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Horrible Parents Who Took Parenting Too Far


Whether it’s because of our naughty antics as kids or doing irresponsible things as teens, we all have received punishment from our parents at some point in time.

Unfortunately, not all parents know anything about “good parenting,” and some resort to extreme measures to impart life lessons – or worse, trauma. These real-life stories from Reddit showcase just how bad these parenting missteps could be.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/horslips5

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. Reddit User: RagaMuffinSun


Photo: Pexels/Nikolaos Dimou

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, 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. I froze. 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 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. Reddit User: bedandbedsheet


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Famartin

So I was maybe 12, and it was around Halloween. We had one Halloween decoration, and it was a life-size skeleton hanging in our tree by a noose. A woman came to the door (very nicely, apologetic) 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 our 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 10 years ago. Reddit User: voodoo-mama_juju


Photo: Pexels/Porapak Apichodilok

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 more sucks 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 be 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. Until suddenly, it took a dark turn.

My wife was getting tired so I walked my parents out; hers had already gone home. My dad went out to get the car while I waited by the front door with my mom. She then turns to me and says that my dad and her are filing for custody of the baby.

Before I can speak, she claims my wife is on substances like her mom (my wife doesn’t even drink) and that she saw how my wife was around the baby and she fears for his safety. I’m stunned.

My dad pulls up and she gets in and leaves. I go back upstairs and my wife sees my face and knows something is up. I really don’t want to tell her but I’m not going to lie to her, either. She’s as upset as I am, so I text my mom that she’s not to contact us anymore.

I then blocked her number. At this point, my younger sister is blowing my phone up and I know it’s my mom. We went home the next day, and my wife had tearing 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 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. 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. Reddit User: not2daysatan90


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Pexels

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. Reddit User: StarryEyedSucker


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Tulane Public Relations

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.

My mother said I “ruined her birthday”—and then she got a cruel revenge. She scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is in March, mine is in August. Reddit User: my_name_isnt_zelda


Photo: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

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 tried again next semester. I sent another email saying this.


This time I got a response, with 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 students getting chewed up so loudly that people actually poked their heads out of classrooms. She never showed up for the final. Reddit User: Anyun


Photo: Pixabay

Two days after I graduated high school, I came home to a jaw-dropping discovery. It was a totally empty house. All my stuff was in a U-Haul, and my mom and stepdad had moved without me. I have been financially independent ever since, but a heads-up would’ve been nice.

My real dad was not involved in this situation since he was on the other side of the country. I am still close with him but he is very low income so he could not help me with this. I went no contact with my mom for about a year after this, but she weaseled her way back in.


I think I see her in person once every two years, and I do not acknowledge my stepfather exists. I have been considering going no contact with my mom again recently. Reddit User: doubledang666


Photo: Pexels/Yan Krukau

I worked in daycare and was told to never 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 have been known to do this.

They’d break the kid’s arm, dose them, and dump them with the sitter who lets the baby asleep 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. Reddit User: 56149


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/TOSOF

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 because 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. Reddit User: manuelgennaromusic


Photo: Pexels/Jeffry Surianto

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 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 tell me they thought it was really “sweet” I was happy to help others and never be wealthy. They would also spring last-minute trips on me and their kid 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 parents 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. Reddit User: throwawaaayyytoday


Photo: Pexels/Marcin Jozwiak

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!” Reddit User: tasjekoffie



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. Reddit User: as_hole__


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Lara604

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 a 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.

My mom just laughed at the audacity of her calls–they were completely ludicrous. But it gets worse—we later found out that she committed a shocking offense—she had hurt him not once, but twice, after losing her temper. He had to visit the ER and claimed it was an accident each time.

They also managed to have officers ask that they stay out of an entire city after a very public fight at a restaurant. She had also broken countless items around their home while they argued and basically was totally crazy. The day her citizenship papers arrived, she told my dad she was filing for divorce.

I try not to keep tabs on her but I have recently heard that she married an even older gentleman in his late 80s who is quite wealthy and she is just waiting to collect her inheritance. Reddit User: Wrexasaurus



Photo: Pexels/Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas

I was no-contact with my mother for two and a half years, until I had a medical event. She’s 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 disappointing, 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 is her boyfriend for the last 10+yrs. 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. Reddit User: VJohns11


Photo: Pexels/Engin Akyurt

This was a really cathartic moment for my brother and I. 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, while 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 because it validated that I wasn’t just “crazy” for going into a cold sweat and getting palpitations whenever someone hummed around me. Reddit User: [deleted]


Photo: Pexels/Liza Summer

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. Reddit User: Mtwilliams2448


Photo: Pexels/SHVETS production

I have been struggling with my mom ever since I turned around 12. I don’t want to go into detail but she’s been the cause of most of my mental health problems while simultaneously telling me that she has done nothing wrong and that I was the reason she “acted this way.”

I’ve always felt crazy and wondered if I was overreacting, but she never let me talk about her to my therapists. I tried once and she found out somehow and the aftermath hurt me so much that I never tried again.


So for years, I was wondering if I really was a terrible child. My thought process was “If I was a better child, then she wouldn’t be this controlling,” etc. And yet at the same time, the few friends who knew of my situation tried to tell me that she was NOT normal.

Well, I went to a new therapist today and very hesitantly told him about my mother. Oh my God. He very gently told me that she was a narcissist, and her behavior was very typical of narcissistic parents.

He told me a few symptoms of narcissistic parents and he hit the nail on the head for every single one of them. The relief I felt when I realized that I was NOT insane and NOT a terrible child made me nearly cry from happiness.

I’m not a bad person. I never realized how much stress and self-hatred that belief gave me. I’m not a bad daughter. I was brainwashed. Reddit User: Binary_ink


Photo: Pexels/Vlada Karpovich

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 secure, no major loans, and a fiancé I can live with. I’m nervous about health insurance, but that is it. Reddit User: salt-mistress


Photo: Pexels/cottonbro studio

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 like 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. Reddit User: ikimdoit


Photo: Pexels/Suzy Hazelwood

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 counselling 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 thinks the kids are 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, and 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 being essentially 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 never happened in her life before. She is not allowed to come near me, my house, or my children’s school. Reddit User: drowninglice


Photo: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

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. Reddit User: scroggybottoms


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Prudhomme

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, 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’m invited to 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 fellow unloved kids out there: Just because the people who should have loved you didn’t does not make you unlovable. You are worthy intrinsically, and not because of any utility you offer. Reddit User: thatonetinyspoon


Photo: Pexels/Jacob Colvin

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 10 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. Reddit User: romons


Photo: Pexels/Charlotte May

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 for 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 are two ways I can 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, and 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. Reddit User: DisastrousSir4


Photo: Pexels/Phil Nguyen

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. Reddit User: Permalink



Photo: Pexels/Anastasia Shuraeva

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 tells me she wants 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 just thought I’d share. Reddit User: that1chick1730



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 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. Reddit User: Chassy1337



Photo: Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio

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. He’s lied and broken promises his whole life, and for that reason, I have no respect for him.

When I got married, I would not let him walk me down the aisle. I’ve spent years in therapy trying to untangle a lot of issues surrounding my dad. Although my head knows what he is and that I shouldn’t care about him at all, the sad reality is that part of me inexplicably still wants his love and approval.

Not only has he messed up our own relationship, but he’s contributed to my own legacy of being unable to commit. Healing is a long process. Reddit User: IdleOsprey



Photo: Pexels/Anna Shvets

My mom changed the locks and kicked me and my baby 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 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 have to stay strong, for myself and my child. These classes are not easy but failing would just be what she wants. Reddit User: thirdcoastgrill


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Arpingstone

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 has 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. Reddit User: radigail



Photo: Pexels/Alex Green

Yesterday my therapy session was largely dominated by a discussion of the way my mother controls me by using my children. She’s my only babysitter, so I dropped my daughter off so I could go to therapy.

Immediately, my mom demanded that I enroll my daughter in a private expensive preschool (“TODAY!”). I just told her to stop being so pushy and left. Before I got to my appointment, she had texted me “I’m a pushy mom, I care about what’s going on…”

I explained this to my therapist and he gave me two responses to use when presented with the bait. “I’m sorry you feel that way” and “What do you want me to do with that?” I was unable to contain my visible excitement. I knew she would hate that.

I had already responded “omg” to her text before, but I have those tools in the back of my head for next time. And he suggested I stop using her for babysitting so she doesn’t have that string to pull.

I went home and arranged babysitters and rearranged my schedule so now I don’t have to ask her for babysitting. She can if she wants, but she can’t hold it over my head anymore. Also, there’s the gem “I’ll let you know what I decide” as a way of de-escalation if she’s making demands. Reddit User: has-8-nickels


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Bodhi141

The whole reason I was a huge tomboy who was allergic to all things girly was because of my mother. My mom forced gender expectations on me, and because I had a bunch of brothers I immediately thought that I just didn’t want to be a girl if being a girl was less fun than my brothers got to have.

They got game systems as presents the same year I got a fake vacuum and a baby doll. It was no wonder I didn’t want to be a girl. My mom pushed me more and more into being a girl. The harder she pushed the more I wanted to be a tomboy.


She doesn’t like the fact that now I wear dresses and makeup because she feels like I should have done those things when we could have had mother-daughter moments. But I would have done that stuff had she just allowed me to be myself.

I remember, once, she told me that I was finally getting a corgi puppy. You see, I had been wanting a Corgi for years and I had collected Corgi books, Corgi stuffed animals, all kinds of Corgi things, so it was obvious I wanted one like most girls want a pony. So we get in the car and I’m so excited.

We get to a large building and we go inside…and my mom reveals actually it’s a glamour shoot. She knew I wouldn’t have agreed to go with her if she told me the truth.

They put me in a tube top and a pound of makeup and took all of these really adult pictures of me (I was 14) and of course, I was mad and I hated it. To make matters worse, she brought other family members there for “moral support” which I just found embarrassing.

That same month, we got a new dog, but it was what my little brother had been asking for, a Boston Terrier. You know. To rub it in I guess, she gets my brother a dog. She seriously doesn’t understand why I am still mad about it.

Please let your kids be themselves. I always liked pink. I just lied about it because I also wanted to play Pokémon, which was “for boys.” Everything fun was for boys!!! Reddit User: LawrenceCatNeedsHelp


Photo: Pexels/cottonbro studio

When I was 18 or 19 and lived at home, my parents were afraid that when I was walking around late at night and locked my door, that I was wearing dresses. For the record, I did wear dresses occasionally, but mostly it was because I was gaming and I didn’t want my parents to come in and scold me for not going to bed.

One time, my parents made a huge scene out of it. It was around 11 pm and I had to assure them that “I am comfortable with my gender and my masculinity.” This is where my dad said that seeing me in a dress “would be his biggest nightmare.”


Now, fast forward a year or so. Today, I live on my own and currently have gone no-contact with my parents. I just bought my wig and pads and I have looked at a dress that fits perfectly for my drag, which I’ll probably buy soon.

I now have a full-on drag persona, “Bordelmutter,” and she has this medieval look and a thick German accent. I am going to be performing in drag at my university, where we have this theater thing. Basically, I am living my best life and things are actually turning out okay. Reddit User: [deleted]


Photo: Pexels/Luna Lovegood

I used to babysit a lot throughout high school and let me tell you, most kids love to talk and they love wild, weird speculation. They’re creative as heck and have strong opinions they’re not afraid to broadcast far and wide.

Ask a kid why the sky is blue and they probably won’t be able to give you a scientific breakdown on light refraction, but they can come up with some creative explanation or at least shoot their best guess.

And sure, kids can genuinely say “I don’t know” and mean it. And that’s fine! Frankly, I wish some more adults could own up to gaps in their knowledge without shame.

But “I don’t know” was my go-to response to questions when I was young, not because I didn’t have a single idea or opinion or wild guess. It’s because I learned early on that my ideas, opinions, and wild guesses would usually be met with unpredictable, extreme, or scary reactions.

Saying “I don’t know” could at least save me some time to figure out what they wanted to hear. Because let’s be honest, what answer to “Why did you play in the mud?” would have been acceptable? “Well you see, I’m five. Still new to this planet. Still categorizing interesting substances and textures and it turns out mud is slippery and fun.”

“I saw a kid make mudpies on TV and one thing led to another…” “My mushy child brain is running in tutorial mode and I’m literally not equipped with the tools for rational decision-making.” “A goblin told me to.” Let’s be real.


Since my parents were narcissists and everything was about them, what they were really asking me was, “Why did you do something I consider unpleasant to spite me?”

And even as a kid, I could pick up on that. It wasn’t about the action, it was about how they felt about it and what was I going to do to fix that for them. In reality, kids don’t really do things specifically to spite their caregivers.

Thinking that is insane. We wouldn’t make it as a species if our offspring openly and intentionally had it out for us. I could honestly answer “I don’t know…” because I never set out to annoy them as an end in itself. But they were right, it turns out.

All those times they’d scream or sigh, “I don’t know isn’t an answer!” with disappointment and frustration, they were right. It’s not an answer. You can’t answer a question that isn’t a genuine inquiry.

You can’t respond to an accusation, a judgment, the unchecked rage that disguises itself as a question. Not in a way that’s real anyway. Even now as an adult, I still struggle to answer even the simplest questions with ease and honesty.

I catch myself telling small lies for no reason, and that’s a darn hard habit to break. The lines connecting my thoughts and feelings to what I’m able to communicate are frayed and damaged. All worth it, I guess, so they wouldn’t have to feel things they didn’t like.

So now, let me pose my own question. Do I miss my parents? Absolutely not. And that’s one of the few things I can answer with honesty. Reddit User: audyaudvi


Photo: Pexels/Wayne Evans

My daughter is almost four, and I was making something for her for school (a bag) and I said something along the lines of, “Oh no, I think I screwed up. The bag doesn’t look as nice as I wanted” to my husband. My daughter was there too.


She looked at me and looked at the bag and said, “It’s okay to screw up sometimes, mom. The bag doesn’t have to be perfect, it looks very good.” I was so stunned. I was the golden child and perfection was expected of me all the time.

I would have been certainly punished for messing up. I thanked her but I cried in my bath afterward. I know she is just saying something I told her in the past, but gosh I feel my kid is healing me sometimes. Reddit User: MovedfarawayfromNs


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/BohunkaNika

We were in the car on the freeway with my mother-in-law driving. We had just finished shopping at the mall and were on the way to Costco before heading home.

There was a lot of traffic on the freeway and going into Costco, so my husband told his mom, “Let’s just go another time, mom. We can just go get boba before we go home.” I literally looked at him IN SHOCK.

My heart started racing. His mom said, “Ok, hon,” and we went to the boba spot. She said it nonchalantly, not angrily, not begrudgingly. Just an “Ok that’s no problem” tone. It made me reflect on whatever suggestion I would give my mom.

Had it been her in that situation instead of my mother-in-law, my mom would have said, “WHAT?! We’re here already! Don’t be stupid!” Or something of the like. Every suggestion I had ever given to her when I was a child was met with a dramatic response or critique.

It didn’t take long for me to never suggest anything. I had to just go with the flow and do whatever she wanted to keep the peace. Screw that noise. I’m still working on expressing what I want to my husband, my family-in-law, and my friends without always letting them pick.

And naturally, I’ve adopted her habit of being inflexible about plans. I am also working on that and have been better the more I realize how I react when plans have to change.


I’ve been no-contact with her now for almost five months. It’s the longest I’ve ever been no-contact, and oh my goodness my eyes have opened to the evil woman who raised me. Reddit User: lovenote123


Photo: Pexels/lil artsy

A few days ago, it was my little sister’s 15th birthday, and her best friend wrote her a list of “15 Reasons Why You’re An Amazing Friend.” My sister then went to tell our mom. She replied with: “Were any of those 15 things about me? Like how awesome of a mom you have? Or how great your mom cooks?”

I was dumbstruck. That has to be the rudest thing to say to your daughter who just turned 15 and is telling you about a birthday present she received from her best friend. To go and make it about yourself…Just downright appalling. Reddit User: Aquarithyst


Photo: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov

Once upon a time, I didn’t even know what gaslighting was. It was something so ingrained in our family dynamic that I didn’t realize how awful it was. My mom is the worst for it. I never had a name for it, but I just knew there was no point in ever challenging her about anything because her story always changes.

Well, this weekend I was the one to gaslight. I’m ashamed to admit that this is not my first time, but I’m actively working to change. My partner very kindly did lots of housework, as this is a contentious issue for us at times.

When I saw he had done so much, I didn’t know if saying thank you and making a big deal would cause tension, so I left it with the aim to say thank you later. As I was making lunch, he made a lighthearted comment about how I didn’t thank him for doing the housework.

Instead of apologizing and saying it in the moment, I replied “I did, don’t you remember?” As soon as the words left my mouth my heart sank. Yuck, what was I doing?


So I quickly caught myself and tried to make amends. x“Oh shoot, I didn’t actually say it, did I? I just thought it. Doesn’t really count when you do that, sorry.” I then proceeded to tell him how thankful I was.

I hate that this is an automatic response for me to lie like this, but hopefully, if I keep challenging myself I can eradicate it from my reflexes entirely. Each day is a new day to get better. Reddit User: DrRobotniksMachine


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Geoffreyrabbit

As a child, I dropped a bowl of ice cream. The bowl shattered and I stained the rug. I started sobbing because I expected to be yelled at, or even hit, because I’d broken a bowl from a set, and had stained the carpet. Instead, something completely different happened.

My stepmom told me to stop crying and said she’d serve me more ice cream. I was confused. I broke a bowl, that’s a bad thing, why am I still getting my treat? She told me she knew I didn’t mean it, and the bowl was less important than my own safety.

That was the first time any woman my father had dated (including my own mother) had ever treated me kindly. It was the first time I realized not all women are like that, and I wasn’t necessarily destined to grow up to be a woman like my mother. Reddit User: prockibo


Photo: Pexels/revac film’s&photography

My dad will never let anyone use his car. He’ll go to the grave that way. His excuse is “You’re not on the insurance.” No problem, he owns it, it’s his decision. Yesterday, he had to take his car for repairs and was left without a car. They shuttled him home, but he wanted to go to Wal-Mart.

He comes and asks me if I could take him. I was very busy working from home, and said no, he’d have to wait. He then asked to just “Borrow my car” and proceeded to grab my keys before I even answered. I said no, and he got enraged.


I told him he’s not allowed to drive my car because he isn’t on the insurance, and he flipped out. Started saying he just needed to grab a couple of things and would be right back. I said no again and told him to hang my keys up. Then he said, “I’m taking it anyway.”

So, I told him I was dialing the sheriff to report my vehicle, and I swear his head was about to fly right off his neck. He put my keys back and waited for three hours for his car to be finished and they shuttled him back to his car. Then he didn’t even go to Wal-Mart after all. My grin has still made my ears sore. Reddit User: evanjw90


Photo: Pexels/RDNE Stock project

My daughters are 17 (almost 18) and 18 (almost 19). My oldest just got a job and my youngest, who is a senior, is currently job hunting. We also have two other people in the house currently job hunting.

Last night we were talking and my youngest said if everyone found a job, we should move to a bigger place. My oldest agreed. I was shocked and asked them if they wanted to keep living with me.

They both said yes like it was a no brainer. See, I moved out of my mom’s house the night before my 18th birthday and never looked back. I couldn’t wait to be away from her. I was so touched that they didn’t see me the way I saw her. I feel like I accomplished something. Reddit User: green_mms22


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Hungry Dudes

My wife is a heck of a strong lady. She doesn’t break down. We were having a date night at our favorite pizza place and we were talking about how things had been going. She’s been making a ton of progress since we got together years ago, and I only said one thing and it put her in tears: “I’m so proud of you.”

It wasn’t until later that I thought about it and realized that probably not many people had said that to her before, if any. She’s doing so well, and I am so very proud of her. Reddit User: tempthethrowaway



Photo: Pexels/Yan Krukau

My adult son had a situation come up at work today. He was driving home and called me because he wanted to vent about it. It was a situation similar to something that came up at his prior job and he swore he’d never put up with that again. And he didn’t. He wanted to talk to me about it, so I listened.

Then he said he was pulling up at his house and so he had to go. He wanted to leave that part of the day behind and not take it inside to his wife and kids. It feels good being a sounding board. It feels good being a safe place to turn to when bad stuff happens.

I didn’t have that myself, but I can BE that for him. I am 51 and have gone no contact for over 30 years. Let me tell you something—you never fully get over the stuff truly bad parents do to you.

Sometimes when I see my son and daughter-in-law with their children, how gentle and loving they are and how awesome they are as parents, I pine still for what those kids have.

I’m not jealous of my grandkids per se, it’s not that. It’s that you see what you didn’t have, and you never, ever stop wanting it. But there are compensations. There are friends who come along and fill in those gaps. You find mentors and parent surrogates. And not everyone gets good parents in life, but everyone can BE that to other people.

When I was in second grade and getting my school picture taken, the photographer reached in, gently turned my chin, and said to me, “Look this way for me, princess.” Do you know, that was the first time I’d ever been called a pet name?

I never forgot this. His kindness touched me to the core, I’d experienced so little of it. So when you go about your day today, please be kind to other people, especially children. Almost 45 years later, I still remember that man’s kindness and his face. Reddit User: speecyspicymeatball



Photo: Pexels/hi room

My dad is married to a woman who is 10 years younger than me. She ended up being like the annoying little sister I never had. I stayed with them for a few years while I was trying to go back to school, and she would go through my stuff and take my things without asking.

When I saw her wearing my shirt, I asked her about it. Her response made me livid. She said she found it in the laundry room and she simply assumed I didn’t want it anymore.

She would also take the things I just bought, simply because she liked them. Oh, and by the way—she doesn’t work either!! Reddit User: serialspooner


Photo: Pexels/Bo Allen

I just got a call that my grandfather passed about an hour ago. I managed to say goodbye to him on Sunday. He was the father of my mother, who I cut contact with eight months ago. He had been sick for some time, so we knew this day was going to come.

On Sunday, all his children and grandchildren—including my mom—were there. Someone asked my grandfather, “Is there anything else you want? Anything else we can get you?” He said “No, having all of you here is all I could wish for.”

He paused for a second. Then he continued with the single most heartbreaking sentence I’ve ever heard. He looks at me and says, “Well all of you except for one; I would have wanted to save her from this.” He continued, “All the horrible things you’ve had to go through, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.”

He then said, “You’ve had to suffer through so much, and to end up this successful, I’m so proud of you. I always hoped and prayed you’d end up where you are. And look at you. Despite your mother, you got a house, a job, a car, and a loving husband. I’m so proud of you.”

He started crying and said, “You are the opposite of your mother.” I’m crying right now. I’m going to miss him so much. But those words, coming from my mom’s father and knowing he validates my pain, are so wonderful. He’s like the proud dad I haven’t had for years.


I feel like those things he said to me will give me the strength to stand my ground against my mom. I’m afraid about the funeral since she might be there, but I promised my grandfather I’d be there so I will…for him. Reddit User: Naydraa


Photo: Pexels/Isaac Taylor

Six months ago, my 71-year-old dad left my mom for another woman. Their age gap is unbelievable—she’s 25 years old, whereas I’m 33 and my sister is 28. She’s currently six months pregnant, but they’re not married because my parents’ divorce hasn’t gone through yet.

Once that happens, I’ll have a stepmom who is eight years younger than me, plus a newborn half-sister. This will be my dad’s third marriage. The first one ended because he slept with his brother’s wife. Reddit User: LooseyL


My dad is the type of guy who is always right when talking to his children. I can’t say anything against him because it will be his word against mine, and his word will always win. Doesn’t matter the topic or the research.

I can find 12 government articles about something and he’ll say I’m stupid for believing in the internet. He’s also the type of guy who, when he ends up being wrong, will never take the blame.

I’m watering the plants when suddenly the hose stopped working? I’m a piece of garbage who broke it on purpose. He tried to fix something with his laptop and ended up breaking it? Oh, it was an accident, the laptop broke itself anyways, my fault for recommending it four years ago.

So anyway, one day I went to a new eye doctor with my dad because there was a possible problem with my eyes (false alarm by the way, I’m fine). Note, the doctor is Chinese and so is my dad. So I started to ask a few questions.

My first one was something like this: “Does reading in the dark worsen your eyesight? Because my dad says it does, but from what I found on the internet, he’s wrong.” My dad cuts me off.


In the middle of elaborating on my first question, he says in Mandarin (he speaks Mandarin but understands English fully), “Ha ha, teens are a handful. Just tell him he’s wrong so he can stop being bothersome about this.” The eye doctor wants none of this. He slam-dunked on my dad.

He says in fluent Mandarin, “Actually, your son is right. While it can strain your eyes, it doesn’t cause nearsightedness. Sometimes your children can be right you know, you need to listen to them.”

Then my dad says, “Well, the way he said it was disrespectful towards me, he wasn’t being filial.” Then the eye doctor STRAIGHT UP SAID TO ME (in fluent English) “You know, I think filial piety is kind of a joke. Anyways, back to your questions…” Shut my dad down, then went back to me.

Then as my dad tries to cut him off later to demean me, the eye doctor says, “Let me speak please” or “Wait until I finish my sentence.” He then says to me in an annoyed tone, “Parents think they know everything.”

After we were done, my dad went to apologize for my behavior, to which the eye doctor replies, “You know, he wasn’t being disrespectful. That’s the problem with Chinese parents, you need to loosen up and stop trying to control your children’s lives.” My dad had no words after this. Didn’t even want to talk about it.

I kept mentioning the Mandarin-English stuff in this story because here we have someone Chinese-American, who’s older than my dad, basically shutting down his narcissistic values and getting visibly annoyed. I couldn’t believe this happened afterward. Except it did happen. Highlight of my life. Reddit User: Critical_Definition


Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Tom Purves

I just reconnected with my aunt, who was the only family member to call my mom’s mistreatment of me out. My mom cut her off after she got CPS involved when I was only 11 years old, and we haven’t spoken in over 11 years now.


My aunt offered to take me in, get me a car, and help me with college so my mom can’t use money to control me. She even said I could rent out her other house in Austin, my dream city to live in. She invited me for Thanksgiving too. I haven’t felt this much love and care in so long.

I’m so shocked, in an amazing way. She kept telling me I was the daughter she never had, and I just feel so good about life right now and having a family finally. No wonder my mom trash-talked her my whole life.

I said to her, “In just one phone call with you I have heard more I love yous than I have heard in my entire 22 years of life.” Reddit User: indigoojade


Photo: Pexels/Megha Mangal

So I was always told I’m easygoing and mature for my age. It drove my now ex-boyfriend crazy that I was never picky about literally anything. During a fight about my non-pickiness, he called my parents narcissists.

I didn’t know what it meant, so I looked it up and was like “Yeah I can kind of see how he would think that but my parents just raised me to be less of a bother.”

Fast forward to now being newly married. My husband is so loving and amazing to me. He was making breakfast and the following conversation happened. Sam: “How do you like your eggs?”

Me: “However you are making them is fine!” Sam: “No, how do you like your eggs?” Me: “I don’t understand.” Sam: “If you were making the eggs, how would you cook them?” Me: “I’d ask you how you want them then make them that way….”

At this point, he comes into the living room and holds my hands. Sam: “If you were home alone making eggs for yourself, how would you cook them?”

Me: ” Oh, sunny side up. But don’t dirty a pan for me, just make them however you want.” Sam: “This is not ok.” After some soul-searching and more research on narcissism, everything makes sense. Reddit User: irish_lass19