November 29, 2023 | Scott Mazza

Horrible Families


No one can choose their family, and sometimes that results in some nightmare parents and siblings. From selfish mothers and fathers to straight-up idiot brothers and sisters, these Redditors took to the internet to vent about their horrible, ridiculous, and sometimes unbelievable family situations. Get ready to feel good about your problems.


1. Netflix And No Chill

My friend had just about enough of her stepsister piggybacking on her Netflix subscription, especially after they clashed over a not so serious disagreement on the phone. Quick to lash out, the sister flung horrendous insults at her, lambasting her about her shortcomings—despite herself sitting on a pile of student loans worth $60K.

And get this, she didn't even finish the last year of her studies.

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Fed up, my friend decided to end this. She changed her Hulu and Amazon Prime passwords as well; a further blow to her often pampered sister. When the sister had a meltdown, my friend calmly texted her: "Maybe it's time you started paying for your own accounts". 

The reply from her sister was comedy gold.

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"I don't have any more money you witch! Sephora was having a sale so I'm tapped out! Screw you”! To this day, my friend and I have a chuckle about it as we enjoy our uninterrupted binge-watching sessions on her digital platforms.

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2. Stealing Her Thunder

Recently, I found out I was pregnant, a joyful news as I have always longed to have a child.

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Being single and career-driven, I wasn't sure if having a baby was in the cards for me. I was eager to share the incredible news with my family. My elder sister has a seven-year-old son, while my brother and his wife have firmly decided not to have kids.

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We had a family dinner last night which seemed like the perfect moment to reveal the news. As I planned to have only one child, I wanted it to be a memorable moment, and I decided to involve my nephew. I bought a t-shirt for him with an inscription "this is what an awesome big cousin looks like".

Before dinner, I had a heart-to-heart talk with him, telling him he was going to be a cousin.

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He was thrilled and quickly wore the shirt, hiding it under a sweater to reveal when he felt like it at dinner. In the middle of dinner, he showed off his t-shirt, leading to my sister's overjoyed reaction. However, things took a turn for the worse.

Everyone immediately thought my sister-in-law was pregnant.

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Though I was not surprised, as she is married, the fact she played along and didn't correct them hurt me. Misinterpreting my reaction, my mom chided me for not feigning happiness.

I attempted to clarify that I initiated the t-shirt idea, but my words fell on deaf ears as they continued celebrating my sister-in-law.

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Witnessing an utterly baffled brother and oblivious family, I decided to leave. Subsequently, they messaged me, blaming me for being self-centered.

Accusations of jealousy floated around, none of which I addressed. I just retreated to my bed, overwhelmed with sadness. The truth surfaced the following day when my sister-in-law confessed she was not pregnant.

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Apologies started pouring in, saying they got carried away, but they also added a cruel twist. 

They claim I wasn't transparent about being pregnant and proposed a re-do dinner to correct their wrongs. My sister-in-law messaged me saying she wanted to experience the announcement feeling despite knowing she won't ever have a kid.

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She assured me that I could reproduce that moment at the re-do dinner. I kindly declined their offer for a redo, and they labeled me as self-interested and uncooperative for not allowing them to amend their mistake. To me, it's an irreparable situation.

I'll find it in my heart to forgive them, however, I won't do a second proclamation to make them feel less guilty.

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3. We All Go Down Together

When my sister was arranging her wedding, her mother-in-law, who was even more disagreeable, decided to be part of the preparations. Unfortunately, this lady was insistent on weaving her family traditions into the celebration. The traditional food, I could accept, even the high-energy line dance, but then she dropped a bombshell on my unsuspecting mother. It was a custom in her family for older, unmarried daughters to perform a dance in a pig trough at the wedding reception.

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To my sister and brother-in-law, this idea seemed wildly amusing. Since I was the lone unmarried older daughter, I would be the star of this comedic farce. The problematic mother-in-law repeated this 'joke' in every phone call, while my mother battled to shield me from the impending ridicule without my knowing.

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Until I saw her in tears, I remained oblivious. Once I was clued in, however, retaliation was my only thought. At the time, I had recently extricated myself from a bad relationship. I had still not mastered the art of saying 'no,' but I did know how to say, 'If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me'.

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And, I hatched a brilliant plan.

To the mother-in-law, I promised, "I'll perform this dance in front of your entire family...nude". All naked, no ifs or buts. Suddenly, the joke wasn't as funny. The subject was dropped, and that would be the last time that lady ever spoke to me.

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FYI, it's been 12 years.

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4. Grandfathered In

My partner and I have been together for three years. We got engaged a year ago and plan to tie the knot after our unborn baby boy is born. However, there's tension brewing. Ever since my revered grandfather heroically yet tragically passed on when I was a child, I've hoped to name my first son after him.

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My mom, whose father he was, feels especially strongly about this. His name is surprisingly not an old-fashioned one, but a timeless, still popular one today. Interestingly, it's also the name of my partner's estranged father.

She rarely ever discusses her father, and mostly addressed my grandfather as simply—grandfather. This never struck me as odd initially since she's never met him, and that's how I refer to him too.

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Her blunt refusal when I suggested the name for our son though, took me by surprise. In spite of my repeated attempts to stress its significance and its timeless appeal, I ended up discovering it was the name of her abusive father.

Naturally, this was a blow and I immediately conceded to not naming our son that.

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I respected and honored that choice, even though it hurt, because my partner's wellbeing was more important than memorializing my grandfather's name. However, the real issue was the harsh response from my family, who were adamant on continuing the naming tradition.

Despite my partner bravely revealing her troubled past to my mother in hopes of quelling the discord, she ended up sharing the information with the entire family.

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The outcome was a wave of family members reaching out under the guise of support, yet stubbornly insisting on using the name.

In retaliation, we resorted to blocking many of them on social media and via phone. But with the impending arrival of our baby, the pressure from our family has only intensified, going as far as using the name in reference to our unborn son.

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They assume that if they persistently use the name, we'll see it as the natural choice. Despite stern conversations with my parents, particularly my mum for spilling my partner's secret, there's been no resolution.

My partner is left distressed, often in tears, and this situation has compelled us to change her phone number to mitigate the impact.

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We feel cornered and uncertain about how to handle this impasse.

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5. Meet Your New Mom

My mom had the major share of custody, maintaining 75% physical custody of us kids. But they both kept custody. Regardless, my dad wasn't exactly a role model, and after my 13th birthday, I decided I didn't want to visit him anymore.

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For various reasons, my mom and I later shifted to another state. My dad had a lot of girlfriends over the years, although my mom remained single. In the grand scheme of things, I was never bothered by it.

I was just six weeks old when he left, so I never knew what it was like to have romantically involved parents.

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Anyway, I remember this one day when I was around 13. I returned home from school to find an unfamiliar car on the street, and my dad said, "Get ready to meet my new girlfriend". I just went with the flow, doing a pretty good job of ignoring him and looking uninterested.

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He seemed irritated by my attitude, but whatever. I stepped into the basement and met a woman whose age clearly skewed younger than my dad's 50s. After giving me a scan, her next words simply blew my mind. "Hi! I'm your new mom," she chimed with a nauseatingly sweet grin. My first thought was, "This just isn't happening".

After all, my mom did all the heavy lifting, providing for me financially and emotionally with no help from my dad who never paid child support.

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She's the only one who can truly fit the ''parent'' label. So I responded with a simple "get lost," then whirled around and took off up the stairs.

I couldn't drive yet, but I was in no mood to stick around. Their antics kept going as they tailed me to the driveway, pestering me with questions and trying to coax me into a hug. My patience snapped, my backpack and jacket in hand, I made a run for it.

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They followed as long as they could, but an angry 13-year-old can outrun a 50-year-old and his girlfriend any day, especially if she's decided to wear heels.

Once I was far enough away and closer to my mom's, I texted her to pick me up. That was the end of that.

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That was also one of the last times I spoke to my dad before cutting him out of my life entirely. I find the situation pretty funny now, but I suppose that's just my way of dealing with things that might otherwise bring me down.

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6. Bigger And Better

This story is about my cousin's former girlfriend.

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Back in 2003, as far as I remember, my cousin started dating a woman who was definitely his superior in intelligence, attitude, and success. For the life of me, I never understood what she saw in him. Furthermore, my cousin's parents never gave her the respect she deserved.

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To put it bluntly, they disliked how she outshone their darling son in every single aspect. My cousin's macho attitude often showed up, leading him to quibble with her about inconsequential things. One ridiculous argument we witnessed was him telling her not to take a job that offered twice his salary.

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A few weeks later, my father got a call from her, sobbing and saying my cousin had ditched her for a new girlfriend—over the phone, no less! She even knew the other girl and suspected she was there during the breakup, as she could hear her in the background.

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They had been together for two years at this stage.

This poor excuse for a person didn't have the basic decency to break up face-to-face. The family’s reaction was appalling. Naturally, his parents defended their boy, blaming his ex-girlfriend for "not knowing her place". Clearly, his new girlfriend couldn't match his ex's abilities or achievements.

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However, she did inflate his ego and never challenged his fragile masculinity, so he married her and they had a child. Fast forward to today, my cousin lost his previous job. I'm unsure why he was let go. But here's a delicious twist, his current boss's boss is the woman he dumped and embarrassed years ago.

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I can't help but grin at the thought of the predicament my cousin is presently in. I got the scoop from my dad, who keeps in touch with the ex-girlfriend's uncle. We contacted her, and my dad and I recently spent an hour catching up with her on FaceTime.

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We chatted about my life and I shared details about my job and my boyfriend. She was genuinely pleased for me. She revealed she's been happily married for eight years and has two daughters. She looked self-assured and glowing. I playfully asked her about her plans to teach my cousin a lesson.

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She laughed, saying she might just thank him for dumping her which ultimately led her to a realization that he wasn't a good fit for her.

Her smiling face was a picture of someone totally healed and at peace. Someone who can gratefully say "thank you for what you did, my life is better because of it". The profound sense of pride and triumph I felt for her was indescribable.

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She had won, and she damn well knew it!

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7. To The Left To The Left

I'm pretty far along on my pregnancy journey, currently in my final trimester. We kept the news to ourselves until the 22nd-week mark due to certain medical issues. Thankfully, things are better now. We've been channeling our excitement towards setting up the nursery and preparing to become parents.

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My husband meticulously created a beautiful nursery, unbeknownst to either of our families. It's been a wonderful bonding experience for him and our little one.

Now, my family is split into two groups. My father's side is not relevant here—I'm dealing with issues with them separately. They welcomed the news about our completed nursery warmly.

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Troubles, on the other hand, arose from my mother's side, particularly my aunt and her daughter. They weren't thrilled about the nursery, but seemed relieved when I requested only books as gifts for our baby's library. As a background, my cousin (the daughter) has been competing with me since we were kids.

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Despite being the favored child, she has always had this odd sense of rivalry with me. She regularly accuses me of stealing her items, name-calling, and all sorts of untrue claims, which always get disproven. Yet, the family often sides with her. I resolved a long time ago not to meet her alone, bringing my husband along as a witness, and this helped maintain peace for three years.

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But when my cousin learnt about my marriage (we eloped), our destination honeymoon, and the impending arrival of the first great-grandchild in the family (an important event in our culture)—she was far from happy. That's when she snapped. She even tried to hijack my baby shower.

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I decided to announce that we would not be hosting a baby shower as we had everything we needed for the baby, including clothes and furniture. Only books were welcome. This announcement was met with enthusiasm from the extended family, but knowing my once-competitive cousin, I expected repercussions.

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And sure enough, she texted a few days later announcing an unsolicited visit to drop off 'gifts'. Despite my polite refusal and my announcement that I wouldn't be home, she showed up banging on my door.

Her loud commotion led my neighbor to call the authorities. As it turned out, she had an outstanding warrant for unpaid traffic tickets and was driving with a suspended license.

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In my absence (due to a medical appointment and an urgent hospital visit for baby-related complications), she concocted a whole different story for the family, filled with false allegations against me. But what happened next was even crazier. 

To my astonishment, my family sided with her, accusing me of horrible things despite the fact that I was at the hospital at that time.

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Only my mother and grandmother stood by me, but it was the final straw. I decided to cut all those who believed her out of my life.

In the wake of the situation, the community learned about the family drama. But when I showed them evidence disproving my cousin's stories, including medical documents and security camera footage, support for her dwindled.

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Her lies started to unravel when the arresting officer spoke to my grandfather and uncle and the women at my church backed me up. Our family was shocked, and my once-golden cousin stumbled.

Though there have been attempts by my family to reach out, I've fortified my boundaries—my mother's house is now key-coded, my Facebook has been deleted, my phone number changed. I even dropped the family name from my hyphenated surname to keep my privacy intact.

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It isn't a situation to cheer about, but they're finally facing the repercussions.

My family has caused me immense pain, and I cannot risk entrusting them with the well-being of my child. And as such, any attempts from them to contact me, including letters I'm not sure I'll ever read, will be made through our attorney, as my mother has strictly instructed.

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It's been a relief —with everything finally quieting down, the 'no-contact' rule remains.

I also asked the women from my church to avoid any talks about my estranged family when they visit me. The topic only adds stress to my life and they respect this request. All we discuss now is the baby's nursery.

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I am determined to keep my family drama out of my thoughts.

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8. What Goes Around Comes Around

I'm from India, where just a few years ago, people would often trade old clothes for steel kitchenware from door-to-door salespeople. This way of trading still happens in villages and smaller towns. My grandmother, a dedicated collector, absolutely loved this practice.

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She would gather utensils which nobody else was allowed to touch, items that she wouldn't use but would simply gather dust in her room.

Whenever my dad or stepmom tried to give our old clothes away to charity, she would throw a fit. She'd round up any outfits we no longer wore to exchange them for pots and pans.

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Sometimes she'd even claim clothes we were still wearing, insisting they no longer fit or using other justifications. Keeping our clothes from her could practically turn into a battle. Yet, she would never part with her own clothes, only claiming those from myself, my dad, my stepmom, and my stepbrother.

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About the time I was 21, I had lost a significant amount of weight and needed a fresh wardrobe. I was attending college, so like many young people in India, I was living with my parents because I couldn't afford my own place. One day, I bought new clothes from a clearance sale.

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When I returned home after leaving my new items on my bed, they were gone! With other family members out, it was apparent who had taken them.

I found my grandmother sitting on her bed, marvelling at her latest set of pots and pans. She didn't bother looking up as she informed me my new clothes were "ugly" and "too western" before justifying exchanging them for something "useful". I was livid, and a heated argument ensued.

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That evening tension escalated at home. I was still furious and questioned my dad about her behavior. My stepmom and I usually didn't see eye to eye, but in situations like this we had each other's backs. My dad gave in and imposed a rule preventing my grandmother from entering my room without my permission.

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Her response was to feign tears and cry about cruelty against her.

The incident continued to gnaw at me, so I decided to exact some revenge. Knowing my grandmother took sleeping pills during her day naps, one afternoon I snuck into her room and extracted a significant number of her precious utensils.

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I donated them to a nearby old-age shelter, feeling both the joy of giving and sweet revenge. The discovery came just a few days later with her anguished wailings.

Facing my accusations, I admitted I had given away her utensils, justifying it by comparing them to my 'ugly' clothes and the greater need at the shelter.

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Despite my dad's clear frustration, he had no grounds to argue. The satisfaction of that night's sleep was unrivalled. When my grandmother passed a few years later, it was her utensil collection we parted with first.

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9. Using It As A Crutch

My hips aren't quite right, causing quite a hurt when I walk long distance without the help of a wheelchair or cane.

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I usually grab the cane for trips to the mall with my friends as using the wheelchair can be a hassle, but I actually prefer the chair—it's a chance to put a pillow on my sore hip. This brings me to the mess that unfolded yesterday.

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This weekend, I’m visiting my mom's place. She rang to let me know that my stepsister, who's around my age give or take, has wrecked her ACL and needs my wheelchair after her surgery. I don't harbor any ill feelings toward my step-siblings, but we've only met a few times.

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Here's my dilemma: this weekend coincides with my birthday plans of a colonial city tour with my friend group.

When I suggested she could ask the doctor for a wheelchair or crutches, mom said it would be out-of-pocket as her insurance won't cover it. I offered my cane to my stepsister, but insisted on keeping my wheelchair for the tour, given the amount of walking involved.

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Mom didn't take it well and started sighing. I still find it hard to believe the “choice” she gave me.

According to her, I was free to use the cane but my stepsister was getting the wheelchair. Otherwise, I should reschedule my tour for another weekend—a dubious proposition given the non-refundable tickets and my financial ability to buy new ones. I agreed to her last suggestion (as my birthday was over the weekend and not on the day itself) but on the condition that she pays for new tickets.

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She scoffed, pointing out that it would be costlier than purchasing a pair of crutches. I tried to reason that it was still cheaper than buying a new wheelchair like mine. But she dismissed me, stating that my stepsister will be getting the wheelchair for the weekend and I should make do with just my cane.

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Her final words? “I’m not asking, I’m telling” and she cut the call, leaving no chance for further conversation.

Feeling a bit peeved, I plotted a petty revenge. I asked a friend whether I could stash my wheelchair in her car trunk for the trip.

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After all, I'd planned on going to her house after the tour even prior to this call. Feigning forgetfulness seems like a brilliant plan.

My mood took a further hit when I saw the crutch prices mom was considering—brand new ones as opposed to cheaper, second-hand options. Despite sending her screenshots of affordable options, she dismissed them with a “we already have the wheelchair so it’s fine". Uh, that's MY wheelchair, and no, you don't.

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Sure, I might come off as a jerk for planning to hide my chair, but this is the first time in quite a while that I'm celebrating my birthday and I don’t want to either be in pain or hold a grudge against my stepsister for causing me to lose a bunch of hard-earned money. In any case, I’m pretty upset because it seems like my mom won't consider any of my suggestions or attempts to see things from my perspective.

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10. Animal Instincts

When I was about nine years old, I got a kitten as a pet.

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She was this charming little thing we kept for only a month. My folks picked her up from a pet store along with all her stuff—bowls, food and the works. But one day, I got back from school and she was nowhere to be found. Apparently, my parents got sick of constantly shopping for her needs and dealing with her smell, so they decided to give her away.

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The worst part was, they initially decided to get her because they knew I was feeling lonely and needed a companion.

Fast forward a few years to when I was around twelve or thirteen, history repeated itself. This time, we'd been nurturing a bunch of turtles. After about a year, my parents gave these away too.

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As far as I could see, the turtles were zero hassle. They were peaceful pets and I was the one taking care of them anyway—cleaning their water, feeding them, and ensuring they got to explore the house safely. They seemed happy and I actually enjoyed sprucing up their tank with a "tropical" theme. But once again, one day I got home and they were gone.

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A third pet experience was with a cute little hamster when I was about seventeen. It was originally a gift to my brother from his ex-girlfriend. He didn't show much interest in the little furball and pretty much ignored it. So, I took it upon myself to care for it—naming it, buying it food, and getting it a rolling ball for it to explore the house safely. But when my parents saw me taking charge of the hamster, they decided to get rid of it so that it would no longer be a reminder of my brother's ex.

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The salty part is that my mom had a parrot for years, which got to stick around because it was considered her pet. I was even expected to take care of her pet, like cleaning the birdcage. One summer, in the middle of a room airing, the parrot zipped through an open window and out of our lives.

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My mom was furious and demanded that I replace the bird instantly as if I had spare cash lying around as a broke college student. But I saw this as my turn to set things straight—I told her, "I’ll buy you a parrot when you give me back my kitten, my turtles, and my hamster".

The result was her calling me crazy, but she never brought up the subject of the parrot again.

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11. Pony It Up

Today, justice was served for my dad in court. Now as an adult, he had been withholding child support payments ever since I distanced myself from him at 15 due to his terrible behavior. Presently, he is in arrears to the tune of $20,736. The court deemed his action so unreliable that they've mandated the owed sum to be subtracted from his monthly salary until the whole amount is settled.

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Thanks to this unexpected windfall, my next two academic years won't cost me a dime. So long, Tom! Interestingly, I have been informed by some more pleasant family members that my dad's expectant wife is far from pleased with his newfound $20k debt, especially with a baby en route.

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She's strongly contemplating a divorce. If it happens, he'd be saddled with another 18 years of child support payments. The thought of that is making me laugh.

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12. What’s In A Name?

My wife is seven months into her pregnancy and my brother's girlfriend is at the four-month mark. Just the other day, I made a harmless quip about "staking a claim" on a baby name. It's an inside joke from my brother and my childhood; we'd point at random stuff and assertively "claim" it, the goal being to amass the most impressive collection. The girlfriend knew about this game and got upset because, unintentionally, my joke seemed to have "claimed" her father's name.

We quickly reassured her it was all in jest and, of course, we wouldn't actually be using the name.

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However, she was hurt. Realizing this wasn't a situation to be taken lightly, I made sure to apologize on her terms—a sincere apology where I admitted my mistake, vowed to stop making these jokes, and decided against making references she might not fully grasp in the future. Yet, things took a wild turn after that.

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For her peace of mind, she insisted on seeing our list of potential baby names to be sure we weren't considering her father's name. Although I found it excessive, my wife intelligently advised, "Let's just end the drama. Why not show her the list"? Agreeing with her, we messaged my brother the list of potential baby names.

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We had two front-runners for the first name and a chosen middle name, a sentimental family name from my wife's side common to both her brother and granddad. That's when he rings in to say that "she feels the middle name is too similar to her father's. Is there an alternative you could use"? I carefully explained its importance to both of them over a call and made it clear that we're sticking to it.

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They still argued that it's too similar and we should select a different name. Annoyed, I sarcastically asked, "do we also need your blessing for our chosen first names"? To which she responded, "actually…" and proceeded to tell me that they're also fond of one of our top choices (the one we preferred) and inquired if we could opt for our second choice so they could use our favored one.

The name is gender-neutral and they don't even know the gender of their yet unborn child, apart from their plans for more kids in the future.

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I truly care for my brother, I do, but this whole situation is absurd. I need to stand my ground, I’m aware. Yet, we have a strong bond and the last thing I want is to damage our relation by upsetting his expectant girlfriend. However, it's becoming exasperating.

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13. Boy, Bye

My husband has always had a tendency towards judging women and I've had enough of turning a blind eye. A few weeks back he was critiquing my body size, and then yesterday, I reached my limit. He brought up politics—something he only really does when he's looking for an argument. Suddenly, out of the blue he blurts out, "Women aren't really in powerful positions because they're incapable of making hard choices. Women before their menopause are too volatile.

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And in general, women just aren't as brainy as men".

I laughed and retorted, "That's just a farfetched excuse to stop women from gaining power. Men are no less hormonal and irritable than women. Did you realize women develop mentally at a faster pace than men, or that they're better at recognizing and managing their negative emotions"? He replied:

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"I'm a facts and figures kind of person. Unlike you who tends to voice unfounded ideas and insists they’re correct. Let me grab some actual FACTS for you".

I responded, "Brilliant. I'd like to hear them—provided they've been written by qualified doctors”. He snapped back, “Don’t treat me like I’m an idiot. I get my updates from trustworthy sources". He spent the following ten minutes hunting for a scientific article that backed his claims.

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Thinking he'd found one he started reading aloud, but his voice gradually fizzled out when it began contradicting his beliefs.

I jumped in, “So you're admitting that the 'nonsense' that I had shared was in fact, accurate. As a psychology graduate, I can verify this. So, once more.

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The claim that women are too emotionally unstable to hold powerful positions is just a lame excuse men came up with to keep us oppressed".

His response was, “You're absolutely brainless". I replied, “Continue to sidetrack, it only shows you’re losing the debate". I stood up, retrieved my old college textbooks and lecture notes from my bookshelf, and placed them beside him.

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“Two things for you," I told him, "Don’t throw around baseless ideas and assert that you are right without investigating the facts. AND don’t be a two-faced. It makes you look foolish and undermines your argument".

He asked, “What’s all this”? Then came the best part.

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I responded, “These are my college resources. I suggest you read them, particularly my notes, so the next time you question me on a topic I clearly know more about, you'll be better prepared. So much for men being smarter than women. This is why I stand up for women's rights.

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This is why I'm leaving you".

I left him to think it over and went off to sleep. That night I had the soundest sleep ever. It felt as though a massive burden had been lifted off my shoulders.

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14. It’s My Party, I’ll Be A Jerk If I Want To

Right now, my dad and I are headed to a huge Mexican birthday bash.

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Sure enough, he's started with his usual rotation of old-time tales. But this time, he threw in a new one I hadn't heard before, set in a time when I was not yet born, and my elder brother was just a toddler. In this story, my dad had just started dating my mom, who was a single mom living with her own mother—my dad's future mother-in-law.

One day my mom rang up my dad, sobbing.

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Her mom—the mother-in-law—had taken over planning my brother's special birthday party. None of the party details matched what my mom had envisioned—the decor, the food, and worst of all, the guest list. Particularly problematic were some family members who'd been consistently mean to her since she’d become a single mom.

My mom had tried reasoning with her mother, begging her not to let these unkind individuals ruin her party, but to no avail.

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The response was harsh. "You don't dictate who I invite to my own home. They're my kin, always welcome here". Hence, mom called dad, distressed, and foreseeing humiliation at her son's party.

My mom kept trying to prevent these people from coming, but my dad blocked that course of action, justifying his mother-in-law’s stance on the basis of house ownership and rule-setting authority. But then, he offered to sort things out and mom agreed.

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With several phone calls, he swiftly arranged a pizza party in less than a day.

He brought all his cousins and their kids into the mix, lots of them around my brother's age. It turned out to be a big, joyful event. They never let grandma in on their plan.

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She held her party her way, with her guest list, but without the birthday boy. When my mom and brother came home late, the party decorations still in place, Grandma was fuming and demanded answers.

My mom simply explained that her new boyfriend, my dad, had insisted they respect her mother’s house rules. So they'd opted to have their party elsewhere.

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My dad, to this day follows this ethos of respect and compliance. He never enters a confrontation or points out when someone's wrong. However, if he encounters something he doesn't agree with, he either won't show up, or he'll make an early exit, distancing himself from the drama.

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15. Mommie Dearest

I'm finding my relationship with my mom quite challenging these days. About 10 weeks ago, my husband and I were blessed with a baby girl, the first grandchild on both sides of our family. Luckily, my in-laws, who are our close neighbors, have been amazing in offering help and respecting our privacy—I couldn't be more grateful. My mom, however, who lives alone and three hours away, has been a bit of a handful.

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When she came to visit after my daughter's birth, she made things so much worse. Instead of helping, she left our house in disarray and kept criticizing my appearance, particularly my long hair, which, for some reason, she said disturbed her. This, just after I'd given birth!

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I voiced my hurt feelings, but her behavior didn't really change.

Moreover, she's been overly pushy about the etiquette of sending thank you notes for all the baby gifts. Despite my pain and discomfort, she dragged me to the stationery store the minute I got out of the hospital.

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Apparently, the thought of anyone considering her daughter impolite was unbearable to her.

Sadly, her second visit was no different. Besides continuing to insult my hair, she seemed bent on me sending constant updates of the baby. If I fail to comply to her satisfaction, she guilt-trips me by invoking my grandmother or comparing her situation with my in-laws'.

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Her latest stunt was to text me, offering to babysit so I could ‘clean myself up'. I pointed out her repeated insensitive comments about my looks. Her reaction was deranged. She turned defensive, accusing me of being over-sensitive and that she felt she's tiptoeing around my feelings.

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The end result was her canceling her upcoming trip over my asking her not to comment on my appearance. It’s annoying because she will probably play the victim, saying she doesn't see her granddaughter enough, not realizing the contradiction.

What's really galling for me is that my in-laws are being gracious and my husband is just stuck dealing with my mom's childish behavior.

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Between adjusting to my new role as a mother and an uncooperative mom, I'm just worn out. She refuses therapy and it saddens me when I think of the future, especially for my baby.

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16. A Nice Day For A White Wedding

So, here's an interesting story: My soon-to-be-wife and I are planning a laid-back wedding—definitely not extravagant, but no loungewear either. You catch my drift, right?

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Now, my future mother-in-law recently went shopping and came back with, lo and behold, a fully decked-out bridal gown. Which is a bit much. We could've handled a short dress or maybe even something in cream or off-white. But this wasn't just any dress, it was a full-scale wedding dress, complete with a train.

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When my fiancée suggested she could opt for something less like a wedding dress, and more of a regular dress, there was quite the response. Especially ironic when you think that my future mother-in-law wore nothing more than her pajamas to her own wedding day. She kicked up a fuss, accused my fiancée of being controlling, and insisted she has every right to wear what she likes.

She tried to pull rank, implying that as the older one, she called the shots.

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Well, all that did was push my fiancée to tell her not to worry about the dress anymore because, guess what, she's not invited! She responded by throwing out one last sharp-tongued comment before blocking my fiancée. Then she ran to her husband, my father-in-law, to spill the beans.

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When my fiancée checked with him if he'd still attend our wedding sans his wife, he simply responded, "Sure, it'll probably be quieter that way".

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17. It’s Like You Lost A Whole Family

To cut a long story short, I moved back in with my folks after finishing college. During the year that followed, I put on over 50 lbs and ended up in a pretty dark place mentally.

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Most days, I'd be lounging in bed, overeating, and sleeping way too much. My parents often poked fun at my weight gain, labeled me as lazy, and completely depleted my motivation to take better care of myself.

Eventually, I managed to land a job which made me leave the house more, but the added weight still clung on.

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Despite my best efforts at exercising and dieting, I just couldn't help but eat my emotions. Interestingly, as soon as I moved out, I started losing weight without any strenuous effort. My old clothes began to fit once more, and I felt an intense joy. It was during a recent visit to my parents to give something to my little sister that my mom saw my transformation.

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What happened next left me baffled.

She was absolutely livid about my weight loss. She felt it was unjust since she'd been trying out different diets forever and hadn't managed to lose much. She even accused me of making her look bad. According to her, "everyone knows if you lose weight after leaving someone, it means they were the problem". In response, I casually acknowledged that I was indeed a lot happier now, much to her surprise.

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What boggles my mind is that instead of being joyful for me, my mom chose resentment. It’s baffling how a visit to my own family can now leave me riddled with guilt. It's just not right.

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18. Let Go Of My Lego

It's been four years since it happened, but the mere memory of the incident still makes my blood run hot.

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My mother-in-law is of the opinion that I boldly stole her beloved son away from her. There is no pleasing that woman—I've given up even trying. Even our decision to become neighbors didn't help appease her resentment towards me for "stealing" her son, but that's a tale for another day. My husband's job involves day-long shifts that stretch up to 14 hours.

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As we prepared for our wedding—my then-fiancé was working seven days straight, took a 2-day break, and then back to another seven-day shift. So, he trusted me with the planning. We initially wanted to just elope, but our families insisted on a proper wedding. Thus, I took on the challenge and planned everything, down to the tiniest detail—just as my future husband wanted. We sought a unique, non-conventional wedding, and I think I did a stellar job with that.

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We stuck to our budget, everything was on point. We had done the best we could despite being nudged into having a large-scale wedding. We didn't want a church, so I hired a fantastic local woman to officiate our wedding—it was a simple but sweet ceremony. We managed to sneak in some private jokes that were relevant to our background and hobbies.

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The highlight of our wedding, undoubtedly, was our playful take on a traditional sand ceremony. Since we both still had our childhood Lego sets, we opted to blend Lego pieces in lieu of sand. This moment was my favorite. Blending the Legos together symbolized our united life—a single bucket of memories not to be parted. This went smoothly; we each poured our pieces into the bucket—a heartwarming sight.

We had a good laugh at the pieces we chose; he playfully quizzed me about a shark-shaped Lego—of course, I had included one! We returned from taking pictures after a few hours, and I was taken aback when I saw kids playing with a mound of Legos by the table—our Legos, the ones we blended in our sacred ceremony! I frantically searched for the bucket of special items, but it was nowhere to be found.

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Everything had disappeared. When I asked the kids about the Lego blocks, they indulged in a heart-melting tale of a friendly lady who doled out free Legos. My blood was boiling at this point. My chief-bridesmaid was equally outraged. We tried to retrieve all the lost pieces but, predictably, several of the valuable pieces were gone including the shark and some quirky, special pieces.

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Confronting my mother-in-law about it, she dismissively pronounced that having Legos at a wedding and not letting kids play with them was selfish. She contended that as an adult, I shouldn't be interested in Legos anymore and alleged that my Lego ceremony wasn't a "real" sand ceremony, thus spoiling the wedding. She couldn't seem to grasp the magnitude of what she had done—we eventually made an appeal to the guests and exchanged found Legos for money, we recovered most, except a few special ones.

In the aftermath, communication between my mother-in-law and me dwindled to barely spoken words.

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She only acknowledged her mistake following a heated exchange during which she accused me of ruining HER son's wedding over “trivial, meaningless toys”. In response, I fabricated an instance of me tossing her wedding album, calling it a "trivial compilation of photos". This standoff eventually compelled her to admit her mistake and apologize.

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She also apologized for other wrongdoings—like painting me as a worthless fortune hunter. At last, I returned her wedding album. We're extremely cautious around each other now but there's admittedly an improved respect for personal space after a series of misunderstandings and calamities. As they say, it's necessary to stoop sometimes in the face of absurdity to achieve a semblance of sanity.

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19. The Black Sheep Of The Family

I'm a 39-year-old woman who has been pretty successful in life. Meanwhile, life hasn't been quite as generous to my siblings. My 42-year-old brother has three kids, and my 35-year-old sister has three with another on the way. My youngest sister, who is 28, is also expecting. However, she isn't involved in what I'm about to share.

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In fact, she's really the only relative I'm close to.

Growing up, we were taught that money isn't important. Instead, a thriving marriage and lots of children were seen as the key to bliss. Being financially strained but having numerous children was viewed as a badge of honor, perhaps because that's how our parents lived.

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Luckily, I didn't subscribe to this belief.

From an early age, I knew I wasn't inclined to have kids. Instead, I dedicated my energy to my profession and becoming successful. Today, I am a homeowner, have delightful pets, and share my life with a loving partner. Nevertheless, my family finds my lifestyle perplexing.

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There is a belief among them that my five-bedroom home is incomplete without children scampering around.

My siblings have labeled me as selfish for choosing not to have children and enjoying my life. Their criticism of my "selfish" choices doesn't stop them from pleading for financial help, though. Both my brother and sister have approached me to help cover their expenses.

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If it's something crucial like clothing or educational materials for their children, I don't mind chipping in. However, some of their requests are more absurd.

They have requested I fund trips to theme parks, which I've consistently refused. Also, I respectfully finance the care of my parents in a top-notch assisted living home.

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It rankles, though, when they applaud my siblings for having kids and following their path and express disappointment that I haven't done the same.

The implication is that I'm the biggest letdown amongst my siblings. That's why I've gradually distanced myself from them. I only contact them to ensure their wellbeing but keep my life private.

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Recently, my sister called requesting a visit with her husband, my brother, and his wife. I agreed, only to be shocked by their audacious request.

They proposed that I leave my wealth to their children, divided equally. They argued this would cease their financial pleas. "You don't have kids, who're you gonna leave it to"? my brother queried.

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I responded that I planned to donate to charity and that I didn't owe them anything.

When labelled as "selfish" again, I told them to leave. The following day, my father called expressing their disappointment. I ended the call shortly thereafter. It's amazing their belief they are superior, despite being unable to provide for their kids without my regular financial aid.

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I should also mention that my middle sister became a mother at 22, and my brother became a father at 26. My sister chose not to obtain her degree and instead focussed on being a housewife, as did my brother’s wife. They are attempting to raise three and four children, respectively, on single incomes.

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It's like deliberately tripping and then being surprised when you bleed.

However, my heart swells for my youngest sister. She's completed her education, married a wonderful man, established an impressive career and plans carefully when considering more children. Sadly, she too faces disparaging comments for supposedly prioritizing money over family.

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20. Spoiled Brat Doesn’t Cut It

Believe it or not, my 38-year-old sister just insisted that our parents pressure me into selling my home to them. And why? So she could live there, minus me. I'm not joking around—she's acting this way. My sister has a long history of being utterly self-absorbed and demanding, to the point where it seems she might have narcissistic personality disorder.

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She seems to honestly think that love equals others going out of their way to do extreme favours for her.

She had once stayed at my place for about a year until I had enough and asked her to leave. She's convinced herself that she can't survive in any other house.

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Thankfully, when she demanded my house, our parents said no. Let's not forget—it's my house. They can't compel me to sell it because I'm an independent person and the house is completely mine. I'm grateful they prioritized our relationship over her unreasonable demand, unlike earlier instances.

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Now she's angry with all of us and has asked us to leave her alone until we start treating her "like family" again. No problem for me because I honestly had no intention of dealing with her again. Her expectations are simply beyond reason. What worries me is that maybe one day, my folks will give in and start pestering me to sell my house for her benefit.

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When my sister is not part of the equation, I have a great bond with my parents. But things become a nightmare the moment she's involved. Anyway, I just needed to let out my frustration and clear my head, so thanks for listening.

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21. Survive, Then Thrive, Then Suffer

Just to give you a bit of context, I'm happily married with two biological daughters and we've recently adopted my son.

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He's currently nine months old but he's been under our care since he was six months old. His biological mother is a cousin of mine, and originally, we had discussed the possibility of adopting him even before he was born, but unfortunately, her mother guilt-tripped her into keeping him.

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The biological father was never really in the picture.

The birth mother has a daughter (who's about three years old) from another relationship. Things quickly spiraled after the baby was born. The unfortunate reality was that the baby wasn't held enough, often left in his car seat (which led to him developing a flat head) and was basically neglected.

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His biological grandmother, the same woman who pressured my cousin into keeping him, didn't lift a finger to help. It's not that it was necessarily her duty, but if you push someone into a parental role, at the very least, you should ensure the baby's needs are met, right?

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Things took a turn and led to a series of disturbing events. The baby ended up being passed around like a hot potato as no one seemed willing to take responsibility for him—not his grandma, not other relatives. Eventually, my cousin reached out and asked if we still wanted to adopt him.

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Without a second thought, we said yes. We absolutely adore him. We decided that it's best to have a closed adoption; meaning, his birth mother doesn't want to be updated about his progress, doesn't want pictures, or any contact with him.

This works out just fine as my cousin and I weren't particularly close in the first place.

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Since we've taken him home, we caught up on all his medical checkups, got him a helmet to correct his flat head, he's steadily gaining weight and he's absolutely thriving emotionally! You can always find him giggling, giggling out "mama", and soaking up all the cuddles and kisses he missed out on. But just when we thought we were sailing smoothly, we hit a storm.

Believe it or not, some family members, including his biological grandmother (now technical aunt), are accusing me of depriving him.

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They claim I am denying him by providing a solid, loving home as opposed to letting him be shuffled around carelessly within the family. They're also upset about the shift in family roles—for instance, his former grandmother now being referred to as his aunt, not grandma. I know, right?

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As if I'm the one causing harm! Look at how he's flourishing in my care! It's just absurd.

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22. A Pregnant Pause

My cousin, who tends to get what she wants regardless of the impact on others, has always been the pampered one in the family. We were tight-knit growing up, but over the past ten years, we became more distant.

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She found her soon-to-be husband about a year and a half ago, they got engaged last May, and are planning to tie the knot this August.

The last I checked in, around October, they had already splurged $40,000 on their wedding—and that's just the start. But of course, they couldn't possibly include my significant other in the invitation list.

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Surprise, surprise. Five years back, I moved overseas and met my partner there two years later. For the past eighteen months, we've been trying to start our family, and it happened. I got pregnant this February!

Our little one is expected to join us this October, and everyone is elated—except my cousin. She can't grasp why there's no chance I'll board a plane for a two-hour flight, followed by another two-hour train ride when I'll be in my seventh month of pregnancy, especially without my partner.

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She vented her fury to me, my aunt, my parents, and anyone within earshot.

Apparently, I seem selfish because, out of all the times, it seems as if I chose this moment to get pregnant, possibly overshadowing her big day or so she suggests. My aunt, who often lacks sympathy, doesn't quieten her since her daughter can do no wrong in her eyes.

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On the bright side, she doesn't try to sway me and grudgingly admits I'm right when it's just us two discussing it.

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23. A Skeleton In The Closet

Let me break it down in a more straightforward way. My mom was one of several kids, aged six to 14 when their dad left them high and dry, shockingly on my grandma's birthday.

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No warning, nothing. On his way out, he told my grandmother about an affair with a colleague. He owned the house, so he wanted her and her kids to move out within a week.

She had no money to fight for her rights in court or to demand child support.

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So, she packed the kids and their stuff and left the house. She never saw a dime from him. His visitations were irregular and limited to one kid at a time. The experiences with him and his new wife were far from pleasant. My dear grandma had to juggle three jobs to support the family.

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Once her kids reached working age, they also contributed to the bills. As my mom often said, they had to work for anything beyond the bare essentials. Their father married his new wife in secret. He passed on last week, making my mom and I executors of his estate.

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The process has stirred up many feelings.

We've discovered the large sum he had saved over the years, a sizeable amount that we’ve never seen before. It's all going towards the care of his widow, who is going into a nursing home. However, when I called the life insurance company to report the situation, there was a surprising revelation. The name of my grandmother also came up in the conversation.

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Apparently, he had another life insurance policy under her name after he had left the family. It’s worth five times as much as the policy for his wife. Since my grandma passed in 2016, and he continued paying the premiums, the payout will be split evenly among my mom and her siblings.

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Her siblings, who cut him out of their lives as adults, assume he must've forgotten about it. I, however, have a different perspective.

I knew him to be meticulous with his finances. I distinctly remember how fretful he was once about a $1.75 discrepancy in his bank account.

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Despite his flaws, he was an intelligent man who managed his financial affairs carefully.

It seems impossible that he kept paying for an insurance policy worth thousands annually without knowing its purpose. I still don’t know what to make of this—perhaps it's a sign of regret or a touch of humanity. But I don't find it dissolves his past wrongs.

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They needed financial support back then. A hefty payout now after a lifetime of struggle doesn't erase his guilt or selfishness. It stings to see how he passed with a fortune, while my grandmother barely had enough to cover her cremation costs.

I always had a place for him in my life for some reason, but sorting through his affairs is stirring up resentment towards him.

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24. Pulling The Purse Strings

So, I tied the knot not long ago. At the start, my parents were over the moon about my engagement and kindly offered to foot the bill for the wedding and reception. We were thrilled because it meant less financial pressure on us, and it meant we could concentrate on purchasing a home.

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However, their financial contribution came with strings attached: they wanted full control over everything, from the guest list to the menu to the venue.

They had plans to invite the entire neighborhood, most of whom were strangers to me. They insisted on serving meat, even though both my husband and I are vegetarians, among other things that went totally against our wishes.

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After endless disagreements, threats of withdrawing finances, and even not attending if we proceeded independently, we decided enough was enough. So, we ended up getting married at the courthouse.

My mom told me I was the worst daughter ever and now she won't even speak to me.

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My dad followed suit. I'm just worn out.

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25. Fake It Until You Don’t Make It

My parents can be overbearing. Around a week ago, I let them know I was getting hitched this year, declaring my adulthood and making it clear I get to make decisions. I invited them to the wedding, but also made it clear that their attendance was not mandatory.

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My dad was emotional and expressed a desire to improve our relationship, my fiancé included. My mom, however, was furious at what she saw as audacity on my part.

Despite the fact that I was calm and mature about the conversation, my mom accused me of peddling lies about them and trying to pin every single problem in my life onto them.

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My dad promised to reason with her. Just last weekend, he purchased a number of pumpkins and extended me and my fiancé an invite to join the family carving session. It was a blast and we even decided to stay for dinner.

As dinner was wrapping up, they expressed a desire to mend our relationship and informed us that they had arranged a family therapy session for the following Monday evening.

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We agreed with some hesitance, but we felt their efforts were genuine and a neutral third party could be beneficial. However, it soon became apparent that we were wrong.

Upon getting there, we realized the "therapist" was purely in cahoots with my parents. My parents used the session to further their attempts to convince me that I was "unwell". They insisted I should call off my wedding and move home immediately.

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The so-called therapist echoed their claims of being caring and financially capable parents. I lost my temper, pointing out they were far from perfect and their scheme was unacceptable. My fiancé, who was in the room, came to my defense, but my parents insulted him, saying he doesn't truly know me or have the ability to care for me.

The mess concluded when my mom falsely claimed I had cooked up a story about my father being unfaithful last year and had convinced everyone it was true.

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In reality, my mom was the one who suspected my dad's infidelity. When confronted, my dad strongly denied the accusation. She then blamed me for concocting the whole narrative.

I displayed screenshots of previous messages, making it evident that she was the one who instigated the cheating scandal.

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My fiancé backed me up, recalling incidents when my mom ranted about her suspicions to him. She finally confessed to her part in the saga, but it wasn't over yet. She still accused me of escalating it. The truth was, I mostly remained an attentive listener throughout her ramblings.

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After this revelation, we all angrily departed. The event left me shattered, as I genuinely believed my parents wanted to amend our relationship.

Moreover, I was baffled at my mom for pinning her suspicions of my dad on me, throwing me under the bus. Now, I'm not completely sure the therapist was "phony," but judging from her conduct and based on my previous therapy experiences, I hold strong reservations about her professionalism.

This woman didn't even know our names, and there was no paperwork involved.

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Any other therapist I've seen would require several signatures to ensure my consent and understanding of treatment, not to mention medical history disclosure. She didn't give me a chance to speak properly without being interrupted by my parents. The whole thing was a far cry from usual therapy etiquette.

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26. No Means No

I didn't have the best relationship with my family growing up. My dad favored my brothers more than me, taking them on camping and rock climbing trips while excluding me. My parents would say, "those aren't activities for girls". Meanwhile, my mother used to criticize me for not being feminine enough as I enjoyed action films, read comic books, and aspired to have a professional career, not wanting to be a stay-at-home mom like her.

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They felt I wasn’t living up to their expectations and my elder brother used to bully me with impunity, just 'being a boy', and would hide my comic books. My solace, in those days, were the tales of Batman, Catwoman, and Wonder Woman.

My greatest ally was cousin Fred, coincidentally also my dad's business partner.

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He was the only one who showed genuine interest in me, taking me climbing with his kids, buying me comic books, and never shaming me for my pimples. I’ve shared a knack with Fred’s kids more than I did with my own siblings.

I moved away from my hometown when I was 27, severed ties with my family, and have been living my life without them ever since.

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Fred's family pledged to never reveal my location to them. However, a few weeks ago, Fred passed on from a severe heart attack. I decided to attend his funeral.

As I anticipated, I crossed paths with my family again. My mom tried to reconcile, but I gently resisted.

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My dad demanded reasons for my absence, my brothers introduced me to their families. I responded politely yet indifferently as I didn't feel any connection.

My mom tried to emotionally manipulate me, but I kept my cool and asked her to focus on Fred's loss rather than creating drama.

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Post the service, Fred's daughter mentioned that my mother has been pressuring her to give up my contact info.

To stop the pressure on them, I agreed. The next day, my mom called, once again criticizing me for missing significant family events. I let her have it, telling her straight that their prejudiced, self-centered viewpoint on raising children was the real problem.

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I reminded her of the humiliation I bore in her house and questioned why should she care about me now when she didn't when I was growing up.

As she sobbed, claiming I was being ruthless, I threatened her with recourse if she continued to harass me and then hung up.

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27. Let It Go, Let It Go

Fourteen years ago, my sister Charlotte tragically passed on at 22. She passed in her sleep right next to her fiancé, Hassan, while they were overseas visiting his family. Hassan, who discovered Charlotte's passing, had to journey home alone, overwhelmed by grief and the heart-wrenching thought that he couldn't save her.

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Our family was shattered by this loss. My mother, understandably, was devastated and wrestled with her anguish, sparking arguments over the funeral arrangements with all of us, including Hassan. Strains developed in the family, especially between my mother and Hassan, due to her behavior during this period of intense sorrow.

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Even my brothers and I had challenging times with my mother. We, alongside Hassan, who we considered part of the family, often found ourselves disagreeing with her. My mom's subsequent actions deeply wounded Hassan.

Shortly after Charlotte's passing, she started saying things like "Hassan may want to move on, he's under no obligation to us". While her words weren't necessarily false, it felt too hasty.

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It took Hassan a long time to rebuild his life post-Charlotte, but he kept in touch with us.

Eventually, Hassan met someone named Tanya, whom he started dating. Tanya, while different from Charlotte, has made a place in our hearts just like Hassan. We've fostered close relations with Hassan and Tanya while ensuring we're respectful of their feelings.

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We've offered them space and allowed them to lead, recognizing it must be odd maintaining a relationship with your late fiancée's family. We all took part in grief counseling except for my mother who seemed to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Despite refusing help, my mother continuously finds connections to Charlotte in various things.

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Be it dragonfly jewelry, connecting it to a trip Charlotte once took, or adopting a stray out of the belief it was a sign from Charlotte, my mother continues to grieve.

On every anniversary of Charlotte's passing, she takes a trip to the dragonfly spot much like a pilgrimage, among other things.

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I think these are not the healthiest means of coping. Recently, Hassan and Tanya became parents to a baby boy, George. I received the news from mom, but I chose not to invade Hassan and Tanya's space.

From the joy of being an uncle, concerns started to arise for me.

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I learn that mom intended to visit Tanya and George right after they were discharged from the hospital. This struck me as odd. How would Tanya feel about introducing her newborn to the mother of her partner's deceased fiancée?

My mom, who was ready to let Hassan drift away years ago, now seemed eager to be present in his newborn's life, to act like a third grandmother.

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I can't help but worry this could be the start of another unhealthy pattern for her. I haven't yet spoken to Hassan and Tanya about this, but I suspect they were uncomfortable with my mom's early visit. Is my worry misplaced, or does this situation really seem strange?

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28. Watch Your Back

My mother-in-law is a serious handful and my husband is acting a bit tough these days, but... we're hanging in there. I'll be darned if I allow this woman to take anything more from my children. Earlier this year, I was contacted about my late younger sister's two children, a four-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy.

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She had her struggles and the children brought their own complications.

At that time, my husband and I already had four children, including a 10-year-old boy, four-year-old triplet daughters, and a new baby boy on the way. Despite the challenges, it felt right to welcome my niece and nephew into our home.

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So far, my niece has fit right in with my triplet daughters. My nephew is making progress in his development, and my niece started school with the triplets in February, where she's thriving, notably in math and reading.

Unfortunately, my niece had been through some tough times with her mother.

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To deal with this, she must travel back to her native state for medical exams. Fortunately, the person responsible has been caught and will be facing trial later this year. We're still only fostering both kids at the moment, but we're moving towards officially adopting them.

Our case worker is supportive of our adoption plans.

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Part of the process involves establishing that there aren't other relatives better suited to care for them. My niece and nephew's extended family were uninterested in taking them in. My older sister, in particular, expressed harsh judgments to their caseworker.

However, a few weeks ago, after a decade of no contact, my older sister reached out with questions about the kids.

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I reluctantly responded to her inquiries for the children's sake. During those discussions, she discovered that I'm receiving monthly benefits for the kids, which I'm dutifully saving for their future. The kids are also receiving therapy and physiotherapy services.

Then, a shocking piece of news arrived. I learned from our caseworker that my older sister wants to adopt the kids, claiming improved finances and situational superiority given my already large family.

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My heart sank. Going back to zero contact with her, now we're obligated to prove we're the most suitable guardians for these children.

Although the caseworker reassures us the courts are likely to rule in our favor, there remains a potential complication of mandatory visitation rights for my sister.

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I fear she’s only interested in any monetary benefits the children might bring, a worry drawn from how she's treated her own daughter since her ex-husband started paying child support.

To say I'm frustrated would be an understatement. Yet, I'm determined not to lose these kids.

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Having seven kids may sound chaotic, but the joy they bring, especially during nurturing moments, like bedtime stories and school pickups, are priceless to me.

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29. Ticky Tacky Goes To Town

Yesterday marked the grieving goodbye to my mother. Just a week shy of her 50th birthday, she succumbed to health complications she battled for the past 15 years.

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It was a particularly difficult situation for me, my younger sister, and my grandmother, who happens to be her mother. We belong to a vast family tree spread on both ends of my mother's lineage, and my mother, intriguingly, counted almost every neighbor and friend as part of her extended family.

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Everyone pledged their support and promised to attend her send-off, and we anticipated quite a throng. My grandmother has two brothers. I have a profound bond with one (a wonderful uncle who was also close to my mom), while the other one, to put it mildly, could do with a lesson or two in manners.

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His wife's less than charitable demeanor combines with a stale and off-putting smell to paint a grim picture of him. The lovely uncle spent the period with us while the less endearing brother opted for a hotel, accompanied by his wife—the primary character in this narrative.

For the sake of this account, let's refer to her as "Tacky". This moniker is bewitchingly accurate, describing her distastefully ostentatious nature.

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The mere thought of seeing her at the funeral filled me with a sense of trepidation, overtaking my focus and creating a ripple of anxiety that kept me on edge. I've always found Tacky brilliantly consistent in her unseemly ways, but this time, she truly outdid herself.

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From her proud proclamation of government dependency, boasting about her average jewelry, to her distasteful prying into the personal lives of family members, and preposterous claim to my great-grandma's jewelry (who is still very much alive), Tacky is infamous for her tactless ways. Her persistent hugging and pungent floral scent do not make matters any better.

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Since my mother shared the same sentiment towards her, I have no qualms about reciprocating her attitude.

An hour before the mourners began to pour in, my family and I arrived at the church to finalize the preparations. Tacky and her companions walked in just as the visitation was coming to a close, about ten minutes before the service—and the drama unfolded. To my astonishment, Tacky's outfit of choice was a purple t-shirt, white cargo shorts, and a fancy belt—to a funeral no less! She then attempted to hug me despite my polite refusal and diversion of her attention towards my grandmother.

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Her adamant insistence on a hug turned into an awkward cat-and-mouse chase with my friends until we finally lost her in the crowd.

Moving on to the service, family etiquette demands that the immediate family gets seated in the front row, specifically reserved by my grandmother. However, Tacky decided to ignore this rule and tried to squeeze herself into the front row.

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It took a firm and direct confrontation to get her to relinquish her spot. As if that wasn't enough, she proceeded to fiddle with my hair. At this point, my patience wearied, and I clearly told her to stop touching me. I had no qualms about being stern, especially given her history of blatant disrespect and lack of social etiquette.

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Despite the solemn occasion, the absurdity of Tacky's behavior took center stage in our conversations that day.

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30. Double Trouble

Here's the tale: A teen from Scotland named Jordan messaged me on Facebook and gave me quite a shock. He told me he thought we might have the same dad, which initially left me puzzled.

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You would think my dad would have said something about another son. After all, my parents have been split for 20 years. Jordan was unsure, so he said he ''thinks'' we share a dad. I responded, introducing myself and asking why he suspected we were siblings.

His response was unexpected.

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He always believed his dad was “David Smith,” but recently found out it was “John Doe”—also my dad's name. He showed me childhood photos of himself with my dad, making my head spin. Apparently, my father had an affair with a woman in Scotland while on business trips.

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He had used a false name, enabling him to secretly see my future stepmother. After a few rounds between London and Scotland, the woman fell pregnant with Jordan. My dad kept visiting Scotland under the disguise of business but suddenly cut ties with Jordan 15 years later.

Jordan only stumbled upon this when he saw my dad's Facebook profile as a suggested contact.

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He identified us as the family he got denied, seeing pictures with me and our shared siblings. Realizing I was the youngest, he thought I'd be the least intimidating and reached out. I agreed to meet him when he visited London, offering a chance to catch up.

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In person, he resembled a blend of my brother, dad, and cousin; it was undeniable he was my sibling. We discussed his upbringing and family he was kept from, which I felt extremely sorry for. He met my partner and they hit it off, leading to more rendezvous throughout his stay.

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However, the daunting part was disclosing this to our dad. I decided to break the news to him alone since my stepmother was away. His face fell flat the moment he spotted us at his doorstep, and harsh words were swiftly exchanged on our behalf.

It wasn't dad's first letdown, but definitely the lowest for both of us.

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Despite this, Jordan and I have been making efforts to meet more frequently, preparing for the upcoming revelation to the extended family.

Before introducing him, I plan to forewarn the relatives to ensure smoother acceptance. Jordan is entitled to know his kith and kin, and I'm thrilled to finally meet the little brother I never had.

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However, another secret lay underneath. My dad severed ties with Jordan because my stepmother, who was aware of Jordan, threatened him during her pregnancy. Unfortunately, she had a stillbirth, news that remained untold until today.

Afterwards, my dad never reconnected with Jordan, anticipating financial convenience. No one can blame Jordan for not forgiving him.

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The news left my grandparents irate with my dad; they would have wholeheartedly embraced Jordan like they do with their existing grandchildren.

They now wish to compensate for the lost time, planning to overindulge Jordan with backdated birthday gifts. As for me, I hope to bond more with Jordan over shared interests like comic books.

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I'm genuinely delighted to have him as my brother.

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31. You’re Not Irreplaceable

Around a decade ago, my parents split up after over two decades of marriage because my dad was unfaithful to my mom. As you can imagine, my mom wasn't too thrilled about my dad's new wife, the woman he cheated with.

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However, over time, she's learned to be polite with them and even likes my step-sisters.

However, it seems my dad can't show the same decency and always gives my mom the cold shoulder. It feels like my mom is the one who should be acting this way, but she's not.

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Then, a few weeks ago, we were discussing my choice for our father-daughter dance. He said, "Choose any song you like but I have one request".

I presumed he was going to ask for a specific song, but instead, what he said to me was devastating. He told me:

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"I don't want to take any photos with your mother". With my wedding only a month away, I was devastated. I pleaded with him that regardless of the past, I wanted a photo with both of my parents on my big day.

I reassured him that I'd happily take pictures with him and my stepmom, too.

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He attempted to comfort me, saying it would all work out. Then today, he sent a text asking to talk and repeated his stance on the photo issue.

He tried to rationalize it by saying he wanted to avoid the topic on the wedding day, but I am so hurt and angry.

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Just one photo with my mom is too much to ask? I called my brother and asked him to walk me down the aisle because, honestly, I'm fed up with my dad's stubbornness.

I've come to believe that he's lost the privilege of walking me down the aisle.

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32. Naughty Little Girl

My hubby and I are enjoying some family vacation time. But, I've got a busted foot, which means I've had to skip a few of the fun activities. Today, everyone else ventured into town, and I hung back to give my foot some TLC with an icepack.

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My 10-year-old niece (daughter of my husband's sister) opted to hang back too. No sooner than everyone had left, she started fiddling with my crutches.

To cut a long story short, she hid my crutches in a different room of the house and refused to return them.

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I knew it would take hours before rescue came, so I dragged myself around the house in search for them. Every step felt like a stab in my foot. By the time my husband's family came back, I was in tears from the intense pain.

I relayed the whole ordeal and my hubby was in agreement that our niece should apologize.

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She knew it wasn't a joke and that her behavior was unjustifiable. But my sister-in-law and brother-in-law shrugged it off, claiming she didn't mean to harm me. They didn't demand an apology. What the heck? To top it all off, my mother-in-law thought I was making a big deal out of nothing.

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For starters, my foot feels far worse than it did this morning. I'm totally fed up with my husband's family and how they protect my sister-in-law's kids no matter what. My niece was absolutely in the wrong and posed a safety risk, but it seems like everyone thinks she can do no harm.

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Only three more days stuck with them...

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33. Crashing The Party

The birth of my niece was a special affair since she was the first grandbaby on both sides of our family. We joyously held a baby shower before her arrival, although my step-mother-in-law's dramatic antics did put a damper on things now and then.

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To begin with, she was upset simply because my mother-in-law was present. She claimed my mother-in-law was trying to steal her husband, my father-in-law. This seemed rather odd considering my mother-in-law has been happily remarried for many years and didn't show any interest in my father-in-law during the party!

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And then she started obsessing about the baby's name. She was sorely disappointed when she learned the baby wasn't going to be named after her. She's always boasted about how perfect her name is, which we've found a bit strange. The fact that the baby wouldn't carry her name led to her loudly proclaiming her importance and contributions to the family.

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Of course, she didn't stop there. She complained about not being referred to as 'Grandma', and even persistently probed my sister-in-law for potential grandmotherly nicknames. When my sister-in-law calmly responded she would simply be called by her first name, to say my step-mother-in-law didn't take it well would be an understatement.

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She commenced a major meltdown, lashing out and shockingly made a dreadful curse, wishing a miscarriage upon my sister-in-law. The room went silent in collective disbelief.

Quickly, my sister-in-law ushered her out of our gathering, which continued peacefully without her. Thankfully, her cruel words didn't come to fruition, and now my niece is a happy, healthy two-year-old.

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And the icing on the cake? Instead of calling her 'Grandma', which she so ardently desired, my niece amusingly refers to her only as 'Lady'. It's the sweetest sort of justice and never fails to bring a smile to my face.

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34. That’s Just Nutty

So, my folks just made an entire Christmas feast with peanut oil, knowing I'm allergic.

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I can't help but feel like I'm being subtly evicted from my family. Either they just overlooked my allergy, or they're intentionally sidelining me. I'm 24, and this has never happened before. Currently, I'm at my aunt's place, she's the one hosting the shindig.

My aunt, my dad's sister, agreed to fry our Christmas turkey following my uncle's suggestion at Thanksgiving.

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I didn't quite put two-and-two together then. Now, the turkey is literally frying in peanut oil and almost every side dish on the menu has some form of nuts. I've always been severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and to eat anything containing these triggers intense hives and anaphylactic shock.

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Ironically, it's not the first time she's disregarded my allergy: she fed me Reese's Pieces and Honey Nut Cheerios when I was just three-years-old, leading to an ER visit each time. So, did she simply forget this year? It's not an unfamiliar feeling, my being overlooked.

Being excluded from my granny's obituary and not receiving any gifts since I was 11 for my birthday or Christmas has become normative.

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Their quiet judgments about how I'm different than them don't exactly boost my spirits. Also, my mom shares my allergy—though a tad milder. She's been giving me quizzical glances all morning. Later, we both decided to join the rest of our maternal family at my grandpa's place.

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There wasn't a big fuss happening there, but it was far better than the risk of allergic reactions. I know I need to sit down and have a serious chat with my dad soon about all of this. But, for right now, I want to avoid any holiday drama.

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35. The Cat’s Out Of The Bag

This saga unfolded three years back, yet recent incidents have thrown it into the spotlight again. After a year of clandestine romance, my sister finally introduced her beau to us. However, there was something about him that unsettled me deeply during our first dinner together. He was my sister's superior officer in the National Guard, and he incessantly spoke about his children whom, interestingly, my sister had not met.

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In addition to that, he mentioned he resides an hour away with his parents, so only manages to meet my sister on weekends. After a week of nagging suspicion, I chose to look him up online, spurred on by our mother's supposition that he was probably married.

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Lo and behold, there he was, living an ideal Facebook life with a wife and three kids aged below ten.

Taking the matter to my sister, I was stunned by her response. She was already aware of his marital situation and scolded me for meddling in her affairs, telling me they were supposedly separated but maintaining the marriage for benefits.

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A week later, feeling dreadful about the entire situation, I reached out to the wife, whose number was available on Facebook.

Our conversation brought to light that she was an oblivious, content housewife whose husband was often away for National Guard duty. I cautiously informed her that I met her husband via my sister, who had brought him along as her boyfriend, and that they've been together for over a year.

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Backing my description with a photo from the dinner, I apologized for being the bearer of such news, hoping that if I ever found myself in her shoes, someone would do the same for me. Her reaction was one of heartbreak and rage.

Very soon, my sister was on the phone in a fury accusing me of spilling the beans to her lover's wife.

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That message was quickly followed with an appalling text, stating that we were no longer family and that I was solely responsible for ruining her life and his. My mother and other sister didn't hesitate to declare me persona non grata, accusing me of wreaking havoc and advising me to stay out of my sister's business since she was fully capable of making her own choices.

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They refused to listen to my defense that I was only trying to right a wrong and not cause trouble for my sister. I don't understand the rationale of cheating, especially if young children are involved. Since that incident, my mother and sisters have cut all ties with me, and even my husband received messages suggesting that I be committed to a mental health institute, which he sternly rejected.

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Luckily, my friends have been a pillar of support throughout this ordeal, but my family has blocked out any form of communication with me.

My children, sadly, have had to bear the brunt of all this, as my mother has refrained from interacting with her only grandkids, fearing they would grow up to be like me.

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36. Cash In Hand

I've started babysitting to make a bit of cash in addition to my school work. School's almost over, so I picked up a second babysitting gig to save up for a car. The same day I landed the second job, my mom suggested I divide my paycheck equally among myself, my sisters, and my cousin visiting from Chicago.

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I absolutely refused, and since then, my mom hasn't spoken to me.

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37. Child’s Play

A couple weeks back, my brother informed our family group chat that he and his spouse had resolved to forego adult gift exchanges this Christmas, focusing solely on the kids. This had me puzzled, though.

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They are the sole parents amongst us this holiday season. Basically, they were saying they wouldn't be giving us any presents.

Their wishes were for us to shower their kids with gifts, excluding themselves from the gift-giving. Sure, no problem. Then, while casually chatting with my sister-in-law yesterday, I mentioned the gift I'd bought for my significant other.

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She suddenly went quiet before ending the call swiftly. Later, my brother texted me, clearly upset that I had gone against their wishes for a "kids-only" Christmas.

I made sure to mention that I wouldn't be unwrapping the gift in front of the kids, and that the only people I had bought gifts for were my partner and my nephews.

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Nonetheless, my brother insisted that I was ignoring their wishes and that I could've spent the additional funds on his children. Honestly, it baffled me!

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38. Hello Goodbye

Today, I received a phone call from my dad's office line. But, surprisingly, it wasn't him on the other end—it was my estranged mother. Even though I had blocked her personal number, she managed to reach me using my dad’s phone. Despite the shock, I spoke to her calmly, pretending as if everything was normal.

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As if she hadn't insulted me or my spouse just a week ago or accused me of being a careless mother and my baby being unkempt.

Switching the conversation topic, I asked her about my dad and mentioned that I was on the verge of starting school.

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She then inquired about when she could come to visit my son. Without hesitation, I responded, "I'm sorry, but right now, I don't think it's a good idea for you to be around my family. Your emotional state seems unstable at the moment, and it's not a healthy environment for my family". I chose not to pay attention to her tearful pleas, her complaints or even her threats.

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Instead, I firmly ended the conversation by saying, "My husband is home now, and I have to prepare dinner. Take care".

Following our conversation, I decided to block my dad's office line for the next two days to avoid any possible texts from her. Right now, I'm overwhelmed with happiness about standing my ground.

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39. A Bad Kind Of Surprise

My little one celebrated her inaugural birthday this past Sunday, which had me decorating for hours on end. While I was away chatting with the grandparents, my sister grabbed the chance to give my daughter a tour of everything—a surprise I had planned to unveil myself. I was eager to witness her first-reaction, but all I have now are heaps of photos from my sister, featuring my daughter's smiles.

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It's enough to make me cry.

When I broached the subject, expressing how her actions upset me, she simply got mad and brushed it off. Even when my mother sided with me, pointing out her misstep, she accused mom of playing favorites. Honestly, I don't even want her in my life right now.

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This isn't the first occasion she's spoiled something I worked hard for.

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40. That’s Just The Way The Cookie Crumbles

I've come home for Christmas, the first one in the three years since I moved away. Every year, I usually get to spend around 5-7 days here. It's certainly not much, but I always try my best to cherish every moment.

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Last week, right off my flight, I was immediately roped into the holiday cookie baking squad. My mom needed to give out 10 gift sets, and I decided I'd help out by making Christmas cookie platters (around 25 cookies each).

I guess my mom doesn't quite feel up to it, so the job got passed on to my sister and me, since we evidently had no other plans.

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Plus, we're supposed to be pros at this, thanks to all those church group cookie bakes mom had us 'volunteer' for. Trust me, the sarcasm isn't lost here. So, my sister and I end up spending a full day (from 9 am to midnight) crafting 250 homemade cookies. And then, they just get handed out to mom's friends and workmates.

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Meanwhile, my loafing bro helps himself to a few cookies from the cooling rack. I tell him, "Hey, stop eating those! They're meant for Christmas gifts". He nods, and I let it be. A few hours later, though, as he's leaving for work, he snags another helping.

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Again, I have to remind him that every cookie he munches means more work for me. He promises it's the last bunch, but we all know that dance.

Well, surprise, surprise—it wasn't. He dug into more post his work shift, and even grabbed a few for breakfast.

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Since he had the house to himself, more cookies probably disappeared. During dinner (which he skipped because stew is not his thing), he took even more cookies. I couldn't help but get mad. I held my temper enough not to insult him, though I didn't hold back my frustration about him gobbling up all the cookies before we could even serve them.

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Suddenly, I'm the villain here. My parents admonish me saying I shouldn't have scolded him, as "it's Christmas" and "he's sensitive". Now he's locked in his room and it's apparently all my fault because "if I'd asked him nicely, he would have stopped". The icing on the cookie?

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When I protested that we were now short on cookies, my folks said, "We've got plenty of ingredients. You can bake more".

Oh yeah, the emphasis was on "you"—me baking yet again, possibly till Christmas dawn. Isn't that just perfect? So here I am, drowning in baking duties I never signed up for, getting hardly any appreciation while my holiday flies by.

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I wanted to spend this time catching up with friends and making memories with my sister. Instead, my brother gets to feast on the fruits of my labor, and I'm cast as the "Grinch who spoiled Christmas".

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41. No Fake Family

My fiancé received a phone call from his grandmother today. Her question?

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"When is your aunt and uncle getting their save the date invite"? His response showed how much he's grown in the past three years. He simply said, "They're not getting one because they're not invited".

Confused, she questioned him, "Why not"? He replied, "When I was dealing with the biggest issue in my life [his conflict with his mother], they brushed it off and left me to deal with it alone". She expressed concern about him not having any family support.

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But he had the perfect response for this, too.

He assured her, "I will definitely have people standing with me. These are the folks who've proven their loyalty to me over time. Those I've considered as part of my family will be at my side. You'll be the one leading me down the aisle.

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And those who've stuck by me or made amends for their actions will be there too. Moreover, if aunt and uncle were really concerned about an invite, they could've asked me directly—they have my number".

I can tell you, I was absolutely thrilled hearing him tell me this.

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I let him know just how remarkably proud I am of him.

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42. Checking Out

So, even though I cut off contact with my mom due to the improper treatment of my eldest daughter when she was one, she somehow managed to acquire my daughter's social security number. Using this information, she submitted her tax forms this year including both my daughter (who is now 18 and in college) and myself, thus claiming our $1,200 stimulus checks on April 1st.

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This was in spite of the fact that my daughter and I had already filed our own taxes for the year.

This act not only resulted in the loss of our stimulus checks, but it also initiated an IRS investigation into our finances. Both of us, my daughter who is studying nursing in college and myself, who is returning to school to learn computer programming, were banking on this money to help with our student loan payments.

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As a result of this situation, the IRS is also trying to deny us our tax refunds.

This isn't my first rodeo with the IRS. I've faced complications from improperly filing in the past so often that I now have a dedicated case worker with the agency.

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This is partly due to a few family members using my identity to evade child support payments in the past—they're now serving time in prison for it. This same IRS case worker is the one who informed me of this most recent problem. So, on Monday, I'm planning to touch base with them to get audits initiated for both my daughter and myself.

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43. People In Glass Houses…

My stepbrother, who's expecting his second child, critiqued me for having pets, calling it "wasteful". I usually avoid running into my stepbrother and his wife. It had been about a year since I saw them last, until yesterday, when I bumped into them at my dad's house.

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They recently shared the news that they're having another baby. I'd sent a congratulatory text, but they weren't pleased with my lackluster response and complained to my dad. The meeting started off well enough yesterday, with me asking about my sister-in-law's well-being and such.

But when my dad invited me to stay for dinner, I declined since I had to get my unwell dog to the vet.

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I shared that I'd taken the day off to deliver items to my dad and look after my sick dog. My stepbrother harshly criticized me for caring for a pet, saying it's foolish and wasteful in these days of scarcity.

Now, he and his wife plan to have four children one day, a fact they've shared many times.

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I've never reacted negatively to this news, yet he felt the freedom to critique my decision of maintaining pets—a decision with way less environmental impact than bringing another human to this overpopulated world.

Disgusted, I retorted, "If you're so concerned about the scarcity of resources, why are you adding to the world's population? Examine your own choices before criticizing mine". With that, I stormed out.

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Apparently, this made me the bad guy because my sister-in-law was inconsolable afterwards.

I've received numerous messages from my dad, stepbrother, and even my sister-in-law's sister. I calmly dismissed the sister's comments. For now, I'm choosing to sidestep responding to my dad and stepbrother's messages. I foresee a lengthy period of no communication with my stepbrother and his wife, maybe for years.

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I'll keep in contact with my dad though, just to ensure he's alright.

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44. A Rollercoaster Of Emotions

Ever since my brother and I were kids, we had this running joke that when the time came for him to have children, I'd be the one to carry them. He always knew he wanted a big family, and being gay, he also knew that starting a family would require non-traditional methods.

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Whenever the subject came up, he would joke that I would be the one to bear his biological children.

Over time, that playful banter took a serious tone. We understood each other in ways that others couldn't—our bond unbreakable. When our father passed on when we were just five and six years old, we were thrust into poverty.

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In those challenging times, it was just us against the world, supporting each other emotionally.

As we grew older, we both managed to secure good scholarships and earn our respective degrees. Even though college took us to different states, we remained as close as ever. It was during those years that my brother and I began to discuss his plan for starting a family.

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He wanted to adopt a few kids and have two of his own. We discussed everything from timing to financials to medical aspects.

As for me, I realized that I did not want kids of my own. I preferred to focus on my career. This realization came to me at the beginning of my professional life when I was working my first job as a company assistant.

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Around this time in college, I met my ex-boyfriend, a well-off guy from an upper middle-class background. Our relationship progressed well and he was supportive of both my career and my decision to not have children of my own. Things began to unravel when about a year into our relationship, I told him about my decision to be a surrogate for my brother in the future.

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He didn't seem to mind at first, but over time it became evident that he, and his family, wanted us to have biological kids of our own. My adamant stance about not having children led to many arguments. When the time came for me to carry out my promise to my brother, my ex reacted poorly.

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Even though we had always agreed that he wouldn't be involved during the pregnancy, he felt betrayed when he found out I was going ahead with my decision to be a surrogate for my brother.

Throughout this entire ordeal, my brother was extremely supportive. Despite already having three adopted children, he and his husband were keen to add to their family.

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After my ex-boyfriend abandoned me, I proceeded with the surrogate pregnancy.

The whole situation took a toll on me. To make matters worse, my mother, who I was living with at the time, passed on during the course of my pregnancy. Despite the emotional turmoil, I saw through the pregnancy and gave birth to my niece.

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My brother and his husband were at my side throughout, supporting me in every way possible.

Afterward, I decided to distance myself from my niece for a year to allow her to completely bond with her parents. During this year, I focused on rebuilding myself physically and emotionally.

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Some time later, my ex reached out, wanting to reconcile. Showing up at my apartment unannounced, he saw evidence of my pregnancy and was shocked. When he realized I had gone through with the surrogate pregnancy, he lashed out again and left.

This time, I decided to make a change for the better and took a year off to travel and recover from the emotional stress.

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Returning to my career a year later, I was offered an executive director's position and a chance to return to my home city.

Shortly after my return, my ex reached out to me. Weak as I was, I wanted to give our relationship another shot. However, I was shocked to find his brother and his wife wanted us to be surrogates for them.

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Hurt and betrayed all over again, I cut off contact with his entire family and distanced myself from the situation.

Fast forward to today, and his family has somehow found out where I live and has been persistently calling me. I have no idea how they have managed to find my address or track me down, but I've made up my mind not to let them in.

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They can keep ringing, but they won't be seeing me. Through all of this, I only wish I could have found the love I wanted.

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45. Keeping It In The Family

So, here's the story: my dad is one of seven kids, taking the third spot in the lineup. He's got a sister who's a year younger, and it's just the two of them who took care of their family after their dad passed on when my father was only twelve.

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All of his siblings have jobs, but they all still view my dad as the responsible one, their de facto father figure.

Now, last week I overheard something pretty heavy between my parents. They looked ticked off, but brushed it off when I asked. Because my mom looked close to tears, though, I pushed for more info.

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Turns out there was a surprising meeting last year with my aunt and grandmother.

They'd cornered my dad at my aunt's place with this huge "urgent" matter. The bombshell they dropped? That my cousin and I should get hitched. Why? Because they wanted my dad's earnings to stay in the family, not go to an outsider.

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They even suggested that my brother and my youngest cousin should follow suit when they're older!

My dad was floored, and rightly so I think. In response, my aunt and grandmother took potshots at me, saying stuff like I'd only get married if someone was after my father's money.

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My dad drew a line and demanded no more of such discussions. But last week, my aunt rang my dad, urging him to reconsider since I'm in my last year of college.

This has thrown me for a loop and I'm still figuring out what to do.

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We were tight as a family, meeting regularly, and now I can't shake off knowing what they've said about me. Next time I see them, do I confront them or pretend nothing happened? Can I truly go back to how things were?

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46. Wash Out Your Mouth

I recently got engaged and decided to take a break to meet our parents and start wedding plans.

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We first visited my family, then his. I am a chronic pain sufferer, with prescription meds that leave me having a low appetite and frequent nausea. My fiancé's family doesn't know about my condition yet, and a few nights ago, I overheard his mother grumbling about me refusing their food.

I decided to let that slide.

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The following day, my fiancé gave me a tour around his hometown. As we got back, he remembered he needed to get some drinks. Since we were almost home and I was tired, he dropped me off. His parents were waiting for me in the living room, visibly upset.

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His mother accused me of deceit, thinking I brought illicit substances into their home.

My pain made me motion to a chair, but she refused my need to sit, accusing me of bringing harmful substances into their house. Reaching for my phone proved unsuccessful as she ordered me to stand still.

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She didn’t care about the status of the 'substances' I'd brought. She pulled out a plastic-wrapped package—one I recognized immediately. She blamed the contents for causing her husband's sickness.

I was livid. This package was hidden away in my bag! She went on a horrible speech about the quantity of pills I take, slamming me as an addict who didn’t deserve their son. She showed me where her husband had sampled the package and been sick shortly after.

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Ten minutes later, my fiancé arrived, and his mother queried him on my medication and the perceived contraband. Despite the evasion of how they discovered my meds, he quickly identified the controversial package. With a sigh, he clarified, "Mom, it’s soap. It's even labeled as African Black Soap".

To prove his point, he broke off a piece, washed his hands in the kitchen, and demonstrated the lather.

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His mother swiftly countered, saying she had never seen soap like that and it didn’t account for my medication count. They defended their prying actions.

They justified their actions by wanting the best for their son, and in their house, they felt entitled to go through my personal possessions.

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Exhausted and upset, I ended up screaming furiously. My vocal cords are still paying the price. My father-in-law tried to return the soap, but I pretty much threw it back at him, remarking I didn't want his germs.

I admit, it wasn’t my finest moment. Now, we're staying in a hotel, avoiding his parents.

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I wish I'd handled it better. I'd always envisioned a good relationship with my in-laws—we were getting along fine until now. But this incident has caused me to rethink things. I guiltily feel like I messed up big time... but so did they.

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47. Not The Daddy

Just to set the stage, I've always had a difficult relationship with my folks.

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But due to recent global circumstances I found myself having to move back in with them. It's fair to say I thought I'd escaped for good and was prepared to leave them behind permanently, but reality had other plans. It started with a phone call, where they basically said it was their place or nothing at all.

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They even dangled the threat of cutting me off from their health insurance. I rely on their coverage for a crucial daily prescription, and can't risk losing it before I have my own job-based insurance. My dad, who's not really good at controlling his anger, has made the current living situation a living nightmare.

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He’s always all over me and keeps hurling insults, scrutinizing me every chance he gets.

Fast forward to today, it got worse. With a high stress level from work, instead of giving me peace to read, he was shouting my name from another room. After a while, he found me, standing in the doorway.

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Finally, I put my book aside and inquired about what he wanted. He lost it and went on a tangent that he was my "daddy" and deserved to be addressed as such.

He was relentless, shouting “I'm your daddy” insisting that I, a 22-year-old adult woman who honestly never addressed him as "daddy" before, must use that term for him henceforth. No matter what I asked him or how I approached the situation, he wouldn’t back down or leave. He just yelled in my face, "CALL ME DADDY"! To my deep chagrin, I gave in, I called him daddy, just to get him off my back.

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48. Nothing Like The Real Thing

I truly love my mother-in-law, she's like my own mom. To put it bluntly, my actual mom is a complete narcissist. My husband and I have been together for nearly 15 years, and during that time, both my mother and mother-in-law have frequently locked horns, primarily due to how my mother behaves towards me.

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But when I had kids, the tension skyrocketed.

My mom is extraordinarily jealous, and that's understating it. If my kids show affection to anyone but her, she loses it. In every situation she's always had to be the center of attention. She's also incredibly vindictive, and she's been unpleasant to my girls multiple times.

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Speaking of my girls, they're three years old. One day I had a dentist appointment, and left my mom and mother-in-law in charge. When I returned two hours later, I found my mom and all her stuff by the front steps. With the left side of my face still numb and feeling drained, I was greeted by her screaming, "YOUR AWFUL MOTHER-IN-LAW KICKED ME OUT. I WOULD NEVER DO THIS TO FAAAMILY.

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YOU ADORING HER AND SHE THROWS ME OUT ON THE STREETS".

Without further ado, she hopped into her car and raced away. Upon entering the house, my mother-in-law apologized for letting things escalate. She narrated the whole tale, which nearly gave me a fit. Apparently, my mom left the door open, and one of my twins managed to escape.

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My mom was caught bawling out my kid on the steps like it was all the child's fault.

She further informed me she had witnessed my mom bullying my other daughter. She commented, "I saw her being nasty to them, I just lost it. It's one thing being mean to me, but how dare she treat my grandbabies that way". The only thing I could do was tear up and give her a tight hug.

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While my birth mom may forever remain a narcissist, I've found a real mom in my mother-in-law. It's so refreshing to feel like I genuinely belong to a family.

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49. It’s Not About You

It's been the hardest week I've ever faced, and it's not over. On Saturday, I tragically lost my son in a motorcycle accident—a nightmare that I'm still struggling to process. With this in mind, let's cut to the chase.

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After hearing the news, my "mother" rang me up, fixated not on my pain, but on how she had lost one of her four grandchildren—as if my youngest son was just a tally mark to her.

This, shockingly, was just the beginning. On the day of my son's passing, instead of offering support, she turned the situation into a self-centered melodrama.

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And soon, things escalated to a new level. She called up my life partner of three years—we're both proud, later-life lesbians—and conveyed that she wasn't welcome at the funeral because it wasn't an occasion for "lesbian lovers". My partner, who loved my son like her own, was crushed, and this cruelty infuriated me beyond words.

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She even had the audacity to show up at my home the next day, pretending she was acting with my best interests at heart. I promptly asked her to leave—I wouldn't tolerate having her around. Then came another shock—my mother's disrespect during our family's private viewing for my son, arranged before his cremation. My sister, aware of our mother's antics, had made it clear that she should arrive after my younger son and I had our time alone with him.

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Instead, she showed up before us.

My sister led her out of the room to give us our privacy, but the worst was yet to come. My mother theatrically wailed in the funeral home lobby, left without uttering a single word to my younger son or me.

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It hurt and angered me in ways I can't fully express.

I don't doubt my mother's grief is genuine, but it's honestly too much for me to handle at this moment. Yesterday, we held my son's memorial service. The service was heartfelt, and my son's friends shared touching stories about his life that I was unaware of, which made me incredibly proud.

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The chapel was filled to capacity, a testament to the love people had for my son. It was truly uplifting amid the sorrow.

Finally, my mother's final round. She attended the visitation before the service, but for some unknown reason, she became so sedated that she left before the actual service, a moment that was embarrassing but perhaps for the best.

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In the midst of my grief, I am resentful that she could not summon the empathy to support me. She didn't ruin my son's farewell, for which I feel a grudging sense of gratitude. I don't know where our relationship will head from here, whether we'll maintain minimal contact or no contact at all.

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But I have my partner, my wonderful remaining son, and a supportive network of friends and family by my side.

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50. Sometimes You CAN Choose Your Family

I knew from the age of three that I was adopted. I'm unsure whether my adoption was open or closed, but I do know my birth parents gave up their rights to me shortly after I was born.

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From the age of five days to three years old, I was in foster care. This was because I was difficult to place due to being born with a heart defect known as an atrial septal defect (ASD).

The condition led to complications that eventually required surgery.

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Luckily, I was adopted by a NICU/pediatric nurse, who raised me in a home filled with love and care. At 18, I received a letter from a woman called "Claire" wanting to connect, but I didn't reply both by choice and due to dealing with another heart surgery. I had loving grandparents, though they passed when I was 20.

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Then tragedy struck again when my adoptive mom passed on from cancer when I was 22.

I coped with the grief by attending therapy from then until now. "Claire" didn't resurface in my memory until I received a new letter from her. In the letter, she claimed to be my older sister from my biological father and that she had spent considerable resources to locate me.

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According to her, I was born as a result of an affair between my married biological parents. Their partners discovered the affair, leading my birth parents to relinquish their rights over me. My biological mother's family was unaware of my existence and my birth mother, feeling cornered, quickly handed off my info.

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After learning about me, seven of my biological siblings reached out to me. I didn't directly address Claire's letter but instead consulted my adopted mom’s sister, my aunt. She is a social worker and gave her opinion to carefully consider how I would handle this situation.

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I informed Claire that I didn't want any communication beyond medical history.

Despite this, Claire attempted to friend me on Facebook and has sent pictures and unsolicited letters. I finally told her six months ago that I had no interest in connecting with them. Her reply was infuriating.

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She became defensive and tried to guilt me into communication, which I strongly resisted. She even claimed that my biological mother was ill and wanted to make amends, yet there's no evidence of her sickness online.

My biological siblings have been sending messages expressing their desire for me to respond to Claire's overtures and accusing me of being impolite.

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Some of these messages were quite cruel. I stayed firm and contacted a lawyer to ensure my rights were protected. My adoptive father confirmed that my adoption was closed, and now, we are working on building a case against the constant harassment by creating a paper trail.

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In an annoying turn, I still receive letters and packages from Claire in my post office box. I simply write "return to sender" and send them back. Thankfully, they only know my P.O. box address and I live in a different country. I truly hope to confirm that my adoption was closed and that I can legally put a stop to these invasions of my privacy.

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