Helicopter parents who need to control their child’s every move. Mortifying mothers who make their kids want to disappear. Evil dads with anger issues. Raising a child is hard, but there’s no excuse for these awful parents.
1. Stronger Than Any Lullaby
My mom always struggled to be there for me, but my dad waited until I was grown up to tell me about her worst act. When I was a little kid, my mom had routinely given me a ton of sleeping pills so that she could leave me at home alone to maintain an affair with her lover while my dad was off working in another country. That cleared up many, many things up for me…
2. No Means Yes
I’m a teacher, and after a student’s parent’s divorced, the mom taught her toddler son to say “No daddy’s house” even though he loves his dad. He understood “yes” and “no” perfectly before this. After she did this we had to re-teach it by taking things away when he said no, he didn’t want it. He was so confused and cried so much. His mom is literally the devil.
3. Be Prepared
My son doesn’t know that the reason we don’t see his dad anymore is because he touched him inappropriately when he was an infant. We are waiting until we can find a good psychiatrist for support before I break the news to him.
4. Something to Be Thankful For
For some inexplicable reason, my mom decided that it would be a good idea to casually tell everybody at Thanksgiving dinner at her boyfriend’s house about my tween bouts with anorexia. I didn’t want to be there in the first place, and she just kept going on and on about how I used to just eat carrots for dinner for a year. It got so bad that I eventually had to shout at her to get her to stop.
5. Chewing Gum Woes
My parents had this ridiculous rule where they wouldn’t let me spend any money unless I told them about what I’ll buy first. I once bought a pack of gum without asking them and let me tell you: it wasn’t pretty. Because of a single pack of gum, my mom and dad shouted at me for a solid hour, then took away my phone for a week.
6. She Has to Find out Sooner or Later
A colleague of mine has a friend who hid from her 8-year-old daughter that she would die within a few years because of a terminal illness.
7. Meal Ticket
I taught elementary school, I had a third grader who was well behind all the other children in reading skills. He seemed capable of reading, but just never put in any effort. So I would tutor him, it was paying off, he was progressing nicely. Then his mother showed up one afternoon mad because the boy was learning to read. It took me a while to figure out what she was screaming about, but when I figured it out, it made me want to attack her.
She was receiving disability payments because her boy was “retarded” (her words) and incapable of reading. If the caseworker found out the boy could read the payments would stop. She was purposely holding her son back and literally not letting him learn to read so that she could get some extra money. No wonder the poor little boy was scared whenever I tried to teach him after that.
8. Panopticon Problems
My parents were horrible. They would regularly read my diary and go through my computer, until apparently that wasn’t enough. They once left video cameras up while I was hanging out with a friend and talking. They loved to repeat things I had said or written to me, just to let me know that I had no privacy. It created a huge surveillance culture and terrified me!
9. Stomp Stopping
My sister had a habit of stomping up the stairs, and my Mom was sick of it. To get her to stop, she made my sister stomp up and down the stairs until she couldn’t walk anymore. Her legs were so sore that she could hardly move the next day.
10. Why Waste a Good Follicle?
I’m a teacher. We had a kid with hygiene issues and when I met his mother, I understood why. We were sitting in a parent-teacher conference with several teachers and at least one administrator present when the mom plucks a hair from her head and starts flossing her teeth with it. It was so gross and inappropriate that I nearly puked.
11. She Lost the Game of Thrones
In my first college course, there was a 16-year-old in my class and their parent sat through the entire lecture next to them. The professor expressed his concern about her taking up a seat for a student, and the mom immediately snapped at him about how she was paying his salary by enrolling her kid there and she deserved “respect.” Poor kid made no friends that year.
12. Full Circle
My parents are divorced, and they have a big secret that they don’t realize I know. They are both cheating on their current spouses. With each other.
13. Don’t Skirt Around the Real Issue Here…
My mum once pulled up my skirt, causing me to involuntarily flash a room full of people, at a family Christmas dinner. I was absolutely mortified. She wanted to check for any potential self-harm scars on my thighs, apparently. I’ve never physically harmed myself before in my entire life. I was 17 years old at the time.
14. Not-So Secret Santa
My sister had been dating this guy for a year or two on and off. Now, normally his ethnic background would not be important, but for this particular story it is. He’s Black and my family is English, so we’re all pretty much paper white. At Christmas, my mom gave the boyfriend a box of glow in the dark protection and said, “Do you like the present? It’s so that she can find you in the dark!” It was MORTIFYING.
15. Diary Dabbles
I kept a diary during high school, and one day my mom found it, and read it. From reading my diary, she learned that I had recently lost my virginity to my boyfriend. She freaked out so much that she called my school principal and accused my boyfriend of assaulting me. She did a lot of crazy things, but that one was the scariest by far.
16. Getting His Priorities in Order
I don’t plan on ever telling my son that, when he was very young, his dad briefly left us for another woman. He came back a few months later, and has been good ever since.
17. Postcards From Heaven
My girlfriend’s aunt died years ago in a car accident, but she isn’t supposed to know that. Her parents still haven’t told a soul, and they definitely did not want their young (at the time) daughter to find out about it. Despite the fact that it has been so long since it happened, my girlfriend’s mom still makes fake holiday cards every year claiming to be from her dead sister.
She always mails them to my girlfriend, fully not realizing that my girlfriend has known about what happened from the aunt’s children for years. It’s a super crazy situation. Any time my girlfriend mentions the aunt’s name, her mom just tries to change the subject immediately. I don’t know who they think they are helping here.
When I was 15 years old, the parents of a kid in my school year made a seven-hour trip to save their pride and joy from watching Casino Royale on the coach’s onboard DVD player while driving back from a school trip. The best part about it is that he must have asked our teacher what the film was in advance and then told his mum.
19. A Family Has No Room for Three People
The mom of a former coworker of mine. He was 27 or 28, and his mom didn’t approve the woman he was dating, so he kept dating her in secret. He looked really in love with her (GF not so much, but seemed happy). Eventually, his mom started calling me and a couple of other coworkers to check if her son was still dating that woman, so we lied to cover him.
After a year or so of this secret relationship, the girlfriend got pregnant. My coworker proposed, and they started planning a small wedding. When the mom found out she went ballistic. She forced him out of the engagement. He literally broke up with the future mother of his child because his mom said so. All of this happened 10 years ago, I still talk with the GF because I was friends with her. She is living with another guy; her daughter is nine years old and never knew her biological dad.
I have no idea (or interest of knowing) what happened with my former coworker, if he is still living with his mom or what happened.
20. Pajama Party
When I was in high school, I got caught skipping classes. For the next week, my Dad, who had retired the year before, went to school with me. He drove me to school and then attended every class with me. He also ate lunch with my friends and me. Oh, of course, I’ve forgotten to mention the worst part! He wore his pajamas the entire time! He didn’t shave all week, either.
By the time Friday rolled around, he looked like a crazy homeless person. I never skipped class again.
21. Dark in Every Way
My mom has kept this fact a secret from me, but I found out anyway. My grandma was so mad at my mom for dating young and getting pregnant that she got her brothers to beat her until she miscarried and lost her pregnancies. This happened twice before I was finally conceived. It hurts my heart and I can’t look at my family the same.
22. The Slip-Up
Apparently, our dad had another kid about eight years older than me. My mom blurted something out about it after their divorce when she was ticked about something. It was along the lines of, “if he thinks he can forget you exist like that other kid of his…” She then turned very white and I was never able to get more out of her than that. My dad pretends he doesn’t know what I’m talking about but has apparently told my brother a bit of the story and then backtracked and never talked about it again. So yeah, apparently I’m not the oldest.
23. AIM Kidnapping
In middle school, I had an AIM, which I loved and used often. We had moved out of state and I’d made no new friends yet and AIM was a lifeline to me. Of course, my insane stepmom read every single conversation I had on there. Then, I don’t know why, she decided to print out pages and pages of my chats. She added handwritten notes about myself on the pages.
On the drive home, she told me that an officer pulled a guy over and found that info packet on me in his backseat. She didn’t even change her handwriting, so I knew it was her, but wow!
24. Take It Down a Notch
My mom runs a playschool/daycare center. Just yesterday, one of her teachers shook a matchbox in a kids face and said that if he doesn’t go back inside after playtime she would set him on fire. One of the other teachers saw this and told my mom, so there was a lot of screaming and my mom was rolling up her sleeves to fire the bad teacher.
Then, it turns out that the MOTHER of the three-year-old child had specifically told the teacher to threaten her child with a matchbox whenever he doesn’t listen because he had a traumatic memory of being burned from when he was younger. Unbelievable! The poor kid wasn’t even a bad one, he just liked playtime a lot more than classroom time.
25. That’s a Bit of a Stretch
One of my student’s parents was a complete whack-job, but one day she really lost it. After he didn’t get a perfect score on an English assignment, she burst into my classroom and screamed that I “made up punctuation” to “disadvantage her precious son.”
26. Double Life
My dad had a secret girlfriend for several decades. We suspect some of her children might be his as well. He had 7 children with my mom, and I guess to escape he’d leave and live with the girlfriend for a couple of weeks at a time. The woman lived a couple houses down from them, so me and my siblings never suspected anything, because he was still around the house a lot during those times.
My mom didn’t like it, but she was a very prim and proper woman, and this was during a time when people didn’t air their dirty laundry and they certainly didn’t divorce. I was told that when the woman died in the early 2000s, my mom sent flowers to the funeral; not sure if it was out of spite or just because that’s the kind of woman she was.
No one talked about it for years and years until my mom started showing signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia in her 70s. She would revert back to that time a lot. It was hard watching her relive it every day.
27. Look Out, Here I Come!!!
My 350-pound mother streaked in front of my boyfriend and all of my friends for 100 bucks. I was only 16 years old at the time, but that unshakable image still haunts me to this day.
28. Killing Them Sweetly
My aunt never let my cousins have any kind of sugar or candy. She told them that it was poison and tasted nasty. One time while our grandma was babysitting them (they were six), she let them have one Capri Sun each. They loved it, saying, “Grammy, sugar actually tastes GOOD!” and threw up shortly after because their stomachs could not handle it.
My cousins are alcoholics now.
29. A Very Bad Idea
My girlfriend’s cousin molested his own sister when he was 18 and she was around 8. He went to jail for a year or so and now has to register as a sex offender. His mother makes her daughter hang out with him. Seriously, the woman makes her daughter hang out with the man who molested her because “they’re a family.” What the freaking heck.
As a victim when I was younger, I understand what this girl is going through whenever she’s around him. My phone isn’t working right now so I contacted my local state authorities by email and gave them all the details. I hope they follow through.
30. Bad Dads
My dad, influenced at least in part by the movie Bad Boys II, decided to mess with my boyfriend on my first date by acting like a tough guy. He filled a whiskey bottle with tea and, when he answered the door, he started chugging down the whole thing while scanning my boyfriend up and down. He then tried to break the bottle over his own head and instead of looking cool, just gave himself a concussion. It took me a long time to get another date after that.
31. A Family of Mediums
When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone without my mom or grandmother listening in from another phone in the house. If I wanted to send a personal letter, they had to read it before it went in the mail, and of course they opened anything that came addressed to me. I also had to write in a diary daily which they were allowed to read.
Schoolwork, I had to let one of them read before I turned it in and then when it was graded, show them the comments the teacher had made. My mom would even go through my trash and if she found something—a note from a friend, a phone number jotted down on a notecard, etc. she would iron out the paper and make me explain it.
For a while, I wasn’t allowed any toys that weren’t educational. When I was five, my grandpa bought me a Transformer and before I was allowed to play with it, he had to make a two-hour defense to my grandma that the Transformer was not only a pretty accurate model of a real jet, but also a puzzle and having it would foster patriotism and an interest in technology and otherwise improve my mind. In the end, I got to keep it. She didn’t know it was from a TV show or it would’ve gone right in the trash.
Going to see movies wasn’t a matter of “Hey mom can I have money for a movie?” I had to cut an ad for it and a review out of the paper, highlight the parts of the ad and review that made me interested in the film, and present these to an adult at dinner. The adults in the house would then debate the pros and cons of me seeing the movie, and sometimes I would be allowed to go—supervised, of course.
32. Against All Odds
My secret is that my 3-year-old is an absolute miracle. Her birth mom (my wife’s sister) didn’t want her and basically tried for an intentional miscarriage via massive drinking and substance use. Born 11 weeks premature and with 5 different substances in her system, she shouldn’t even be alive by most medical estimations—yet here she is.
She has had slight developmental setbacks, but she is solidly inside the bell curve nevertheless. Her socialization is on point, and she should start school on time. She will know about none of this until she is in her teens, most likely. I am so grateful for this impossible little person being in my life. She’s a joy to me every single day.
32. Dad’s History
My family just flat out doesn’t acknowledge that our father lied to our family about everything: where he grew up, lived, jobs, and oh yeah, his OTHER FAMILY. We found out after he died and never spoke of it again.
33. Which Family Comes First?
My daughter doesn’t know that the reason she can never have a relationship with her father is because he’s a pedophile, and I will never trust him. The rest of my family maintains a relationship with him, and they lean on me hard to open up communication because “family comes first.” They are absolutely right, my family does come first, which is why my daughter won’t ever be having a relationship with him.
34. Job Security
My young daughter doesn’t know that we weren’t actually visiting daddy at “his work.” It was a secure psychiatric ward where he has been living since she was 3 months old.
35. The Original Classmates
I used to teach/lecture at a university. I had one poor homeschooled student whose mother insisted on attending the university with him. She enrolled in the same course and used to follow him around to observe his social interactions, and dictate to him who he should be friends with. He had limited social skills as it was, and this made it much, much worse. In the end, I put them in different lecture streams so that they had to attend separate classes. The kid personally thanked me.
36. Sweet Revenge
The first time I lied to my Mom, I was just a kid and it was over something really little and stupid. She didn’t say anything about it, so I assumed I’d gotten away with it. The next morning, she got me up early and said, “Hey, I know this REALLY great ice cream place, get up and we’ll go get some!” I LOVED ice cream, so I got up and got all excited and was ready in a flash.
My Mom kept telling me how amazing this ice cream was, that it was the best she’d ever tasted. I raced to the car all excited, and as she was driving, she continued saying how amazing it was. I was so fully prepared for this mind-blowing ice cream that I didn’t even notice she’d been driving in circles, around my neighborhood, for a good 10-15 minutes. When she pulled back into our driveway I was very confused.
“Where’s the Ice cream?” I asked. She just said “I lied. Doesn’t feel too good, does it?”
37. A Horrible Detail to Leave out
My family kept it a secret that my brother was a child assaulter, and that my dad had assaulted my mom and once threatened to hurt us kids. I found out because I told my sister that my brother had touched me, and she told me about the rest. We were raised having a relationship with my dad and brother like they were normal and we shouldn’t say anything about what they were doing. It’s absolutely disgusting in retrospect.
38. First Time is the Worst Time
In high school, I was on the verge of losing my virginity to my girlfriend of two years who also happened to be my neighbor. The scene was set perfectly, both my parents were gone (dad was out of town and mom was working until nine) and I had just asked her to prom that day… So things are getting hot and heavy, and all the sudden I hear a noise downstairs, but assume it’s one of my cats wreaking havoc as usual.
Things continue and about a minute later my (extremely conservative) mom walks in, and as the door opens she lets out a faint scream and runs downstairs. BUSTED. Now while this moment was awful enough, after going downstairs to face my mother who had immediately called my (also very conservative) dad, she goes on a rant about how irresponsible I am and how protection doesn’t always work, and I’m proof of that. So that’s the story of how my relationship was ruined (just got really awkward after that) and I found out I was an accident.
39. A Hunka Hunka Burning Love
While suffering from postpartum depression, my mother set me on fire when I was 26 days old. We don’t have a relationship but that’s from the rest of my childhood, not this.
40. Kid Labeling
Back when I was 11 years old, my brothers and I switched classes to confuse our teachers, due to the fact that we are identical triplets. We had done this a couple of times without being caught, until one day, one of our “friends” told on us. When the principal called our father (a strict Asian parent), he decided on a suitable punishment.
Our punishment was to get a haircut (of his choice) to look less identical. To top it off, he shaved the letters “A”, “B”, and “C” onto the backs of our heads. This was his way to make sure the instructors would be able to tell us apart. Middle school was not a good time for us.
41. Adopting a New Worldview
My parents recently told me that my sister is adopted. They didn’t tell her. She’s 34 years old. Not sure what to do with this information…
42. Family Values
My mother is a terrible person. And I don’t say that lightly. She has taken medication from me after I had oral surgery. On two occasions (a decade apart from each other), she stole my identity and my sibling’s, opened several fraudulent credit card accounts in our names, maxed them out (tens of thousands of dollars), and never made a single payment.
She tells people that she’s a nurse when she barely even finished high school. She also often makes up extravagant and potentially damaging lies, all of which she believes she’ll never be caught for. Yes, she’s a terrible person, but my dad isn’t—so when my now-adult daughter was an adolescent, my mother was allowed to spend time with her.
A few years ago, I’d lost my job, was having trouble finding employment, and had to trade in my sports car for a Sedan so that I could drive rideshare to make ends meet. My mother told my daughter and several relatives that my car had been repossessed for nonpayment. It was upsetting, but I knew just what I had to do.
I took great satisfaction in clearing by name by showing the dealership papers to my daughter, my relatives, and yes, the shrewish, lying old jerk herself as well. The aftermath was both hilarious and sad, as she tends to have a vile temper.
I was teaching a sweet 13-year-old girl who obviously couldn’t see the board very well and needed glasses, as she was falling behind in class. I called her mother—this is in south London so imagine a Jade Goody voice—and her mum told me to screw off and that “I didn’t need freaking glasses, my mother didn’t need freaking glasses so she doesn’t need any freaking glasses” and hung up.
In that situation, you just feel for the girl.
44. Two of a Kind
My wife and I each have a child from a previous marriage. Both of our ex-spouses were abusive cheaters. Both children still adore and idolize their other parents, and have no idea that they ever did anything wrong. We just keep smiling and nodding. This is a secret that we will probably maintain for years to come, if not longer.
45. Too Sad To Write About
Local kingpin (unconvicted). Knew exactly how much he was legally allowed to mentally and physically hurt his daughter (I got nowhere with Social Services). Probably offed her mother (never indicted—no witnesses).
Sorry for the terseness but I hate thinking about it.
47. Bad Dad
I had a stepdad who was an officer. He was a huge control freak, and made every person in our household afraid. And most of his rules didn’t even make any sense! I had to eat beans first on my plate and then clockwise. If I didn’t follow this rule, I would get no food and sent away from the dinner table. His other big rule was that I had a time limit on hugging my mother. If we hugged too long he forced us apart. It was all for my own good, he explained. He was protecting me from weakness.
My dad had a deep, dark secret for a long time, but I managed to find out about it on my own. The woman who he is now married to is the woman with whom he was having an affair when my mom was dying of cancer.
49. Motherly Hate
I was sick, septic. I was rotting in the ER at the local hospital. I had tubes coming in and out of me, I had IV antibiotics, I didn’t know if I was going to make it through the night. My family was at my house and my niece, who was with me, called the house and put them on speaker. I heard my mother telling them all how she didn’t care about me.
Apparently, she never had, she was only there to make sure my nephew was okay. She kept saying that I got dirty diseases from being gay and sleeping with everyone in town. No, it wasn’t an STD, and no I didn’t get it from sleeping around. I haven’t bothered with her since. She’s my mother, but she’s no friend of mine anymore.
50. The Old Switcharoo
I secretly bought my son from a human trafficker after my wife had lost our biological child during the birth process. This is quite easy to do in my country, considering that there are a lot of very poor parents willing to give their children away. My wife regained consciousness after 4 days. Neither she nor my son know about this.
51. Homework For Dinner
My friend, a teacher, had a class bunny that went home with a new kid each weekend. She tried to avoid giving it to one kid with sketchy parents, but one day she caved, and it went worse than she could’ve imagined. Honest to god, this student’s parents killed and ate the bunny. Fried it up like a chicken. My friend was absolutely horrified, but that’s not even the craziest part.
It was that they weren’t even ashamed when they told the teacher what happened on Monday. They just said they were out of groceries or something.
52. Big Love
Once while waiting for parents to arrive to a parents evening/conference, my colleague pointed out one of my students’ father sitting in the waiting area. He said “You see the woman sitting next to him, well that’s his wife. And the woman sitting on the other side of him? Well, that’s her sister, and also his other wife…” Hoo boy.
53. Hard to Stomach This Kind of Surveillance
My parents tracked my phone (this even continued in college), read my texts, emails and social media, searched my room weekly and sometimes my body. They’d take my door often. I was a straight-A student that never did anything wrong before they started that. Started acting out some and developed really bad anorexia because it was the only thing I had control over in my life.
My dad was also abusive, but this was their helicopter side. Now I can’t wait to move across the country next summer and be far away from them. Just to clarify. I am not sick anymore. My anorexia went away when I left the house and went to college.
54. A History of Violence
Used to work with teenagers who had behavior problems in a special school. One day, a student of mine had a disorganization. He started punching staff and students alike while screaming. It took five male teachers to hold him down. The headmaster called his mom, so she could pick him up. She had ten minutes; if longer, we would call the authorities.
The mother arrived eight minutes later. A woman in her late forties with bleach blond hair wearing a mini skirt and a crop top. She came in yelling and swearing at her son. She picked him up and smacked him at the back of the head while telling him he was a good for nothing idiot. The apple does not fall far from the tree—from that point on, I understood why this kid was angry all the time. Often, the parent’s behavior is reproduced by the child.
55. Not Without My Mother
I had a friend in high school whose mom was terrible. Every time there was a party (and, mind you, most of my friends were Mormon so they were supervised, appropriate parties), she would come just to make sure her daughter wasn’t getting into trouble. She wouldn’t let her watch PG-13 movies (even at 17), had a strict curfew, and became a constant and judgmental fixture at every social event. One time she called me a sleaze because she saw me kiss a boy at a school dance (she wasn’t chaperoning, she was just there to watch her daughter).
The best story though was one time my friends and I went to my house to watch a scary movie. Sheltered friend comes. Helicopter mom shows up. My dear mother distracted her in the kitchen so my friend could have a little peace and just be a teenager. My mom later said she had no idea what to talk to her about, so they talked about cats for two hours.
My mom is a saint.
56. Working for Mom
My mom once called my work—where I was working full time—to complain that she and my dad didn’t see me enough. That’s when she went too far. She asked my boss to cut my hours so I could come home and be their little boy again. My boss was angry, and my mom’s crazy antics almost cost me my job. I went home and just started screaming.
57. You Were No Accident
I overheard my mother say “I only had her so I wouldn’t have to go to work anymore” about my younger sister. It turns out that as I got old enough to need less supervision, my mother realized that she’d suddenly be expected to actually make financial contributions like a normal person. That clearly wasn’t for her, so she “accidentally” got pregnant again. It took me a long time to realize what I’d actually heard. Unsurprisingly, my mom and I don’t have the greatest relationship.
59. Twisted Views on Life
We had one child who was super aggressive, and I mean SUPER aggressive toward his classmates. Like, the kid couldn’t take any criticism. He couldn’t stand losing during gym/soccer. He was generally just a bag of frustration and pent up anger. In the end, we called his mom to talk about it. First, she excused his behavior during sports, claiming he’s so much better than his classmates and having the patience to “deal” with their incompetence takes its toll on him and he “understandably” lashes out when he feels others aren’t trying as hard as he is.
Then, regarding his aggressive behavior in class, her response was“Well, I don’t mind him being angry and fighting, because honestly? At least he won’t grow up to be gay.” CRAZY. He ended up moving schools—thank God.
60. Ghost Writer
My mother bought me a diary and encouraged me to write in it. She later took said diary, broke the lock off, forged a bunch of made up “crushes” in there, and then read it out loud at the dinner table to humiliate me.
My mother was not very kind.
61. How to Lose Clients and Offend People
When I was in my early 20s and still living at home, my father took a business call on my behalf one day. People say that we sound exactly alike on the phone, so when he was mistaken for me he just decided to run with it. For some reason, he decided to be a huge jerk to the caller.
I probably lost out on a low four-figure amount of money because he did this. I used to think that the reason he did it was because he didn’t approve of who I was dating at the time, but after some of the events I’ve been through in recent years I think that he was just letting his immature and jerkish side shine simply because the opportunity to do so presented itself.
62. Care Not Reciprocated
I overheard my mother telling a relative that I was useless, selfish, arrogant, ornery, and stupid for giving up on my education. I was 16. I had just transferred from a private college-prep school 7 miles away so I could go to public school 1 mile away (for both I walked & took public buses). I was my mom’s caregiver, housekeeper, bill-payer, shopper, gardener, handyman, security service and courier service 24/7.
I had no social life, and I worked part time. I had been doing this alone for three years, though I was the youngest of seven siblings. I was floored. I felt like I had been sucker-punched. I stood there in my apron and rubber gloves, holding a laundry basket, and bawled my eyes out. It wasn’t as much the content, which was bad, but the context.
She was lying, and doing it to ensure that I looked bad enough to everyone that if I reached out for help, none would be forthcoming. Learned a hard life lesson that day.
63. Imprisoned By Lies
My grandma got drunk and let it slip that my mom is a convicted felon. She also spilled that my grandfather had an illegitimate child…with my aunt. I put two and two together. My aunt is my mother’s sister, my uncle is her son, my mother’s brother. And my cousin is my aunt’s child, my uncle’s sibling, and my mother’s niece. It’s such a mess. Thank god my mother doesn’t know that I know.
64. Need to Escape
I went to school with a black eye and busted nose from my dear old dad. Child services was called to do a home check—I will never forgive my parents for what they said to them. My dad and mom told the worker I’d done it to myself and I was suicidal and that I’d written in my diary that I wanted to end my little brother’s life. I didn’t even have a diary and of all the people I was close to, my little brother was #1. It got me a blacker eye and an involuntary stay in a locked ward. I bailed ASAP.
65. A Nightmare in Shining Armor
A mom came with her kid to whine about a (deserved) poor grade. The “kid” was a 21-year-old in college. Mom was not happy when I informed her that I couldn’t and wouldn’t talk to parents. And by “not happy” I mean “lost her mind and was escorted out by campus security.” The student was mortified, of course, and even came by to apologize.
66. A Pair of Jerks Can Cause a Lot of Trouble
A girl’s mom had been renting out a storage unit and using it to have private time with her own daughter’s boyfriend. The girl and her boyfriend were only together because the mom suggested it to the boy, so he could hang around her without any questions. When it came out, her parents got divorced and her dad died in a drunk driving accident a month later trying to cope with it all. Really messed up.
67. The Tight Embrace of Motherly Love
This won’t ruin me because I’ve already gone no contact with my mom, but it still hurts and is a big secret I’ve not told anyone. When I was a kid, I had asthma pretty bad. So, I’d be up all night, coughing constantly. My mom and I lived with her parents. We shared a room, so I slept in her bed often when I was a toddler. Mom would come home from work and lay down for bed, but I’d keep her awake with my coughing.
Sometimes at night, I’d be coughing, and she would hug me so tight that I couldn’t breathe. It would really distress me that I couldn’t breathe but I knew mom loved me so much. I didn’t want to tell her she was literally squeezing me to death because I was afraid of hurting her feelings, so I’d just tell her that I loved her so much, and she would cry pretty hard after that.
Took me years after having my own kid to figure out the awful truth. It’s actually pretty difficult to squeeze a kid so hard that they couldn’t breathe. Mom is bipolar and has had other incidents of hurting people and abandoning those in her care that need medication and can’t take care of themselves. So…I finally put it together and figured out, mom would be so agitated with my asthma that she would try to stop me from coughing by squeezing me and then she would cry out of guilt when I told her I loved her.
68. Never Enough
Overheard my mom saying to my dad, “Why can’t he [me] be like [my sister] and be smart?” I’ve never really gotten over that one. I have taken pretty much the hardest classes and get straight As and score in the top 1% on almost every standardized test I’ve taken, so I’m not really sure what else they want from me.
69. Protecting Her from the Dangers of Verse
A 15-year-old genius girl arrived on our small liberal arts college campus. Her parents made her check in by phone every time she got back from classes, randomly called during the evening to make sure she was still there, had the RA spying on her every move, and picked her up Friday at 2 PM. She said that dad paid the phone bill so he could see every call she made (this was before cell phones or the internet).
She loved poetry. We had a poetry slam on Wednesday nights at the student union cafe. She wanted to go, but they feared she would become too passionate in public. She took a risk and went anyway; they happened to call five minutes before she got back, and then kept calling until she answered. She told them she’d been in the bathroom, but then they started calling her friends (they’d made her highlight names in a campus student directory) and in just a few minutes they got a well-meaning fellow student to admit she was at the poetry night.
Her mom and dad showed up before midnight to move her back home. We never saw her again.
70. Double Whammy
My mom long-term replaced my dad’s cancer pain pills with Tylenol, to fuel her own drug problem. I didn’t discover this until long after he died—and just two months later, she died from an overdose.
71. The Ruiner
Background: I’m 12 years younger than my older sisters and I was unplanned. At age seven, I overheard my mom crying and saying I was the reason she didn’t love my dad anymore/we were poor/why she isn’t happy and that she didn’t want to be a mom anymore. She said she “didn’t know how to love someone who ruined her entire life.”
It was Christmas Eve and she was drunk talking to her best friend on the phone. It broke my heart/spirit and that was only the beginning of my awful childhood. Side note: I’m 29 now and moved out when I was 15 to protect myself. I have no contact with my parents and I’m fully aware it wasn’t my fault I was born….but shoot, this memory still screws me up…
72. It’s Just Gamer Rage, It’s Just Gamer Rage
At this time in my life, I was really depressed and urgently needed to talk to my mom, who is the closest person to me in my family. I walked to her room and as I got to the doorway, I saw my brother leaning over my mom’s shoulder as she was playing a video game. When the opponent lost, they started throwing a tantrum, leading my brother to say “Wow. She’s such a drama queen. She could rival [my name] for the biggest diva to exist.” Right when I needed her the most, my mom laughed with him. I felt extremely betrayed and spent several hours afterward crying my freaking eyes out.
73. Brother From Another Mother
The other day I was looking for my old passport when I found a few of my Dad’s old visitor’s passports. Now, my Dad is older than most (he’s 70, while I’m a teen), so imagine my surprise when, listed under “children” in the passport, there’s the name of a kid born in the 1970s. The best part is that the name isn’t on his other passports from later on, so I guess I accidentally found out I have a (dead?) half-brother.
74. The Line Was Very Busy
I picked up my house phone one time to find a conversation already in progress. And that’s how I learned my stepdad was having an affair with his brother’s wife…
75. Trading Places
When my oldest sister passed, my older sister was crying to my mother about how she felt alone. My mother was trying to reassure her and said, “You still have vampedvixen, though.” But my sister said, “Who cares about her? I want [oldest sister] back.” I kinda get it…but this was around the same time my mother told me to my face that it should have been me who passed instead.
Her reasoning was that I don’t have a husband or kids like my oldest sister did. It seemed like absolutely no one wanted me in my family and they all wished I could have switched places with the one we lost, which is just about the worst feeling in the world. People wonder why I’m depressed now…jeez, yeah, I really wonder why.
76. If at First, You Don’t Succeed…
I know that my mom tried to have Child Protective Services take my daughter away from me when she was born, claiming that I had used drugs while I was pregnant. I was actually nine years clean at the time. She tried again when I was diagnosed with cancer. You would be amazed to see what doctors actually put in your medical records…
77. Doing Her Best
I’m a high school and junior high teacher in a rural town. About a year-and-a-half ago, a sixth-grade girl stays out of school for a couple days. She shows back up with long sleeves (and what I assume were bandages), and she says she was burned by “liquid fire.” The newspaper ran a story the next day, and it told me everything I needed to know.
It said a man was detained for throwing acid on his family when he went into a rage at the mom. Looked up the dad, and sure enough it’s this kid’s dad. He threw acid all over his family. Again, this giant bag of smegma threw ACID on his children in a temper tantrum. She didn’t know, but a few other teachers connected the dots.
The girl was already a pretty screwed up kid. She was a raging lunatic just waiting to explode over anything. She ended up getting expelled for attacking the principal, but honestly all that she had gone through changed my opinion of how bad she could have turned out, considering.
78. Family of Lies
I had a student who repeatedly lied about assignments, saying he’d turned them in and his teachers had lost them. As a team, with admin present, we had a conference with mom and dad, who deflected and provided excuses that he just “Doesn’t like school” and “If my son says he did something, he did it. We value integrity in our family.”
Three months later, some friends of mine invited me to a bar a few towns away to see a band perform. Near the end of the night, I ran into the mom, who was out on a date with a man who wasn’t her husband. From that point on, she wouldn’t return any of my emails or calls about the son’s behavior. She is now an administrator in another county.
79. Bad Parenting
I’m a funeral director. We had a service for a young man who died from a reaction to a medication. Parents come in, and they aren’t typical grief-stricken adults who lost a child. Rather, they think that this is a perfect time to argue. And fight with each other. Loudly. The director handling arrangements is quickly overwhelmed. Instructs them to calm down. They refuse. They start screaming. She threatens to stab him. He says he’ll shoot her. Director runs away and calls the authorities.
They show up. Remind these two that they aren’t allowed within several hundred feet of each other – court ordered separation. They argue with the officer. He cuffs them and off they go. And they don’t come back.
We’re stuck now. We have remains and nothing we can do about it. We call a lawyer and a private investigator to track down the next closest thing this kid has to a relative. Finally get a grandparent and once the body has passed into legally being abandoned, we contact them. They apologize to us for the situation, authorize a simple burial, and we do all the funeral disposition portions at no charge just to get away from our predicament. The grandparents own cemetery property, so they allow him on the family plot...but the crazy stuff is just getting started.
Months go by. Almost a year. Apparently, the parents of this child get out. We don’t see them but the grandparents warn us. It is important to note that our funeral home also runs a couple cemeteries. At night, the phone lines for the cemeteries get forwarded to the director on call. It’s 2:30 am. I get a call from a sheriff’s deputy.
The parents were fighting in the cemetery. The sheriff is pretty sure the mom grabbed a shepherd’s hook (iron post meant to hold a flower basket) and stabbed the dad. “He’s covered in blood but it’s not serious and he won’t talk to us.” The deputy says. “I’m going to cite them for trespass and dump them downtown, but I need you to sign.”
I go to the cemetery where their kid is buried. Nobody is there. I call him back thinking maybe he’d already left. But the sheriff says, “He’s at XYZ Gardens.” I insist that “Their son is buried at ABC Gardens.” The line goes silent. The cop slowly says, “You’re telling me these two stupid people don’t even know where their kid is buried?”
They’d apparently gone to a cemetery, found a grave with a headstone with a relatively similar name to their son’s, and proceeded to trash the site and fight. Never noticing the grave there was for a 90-plus year old. Not their junior high school aged kid.
80. Don’t Let Sleeping Babes Lie
I worked at a daycare and was told to never accept sleeping children. So if the mom or dad brought a sleeping baby, I immediately woke them up. This made parents angry, but it was policy. I used to think it was to help the child get on a schedule—until one day I found out the chilling truth. This one mom brought a baby asleep and he was not waking up at all. Just would raise his head, whimper, and go back to sleep. Immediately my boss called 9-1-1 and the mom was trying to downplay “he had a rough night, he’s just tired, etc.” I knew this baby, he wouldn’t sleep if he thought he was going to miss out, we had music playing and kids loudly singing and dancing. In the chaos, mom slipped out and at some point, someone called the dad.
Turns out mom had a history of giving kids stuff to knock them out so she could relax, but this time she miscalculated the amount and that’s why the baby wouldn’t wake up. I think they pumped the kid’s stomach and he had a stay at the hospital. The courts got involved and the family moved away. So yeah, the policy was put in place because my boss knew that people have been known to do this.
81. The World is a Contraband Locker
I was 11-13 at the time. I had a friend on the swim team who was also around that age. His parents were the most controlling people I had ever seen. His mother looked like the head of a Catholic girls’ school that punishes students for singing. We all used to play Nintendo DS games during meets. He just watched over our shoulders because if he touched a gaming console he would be punished.
His parents always made him wear the same clothes every day. Tan khakis, white shirt, dark blue sweater vest. Every day. I once got him a T-shirt for his birthday. He gave it back saying that he wasn’t allowed to wear it. He was homeschooled. Pretty sure his family spoke ecclesiastical Latin at home. It was freaking weird.
82. Final Insult
After my best friend in the world died, his parents absolutely refused to let me go to the funeral. I’m not allowed to be there to say goodbye to one of my closest friends ever because his parents think that because I was there the day he was killed in a terrible accident, I’m somehow to blame for their son’s demise. They treat me like I’m the bad guy, but what could I have done? It makes me feel so much worse and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.
83. Literally Living in His Dad’s Shadow
I taught first grade at a small private school. My first year, I had to deal with the ultimate helicopter parent. He looked at everything and got on his child’s case about everything from his test scores to the quality of his homework. He always had questions about the curriculum, my teaching methods, etc. The child was a bit of a precocious boy, very smart but already rebelling from being under his dad’s thumb all the time.
The dad would want to come in and observe the student’s behavior. Dad would volunteer in the classroom but would spend most of his time critiquing his son. He’d then want to have long meetings about his son’s behavior. I told him I thought his son acted out more when he was there and that I didn’t think he should be in the classroom anymore. The dad’s solution was to install a camera in the class so he could observe him without actually being there.
84. Settle Down, Beavis
My mom caught me watching Beavis and Butthead when I was eight. I was forced to watch every single episode of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman with her as punishment. It was cruel…but effective.
85. But Mama Said
I had a deranged student who pointed at a girl in class and screamed: “YOU ARE THE DEVIL”. Obviously, at this age, there needs to be an intervention, because you can’t talk to others in that fashion or with that language. We call the mom and explain the situation. The mom’s first and only response was, “Well, if he called her the devil, she probably is the devil.” Can pretty clearly tell where that behavior comes from.
86. Dead Flowers and Rocks
One Christmas Eve, I played sick while the family went to Midnight Mass. As soon as they left, I unwrapped all my presents and wrapped them back up very carefully. My mom didn’t say a word when she came home and looked at the tree. The next morning, my favorite gift was nowhere to be seen, and my sister got a bunch of my clothes. I couldn’t say anything, because then I would have to reveal what I did.
The next year (having decided I would just be more careful), I started unwrapping again each time a new gift was under the tree. They contained dead flowers and rocks taped to the box. Again, I couldn’t even say anything. Mom told me years later she always knew when I was at it, as I would stomp around the house and glare at everyone all day.
87. Mother Issues
I overhead my mother telling the rest of my family that my baby passed because of my negligence. In reality, SIDS took my baby. I did not have a relationship for with my mother for a year after I overheard those words…because she later said it to my face after multiple doctors, funeral directors, and therapists explained how SIDS can’t be intentionally caused.
88. All Sliced Up About It
This is going to sound weird, and unbelievable, but I have to recount this tale. The family wanted a private moment with their deceased son. We allowed it, and all our staff cleared out, alongside the pastor. Within about five minutes, we hear retching, and dry heaving, and we knock, and ask if everything’s okay. But the retching doesn’t stop.
So, the staff enters the room, and by God, I’ll never forget what I saw. They were eating slices of the body – embalmed slices. God knows how toxic it was. The adults got taken away for desecration of a corpse. These were some sick people.
89. Defiant Dunce
I was in fifth grade, and for some reason, it was really warm outside even though it was in the dead of winter. I asked my Mom if I could wear shorts to school, and, as any sensible parent would, she told me no. Did that stop me? NOPE. I put on a pair of shorts under my jeans and headed on down to the bus stop. Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen someone wear a pair of shorts under a pair of jeans, but it’s noticeable.
My Mom clearly wasn’t a fool, so when I got home from school—feeling super clever, let me tell you—she was just waiting for me in the yard, neon poster board in hand. On a bright pink piece of poster, she had written, “I lied and defied my parents. Oh, what a dunce am I!” The other lime green poster was wrapped up into a cone-like a dunce cap.
She made me sit on a stool in my front yard, wearing the cap and holding the poster, for an hour, right when everyone was getting off work. Cars honked, people yelled, and Mom, watching the whole thing from the comfort of our front porch, laughed her head off. I’m a girl, so this was…this was mortifying. Especially when all the cute neighborhood boys rolled by.
90. My Lost Boy
My best friend’s mom. They live 10 minutes away from me, and my friend is REALLY bad with directions. He drove to my house and got lost, so it took him like 45 minutes. After like 30 minutes, his mom calls me and is sobbing because he hadn’t checked in with her. He’s 26.
91. Writings of a Madman
Teacher here. I got this insane letter from a parent: “Do not ever write down my son’s name as Chris M. just because another student has his same first name. He is receiving unequal treatment because you are addressing him by his first name and the first letter of his last name. This is deeply unfair and I will be talking to your principal.”
92. No More Monkeys Jumping on the…Shower?
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I had been taking my own showers for about a year. One night after bathing, I found out I could reach the shower curtain rod and that it made a great monkey bar. So I started swinging on it and I had no idea that it was not mounted into the wall and was only held on by its own pressure (it was spring-loaded, you know what I mean).
So all of a sudden, this thing obviously came tumbling down as I was swinging on it. My already suspicious mother heard the crash and came up to see what was wrong. She found me lying on the floor, naked, with nothing but a wet curtain over me, and the shower rod in the tub. She knew exactly what was happening and if I wasn’t under the curtain, I would have seen the light bulb go off in her head right before she said, “Fix it, finish toweling off and then go see your father.”
I was terrified. I went down to the basement where my dad was working on his mountain bike and he said, “Now, Nicholas, I’m not mad, but I just want to tell you a story.” A wave of confused relief came over me. I had no idea what was going on—but I was about to find out. Here’s the story he told:
“There was a monkey who loved to swing in a big tree in the jungle. It was a beautiful tree. However, there was problem! The tree was also the favorite resting place of a ferocious lion. One day, the lion got angry with the monkey because he began to make too much noise. The lion scared the monkey out of the tree and said never to come back with a big loud ROAR!”
“The monkey did not learn, however, and he came back the next day. The lion was dumbfounded but impressed by the monkey’s bravery, so instead of killing him, he gave him an option. He asked the monkey, ‘Okay, I gave you a warning, but I have to respect your courage. I can either bite your tail off or your head off.'”
“After thinking about it, the monkey replied, ‘Definitely bite my head off!’ The lion was confused and said, ‘Okay, but I have to ask, why? You could live a normal life without a tail.’ And the monkey said, ‘Yeah but if you bite off my tail, I’ll look like that ugly human child Nicholas.'”
93. Wrong Time to Clap Back
Teacher here. I called home because a kid was coming to school inappropriately dressed every day. I’m not playing the “girls bodies are distracting” card either, I’m worried because this nine-year-old kid is dressed like she’s about to work a corner. I call her mom to explain what’s happening when I’m interrupted with, “You just jealous cause you don’t look as good as she do.”
94. Me, 2.0
My father would tell me that he built me from spare parts in the basement, and that his earlier, failed attempts lived in the attic. He said that if I misbehaved, he could easily send me up there to live with them, and just build a new me. The imagery was utterly horrifying. It also kept me from exploring in the parts of the house he didn’t want me in.
95. Her Anxieties Never Held Water
When I was growing up, I lived with my grandmother, and her rules were both bizarre and utterly brutal. When I was showering, I wasn’t allowed to let the water hit my chest, because she thought it could kill me. Even worse, she didn’t let me walk up or down stairs—I was relegated to a single floor when she was around.
Again, she was convinced that the stairs would kill me, so they were off limits. It was so frustrating, but eventually, I discovered the heartbreaking reason she was so paranoid. One of her kids had heart problems as a child. Because of multiple surgeries and the generally weak state of his heart, he hadn’t been able to shower or run up and downstairs. My grandmother was forever marked by his difficult childhood and tragic, untimely end.
96. How About You Quarterback-Off, Dad
My friend is positive that his kid will be an NFL quarterback—and he goes to chilling lengths to make it happen. This poor kid—who’s 10, by the way—is a decent player, but his father has him spend hours each day practicing. He takes vitamins and has a special diet. He can’t have sleepovers or do any normal kid things. I know for a fact that the kid has told his father that he doesn’t want to play anymore, but the dad doesn’t care. In his messed up head, he thinks he’s doing what’s best for his son.
97. Helicopter Parents Never Fly Coach
I nannied for a crazy rich couple. Their son was such a sweetheart—but I can’t believe the pain they inflicted on him. Both of his parents lived this fabulous lifestyle, and they constantly went on last-minute vacations, leaving their son at home with me. He barely even saw his parents because they were too busy partying it up all across the world.
These were also the same people who told me it was “sweet” that I was happy knowing I’d never be rich, and who complained about their “rude” friends who were “forcing” them to fly first-class to their beach house, rather than booking them a private jet. I shudder to think about what that sweet boy will grow up to become.
98. Bad Suggestions
After my twin brother lost his life in a car crash, my parents sat me down. When they began talking, my blood ran cold. My brother’s girlfriend had been especially devastated by the loss, and they were worried about her, so they’d come up with what they thought was an ingenious idea. They wanted me to date my dead brother’s girlfriend.