We should all be able to look up to our parents and be able to lead by their example. But unfortunately, not all parents are the saints that society hypes them up to be.
Redditors share the worst examples of unbecoming parents that really opened their eyes. From being generally insensitive to really showing us all why child protective services are necessary, here’s the list.
We Have No Contact
So I was maybe 12, and it was around Halloween. We had one Halloween decoration, and it was a life-size skeleton hanging on our tree by a noose.
A woman came to the door (very nicely, apologetically) and explained that her best friend lived down the street and that her friend’s daughter had just taken her life by hanging.
She said that her friend had to pass out of her house every day and that it was really hard for her to see the decoration. My mother’s response was out of this world. My mom yelled at her: “It’s just a Halloween decoration. I’m not taking it down. Tell her to get over it.” And she slammed the door on her.
I was so repulsed, and 20 years later, I STILL think about it all the time and think about how awful that poor woman must have felt. If that was me, I would have instantly removed it and sent the grieving mom flowers.
I still, to this day, watch my Halloween decorations to make sure I’m not depicting something that could be triggering to someone. And this is one of the 3 million reasons I went no contact with her ten years ago.
The Next Redditor’s father ended up remarrying. Which on its own is surely alright. But not when the Redditor found out who the bride was.
I Didn’t Want To Cause A Scene
I don’t have contact often with my biological father, but I knew he’d remarried again. Somebody on my biological father’s side of the family found out about my baby sister’s wedding, and they all crashed it.
During the reception, a woman I thought looked familiar walked over to me and asked if I was who she thought I was. I confirmed my identity to her and explained that she looked familiar to me as well but that I didn’t remember her name.
She told me her name and reminded me of a shocking fact— I used to babysit her when I was in high school, and she was in middle school. I asked her how she’d been and whose guest she was at the wedding.
To my shock, she informed me that she was my biological father’s wife, and she wanted to let me know he was hers now. I was so stunned and not willing to cause a scene I excused myself and left her standing there.
Another Redditor’s mother was beyond crazy. After having their child, she claimed that they were unfit parents. But what they did next, no one expected.
Hide Your Spare Key
This incident happened exactly one year ago today. My wife and I are in therapy, not so much because of issues we have in our marriage but because both of us have horrible families, and neither of us, until meeting our therapist, had strong spines about it. We are very low contact with my mother-in-law. She sucks more than is horrible, but she also has some substance issues she’s dealing with, namely an addiction to pain medication.
Anyway, let’s go back a year and a few days. My wife is due any second with our first child. So the plan was to have both sets of parents at the hospital after the baby arrived, and my wife and I had time to bond. Her parents accepted that my dad, who is an enabler, was okay with that, but my mom was not.
She demanded she had been at the hospital earlier, and we told her no, she had to wait. Finally, she said OK after she saw we weren’t budging. So the baby was born. It’s a boy, and we hadn’t found out, so it was a big surprise. Anyway, both sets of parents come, everything’s good. Suddenly, it took a dark turn. My wife was getting tired, so I walked my parents out; hers had already gone home.
The next day, my wife had to tear up and therefore needed medication. She refuses pain medications because of her family history but says she will take Advil. So I go get some things at CVS. She and the baby are sleeping (him in his cot) at home. I’m in line getting us dinner when my wife calls me sobbing. She woke up, and there was no baby. I run home, and we are both a mess at this time. Then my neighbor comes over and asks what’s going on. She sees me running like my feet are on fire, so I tell her.
She tells me, “Wait, so your parents weren’t supposed to take the baby?” Yep, my mom came and kidnapped my baby. I immediately call the sheriff’s office since my best friend is a deputy there. As soon as I tell him and his partner what happened, they head to get our baby.
It turns out my dad wasn’t involved in the actual kidnapping, although I’m sure he knew about it. My mom knew at the time that we kept a spare key and let herself in. We went all the way and pressed charges. According to my friend, they had a nursery waiting at their house.
Our baby was returned to us. My mom was sentenced, but because of her standing in the community, she was only given a slap on the wrist. However, the negative attention she got after that event spurred her and my dad to move.
Thankfully, my sister turned 18 before then, and she stayed with us a few months before going a few states away to school. For a long time, both my mom and my dad were radio silent. However, my mom has tried to reach out in the last few months.
Thankfully we’ve learned from this. We now have cameras, a security system, and no spare key outside. Our neighbor, who is now a great friend, has our spare. We are three months along with our second child, and I’m hoping my mom doesn’t find out about it until long after.
Mothers-in-law have a reputation for not being the nicest. This next one doesn’t do the stereotype any favors.
By Some Miracle
A family member of mine recently found out she had gotten Zika, and she was six months pregnant. After trying to get pregnant for years with no luck, she had given up hope of ever having a baby, but by some miracle, she was able to conceive.
When she told her mother-in-law the news about the Zika, that horrible woman said to her, “I should have known this would happen when I first met you and saw the way you were dressed.”
Yes, this broad really did imply that because she wore short shorts and tank tops, she wasn’t a worthy mother. The poor girl was devastated and blamed herself for getting Zika even though no one knew it was in the area at that time. Still, she decided that she would carry the baby to term. He was born two weeks ago. No microcephaly. No health issues of any kind. Also, and this is the real kicker, he tested negative for exposure to Zika.
Pettiness and spite are one of the worst traits a parent can have, especially if it’s directed at their child, just like this next story.
Change Of Plans
I had my graduation from engineering on the same day as my mother’s birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with choosing the date.
But you couldn’t convince my mom of that. She just wouldn’t let it go.
My mother said I “ruined her birthday,”—and then she got an act of cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March. Mine is in August.
Being a good parent isn’t just about being good to your children. It’s also about being responsible and sometimes not spoiling them.
Try Again Next Semester
I’ve been a TA for a couple of courses at my university, which is fairly competitive, and the students are generally all top-notch. Once in a blue moon, though, someone slips by the admission process. My worst experience was as a TA for a lower-division math course.
She was a freshman student, and spoiled doesn’t begin to cut it. Her family was clearly loaded, and I suspect she went to some insanely expensive private school that wrote her application for her.
This girl would be in designer clothes and on her phone or laptop the entire time in the lecture. Obviously, everyone does this sometimes, but this girl was clearly just chatting with her friends and shopping for clothes all the time. When she failed to turn in the first four problem sets, I sent her a quick email to let her know that homework contributed to a significant portion of her grade.
I also said I’d still accept them. I never got a response. So she gets a blatant F on her first midterm. Like, it’s not an F that could be rounded up to anything significant. She was at a point where she should’ve just dropped out and will try the next semester again. I sent another email saying this.
This time I got a response from her stating she could make the grade back next midterm. Alright, I think, suit yourself. So I continue through the rest of the semester. She’s still failing until something absolutely ridiculous happens.
At the last meeting of my discussion section, SHE SHOWS UP! Not just that, but with her parents. Oh my god, it gets better. She stays after the session to introduce me to her parents, and then hands me a stack of papers and informs me that it’s all the homework for the semester.
Meanwhile, her parents are sitting there, all proud of their little girl. I take the stack graciously and, in my most professional voice, let her know that I’d be happy to take a look at it, but she won’t get any credit.
Her parents’ faces completely fall. Her father starts to insult me. So I show them everything: The abysmal attendance record, the 0% homework score, the low, low, low midterm scores. Now she’s starting to tear up, and the parents are seriously fuming.
Not wanting to put myself in the middle of the rest of the storm, I mumble that I have a class to get to and sprint out of there but not before I hear the student getting chewed up so loudly that people actually poked their heads out of classrooms. She never showed up for the final.
Some parents or grandparents can be so bad that rules need to be put in place just for them. Here’s a great example.
Always Check Twice
I worked in daycare and was told never to accept babies sleeping in car seats or sleeping children at all. So if Mom or Dad brought a kid asleep, I immediately woke them up and pulled them out of their car seat. This made so many parents displeased with me, but then I found out the disturbing truth behind the rule.
I used to think it was to help the kid be on a schedule, then one day, a grandma 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 911, and grandma 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, grandma slipped out, and at some point, someone called the parents.
Turns out Granny had a history of giving kids stuff to knock them out when she babysat, but this time she did it to a six-month-old, and that’s why he wouldn’t wake up.
I think they pumped the kid’s stomach, and he had a stay at the hospital. Legal actions were taken and the family moved away. To clarify, the policy was put in place because my boss knew abusers had been known to do this.
They’d break the kid’s arm, dose them, and dump them with the sitter who lets the baby sleep all morning; then, because the kid was with the sitter all day, it’s easy to blame them for the baby’s injury. Or worse, the baby died, and they do this to blame the sitter.
So yea, to this day, if I’m babysitting, I don’t accept sleeping children. I flat-out refuse to watch kids at their homes while they’re sleeping for the same reason. I’ve pretty much stopped doing any child care because as much as I love kids, watching parents make bad decisions on purpose when they know better was killing my soul.
Some parents are bad, and they know better while others are bad because they are just not that smart, as this next story will show us perfectly.
Just A Quick Ride
This happened a couple of weeks ago. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. She passed in a hospital, and I was outside talking to the owner of the funeral home.
This dude was also my godfather, and I had a very good relationship with him. It might sound weird that my godfather is the owner of a funeral home, but to me, it’s not. He’s known me since I was a baby, and he treated me like I was his son. Also, to me, his job is just like any other job, and it even has its benefits. Anyway, we were just outside the hospital, talking to each other.
Parked in front of us were all the company vehicles, including the one you are all thinking about: The hearse. All of a sudden, this Entitled Mother approached us.
EM: Hello. Me: Uh, hello. She had her kid just next to her, and he was holding a drink.
EM: I was wondering if my son could take a ride on the limousine. She then pointed her finger to the hearse. It took me a while to respond for two reasons.
The first one was because that day, I had so many thoughts going through my head, and a stranger coming to me out of nowhere caught me by surprise.
I am a very introverted person, and I find it difficult to talk to people I don’t know. The second reason was that I was holding in my laugh.
She legitimately thought that the hearse was a limousine. Me: I’m sorry to say this, but that’s not—
EM: Are you going to say no to a little child? At this point, I don’t know what to say. Me: Miss, believe me. You don’t want your son to go in that thing.
EM: Ugh…Why are you so stingy? Even if he spills his drink in the limousine, it won’t be a problem. You have enough money to buy a limousine, so you’ll surely have enough to clean it.
This is when my godfather comes in. GF: Excuse me, miss. What do you want to do?
EM: I want my son to ride the limousine! My godfather then said the most epic thing I have ever heard. GF: thinks for a bit. Well, sure, he can ride the limousine. But only if he has a coffin to be in.
The mom is a bit confused about this response. Then she takes a good second look at the “limousine” and realizes her mistake. I have no idea how she confused a hearse for a limousine. Perhaps the company logo was out of her view or something.
However, when it dawned on her, her skin got pale, and she just walked away as fast as she could with her kid. My godfather and I just look at each other and start laughing.
Another case of bad parenting comes with absence. Even if you’ve set up a child financially doesn’t mean they’ll be okay emotionally.
I’m Not The Best Person To Ask
I worked as a nanny for a 1% family. The stuff I saw haunts me. I remember having one parent complain how rude it was that a friend hadn’t offered to fly them to Miami on a private jet for a weekend getaway, and they were “forced” to go first-class.
Had the other parent told me they thought it was really “sweet,” I would have been happy to help others and never be wealthy. They would also spring last-minute trips on their kid and me all the time, so I’d stay in the main house with their child while the parents were country-hopping. Poor kid never had any sense of who was going to be where. There were business-related videos of the parents on YouTube, so it got to the point where I’d play them on an iPad, so the kid had some sense of consistency.
Just to be clear, the kid was absolutely adorable and very sweet (which made it really hard to leave, I felt terrible), but it was pretty disheartening to think they’d probably turn out like their parents in a few years. The best part about the parent complaining over the first-class flight was when they asked me if I thought they were overreacting.
Literally, asked me, “Wouldn’t you be upset? Don’t you think that’s rude? They’ve been doing better [financially] now that they have Company X money. They could have sent a plane etc.” And I’m thinking, well, I’m pretty sure my entire year’s salary couldn’t pay for one chartered flight, so you know I’m probably not the best person to ask.
Here’s another case of human stupidity that leads to bad parenting. Remember, never leave your baby alone!
I was halfway through a counseling session with a couple with a four-month-old baby. I asked about the baby, and the mom said, “She’s in bed at home.” I said, “Ah, grandparents babysitting?”
The dad went, “No, she is at home alone. Nothing can happen to her. We bought a special mattress. One where she can’t suffocate.” At this point, my jaw was on the floor, and I was just staring at them for a couple of seconds. Then I asked how long it took them to get here.
They told me about 15 minutes, so I said, “Alright, the session’s over. I want you guys to go home immediately and call me when you arrive. Please hurry. And never ever leave your baby alone!”
Our next Redditor’s parents would hype up the “we need to talk” conversation. But it left her scarred.
We Need To Talk
When I was growing up, “I need to talk to you” quite literally meant impending doom. It meant that I was going to walk into a room, have a screaming battle for 30 minutes, cry, and want to sleep forever over and over again. I have PTSD from it all.
Now my boyfriend’s mom, every other day, comes to us and says, “I need to talk to you guys later,” and it makes me live in anxiety now.
It’s almost always something trivial that could have been said in passing. God, please just say it in passing. Don’t say that we need to talk later and then have it be something that you could’ve just said right then and there. I really hate going through the whole day in anxiety like that.
This next parent is bad because he let our Redditor, his daughter, be manipulated by his new wife. Who’s younger than she is?
Cutting Down Costs
My parents were married for 25 years before they divorced. A visiting nanny took great interest in my dad as he was a seemingly easy shortcut to citizenship and comfortable life. She actively pursued my dad, who obviously failed to put up much resistance.
My mom found evidence of money transfers and love letters, and that was that. She filed for divorce. The nanny eventually married my dad, and my sister and I got a stepmom who was younger than us. This woman was a monster. She would monitor all phone calls between my dad and me. She banned him from visiting us at Christmas or during the holidays, and she bought my sister and me a pair of socks each for gifts. In comparison, she treated herself to overseas vacations and ridiculous amounts of plastic surgery.
It wasn’t the gift itself that was the problem. It was the sneer on her face while she handed them to us. Eventually, we just stopped talking to my dad. During this time, mom would receive harassing phone calls that she should give up her house, and in exchange, the nanny would care for my sister and me.
We were still in school, and my dad agreed to support us until we finished our post-secondary education. I believe the demands had to do with both being upset she hadn’t taken our family home as she fantasized she would and the fact that she thought supporting us directly would cut down their costs significantly.
It’s not a good feeling when your parents are always against you. But thankfully, our next Redditor had a savior in an unlikely place.
Trying To Be The Bigger Person
I was in no contact with my mother for two and a half years until I had a medical event. She’d begged to be part of my life, and I’m trying to be a bigger person. But when she started barking at me about being disappointed, I harped back that she was 50% of the reason I was in this place.
Because I’m just now coming to terms with the damage she has done to me. And I told her this: I told her she was neglectful and violent, and when she tried to say otherwise, my dad went to bat for me.
My dad is not biological. He has been her boyfriend for the last 10+ years. This might be the first adult, the first parental figure to ever go to bat for me, and it was a magical feeling. To know that not all adults are horrible, and it’s not every man for himself all the time.
There’s no deeper insight here. I stood up for myself, and for once in my life, I had someone else tell me that I was right. There’s going to be a lot of healing that comes after this.
The next Redditor had such bad parents that just the mere sound of someone humming was enough to upset them. Here’s the reason why.
There’s No Way Out Of This
This was a really cathartic moment for my brother and me. We were talking on the phone, and the conversation turned to our mom. He has only recently realized the damage she’s done to both of us individually and our sibling relationship, which I’ve known for a while now.
We were talking about the fact that because of how emotionally messed up our family was, we had no proper role models for how to communicate or be in a healthy, loving relationship. And he was saying how sometimes that creates tension with his girlfriend because he won’t be able to articulate how he’s feeling, and she’ll get frustrated because his lack of communication makes it seem like he doesn’t care.
But they talk it out, and he’s trying, which makes him one step ahead of me (relationship-wise) and about a billion steps ahead of our parents. Anyway, our mom would always hum when she was angry or upset but never reveal the reason. He said to me, “My girlfriend was just humming the other day, and I think I scared her with how upset I got. I couldn’t really explain it at the moment.
I was just like, ‘I’m really sorry, but you NEED to stop humming.’” I knew exactly what he meant. For us, the sound of someone humming means, “Mom is mad, and I don’t know why, but it’s my fault somehow, and I’m probably going to get in trouble, and no matter what I say or do, there’s no way out of this,” He was eventually able to explain this to her, but my God!
When he told me that, in a weird way, I was so happy. I think it validated that I wasn’t just “crazy” for going into a cold sweat and getting palpitations whenever someone hummed around me.
Our next Redditor’s father was dating a woman much younger than him. But it was what he said that made him sure he was a bad parent.
My parents divorced around their mid-to-late-30s. They had me when they were young. When I was 21, I visited my dad’s house for the night, and a girl he had been dating was over. So, he walked downstairs and asked me what I was up to.
He then said the most horrendous thing he’s ever told me: “You know, she’s about the same age as you. Do you want to get intimate with her a little bit?
I’m sure she won’t mind.” I declined, then went straight out the door to stay with friends instead.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for parents to threaten to kick their children out. But this Redditor called them on it.
Today Was The Tipping Point
My parents have been threatening to kick me out since the 7th grade, so that’s not a new thing. But today was the tipping point. My dad asked me about making something for my brother’s boat.
His phrasing was more along the lines of curiosity versus actually wanting me to do it. I said it would be possible and thought that was it. Later tonight, my mom came down to where my brother and I were hanging out and started ripping into me. She was talking about “being disappointed in me” for “never helping.” I, unfortunately, defended myself.
From there, it escalated into me being lazy, me being disrespectful, and me never washing dishes. The first kicker is that I do help, but with the dishes, my mom only decides to do them as I’m eating or doing something on my own.
The second kicker is that the whole reason we are fighting is over something that is my brother’s. My dad blew up in my face after I unsuccessfully tried to explain and mend the situation.
I was supposed to leave then and there. No car keys, shoes, or wallet. Luckily, I left those things in my room—since I had been planning this for years. When I got up there, I started shoving everything into suitcases.
My desktop came with me too. My dad came up, floored that I was taking everything. “You were only supposed to take stuff for a couple of days and then come back and apologize.” All my mom was worried about was me taking a towel with me.
I’m so glad I planned ahead. All of my documents are safe. My bank account is secure, no major loans, and a fiancé I can live with. I’m nervous about health insurance, but that is it.
Yet another father is dating a woman younger than his child. But apparently, it’s not a healthy relationship.
My dad is dating a girl younger than me. I’m 25, she’s 23, and he’s 50. I hate the looks of other people, and it makes me uncomfortable to be around them.
It’s so weird for me to watch him teach her how to do laundry or the dishes. It’s like he’s raising another child. He gets angry that she doesn’t know how to cook or clean, but she seems to be trying her best. She just left her mom’s house, and now she’s supposed to be responsible for taking care of my dad.
They also fight all the time because he has zero respect for her. She usually goes and sulks in the car or in their room. There is absolutely zero communication between them. And the cherry on top? My dad usually buys her something after they argue, so nothing really gets resolved.
She has every scent from Bath and Body Works because that’s where he goes after they argue. He used to buy his ex-wife Clinique after they argued, so I guess he’s lucky the new one likes stuff that is much cheaper.
Our next Redditor’s mother is so bad that they had to get a restraining order from her. Imagine something so sad as that.
The True Weight Of The Matter
I’m still in shock, to be honest. I went no-contact with my mom and my four siblings six months ago. I had been attending counseling to finally deal with my baggage after trying (and failing) to cope alone for 30 years. I finally admitted the mistreatment.
The counseling opened my eyes to how awful my family was and the damage it was now doing to my three children. I feel incredible guilt for allowing my children to be hurt in this way. Anyway, My mom didn’t take too kindly to me, stopping her from seeing my children when I went no-contact since she genuinely thought the kids were her possessions.
She began a smear campaign, contacting ex-partners, friends, clients, etc. She got a solicitor and tried to get visitation rights. And then she started stalking us. Coming to my house, being at the children’s school several times a week, trying to talk to them, etc.
She once tried to take them from school and was stopped by a teacher. She wrote letters to the children and used another child to hand them the letters in school. And finally, she wrote the children weekly letters delivered to my house. The language in the letters has been likened to grooming techniques by the authorities.
So after six months of this, six months of me being unable to collect my children from school because of fear, six months of essentially being a hermit and being unable to answer my phone or open the door, I called the authorities on her and told them everything.
They were amazing. I was expecting the “oh, it’s a family falling out, but she’s your mom” comments. But they didn’t. They believed me, they took it very seriously, took statements, and were so supportive. They said it was stalking, and that validation was just amazing. So they detained her—something that had never happened in her life before. She is not allowed to come near me, my house, or my children’s school.
Our next Redditor used to have a crush on a waitress at his dad’s favorite restaurant. But then his dad did the unthinkable.
My World Turned Upside-Down
My dad is married to a 25-year-old waitress. I am 26. When I was 18 or 19, my family used to go to the place she waited at, and every time, I would silently pray we were going to be seated in her section because I had a huge crush.
My dad would always be a dad and drop some dad jokes, and I always thought she was laughing at those jokes to be polite, but it turns out she thought they were genuinely funny.
Then, my whole world turned upside-down—they got together five years ago, and my crush was quite literally crushed. He still goes to the same place to eat, and she’s still his waitress, but the jokes are worse now.
Parents should nurture their children into confident and healthy adults. But sometimes, things just don’t work out that way.
Cost Of Entry
My mom always made it clear she had complete disdain for everything about me. I was cold and unemotional (because showing emotions got you mocked in our house), my interests were stupid, and she ragged on my fashion sense so much that her favorite insult was, “well, that’s very you.”
In response, I became very accomplished at school, seeking any sort of positive feedback from an authority figure. However, my chosen fields of study were never going to make me any money, so they weren’t worth anything to her.
According to her, I apparently thought I was “better than everyone else.” As a result, I think I developed a core belief that since I had no intrinsic worth, my only worth was in what I could offer people—knowledge, therapy, favors, food, and support. I’m a chef, and I never show up anywhere empty-handed. If I’m invited somewhere, or friends agree to come over, chances are I’m bringing something absurdly extravagant with me to “justify” my presence.
Having been in therapy for a while now, I’ve realized that I don’t need to pay a “cost of entry” to socialize with people. I’ve invited places because people actually enjoy having me there, not because I’m going to bring a 12-layer cake. It’s so hard to actually believe that, but it’s been eye-opening to realize how my lack of self-worth has shaped my relationships over the years.
So, for any unloved fellow kids out there: Just because the people who should have loved you didn’t does make you unlovable. You are worthy intrinsically and not because of any utility you offer.
There are so many remarries on this list. Yet another father who remarried a young woman. But this father left his previous family with nothing.
New Wife, New Life
At 49, my dad divorced my mom to marry a 25-year-old woman. He had six kids with my mom. The new wife was two years older than his oldest child and five years older than me. I tried giving her a chance—until I found out what she made my dad do. She made him reverse his vasectomy and have a child, who is 25 years my junior.
He stopped paying for college for former kids and stopped paying alimony to my mom after ten years. He moved to Texas with his new wife, then retired and eventually passed. His entire estate went to the new wife and her kid. My mom never recovered.
She had never finished college, and because she got married and quickly had kids in her early 20s, she had no real means of support. She was always the dominant one in the relationship, and she was hurt quite badly by the affair and subsequent divorce.
She always assumed he would come to his senses and come back to her right up until she got the divorce papers. That knocked her over. Dad then took her youngest kid to live with him, basically saying, “You aren’t doing a good job raising him,” which messed her up again. No inheritance for the first six kids. His new wife never read the will and basically kept everything.
Bad parents often feel control over their children. This extends to blaming them whenever something bad happens. Just as our next Redditor knows.
Pass The Blame
In my house, I was always blamed for the smallest things. Whether it was for spilling a little bit of water or leaving my book lying around on a table or even sleeping in on weekends, I am not saying I was right all the time. All I’m saying is I could’ve been corrected better.
Instead of being told why I was wrong or why I should not have done something, I was always yelled at for it. This simply made me better at hiding my faults, not omitting them altogether. However, today I left a giant jar of almond milk I made as a gift to a friend.
I had left it in the fridge, and in the morning, I heard a loud shatter, and I knew it was my almond milk. I walked over and saw my mom, who obviously caused the mess, just standing there.
Her first reaction was to yell at me, as per usual. I told myself there were two ways I could handle this. I could either yell back and create an argument, or I could be calm about it.
So, I chose the latter. I picked up a cloth and a broom and insisted that it was an accident, that we all make mistakes, and that accidents are not intentionally done.
I also told her that her mistakes didn’t make her a bad person. Instead, they were just mistakes. I also reminded her that the almond milk I made could be made again and that it’s not worth getting upset over because there is really no point crying over spilled (almond) milk.
She was definitely taken aback by it, and she did not know how to respond. I told her that I would clean up the mess and while doing it I was so proud and had so much hope that maybe this vicious parenting cycle was going to end with me.
A Controlling Relationship
My dad loves controlling people. He used to always go on about wanting an Asian wife because he thought she’d be really grateful and meek towards him. He fancied the idea of not getting into any arguments.
Not long after admitting those desires to me, he—in his 50s—met and married a 21-year-old Chinese woman. I was 23 at the time. The age difference doesn’t bother me—however, what is disturbing is my dad’s behavior. The way he treats her in public is revolting.
He is so condescending and talks really slowly, like someone would to a toddler. He tells her off and calls her names. It was so sad to see. I don’t know for sure, but she may have left him because when I was last in contact with him, he never brought her with him or spoke about her.
Once you grow up and are out of the house, you shouldn’t have to associate with your parents. But some just really don’t let go.
A few days ago, my mom called me. I currently have very limited contact with her, so this is maybe the sixth time we’ve talked in seven years. She told me she wanted to send money for my son’s birthday, but there was a catch. She will only do it if she can talk to him on the phone.
I said a flat-out no with no argument or insults, just no. She started with the phrase that always gets me: “I just don’t understand.” This would have sent me into a rage spiral about everything that happened, which would have turned into a fight, had she said that a few years ago.
But now I have a magic phrase all my own: “I’m sorry you don’t understand, I have to go.” It’s so awesome! It cuts her off, and it ends any further argument. I wish I had known that 30 years ago, and I just thought I’d share.
Parents need to respect boundaries. We don’t have to tell you that this extends to their hair. This next mother had to hear it though.
Cutting Her Hair
This happened a few minutes ago and I am beyond angry. I have been sick for days now. I have long curly hair that reaches the end of my back. Because of the fever I’d been having, I hadn’t been able to brush my hair and it was all tangled.
So my mom told me yesterday that because I cannot take care of my hair, she’s going to cut it all the way to my shoulders. I was almost too sick to speak, but I still told her no. Today, I was feeling a little better and got up, took a shower, and combed my hair.
While I was doing this, my mother came in behind me and took the comb and started combing my hair gently and very sweetly. Or so I thought. Suddenly, I felt something on my back—it was scissors.
Still, she said she was just trimming my hair. But when I looked in the mirror, she had cut my hair 4-5 inches. That is a lot for curly hair, and it will take YEARS to grow back. But I’m not angry about my hair.
I am angry about her trespassing on my boundaries, yet again. I hate her so much right now. I don’t even want to look at her face, even though I live with her.
Parents can often be controlling. But our next Redditor really showed them the error of their ways.
Kept On A Short Leash
As I now know, it’s normal to have a front door key when you go to school. However, I didn’t get a key until I was 16, and it was only for the front door, not the door to our apartment. So I was always dependent on my mother when I went out and had to go back to the apartment. For years, I asked for my own key, but it was always just, “I’m home anyway. We don’t have to give you one. Just ring the bell, and I’ll open it for you.”
Sounds logical in theory, but it was terrible to live through. Quite often I came home from school and stood in front of the locked apartment. There was no reaction to my ringing, and knocking didn’t help either.
Sometimes I sat in front of the door for two hours, even in wet clothes when it rained. And what was my mom doing? Sleeping, usually. When she once remembered that her daughter had long since finished school, she arrived and let me into the apartment. No apology or words of remorse. Only afterward did I understand that this was just one of their methods of controlling me and keeping me on a short leash.
It’s a difficult thing when a son doesn’t even have respect for their parents. This Redditor knows it all too well.
Healing Takes A Long Time
My parents married young, as was typical in the ’60s. A decade into their marriage, he was caught with our babysitter. He eventually left our mom and married her, but that only lasted a few years. My dad then played the knight in shining armor to a succession of young women who were ‘down on their luck.’
It was the same pattern over and over. They were always about the same age–late teens to early twenties. It didn’t matter how old my dad got or how much older we, his children, were compared to them. Ultimately, his work took him to the Philippines, and he became involved with a young woman there. He said they were just friends, and all of his many trips there were apparently to help her and her family.
We rolled our eyes. Eventually, our dad informed us he married her so she could come to Canada for a better life. We were taken aback when he told us her age—she is about five years younger than the youngest one of us. I don’t have any beef with her.
She’s kind, decent, and hardworking, albeit too submissive and deferential to my dad. I’m sure that’s part of what he likes about her. My problem is really with my dad alone, who has repeatedly proven himself to be a self-centered narcissist fixated on younger women. He congratulates himself for ‘saving’ all these people and helping them out of their miserable lives when he’s never used the time of day for his own kids or grandkids.
It’s the saddest thing when parents are a no-show. But it’s even worse when you’re kicked out at eight o’clock at night.
My mom changed the locks and kicked my baby and me out at 8 pm five nights ago. Now I’m ruining Christmas for the entire family by not showing up.
We are out. I’m free and have no contact for now. Her plan backfired, and now the texting of emotional novels has started.
I’m contemplating changing my phone number. I’m holding my baby in a warm apartment with full bellies and friends, and we have our own room and bathroom.
This is what I’ve been saving for. Wish me luck as I finish my education and move forward with life. I’m working towards my Bachelor of Nursing now, with a goal of finishing with my master’s and becoming a nurse practitioner.
I’m being guilt-tripped, but I have to stay strong for myself and my child. These classes are not easy, but failing would just be what she wants.
We’ve heard the tale of fathers marrying younger women a lot by now. But what about ones from a psych ward?
Too Much For Me To Handle
When I was 19, my dad married someone six months younger than me after meeting her in the psych ward of a hospital. At the time, my father was 39, and he was recovering from an addiction. My father always dated women much younger than himself, but I was conditioned to it.
At the very least, he had never dated younger than me. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but when he brought her to my cousin’s wedding, chaos ensued. No one had met her until that point, and it was just really messy.
My dad and I were really close, but I was edging away from him because his addiction was too much for me to handle when he married this girl while I was on vacation. It just kind of sealed the deal.
We had always talked about me being his “best man” if he ever got married, and it just showed me that I would never matter more than his pleasure and his women. They are now separated, but I still don’t talk to my dad.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.