Spectacularly Terrible Parents

November 3, 2023 | Scott Mazza

Spectacularly Terrible Parents

Even though many people can be parents, that doesn't mean they should be. Unfortunately, these horrible parents prove that rule ten times over. From selfish acts to some of the most boneheaded mistakes a parent could ever make, these mothers and fathers definitely didn't know best, and their children went to Reddit to spill all the beans.

1. Be Careful What You Wish For

I got a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation because I've been ill for a few years now. My mother got mad at me, saying I'm selfish for not picking something that helps the whole family. She's miffed cause I wanna go to Japan, but my parents can't come due to work and no passports. I planned to go with my aunt and older sib, since my parents are cool with them.

I've been through a ton of chemo and meds to stay alive, and this wish is meant to be what I really want. I don't wanna waste it on some cheap thing like a laptop, I can buy that myself. This is a one-time deal, I wanna go big, but my parents are dragging me down. Even my doc said to not go for something basic like Disney World, it'd be a letdown.

Funny thing is, my parents were barely there during my treatment. My sibling was the one who took me every week for close to three years.

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2. A Familiar Face…

I rarely see my real dad, but I knew he'd gotten married again. Someone from his side gatecrashed my baby sister's wedding. During the do, a woman I vaguely recognized came over and asked if I was who she thought I was.

I said yeah, that's me, and told her she seemed familiar too, but I didn't know her name. She told me her name and reminded me of a shocking fact—I used to babysit her when I was in high school and she was in middle school. I asked her what's up and who she came with. You won't believe it—she told me she's my dad's new wife and wanted me to know she's got him now.

I was gobsmacked and didn't want drama so I ducked out and left her there.

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3. A Close Shave

Just a little bit ago, I got super ticked. I've been feeling under the weather for a while and my long, curly hair became a knotted mess 'cause of the fever I've been dealing with. Mom told me yesterday she's gonna chop off my hair to my shoulders because I haven't been maintaining it.

Even though I was barely able to talk, I made sure to tell her no. Today, I felt a bit better so I got up and showered and started brushing through my hair. While I was at it, my mom started helping me out. Or so I thought. All of a sudden, I felt something on my back—yup, it was a pair of scissors.

She tried to play it off as just trimming my hair, but when I saw myself in the mirror, I noticed she'd chopped off like 4-5 inches. That's a ton for someone with curly hair—it's gonna take forever and a day to grow back. Honestly, it's not even about the hair—I'm really crossed about her ignoring my wishes, yet again. I'm so livid with her right now. Can't even stand the sight of her, even though we live together.

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4. No Tricks, No Treats

So when I was about 12, it was Halloween time. We had a life-sized skeleton decoration hanging in our tree. One day, this lady showed up at our doorstep. She was really sweet and apologetic. Apparently, her best friend, who also lived nearby, lost her daughter when she took her own life. Because of her friend's house's location, she had to pass by our place every day and the sight of the hanging decoration was tough for her.

But what my mom did next still blows my mind.

She basically snapped at the lady saying, “It's just a Halloween decoration. I'm not removing it—just ask her to move on"! Then she slammed the door in the lady's face. I was disgusted. It's been 20 years, and I still think about how horrible that must have felt for her. If I was in that situation, I would have taken the decoration down and sent flowers to the mom who's grieving.

Fast forward to today, whenever I put up my Halloween decorations, I'm careful not to display anything that might upset someone. This incident is one of the countless reasons that triggered my decision to cut off contact with my mom a decade ago.

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5. Can’t Make Up For This

Since middle school (I'm 22 now), my mom's been on a mission to clear up my "acne". Our bathroom's been crammed with Proactive, prescription creams, and all sorts of wipes that claimed instant results. Yet, none of it worked and my face stayed dotted and irritated.

This led to a lot of fights, with mom claiming I wasn't using these products right, or that I wasn't even using them at all and just wasting her money. She'd then slide into the classic "you're ungrateful and selfish" argument. Recently, while helping a friend prep for her wedding, I ditched my usual thick makeup routine since we were just popping by the craft store and grabbing buffet lunch.

Good thing my mom was still snoozing, so I could dodge the usual "You're going out looking like that"? chat and slipped into my friend's car. She looked at me, squinted and said: "I didn't know you had freckles". It rocked my world, big time. I didn't even know. I flipped down the car mirror and looked at myself.

All I saw were my "acne" spots which I'd usually piled foundation over. After going back and forth, my friend finally pointed out: "That big red spot is acne. These little brown dots are freckles". Turns out, mom had tricked me into thinking my freckles were acne and that I was at fault because the products weren't working.

It might sound silly, but tears rolled down my cheeks. The kind of tears you shed after a monumental realization. Boy, therapy is going to be interesting next week.

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6. Just Deserts

When I was 16, my hard-as-nails grandma, who'd run her own upholstery business for 50 years and had five kids, passed on. She left behind 10 grandkids, including me and my brother. She decided to divide up her possessions based on what we needed. I got an education trust for college, my brother got a delivery van for his band, and my mom got some fancy jewelry.

My mom wasn't thrilled about the jewelry and kicked up a fuss because she thought my $30k trust was more valuable than her inheritance. Fast forward to my first year in college when I tried to gain access to my trust. That's when I learned the disturbing truth. I discovered that my mom had emptied it, claiming it was for my education expenses.

In reality, she'd been using my trust to pay for my high school courses at her college—using the original, significantly higher price, rather than the discounted cost I actually had to pay. Then she'd used the rest of it to pay my first semester's college bill before my scholarships kicked in. But the kicker was, the money hadn't gone on my education—it'd gone on buying her a plot of land in a snazzy part of town.

I was fuming, but couldn't do anything about it as I was broke. I decided to break all ties with her, got a job and a flat near college, and only saw her at Christmas. Fast forward a few years, and mom's built her dream house on her plot of land—right before the housing market crashed.

Next thing you know, the county's hitting her with a $100k in back taxes and penalties because she hadn't bothered to pay any taxes on the land or the house. Thinking she's clever, she has the house reassessed, but the financial crisis has hit, and her once $700k house is now worth $220k.

She's obviously mistaken if she thought this'd affect her back taxes, and she ends up having to sell her dream house just to pay her tax bill. Even after selling her house, she had debts to clear and ended up declaring bankruptcy.

Fast forward a few years, she's now retired, broke, and all alone, still blaming everyone else for her mess. I've finished school, got a stable job, and a house I actually pay taxes on. I'm not happy about the fact that my mom stole from me, but it does bring a small piece of justice seeing that what goes around comes around.

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7. The Truth Hurts

My dad's a bit of a pain and my stepmom's ready to split. We're all good with it, but he's not on board. My sister is already hunting for his new digs. My sister says, "Hey, check out this apartment I found for ya". Dad goes, "Wait, you really want me out? Do you get what you're saying? You're too young to get it, you can't make your own decisions"!

My sister responds, "Um, actually, I can make my own choices, thanks". Dad quips, "Do you seriously think your mom would be better off? Will she be happier"? Sis: "Yup".

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8. Too Little, Too Late

Back when I was a teenager living with my mom, there was a theater production I'd wanted to see since I was a kid. It was coming to our city for a one-off event, the only time it was ever likely to be shown there. Mom said she'd take me for my birthday. But when tickets went on sale, she got mad at me for reminding her to buy them. 

Long story short, they sold out and we didn't go even though there was enough time for her to get them if she really tried. All I wanted was to go to the theater with her, spend some quality time together. I was probably craving that connection more than anything since we'd never even been to the movies together before.

Now here's the thing. Whenever my parents wanted to see something, they'd buy the tickets straight away. Also, mom has a history of promising to do things she never really plans to do. Fast forward to today. My fiancé’s mom messages me. She's bought tickets to this same play, which after all these years, is coming to the city where I live now.

It's not even screening until the end of the year but she bought them well in advance. I’m just super grateful to have her in my life. My mom gets jealous of her, but honestly, she can suck it. She never really bothered to make an effort with me.

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9. Aunts And Uncles

When I was 19, my mom discovered my 46-year-old dad had cheated on her again. She found some pretty bad photos of him and his new girlfriend. After that, my parents split and my dad moved back to Vietnam. Turns out, the girl he was seeing was a year younger than me. They first met when she was only 17, which honestly grossed me out.

I didn't want to meet her when I first visited my dad, but I later saw that it was a bit childish of me. They now have two kids, ages 10 and 8. The real kicker is that according to Vietnamese tradition, I have to call her "elder" and refer to myself as a "child". Even weirder, my own kids have to call their kids "Aunt" or "Uncle".

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10. It’s Always Me, Me, Me

My boyfriend and I have been together since school, over 10 years. He's shown me that life doesn't have to be as dramatic as my family makes it. We like simple, quiet, drama-free lives with our pets, Netflix and chill, and occasional movies. We're not show-offs, we just work to make our home happy and stable.

We're going to get married. No big proposals or plans, just a simple $100 wedding chapel in Vegas when we're there for my 30th birthday—a low-stress ceremony followed by a good meal and night out. Perfect. The reason being, my family is drama central—I know from past events they wouldn't behave nicely even for a single day at my wedding, so I'd rather ditch them altogether.

I finally let my parents know, to avoid a future uproar. It backfired. My mom got mad, saying we're being tacky. She tried to bribe me with money I never actually expected from her, and tried to make my decision about her. She suggested having a celebration meal when we're back, and I agreed, though I planned to have it anyway.

Then came the kicker—she wanted me to lose weight for my wedding photos. That's just a whole new level of nasty. I told my dad as well, but he's off chasing young girls somewhere in Asia and was not really interested. He did tell me that it's good I'm marrying before 30, so I 'still have some value'. Yeah, right.

So there goes the family celebration idea. Frankly, I'm looking forward to my chill Vegas wedding more than ever. I'll make sure to flood my social media with pictures of their "overweight 30-year-old daughter's" wedding day. Good riddance, indeed.

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11. Uber Therapist

I caught a ride with an older Uber driver who asked about my Christmas plans. Tried to explain the holiday juggle between my folks and my in-laws. I mentioned if I missed visiting my parents' house, my mom wouldn't let me live it down. The driver pegged that as emotional manipulation and advised that I should tell my mom to stop.

He shared that his mom used to be the same way until he put his foot down and refused to play her games. She gave him the silent treatment for six months but eventually got over it. I thanked my Uber-borne therapist and hope our paths cross again.

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12. The Shoe’s On The Other Foot

My boyfriend loves his hiking boots and wears them all the time. He's been trying to get me to buy a pair for ages now. While I understand his points about their benefits over my cheap, uncomfy shoes, I could never stomach dropping that much cash on myself. Can’t see myself shelling out $200 for a pair of boots.

But after nearly two years, he's managed to persuade me. My birthday present this year? Hiking boots. What tipped the scales? I kinda needed to be more active. Get out, stretch my legs and just chill.

Walking has never been my cup of tea. I'd tire out in no time, legs, feet, back all aching. I blamed my extra weight and lack of fitness for this, thinking if I pushed through the pain, I'd get better. And I landed in a boot store.

A bit embarrassed about my flat feet, I gave in and got measured for some good hiking boots and special insoles. My boyfriend and I broke them in with a nice, long walk. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was walking effortlessly, and my flat feet were behaving themselves for once.

It turns out, it wasn't just a vanity issue. I lacked stability in my stride due to my flat feet, which these boots now offered. Walking was no longer a dread-filled task, and my weight or fitness wasn't to blame.

I was fuming at my parents though. I was born with flat feet and it was always obvious. Yet, they turned a blind eye, investing in good shoes for themselves but neglecting their kids' foot health.

My mom wears top-notch hiking boots, despite her flat feet. They knew very well the problem it can be! They dismissed my complaints, told me to stop whining and that I didn't deserve shoes over $40.

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13. Cutting To The Quick

When I was 12, my mom and sister decided to give me a haircut. I had long, straight blonde hair that my mom always kept in a braid. I wasn't allowed to let it down. One day, my sister thought my hair looked too mature for my age while I was playing with a friend. Her solution? She chopped it all off. They pulled it into a ponytail and cut right above the hairband.

The cut left me with hair barely reaching below my ears, more or less a bowl cut. As they were amateurs at haircuts, it turned out really uneven and patchy. I was already a bit of an awkward kid who wasn't much social. The dreadful haircut just made things worse, making me an easy target at school. I was recently reminiscing about this with my sister and only realised how bizarre it was the next day.

Suddenly it hit me—how totally crazy it was to blame a 12-year-old kid for possibly looking too grown-up and drawing boys' attention. Once my hair grew back, the tone got darker and I lost the natural highlights. All my childhood photos show me with either extremely short hair or a tight French braid. I do not have any evidence of ever having gorgeous hair but I suppose I'll just have to believe my mom and sister.

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14. Credit Where It Isn’t Due

I got my master's finally and texted mom the good news. She congratulated me, but when I came back from work she dropped the hammer on me. She let her boyfriend do all the talking, even though I knew she was just using him as a mouthpiece.

He went on about how I shouldn't forget the folks who helped me get here now that I've graduated, and should support my family. Made me want to scream! Mom hardly ever supported me, pretty sure she was just salty I studied more than she did.

Growing up, she didn't care if I was properly fed, had clean clothes, or got enough sleep for school. She was more into having a good time with her pals than making sure her kid was okay. Still managed to get good grades despite all that. Knew the only way out of that mess was through hard work at school—middle school, high school, you name it.

She never helped me through college either. At home, she'd call me posh for wanting a college education, but then she'd show me off to her buddies like, "Look how smart my daughter is, all because of me". As if she had any claim to my success! Paid my way through it all by working after school and on weekends. Earned every bit of where I am today.

I don't owe her squat for what I've achieved. I'm gonna keep grinding to build the life I've always wanted. This week's success is mine and mine alone. Ain't nobody got the right to claim that.

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15. Drive On By

I just lived through my biggest fear. I've avoided talking to my dad for months while I sort through old memories. I was out for a walk when his car suddenly pulled up. He tried to hug me from the car window—a strange move considering I was the one avoiding him!

I've always been uncomfortable with his unsolicited hugs and how he disrespects my personal space. I refused his hug because honestly, I never want to touch him again. He got really mad and started ranting how it's not his fault, saying things like, "I did it out of fear". I was like, yeah right. I told him my memories didn't match his story. He fired back with "I'm not evil" and "Stay in the past if you want".

I'm proud of how I handled it. I simply told him I didn't want a relationship with him anymore, and that was that. He muttered "stupid witch"! as he drove off, all angry. It felt good to walk away, laughing and smiling. He's not my issue to deal with anymore. I'm done dealing with his manipulations for good.

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16. In The Money

I finally managed to move out of my parents' place years back, thanks to landing a good tech job. This sparked off some jealousy and snide comments from family, even though they had their own money problems. That’s when the horrible truth came out. Despite appearing financially stable, my mom had a hefty $100k credit card debt and had been lying about the state of their house mortgage.

My sister, a teacher, had her own financial mess—$100k in student loans, $30k for a car, and a few thousand spent on a "self-discovery" Europe trip. However, by staying at home rent-free, she could just manage to make her payments. That didn't stop them from critiquing my financial choices, like buying used cars and not buying flashy gadgets every year.

Even though they labeled me "poor" and constantly belittled my decisions, it turned out I was way better off than them, especially after I paid off my student loans thanks to a breakthrough at my new job. They came undone immediately. This shift caused a family shakeup—everyone needed a new person to blame for their problems.

My sister's struggle with her debt worsened things. I'm not in close touch with them now, mainly keeping contact for my ailing grandmother. I recently visited them anyway because my sister brought in her new boyfriend—they've been dating for ten months and my parents are already pushing for marriage and moving in together.

I asked if things weren't moving a little too fast and all hell broke loose. No backing down on my part, though. I later got to know that all her debts are co-signed by our parents—they're basically trying to marry her off to her boyfriend to get financial relief.

I felt super bad for the guy—he had no idea about any of this, even commenting about how financially independent my sister was. I decided to tip him off, advising him to check credit scores before deciding on anything serious.

A few weeks later, chaos ensued when he brought up conducting a credit check before renting a condo together. My mom and sister accused me of breaking up their relationship, and my sister had a meltdown. I'm miles away, just enjoying my drinks, watching the drama, and glad that I saved a good guy from a financial disaster. Blocking their numbers doesn't even seem necessary now with all the entertainment.

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17. Monster Of The Bride

My mom pretty much tried to wreck my wedding and got crabby when things didn't go her way. She decided to wear a white dress, which is a big no-no. Seeing my dismay, she casually remarked how we both seemed to be getting married. My bridesmaids went silent. My dad was there too, not dressed for the occasion, but I didn't mind.

I wanted him by my side as I walked down the aisle. However, my mom started fussing over his casual attire and even suggested he shouldn't walk me. She asked for my phone while I was getting ready. I told her it was not with me. She wanted to call my aunt, who was already sitting among guests, well on time. She sent my dad on a wild goose chase.

Eventually, my dad escorted me down the aisle. Both my hubby's parents and my dad sat in front. But guess who was sulking at the back of the chapel? My mom. When it was time for photos, she wasn't in the mood. She took one picture and bounced, even missed the reception. We haven't spoken since. It's ironic how she didn't want to seem like a bad mother, but her actions made her look pretty rotten. She brought it on herself.

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18. Stopping The Cycle

Last fall, my toddler tripped and fractured her skull. I rushed her to the ER after finding a soft spot where she'd hit her head, and we spent the whole day there while they ran tests. It wasn't my ideal Saturday, and I found myself telling her, "I hope you appreciate me being at the hospital with you all day. You owe me big time"!

I mainly said it jokingly, but I stopped in horror after I said it. I quickly realized I sounded just like my mom, who often made me feel indebted for the extra care she gave due to my health issues. It was like she expected praise or payback for doing the bare minimum a parent should do for their sick kid.

I was embarrassed. Even though my kid was too young to get what I said, I corrected myself right away. I told her, "No way! I'm glad to be here with you and help you get better. I love being your mom, and you don't owe me anything".

It felt great realizing I'm breaking the chain of guilt-tripping and emotional manipulation with my kid. I wanna do better for her.

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19. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

I'm tying the knot next year and my dream is to walk down the aisle in a rainbow wedding dress. However, my recent online dress hunting has dug up memories that I thought I had dealt with. Here comes some backstory—my mom had three kids: an older brother who was stillborn at 32 weeks; then there was me, and my younger brother, the favorite.

Life with mom was peculiar because of my position as the family scapegoat. Everything was my fault and I was always wrong. But the challenging part was living up to not just my younger brother, but my late older brother as well. I was the "rainbow baby" and lived under a constant reminder of not being able to replace the child she lost. We visited his grave weekly, celebrated his birthdays and more, which are quite normal ways to grieve.

Here's where it gets messy, though. An heirloom gifted to me by my great-grandma at birth has been withheld by my mom, insisting that it belonged to my deceased brother. She despises my great-grandma since she believes she ignored my older brother. Even a graduation ceremony turned into a breakdown because she couldn't experience this with him. But the Golden child—my younger brother—didn't get the same treatment. She also sulked at all my recitals and sports events for this same reason.

Once, during my high school years, I celebrated my best friend's birthday—who shared the same birthday as my deceased brother. This led to lengthy episodes of berating and ignoring me as if I were an uncaring monster. I even cracked her necklace—a tribute to my brother—during a physical altercation and she was more concerned about that than about physically harming me.

At 13, I yelled back, saying she never loved me and only wished for her perfect unborn child. Her response? She just sat and stared at me. Unfortunately, I still believe that she sees me that way. Yet she goes to church and enjoys calling me her "rainbow". I get annoyed when people call their kids "rainbow babies". Kids are not refillable void fillers or replacements. They are individuals who should not shoulder unrealistic expectations.

Now, the thought of getting my rainbow wedding dress is stirring up these memories. Looks like I need to seek therapy once more before I can even consider getting hitched.

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20. Boundaries, Meet Grandma

My mom came over today. She's never been kind to me but today, she bit off more than she could chew. My little girl told me she loved me, something that my mother doesn't like to hear. She thinks it means my daughter loves me more than her and gets upset if my daughter doesn't immediately also declare her love for grandma.

Well, she didn't say those magic words today. Mom goes into a spiel about how she loves her the most, talks about dying someday and promises to haunt my daughter with hugs. Pausing for a bit, my daughter just looks up at her and says, 'You're creepy'. My kid's the best!

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21. Me? Fail? Never

So my buddy and I were chatting about this Netflix series, Abducted in Plain Sight, and I went like, "Hey! You know, I nearly got kidnapped once"! However, my mom and I have different versions of this story—she's really self-centered like that. She insists some guy tried to take me from his car, but that's not how I remember it.

So here's what happened. When I was about four, my mom brought a guy home and went off to her room, leaving us alone in the living room.

Out of nowhere, he scooped me up, put his hand over my mouth and made for the exit. That’s when my fight-or-flight kicked in and I took a bite out of his hand—the spot between his thumb and pointer. He screamed, dropped me, and made a run for it, leaving my mom to clean up the mess. She never owned up to her screw-up that day, though she did confess that I bit a good chunk off the guy's hand.

I was actually having a good laugh telling this story, but my friend did not find it amusing at all. He was in shock, telling me it wasn't funny, then hugged me tight. Nowadays, I get it. It's not a laughing matter, especially to people with healthier family backgrounds.

I've always seen my mom shrug it off with a laugh, but now I can see it was one of those times she was trying to downplay major parenting negligence.

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22. That’s Not Funny

I noticed last year that most of my mom's "funny" stories about my childhood involve me in tears. She doesn't seem to get that it doesn't paint her in the best light. A truly amusing childhood story shouldn't involve the kid crying from real pain or emotional upset.

And man, it shouldn't involve you, the parent, getting laughs while your kid is bawling instead of helping them. Here's a legit funny story from way back when: At about eight or nine years old, I somehow came to believe that "gluteus maximus" (how my gym teacher referred to our backsides) was actually "bootius maximus". That, to my childhood mind, was where the term "booty" came from.

I held onto this idea until one physical education class where I took a tumble and landed on my behind. When the teacher asked if I was okay, I said the dumbest thing ever. I responded with, "Yeah, just landed on my bootius maximus". The teacher tried to correct me, but I was having none of it, insisting the phrase was 'bootius maximus'.

This whole misunderstanding got the usually stern teacher laughing so hard she had to excuse herself to regain her composure. I think I made her day. But my mom's idea of a funny childhood story is quite different.

Around the time I was 11 or 12, we had two dogs. The female was smart as heck. The male was a sweetheart but not the sharpest tool in the shed. One summer day, my mom asked me to take a bone away from the female dog who had snuck it inside to enjoy in the AC.

So there I am, all obedient and trusting, trying to pry the bone from the dog's mouth when she gave an unexpected nip. Though it wasn't a deep bite, it was still enough to freak me out. But here's the kicker: My mom's response was to laugh.

My dad came in and cleaned the small wound while giving my mom a disapproving look. She dismissed it as a joke and blamed me for not knowing better. I was pretty hurt by her reaction, and honestly, it showed a lack of empathy on her part. It still bugs me how she continues to find the story hilarious.

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23. They Are Just Things

I was in another room when my kid came up to me like, "Sorry mom, I broke your mug". I checked if she got hurt—nope. Was there a mess? Yeah, she cleaned up her spilled drink and the mug pieces were on the kitchen counter. She wasn't scared at all to tell me she'd broken one of my favorite things. And, guess what? My anger didn't wreck her world.

Sure, the mug can be fixed or replaced. But my kid still knowing I'm a safe space, that her feelings matter more than stuff, that's not replaceable. I'm relieved that's still cool. Just hope this sends a message to everyone that we can change things up.

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24. Free At Last

When I was about six, I began to have eczema rashes on my hands and arms. Over time, they've gotten worse. Now, at 21, the rashes have spread to cover over 60% of my body, they're constantly bleeding, and I'm in pain every time I move or shower. I'm in bed right now, typing this on my phone.

The rash is even on my fingertips and palms. I repeatedly asked my parents to take me to a doctor. Their response was shocking. Despite having good jobs and money, they refused to pay for an allergy screening. They preferred buying a new car instead.

When I eventually managed to get my own healthcare coverage and had the allergy screening, it turned out it was only $20. By then, I had already distanced myself from my parents. They never believed me and always minimized my symptoms. When I was 19 and still in college, they cut me off for questioning my gender identity and made me homeless.

I'm 21 now and haven't spoken to them since then. Luckily, I've been successfully transitioning on my own and I have a place to stay. But then, a couple of days ago, I got a shock. I responded to an ad seeking medical volunteers for eczema research. The doctors are testing a new medication that might compete with another one that's successfully been treating this condition for years.

Turns out, there has been a solution to the endless nights of itching and pain all along. If I had been on the right treatment, I could've had clear skin as early as middle school. The doctors criticized the weak treatments my parents allowed me to use, and pointed out their harmful side effects.

They were shocked at my parents' neglect. For me, it was the validation I needed. Now, I'm approved to participate as a volunteer for their new medication. I'm getting paid and all medical treatments related to the study are covered. This is a big deal because I lost my job a few months ago as my condition has worsened and I couldn't work anymore. So basically, I'm getting free healthcare and it feels amazing.

If I hadn't stepped away from my family, I would likely never have found this treatment. I was told by the nurses that my risk of mental health issues is high, and honestly, I believe them.

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25. State Of Emergency

I had quite a fright with a gallbladder attack. My hubby was not in a fit state to drive, so he phoned his mother at silly o'clock. Jumping to our aid, she whisked me off to the hospital, standing by my side all night long. Her supportive presence reduced me to tears, partly because my own folks wouldn't have done the same. I consider myself so lucky to have this amazing woman in my life.

A decade ago, I had a nasty spill on my long-board on my way to work, busting my elbow and ankle. My parents drove me to the hospital, but only dumped me at the entrance. Dad didn't even leave the car, grumbling about parking fees, while mom took off, citing work the next day. I, 20 at the time, was left crying, pleading for her company, terrified and in pain.

Relentlessly, she turned me down, telling me to call dad for a lift home when I was done. Barely half an hour later, she texted, miffed that I had painted her as an uncaring mom to the judgmental audience in the waiting room. That night made it clear I couldn't expect much from my parents except for sly digs and guilt trips.

With both of them now living a province away and being closer to my mother-in-law, I feel so much more supported. Tying the knot with my hubby also meant being part of a warm, caring family who truly has my back when I need them.

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26. All Her Excuses Went Down The Toilet

When I was a tiny tot of three, I did something that's haunted me my whole life. I somehow found my way into my mom's beautiful wedding necklace in the bathroom, and then dropped it straight into the toilet. Naturally, I did what any adventurous three-year-old would do—flushed it. It just disappeared, never to be seen again. I've felt so guilty, and I've said sorry to my mom over and over throughout the years.

At every age milestone—six, nine, thirteen—I'd apologize again for that crazy incident. But mom usually just brushed me off. Then, at a recent dinner party with her friends, she brought up my toddler mishap as a big scandal, topping everyone's fun stories. But before she could really get into it, good old Tom, a nice teacher at the get-together, interrupted her: "She was only three! You should've been watching her"! Tom said. 

Everyone instantly agreed with him. My mom was speechless. And, for the first time, I felt really relieved, like this wasn't my fault after all. It was this incredible, validating moment.

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27. The Beautiful Do-Over

So here's me partly patting myself on the back and partly airing out some old stuff about the not-so-cool ways my mom messed me up. Way back when I was 10, my mom and I were in her car waiting for a train to pass. On peeping at myself in the car mirror, I legit thought "Dang...I look kinda cute"! Even now, I cringe just typing that out because of my mom.

I'd recently seen a show talking about celebs with gorgeous lips and wondered if my lips were cute too. I decided they kinda were. That's when I made a huge mistake. I asked my mom if she thought my lips were cute. She lost it. There I was, trapped in the car with her, receiving a metaphorical spanking that made me feel like a tiny, ugly and worthless piece of trash.

She said something like "Did I just catch you checking yourself out?! You know what that's called? Vanity! Narcissists keep staring at themselves in the mirror. If you think you’re beautiful on the outside, that means you’re super ugly deep down. And if you’re ugly on the inside, well, then you are plain ugly”.

It was the first memorable time she pulled this on me, but not the last. It hit me hard. Since then, I can't say anything good about myself without feeling guilty or like I'm some sort of trash. Be it my looks, my drawings, anything really. I can't even accept compliments gracefully. I always dodge and downplay 'em. Definitely something I'm working on changing because it’s pushing my hubby away.

Fast forward to the present, 25 years later. I'm in my car waiting at a drive-thru with my darling 8-year-old. She's looking at herself in the car mirror and asks me, "Mom, are my eyes pretty? I think they're pretty"! And they are! She’s got these stunning hazel eyes. But her question hit me hard. The memories of my mom's rants returned and I got all teary.

I asked my daughter to look at me so I could see her eyes. After studying her for a while, I replied "Baby, your eyes are so beautiful! You're gorgeous both inside and out. I love you, sweetheart"! Not sure if my daughter's gonna remember that moment, probably not, it may not have struck her much. But it sure did hit me hard and deep.

I felt like I got a chance to change a horrible childhood memory with my mom, and make it better for my daughter. I want her to know that she's beautiful, and to never feel embarrassed to admit it or acknowledge it. I want her to confidently say "thank you" when someone compliments her. I wanna be able to do that too.

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28. Reach For The Top

Just nailed my master's with a perfect GPA. My family is clueless. But my work buddies turned up and it was pretty epic. I haven't clued mom in yet 'cause I know she'll just be blah about it—Not that I need a parade or something, but dang, she's my mom.

I'm legit thrilled that my kickass coworkers took notice and partied with me today. Felt real good. Even shed a tear. Knowing they valued my win meant EVERYTHING. They're pretty much like the family I never had. My real family? Not so much.

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29. Old Sins Cast Long Shadows

When I was a kid, my mom kind of sucked as a parent. The resentment was real, and she just wasn't one for affection. To her, us kids wrecked her life. I got out of there at 17, now I'm 28 and haven't been close to her since then because she never admitted her wrongdoings.

My sister's married with two kids and my brother is divorced with three. Then I got a call that almost wrecked my life. My mom had messed up her liver with booze to the point where she needed a transplant. My siblings and I were a match, but they chickened out once they found out liver donation isn't a walk in the park.

Then I discovered I have a condition named situs inversus. It causes organs to be in unusual places, upping the surgery risks for me. Odds show 4% chance of mortality within two weeks of surgery, plus other nasty risks. And, let's be real, my mom will likely just destroy the new liver with more booze. What happened afterward chilled me to the bone.

Sudden pressure from all sides—the doc, mom, siblings—insisting I do it since I don't have kids and wouldn't leave them without a parent. Apparently, they didn't value my peaceful, child-free life up north in my lovely cabin, earning enough to live my dream. My mom, all of a sudden, thinks she's entitled to my liver just because she gave birth to me. What a load of crap. When the doc said, "It's risky, but hey, at least you don't risk leaving children behind," I was gobsmacked.

I can't believe I even considered risking my health for her but that's over. I'm heading back to my cabin tonight. When I get the inevitable call from the doc, I might just let it go to voicemail.

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30. Her Own Worst Enemy

My mom caught me stashing a book and asked what it was. I said it was private stuff, but she didn’t drop it. She literally lunged at me trying to snatch the book. I pulled it back, but she was determined and grabbed it. Next thing I knew, it was ripped. I just walked out the room, chill as ever. You know why? She didn't know she'd just torn up my math book, the one she wanted me to slog on all day.

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

My shrink wanted to know my first memory of my mom, so I told her about my 5th birthday. Mom was young, 24, single, and had my little brother as well. She was supposed to be throwing me a birthday party at our place with my kindergarten buddies and family. I was psyched for it, had been waiting forever. But then, mom blew it.

A couple hours before the party, she took me to my room and said if I couldn't clean up this messy disaster zone, she'd call off the party. I was just a kid, how was I supposed to clean a mess she let get out of hand, especially without her guidance (she was no neat freak herself)?

I was bummed out, cause I knew I couldn't do it in time. It wasn't until my therapist said it aloud: there was no way your mom could've actually canceled the party with just two hours' heads up, or over a room she could've simply shut the door on. The reality was way worse.

She most likely never sent out the invites, did any planning, bought any supplies, nothing. Instead, she made her little girl believe she didn't deserve a party cause she was a mess. And worst part, I believed her. Who does that to their kid? A narcissist. I despise the way she keeps hurting me, but still find myself seeking her approval.

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32. Grow Up

The last time I sat on my dad's knee, I was 18. He was talking to me like I was a little kid and accused me of lying about an accident with my bro's car because I told my brother first. He had this awful, baby-tone going, trying to make me feel bad about myself. His buddy, Bob, who was there, spoke up. And man, did he ever change my life with one sentence".

It's funky you still make her sit on your knee". That single comment shook up my dad's life like an earthquake. His 'best-dad-ever' image shattered, and this weird move he'd make was forever marked as just plain "awkward". He never dared make me sit on his knee again, the word "weird" always looming.

His bond with Bob was also shattered, and I've never seen the dude since. I moved out a bit over a year later. Bob, you were my knight in shining armor. All it took was one adult to SPEAK UP. To embarrass him, even if just for a second. To make him doubt his so-called "flawlessness".

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33. Aye, Aye Captain

My family has a fun game where we poke fun at the big egos in the house, especially when a spotlight hog starts their "I" speech. We jokingly mutter "aye aye captain" to each other under our breaths. It's particularly entertaining when mom and my self-proclaimed "country Steve Jobs" brother link up—that's when things really kick off.

We listen to him drone on for hours about his cash and his job, showing off his pay slips and bank accounts like trophies. Mom aids and abets him, always chiming in about her part in his success. It's a riot because then he ups his brag quota, which only eggs her on even more. It's amusingly competitive.

The funny part is, he's not making that much money, just a bit above the usual. And Mom? She's always been a minimum wage worker, so I have no clue where this boasting is coming from. Anyways, the rest of us make a game out of it because it's such a blast. Whenever anyone starts a self-flattering comment with "I", we mumble "aye aye captain".

The aim is not to get caught. And if you do, you have to quote the bragger in a straight face or you're out. For example, if my big-talk brother goes like "I'm gonna lift this whole family up, I'm the only one smart enough to do it" and you get nabbed whispering to others, you must go: "Sorry, nothing. I was just saying you're the only one smart enough to lift this family up".

No grins or chuckles allowed! In "hard mode", you also have to salute saying "aye aye captain". We've got rewards too; started out with nothing, moved to candies, and now we pool in money for a decent prize whenever we're visiting my brother. The last time I won, I got a cozy grey blanket.

This game is hands down the best thing my siblings and I have done. Hats off to my sister for coming up with this genius idea! Plus, it definitely lightens up what is usually a pretty tough family dynamic.

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34. You Don’t Deserve Her

My brothers, sisters, and I never got along with our folks—actually, "never got along" is putting it mildly. They were abusive, both mentally and physically, until we learned to stand up for ourselves. That's when they went all-in on messing with our heads.

Growing up, we were homeschooled Christians which meant we lived pretty sheltered lives. Our parents had some strange ideas about right and wrong. Like it was a sin for girls to show their shoulders or to talk about periods and romance. The basic stuff—like where babies came from—they left us to figure out around 14. And forget TVs, cars, cats, and drinks—not godly, according to them.

At 16, we got flip phones so our parents could keep tabs on us in the house. Any visitor that was Muslim, Orthodox Christian, or French (seriously, what's wrong with the French?) was not welcome. Our roaming was restricted to just the house. I kind of fell in line but my baby sister became more and more rebellious.

One evening, she snuck out to hang with the neighbourhood kids. It was a week before she turned 18. She ended up stranded and too afraid to call anyone for help because of our parents' crazy threat of making her sleep outside. Home was far away and what happened next was a nightmare. She hitched a ride with a drunken neighbour. The car crashed. It burned.

She was one of the four kids who didn't survive the accident. The driver lived, but was left with deep scars. And our parents? They continued to ridicule her even after she was gone. They blamed her, saying she got what she deserved. That's the worst part—our younger siblings believed them. It was all their fault.

Had they been normal, caring parents, my sister would've called them for help that night. Instead, I ended up moving out two months after that and spent the next seven years blaming myself for not being there for her. It still baffles me how any parent could blame their child for their own passing. Rest well, Martha, you really deserved better. I'll always carry you in my heart.

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35. Food For Thought

I recently figured out why I was such a chubby kid, and it totally blew me away. Lately, I've been hanging out with my folks after some time apart. Right now, I'm chilling next to my mom who seems to be crying, but it's her way of getting attention. She asked if I wanted a cookie and I said "Nah, I'm good". But she insisted, "Just one". Politely, I told her I was full and couldn't have it.

That's when she plunked two cookies on my lap. I didn't touch them. This really upset her, accusing me of always turning down her gestures and calling me ungrateful. And then it hit me; she acted like this all through my childhood. I was so anxious about her reactions that I'd just eat whatever she gave me. It hit me that my mom contributed to me being an overweight kid. And she did it knowingly.

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36. A Thousand Times No

My mom asked me for one of my lungs, to which I flatly refused. We barely talk, but I still drive her to health checkups because she can't. She's got a knack for criticizing my driving and nitpicks everything I do. Even if we aren't talking, she takes jabs at me indirectly.

One line that often replays in my head is her saying, "If this illness doesn't kill me, a car crash will. Both could've been avoided". Can you believe that? She's constantly interested in making me feel guilty and pulling me down. Anyway, we get to the doctor, and the truth comes out.

The doc says that despite me agreeing or not for the lung transplant, it won't happen because my mom's clearly been coercing me. She can't hold back even in front of the hospital staff—we've had arguments, and the nurses have reported to the transplant team. I've also spoken to the doctors about it privately.

How does my mom react? She starts yelling at the doctor, accusing him of outrageous things, and threatens to sue. Everybody except her and my dad knows she has no solid grounds to do so. She brought this onto herself. I can't feel guilty for looking out for my health and future.

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37. Good Tidings Gone

I moved away from my mom's place when I was a kid because I was taken into custody by Child Protective Services too much. I've been with my awesome boyfriend for over a year now, and we're expecting a baby. I've not been in touch with my mom for a while, but she got wind of my pregnancy through my sister and called me from a hidden number recently. Her call really ticked me off.

She had the audacity to ask for a "living fee" which she claims I owe her from when I was a baby until I hit 11 years old. Her logic was that since I can afford a baby, I can definitely pay her back for all those years she had to look after me, even though she didn't want to. I hung up straight away and ignored her following attempts to reach me. Just goes to show, some people never change, and they can't seem to be happy for you.

Not What It Looks Like FactsShutterstock

38. Winning The Sick Olympics

My mom tends to hog all the sympathy, like she's the only one ever sick or having a hard time. One day I woke up with this crazy pain in my belly. I thought it was just bad cramps, so I tried to ride it out in bed. Mama was having none of that, so I got up, even though it was tough to even stand straight.

She saw me struggling and basically told me to stop being a drama queen. Told her about the weird pain and then she got all preachy about how it was probably just gas, and I was just being my overdramatic zodiac-self. Pushed some gas meds on me and literally watched me struggle to walk around the house. It wasn't working, but she just wouldn't listen.

After about an hour, I called up my grandpa to let him know what was going on, by this time I was in tears. Told her I was heading to the hospital. She snickered, insisted it was just gas and I was making a fuss over nothing, but seeing me cry, she finally agreed to go. Gramps came with us.

We got to the hospital and I was running all sorts of tests. My grandpa had to leave for my cousin’s party (family always pulls rank), so mom stayed. The doctor checked my tests and told me I had five kidney stones and that I'd been suffering from renal colic. Turned out there was no drip medicine taken to lessen the pain.

Mom just brushed it off saying, “Oh, she does that. I knew it had to be gas". The doc set her straight, “This isn't gas. It's one of the most painful experiences, and you made it worse by making her walk around". Once discharged, mom wouldn’t even look at me till the end of the day.

Woman in Black Leather Jacket

39. I Said What I Said

So I was chatting with my mom and she was really getting on my nerves. Feeling bold, I asked her, "Mom do you know what gaslighting is"? Her response was priceless—she instantly told me, "I've never gaslit you, it's all just your imagination". The irony, folks. Just too ironic.

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40. A Job Well Done

Our wedding was a costume party, so everyone dressed so wild that my mother-in-law didn't steal the spotlight. It was a win, but she was out for revenge. She tried to ruin our first look, but our squad was prepared for her and kept her away.

Despite that, she still mocked my fiancé during our group photos with embarrassing stories. Everyone just ignored her antics. She even missed the bus to the venue to draw attention, then griped about how badly everyone treated her for leaving her behind.

To prevent her from giving a toast filled with her usual stories about my husband's alleged terrible past, we had a friend read a 20-minute funny story during dinner. By the time the story ended, everyone had finished eating and was ready to hit the dance floor.

She looked furious. Our first dance was a surprise and only the DJ knew when it'd start. We bolted to the dance floor last minute so she couldn't ruin it. Unsurprisingly, she didn't help clean up after the wedding. That was left to my family and our wedding guests.

But we made it through, thanks to our incredible wedding squad. And she never discovered our hotel room number. We did it!!

Ungrateful People factsShutterstock

41. Thou Shall Not Covet

A year ago today, my wife and I lived through a wild story. We've been seeing a therapist, not really because we fight, but because our families are big problems. Especially my mother. She's not the worst, but she's got a pain pill problem.

So here's what happened. My wife is ready to pop out our first kid. Both parents were to visit at the hospital after the kiddo arrived and we had our time to chill. Except my mom kicked up a fuss. Wanted to be at the hospital early. We told her no way.

After some arguing, she gave in. Baby boy arrives, surprise for all since we didn't know what we were having. Both sets of folks turn up. All is cool, until... My mom goes crazy. As my dad is fetching the car, she tells me she's planning to take our kid away. Says my wife is hooked on illicit substances like her mom, which is a lie. My dad turns up, they leave, and I go back to my shocked wife.

I hated telling her, but didn't want to lie. We're both upset, I tell mom no more contact and block her. My crazy younger sister starts blowing up my phone. Fast forward to next day, we're home. My wife didn't want painkillers but needed Advil. I go to CVS to get stuff, leave her and baby sleeping peacefully.

Then I get a terrified call from my wife. She's hysterical. Baby is gone. I rush home. Then our neighbor sees me and asks what's up. Uh yup, mom had snuck in and stolen our baby. I call my good buddy, a sheriff's deputy, and he sorted it out.

Turns out my dad didn't abduct the kid, but probably knew about it. My mom used to know where we hid our spare key. We took action. She got off lightly considering, but they moved away due to the glaring spotlight on them.

For awhile they were quiet. Mom tried reaching out again lately. But we've wisened up. We've installed cameras, a security system, and the spare key's with our neighbor and good friend. We're expecting kid #2, hoping mom doesn't find out until way later.

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42. What Is Love?

I had a bizarre experience at my folks' house during a college break. I was catching some heat from my dad for the way I was climbing the stairs—too fast, too slow, too noisy, too quiet, not holding the handrail right; honestly, I can't remember all his complaints. I shot back sarcastically, "What, you want me to stop and strategize each step before climbing the stairs"?

His response blew my mind.

All of a sudden, he carries this beatific smile like he's had a divine revelation. He goes, "Yes! That's exactly it! You should consider my preference in everything you do, even breathing. Only when you learn to do that can you finally begin loving me".

He kept going, "It's only when you can love me this way as a parent, that shows genuine love from a child”. This exchange was so surreal, his words are still clear in my memory. This turned out to be a game-changer for me — after college, I didn't move back home. Instead, I hauled off about 1,000 miles away, and not once have I regretted that decision.

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43. One Big Unhappy Family

I'm going to school in Arizona while my no good mother and do-nothing stepdad stay in Maine. Over the three years of college, I've tried to keep contact with them to a minimum. I've been able to stay away, even in summer, by getting jobs and internships. About four months ago, my mom said I had to come home for Thanksgiving, even planning on a family photo shoot.

She wanted a pretend "perfect family" picture—not happening. I told her I couldn't come because of my campus job, and she didn't take it well. When she tried to get the school to make me come, the school let her know a) I'm an adult and they can't force me, and b) even if she tried to withdraw me from college, it wouldn't matter because my scholarship covers everything.

When lying to school didn’t work, she had my stepdad (who has always let her get away with any kind of nonsense about me) call to convince me. A big no from me. She turned to my biological dad next, but he just laughed and hung up. We have our differences, but he's a good guy dealing with his own stuff.

On Thanksgiving day, I was chilling—no classes, no work. I hit the gym, enjoyed breakfast, then came back home for laundry and a homemade meal. That's when campus security busted my door. Guess what? Mom had called them, claiming I had threatened the school!

After a thorough search of my dorm and car, questioning from the officers, and my dorm mates standing up for me, I showed them the emails where mom was threatening me over Thanksgiving. They apologized and let me go back to my dorm. Me and my dorm supervisor got the door back on.

The icing on the cake? My grandma called, letting me know my mom had been detained for filing a false report. In a weird way, it almost made the whole crazy day worth it. Maybe now she'll get what’s coming to her.

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44. Do What You Want

People have always said I'm chill and rather grown-up for my age. My ex used to go nuts because I was mellow about basically everything. When we argued over this, he called my folks narcissists. I had to look up the term and thought, "Hmm, I can see where he's coming from, but really, my parents just raised me to not rock the boat".

Fast-forward to me being happily hitched. My dude is the best—so kind and caring. This one time, he was prepping breakfast and we had this chat. Sam: "How do you like your eggs"? Me: "I'm good with whatever". Sam: "Nah, what's your preference"? Me: "I’m not following". Sam: "If it was you doing the cooking, what's your egg style"?

Me: "I'd ask how you wanted them and make them that way"...At this point, he walks into our chill-out space, grabs my hands and says, "If you were on your own making eggs, how'd you cook them"? Me: "Oh, sunny side up. But don't go messing up a pan for me—do them however you like". Sam: "This ain't right". After some deep thinking and more digging into narcissism, it started to click.

Worst Parents factsShutterstock

45. Right Where You Belong

I just caught up with my aunt, the only one who ever stood up to mom when she was treating me badly. Mom cut her off after she got Child Services involved when I was just 11. We only started talking again now, after a decade.

My aunt's giving me a place to stay, sorting out a car for me, and even helping with college stuff to stop mom from using money to manipulate me.

She even offered me her second house in Austin, which is the city I've always dreamed of living in. She's asked me over for Thanksgiving, too. I've not felt this loved and cared for in years. It's completely blown me away. She's always telling me I'm like the daughter she never had, and I can't tell you how great that feels. No wonder mom was always badmouthing her.

I told her, "I've heard more 'I love yous' from you in a single call than I have in all my 22 years".

Worst Parents factsPexels

46. You Need To Get Your Eyes Checked

My dad's always played the "I'm always right" card and won. No matter what the topic or how many research articles I find. According to him, believing the internet makes me stupid. He blames others when he's wrong.

Picture this: If I'm watering plants and the hose breaks? It's my fault. If he wrecks his laptop? It's an accident and somehow, my fault for a recommendation I made four years ago. Crazy, right?

Anyway, we hit up a new eye doc because of a possible issue with my eyes. Good news, everything's cool. But here’s the catch—the doctor is Chinese, just like my dad.

I asked: "Does reading in the dark wreck your eyes? My dad says yes, but I read online that's a myth". I barely finished before my dad jumped in, asking the doc, in Mandarin, to tell me I'm wrong.

But the doc wasn't having it. He says, in Mandarin, "Actually, your son's right. Reading in the dark can strain your eyes, but won't make you nearsighted. Kids can be right too, you know". Dad's excuse? I was disrespectful and not upholding filial piety.

The doc doesn't miss a beat and says there's no merit in filial piety. He shuts my dad up, even tells him to let him finish his sentence when he tries to interrupt again. He's clearly annoyed and muttered, "parents think they know everything".

Once we wrapped up, dad tried to apologize for my supposed disrespect. Doc shot back saying, "He wasn't disrespectful. It's a problem with Chinese parents, they need to chill out and stop controlling their kids' lives". Dad didn't have any killer comeback.

We never talked about it, but it was a defining moment. The best part was that a fellow Chinese-American, senior to my dad, shut down his old-school views and even seemed annoyed. I couldn’t believe it happened. But, it did. Highlight of my life.


Worst Parents factsShutterstock

47. The Troublemaker

About half a year ago, my dad who's 71, split from my mom for a younger woman. There's a huge age difference. She's 25, while I'm 33 and my sister's 28. She's six months along in her pregnancy and they're not wedded yet since my parents' divorce is still in process. Once that's settled, I'll have a stepmom, eight years my junior and a new baby half-sister.

This is going to be my dad's third try at marriage. His first one fell apart because he had an affair with his brother’s wife.

Doomed Wedding FactsShutterstock

48. Stop It, Sister!

My dad's wife is 10 years younger than me. Seriously, she's like the pesky little sister I never asked for. I lived with them for a bit while trying to get back to school, and she'd just rummage through my stuff, taking whatever she wanted without asking.

One time, I caught her wearing one of my shirts. Naturally, I confronted her. Her response made me livid. She found my shirt in the laundry and assumed I didn't want it. As if her riffling through my belongings wasn't bad enough, she had this habit of taking the new stuff I bought because she liked it. Adding salt to the wound, she doesn't even work! Can you believe that?

Arguments FactsShutterstock

49. Be All That You Can Be

My adult son had a work problem today. He called me to vent about it on his drive home. The issue was like an old one he promised himself not to face again. He had to hang up as he reached home.

He didn't want to take the work stress home to his family. It warms my heart to be his listening ear, his reliable support. I didn't have that growing up, but I can be that for him. I'm 51 now and haven't been in touch with my family for over 30 years. The hurt caused by bad parents never entirely leaves you.

I often find myself longing for what my grandkids have when I see their parents' love. It's not jealousy, but longing for what I didn't have. But there's the silver lining—the friends who fill those voids in your life.

Life brings mentors and substitute parents along the way. Not everyone is privileged with good parents, but we all can be one to others. When I was in second grade, a photographer took my school picture. He called me "princess". It was my first pet name, and his kindness affected me deeply. So, spread kindness, especially to kids. Almost 45 years later, I remember his kindness and face.

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50. Pride And Progress

My wife's an incredibly tough woman. She's hard to crack. We were chillin' on date night at our go-to pizza joint, just chatting about life. She's come a really long way since we first became a thing, you know? All it took was me saying, "I'm so proud of you". Boom, she was crying. That made me think later, maybe she's never had anyone say that to her before.

She's absolutely crushing it, and man, am I proud of her.

Worst Parents factsPexels

51. Helicopter Parents Never Fly Coach

I used to be a nanny for an ultra-wealthy family and saw some truly ridiculous stuff. One parent was fuming once because a friend didn't give them a free ride to Miami on their private jet—they had to *gasp* go first class! The other parent seemed to find it cute how I was ready to help people despite not being rich.

Unexpected trips were a regular thing. The kid and I often found ourselves home alone while the parents were off jet-setting. The poor kid was often left clueless about who was gonna be around. I tried to keep things stable by playing videos of the parents from YouTube on an iPad.

Let me tell you, the kid was a real darling (which made leaving tough), but I worried they might end up as snooty as their parents eventually. The icing on the cake was when the parent who was angry over the first-class flight asked me if they were overreacting.

They're like, "Wouldn't you be pissed? Isn't that rude? Now that this friend is wealthy, couldn't they have paid for a plane"? And I'm just thinking, my entire yearly pay wouldn't even cover a chartered flight, so I might be the wrong person to ask, pal.

Dumbest Person FactsShutterstock

52. Best Parent Award

My girls are almost 18 and 19. The eldest has started working while my youngest, who's a senior, is on a job hunt. We've also got two other job-seekers at home right now. Last night, my youngest suggested that if everyone lands a job, we could shift to a more spacious place. The eldest was up for it too. I was taken aback and asked if they still wanted to live with me.

Both said yes—like it wasn’t even a question. When I was their age, I moved out the day before my 18th birthday, eager to get away from my mom. It meant a lot to me that they don't feel that way about me. I feel like I've achieved something.

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53. No Means No

My dad is super protective of his car. Like, he'd take that mindset to the grave. His go-to excuse is "You're not on the insurance". Fair enough, it's his car after all. Yesterday, his car needed fixing, leaving him car-less. They gave him a ride home, but he had a burning desire to hit up Wal-Mart. He popped by asking if I could give him a lift, but I was swamped with work. I told him he'd have to wait.

Next thing, he's like, "Can I borrow your car"? and makes a move for my keys without waiting for an answer. I was like, "Nope," and he lost it. I reminded him he's not on my insurance either, and he went ballistic. He tried bargaining, saying he only needed a few things and would be back ASAP. I held my ground, told him to hang up my keys.

His response? "I'm taking it anyway". I threatened to call the authorities, and man, you should've seen his face. He put back my keys and begrudgingly waited three hours for his car. The funny thing? He never even went to Wal-Mart afterwards. And I've been grinning ear to ear ever since.

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54. I Scream For Ice Cream

When I was a kid, I accidentally dropped a bowl of ice cream. The bowl broke, and I messed up the rug. I cried, thinking I'd get yelled at or spanked for the broken bowl and stained carpet. But something unexpected happened. My step-mom dried my tears and said she'd give me more ice cream. I was puzzled.

I thought breaking the bowl was a disaster, so why am I still getting my dessert? She explained she knew it was an accident and my safety mattered more than the bowl. It was the first time any woman my dad was with (including my own mom) showed me kindness. That's when I realized not all women were the same, and I didn't have to grow up like my mom.

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55. Spring Cleaning

There was a time when I had no idea about gaslighting. It was so normal within our family, particularly with my mom, that I didn't see anything wrong. Standing up to her was useless since she always twisted things. Fast-forward to last weekend, I realized I gaslighted too.

Honestly, it isn't the first time, but I'm trying to change. My partner, understanding of our stand-offs about chores, did most of the housework. I wanted to thank him but worried it might stir things up, so I decided to postpone it.

While prepping lunch, he jokingly mentioned my lack of thanks. Instead of instantly apologizing, I lied, "I did thank you, don't you remember"? And my heart dropped. I was becoming her. Quick on my feet, I corrected it.

"Oops, I must've only thought it. That doesn't count, huh? Really sorry". I then told him how grateful I was. I detest how my first instinct is to lie, but with constant effort, I'm hoping to nix this bad habit out. After all, every day presents another chance to improve.

Crazy ex boyfriendsPexels

56. But What About Me?

My lil sister just turned 15, right? Her BFF made this cool "15 reasons why you're amazing" list for her. When she told mom, her response was, "Any of those about me? Like what a cool mom you got or my killer cooking"? I was totally taken aback. Honestly, making it about her like that... Just blew my mind. It was really not cool.

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57. The Evil Woman Who Raised Me

We were driving back from the mall with my mother-in-law at the wheel, heading to Costco, then home. Traffic was rough, so my husband said, "Why don't we skip Costco, mom? We could grab some boba instead". I was utterly floored.

I felt my heart racing. His mom said, "Ok, hon," like it wasn't a big deal, and steered us towards the boba place. Not angrily, resentfully, just matter-of-fact. I started thinking about how my own mom would've reacted. If it had been her, she'd have gone, "WHAT?! We're already here! Don't be foolish"!

Something like that. Every time I suggested anything as a child, she responded with mega-drama or criticism. It's why I stopped voicing my thoughts. I did what she wanted to maintain peace. Screw that. Now, I'm working on voicing my needs to my husband, his family, our friends—even if it means not always letting them decide.

I've also picked up her inflexibility habit around plans. I'm actively working on that, and noticing improvements each time I can adapt to sudden changes. I've kept her at arm's length for nearly five months now—longest ever. And you know what? I'm finally seeing the toxic person she really is.


58. Little Healer

My almost-four-year-old daughter and I were working on a school project, a bag, when I informed my husband that I might've messed up with the bag. It didn't look as attractive as I'd hoped. My daughter, who was also there, reassured me saying, "It's alright to mess up sometimes, mom. The bag doesn't need to be flawless, it looks great".

Her words left me speechless. As the golden child, I was always expected to be perfect, with any mistakes leading to punishment. I thanked her but later cried in my bath. I realize she was simply repeating something I've said before, but it feels like she plays a role in my healing process sometimes.

Bad parentsShutterstock

59. Knowledge Is Power

Back in high school, I used to babysit a lot and let me tell you, kids love to chat and think outside the box. They're super creative and aren't shy about sharing their views. Ask a kid why the sky is blue, they probably won't drop a science lesson on light refraction, but they'll definitely think of a fun story or make their best guess.

Of course, sometimes kids simply don't know and they're cool with that. If only more adults could admit when they're clueless without feeling bad. But when I was a kid, "I don't know" was my go-to answer. Not because I was out of ideas or opinions, but because I learned early that my thoughts could trigger unpredictable or even scary responses".

I don't know" bought me time to figure out what folks wanted to hear. Like, if I played in the mud, what explanation would be satisfying? "Because I'm five and the world is new and mud is fun"? "My young brain is still learning and lacks the tools for making rational decisions"? Since my parents were all about themselves, it seemed they were really asking why I did something they deemed unpleasant just to annoy them.

Even as a kid, I sensed this. It wasn't about what I did, but about their feelings about it and how I was going to make it right for them. Honestly, kids don't intentionally bug their caregivers. That's a crazy thought. We wouldn't have survived as a species if our kids were out to get us. So saying "I don't know" was honest because I never set out to annoy them on purpose.

They were right in one way. All those times they'd rant "I don't know isn't an answer"! with frustration and disappointment, they were right. You can't answer a question that's not really asking for an answer. It's tough to respond to an accusation or judgment disguised as a question in a truthful way.

Even as an adult, I still find it hard to answer even basic questions honestly. I find myself telling little lies for no reason, and it's a bad habit to break. The connection between my thoughts and feelings and what I can communicate is a little shabby. But hey, I guess all that was worth it so they didn't have to deal with uncomfortable feelings.

So here's my question. Do I miss my parents? Not at all. And that's one answer I can say with absolute honesty.

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60. Just Be Who You Are

When I was a teen, still living with my parents, they'd get suspicious if I had my room locked late at night. They thought I might be wearing dresses—which sometimes, I was. But most of the time, I was just gaming and didn't want them scolding me. One night, they really overreacted.

At around 11pm, I had to reassure them, "I'm okay with my gender and masculinity". My dad told me seeing me in a dress “would be his worst nightmare". Fast forward a year, I live alone now and I've cut ties with my parents. Recently, I've bought my own wig and padding and I'm eyeing a perfect dress for my drag look.

I've put together a drag persona, "Bordelmutter,” with a medieval-inspired style and heavy German accent. I'm gearing up to perform in drag at my university's theater showcase. In a nutshell, I'm loving life and things are actually working out.

Gut Feeling FactsPixabay

61. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Being a big-time tomboy was mostly due to my mom. She liked to put traditional female roles on me, and honestly, having lots of brothers made being a girl seem pretty dull. They got cool gaming systems for gifts while I got fake vacuums and dolls. Can you blame me for not wanting to be a girl?

My mom continued pushing that girly image on me, and I only wanted to be a tomboy more. Now, she's not happy that I've started wearing dresses and makeup because she missed those ‘mother-daughter’ bonding opportunities. But, if she'd just let me do my thing, I would’ve indulged in those myself.

One memory that sticks out was when she promised me a Corgi puppy—I've been into Corgis for years, collected books, stuffed animals, all kinds of Corgi stuff. Imagine a girl craving a pony—yeah, that was my Corgi wish. I was so thrilled when we got in the car to pick it up. However, we landed up at a glam photo shoot, a far cry from my Corgi dream.

She tricked me, knowing I would never have agreed otherwise. They stuck me in a crop top and a bunch of makeup and did a grownup-style photo-shoot (I was just 14!) which I absolutely despised. To make it worse, the whole family was there for the spectacle—talk about awkward!

Later that month, we got a new dog, but it wasn’t a Corgi. It was the Boston Terrier my kid brother wanted. Like a cruel pun, she got him his dog while my Corgi dream remained unfulfilled. She doesn't understand why I'm still mad about it. To all parents out there—let your kids be who they want. I liked pink, but I also wanted to play Pokémon, which was apparently a "boys' game". Why does all the fun stuff always have to be for boys?

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62. Line ‘Em Up

During my therapy session yesterday, we talked a lot about how my mom manipulates me using my kids. Since she's my only babysitter, I had to leave my daughter with her before heading to therapy. Straight away, she insisted that I get my daughter into a fancy, pricey preschool right away. I told her to quit shoving her opinions on me and left.

She didn't wait long to text me, calling herself a pushy mom who cares. I relayed this to my therapist, who suggested two responses for such tricky situations: "I'm sorry you feel that way" and "What do you want me to do with that"? I couldn't hide my bashfulness, knowing well that she'd dislike those responses. I've replied "omg" to her messages in the past, but now I've got these cool responses ready for next time.

My therapist also pointed out that I should find new babysitters so she loses her control over me. I got back home and fixed things—rearranged my schedule, found new babysitters—and now, I no longer rely on her for babysitting. She's welcome to baby-sit if she wishes to, but she can't use it against me any longer. And if she tries to impose her decisions, I've got the golden phrase "I'll let you know what I decide".

Worst Parents factsPexels

63. The Worst Wedding

When I was 19, my 39-year-old dad married a girl six months younger than me. They met in a hospital's psych ward while he was recovering from addiction. Now, my dad has always been into younger women, something I kinda got used to. But he never dated someone younger than me, until then.

I tried to be open-minded about it, but things got messy when he introduced her at my cousin's wedding. Nobody had met her before that. My relationship with my dad, once close, was already strained 'cause dealing with his addiction was tough. Then he marries this girl while I'm on vacation, and that pretty much clinched it for me.

We'd always joked that I'd be his "best man" if he ever got married. But this just proved to me that his fun and his women came before me. They've broken up now, but I still don't speak to my dad.


64. Flying Solo

My mom locked me and my kid out five days ago, late at night. Now, by not coming for Christmas, I'm apparently spoiling everything for the family. We've split, and for now, we're not talking. Her tactics totally backfired and she's started sending long, emotional texts. I'm considering changing my number. I'm holding my baby in a cozy flat, with food in our tummies and friends around, plus we've got our own room and bathroom.

This is what I've been prepping for. Send good vibes my way while I finish up my education and navigate through life. I'm working on my Bachelor's in Nursing, aiming to get my Master's and become a nurse practitioner. I'm getting guilt-tripped a lot, but I gotta stay strong for me and my baby. The classes aren't easy, but failing would just make her happy.

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65. A Problematic Father

My folks tied the knot pretty young, which was standard in the 60s. After ten years, my dad had an affair with our babysitter. He finally bailed on my mom and married her, but it didn't last. Afterward, Dad became the hero to a string of young ladies down on their luck. It was like watching a rerun.

These girls were always about the same age, from late teens to early twenties. It didn’t make a difference how old he was, or how much older we, his kids, were compared to them. Pops ended up in the Philippines for work, and got mixed up with a girl there. He claimed it was platonic and he was just helping her and her family.

We knew better. In time, he shared that he married her to give her an opportunity to live in Canada. What knocked us for a loop was her age—about five years younger than any of us. I don’t have an issue with her. She’s caring and hardworking, though a bit too compliant and obedient to my dad. I’m guessing he's into that.

What really bothers me is my dad, who's proven over and over to be an ego-driven narcissist chasing after younger ladies. He pats himself on the back for 'rescuing' these girls from their tough lives, but can't be bothered to make time for his own kids or grandkids. He’s broken promises and lied his whole life, and I just can't respect him because of it.

At my wedding, I didn't want him escorting me down the aisle. Over the years, I've gone through a ton of therapy to unpick the mess around my feelings for my dad. Truth is, logically I know the type of guy he is and I shouldn’t worry about his opinion. But deep down, I still crave his love and validation. His actions have not only ruined our relationship, but also instilled in me a fear of commitment. But healing, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Fights That Ended Friendships factsShutterstock

66. The Key To Everything

Kids normally get a house key when they start school. But me? I only got a front door key when I was 16. And, nope, I didn't get one for our apartment. It was pretty much my mom's job to let me in every time I got home. For years, I begged for my own key, but she always brushed me off: "I'm home, no need to give you one. Just ring the bell".

That might sound cool and all, but it sucked. Many times, I came home from school to a locked apartment. Ringing the bell or knocking didn't do squat. I'd sometimes waste two hours sitting outside the door, even soaking wet if it was raining. My mom? She was usually snoozing.

Whenever she remembered that her kid had been out of school for hours, she'd come open the door. No "sorry" or anything. It was only later that I realized this was just one way she kept tabs on me and kept me in check.

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67. Just To Be Clear

Few days back, my mom, who I hardly talk to, rang me up. It was probably our sixth call in seven years. She wanted to send money for my kiddo's birthday, but only if she could chat with him. I said no, straight up. No explaining or insulting, just no. Then she hit me with the line that always gets me: “I just don't understand”.

A couple of years ago, that’d have sent me off into a huge rant about everything that's happened, leading to a quarrel. But now, I've got my own power phrase: “I’m sorry you don't understand, I've got to go”. It's crazy good! It stops her right there and avoids any more arguing. Man, I wish I'd known this 30 years ago. Just thought I'd share.

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68. My Megalomanic

"Dad's always wanted to assert dominance over others. He often raved about marrying an Asian woman, thinking she'd be totally submissive to him, helping him avoid conflicts. Soon, he, in his 50's, tied the knots with a Chinese lady in her early 20's.

I was 23 back then. Their age gap didn't bug me, but Dad's actions did. In public, his attitude towards her was downright awful. He spoke to her as if she was a child, reprimanded her, and even taunted her. It was heart-wrenching. I'm not totally sure but I think she might've parted ways with him. Because the last time I met Dad, he didn't mention her, nor was she with him".

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69. Milking It For All It’s Worth

In my house, I often took the heat for little stuff like spilling water, leaving books around, or sleeping in on weekends. I'm not saying I was never at fault, just that I wish corrections came more kindly instead of loud rebukes. That kind of approach just taught me to hide mistakes rather than fix them.

But today, there was a big mishap that involved my homemade almond milk gift for a friend. It was in the fridge, broke, and my knee-jerk impulse was to brace for a scolding from mom. This time, though, I decided to handle it differently.

I grabbed a cloth and a broom, reassured her it was an accident and that everyone screws up sometimes. None of us do it on purpose, and it doesn't mean we're bad people. I pointed out that almond milk can be remade. No use crying over spilled milk, right?

Her surprise was obvious. She didn't know how to react. As I cleaned up, I felt this fierce pride and hope, thinking maybe I could break this tough parenting cycle.

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70. He’s Not Coming Back

At 49, my dad ended things with my mom to get hitched with a chick half his age. He already had a crowd of six kids from my mom, and this new lady was barely older than his oldest kid, and just a smidge older than me. I tried to play nice...until I saw what she pulled. She convinced him to undo his snip job and have another kid, which meant I had a baby brother 25 years younger than me.

He cut off the college money for us older kids and ditched the alimony for mom after a decade. Then he scooted off to Texas with the new wife, hung up his working boots, and later, closed his book for good. Everything he left behind went straight to the new lady and her kid. Mom was left dangling. She never had the chance to finish school, and because she got hitched and started popping babies early, she was stuck without any earning power.

Mom used to wear the pants in their relationship and dad's affair and the breakup knocked her sideways. She held onto hope he'd wise-up and return, until the finality of the divorce papers slapped her. Worse, he decided to grab her youngest kid and move him to his new place, basically saying she was slacking at the mom job, which was another low blow.

Us original six didn't get a penny. His new wife never bothered to read the will and simply hogged the lot.

Not Notice FactsShutterstock

71. Just Bring Yourself

My mom wasn't a fan of anything about me. I kept my feelings to myself (since showing them meant getting laughed at), she thought my hobbies were dumb, and she always picked on my style — her classic diss was, "well, that's so you". To compensate, I worked hard in school, craving any sort of approval from teachers.

But according to her, my chosen subjects were useless because they wouldn't make me rich. She said I acted like I was "above everyone else". I think I grew up believing I was worthless unless I could offer something to others—knowledge, therapy, favors, food, support.

I'm a chef by profession and I never show up empty-handed. If I'm invited somewhere or friends come over, I always bring something insanely fancy to make up for my being there. Since starting therapy, I've come to understand that I don't need to "pay" to hang out with people. I'm invited because people actually like my company, not because I bring them a 12-layer cake.

It's tough to fully believe this, but it's been a reality check to see how my low self-esteem has influenced my relationships. Here's a word for all the unloved kids out there: Just because your supposed loved ones didn't value you, doesn't mean you are unlovable. You're worthy simply because you are, not for what you can provide.

Quit on the spotUnsplash

72. The Same Sense Of Humor

My dad's wife is a 25-year-old waitress, which is a bit awkward since I'm 26. We used to eat at her restaurant when I was around 18 or 19. I was always hoping we'd sit in her section, you know, 'cause I had a big crush on her. My dad would pointlessly roll out these corny dad jokes, and she'd laugh heartily. I assumed she was just being nice, but it turns out she genuinely found them funny.

Then my whole world turned upside down. Fast forward five years and bam, my dad is married to my crush. Talk about a shocker! He still eats at the same restaurant and she's still his waitress. But his jokes have definitely gone downhill.

Nicest things FactsShutterstock

73. Actions Have Consequences

Man, I'm still reeling. Six months ago I cut ties with my mom and siblings. I was dealing with some deep-seated issues through counseling, after failing to handle it alone for thirty years. The mistreatment from my family finally hit me, especially seeing what it was doing to my own kids.

I'm wracked with guilt for letting my kids suffer. Anyway, when I stopped Mom from seeing the kids, she flipped. She believes my kids are hers and began a full on slander campaign—reaching out to exes, friends, clients—even got a lawyer for visitation rights.

Oh, and she started stalking us. She'd hang around my house, show up at my kid's school, attempt to chat them up—even tried to get them out of school until she got busted by a teacher. She would write letters to the kids, and even get some other kid to sneak them to mine. To top it all, she'd send letters to my house every week.

The authorities told me the language in her letters reeked of grooming behavior. For six months I was practically under house arrest, too scared to pick up my kids from school or answer the door. So I finally called the authorities on her and spilled it all.

Their response was just amazing. I expected them to brush it off as a family squabble and remind me that she's my mother, but they didn't. They really listened, took me seriously, got statements—they were just super supportive. They said it was outright stalking and honestly, that validation felt so good. They ended up detaining her—a first in her life; she's not allowed anywhere near me, my home, or my kids' school.

Nightmare Neighbors FactsShutterstock

74. At Least You Smell Good?

My dad's dating a chick younger than me—she's 23, I'm 25 and he's 50. It's super awkward seeing the way others look at us, and I feel weird being with them. It's just bizarre seeing him teach her basic stuff like laundry and dishwashing, like she's another kid to him. He flips out when she can't clean or cook, but at least she's giving it a go.

Fresh from her mom's place, now she's meant to look after my dad. They're always arguing, he doesn't give her an ounce of respect. Most times she just storms off and broods in the car or in their room. Talking to each other? Forget it; there's none. As for resolution? Nada. And the cherry on top? Dad usually gets her a present post-argument.

She's practically got Bath and Body Works' entire scent collection, that's his go-to post-spat. His ex-wife got Clinique, so I guess she's cheaper to apologize to.

Grow Up FactsShutterstock

75. Everything Goes

Since middle school, my folks have always threatened to kick me out—nothing new there. But today was the last straw. Dad casually asked if I could make something for my bro's boat. I said sure, thinking that was the end of it.

Later, while chilling with my brother, mom comes in and starts going at me. She was all about how she's disappointed in me for not chipping in. I couldn't help but stand up for myself. This spiralled into her calling me lazy, disrespectful, and a shirker for never doing dishes. Funny thing is, I do help. But mom chooses to do the dishes just as I'm eating or doing my own thing.

A real kick in the teeth is that we're fighting over something that's my brother's. Dad got in my face when I tried to clarify and fix the situation. I was told to leave then and there—without my car keys, shoes or wallet. Thank heavens I had stashed those in my room years ago in preparation for this.

Once I reached my room, I began stuffing everything into my suitcases, even my desktop. Dad was shocked that I was taking it all with me. "You were meant to just take enough for a few days and then come back and apologize," he said. Mom's only worry was me snagging a towel. Good thing I was a step ahead.

I've got all my important docs, my bank account is solid, no big loans, and a fiancé I can move in with. The only thing worrying me right now is sorting out my health insurance.

Worst Parents factsShutterstock

76. A Second Opinion

I've been battling issues with my mom since I was about 12. Without going into specifics, she's been the root of a lot of my mental health problems. Despite this, she's always claimed that she's not to blame and that it's how I behaved that made her "act this way". I've constantly questioned if I was losing my mind, but she never allowed me to mention her when I spoke to my therapists.

One time, I gave it a try and she found out. The fallout hurt me so bad, I didn't dare to try again. Years passed and I kept questioning if I was really the worst kid around. I used to think, "If I behaved better, she wouldn't be so controlling," and so on. However, the few pals who knew about my dilemma always reassured me that her behavior wasn't normal.

The situation took a turn when I started seeing a new therapist recently. I uneasily shared the story about my mom. His response was a revelation. With consideration, he told me she's a narcissist and all her actions are typical of narcissist parents. He outlined the symptoms and it was a spot-on description of her. The sense of relief that washed over me when I understood that I wasn't mad, nor was I a bad kid, nearly made me shed tears of joy.

I'm not a terrible person or a bad daughter. I now realize how much that belief burdened me with stress and self-loathing. I was manipulated.

Dr. Phil factsShutterstock

77. Definitely Not Taking That!

My folks split when they were kinda in their mid-to-late 30s. They had me pretty young. When I was 21, I popped over to my dad's place for the night and met this girl he was seeing. My dad came down from upstairs and casually asked what I was doing. Then he said the worst thing he's ever told me, "You know, she's around your age, you interested in getting a little cozy with her? I bet she'd be cool with it".

I said no way, and I was out of there quick, went to crash with some friends instead.

Young man with disgusted expression repulsing something, isolated on the pastel.Getty Images

78. The Sound Of Silence

My brother and I had a deep convo recently, chatting about all the head-wrecking moments from our childhood. Our mom really messed us up individually, and screwed up our sibling bond too. It's only lately he's picked up on this, but I've been onto it for a while.

Our family was so emotionally screwy, we had zero decent examples of healthy communication or love. My brother admitted this sometimes strains his relationship, 'cause expressing his feelings is tough and it kinda looks like he doesn't give a toss. They sort it out though, and he's trying. So he's way ahead of me, and miles ahead of our parents, in the love department.

The other day, he mentioned his girlfriend was humming...and he freaked out. This is 'cause when our mom was mad, she'd hum instead of telling us why. If someone hums, we think, "Great, mom's angry, don't know why, I'm screwed, and can't do anything about it". Somehow, he managed to explain this to his chick, but man, when he told me, I was stoked in a weird way.

'Cause it made me realize, I ain't insane for turning into an ice cube, with my heart pounding like mad whenever someone hums around me.

Worst Parents factsPexels

79. It’s Not All In Your Head

I didn't talk to my mom for over two years until a health scare. She's been begging to be part of my life again and I'm trying to give her a chance. But when she started giving me grief about being a let-down, I fired back, saying she's half the reason I'm messed up. I'm just beginning to understand how much she hurt me.

I let her have it: I told her she was neglectful and abusive. When she denied it, my dad defended me. He's not my bio dad, but he's been her boyfriend for over a decade. This was the first time I had an adult, a parent-like person, standing up for me. It felt amazing. It made me realize not all adults are bad and it ain't always dog eat dog.

This is just me standing up for myself and having someone else back me up. I think there's a lot of healing to come from this.

Entitled Parents FactsShutterstock

80. About The Wedding Papers…

My parents split up when I was just a baby. Fast forward 28 years and my dad decided to marry a girl who was 18. He needed a couple of folks to witness the ceremony, so he asked me to come along. I agreed, but I had a little twist planned. You see, I'm gay. To kind of nudge this in his direction, I brought my girlfriend with me. My dad wouldn't exactly win the father of the year award in this aspect, but he wasn't totally horrible either. He'd just rather ignore my sexuality because it made him uncomfortable.

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81. Opening Up A Can Of Worms

I recently moved out of my parents’ house, about 600 miles away, for a new job. My mother calls me a couple of nights ago, saying I received mail from my old apartment complex that I lived in during college. I recently changed my address but apparently it hasn’t gone into effect yet. She asked if she could open it, and I said yes since it wouldn’t be anything important. I quickly regretted that decision.

As I hear her rip it open (over the phone) she says, “Oh wait it’s from your psychiatrist”. No idea how you mistake a letter from a doctor for something from an apartment complex. I should’ve stopped her there, but it would’ve made her angry and she would’ve read it anyway. I started seeing my psychiatrist about two years ago when I was officially diagnosed with depression/anxiety.

Whenever my mother was angry and we got into an argument, she’d threaten to call both my psychiatrist and therapist and tell them I’m crazy. Because of this, I called my psychiatrist and asked them to make sure they never shared any of my information with her. Well, they (rightfully so) wrote it on my file when I called, and this letter she opened was from the office with a check for a few dollars as a refund for overpaying a copay, and also a brief snapshot of my contact info and patient profile.

Next thing I know, I get a text from my mother with a picture of the paper, which says in all-caps “Do not release information to [mother’s name] as per patient” in the notes section. Needless to say, she was not happy. She went on about how embarrassing this is for her, especially since she did me a “favor” and called the office a couple of weeks ago to ask what time my recent appointment was (without my permission).

I explained to her I did this because she threatened to make false claims about me to them and say I was a danger to myself. She claimed I was making this up, that I wasn’t “staying on topic,” and just because I say something doesn’t make it true. She said I needed to “own up” to my part, and told me to leave her alone. So I did. A couple of hours later, she starts calling me repeatedly, so I blocked her number.

So then she started repeatedly calling the house phone that I have for emergencies, so I had to unplug it. I haven’t unblocked her or spoken to her in several days, as this entire situation and her behavior just disgust me. She has the nerve to try and blame me for protecting myself and my health information. This has given me a glimpse into what no contact is like, and honestly, it sounds great so far.

Therapy Nightmares FactsShutterstock

82. Squeaky Clean

I'm auper swamped right now. School and full-time work fill my weekdays and my free tie goes to hit the gym. Don't wanna get all flabby and unhealthy, you know? Started caring more for myself recently; treating myself to new haircuts and even doing my nails. Feels good to put me first for a change.

Still stuck living with my parents though, and they're a nightmare. Can't afford my own place yet and don't have any mates to split rent with. So here I am, but I've got a plan to get out soon.

Weekends are pretty full too. Usually spend it cleaning my room, doing laundry, or catching up on schoolwork. Today mom drops the bomb asking me to clean the bathroom—like I got all the time in the world. Told her I’d do it later if I have time. This sets her off. We went back and forth, but she kept insisting it's her house, so her rules.

Asked her point blank if she seriously expects me to drop everything to clean the bathroom, and she said yes. She just wanted the satisfaction of seeing me do what she said. But I stuck to my grounds and refused to get all emotional. No tears for her, she's not worth it anyway.

WORST Parents factsShutterstock

83. Wicked Stepmother

My folks split after 25 years of marriage when a nanny began to pursue my dad for an easy ticket to citizenship and a better lifestyle. It was obvious dad didn’t resist much, and once mom found evidence of money transfers and love letters, she decided to divorce him.

The nanny eventually became my stepmom, but she was no picnic. She was younger than my sister and I, and she was a nightmare—always keeping tabs on phone calls between dad and me. She also barred dad from visiting us on holidays, and her idea of gifting us was a pair of socks each. Meanwhile, she was living it up on exotic trips and spending a fortune on plastic surgery.

It wasn't just the gifts that bothered us; it was the smug look on her face when she gave them to us. We just stopped talking to my dad. Around this time, she had the nerve to harass mom, demanding that she give up her house and in return, the nanny would care for us. We were still in school and dad promised to support us till we finished our studies.

I think she was mad that she didn’t own our family home like she dreamed of, and she believed she could reduce costs by supporting us directly. Mom just laughed off her absurd demands. But the worst was yet to come. We found out that she physically hurt my dad twice in a fit of rage.

Dad ended up in the ER, swearing it was an accident each time. They even got kicked out of an entire city after a major public brawl at a restaurant. She had a habit of breaking objects during their fights. She was totally unhinged. The day her citizenship papers came through, she hit my dad with divorce papers.

I try not to keep track of her but I recently caught wind that she's married an older, wealthy guy in his 80s and is apparently biding her time for his inheritance.

Wedding Objections FactsShutterstock

84. Hanging Over Your Head

Growing up, "I need to talk to you" was like a horrifying alarm bell for me. It used to mean I was about to get in a massive shouting match, end up in tears, and wish I could sleep for days on repeat. Honestly, it's left me with PTSD. These days, my boyfriend's mom comes over every other day and says "I need to talk to you guys later," and it just sends my anxiety through the roof.

Most of the time, it's about something unimportant that could have been casually mentioned. I wish she'd just say it right away instead of setting up a talk for later over nothing. I can't stand the tension of waiting all day like that.

Surgeon mistakePexels

85. The Mother Of All Bad Mothers

Wow, this is a complex and disturbing story! Given the parameters you've mentioned, I have tried my best to simplify it, reduce the word count, and make it more casual and easy-to-understand.

When I was 14, I ran away from my toxic mom who manipulated and disrespected me. I was lucky to meet some street kids who were fleeing similar circumstances. Together, we looked out for one another.

I changed my identity and moved states with the help of this group. Child Protective Services found me when I accidentally got pregnant. I went to extreme levels to make sure my mom could never hurt me again. Then, I tricked them into thinking I was an orphan and got placed in a decent foster home. When this foster family lost their license, I moved in with my older foster sister and our daughters. I finished high school, secured a scholarship, and started attending college.

But life took a harsh turn at 21. My older sister, battling severe depression, took her own life, leaving her daughter to me. I raised both girls while pursuing a degree. We moved cross-country for my new job, but in an unexpected encounter, my parents recognized me. My mom stalked me, causing a scene and even learned my new name.

Keeping my daughters safe was my priority. Despite having to explain to neighbors about the situation and ensuing drama, we handled it relatively well. My boyfriend (now husband) was an officer and was incredibly supportive. I managed to get a restraining order, but my mom wasn’t deterred. She even bought a house in my neighborhood. I had another daughter, married my boyfriend, and eventually moved again to escape my mom's relentless stalking.

My mom found us after four years. The consequences were horrifying. She attempted to burn down our house with my husband and youngest daughter inside. The authorities caught her in time and the harrowing experience led to her arrest on various charges including stalking. We discovered her advanced plans to hold my youngest daughter and me captive.

Life's been tough, but it's also shown how resilience can help us escape even the darkest of circumstances.

Worst Parents factsShutterstock

86. Big Day, Big Problems

Growing up as the only daughter to a self-absorbed mom and emotionally absent dad was tough. I had four brothers; I was close with one, but the others made my life hell.

With no real family connection, I found solace in school, my job, my dolls, and my dog. Meanwhile, my parents seemed more interested in their social circle than in being parents. Especially my mom, who liked to flaunt my achievements to her friends but would tear me down when we were alone.

Things looked up when I left for college. Not only did I survive, I thrived and later went to med school. I fell in love, and my folks insisted on a big church wedding, even though the very thought gave me the creeps. I didn't like being in the spotlight, plus I wasn't big on the religious thing.

I gave in to their wishes, which meant I hardly knew anyone at my own wedding. Normally, I would've been okay with that, but the process was a nightmare. My controlling mom micro-managed everything from her phone, reminding me often that she could pull the plug at any moment.

She even stayed at my place without asking for permission, controlling every inch of my life. When everything seemed set two days before the wedding, she went behind my back to the wedding planner. I found out later that she canceled the open bar without my knowledge.

What hurt most was not the lost booze, but the realization that my mom didn't respect or value me, even on my wedding day. Not only that, but she was willing to humiliate me in front of everyone I cared about. I tried my best to put up a good face and act like the happy bride I should've been, but it was harsh.

The next morning, my parents and brothers left a family brunch my husband and I hosted. It was another public embarrassment tactic from my mom. They all bowed to her control because they depended on her financial help.

Fast forward 25 years later, I'm happily married and have six wonderful kids. I still can't look at my wedding photos without crying, and I've cut off contact with my family. I share my story as a cautionary tale with my daughters. Despite my mom's influence, life is good these days.

Worst Parents factsShutterstock

87. No Safe Space

My parents were terrible to me growing up, and I regret not distancing myself from them when I had the chance. They really messed with my head. Now I'm a single mom trying to balance two jobs and my own life, and I've realized that they've also put my child at risk. Despite their past, I ended up letting my mom take care of my kid because I couldn't afford a babysitter and she seemed to be really good with him.

I work as a nurse and a waitress for minimum wage. My mother was also a nurse and seemed okay. But then she ordered some animal medicine from Canada because she thought it could make my son better. I didn't pay much attention to her because she always had some sort of strange idea, and I was in a rush to work. After a surprise snowstorm, my son stayed overnight with them.

When I picked him up the next day, he was zombie tired. I thought he was just nodding off. But when we got home, he went from being a calm, sweet baby to a screaming mess and a bad rash started to cover his body.

In panic, I took him straight to the hospital. They thought it was a serious infection until they found out he hadn't just been given a new food, but an unauthorized medicine for animals. My mom confessed to dosing his bottle with it. He got sick quickly and could have passed on if I hadn't taken him to the hospital as fast as I did. He had to fly to a bigger hospital, and his dad thankfully showed up to help out.

Thankfully, the little guy is doing much better now, but things could have ended very different.

Bad parentsShutterstock

88. Minors Must Be Accompanied

I'm a counselor. During a chat with a couple who recently had a baby, I asked about their kiddo. The mom was like, "Oh, she's at home in bed". I figured, "Hmm, maybe the grandparents are watching over her"? What happened next chilled me to the bone. But then, the dad said, "Nope, she's home alone. She's safe and sound. We got this unique mattress that prevents suffocation".

I was gobsmacked, and I just stared at them, totally lost for words. After a pause, I found out it took them around 15 minutes to arrive here. That's when I told 'em, "Alright guys, we gotta wrap this up. You need to rush home pronto and give me a shout once you're there. Seriously, don't ever leave your little one alone again"!

Therapists revealUnsplash

89. Pick Up And Leave

Just two days after I finished high school, I came home to find an empty house. Everything was packed in a U-Haul, and my mom and stepdad had left without letting me know. From then on, I've been handling my finances, but it sure would've been better to have a heads up. My real dad wasn't involved since he lived miles away.

Though we're still close, he doesn't earn much, so he couldn't help much. I completely cut off from my mom for about a year after that, but she somehow crept back into my life. Now, I see her once in every two years at most and totally ignore my stepdad. Lately, I've been thinking about cutting off from my mom again.

Horrible parentsShutterstock

90. Money Can’t Buy You Class

I was a TA at a tough university and had one rotten student, despite most being great. For a basic math course, I had this wealthy freshman girl who wasn't involved at all. She was always busy on her devices, shopping or chatting away.

She missed four assignments so I emailed her—reminding that homework is important for grading and I'd still accept them. No reply, then she flunks the first midterm—totally fails it.

Despite it being a better idea for her to quit and retry next semester, she replied to my email saying she'd manage. I carried on, and she still failed...until something crazy happened.

On my final discussion session, she arrives with her parents. After the session, she introduces me to them and hands over a semester's worth of homework. Her parents seemed pleased.

Polite, I let them know I'd look at it but no credits would be given. They were gobsmacked. Her dad became rude so I showed them all the evidence: poor attendance, zero homework score, and terrible midterm grades.

Well, she tears up and the parents boiled. Saving myself from the upcoming mess, I excused myself for a class and dashed out. But I overheard her getting a harsh lecture, loud enough to bring others out of their classes. She no-showed the final.

That Kid In School FactsShutterstock

91. The Mother Of All Pettiness

I wrapped up my engineering degree on the same day as my mom's birthday. Naturally, I had no hand in picking the date, but try telling my mom that. She says I "wrecked her birthday," so she vengefully set her birthday bash on my real birthday. While she blows candles in March, I do mine in August.

Toxic familyPexels

92. Monster-In-Law

So my cousin recently found out she got Zika while being six months pregnant. After years of trying and nearly losing hope, she finally was expecting. But when she disclosed her Zika situation to her mother-in-law, the lady was all like, "The way you dress, this was bound to happen".

Believe it or not, she actually hinted that my cousin's casual attire triggered the virus. This shattered my cousin, thinking she was to blame for the Zika, even though none of us knew the virus was in the vicinity then. Yet she resolved to see the pregnancy through.

And guess what? The little guy was born two weeks ago—no health problems, no microcephaly. The icing on the cake? He tested Zika-free!

Lost Respect FactsUnsplash

93. Same Difference

A few weeks back, I was at my grandma's funeral, chatting with my godfather who runs the funeral home. I know it sounds odd that he's the funeral home owner, but it's cool with me. We've been close since I was a kid.

His business parked up front, including the hearse. Out of nowhere, this woman rocks up with her kid who's sipping on a drink. She asks if her kid can take the "limo" for a spin, pointing at the hearse. I'm speechless for a sec, first because I was deep in thought, secondly trying to keep from bursting out laughing because she thought the hearse was a limo.

When I try to explain, she accuses me of being stingy, saying I can afford to clean up if her kid spills his drink. Enter my godfather, who asks her what she's after. She insists about her kid riding in the "limo". My godfather then hits her with this zinger, "Sure, but he'll need a coffin to ride in".

The lady takes a minute, gives the "limo" a double-take and finally realizes her mistake. No idea how she mixed up a hearse for a limo. Once she figured it out, she was ghostly white and bolted with her kid. My godfather and I crack up.

Drive Thru FactsPexels

94. Don't Let Sleeping Babes Lie

I used to work at a daycare. We had this rule: no accepting kids who're asleep, especially in car seats. When a sleepy kid arrived, I'd wake them up straight away. Sure, it angered some parents, but hey, rules are rules.

I initially thought it was all about keeping a schedule until one day, a grandma brought in a snoozing baby. That's when I learned the disturbing truth about this rule. The thing is, this little one wouldn't wake up! He'd just grunt, lift his head a an inch or so, then go straight back to sleep. My boss immediately called 9-1-1, while grandma tried to brush it off saying he was just tired due to a rough night. I knew this wasn't true. This was the kid who never risked missing out on fun, especially with all the music and dancing going around.

In the middle of this chaos, grandma slipped away and someone contacted the parents. Turns out, she had this nasty habit of dosing kids with sleeping meds when babysitting. This time, she did it to the six-month-old, that's why he was knocked out. The poor little guy ended up in the hospital, they even had to pump his stomach. There was a lawsuit, and in the end, the family moved.

Just to clear things up, this policy was there for a reason. My boss knew there were some sick minds out there who could harm kids, dose them and leave them at the daycare. That way, if anything bad happened, they could easily blame it on the caretaker.

To this day when I babysit, I never accept sleeping children. I won't even agree to watch kids at their home while they're asleep. As much as I love children, I quit daycare. Seeing parents intentionally making bad choices while knowing better just shattered my heart.

Three Toddler Eating on White Table

95. Playing Favorites

My partner and I have been together for 8 years, engaged for 3. Balancing a PhD and wedding planning was crazy, but luckily we booked our dream venue years in advance after grad school. It's stunning, and we snagged the only slot for this September. Recently, my sister got engaged and planned to marry next spring. But she's now expecting and wants a September date too.

At a family gathering, she asked if she could use our venue. I was taken aback. Sure, our out-of-town guests could swing both weddings, but our venue? We've looked forward to this for years. When I hesitated to agree, drama unfolded. Everyone from Nan to Mom called me selfish for not giving up our spot. It got to a point where we left the event.

Later, my upset sister called, accusing me of not doing this one thing for her. And my Dad went along that line, too. But man, this has been years in planning. Now my partner is furious and uninviting my sister. My family threatens not to come, saying I'm being selfish and my sister needs the venue due to pregnancy pressures.

My brother-in-law apologized, revealing he told my sister not to ask. And now my sister is accusing me of ruining her marriage. Dad sent dramatic messages like, "I hope you're happy. Your sister hasn't stopped crying".

In the end, we removed my sister from the bridal party, replacing her with my aunt who supported us. We haven't decided if we'll invite family to the wedding. My mom even called my partner’s parents about giving the venue to my sister. They told her off, warning they’re risking losing their daughter.

Now, amidst all this, my sister contacted me again, accusing me of being unfair and reminding me about the importance of family. I reminded her of how she's exploited me throughout our lives. I suggested an alternative venue for her. She cut contact, then later sent a suspicious message from our wedding planner about rebooking the venue.

My older brother contacted me, recalling a different story from our parents about how I offered the venue to my sister, which wasn't true. We concluded our folks have a favoritism problem.

For our own wedding, we secured our vendors and venue with passwords. We cancelled the catering my parents were handling, but our friends and my partner’s family will help us prepare a buffet. Instead of bachelor parties, we're hosting a joint family-friends cooking session.

Talking to our planner, she was shocked and reassured that the venue couldn't be taken without our approval. Now, we're considering hiring security. I'm finally realizing just how toxic my family is. If they sincerely apologize, they're welcome at our wedding, otherwise, I have my brother, who will walk me down the aisle, and my aunt.

Entitled Parents Facts Unsplash

Sources:  Reddit234567891011

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