They say that kids say the darndest things. But sometimes, parents are the ones that say things that are even worse. More often than not, harsh words from our loved ones, even if they are said in jest, leave us with scars that deeply affect us forever. Buckle up: These parenting moments are so disappointing—they’re unforgettable.
1. Her Lie Kept Me Wondering
When I was around 15, I “ran away” from my mom and stepdad’s house after an argument. I called my dad, he came and picked me up, and my mom figured out pretty quickly where I was. She came to his house, physically dragged me out, tossed me in her car, and started driving me back. I kept screaming at her and telling her I wanted to live with my dad. As she was driving, she looked dead ahead, knuckles white on the string wheel—then she yelled something I’ll never forget: “He’s not even your real dad. He’s not your father!”
It was devastating. I started crying uncontrollably, asking my mom what she meant. How could he not be my dad? She backtracked and told me she just wanted me to stop screaming, but the damage was already done. I found out later that one of the rumored reasons my mom and dad divorced was that she was cheating on him. I spent 15 years wondering if my dad was my real dad, and if not, who was?
2. I Didn’t Know They Knew
I was about 11 years old, give or take a year. I was home alone one day, hanging out down in our finished basement, where I spent a lot of my free time. Upstairs, I heard the front door open. I was about to call out to say hi—then I heard something that made me stop. It was my father’s voice, followed by the unfamiliar voice of a woman.
I don’t remember any specifics, but I definitely do remember feeling uneasy about the situation. So, I just stayed quiet downstairs until they both left about half an hour later. When my father returned home another hour or two later, he was unaccompanied, and I went up to greet him. As far as I could tell, he never had any suspicions about me being home the first time he came by.
Sometime later, I got into a massive fight with my father. During this argument, he sent me a long rambling series of text messages in which he detailed the many ways he felt my older brother was responsible for my parent’s divorce. I showed my mom some of the texts and asked what she thought were some of the most significant factors that led to it.
She told me that for a few years leading up to their split, they had tried an open relationship with the guidance of their marriage counselor. They had apparently agreed to seven rules regarding this experiment, and my mom says that within the first month or so, my father had broken half of the rules he had agreed to.
One of the rules he broke was that they would not at any time bring their other romantic partners into our home. My mom said he broke that rule while I was home. I had all but forgotten about that strange woman’s voice over the years, but as soon as my mom told me that story, it brought back the memory of that day. Her telling me this definitely haunts me.
3. The Silent Treatment
Several years ago, I attempted to take my life. Two months after that occurrence, my mom was inebriated and told me she wished I had been successful at my attempt. I stopped speaking to her. Everyone in my family pressured me to talk to my mom because it hurt her that we weren’t speaking. After a couple of months, I let her back in my life but told her that I would never talk to her again if she ever said something like that again.
She hasn’t said it since. But I still don’t trust her and think ultimately one day, she’ll say it again.
4. She Didn’t Quite Give It The Old College Try
My grandparents raised me until I was seven so that my mom could party and have “the college experience.” We were dirt poor and sometimes would live in a roach-infested apartment, and sometimes, we would get evicted and live in the car. Mostly she’d just drop me off at the library all day and pick me up an hour or so after the library closed.
Being a newcomer who was semi-transient, I got browbeaten pretty badly at school. One evening, it was cold, and I had been alone for about two hours outside the library waiting for her. I had just had another hard day at school, getting tormented by the kids, then yelled at by the teachers for not playing with the other kids.
It just got to me and was more than I could handle at eight years old. So, I climbed into the backseat of the car and started to tell my mom that the kids at school were being mean to me. Her insane reaction was so demented. She whipped around to face me in a fit of anger and rage that came from nowhere. She said, “I can’t fight your battles for you!” So I shut up and never came to her about my problems again.
5. Sorry, Mom, But Reality Doesn’t Bite
I’m a trans man. Every year for school pictures, well before I was out, I was forced into clothes that I wouldn’t so much as look at during the rest of the year. Usually, because they would be itchy, tight, overly feminine, or otherwise made me feel self-conscious. I’m not a masculine man, and I’m sure if my mom had ever actually asked what I wanted to wear, instead of just routinely asking what the other girls wore, we probably could have found something semi-nice I could have put on.
When I was about 13 or so, I had an argument with my parents about how I never looked like myself in any of my pictures, much less happy. I said something about how it just felt like they would rather just have false memories of me. One of my parents, I can’t remember which one, said, “I like the false memories better.” I’ve been out for eight years, and that line pops into my head every time one of them asks me if I’m feeling better.
6. The Wanderer
When I was younger, my brother, who was a young teen at the time, would wander off in public places like shopping malls. He probably wanted to go look at video games, but there was no way my father would go with him or let him go alone on his own. One day, we were in an uncrowded shopping mall in a very safe suburb. My brother wandered off.
My dad called mall security to find him, which they did in about 10 minutes or less. My dad was furious. He drove us home, made us wait in the car. Then, he came back about a minute or so later with a dog collar and a leash in his hand. He drove us back to the mall and told my brother he had to walk around the mall wearing the dog collar and leash, which he did for about 20 minutes.
7. It’s My Right And You’re Wrong
After my husband passed, my mom said to me, “You have no right to grieve his passing. You were only married for three years when YOUR husband passed. I was married 30 years when MY husband did. You have NO right!!” She yelled this in my face as she jabbed me in the chest with her finger, leaving a bruise, nonetheless. As a result, I didn’t grieve the loss of my first husband for years, and it ruined a couple of my relationships along the way.
8. Ready Or Not, Here I Come Out
My dad was an ex-high ranking officer and was always violent towards my sister, mother, and me. When I was 15, he made the scariest comment towards me that has stuck with me until this day. My parents were constantly making assumptions that I was gay, which I am. At the time, I wasn’t ready to come out, mainly because my dad would use words such as “fruits” and “fairies” a lot.
One day, he said to me, “If you ever come out as gay, I will put your head through that window and book you a bed in the hospital.” Considering his mistreatment towards my mother all my life, I didn’t question it. I came out a year after he made that comment. My dad ignored me for around six months after that. But then something surprising happened.
A few years later, I left to travel and found a note from him in my backpack once I landed. It was an apology letter.
9. It’s A Touchy Subject
Instead of being taught how to manage emotions, several family members that I trusted were always telling me, “You’re oversensitive.” I spent my entire childhood trying not to have feelings because of that and tried to repress my feelings to please them. I was furious and ashamed that I couldn’t make the feelings go away.
Repressed feelings eventually come out, and in my case, they came out explosively. That just reinforced my relatives’ beliefs that I was oversensitive, and again, they didn’t teach me healthy ways to express myself. They simply mocked me for it. It was a destructive cycle for many years. I’m still trying to unlearn all of that.
10. Westernization Worries
When I was 15, my parents took me out of Canada and snuck me into a war-torn country for almost four years. The reason why they took me out was absolutely ridiculous: They claimed that I was becoming, as they said, too “westernized” for them. It was also because they couldn’t get physical with me in Canada, so they took me to a country where you could beat your daughter to oblivion and not face the consequences. Glad I made it back!
11. Walking On Eggshells
I was committed to a psych ward for about a week after I tried to harm myself. During a meeting with myself, my mom, a therapist, and a psychiatrist, one of them subtly suggested that my mom’s verbal tone was a contributing factor. They said that she should “think about toning it down.” My mom said that she “shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells to avoid hurting my feelings.”
I never looked at her the same after that.
12. I Didn’t Scare Them As Much As They Scared Me
When I was about 11 or 12, I ran away from home. It was only for a few hours or so. When I finally was found, my parents were livid, and rightfully so. I know this was said out of frustration, and my parents have been awesome my whole life, but my mom told me something ruined me: “Next time you go missing, we won’t even bury your body when they find it.” I can still hear those words, clear as day.
13. Mocked Over My Medication
I have epilepsy. When I was 13 years old, my dad was waving my epilepsy medication in my face and said, “Without these, you don’t function like a normal human being.” It has been a few years since, but it still rings in my head sometimes. I swear I remember him saying those words to me, but unfortunately, my dad is trying to gaslight me over it.
14. Surprise Trip To Disney
My mother had my sibling pack up all her stuff to go to Disneyworld. My sibling was excited, and I was so jealous. When my mom came back by herself, she admitted that she had totally lied about Disneyland. Instead, she’d dropped my sibling off at a psych ward. She was gone for months. I was forever afraid that my mom would offer a similar surprise trip for me if I ever cried or showed emotion after that. I still don’t cry in front of people.
15. I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty
When I was probably 13 or 14, I had terrible self-esteem. I felt like my two sisters were far prettier than I would ever be, and I just generally felt unattractive. Then I found this gorgeous satin mauve skirt that flowed and rippled like silk waves. I put it on and felt beautiful for the first time in a long time.
I went to show my mom because she always complimented my sisters on how pretty they were, and I thought I would finally get that same attention. She took one glance at me and said, “That skirt will never look good on you. Better give it to your sister.” I did. I perished a little inside every time my sister wore it and got flooded with compliments.
16. Disciplining My Diagnosis
I had a checkup with my doctor and expressed my surprise at how I was doing well now that I was back in school. The doctor asked me several questions, then handed me a stack of tests. I was officially diagnosed with ADD. It was no wonder I always had trouble in school. I called my parents with the news, and my mom said, “Oh yeah, we knew.”
I asked her why hadn’t I gotten any medication, and they told me that they didn’t want me to be drugged. So I asked them why I was always in trouble over my grades. Apparently, they thought they could discipline my learning disability out of me.
17. Picture This!
When I was about six years old, my parents almost got a divorce. We were living in Europe, and my dad said that he would move to the United States. I asked him if he would take a picture of me with him so that I would have one of the two of us. He told me he wouldn’t because he wanted a fresh start. That one really hurt at the time, and I still remember it as if it were yesterday. But that wasn’t the worst part.
Years later, when they finally did divorce, he told me, “I don’t want you. I want the house.” Not the best dad.
18. The Messenger
My mom would come into my room at 3 am sometimes and tell me I had a demon in me. She told me that God audibly told her to warn me that Jesus was coming back soon and I was going to be left behind to suffer through the seven-year apocalypse. She would also tell me she could read my thoughts and that she could move things with her mind, like the movie Carrie.
Thanks to that, my childhood indoctrination took most of my life to let go of.
19. Mind Your Business
My dad was an alcoholic. He had a lot of childhood trauma and a quick temper. He cheated on my mom for many years until she finally filed for divorce. Once divorced, he immediately began publicly dating the woman whom he had cheated with most recently. Despite being happy, he would always ask my brother and me about my mom’s dating life.
After confiding in my mom that it made me feel bad when he asked that, she told me to simply say that it wasn’t any of his business. This made sense to my little eight-year-old mind because it wasn’t his business. Well, one night, on the way home from a visit, he asked about my mom’s new boyfriend. My brother didn’t say anything.
After a few silent moments, I said, “Dad, that’s not your business.” He immediately got angry and yelled, “You’re a little pill, just like your mom and your sister.” I remember exactly where we were, what road we were on, that it was dark, where I was sitting, my jacket—everything. It’s something I’ll never forget and was a very pivotal moment in my life.
20. All Wigged Out
When I was 16, I had a nice wig that I would wear to cover my dyed pink hair when I was at school. One day my dad came in, put it on, and started doing a whole mocking performance of me, checking my outfit in the mirror. He was fluffing his hair, turning to check different angles, bending the way I would to make sure my skirts didn’t ride up, all of it.
I could hear his girlfriend laughing from where she was watching it all from their room. I started crying and crying until he finally stopped. He got annoyed at my being upset and said, “I was just teasing you.” He threw my wig on my bed and stormed out. I sometimes think of that when I look in a full-length mirror, bend to fix something on my outfits, or just randomly.
21. What’s Cooking?
I woke up early one Easter morning ready for the Easter Bunny to have dropped off gifts. Unfortunately, there was nothing. I saw my dad in the kitchen, where he was making stew. To make a long story short, he said he caught the Easter Bunny and was cooking him. I cried. My mom was mad. In hindsight, it was hilarious, but it certainly ruined the fun of Easter as a six-year-old, and I will never forget the thought of the poor Easter Bunny getting cooked.
22. Nice Versus Vice
My mom is usually the world’s nicest woman. However, when she has been drinking, she becomes just the opposite. One night she came home wasted, and I called her out on it, even though I was half-asleep because it was late. She got mad and said something like, “Poor you, you have no friends, no future, you are struggling with everything. What will become of you?”
23. Last Words
When I was 15, my dad, one of my brothers, and I were building our stall at a boat show when my dad did not feel too well. It was winter, and we were working in a cold, unheated exhibition area, so we all did not feel too good. He told me, “I am sorry, son, but I have to let you continue by yourself.” He went by taxi to the hotel, where we found him unable to speak, gasping for air.
That was the last time I saw him alive.
24. The Ingrate
There were two things my mother has said to me that stick out. The first happened when I was a kid. She would constantly reply, “That’s stupid,” to every interest I had my entire childhood. The other happened much later after I had turned my life and new home upside down to move her in with me. She was no longer capable of cleaning or taking care of her apartment.
So, I cleaned her disgusting apartment for her. Not only that, but I got her the assistance she needed for her medical issues, drove all over the city multiple times to get her medication and needed items. I didn’t even get a thank you. Instead, she said, “You have never done anything to help me. Ever.” Just more mistreatment.
25. The Enduring Effects Of My Childhood
My mother continually called me a “heifer” and sent me to a school that wasn’t very ethnically diverse. She would tell me that I acted desperate with guys and “laid up with them” because I was desperate for love because I didn’t have a father. She would continually scream at me and tell me that I was embarrassing her by getting bad grades because she was a teacher.
When I made the mistake of going to her with a problem, she told me, “Wow, YOU endured,” and then gave me a long lecture about “enduring.” She would constantly tell me that I was “running the streets just like my father” when hanging out with my friends like a typical, healthy teenager. Whenever I asked her why we couldn’t have a clean, peaceful house instead of a dirty, cluttered apartment like my friends, she screamed at me even though she had an education, career, and made plenty of money.
She told me that it was because they were white and had husbands, two incomes, and generational wealth. Her statement led me to believe that I not only needed a husband to survive to be happy but a white one which led me to end up in a string of poor failed relationships. I ignored setting real goals for myself aside from being married.
26. The Ugly Duckling
My mom pointed at a guy on TV that was the “ugly” character of a show we were watching and told me, “In life, there are people like him,” and pointed at me. She then looked at my brother. She waited for the super handsome telenovela guy to show up and then said, “And him,” and pointed at my brother. I was only 11. I grew up to be an extremely insecure teenager and adult.
For some reason, I’ve been called ugly by uncles, cousins, and my brother. Yet, somehow strangers always have the exact opposite opinion of me. It was extremely confusing growing up.
27. Idle Threats With Grave Consequences
I still have some pretty vivid memories of my little sister and me threatening to report my parents to child protection services in the late 90s. My dad never said anything, but my mom sure did. I remember her telling us how my sisters and I would all be split up and sent to separate foster homes, where they would probably be even worse towards us than my parents ever were.
She told us we ought to be grateful to have them as parents. I don’t even remember any of the things my sister and I were threatening them over. They may have been trivial, but my mom’s reaction was worse.
28. I Ham What I Ham
I put on weight when I was 13 years old and really didn’t notice it. My mom made me aware by grabbing my butt and hips. She yelled in front of my dad and a boy that I told her I liked, that this boy would never want me because I had too much “ham.” I’m an adult now, and it still makes me cry when I think back to that. When I see pictures of me from back then, I think I was beautiful!
29. Her Comments Stunk
My mom would always say I smelled musty or terrible. No matter how long I bathed or how much deodorant I put on, even though I used cologne, she would say this. When I was around 19 and left home, the truth finally came out: She told me that she was lying about it and just wanted to condition me into always smelling good.
In reality, it gives me anxiety about hygiene 24/7, but when someone says I smell good, it means a lot more to me personally.
30. He Broke My Prop And My Heart
I was trying to repair a costume that I needed for a freelance job. I was working to bring in some money to help with expenses. I was, and am still, severely visually impaired, and I had to teach myself all I knew about dress and prop making. My father broke the prop and yelled at me, saying, “Why are you still wasting your life with this rubbish. You’re useless and just costing me money.” It still feels like a cold spot in my chest.
31. Diary Of A Six-Year-Old
When I was six, I kept a journal. Recently, my mother found that journal and read one of the entries. It said that I was so mad at her, I wanted to kick her. She then sent me a long text saying that she would keep her distance from me, pray for me, and that she wished me the best. I had to explain to her quite a few times that I was SIX.
A week later, she called me and told me that she was a bad mom and couldn’t sleep or eat and didn’t know how many times she had to apologize to me. Again, I was SIX.
32. If The Jeans Fit…
I had a pair of jeans that I wore when I was 13 years old. For the next four years, up to about age 17, my mom would continually make me try on this same exact pair of jeans. If they were too tight, she would give me an earful about how unhealthy I was. She eventually stopped after I told her how it made me feel, but I can never shake that feeling that I am fat.
33. Too Young To Be My Mom?
I’m the oldest of four, and my mom had me when she was 16. She tells people that she has “dropped me off of her kid list.” So when people ask her how many kids she has, she says three. She said the reason she tells people that is because “she’s tired of explaining how she’s old enough to have me.” She doesn’t see any issue with this, but it’s shockingly hurtful to me.
34. Beat Up From All Ends
I was about 10 or 11 and was being tormented by other kids. I was crying and complained about the situation to my parents. They said, “You might have done something wrong. Maybe you did something to anger your friends; that’s why they have beaten you up.” I remember how helpless I felt. I never took any complaint to them again and handled my problems myself.
35. Proud To Be Me
I’m pansexual and genderqueer. My parents told me that I have no human rights because gay people are monsters. Then, they sent me to conversion therapy which they gave up on when they saw it was actually causing me to be more prideful and passionate about my true self in the face of adversity. They also tried to have my girlfriend at the time committed to a psych ward for being gay as well.
36. No Afterlife After This Life
When I was a young teen, I was reading about reincarnation. I read how some people think that you continue with the same souls who were important to you in this life when you are reincarnated. I told my mother that if I were reincarnated, I would want to be her daughter again. Safe to say, she did not reciprocate the sentiment…
She told me she absolutely would not choose to be my mother again.
37. Cut Out And Cut Loose
When I was 15 years old, my mom told me that all of their assets—money, house, vehicles, etc., would go to my brother when they passed away because he is the carrier of the last name. If I wanted to inherit anything, they told me that I should marry a man who is an only child. The whole idea of being cut off from inheriting anything really affected how I felt about my parents from that point forward and still does to this day.
My dad is gone now, but my mom is 100% my brother’s burden to deal with when she goes senile and can’t live alone anymore.
38. Mom, Where’s My Car?
My mom told me that the car she bought would be mine when I graduated high school and went to college. It was in their name, but they would turn it over to mine when that time came. Then, I overheard her tell my dad that she was going to put the car in my little sister’s name when I graduated so that SHE could have it for high school.
She told him I would just use the college money I was saving up to buy a car. That way, I would have to stay in the house longer and keep doing work around the house.
39. Sketchy Commentary
I was an early teen and into anime-style drawing. I remember spending a long time on a picture and showing the final product proudly to my mother. I did not get the reaction I was hoping for: She proceeded to rip it apart and criticize my style in art. To this day, decades later, I still sketch but refuse to show anyone my work.
I’m terrified of being told it’s awful again after working hard on a sketch. I love to do it, but it’s now a very private hobby.
40. My Mother’s Merciless Mocking
When I was a kid, if my parents even suspected that I liked someone, they would mock me mercilessly for it. My mom would seriously even threaten to look up that person’s phone number and tell them embarrassing lies about me if I misbehaved at all. Because of this, I still feel a deep sense of shame about anything remotely romantic, and I am incredibly secretive about my love life.
41. Her Giggle Gave Me An Eating Disorder
When I was between 11 and 14 years old, my mom would constantly come up to me and grab what little bit of baby/belly fat I had. She would look up and make a sarcastic smile or a little giggle and walk away, implying that I was fat. As a result, I developed an eating disorder and have body dysmorphia to this day. If I step on the scale and it’s a certain weight, my brain will shut my stomach off, and I will find any and all food repulsive.
42. The Guilt Trip
I moved out of the city, about four hours away from my parents. I told my mom I wasn’t sure how often we would see each other but I would try to Facetime her if the kids would agree. Her response was extreme, to say the least, saying she’d “might as well kill herself if I wasn’t going to visit.” I think that was her way of making me feel bad for her so that I would visit more often.
It just made me mad, and I told her to, “Go ahead.” I won’t forget her saying that to me and making me feel like a terrible daughter.
43. Problem Non-Solver
Back in the day, my sister and I were two insecure, melancholic teenagers. My mom would talk to us and say, “You don’t have any problems. You don’t know what it is to have problems, and you can’t say you have them.” After hearing that constantly, I still don’t talk to them about my problems. I’m now an adult, and it’s 25 years later!
44. A Special Message For You
My parents meant well, but they would always tell me, “You aren’t average. You are special.” It was to the point where if I got a B+ in a class, they would give me a stern talking to. If I told them, “I have straight A+‘s in every other class, and B+ is still above average,” they would respond, “BUT NOT FOR YOU. YOU’RE SO SMART AND SO CAPABLE, AND THIS IS CONCERNING TO SEE.”
Maybe they thought this would give me good self-esteem, but it just gave me a huge perfectionism complex and a large amount of self-loathing over anything I didn’t excel in.
45. Art Thou Happy Now?
My dad has bipolar disorder, so he has said some pretty hurtful things to me and about me. However, one particular moment stands out. When I was in high school, he was driving me home from a banquet honoring my achievements in one of the art groups I was involved with. He told me how much of a failure I would be because of my involvement in art.
He continued to tell me that art will get me nowhere, it will be my demise, and won’t pay the bills. As it turned out, I’m the only one of my siblings with a college degree. I got a minor in art, and potential employers find the art portion a strength on my job applications. I don’t know if I’ve “forgiven” him per se, but I’ve moved on from it. I’ll definitely never forget it.
46. Conditional Unconditional Love
When I was a teenager, I dressed as teens would in subculture fashion. It may have been a bit cringe-y to adults, but it was part of the ride. On several occasions, my father would say that he was embarrassed to be seen with me or that people would think that I was his son. At all social events, he would distance himself, and we would meet back up at the car.
It made me see how conditional the affection of your parents can be and that you can lose it over just dressing like a silly kid.
47. The Blame Game
The summer before my junior year of high school, the night before soccer preseason started, my brother wanted to go to a party with all his high school friends as a sort of the last hurrah before they all went off to college. My mom told him no at first, but as he was trying to convince her, I helped and said, “This is the last time he’s going to see any of them probably; it would suck to be the only one left out.”
My words apparently convinced her because she said fine, and he went out. The rest of us did what we always did, watch TV until we went to bed. My dad woke me up in the middle of the night, at about 3–4 AM, and told me that my brother had been in an accident. He didn’t have any details, but he was going to the hospital with my mom.
I immediately panicked and jumped up to start getting ready, and he said, “What are you doing? You have soccer practice tomorrow. Go back to sleep. I just was letting you know.” I asked if he was alive, and he said, “I don’t know.” I didn’t sleep at all and just lay there crying, waiting for news, and just imagining all the horrible things that could have happened.
I honestly thought he was gone at this time, and he basically was. My dad called me a few hours later to tell me what had happened. He said they arrived at the hospital. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital that was further away than our small town one. They walked in on my brother in a hospital bed with people cutting his clothes off. The whole scene was horrific.
He was completely mangled, and doctors were sure he wasn’t going to make it. He had completely separated his femur, he was missing chunks of flesh from his body, his thumb bone was sticking out through his nail, and his lung had collapsed. They were cutting him open to get a breathing tube in. He had bleeding on the brain and a broken collarbone. He was somehow awake, and when he saw my parents, he said his patented, “I’m okay!” before losing consciousness.
My brother’s friend was also in the car, and he happened to be the only person wearing a seatbelt, so he was mostly fine and could tell everyone what had happened. They were at the party, and officers showed up, so everyone scrambled. My brother’s one friend was sober and was bringing the car around, but someone else they knew pulled up and told them to get in quick, so they did.
There were six people and one kid sitting in the trunk, and they took off. The driver was wasted, but they were too smashed to notice. He drove down a small road that came to a T-intersection and never slowed down. They hit an embankment. The car popped up, and the back hit the trees. The consequences were unspeakable: The kid in the back had his head crushed by the trunk opening then closing on it.
The driver was gone instantly. My brother was in the back and thrown through the driver’s side window. Two girls in the back broke their backs and neck. The guy with the seatbelt had a mild concussion, and his ear was mainly ripped off but easily reattached. My dad told me they were staying there. They had made accommodations for my little brother to stay with a friend.
They told him to get some rest and call them later and LET THEM KNOW HOW SOCCER PRACTICE WENT. I honestly didn’t know what to do, so I went to soccer practice. I got there, and news had already spread in the small town. My brother was on the team just last year, so everyone, including coaches, knew him. When I got there, they asked me what on earth I was doing there.
I just said, “I don’t know. My dad said I had to,” and they just let me practice while everyone asked me what was happening. Apparently, when my brother first woke up, the only thing he said was, “Where’s my brother?” I spent another night alone, and the next day my mom came to pick me up and finally bring me to the hospital. It was a long drive, and on the way there, she just started talking.
She said, “You know it’s your fault this happened, right?” I asked, “What?” She continued, “If you hadn’t convinced me to let him go out that night, this never would have happened, and he would be fine and going to college next week. You did this.” I immediately start sobbing. She then began touching my shoulder and said, “Come on, what are you doing? I was obviously just kidding. Stop crying.”
I eventually calmed down and said nothing on the rest of the ride. It wasn’t talked about again for years. If I would ever bring up that she said that to me, she would deny it and tell me I make things up. I’ll never forget that, though, and I still blame myself. My brother is sort of okay now. He recovered physically, but his life was pretty much ruined.
48. The Favorite Son
I was dating an absolute monster of a human being through college and for a couple of years right after. He was 14 years older than me. I was 18 at the time, and he was 32. He appeared to have his life together since he had a good career, a beautiful house, and a lot of nice material things. He also happened to be abusive in every single way you could be to another human being.
When I finally decided I had enough, I broke up with him. My mother told me she would never forgive me for taking away her favorite son, which was an insult to my two brothers. I told her EVERYTHING he had done to me over the years, and she took his side on everything. She said I provoked him and that I deserved everything I got.
She even invited him to Thanksgiving and Christmas the year we broke up. I refused to go. I had my first Friendsgiving that year and spent Christmas alone. We eventually moved past it, but I will never get over it.
49. Committed To The Truth
When I was 16, I got caught dating someone my parents didn’t like—and their response floored me. My dad had me committed to a psych ward on an emergency commitment. He lied and told them I was out to harm myself. My mom was right there next to him the whole time. She knew the truth but didn’t say or do anything to stop him.
After a few days, the doctors and nurses figured out that I wasn’t doing what my dad said I was. The psychiatrist deemed me “not suicidal” and said I had no reason to be there. They called my mother to come and pick me up. She refused to come get me, telling the hospital, “She can’t come home unless her dad says so, and he’s out of town and unreachable.”
This was the era before cell phones were widely in use. The hospital told my mother they would send me to foster care if she didn’t pick me up because I could not stay at the hospital. After all, I didn’t meet the admission criteria. She picked me up at the last possible minute. When my Dad came home that weekend, he was furious that I was home.
My entire family is a mess, but there is one thing that stung the most that still heavily affects our relationship to this day. I was always closer to my dad than my mom. My dad was the safer, saner parent. When I was about eight, they divorced and had 50/50 custody. When I was 10, my dad remarried, and his wife hated me.
She would lock me in closets, cut holes in my clothing, wouldn’t let me eat snacks, was generally nasty and rude. My dad refused to believe me and never stood up for me. Then, one day, my mom was dropping me off for my week at dad’s like usual, only this time, all of my belongings were out on the side of the road—everything.
His wife came out wearing a huge grin and said that I was no longer a part of their family and that we needed to get off their property. A few years later, his wife cleaned out his bank accounts and high-tailed it out while my dad was at work. The first thing my dad did was call me and apologize. But it didn’t mean anything to me. The damage was done, and any real relationship we had, had dissolved a long time ago.