AWAY FROM YOU AND YOUR ENABLING WIFE. His wife has been known to say stuff like “That’s his way of saying sorry,” like it’s cute or something. No, madam.
Offering a real, sincere apology is the only way to say “I’m sorry.” And even then, we don’t have to accept it. Enough with your pathetic rug-sweeping!
90. Seafood Diet
My father-in-law once tried to stop us from getting married by having a meeting with my parents. Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well. That’s the first thing you need to know. The second thing you need to know is that my husband has been deployed overseas since the beginning of the year, leaving my daughter and me mostly by ourselves.
I have a strong friend network in the area, but it’s nothing compared to having family around. So I had a choice to make for that summer. I could stay two states away from my family, just myself and my baby daughter for the whole summer, or I could go home and stay with my parents. I chose to go home. Here is the story of what happened when I did.
Every summer, my in-laws take a family trip in July because there are altogether five of us, including spouses (like me!) who have birthdays in July. So we have always picked that month to have a family trip that doubles as a group birthday bash. This year, we decided to go to the beach where my in-laws had a timeshare. It was wonderful!
We had a great time. My daughter got to play with her cousins. I got to get burnt on the beach. Just kidding, actually, I was super careful because I was adding to my tattoo collection at the end of the month. But either way, we had a great time. However, I obviously would not be posting a story online if something didn’t go wrong along the way!
We always go out to eat once while we are on vacation. This time, since we were at the beach, everyone wanted to go to a seafood buffet. Being at the beach, we knew it would be expensive, but we were planning on eating our weight in seafood, so win/win, right? Nope. My father-in-law did not like the $40 per person price tag for the buffet and said that we needed to find somewhere cheaper to go.
I should add that he was not paying for everyone. He was paying only for himself and his wife. We spent the whole week trying to find a cheaper place to eat. We did not find somewhere, but what we did find was coupons to the original buffet as well as vouchers from their timeshare meeting, and then a veterans’ discount. All in all, it brought the price down to about $30 a person, and everyone was happy except him.
He was still saying that we needed to find somewhere cheaper. Saturday comes, and after we have packed everything up, it is time to eat. We all agree that we still want to go to the buffet place and my father-in-law finally relents a little. He says maybe there is a lunch price and a dinner price, so we load up in our cars and show up as the buffet opens at 2:30.
I go inside and ask the hostess if they have a lunch price. The lady says no ma’am, we don’t open till 2:30 so it’s just the one dinner price. I thank her and go back outside to relay the message. My father-in-law asserts that we are going to find somewhere else to eat and starts heading towards the cars as the cacophony of disagreement erupts behind him.
All of us argue that this is where we want to eat and he says fine, then four of us can eat here and four of us can eat somewhere else. At this point, I have had it. Seafood is my favorite, and I can smell the crab legs coming from inside the buffet. So I look my father-in-law in the eyes and say: “Well, I am eating here, and my daughter is going with me.” She also loves seafood.
I turn around and walk towards the restaurant, as I hear the group murmur their agreement and follow me in. We get inside, and my mother-in-law comes in just a few minutes later, letting us know that her husband left and took her wallet and phone with him. I tell her I’m paying for her food, and we go sit down and dig in.
Later, we are all chowing down on some crab legs, and my youngest brother-in-law comes to the table with a plate full of food and says that my father-in-law is waiting for us in the lobby. He asked if we should go and get him? I look up from my plate and say no, he is on time out and he can stay there for a while. We all chuckle, including my mother-in-law, and then go back to eating.
I eventually asked my mother-in-law where he went. Apparently, he had gone down the road and gotten himself a cheap basket of popcorn shrimp.
91. Putting The “Fun” In “Funeral”
My husband (32), myself (32), and our two-year-old son are at a funeral for my husband’s grandmother this week. We’ve traveled 11 hours away from home to be here, and it’s been a great opportunity for my husband to catch up with his mom’s side of the family. A little backstory: my father-in-law has been a problem for a lot of reasons over the ten years that my husband and I have been together.
We live almost 12 hours away from him and his wife, and we see them about once a year. My husband has excused his father’s behavior in the past by saying “He’s the nicest jerk you’ll ever meet,” or that his dad is just “socially awkward.” My husband used to be extremely close to his father after his biological mom passed when he was about six years old.
My husband has said that his father was expecting either him or his siblings to take over the family business, but they’ve all moved far away from home. I have felt for YEARS that his father doesn’t like me, and that he puts a lot of the blame for us moving to our current city, and so far away from him, on me. It hasn’t been a pleasant experience—but that was nothing compared to what happened this week.
Today, we’re at this funeral, which is at a Catholic church, and I’m seated next to my mother-in-law, and next to her is my father-in-law. In the middle of the service, he leans over and asks me “Are you SURE my son is the father? Your kid looks nothing like him.” To clarify, my son definitely does look like my husband. People call them twins. There is NO mistaking it and I know he was “joking.”
But I found it incredibly hurtful that he would even jokingly insinuate that I would be unfaithful to my husband, and in a church, no less. I responded that yes, I was 100% sure, and faced forward because I really couldn’t think of any other way to reasonably respond. My mother-in-law quickly hissed at him: “Why would you say that?” And then the eulogy started.
And since it was a Catholic mass, I had to sit next to these people for two hours with my son next to me, just holding back tears. I can guarantee that my father-in-law would not have said that if my husband had been sitting by us. Now, I’m sitting in the car at the burial while my son naps. I’m trying to collect myself so that I don’t impact my husband’s day.
I honestly don’t know if I’m overreacting to this, or if it was truly as gross a thing to say to someone as it feels.
92. The Gift Of Not Giving
This is a story about my future father-in-law. We had Christmas at my fiancé’s grandmother’s house on Sunday. My fiancé and I moved out on our own this spring into an apartment and it’s been a wonderful experience so far. However, we don’t have very much disposable income now. Due to that, we only got Christmas cards with gift cards for everyone in his family.
Now, I didn’t hear the comment, but apparently, when my fiancé was handing his dad his card, my father-in-law said under his breath, “I guess the real gift must be in the mail.” My future husband heard this, and flat out said that we don’t have a lot of money. We had considered not doing gifts at all, and that’s the thanks we get for still trying to provide something nice?
I didn’t know about this comment and as soon as we left, I ordered a gift basket online to be delivered to his parents’ house because I personally felt I hadn’t done enough. When my future husband informed me yesterday of this comment, that, combined with all of their other transgressions, made me want to cancel the gift basket because I don’t think they deserve it now.
Unfortunately, it’s too late to cancel the order or to change the address. Well, whatever. I hope they feel like the idiots that they are when they receive it. I hope what I did was the right thing.
93. On Holiday
We were just on a family vacation—until my father-in-law ruined the whole thing in an instant. He just lost his temper at his four-year-old grandson because he ruined his drawing. He then proceeded to throw a temper tantrum and caused our family holiday to be cut short. Yes, as pathetic as it sounds, we’re all on holiday and my ridiculous father-in-law was sitting on the floor drawing on paper when his bubbly four-year-old grandson came over and playfully drew over his drawing.
My father-in-law is an artist and takes his drawing very seriously. Fine, I get that this incident must have sucked for him. But instead of seeing that the kid is four years old and dampening his response, he completely flew off his rocker, both literally and figuratively. After yelling and swearing at his grandson, he did the same to his son (i.e. the father of the grandson).
He was yelling at him because he allegedly wasn’t disciplining his son. In reality, he was, but my father-in-law didn’t have the mental capacity to see that. To give some context, there’s my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my wife, my two-year-old daughter, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and their son and daughter. That was everyone who is on this trip.
The nine of us are all sharing a holiday house, and it’s literally been awesome up till now. The kids absolutely love it, and all but one of the adults are smitten watching the grandchildren, children, nieces, and nephews having a blast. One of them was having such a blast that he decided to play a trick on granddad, and ruin his drawing!
It’s only a drawing, right? Annoying, but kids innocently do that kind of thing all the time, right? His parents are normal responsible parents, and he’s not a bratty kid. Yet my father-in-law has a big chip on his shoulder about how kids are raised, and how his children and their partners (me included) are all doing everything wrong.
We do this holiday getaway every year, and when our daughter was only a few months old, we had to leave early because my fragile father-in-law couldn’t handle our daughter crying as we were trying to get her to sleep. We were clearly bad parents and we needed to get her out of bed and put her down again later. It was a big blowout with lots of yelling and swearing.
There’s one common denominator in all this, and it’s my father-in-law. He claims that at the age of 62, he’s too old to change, and that getting angry is a part of who he is. He has severe anxiety issues and sleep problems, but hates medication. For a brief period when he was on Prozac, it was the calmest time I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Honestly, I wish I could just punch him in the face, but I know that this would just be a bad idea for everyone involved. I want what’s best for my daughter and wife. But when he’s talking at the top of his lungs, not letting anyone else talk, ranting, raving, swearing, cutting other people off, and then yelling “LISTEN TO ME, DON’T INTERRUPT ME!” when someone has the audacity to respond, I secretly dream of walking up to him and punching him as hard as I can.
I’m trying my best to remain calm, but holy cow, what a handful he is to deal with!
94. Hey Little Sister
My father-in-law is “making the moves” on my sister, and it’s making all of us very uncomfortable. So, I’m a 24-year-old female. My sister is 35 and my father-in-law is 49. He’s never been a great dad to my husband. He was terrible towards him when he was a child, and he walked out on them when my husband was about 13 years old. He chose his new wife over his family.
He’s made an effort to have a relationship again with my husband over the last few years, and they now have a much better relationship as adults. In September, our only child was stillborn, and at the funeral, my father-in-law met all of my family members for the first time. That’s when things took a turn for the disgusting. Since then, he’s been constantly chatting to my sister. They both have mental health problems and she likes to “fix” people.
Apparently, he took this to mean that she was interested in him romantically. He’s been commenting on all of her Facebook posts, and he now messages her daily and makes inappropriate comments to her. Things like how beautiful she looks and how if they were together he’d spoil her with gifts. He’ll share memes that are a bit vulgar and tag my sister in them.
He got intoxicated a couple of weeks ago and made a big Facebook post about her. He then messaged her, telling her how he feels about her. She 100% does not feel the same way about him. She told him this a couple of times now, but he hasn’t relented. My husband hasn’t done anything or talked to him about it, and I’m getting close to talking to him about it myself.
We’re just concerned that he’s going to pull the “everyone’s ganging up on me” card and leave my husband’s life again. But he’s making my sister really uncomfortable, and it’s causing some serious tension between me and my husband. He can’t seem to take no for an answer and I don’t want things to be difficult between them. We’ll be having a major family gathering soon, as well as all the other family occasions in between and after, and I just don’t know what to do about this.
95. The Candy Man
My father-in-law is absolutely insane. According to him, I am allegedly “starving” my baby son, who is less than two years old. What exactly did I do to merit this outrageous accusation, you ask? I informed him that I don’t want my young infant child eating sugary sweet junk food. Yea. That was all I said, and yet he reacted the way he did.
This just happened a few minutes ago. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But it gets so much worse when you hear the full story with all its glorious details. Basically, here is what happened from start to finish. We went to visit the in-laws since it had been a few weeks since we had last seen them. When we left the house and headed over there, it was around 10:30 in the morning.
Now, my son, being an infant, wears a bib. That is because he is currently at a point in his life where he is teething and drooling a lot. So, as good, caring, and responsible parents, we take this very minor and usually uncontroversial precaution to keep him comfortable. Without the bib, his shirt gets completely soaked sometimes, so we just keep him wearing it most of the time for his own comfort.
Up until today, this has never been an issue in any way. Not for him, not for us, and not for anyone else as far as we are both aware. Nevertheless, when I informed my father-in-law that this was why we had him wearing a bib, I stated my reasons to him exactly as I just did to you. His reaction was: “No, he’s not teething or drooling and doesn’t need a bib.”
Umm, excuse me, dear father-in-law? Did I hear that wrong, or did you actually just try to tell me what’s happening in my own son’s life, as if I wouldn’t very obviously know that better than you would? You don’t live with my son, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. I just corrected him sternly by saying “YES, he is drooling. And YES, he does need a bib.”
As if this lovely day wasn’t going well enough already, my son usually has lunch at around noon, so he was getting fussy as it was getting close to lunch time. I was going to go to the car and get some healthy snacks for him from my baby bag, but before I could, my father-in-law told me not to bother and said that he had some good snacks for him in the house.
I was skeptical from the start when I heard this, and my concerns were confirmed when he revealed to me that the snacks he had in mind were just some ridiculously unhealthy and non-nutritious junk food “snacks” that he should probably know are not suitable for young infants to be consuming. Yet for some reason, my informing him of this turned into a major problem.
I told my father-in-law that I was not going to allow my son to eat those snacks. His response was to tell me that I was starving my son. Again, I’m starving him because I won’t let him eat junk and want him to have a healthy diet? How does that work exactly? I got really angry at this point and told him that we would be leaving in a few minutes and getting lunch for him shortly, so he no longer needed to bother worrying about what snacks we were or were not giving our son.
On top of my general rules about what my son can and can’t eat ordinarily, I also definitely did not want to ruin his appetite before lunch with sweets. Especially since he rarely gets sweets. I would much rather that he fill up on nutritional foods instead of sugary junk. Oh, and seemingly just for good measure, my father-in-law also called me fat on my way out.
I am literally eight months pregnant. What the heck are you talking about, sir? This guy is such a handful to deal with. It drives me absolutely crazy. He also doesn’t seem to understand or respect any of my boundaries as a parent. I have gotten into so many arguments with him about the ways in which I choose to raise my son. Like it’s any of his business. Ugh. That’s all I can say.
96. All Part Of A Balanced Diet
My husband is in his hometown for two weeks for work, and he took our four-year-old son along with him to visit my father-in-law, who I call “The Jerk,” and my mother-in-law, who I don’t have a nickname for. It was agreed that, a few days in, I would take the train down with our other baby to visit for the long weekend. The trip is about three hours long. We came back home yesterday. My husband and older son will be back home on Friday.
My father-in-law has a lot of annoying habits. For example, he likes telling grown adult members of his family how to dress. He takes every possible opportunity to criticize other people’s appearances and wardrobes, even once going so far as to make snide comments about his cousin’s attire (a sweater and long skirt) at HER OWN FATHER’S FUNERAL.
The Jerk and my mother-in-law also insist that whenever we are in town, my husband, all of his siblings, and their respective families stay at their house, even when it means a total of ten adults and seven children in a four-bedroom house with children on cots and a couple sleeping in the living room behind a dressing screen. Totally unnecessary.
But this past weekend was the worst by far. My brother-in-law and his family were also visiting. He has a wife and three kids. The Jerk and my mother-in-law do not have air conditioning, nor do they have screens on any of their windows. I’ve asked in the past why this is, and my husband simply says, “It doesn’t usually get that hot.” These are people who just bought a brand new car, own about half a dozen motorcycles, and take trips across Europe every couple of years.
Money to put in central air or a window unit here and there or even screens on their windows is definitely not an issue for them. The bed we were sleeping in during our stay is also an antique that is constantly falling apart. The Jerk literally builds furniture from scratch, so I don’t know why he can’t be bothered to fix it.
Our first night there was absolutely awful. It was a Saturday night. My husband, son, baby daughter, and I were all in one guest room together, while my brother-in-law and his family were in the other. It was 101 degrees outside, and while there was a ceiling fan, as darn hot as it was in that house, it was about as effective as blowing your breath across the top of a volcano to cool it off.
We had a choice of sleeping in a veritable sauna or opening the screenless windows and waking up covered in mosquito bites. Since we didn’t especially enjoy the thought of our kids or ourselves contracting West Nile or being miserable and itchy, we opted for the former. The kids needed lullaby music to fall asleep, so my husband had it playing on his tablet.
I have to have silence to sleep, so this was a struggle for me. My son also woke up screaming in absolute horror at least twice. I suspect night terrors, but who knows. Either way, he woke up his baby sister in the process, so you can imagine how much sleep we got. The kids woke up early the next morning and my husband, bless his soul, got up with them so I could sleep a little longer.
Still, I was exhausted and not in the greatest of moods when I got up. But knowing how critical the Jerk is of others’ appearances, I made sure to comb and smooth out my bedhead before I exited the bedroom wearing my typical nighttime attire of a T-shirt over a camisole and cotton pajama pants. The first thing the Jerk says to me as I enter the kitchen is a sarcastic “Snappy PJs.”
I am so not in the mood for his garbage, so I say, “Excuse me?” Again, he says, “Snappy PJs.” I respond, “What about them?” He can only reply, “Snappy!” I say, “You’re going to critique my pajamas? Seriously? What would you prefer I be wearing?” He makes a big dramatic show trying to be funny, saying, “Oh, you know, something silky, a nightie of some sort.”
I say, “Dude. I’m going to sleep.” He says, “That’s when it’s most important! That’s when you need to be alluring!” and strikes a pose like Leonardo DiCaprio is about to draw him like one of his French girls. He walks away and my mother-in-law, smiling like this creepy act of telling his daughter-in-law she needs to look more attractive for bedtime is some cute endearing quirk of his, brushes it off, saying, “He made fun of the nightgown I was wearing the other night.”
My brother-in-law’s wife (whom I’ll refer to as SIL1, because my husband’s sister will be mentioned later as SIL2) comes into the room a short time later wearing her own nighttime ensemble of a tank top and shorts. I make it a point to say, “Hey, SIL1, snappy PJs!” with the Jerk still in earshot. She being the secure, give-zero-hoots person she is, laughed and said, “Thanks! They’re all the rage in Cairo!”
I pulled her aside later and explained the Jerk’s comment on my wardrobe and that I wasn’t taking a potshot at her, but instead subtly calling him out on his behavior. Having had many, many dust-ups of her own with the Jerk in the past, she completely understood and found it hilarious. Most of the weekend went fairly well, relatively speaking.
And when I describe a weekend where my father-in-law darn near sexually harasses his son’s wife as “fairly well,” you can imagine what fairly poorly would entail. After lunch, owing to the lack of air conditioning and finding ourselves positioned directly beneath Satan’s behind, the family as a whole decided to take a dip in the swimming pool for a bit.
The Jerk, my husband, and my brother-in-law have a long-standing tradition of swimming pool horseplay, so they decided to have a chicken fight. For those not familiar, it involves two teams of two people, where one person from each team sits on their teammate’s shoulders and tries to topple their counterpart on the opposing team.
The Jerk prompted my husband to sit on his shoulders, but my husband was leery, not thinking the Jerk could handle his weight. My husband has a slight dad bod, as do my brother-in-law and the Jerk himself. The Jerk says, “Oh, that’s nothing. The last time SIL2 (My husband’s sister, as previously mentioned) came to visit, she climbed on top of me and I almost didn’t survive!”
The second the words left his lips, we all recoiled in horror. SIL2 is, by the clinical definition, obese, perhaps even morbidly so, and I’d guess she outweighs her brothers, but in what universe is that an okay thing to think, let alone say, about your own daughter? But of course, because it was the Jerk, we weren’t surprised.
That night, my brother-in-law and his family having headed home, we decided to put our son and daughter down to sleep in the same bed in the back bedroom while we remained in the front room, figuring that if they had each other for company, they wouldn’t be scared if one of them woke up in the middle of the night.
This part of the plan worked beautifully. They slept peacefully all night long without a peep. When my husband and I went to bed, I opened one of the windows in the bedroom because I could not face another sweat-soaked evening. We slept well. But in the morning, I woke up to about a dozen mosquito bites on my legs. I wasn’t too thrilled about it, but I was just happy to have had a decent night’s sleep.
I made sure to dress and make myself somewhat presentable before I went out into the kitchen, because I didn’t particularly feel like having my wardrobe criticized yet again. I came out and made myself a cup of tea, and the Jerk pounced on me. “Here, sit down and eat your oatmeal! I’ve already made a bowl for you.”
I’ve known my husband for fifteen years. We have been consistently together for the first eight, and since then married for six. In all that time, I have never once eaten oatmeal. I know that the Jerk hates pears and that my mother-in-law is allergic to passion fruit and can’t eat nuts, seeds, etc. due to diverticulitis. As such, I go out of my way to provide foods that comply with these dislikes, allergies, and restrictions whenever they visit.
I’m a picky eater. I know this. But, that being said, it’s been pretty well established that I don’t like seafood, onions, or mushrooms. My in-laws cook very frequently with all of these things. I have never once complained or asked anyone to cater to me. I’ve eaten everything they’ve ever put in front of me, eating around things I didn’t like whenever possible without a single word of protest.
And yet, the Jerk always calls me out for it. Several times, I’ve choked down things I couldn’t stand just to try and be polite. But with oatmeal, I just can’t. One mouthful and I gag to the point of almost vomiting. So because I really had no desire to vomit, I politely declined. Me: “Oh, thank you, but I don’t do oatmeal.” The Jerk immediately scoffed and replied: “What do you mean, you don’t do oatmeal?”
Me (Trying to be diplomatic): “I just don’t really eat oatmeal. It’s okay, I’ll find something else.” The Jerk: “Who doesn’t eat oatmeal? I made this for you!” Me: “Well, why don’t you have it?” The Jerk: “I can’t! I just took medication and I can’t eat for 45 minutes!” Me: “So just reheat it.” The Jerk (as if I had just insulted the wee baby Jesus himself): “YOU CAN’T REHEAT OATMEAL!”
Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that.” The Jerk (being completely unhelpful): “Have you ever had it the way I make it, with raisins and lots of butter and cinnamon?” Me (knowing full well that there’s no magical method of preparation that can make me enjoy the texture of cat vomit in my mouth): “I’m set, really. It’s a texture thing.” The Jerk: “I’m going to have to throw it out!”
Me: “I’m sorry about that. Why don’t you eat it?” The Jerk: “I can’t!” Me: “Neither can I!” The Jerk: “Why not?” Me: “Because I don’t like it.” At that point, I was sitting with my back to the Jerk, so I couldn’t see the look he shot my husband, but judging by my husband’s hapless shrug, I can pretty well guess what it was like.
A few minutes later, my mother-in-law emerged from her bedroom and asked about the oatmeal. The Jerk: “I’ll make you a bowl. I just had to throw one out because your daughter-in-law wouldn’t eat it.” The rest of the morning was decidedly frosty. I was busy packing up our baby’s things, as well as my own, for our return trip home, when my husband came into the room.
Me: “So your dad is mad at me about the oatmeal, huh?” My husband: “Well, you could have at least tried it.” Me: “I have tried it many times in the past. I don’t care for it. It’s a texture thing.” My husband: “Well, it’d be nice if you could say something to him.” Me: “I did! I explained to him precisely why I don’t like oatmeal.” My husband: “He doesn’t get that.”
At this point, I wanted to scream. Me: “I told him I was sorry for the waste of food, but that I don’t like oatmeal because of the texture. I don’t know how much clearer I can make it.” I was seething about the whole darn thing for the rest of the morning, and my husband sulked like a child and kept to himself until our baby daughter and I left for the train station.
As we got in the car and we were all saying our goodbyes, I told the Jerk, “By the way, I’m sorry about the oatmeal. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings.” He offered a huffy, “Well, it’s okay.” I know this man well enough to know that he was still mad. In the car on the way to the train station, my husband said, “I appreciate you saying something to my dad.”
I responded, “I can’t believe he’s seriously pitching a fit over a bowl of oatmeal.” My husband said, “Well, you know, he was tired. I’m not making excuses for him.” I replied, “Gee, it sure sounds like you are.” He bristled and said, “How about we just don’t talk about it?” So we didn’t. That night, after my daughter and I had returned home, I texted my husband and said, “When you get home, we need to talk about your father. I really don’t feel comfortable around him.”
My husband and son are due home tomorrow around dinnertime, and after the kids are in bed I plan to have a sit-down with my husband about the Jerk and his nonsense. I have another sister-in-law (my brother’s wife) who is a complete, certifiable harpy who all but refuses contact between my brother and our family. To be perfectly candid, she’s a selfish, controlling witch.
I never wanted to be that person. I never wanted to be that person who can’t stand their in-laws, but the Jerk and my mother-in-law have made that all but impossible for me. As such, I’ve erred on the side of being a complete doormat, putting up with their garbage because I was afraid of rocking the boat. I’m not afraid anymore.
Between the decrepit beds, the lack of air conditioning and window screens, the Jerk’s criticism of pretty much anything I wear, and his insistence on playing the breakfast officer, I’m going to tell my husband point blank that while I cannot and will not dictate what he does, I will not spend the night in their house ever again, nor will my children.
If an occasion requires us to travel to their area, we will book a hotel and visit for an hour or two and retire to a room with beds that have been made in this century, central AC, no danger of waking up covered in insect bites, and a breakfast buffet where no one will question our dietary preferences. The Jerk and my mother-in-law stay at a hotel every time they come to visit us, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to do the same.
I haven’t even mentioned the creepiest part yet, but it definitely speaks to the kind of creep factor that emanates from the Jerk. Whenever we women in the family are greeting him, he always demands a kiss on the cheek. He holds his cheek out and awkwardly taps it with his finger until we comply.
Just the other day, he told SIL1 and me (after he’d insulted my pajamas, naturally) that we weren’t meeting our “quota” of kisses and that we needed to catch up. YUCK! I’ve decided that’s stopping, too. I’m tempted to tell him I have a disease so that I never have to put my face anywhere near his again. That is one aspect of visiting him I know I will not be missing.
Thank you for listening to my story. I desperately needed to get that off my chest. I’ve tried several times in the past to have sit-downs with the Jerk and my mother-in-law to try to discuss how I felt, and each time they’ve just simply stated that they won’t change. In a perfect world, we’d be completely no contact, but because I know how much my husband loves his family, I’d never ask him to do that.
I’d prefer very limited contact, but I have no idea how to navigate that. I would greatly appreciate feedback from anyone who has ever been in a similar situation.
97. Getting The Message
Sooooo, I have a huge number of stories about this monstrosity of a man that I call my father-in-law. I really didn’t expect to have many more new ones at this point, but life is full of surprises. Some back story is that this man has been awful towards me and mistreated me for many years. Never physically, mostly in the form of extreme name-calling.
Some of the other things he’s done to me have included gaslighting, making me feel guilty for completely normal things, blaming me for his lack of relationship with my son, etc. It goes on and on. Some more backstory is that I was pregnant with twins until January—when tragedy struck. They were stillborn. My husband and I were heartbroken, and are still trying to grieve and move past this.
Anyways, this morning I was at my computer working from home, making my to-do list and relishing the fact that I lost another pound on the scale, when suddenly a Facebook message comes through from my father-in-law. Now, this is weird because we’re not friends on Facebook, even though we have sent messages to one another in the distant, distant past.
Also, I don’t really use Facebook anymore. I haven’t for years at this point. But nevertheless, this man apparently somehow found out about my babies dying. He sent me a message so disturbing, it’s impossible to forget. It said: “Doesn’t karma suck? The worst part is you still have a lot more coming 🙂 !” Word for word, complete with the emoji and all. I was fuming—but, only for a few minutes.
It was like a PTSD response or something, because my adrenaline was running, my hands were shaking, I was afraid, the whole nine yards. But then I realized that this guy is just sad. He’s sick and hateful. He doesn’t love my son (his grandson), he loves his possessions and he hates me for taking one of his possessions (i.e. my son) away from him when we moved out of state.
He never even asked how my son is doing after losing his baby brother and sister. Sick, sick, sick. So, I made up a plan for revenge. I came to the decision to post on Facebook for the first time in like four years. I told all of those friends about the babies, the tragic loss, and finished off with the beautiful message my father-in-law sent me this morning.
Behavior like this cannot live in the sunlight. It thrives in the shadows. I was afraid of him for years, but I’m not afraid of him anymore! He doesn’t have anything to take from me. He doesn’t hold any power over me. I’m already getting messages from his family telling me how disgusting he is. I’m sure he’s heard about my post by now. Public shaming for the win! In addition, my son is going to be 14 years old this month.
He’s old enough now to hear the truth about his grandfather. So, if he wants to hear about it, I will tell him. If he doesn’t, I’ll respect that. My response to my father-in-law? “My son will know who his grandfather is. He loved those babies too.” So, good luck to my father-in-law in trying to have a relationship with my son any time soon.
Does he not realize that my son actually loves me and our family? What a doofus. I’m sure he doesn’t even realize that my son isn’t a sweet six-year-old anymore and that he’s capable of having his own thoughts and opinions now.
98. Passing The Torch
I need a safe space where I can vent about this situation. My husband and I have already seen a counselor about it, but I’ve found myself fantasizing about divorce again. And all the while, my husband keeps trying to sell me on liking his terrible father. We’ve been together for 18 years now and married for 14, and his father has hated my guts for every single second of that time.
At the very beginning, I wasn’t allowed in their home, and when I finally had dinner there for the first time, my husband told me afterward that his father complained that I was “passive” because apparently I didn’t clear my own plate from the table fast enough. In contrast, I would never expect a guest in my home to clear their own plate, especially not on their very first visit.
His father has consistently ignored me and called me names ever since. Once he called me brainless. My mother-in-law is no better. About a year and a half ago, we finally hit the last straw. My husband was away on business and he asked his dad to come and help me with the kids. I didn’t particularly want my father-in-law to come, but I figured that if he wanted to see his grandkids and was willing to babysit while I was at work, so be it.
That weekend I decided to prove once and for all that I’m not passive, and I exhausted myself working nonstop to make him comfortable while also taking care of the kids and working my full-time job. I literally threw my back out trying to prove myself to him, and spent half the weekend in significant pain. My father-in-law didn’t complain at all to my face.
But of course, the moment my husband came back, my father-in-law told him I was “passive” and “disappointing” because apparently he spotted me reading a book at one point. It felt so cold-blooded and calculated. Like he saw the entire trip as an opportunity to get another barb in. That was when I finally realized that the problem didn’t lie with me, and I stopped being afraid of my in-laws or caring what they thought of me.
This has created a rift in our marriage. My therapist has confirmed that yes, my father-in-law is in fact mistreating me. The marriage counselor told my husband explicitly that he needs to put a stop to his dad’s behavior and stick up for me. Yet my father-in-law has brainwashed him so deeply that he still believes his dad is always right, even as his dad calls him stupid and hapless, undermines his decisions, and nitpicks and criticizes everything he does.
The bad behavior goes even deeper. My father-in-law and my mother-in-law even tried to override our decision to treat our daughter’s medical condition on one occasion. My husband is determined to make me like his parents while shielding them from accountability, largely because accountability would entail confrontation and he is utterly terrified of them.
His dad recently sent me a book out of the blue called “How to Do Nothing,” and my husband swore up and down that it had nothing to do with all the accusations of passivity. He talks about his parents so often that I feel like they practically live with us. I guess the next step is more marriage counseling, but I feel like nothing is going to get better until he’s able to see that they’ve mistreated him, too.
His sisters have both gone to therapy for years and they know, but he’s still clinging to his rose-colored glasses, even as they chip away at our marriage. I’ve already seen both his parents behaving inappropriately towards our kids and I’m torn between wanting to protect my daughters and not wanting to be anywhere near my in-laws.
This is really hard to write, but for several visits his dad wanted to sleep in the same room as my older daughter. My husband says his dad honored our request that my daughter get her own room during the last visit, but I never know if he’s telling the whole truth as I wasn’t actually there. Just thinking about what could have happened sends a shiver down my spine.
Thank you for listening. I feel like part of the reason my father-in-law has been able to keep this up for so long is because so much of his bad behavior is passive aggression and relational bullying, so for years I’ve fallen prey to gaslighting and plausible deniability. Now that I’m seeing things more clearly, though, I feel like I’m feeling 18 years’ worth of wounds all at once.
My therapist and I have been working on this for over a year now, but the wounds just aren’t healing.
99. 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.
100. Getting The Message
Somehow, my medical bill from over a year ago got sent to my father-in-law’s old address. I’ve figured it out and my doctor’s office will be getting a lecture about privacy violations, but nevertheless here’s the story of what happened next. Instead of simply letting my spouse and me know that he had it, my father-in-law took it upon himself to open it and then text us both a picture of my personal medical information.
When told that we did not appreciate him opening up our medical bills, did we get an apology? Oh no! He doubled down on how this is all our fault, and how he was just trying to help. This morning, I got a text from him, and my jaw dropped. It said that he has “consulted with an attorney because we threatened him and his family, and he does not wish to speak to us anymore.”
I highly doubt that he has actually consulted with an attorney, because they would have told him that opening someone else’s mail is a very serious offense in the United States. Also, asking someone not to open your mail is not a threat. His idea of no further contact between us, though? I’m all about it! Bye bye, crazy father-in-law!
101. How About You Quarterback-Off, Dad
My friend is positive that his kid will be an NFL quarterback—and he goes to chilling lengths to make it happen. This poor kid—who’s 10, by the way—is a decent player, but his father has him spend hours each day practicing. He takes vitamins and has a special diet. He can’t have sleepovers or do any normal kid things. I know for a fact that the kid has told his father that he doesn’t want to play anymore, but the dad doesn’t care. In his messed up head, he thinks he’s doing what’s best for his son.
102. Silly Rabbit, Tricks Are for Kids
I was 15 or 16 and teaching the 2- and 3-year-olds at church. It was Easter, and one little boy comes in crying up a storm. Nothing that my friend and I do can console him. About halfway through he stops and just sniffles. At the end when the parents come and pick them up, he sees his dad and starts crying again, telling his dad that he doesn’t want anything to do with him. His mom comes and gets him, and my friend and I tell her about her son. She was trying SO HARD not to laugh and told us why. The boy’s dad hit a rabbit on the way to church this morning, and the boy started to cry, thinking it was the Easter Bunny.
103. Can’t Put a Price on Education
On September 14, 1986, my dad dropped me off at boarding school and gave me a five-dollar bill. I never heard from him again. He never paid my tuition bill. So, from the age of 14, I took every job I could get and worked my way through. At $4 an hour, I didn’t even come close to paying off my entire bill, but the school let me stick around because I was a model student in and out of the classroom.
We get to graduation. I opened my little diploma thing expecting to see a bill in five figures. Instead there was a note. Its contents changed my life forever. “Congratulations on your graduation. A group of us who believe in you and love you have taken care of your bill. We are proud to present you with your diploma.”
104. Young Enough to Have Had Enough
I grew up in a very abusive, strict home. My stepfather beat both my sisters and then when they left, I was next. Anyways, one night he made me walk home from the mall because he wouldn’t give me a ride. I called and asked around five and he said you better have your ass home at five. I walked the eight miles and was pretty wiped out when I was coming up the driveway. We had a big front window and I saw him sitting in his chair drinking, waiting for me.
When I walked in, he said something, and I replied you won’t do trash. The next thing I knew, he had me pinned to the wall and punched me in the face until I was knocked out. When I woke up, I remember feeling the blood from my nose, and my mother was standing there and told me I was a disgrace to go clean my face off.
I went upstairs and grabbed a hat and walked out and never went back. I was 14 years old at the time.