Family members are supposed to be the people we can always count on no matter what.
Sadly, though, that is not always the case. In fact, in some unfortunate examples, it is none other than a trusted family member who turns out to be the source of unspeakable hardships, creepiness, or insanity. Unfortunately, situations like these make us remember that while we can choose our friends, we can’t choose our family. We’re stuck with them, for better or for worse.
Here are 42 stories people had to share about the most messed-up things their family members have ever done.
42. Now That’s What You Call a Classic Double Standard
Last week my mother and sister were visiting, they’re both pieces of work but they’ve never done anything that horrible. One day I go out shopping with my sister, who is 13, and we got talking about her dad, my former stepdad, when we stopped by a candy store.
I tell her “don’t you hate it when Jason (her dad) takes his tax?” My sister looked at me really funny and asked me to elaborate. I tell her about how he used to demand 15% of everything I got when I was living with my parents while they were married. 15% of my Halloween candy, 15% of my money from my lemonade stand when I was 9, 15% of my tip and wage from my waitressing job when I was 18 on top of my paying rent (about 700 dollars a month). He even demanded my food when I made dinner (I have specific allergies so I needed to eat separate food from my family). These aren’t the only things he’s done but they’re the cheapest.
My sister was shocked and I realized he had only ever done it to me. It was quite jarring to realize I was the only one he was targeting.
41. A Contract With Questionable Mens Rea
My grandfather had my grandma change her will to cut out my mom 2 years after my grandma had developed full blown dementia.
40. I’m Just “Borrowing” Your Life Savings to Flush Them Down the Toilet
My older sister has stolen through the years an unknown amount of money from my parents and others. After my dad died she started to hit my mom up for huge amounts of money until her savings were gone. She was then living on social security and my sister would “borrow” so much of that that our mom would end up borrowing from her neighbors to get through the month.
My younger sister moved her close to her and when going through all of the bills and canceled checks we found not only checks to our older sister but checks for bail for the older sister’s boyfriend and then a restraining order to keep him away from our mom. It is amazing how scummy family can be.
39. He Sounds Stable…
My father, who didn’t want me and tried to get my mom to get an abortion, used to kidnap me and try to leave the state with me while also trying to brainwash me into loving him. He never paid his child support, but when he did he’d come “pick me up for the weekend” and would drive as fast and as far as he could until my stepmother would catch on and stop him.
The entire trip out he’d tell me about how my mother has never loved me, no one has, no one will and that everyone in the family tries really hard to forget me and the horrible shame I brought on the family for being illegitimate.
He would tell me all about how my mom was a 40-year-old virgin who was terrible in bed, how she should be lucky he allowed her to have his child, how I should be so lucky that I look like him and not like a dirty beaner like my mom (which never made sense to me, she’s Native American not Mexican and he knew that so I never understood the racist comments because I didn’t know what a beaner was at the time).
He’d also scream about how much he hated me and wished he could take my birth back but then he’d turn around and say I was the love of his life and that no one will ever love me as much as he does because he’s my dad so I have to love him. Found out many years later that it was the heroin and meth talking. For many reasons, I never told my mom about these trips and she never found out.
38. Hold on, You Can’t Be Serious…
One of my younger brothers is currently dating our oldest brother’s wife. They were having sex in secret for three years before anyone figured it out.
37. Those Barcodes Are Giving Me Deja Vu
Not as bad as some of the things on this thread but this was an awful move…
I asked my uncle, who is a mechanic, if he could install new belts on my Honda since it would be much cheaper than taking it to a shop. He told me he would do it for me, I just had to buy the parts. Bought the parts, took the car to him and came back a few hours later. He told me he was finished and I paid him $200 for a $450 job, which was dope.
A few days later my cousin texts me a picture of some parts that his dad asked him to put on eBay. They were all the parts that he said he installed on my car. My cousin thought they may be from me since he knew what job his dad was doing for me. I called my uncle and he denied it firmly. I still had the receipt and matched the bar codes to the ones on my receipt, so they were clearly mine. My cousin, who is also a mechanic, installed them for free for me a week later.
Uncle still denies it and kept my $200. Don’t talk to that rat anymore even if he’s around at family gatherings.
36. Taking Advantage of His Niceness
One of my uncles borrowed $20,000 from my other more successful uncle to start a business and refuses to pay his more successful brother back because he’s “got so much money already.” The more successful uncle refuses to sue him because that’s not what family does, but they are no longer on speaking terms.
My grandmother had 5 sisters. They were all super close. One of them got cancer (this was in the 1960s) and they all decided not to tell the daughter (who was 12 at the time) of the sick one that her mother was dying because her father had just died a couple months prior. So the daughter just woke up one day and the mother had died.
I mean it’s not completely messed up but it was a bad decision I feel.
34. Truly Disgusting
Got early Alzheimer’s father to sign a loan putting the house up, then purposefully defaulted, resulting in mother to be evicted. Mother and Father ended up in separate homes, and died a year apart. Took all the insurance money and left the grave without a stone.
Special place in hell.
33. How the Mighty Have Fallen
I have no aunts or uncles anymore because of meth. It’s literally ruined my entire extended family who were mostly successful medical or education professionals. All I have is my immediate family. My aunt didn’t remember which of my 3 brothers I am.
Meth is terrible, kids.
32. The List Goes on
There’s the three convicted child molesters, and the dozen non-convicted child molesters because it was a different time then and that kind of thing was kept in the family.
There’s the stepfather that tried to murder my pregnant mother.
There’s the cousin who shot himself in front of his kids.
There’s the guy who was caught having sex with a goat.
There’s the guy who would give his kids booze on fishing trips to keep them quiet. All the kids were 5 and under.
My sister (then seven years old) tried to kill our newborn brother because she was jealous.
So, take your pick on which one is the most messed up thing.
31. Stealing Is Stealing
My uncles came by the house after my father died, got my mother (their sister) drunk, and then took a lot of my father’s things with her drunken permission. Things that were meant for my brother and me.
Those crooks. I never speak to them anymore for that reason.
30. As One Does…
They buried all my clothes in the woods. Enough said.
29. What Goes Around Comes Around
Well, I have an uncle who always beat his wife, so on one occasion she got into her car and ran him over multiple times. Broken leg, foot, ribs, collar bone, etc. He ended up staying at my dad’s house for something like 9 months while he recovered. They got back together. He told her, “well ya finally got me back ya b****”.
28. Violence Is Not the Answer
My cousin tried choking me to death when I was like 6, he also loosened the bolts and put me in the coffee table, told me to lay under it, and hit it so it fell on me… Killed the nerves in my two front teeth and had to get them pulled out. But now that fat jerk can’t walk and has to wear diapers while spiraling into depression, so it all turned out well in the end.
27. Restraint Takes a Lot of Effort
My one uncle molested his two sons, and my aunt (my mom’s sister) stayed with him. She let her kids go live with my mom’s younger brother and his wife, who were already raising her daughter since her husband had kicked her out when she was 10.
My entire family has wished for years they could kill him. Became very hard not to when my grandma passed away and he and my aunt came around.
26. A Little Attention Would Have Seemed Well-Deserved
I was deployed twice overseas and each time I returned home not a single member of my family ever came to see me return. I was the only person returning with my group that had no one there to greet me. The entire four years I was stateside, not a single member of my family came to visit. One of my older brothers married a girl from Samoa and my parents flew there for their wedding, my other older brother is in the Army and my parents have traveled to attend all his major military events.
I come from a very conservative Mormon/Catholic family in Wyoming and we have generations of veterans in our family. I was the only member in my family to obtain an Eagle Scout and graduate from college. I don’t know what I did to deserve this but I’ve finally made peace with myself after years of battling sadness mixed with anger. Now that I have my own son, I realize now that what I went through was a lesson to ensure my son will never experience what I had to go through.
This is the first time ever posting this personal of a story. I did finally confront them two years ago and they said that either “it was just poor timing…” because they had “…spent all their money visiting your brothers…” or “…we didn’t think you wanted us there.” I was debating to add this part to my story because it’s extremely personal and is one of the main reasons I joined the Navy. My father tried to enlist during the Vietnam war.
While everyone was heading for either college or Canada, he wanted to join the Navy to be a pilot or be on a ship. (He loves sailing and Navy ships). Unfortunately, he was denied due to how bad his eyesight is. So when it came time for me to join the military, I thought how great it would be if my father lived out his childhood dream through me now. I had envisioned, after I signed up, him coming out to all the Naval bases and me taking him on tours of all the ships. The Navy even offered family members to ride into port with their loved ones when the ships got close enough to the port.
I truly believe that the Mormon religion had a major role to play in this. I’m not Mormon anymore and left at 18 when I went into the Navy. My father has always and will continue to be seriously involved in the church. I think he sees me leaving the church as one of my greatest failures and not even serving for our country could make up for that.
The most disappointing part of the story – as it relates to the LDS church – was when my Bishop confronted me after he found out I had joined at 17 during my junior year of high school. He approached me at Walmart, while I was with my friends, and said “I’m very disappointed with your decision. Putting forward your selfish choice to not serve your mission is a disgrace to your church, your family, and your community.” I will never forget his comments. My reply to him was: “Thank you for telling me this as this only solidifies my choice to serve and leave the church forever. I will sleep well at night knowing I will potentially die for our country and what I will be fighting for will allow you to continue to have the right and freedom to make those types of statements.”
25. Taking the Phrase “Cool Cat” a Little Too Literally…
My sister who ran away from home once put my cat in the refrigerator when she was in high school. What kind of a psycho does that?
24. A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Not a family member, but my sister’s ex-fiancé really charmed everyone in the beginning. We thought he was the sweetest southern gentleman you’ve ever met…
Fast forward a year later, he got my sister into drugs. They lost all their money and moved in with my mom. He would abuse my sister and my mom. My mom wasn’t really a hoarder, but she had a lot of things in her home. This man was a neat freak.
So while my mom would be at work, he would “clean” out the house by throwing her belongings into the trash can outside and setting it on fire. These belongings included my late father’s things that were sentimental, like his clothes. Also any and all picture albums of our family growing up. He threw away and burned everything. I have no pictures of my dad or myself from when I was younger anymore.
We had two dogs, one was a German Shepherd from when my dad was alive and one chihuahua we adopted. He took the chihuahua and threw her out the window on the side of the road. He let the Shepherd loose out of the house and called animal control about a stray dog. I think that hurt the worst because we had those dogs for years. My mom loved him in the beginning so she gave him my father’s wedding ring because they were going to marry, he pawned that for money. He also sold my laptop for drugs. I blamed my sister for everything for a long time. I let her borrow rent money once, but little did I know that she was going to use that for drugs. She ended up leaving him, but they do have a beautiful child together. That’s the only good thing about the whole situation. He is and always will be a monster.
23. Different Country, Same Scummy Brothers
My dad bought his two brothers a house in India to live in. Both have two kids so it’s a pretty big family so a pretty big house. All he asked for return was to leave one of the rooms open for us so that when we go to visit, we have a room to call our own.
Less than two months after buying them this house, they tore down the room and both took parts of it to remodel and make it into their own. When my dad went to visit a year later, they wouldn’t let him into the house and tried to give him $50 to go stay in a hotel.
22. Open Season on Elderly Grandparents
One of my cousins stole my grandma’s jewelry and sold it for drug money. They also collectively stole my great uncle’s pension checks and gave him nothing. They put him in a small room in the attic even though he begged them for a bottom floor room because it was so hard for him to walk.
Another one stole a visitor’s wallet and threw it onto the neighbor’s yard (in India most houses have roofs that are open and connected). Cops were called, it was a huge thing but in the end nothing could be proved.
21. Stooping to New Lows
One of my uncle’s sons basically stole a store from his cousin. The cousin’s family owned this small novelty shop, the son worked there for a long time. The family that owned it went away for vacation for a week and when they returned all the locks were changed. Cops came and couldn’t do anything because the paperwork for the shops was misfiled originally and the family didn’t technically own the deed. They couldn’t afford a lawyer to fight the case.
My immediate family hasn’t talked to these individuals and their families in a few years. I went to India a month ago and heard of all these stories from other family members. There is also a pending case where my dad owns a plot in India that we think the brother’s family is using to do some messed up stuff. My dad hasn’t been to India in seven years because he’s just so sad to visit because of this drama. The funny thing is that my dad would have done anything for them if they didn’t screw around and steal so much. They both would have been so much better off if they weren’t such scum.
20. We’ll Have to Exchange Recipes Some Time
My sisters used to pretend to put me in the oven. Apparently (I was only about 3 at the time, I don’t remember) they put me in a wok and seasoned me.
19. What Are You Guys Thinking??
My parents would tell me the death of any old random from their pub asking if I remembered them (probably interacted with them once as a young kid), but didn’t bother to tell me about the death of my nephew’s dad. People are weird.
18. Thanks for Sticking Your Nose in, Sis
My sister lied to a social worker to have us investigated for child abuse and neglect, leading to our foster child being removed from our home even though the claims were found to be false. She also spread the gossip that we were being investigated which hurt some friendships.
That foster child she got removed? Not only did she mess up that baby’s life, she also destroyed my other kids because one day their sibling was home and the next gone with no warning. We had prepared them for foster kids leaving but this foster child was within weeks of being adopted by us.
To this day my sister maintains that she did the right thing because we “didn’t need more kids.”
17. 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 of sexual abuse 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 police by email and gave them all the details. I hope they follow through.
16. I’ll Get Around to It One of These Days
My grandmother said she needed a place to stay one night due to issues with her housemate. She slept on the couch… For the next ten years. Made no effort to get her own place despite having a very good retirement income and still working part-time as a nurse. Loved to hit the casino though…
15. Slapstick Comedy Isn’t a Good Environment to Grow up in
My family is a messed up collection of people, but one of my cousins is the soap opera star of white trash:
My cousin married his meth dealer. Promptly got her pregnant, resulting in her sixth kid (the first five had been taken away by the state and were being raised by her parents). Within a year of the baby being born, they get into a drunken fight, cousin’s wife tries to drive away with baby. They drunkenly physically fight over the baby as she tries to get her in the car, and the car door gets slammed into baby’s torso, breaking two of her ribs.
Cops come, wife has sobered up and cousin hasn’t. She blames the fight on him, not revealing how badly the baby is hurt. Cousin gets arrested. Three hours later she gets arrested driving drunk, baby in the car. They discover the broken ribs, baby gets taken away. Her parents couldn’t take another kid, so the baby ended up getting adopted by one of my uncles and is now 10 years old and healthy.
14. He Sounds Like a Delightful Fellow
My cousin and his wife are still legally married but separated. He wants to move across the country, but he’s still on parole and can’t leave the state. Last I heard, his wife has had two more kids, both from different fathers. The state has one, and her oldest son has taken custody of the other (as soon as he turned 18 he got custody of three of his siblings to help his aging grandparents out).
My cousin is still an addict (off meth, but still a raging alcoholic), he lives in a tent on various family members’ backyards, and I avoid him since he is still welcome at family gatherings where his biological daughter is also present. If this is ever mentioned in his hearing, he has forty thousand reasons why it’s not his fault at all. He has stolen from all my aunts and uncles for drug money, sexually creeped out me and every other cousin over the age of 15, caused serious personal property damage with a fire, and my family insists on sweeping it under the rug every time.
13. A Match Made in Hell
My mom married a convicted child molester and would bring him with her to work, a job where there were unsupervised children.
12. Kicking When She’s Down
My sister talked my ex-husband into suing me for full custody at the exact moment I was unable to contest it properly because I had just suffered a huge loss in month 9 of my pregnancy. She also foddered his case with lies to make me look like a terrible mother, while simultaneously patting me on the back and consoling me that he was a terrible man.
He didn’t win, but the case made things contentious for us for years and made it impossible to grieve with my now husband, because I was in survival mode to make sure I didn’t lose my daughter.
11. Making the Headlines
After reading some of these, I’ve realized mine isn’t so bad.
But my uncle is Cecil Russell. A lot of what he’s done is public, but he’s done so many more terrible things. The two big ones are that when he was still just my aunt’s swimming coach—when she was a teenager, mind you—he got her pregnant and destroyed her shot at the Olympics. He also participated in the murder of a man over steroids (something he continues to sell to this day), but was only ever charged with hiding the body.
10. Living a Lie
My mother told my younger brother that his father killed himself in jail. Not only did he never go to jail, he’s still alive. She’s a real dirt bag.
9. If This Doesn’t Qualify as Messed up, Nothing Does
My dad accidentally urinated all over my face after a stag party.
8. 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.
7. Getting Personal
Dad got with my 17-year-old friend when I was 14. They have a whole family together, 14 years later.
My sister in law was originally dating my oldest male cousin. She started cheating on him at some point with his brother. Now, she has a kid with both brothers and is in a long-term relationship with the younger one.
My cousin molested me for fifteen years.
I could go on forever, baby!
6. An Unhealthy Rivalry
There’s my grandmother who divorced my grandfather and married his brother, making her my great aunt.
There’s the other grandmother who showed up to my grandfather’s funeral drunk, dressed like a $2 prostitute, cussed out the family, and nearly knocked the casket over.
5. An Enterprising Man
I had a cousin who was addicted to heroin and his parents were always doing stuff to bail him out and keep him from being homeless. One time they put down a deposit and paid rent for a furnished apartment for him. He ended up selling the furniture for drug money.
Another time they rented a mobile home for him and couldn’t figure out why the water bill was so high. Turns out he was charging his homeless friends $1 to take a bath or shower and that was going on pretty much around the clock.
4. You’d Think the Stealing Part Was Bad Enough…
My brother threatened to kick in my front door and kill me (6 months pregnant), my husband and 2-year-old son. He had stolen the phone I had purchased for my dad and I turned it off. He wanted me to turn it back on.
3. Taking Messed up to New Levels
My cousin killed his brother and father… he got up one morning, had a glass of milk, I guess it was sour because he said they were trying to poison him. He shot my uncle in his bed, and then went after Robert… when police arrived, he tried to say that Robert had killed his father and that he took the gun away from him and killed him in self-defense… however, the only place on the gun they could find Robert’s prints were on the end of the gun barrel, like he had tried to push it away…
He is currently doing life without parole in the Oklahoma Prison system.
2. Liar Liar Pants on Fire
My aunt married a guy a few years back. He was a pathological liar and lied about literally everything for no reason. Tried to convince everyone he was in the military “black ops” and that there was no record of him because it was “secret.” He also did a lot of other messed up stuff like threatening our family members and friends, and other things. He actually even tried to kill my uncle and my two cousins, but got his butt properly beat down with a baseball bat.
Long story short, my aunt ended up divorcing him later ’cause he was an all around freaking jerk, and he came to her house, rang the doorbell, then shot himself in the head with a handgun right on her doorstep. Real messed up.
1. Short, But Right on Point
My grandfather married his stepdaughter. Worst one here?