Sometimes parents can be walking red flags—and these questionable parents are prime examples. These Redditors share shocking accounts of their parents crossing the line.
My first real relationship at the beginning of college was with a girl who had a strange dad. The first time I went over to her and her family's house, her dad walked into her room and started massaging her feet while she was laying on the bed and he was all like, "I love you, sweetie".
Then, he introduces himself to me after like two minutes of foot rubbing. I was like, "Um, what the heck was that?!" when he left. She said that he's just an affectionate dad. But that wasn't all. She then told me how they hold hands while watching movies. A massive yikes.
My college roommate was born deaf, his mom never allowed him to learn sign language because she would "always be there to protect him" and "he needs to live a normal life, not a deaf life" (her words, not mine).
He was pretty good at lip reading, and could vocalize remarkably well given how profound his hearing loss was. But when he left for school, she went off the deep end. His mom pulled me aside and very seriously asked me to inform her any time he talked to a girl.
She said he has "problems" with girls trying to take advantage of him. She also insisted he say good night to her every night, which meant he had to be on instant messenger (deaf, so he couldn't call without using a specialized typing phone) with her for at least an hour every night or else she'd call our room phone in a panic looking for him.
I'm a small business owner and was interviewing applicants for a sales position when a guy in his mid-20s came in with an older woman. I had a pretty good idea it was his mother but before I could even ask, she started telling me about her son's best qualities. I stopped her, told her she would have to wait in her car, and she started yelling that she had every right to be there.
Her son turned bright pink. I again told her she had to wait outside and had one of my employees take her out. He seemed like a nice enough kid and went to an excellent college but there was no way I was going to hire an adult who showed up to a job interview with his mother and I told him so. It was also pretty clear that he was extremely shy.
I told him I would continue the interview so he could get some experience but he needs to leave his mother at home and learn to speak up for himself. Once he started talking, I became more impressed by him and my business was growing pretty well so I told him I would hold on to his resume and consider him if another position opened up. I thought it went well—but I didn't know what was coming next.
I was in with the next applicant when his mother came storming in, yelling like a lunatic. Her son just stood next to her with a look of defeat as she screamed that she would be suing if her son wasn't hired. I again had to have an employee walk them out then I threw his resume in the garbage.
I went over to pick this girl up for a first date. While there, I met the parents and they seemed nice. Or so I thought. While we were out, her parents called the authorities and told them I kidnapped her. It was really awkward nearly getting thrown behind bars.
My ex-boyfriend wanted me to meet his parents, and he told me they wanted to meet me too. We decided to drive up to their place in the Bay area, since we lived in Orange County at the time, for Thanksgiving. I'm white, and he and his parents are Chinese. I normally wouldn't mention this, but apparently, my whiteness made them not approve of me, and therefore not actually want to meet me.
I didn't know they didn't want to meet me, otherwise, I wouldn't have driven six hours and showed up at their house. It went more badly than I could have ever predicted. When we knocked on their door, his mother answered, looked at me, and said, in Cantonese, "I told you not to bring the white girl here". More was said in Cantonese, but I understood none of it.
To save money, his parents did not have the boiler on, nor did they have heat in the house. Not having a boiler meant not having hot water, and therefore not having showers. To remedy this, they had a membership at 24 Hour Fitness, where they went every night to have a shower. They insisted that we go to 24-Hour Fitness for a shower literally 15 minutes after showing up at their house.
24-Hour Fitness has communal showering. I'm absolutely terrified of communal showering. I had to get undressed with my boyfriend's mother 15 minutes after meeting her. At that point, she had never spoken a word to me in English. The first actual communication she showed me was to thrust a hairdryer in my hands. The next few days were excruciatingly uncomfortable.
Next to nothing was said in English at all, and I felt like everybody hated me. I spent several days just being as quiet, submissive, and polite as possible. I was sent to his mother's garden to pull weeds in the sun for a few hours, and after that, she apparently began liking me. Later in the week, she decided I needed a checkup at the doctor. For what reason, I don't know.
It turns out that she scheduled me for a pelvic exam, conducted by a man. A man who I don't know. A man who spoke in really broken English. I explained to her that I was not comfortable with any of this. It was horrible and embarrassing.
When I was 12, my brother, who is six years younger than me, and I were playing knights in the garden and throwing spears at a blanket with a cross on it. This was a recipe for disaster...At one moment, I threw my spear, not knowing he stood behind the blanket. The spear went straight into his eye socket. He survived—but the rest of the day was a blur.
I remember blood everywhere, my parents yelling at me, then standing at the corner, waiting for the ambulance to come while crying for what seemed a million years. Everyone was ignoring me. Then, we went to the hospital, and it only got worse. The guilt was the worst. So much guilt. I was only 12, and the nurses were giving me the evil eye. However, the hardest part was still to come.
My brother went blind in one eye, but otherwise, was perfectly fine. After about a year he had to go to a doc for a prosthetic eye. My mum said that I had to come with them. I remember VERY vividly sitting in the waiting room, hearing him cry, "It hurts it hurts". It seemed like an eternity—but when my mother emerged, she looked at me straight in the eye and said, "Now you know what you've done".
When I was only eight, my mother told me that nobody likes a fat girl. I wasn't even really overweight, but her comments made me spiral in the worst way possible. Before long, I'd developed a dangerous eating disorder. But it didn't end there. It's been more than 30 years and I still grapple with the consequences of my disorder. The whole eating thing is still a struggle.
My mother has anger issues. She and my dad divorced when I was young, and I split time between houses. Mom just hated Dad, and the woman can carry a grudge. She hated the fact that I also loved him and enjoyed spending time with him. She would constantly try to get me to say that I loved her more, didn’t love him, etc.
That’s awful enough, but there’s one event that really stands out: I was seven or eight and had said something to set her off, probably about weekend plans Dad and I had. She got upset, yelled at me, got more upset when I didn’t repent, and so on. Then, looking straight at me, she grabbed a cardboard egg carton from the recycling pile and methodically ripped it apart.
As she stood there, ripping the egg carton to shreds, she furiously said, “I wish I was allowed to do this to you".
When I was 14, my dad took me to France on vacation. We didn't have a ton of money, but he had gotten a really great deal on the airfare and so we decided to go just the two of us. That is until my dad started dating his lady a few weeks before we left. So, he ended up inviting her. She in turn brought her 14-year-old very cute daughter, Sarah.
I thought I'd hit the jackpot—I was so, so wrong. First off, it was a long flight and we were missing two weeks of school so the two of us kids had a ton of schoolwork. We of course had both independently planned to get it all done on the flights so we wouldn't have any to do during the trip. Well, to be clear, I planned to do my work, apparently Sarah planned to have her mom do her work.
I kid you not, her mother spent the entire 10-hour flight doing her daughter’s homework. I don't mean helping, I mean actually sitting there doing the work while Sarah listened to her headphones and messed around. I believe it was at this point that my dad realized he had made a series of serious compounding errors here.
First, getting involved with this woman, second inviting her along on our one and only international vacation ever, and third allowing her to bring her irredeemably spoiled daughter along. Sarah refused to carry her own luggage. She had a lot of it too. We ended up sharing the load between the three of us while she had only her carry-on.
If we stopped to see a sight and Sarah wasn't interested, she would just wander off and we'd have to go looking for her. Her mom would mostly just follow her around warning her about various dangers. To which Sarah would respond with some vulgarity that her mother would ignore. Basically, there was nothing she wouldn't complain about, not a thank you to be had.
On our fourth day we decided to eat dinner on a floating restaurant on the Seine. As with most establishments in Paris, this one had a small dog that ran around. Sarah, in her infinite wisdom, decided to feed this dog from the table. She was feeding it basically everything she could, bread, cooked fish in cream sauce, etc.
At one point I say, "Sarah, you shouldn't feed the dog that stuff, it’s not good for it". Her mom then yelled at me, telling me to mind my own business. My dad looked at me and I knew he was trying to telepathically apologize for the situation. At this moment though, karma took over. We began hearing this hacking noise from under the table
It was followed by the clear and unmistakable sound of a small dog puking. It puked all over Sarah's feet. She started screaming and crying, of course. She was wearing sandals; the puke was inside her shoes. We couldn't help ourselves, my dad and I started laughing so hard we could barely breathe while the mother frantically tried to calm her daughter.
When she couldn’t calm her daughter, the mom switched tactics to screaming at restaurant staff about how they shouldn’t let a sick dog around customers. The restaurant staff kind of stood there in shock. The mom of course couldn't believe we were laughing and was indignant towards our behavior. She yelled at my dad who responded, "That was the best thing to happen this whole trip".
My Dad put them on a plane the next morning and sent them home. We spent the next ten days just the two of us traveling down the Loire valley, over to Belgium and Germany. We had a wonderful time and it's one of my best memories of growing up with my dad.
I was the youngest and only child in my family to attend college. While in college, I was kicked out at the age of 20. My dad got furious over his burned dinner, and then later, instead of knocking on my door to open my window, he barged in and opened it himself. I protested and he overreacted and said, "his house his rules".
I told him that you don't just do stuff like that because I could have been undressed or any number of things. It had nothing to do with the rules of the house; it was more about walking in on something awkward. He didn't take it well and kicked me out for talking back. Didn't talk to them for seven years after that. Eventually, though, they came back into my life.
My oldest brother only had girls, and I ended up having three boys. For each one of them, I was asked by both if I'd name one of them after my dad. I would inform them no and they would get increasingly agitated. Eventually, I just decided to be truthful and hit them back with a brutal response: "If you wanted me to name any children after you, you should have actually raised me better".
I haven't talked to them for three months now and it doesn't look like I will be for the foreseeable future after another incident. They used my credit card for $7,000 after kicking me out. I've spent my entire life fending off their manipulative antics. The nail in the coffin? My mother told me she had a life-altering disease that she did not actually have.
My boyfriend at the time had parents who were nudists. He did not tell me this in advance. I saw way more of his father than necessary within the first five seconds than I ever needed to. I immediately ran back to the car, feigning illness. Maybe it wasn’t the most mature reaction, but can you blame me?
So, I'm the eldest. My mom had me when she was only 18, and my dad was 16. He left shortly after, and after that, I ended up with a terrible stepdad for about 10 years. My next stepdad just didn't like me at all. Mom would constantly make fun of me for being fat, even at the times I wasn’t, and often used me as her emotional dumping ground because she has unresolved issues.
She had two other daughters during this time. When my second stepdad came along, they tried to make a better home situation, and I couldn't help but be jealous of how much better my sisters were treated. At lunch one day, my mom broke down crying and made a horrifying confession...
She said that she saw my sisters as a second chance for how much she screwed up with me. At the time, I was happy to hear it because I want my sisters to have a much better life. But I'm still in the same place mentally. She didn't really try to fix anything between us.
When I told her about my first stepdad, she said she didn't want to report him because of something to do with her taxes.
A friend of mine wanted to move out from his controlling mom’s house at age 23. He should have known—he couldn't escape. His mom kept complaining about the places he was looking to rent.
Eventually, she decides that it's better if she buys an apartment and lets him rent it from her, just to make sure that everything is in order. However, she couldn't quite afford it, so she involves her ex-husband.
My friend said explicitly that he wanted nothing to do with that setup. I don't know all the details, but that's how he ended up anyway. She has a key to his place, and yes, she uses it to check on the place every time he's out of the apartment and she even leaves small presents for him to just let him know that she was there.
My father has extreme PTSD from being in Vietnam, with a history of being hurt physically and mentally, and I’m sure, several undiagnosed health issues on top of a CVS receipt worth of physical issues. He was heavily medicated for all of the above but there was no medication management going on, so he was a mess. In retrospect, I understand and feel terrible that he went through that.
Most of my childhood was hard with him after a certain point. He had been prescribed OxyContin for pain in his knees which he had just broken at work. This might have been the tipping point. He told me, “You’re probably not my son. I didn’t want you, you look nothing like me, and your mother would screw anything on two wheels".
I wanted to take a paternity test, but he was terribly nasty about the whole thing. My mother explained that he had several serious conditions that were hereditary and that this was his twisted way of finding peace of mind. He didn't want my future to be defined by illness. But guess what? Turns out he is my dad and I have a future of disease to look forward to. But heck, this isn't even the worst of it.
Another time, he had a completely unprovoked meltdown while sitting in his truck with me in our driveway. He said, “I hate my life, I’m going to lock myself in my bedroom, and take my own life”. I took his 45 and threw it into a quarry. In response, he said, “I hope someday you have a child that you hate as much as I hate you". Does his tragic parenting end there? Nope. Not at all.
Upon finding out that he had an extremely rare blood condition, he said “I’m going to die soon, you need to learn to be a man and not deal with it the way you deal with everything else, like a fool". I didn’t talk to him for years after this. When I was 16, I finally confronted him, and the unexpected happened...You could 100% see in his face that he was almost in disbelief.
He sat there sobbing. Mind you, this is my Vietnam vet dad, he’d fight with another karate dad in front of a crowd for making a snotty comment about me, flip the principal’s desk for suspending me over defending myself from bullies. He’s a scary man. And there he was—sobbing and begging for my forgiveness. After that, he went to a doctor, and they managed his medicine.
He was still a weirdo, but he never said anything harmful to me again.
When I was in middle school, a group of friends and I would regularly go to laser tag on Fridays after school. One time, we gear up and notice a smaller kid, maybe six or seven, and his mom come in too. Nothing particularly unusual. However, the mom does not grab a vest or a laser. For those who aren't familiar with laser tag, those are necessary items to play.
We all scatter in the room once the game starts. It was two levels of mazes dimly lit with UV lights and lots of neon paint. Techno music was thumpin’, lasers were firin’, the game played out normally for the first few minutes. Battles generally centered around the two ramps leading to the second floor, as the upper level offers tons of places to snipe and avoid counterattacks.
I had secured a base on the top when I looked down and finally saw the little kid. I couldn't believe my eyes. The mother and child duo were on the opposing team, and she was following her kid through the maze. She was also attempting to block incoming fire. If you succeeded in hitting her kid she would yell, "How dare you tag my son!" each time.
At first, we thought it was odd, but soon it devolved into us hunting and sniping the pair the whole match. Her exclamations were comedy gold. They promptly left afterward and the mom made some passing comment about us being cretins. However, despite all of that, the kid himself thought the whole experience was awesome.
My parents are something else. My mother was always paranoid, and got it into her head that I wanted to "leave the family". It was wild. She had no proof but would continue to say that God had revealed my innermost thoughts to her...And then she'd go nuts and beat me. This kind of toxicity continued into my adulthood. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
My dad also had a sadistic streak. I wish it wasn't true, but he did a lot of painful things and gleefully announced that it was enjoyable. One time, he hit me so hard with a rattan cane that I bled. His reason? Utterly despicable...He said, "I wanted to test the cane". And then came the isolation tactics. They tried so hard to ensure that I never made friends.
They had weirdly latched on to me and didn't want to let go, constantly telling me that I'm "hard to love" and that "nobody will love you like us". It was messed up. But don't worry, I eventually escaped. Unfortunately, I still needed a ton of therapy to help process all that baggage. I still do. Even now, I can't forget what they told me on the day I left...
Obviously, they were furious to find out I was leaving; they said I should have been beaten more as a child. Luckily, I’m doing so much better being out of their life, with no contact. Sure, I have severe complex PTSD, but at least I'm not being hurt anymore.
I worked as an instructor at a karate school and there was one parent no one wanted to deal with. Her son was in our youth class. The school had a little waiting area where parents could watch their kids (mainly used for the children’s class) and she would just sit in that room, staring at her son. One class we were doing very light contact drills (no more than a poke).
She came out on to the floor and started yelling at me for putting her son in danger. I asked her to please leave the floor. I changed the drill to no contact; she ran onto the floor yelling at me for singling her kid out. I stopped the class and told her to speak with the head instructor. She left to talk to him and I look over at the kid and he was crying.
I quickly moved to a fun drill and he started to smile. When the class ended a few other parents came up to me and said that mom is nuts and she kept trying to come to school with the kid. This mom had signed her kid up for karate but did not want him to be in a contact sport.
My white middle-class parents made casually prejudiced comments about Hispanic low-income families around my white-passing but proud Hispanic girlfriend, now ex, who was also from a low-income family. It really made her and me incredibly uncomfortable, and yet they were completely unaware until I started calling them out on it.
In scouts, I had a whiner in my group. When he didn't get his way, he would complain with a high grating voice while rocking back and forth in a fetal position just because we were making popsicle boats instead of coloring like he wanted to do. And no, kid. You can't have the little dog on my keychain. I don't care if you cry, it's my keychain.
No tactic worked with this kid other than ignoring him when he had a meltdown. When his mom came to get him, everything suddenly made so much sense. She would yell at everyone she could see about how her son was an angel who only deserved to be treated like a prince.
I was invited to a boyfriend's house for dinner to meet his parents. When I got there, his father wasn't yet home from work so we decided to go for a walk. My boyfriend's mother told us to be back to the house by 5:00, so we were playfully racing each other back so as to make it in time. I got to the door a few paces ahead of him, opened the door, and witnessed a sight that will be burned into my memory forever.
I found myself face-to-face with his dad, who was standing completely unclothed in front of the door. I turned around and hid around the corner. His father kind of yelped and ran down the hall, and we were both mortified. It turns out he came home and was getting ready to shower when the phone rang, so he answered it in his birthday suit, since he hadn't expected us back yet.
In Grade 10, I was seeing a girl. We lost our virginities to each other and fooled around for about a month. One spring day, my mom comes charging down to my room, more upset than I have ever seen her. She rips my laptop out of my hands, telling me to stay in my room. When she said it, my face turned white. As it turns out, her dad came to my house and he knew about some pictures his daughter sent to me.
Also, both her parents were officers and they threatened to charge me for having possession of the photos. The next time I saw those people was at an Easter dinner two weeks later with her entire family. It was one of the most awkward situations of my life. I tried stuffing for the first time that day, and to this day it reminds me of this situation.
My old boss and his wife were helicopter parents, not letting their two kids get jobs until they were done university. The problem is that when they finished, they couldn't find any jobs since they had absolutely no work experience, zero references, and zero research experience (they both had science-related degrees) so no one would hire them.
I had to actually explain to my boss that they would have to suck it up and work retail for a bit just so they could have something on their resume. He didn't understand how good grades wouldn't help them in the real world of working. He then went on to calling various labs trying to find jobs for them because he wasn't convinced. Last time I checked in with him, his kids still did not have jobs.
Well, I was 16 and dating an 18-year-old. So, one time, she comes to pick me up from my house and my mom sees her pull up in her truck. Before I can introduce them, my mom says, "If you're going anywhere with my son I am going to need to get a copy of your driver's licence and insurance before you guys go anywhere". Needless to say, that was the last time I brought a girl home…
My parents used to tell me, in so many words, that being myself wasn't good enough and that people wouldn't like me unless I completely changed who I was. They genuinely believed that there was something inherently unlikeable about me and that I had to pretend to be someone else to get anywhere in life. That really messed me up for life. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I went from a quirky kid with lots of ambitions to an adult with negative self-esteem and no personality. I'll never recover from it. They did thousands of tiny things to cut me down over the years, things I don't think they even realized they were doing, but nevertheless made me believe more and more strongly that I was just not good.
They told me I wasn't "normal" and that they wouldn't acknowledge my unique needs because I needed to learn how to deal with normal people, and told me that I had a hard time making friends because I didn't have blonde hair. They said people must be "intimidated" by me and that's why they didn't like me and told me I was bragging every time I was proud of anything I did.
They even tried telling me as a teenager I was being selfish and tried to forbid me from even saying the word "I". I still remember hundreds of the things they did and said to me that just made me think, "Wow, I'm doing everything wrong". I will acknowledge that I hold a lot of the responsibility for letting it affect me so much and I haven't properly dealt with its repercussions.
I should have dealt with my issues in a constructive way instead of a destructive way, which made me continually spiral until I lost every shred of dignity. I have believed for a long time that I'm just a "bad person" and there's nothing I can do about it, and even though a part of me knows that I can control my destiny and my actions, a much larger part of myself believes so strongly that I'm a bad person that it's overtaken my entire narrative.
I wasn't allowed to have a girlfriend in high school, but I decided to get one anyway. She was a really cute Italian girl whose dad was way too into classic cars. I ended up sneaking over to her house for dinner to finally meet her parents, but I hadn't told my parents that I was leaving. Everything was going great, her dad and I were getting along great and dinner was amazing.
We sat down to watch a movie and all of a sudden, someone barged in the front door. My parents, being the sleuthy devils they were, started calling around my friends asking where I was after they realized I wasn't in the house. Eventually, they managed to call my buddy Austin and he, being a good friend, said that I was at his house.
Now, Austin lives right next to this girl Jenny who I was dating, and so I was actually parked at his house anyway. My parents were livid, so they drove to Austin's house and asked where I was. Austin’s mom answered the door and apparently cheerfully said, "Oh, he's over at Jenny's across the street!" At this point, my Dad, furious with me, walks across the road and barges in the door.
He looks me square in the eye and says, "Let's go Mike. Now". I don't talk to Jenny or her family anymore.
"I gave birth to you, gave you food and shelter, and this is how you repay me? You're worthless and will never amount to anything in life". That’s what my awful mother said when we got into an argument over my low grades in middle and high school because of a possible unchecked learning disability that she doesn't believe in.
To this day, she thinks I got low grades because I was lazy.
I work for the Help Desk at a university, and I get disgusted with some of the parents that call in. Most of the time they want me to give them Junior's password so that they can see his homework, grades, classes, etc. We have a separate login type system for parents to handle financial aid-related stuff, but these parents want to have the full password.
Some things that I have heard: “But I am paying for him to be there, so I should have access". “I am his mother, and I need to know what he's up to". “I just want to make sure he is taking the right classes". Unfortunately, I am not allowed to tell these people to cut the umbilical cord, but I can't give them the password either. I've been yelled at a few times.
Years ago, I was at my ex's for dinner for the first time, and found out that her parents are both incredibly weird. When I eat potatoes, I like to mash the heck out of them with a fork and then mix them in melting butter. When I tried doing this at the table, her dad noticed what I was doing, got up from his seat, turned his back on me and literally shouted, “That isn’t how you eat potatoes!”
Obviously, I didn't have a clue how to react. I didn't know whether he was being serious or if it was just his sense of humor, so I looked at his wife for reassurance. She gave me that "teacher look" that they pull when you do something wrong, got up from her seat, took both my hands in hers with the blade and fork in them, and cut the remaining two potatoes into quarters.
Her dad sat down again and we finished the meal in silence with him closely watching how I ate everything.
I've never been good enough for my dad. Over and over, I've heard the same rant: "Why can't you be as successful as them?" "You are supposed to set the example". "You are so lazy they work 10 times harder than you". Well, I'll tell you why. Maybe it's because I had to start working at 15 because my dad couldn't afford to put three kids through school.
Maybe it's because his ex-wife drank all the money away or gave it to her kid. Maybe if I had the time to study instead of wasting my nights manufacturing faked IDs, I'd have better grades. Maybe then, I'd be able to make something of myself and not spend my entire adult life in retail or food.
I once received the following email from a woman I had never met: Hi Steven, your parents sent me a package with your information and pictures and a letter saying they wanted to set us up. As flattered as I am, I am in a committed relationship right now. I am also only 21 years old and I'm not looking to get married or have children anytime soon.
She continued: Your parents made clear that having children was your intention. I'm sorry, but this isn't something I am interested in. I wish you good luck in your endeavors.
I met my boyfriend’s father at his hockey game. He was sweet and bought me a hot chocolate and himself a coffee. About five minutes later, he gets booted from the arena for arguing with a referee and throwing his coffee at the referee’s face.
"By the time we were your age we had our careers sorted". That's all well and good, but to begin with, it's not 30 years ago. Secondly, University isn't cheap like it was in the 70s, and jobs are a LOT more competitive. And finally, the world has been under lockdown for a year. How in the world am I supposed to get a career sorted? It irritates me to no end.
I once got a phone call from a parent screaming at me asking why her daughter wasn't allowed to swim in a competition coming up that weekend. She wouldn't let me get a word in to explain that I was not, in fact, her daughter's swim coach. I am not a swim coach at all. Her coach had the same name as me and was even the same age.
But he still lived with his parents so mine was the only phone number in the phone book with my name. She went on for about five minutes explaining that she watches all the kids swimming and her daughter was definitely the strongest in her group. Then it hit me: I knew just what to do. I was so annoyed, I simply agreed and told her that her daughter would "definitely be swimming this weekend".
She congratulated me on making the right decision and hung up. I really wish I could see what happened
My worst “meet the parents” situation was several years ago. I walk into his house and notice framed photos on the wall. All of them were stills from when they were on the show Wife Swap. That in and of itself is no big deal...until I saw the episode. They are crazy religious. Later, the father approached me and I stuck out my hand to shake and he just looked me up and down, turned to his son and asked, "Is she a subscriber to "The Way?"
Later on, we are all having dinner and his sister is telling the parents how she heard I was “loose” and they attempt to evangelize me.
If the tiniest thing broke at home—I remember once I broke a clothespin—it was the end of all things. Dad would fly off the handle about it. Or worse, if something broke around him, or he broke it, it was still my fault. I remember, once, my brother spilled an entire carton of OJ and it was my fault for "putting it back in the fridge wrong".
If a door handle broke, it was because I touched it three turns ago and I was "too rough" with it. And so on. Even after I moved out, things were my fault at the house. They never gave me a dime after my 18th birthday, but if they didn't have enough money to pay bills, it was because they had me. I remember, one time, their house flooded, and this was my fault because two weeks prior, I was at their house, and I washed my hands and "must've" damaged the faucet.
I used to nanny for twin 10-year-old boys who had the most infuriating helicopter parents I have ever dealt with. To begin, when I first started, the mother insisted that she perform the daily tasks with me for an entire two weeks before she let me go on my own. I was 23 at the time and perfectly capable of handling the two on my own.
The boys had every aspect of the day laid out for them; from the moment they wake up until they went to bed. She would send me their schedule daily, which was complete with timestamps showing when each activity should be finished and then would also call me to go over it later that day before I picked them up from school.
She was always at the house when we arrived home to go over the schedule AGAIN with me. But want to know the worst part? She would instruct me how to make their fruit smoothie every single day, including how much fruit to add and how to wash the blender just the way she wanted. The boys were allowed a 10-minute break while they ate their snack from school, then immediately start homework.
The boys had no sort of free time at all, where they could go play outside when it was a nice day, or interact with the neighbors. The mother would email the teachers daily to ask about homework assignments, to make sure the boys wouldn't miss anything, even though the boys were religious about getting their homework done.
They also lacked a lot of socialization skills, which I would wager was from lack of free time and friends. The most frustrating part was how she also micromanaged me. I couldn't handle that this woman would have to helicopter ME, even though she had hired me to help her with her children. The mother and father were both very nice people, but they drove me up the wall.
My mother is very traditional, very much so the type of Southern woman who wakes up even on a Saturday to put on a full face of makeup and curl her hair. Since the time I hit puberty, so let’s say 12 or 13, I had her telling me that I needed to put makeup on every day. “You just look better with makeup on,” and “You’re too plain to go without makeup,” or my personal favorite of “Some girls are beautiful without makeup, you’re just not one of those girls".
As a young and impressionable teen, it really wrecked my confidence to go and be seen by my family or, God forbid, in public without makeup on. To this day she still says that to me, but I’m happy to say that now, as a 21-year-old, I can go out in public and feel confident completely bare-faced. A mother should never tell their child that they aren’t beautiful without makeup on.
A mom would come into my store every week with her daughter and blow a ton of money on her. Her daughter was always so sweet but very shy. Her mom would go on and on telling us about her daughter's angelic voice and how she was going to be a superstar someday. The very day her daughter turned 16, she came in the store with her and asked for an application.
Then she filled it out for her at my counter while telling me how amazing her daughter is, how she would be a hard worker, etc. All this while her daughter stood awkwardly to the side. Her mom always spent a ton of money and the girl was always nice so I said why not and hired her for the holiday season. I gave her 10 hours a week, never worked her alone, and just gave her stock to do.
Her mom would come in every shift for at least 30 minutes, take her to lunch on break, and would still spend big bucks every week on her. I slowly weened her off of visiting and the girl eventually started to blossom a little. I didn't keep her on after holiday because I didn't have the hours, but she was a good kid with a well-meaning but very overprotective mom.
Last night at dusk, I saw a father walking around a nearby pond and nature reserve by my house with his son and his daughter while I was walking my dog. There are bats there, which some people don’t realize because we’re in the UK and God forbid we have anything more exotic than a fox. Anyway, the kid, maybe nine years old, said, "Wow dad I just saw a bat!!"
And the dad just laughed and said “Heh…I don’t think you did...” My heart hurt for the little boy until they walked under a streetlight and the dad exclaimed, “OMG there’s loads of them!!!!!!!” And the little girl, maybe four years old, started screaming. Well done kid, you were right from the start!
The mother of an athlete on my team made up a fake Facebook account to befriend her daughter's teammate/arch-rival (in the mom’s mind) as a young handsome boy admirer. She, posing as the boy, began sending the girl gifts and chatting with her nightly. For weeks the girl was stoked on her "internet boyfriend". If that sounds messed up, just wait...
Right before a major competition, the "boy" sent her a gift basket with candies and whatnot. Her parents, thankfully at this time, caught on to her "relationship" and intercepted the package, thinking that she was being groomed for some kind of future relationship with an old man. When they opened the package to examine its contents, they noticed a strange odor.
I couldn't tell you what it was, but long story short, the mom tried to poison the girl. The account and the package were traced back to the mom.
My parents had extremely high expectations of me—expectations I couldn't possibly live up to. They wanted me to be a natural-born genius, and expected me to know the most random trivia, like which teams had won all the world cups, the capital cities of each country, etc. At the same time, they told me to "shut up" anytime I tried to ask a question.
The whole time I was in school, I tried my hardest to be the smartest person in the room, and even now, I don't believe it when friends tell me I'm smart.
I had a friend in high school who had a pretty disturbing version of helicopter parents. She had the normal "no job, no cell phone, no after school activities, come right home, no car, no driver's license" thing going on. But get this. Her mom was a psychiatrist and her dad was a doctor. Her dad was her doctor. He diagnosed her with depression and then her mom was her psychiatrist.
Her mom diagnosed her with severe depression and had her (temporarily) committed to an institution. When she got out two weeks later and I asked about it, she broke down crying and said she couldn't remember anything because they'd kept her so drugged up on her mother’s orders. She ran away to California when she was 17.
When I was younger, I would call my Dad and he would tell me “I’m coming over to get you". Hearing that, I would sit by the window and just wait for him, but he would never come. My mom used to say that it was heartbreaking to see. I’ve seen him maybe 12 times in my entire life, I’m 40 now and it still hurts when I think about it.
I worked with a woman who had her child in a daycare that featured a streaming webcam of the facility. She watched it all day and was on the phone with the staff every 30 minutes or so complaining or telling them how to do their job. It went on endlessly. If she was on her phone, it was most certainly with the daycare.
"We're moving and you're not welcome". This is what my dad said to me after he took my sister's pizza that I made, ate it in front of me, and then threw the pizza at me after I asked him why the heck he's like that and walked away. We were supposed to be moving to a new place the next couple of weeks after this fight.
In high school my mom got a call from a friend’s mom saying she should look at my Facebook because something indicated that I was pregnant. My mom ran into my room fuming mad, screaming and demanding all of my passwords. She spent the next several hours dissecting my emails, texts, Facebook wall, and messages.
When I found out the reason for all this, I wanted to scream. Turns out that other parent thought my status that said, "14 months in :)" referring to my relationship anniversary was about a pregnancy. From then on, my mom commanded full access to all of my stuff, reading everything until I moved out to college.
I am the youngest of three kids. My siblings are six and seven years older than me. My parents always talked about how they didn’t plan for kids. I didn’t think my mom could have any and then had two back-to-back. They couldn’t afford two kids so when I came along a lot later-then they were really broke. Most of my childhood memories involve my parents saying to me, “Man we really couldn’t afford anything after you came along. Life got so much harder. But we love you".
I get they didn’t mean any harm but always having to hear about how much of a hardship and a burden it was to love and care for me really messed with me. I am in therapy and have been for years—and I am okay. I am in a great place and I love myself. But a part of me always feels bad when people say they love me. Because to me, love implies a burden, and I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.
Me and my bandmates had just returned from a competition around 11:30 or 12:00. Now on the itinerary it says the time that's up on the paper is not exact. This one freshman is putting up his uniform and his clarinet when some lady walks through the door. She then starts screaming about how he is late and if he doesn't come right now, she'll make him drop out of band.
The kid looks scared and embarrassed and walks out of the room. It's nothing but silence. That woman makes me want to follow her around with my sousaphone making random noises whenever she speaks.
My brother and I spent the day cleaning the bathroom. However, I missed a dirty spot. Later I ended up overhearing my dad tell my brother: "The lesson you need to take from this is to never rely on your brother for anything". This one stuck out to me above the other insults I heard during childhood, as my parents were typically a lot more direct with their insults.
My college roommate was medically diagnosed with "insomnia" and had helicopter parents who kept talking to the head of housing. I tried everything to make it so I could actually sleep in the room but she kept claiming her medical condition made it so she had to read in bed for 4 hours every single night so her Ambien would "kick in".
I finally had to have my own parents call in to the head of housing who, once I explained the situation, couldn't believe my roommate was being so selfish and helped me move. It sucked but once my grades were falling due to a lack of sleep I kind of had to call in the big guns.
When I was around eight years old, my mom took me shopping. We were walking towards the mall behind a group of young guys in their late teens and early 20s. They were laughing and joking, seemingly having the time of their life. It looked like a lot of fun. I pointed at them and told my mom that it reminded me of the song my dad used to play, “The Boys are Back in Town,” an old Thin Lizzy song.
My mom looked straight ahead and bluntly answered, "You will never experience that". It wasn't exactly the kind of answer I had hoped to get. All I could get out of my mouth was "...What?..." "You won't," was her final say on the matter. Way to ruin a Friday evening Mom.
Once I was on a pub trivia team with a mid-20s guy we had just met that evening at the bar. He was odd right from the start, super awkward. He talked a lot about his life, how he still lived at home, how he just got his dream car which was a Mini Cooper. He stepped away from the table a few times to answer calls from his mom.
At one point I noticed an older woman outside, just on the other side of the window, peering in and watching our group. Turns out it was the guy's mom, waiting to pick him up. Trivia ended, we went outside to part ways and say goodbye. The guy's mom pulled up in the dream car Mini Cooper. There was a dog in the front passenger seat. The guy climbed in the back seat and they drove away.
When the authorities arrived at our house, my father said I ruined the family. I had actually forgotten I had told someone in school about stuff that was happening at home until they showed up. My father didn’t take it very well. He was embarrassed that I had said something. I’m 42 now. I have boys of my own and I’m proud to say they don’t have a relationship with my dad.
They don’t know him. Instead, my father-in-law is the best grandfather to them.
When I was in elementary school, my mom was so worried that I would be abducted when I was walking home that she gave me a walkie-talkie. She made me tune it to some obscure channel, in case a child abductor was listening in on our conversation. She also wanted to know where I was on my walk home, so she would know where I was abducted.
She made me tell her every time I get to a street corner, but she was still worried that a child abductor would listen in and know what street corner I was at, so instead she had me say "checkpoint" when I got to one of the street corners. She had each street corner memorized, so she knew where I was when I said "checkpoint" the first time, the second time, etc.
I was never abducted. Plus, every other kid always asked, "Why do you have a walkie-talkie?" I had to answer so many times, my response was almost scripted. They all thought it was hilarious. I thought it was a nightmare. My mother is still convinced that she didn't monitor me as much as most other parents would have.
My mom was very, very paranoid about what I did on the computer. Now, I was a very shy, quiet girl and never really did all that much to get in serious trouble. I was never interested in weird stuff, didn't look up anything like that online, and never bothered to clear the search history because of it. Yet she was a raging paranoid about anything I was doing on there.
I used the computer to message my friends, buy iTunes, and play Roller Coaster Tycoon. That's it. I was very open about this fact. But she would go through my history, stand behind me and blatantly eavesdrop on my messages about innocent topics like school or video games, constantly ask what I was doing, and she would freak the heck out if I ever shut the door due to noise bothering me.
She had an unfounded paranoia that I was in there looking at restricted websites, despite the fact that I never, not once, even attempted it. She also was insane about anything remotely to do with intimacy and was super dedicated to catching me doing something so she could yell at me about it. Yes, I did it, but never when anyone was home. I wasn't stupid. Still, her helicopter parenting didn't end there.
If I was ever in the shower too long, she'd shriek at me. Not only that, but she would burst into my room whenever I had the door shut like she wanted to catch me. One time, she started screaming at me over how "disgusting" and "inappropriate" I was because she was under the impression that she'd caught me. She did not. I was laying on my bed playing with my dog. I'm still confused about this incident to this day.
This not only made me super paranoid about deleting my texts and search history to the point where I still do it despite living alone and not sharing devices with anyone, but it also gave me a really weird complex about my body that was extremely unhealthy. I wasn't able to be comfortable enough to have intercourse until I was almost 21, and already two years into a four-year relationship.
I thought it was dirty and wrong and that I deserved to be punished for it. Catholicism didn't help with that one. So yeah. Don't be a freak about your teenagers' urges. No one wants to think about it, but learn to cope with the idea.
My mom and I had a massive argument about LGBT people. I said it's natural and not a thing that should be debated, she said it's not natural and it goes against God's will. I asked her what she would do if I was gay, and she said she'd kick me out and I'd be dead to her. In truth, I'm bi. It broke my soul that my own mother could and would do that.
I'm only ever coming out when I eventually move out, which is probably not going to be for a long time. I have no tertiary education, a low paying job, no marketable skills...But when I do move out, I'm going to send her a picture of me kissing a girl while flipping off the camera.
I always hated the end of the school year because we had to empty out our desks and take all our work home. My mom would go through our backpacks, but she would only go through my notebooks and make fun of my drawings, stories, and call them stupid, among other things. She would then read it out loud to my siblings and dad. Same thing with my diaries. They would just laugh.
Now they tell my kids, "Your mom always loved to draw, I don't know why she stopped!" I wonder why…
The mother of my daughter’s new roommate proceeded to inform my daughter of which dresser and which closet she would get, what color the room would be decorated in, and that my daughter would bring a fridge and a shelf. Caught off guard, we left. Later, daughter got texts from the roommate’s phone inviting her over to see a concert in a park.
My daughter said sure. But she got there and found out the mother had taken her daughter's cell phone and set all that up. Then she demanded me and my husband stay, even though we kept telling her we had plans. We caved and stayed and the mother's moods kept changing. She would be happy and flighty one minute and then angry or not speaking the next.
During our time there, she told us of addiction problems and rehab in her family and with her kids. We had already been told she only had one child by her husband, who was her second husband, and her other kids were from her first husband. But then while there, she started talking about having met her husband over 30 years ago. It was insane—and it was going to get so much worse.
My daughter tried to ask the girl if she had an idea how she wanted to arrange the room. But, in the mother’s overbearingness, she just wouldn't really speak. The only thing she said was, "I am not into that, I do not care how anything is arranged, do whatever you want". On move in day, they had brought so much stuff for that girl, it would not even fit in the room.
And the mom then proceeded to physically grab my daughter and shove her in to the corner screaming and cussing at her and threatening her. Then the roommate got in to the picture doing the same. They physically shoved my daughter in to the corner. Then the mom tried to shove the brand-new fridge and damaged it, stating it was in her way and her daughter wanted that spot.
The campus authorities came over and removed the mother and had both girls step out of the room. But the roommate ended up being as nasty as the mom. She bee-lined to the social event after assaulting my daughter and put up this fake cry and told everyone that my daughter would not allow her to move in.
Every so often, my mom likes to remind me that my dad never wanted kids. He told her that, if she wanted to start a family, she had to stay home and raise the babies. So, not only did my dad not actually want me, but I also ruined the career my mom loved. What angers me, even more, is she didn’t start telling me this until after my dad developed early-onset dementia, so he couldn’t even back up or refute the claims.
It was just her bitter word. Heck, I’m in my 30s now and am still trying to be civil with my mom since she and my brother are the only family members I have left, but these kinds of passive-aggressive comments are why I moved hundreds of miles away as soon as I could.
When I was a small child playing Star Wars Pod Racers on the Nintendo 64 I finally got 2nd place in one of the races I had been losing on for weeks. I was so pumped about it, but when I ran to tell my mother—her response was devastating: “Wow! Ya know second place is the first loser". My dreams were absolutely crushed.
I work in an orthodontic office and we see a lot of helicopter moms on a daily basis. I guess what parents don't realize is that most kids are pretty chill about what's going to happen with braces or getting x-rays but the moms throw such a fit about how their kid has anxiety that it actually gives them anxiety about it.
Once mom leaves the room the kids are completely fine! As soon as she steps back in the room let’s start the waterworks. It makes me think of the saddest display I ever saw. It was with a boy who was 16 or so and home-schooled. They live about ten minutes from the office. After each visit when I scheduled the next appointment, she would always make a point to ask him if he had to pee before they left.
I'm pretty sure he's old enough to decide if he has to use the bathroom or if he can't hold it the ten-minute drive home without her asking him. Plus, that has to be embarrassing for a boy his age to be asked that in front of a room of women and people his own age. Now that he's driving himself it's been wonderful to see him come out of his shell.
I was around 16 at the time. I was in the passenger seat as my dad drove to Mcdonald's to get dinner for me, him, and my mom. I've been overweight my entire life, and I would have been around 260 to 270 pounds at the time. I asked for a Big Mac combo, and a 10-piece nugget. I liked the variety. He turned to me and frustratedly said, "Why do you always have to be such a pig?"
He apologized profusely a few minutes later, but it's always stuck with me, sometimes playing on a loop in my head. It's made worse by the fact that out of my parents, he's usually the sane and nice one. My mom is completely and insanely mean, and I'm used to that. Him saying something like that kind of broke me, and even though we're fairly close, it's never left my mind.
My mother once broke down crying when I was about six. When I asked her what was wrong, she went on a rant about how if she could go back, she wouldn't have been with my dad, and she wouldn't have had me. That screwed me up for years. When I brought it up in an argument when I was 16, she then accused me of lying, and said that I was always trying to make her the "bad guy".
I was graduating from high school, and everyone was asking me what I was going to do with my life. My Mom said, “Just tell everyone that you’re going to be a bum so if you become anything better than that, they’ll be surprised!” She’s an awful, competitive narcissist who has been jealous of everything I did since I was born.
Maybe because she dropped out of high school, and I didn’t. Her sisters saw this trait and told me.
There is an older mom who shops at the bookstore where I work. She comes in with her son, a sweet boy who may be about 10. He's not allowed to let go of her hand in the store, he's not allowed to look at ANYTHING that she doesn't hold open and read with him, and he's not allowed to go to the bathroom on his own.
When he does go, she takes him to the women's restroom and talks to him through the stall door the entire time. Last year, I put a skeleton on the ceiling at the entry to the building. Super spooky Halloween stuff. When she saw it, her reaction made me want to both laugh and cry. She came in, saw the skeleton, and proceeded to COVER HER KID'S EYES as they walked hand-in-hand through the store.
She kept up a running monologue anytime they neared the front: "Don't look up sweetie. Whatever you do, don't look up. You don't want to see what's up there. It's SO scary. You'll get nightmares and you'll never be okay after that. I just don't want you to look up. Okay? Don't look up". I don't know the kid's situation, but her attention seems...excessive.
My fiancée’s dad cheated on her mum and left her with a ridiculously expensive house to afford and would constantly withhold child maintenance. My fiancée and her sister were constantly looked after by her grandparents while their mum worked three jobs. The last thing her dad said to her was, “No one loves you,” and when she said I’m pretty sure my grandparents do, his response was so messed up—I'll never forget it.
He said, “No they don’t, they just pretend to because they feel sorry for you". But her father isn't the only awful one in the family. Her stepmom is a nasty piece of work as well. She continuously makes horrible comments like, “You look fat in that dress,” and, “When is your mum going to get a proper job so that you can afford proper clothes". Trash, the pair of them.
I was always anti-social and the complete opposite of athletic. When I began to try and work out to gain some muscle, I got teased by my parents. All that did was discourage me and make me want to quit. This could go for anything. Is your kid antisocial? The, "Well look who decided to leave their cave and join us," is wholly awful and just encourages them to stay in their room.
If your kid decides to make a positive change in their life, don't discourage them just so you can get an easy laugh.
A few days into the official start of classes, there's a knock on my door, and the campus security guard is on the other side. At first, I was worried because my roommate enjoyed his recreational aids. But then she asks for my name and I'm thinking, "Oh great, what did I do?" There are people on the floor sticking their heads out of the door and my anxiety is going up.
The security lady then says the most humiliating words I ever had directed to me in public: "Your mother called us because she thought you were kidnapped. You should call her back as soon as you can". For the rest of the year, my floormates would remind me to call my mother.
On one occasion, I had a migraine so bad, I politely requested that my mother help keep my sisters as quiet as possible because I was hurting. I even asked to just be let out of the car so I could bus home, but she wouldn't let me. Instead of showing me a shred of empathy, my mother decided to cause me even more pain, exclaiming, "You’re the reason behind every problem in this family".
They wouldn’t help me with problems, and they wouldn’t let me help myself. How the heck was I the reason behind every problem? You think I actually want migraines?? No, I don’t. It hurts so bad that it’s increased my pain tolerance to the point that I have to have oozing pus sacs before I even notice an infection. I didn’t ask for that amount of pain.
If I had a choice I wouldn’t hurt, but sure, I caused every problem in the family by having chronic migraines.
My grandfather forced me to sit in his car and tell him I loved him when I was 12 because I literally did not know how to say it. He's the only relative that consistently has said it to me throughout my life, which I appreciate. My parents never said such things to me, either of them. Now that I am grown and can take care of myself, my dad wants a relationship with me and tells me he loves me.
My mom will sometimes text me that she loves me. I always say it back, but part of me wonders why they waited so long. And I do feel bitter towards them both. I NEEDED their love and affection as a kid. Now that I'm a grown woman, I've long since learned how to live without it. It does feel like too little, too late with both my parents. I don't make time for them now because they forced me into raising myself and figuring out life alone.
My cousin has been controlled by my aunt for 90% of her life. She's dictated everything in her life down to how she dresses, eats, sleeps, and her major in college. She's required to call home immediately at 6pm sharp, regardless of what she's doing, just to check-in. If she's late calling home, even if it’s just a few minutes, she gets a free guilt trip around the world.
Her mom gets her class schedule and sets a study schedule for her, which was basically from one hour after school to when she had to go to bed (also designated by mom). If she had a study group, girls only. No guys are allowed in her life at all. No dating, friendships, nothing. My aunt would often drop in unannounced for a surprise inspection to see if she was doing everything as she was told.
My cousin hates her mom controlling everything yet won’t do anything overtly to question or oppose her. She chose to go to Puerto Rico to finish up her doctorate in Pediatrics. Her mom still flew in at random times to check on her to make sure she didn't have a boyfriend! (No daughter of mine is getting pregnant at 30 and ruining her career!).
She broke down crying when it was just me and her talking one night. She told me that she hates being treated like a puppet, and her mom is trying her hardest to live vicariously through her. Her mom and dad divorced when she was eight and it basically started from there. My aunt is a pariah in our family now and we only invite my cousin to family reunions.
"It's all in your head". Of course, dad. It's called a mental illness. Maybe if you didn't gaslight me and actually took me to the doctor like you were supposed to half a year ago, I wouldn't have tried to become new paint for a Choo-choo train. But hey, what do I know. You dropped out of high school, and I almost graduated with a perfect GPA if it wasn't for all that. But yeah. You know more about mental health than me. Definitely.
I was always the shy and quiet kid my whole life until I found dance and realized I absolutely loved being on stage, which then led me to start auditioning for theatre productions. My confidence was knocked from the start by my mother always telling me I wasn’t good enough. She pushed my buttons incessantly, always trying to get a reaction out of me.
I know it's stupid, but sometimes, I'd bail on auditions just because she'd convinced me that I'd never do well. I only noticed how much this affected me when, one year, we were standing decorating the Christmas tree, when my mother turned to me and said, "You’re always so dramatic, you should definitely audition for this character in that musical".
After condescendingly telling me that I was “definitely suited for the part," I burst into tears. To my shame, I chickened out of that audition at the last minute.
My whole family hovers, but my father's by far the worst. During my second week of college my dad came up to see how I was, he came over early wearing dark tattered work clothes and sat in the dorm common room trying to look as suspicious and threatening as possible and timed the response for someone to report him.
I never knew this happened until a week later when I went to talk to security about something and they recognized my last name. When I turned 19 and was a sophomore, my grandparents gave me their old car so I could drive home to visit occasionally. My dad insisted on not only following me on my first three-hour drive to the school, but again when I went back home.
Once I accidentally dialed my dad while in class. When he couldn't reach me back right away, he called literally every friend and family member he could to find out where I was. After about 10 calls my mom calls me (I'm just getting out of class) and tells me to call my dad back immediately because he's on the phone filing a report that I'm missing.
My parents also constantly (even today when I have a job) try to get me jobs. Oh, and for my first job interview ever my dad insisted on coming in with me because he thought I'd blow it. My parents, dad especially, couldn't comprehend why they weren't allowed to sit in on my private thesis defense in grad school.
My dad would call me a liar, even when I was telling the truth, about the smallest of things. I remember, very clearly, him leaning really close to my face and yelling “LIAR!” when I was around 10. Now that I'm an adult, he's worked to make amends, but the scars remain. I see that moment replaying over him like a mask whenever I feel the walls coming down a little, and I find it hard to get past.
I'm on the spectrum, Asperger’s, so I wasn't the most easy-going child. I was a very self-isolating and unsocial child, so when I annoyed the heck out of my mom or would behave poorly, she would say to me something that still, to this day, affects every relationship I pursue. She said, "No one will ever love you". We kind of patched our relationship over the years, but I resent her and can't help giving her the cold shoulder.
I fear that we'll be distant forever.
My aunt didn't let her children leave her sight, watch tv, make friends, and didn't feed them anything but plain rice and chicken for years. And that's not even the disturbing part: There was a mandatory hour of "cuddle time" with mom every night and they barely knew how to be human beings. The youngest is eight and isn’t allowed to dress herself since her mother did it every day for all three kids.
She homeschooled them too and the only time they leave the house was to go to the doctor or dentist.
My parents required pretty strict obedience. I tended to push back a lot. But I feel like the “because I said so” demand to respect their authority without question messed me up. Though I’m smart and capable, I often ask questions to confirm answers I’m fairly sure are right. I have trouble pushing back against authority even when I know I’m being taken advantage of.
I tend to take people at their word too much, which I figure is better to trust than always be suspicious, but I do get taken from time to time. I stay under shitty managers longer than I should. I lashed out and broke my three-year-olds dresser once. We were using a naughty-chair method instead of the spanking I’d grown up with.
I realized I was out of line and put myself in the naughty chair for my kids’ sakes. Told my Dad and he thought that was ridiculous because “the parent is always right". I think that’s when I realized the problems I grew up with. I’m not always right. I’m a pretty good parent, but I get distracted, get tired, get caught up in my head, and end up not being as engaged as I should be.
Because of that, I make mistakes. So, I let my kids push back sometimes. They need to be able to stand up for themselves when they think their right. My oldest will tell me when I’m off the handle about something. I don’t like it in the moment, but I can tell he’s right. Our competitive culture and lifestyles have all of us being coerced into doing stuff for other people, be it working or buying.
I want my kids to be able to resist that and know how to stand up for themselves.
"Why do you have to be so weird!! Listening to your weird music and stuff like that!!" That’s what my parents said to me. My favorite music genre was indie-pop. I really, really, enjoyed that music, but after I got that comment, I felt like I wasn't supposed to be venturing outside of the mainstream—like it was wrong to be enjoying something different.
It really messed me up for a while because I would shun other people for having non-mainstream interests...I thought they were weird.
I managed, scheduled, and hired for a fast-food place in a good neighborhood. This kid comes in for an interview in a button-up shirt and tie. I am liking him; I want to know if he has other extra-curriculars so I can make sure neither of us are wasting our time. I hire him on the spot. He comes in on his first day and it looks like Mom dropped him off.
She sits down without ordering and watches him walk to the back to do training. I go back to the front to work and she is still there. I go check the lobby about 30 minutes later. Still there. I get off, a couple hours later I get a call from my coworker asking about the new kid. I figure it was about his timecard or something.
No. Woman is still there, manager wanted to know if the kid is special or something. When I get to work the next day and answer the phone, the woman wants her son’s schedule. I say I can't give it out, he needs to ask for it or come to the store. She argues with me for a couple of minutes, but I absolutely refuse to give out his schedule.
He comes in about an hour later to get his hours, I had to pencil him in so I have the entire schedule book for the week out. She tried to take it from me. I snatched it and tossed it on the counter and tell that she is not allowed to look at our schedules because she's not an employee and that it is protected communications.
She huffs while I give the kid his schedule. Don't see her for a while, great. About two months later she calls the store to tell me to cut his hours because he's too busy now. I called him into the office while I wrote schedules for the next week and asked HIM if he wanted his hours cut. He had no idea why I would ask to cut his hours.
My Dad married a woman with two daughters who were treated like princesses. I was the oldest and was admittedly a nightmare as a teenager. Unfortunately for my younger brother, he was constantly compared to our stepsisters, who could do no wrong, or told if he did anything wrong “he would turn out just like your rotten sister".
One of the stepsisters was a devious, conniving little brat who would do things like hide my textbook right before the bus came and then smile innocently when asked if she knew where it was. She was old enough to know what a mean move this was. So I would get in trouble for not being organized and she would sit there and smile knowing it was in her room.
We hated spending time over there because it was clear we were invading their happy home and not welcome. When my dad passed a few years ago I wrote his Obituary and omitted his 2nd wife from the mentions. That felt good.
My Dad told me: “You’re not supposed to find a job you enjoy, you find a job that pays well and live with it". And when I told him what my ambitions were, he got angry and shouted: “You want to be a small business owner? Do you want to be poor for the rest of your life?” Subsequently, 15 years later I am not a small business owner and can’t find the courage to do it.
My life has revolved around his approval.
I'm 17, and can't visit a friend’s house unless one of my grandparents (who I live with) has met said friend’s parents. They refuse to let me apply for part-time jobs in a town 20 minutes away. I go to school in that town. I'm not allowed to have anyone ride in the car with me. I can't get specific styles of haircuts. I have to ask for money to get clothes that fit me properly.
I'm not allowed to drive past 6 pm and I've been stalked to a friend’s house (caught them driving by) to see if I was going where I said I was.
After doing extra work to get my grades up in Math and Algebra, for the first time in many years, I wasn’t afraid to go to the parent-teacher conference. And when my principal and math teacher told my parents that she was proud of my improvement in math, my mother said, “Thank you for his grades,” to which my principal said “No, that’s all your son’s work. I did nothing different".
My mother just stood there, shook her head in disbelief, and didn’t bother to congratulate me on my achievements. For some reason, she simply couldn’t fathom her child doing well. If anything positive ever happened to me, she kept thanking God as if I didn’t do anything to achieve it.
My mom was very overprotective with me until I actually got some friends when I was 17. At first, she never would let me do anything or go anywhere with them. I'm her only child, and she just wanted to protect her baby. I finally convinced her to let me have some fun. I told her that I had never given her a reason not to trust me, so she should let me be.
After she realized I could handle myself, she quit being so overprotective. Once that happened, I was much happier and had much more confidence. She has said she wishes she would have lightened up when I was younger because I was much happier with freedom.
My parents were pretty intense about parenting. As I got older, they got more and more overbearing. They wouldn't let me move out to go to university at 18, so I ended up living at home. They wouldn't let me date, would start arguments and occasionally get physical with me if they discovered I had spoken to a boy.
They also limited my time on the internet, confiscated my phone even after I was an adult and paying for it myself. Last year, I left home and they called the authorities, reporting me missing and wasted a lot of everyone’s time. Then I turned up at my boyfriend’s house four hours away. They constantly hounded me with calls and texts. But what they did next was too messed up for me to forgive.
I went to see them two months later and they locked me into my old bedroom and my boyfriend had to call the authorities so I could leave without them hurting me. I went back in February to collect clothes and some belongings and had to be escorted there. Glad I did, because they'd decided to have a huge family gathering.
I saw them once since then in June when they came to see me, I didn't let them know where I lived and met them for half an hour in the park.
In my experience, divorced parents that say stuff like, "Don't talk about that to your ‘other parent," or,"Your ‘other parent’ is trying to manipulate you". It really screws with the kid's head. If you're ever going through a divorce and have children, please find a way to sort out your issues with your former spouse without involving your children more than necessary.
When I was younger I would frequently act without thinking, one time I kinda spoiled a trip to my grandmother's house at the last moment by doing something stupid, then later on at my own home, I overheard my family talking about it through a wall. In reference to my behavior, I heard my mother say something I'll never forget: "He finds a way to ruin everything" and my father and sister seemed to agree.
At the time, it really hurt, and even now, the idea of being a burden to my family continues to eat at me.
"People only tell you they like it because they don't want to hurt your feelings". My mom would make comments like that if I received a compliment on something she personally didn't like. I outgrew my mom's manipulative speech at a young age, but her comments messed my younger sister right up; poor girl constantly seeks validation she never actually trusts, no doubt because our mother sowed that seed.
I desperately needed braces, but my mom refused the orthodontist's advice. Her reason? Totally brutal. She told him, "She won't ever be a movie star anyway". She also told Dad maybe it would keep me out of a home for unwed mothers if they let me buy the horse I wanted. Huh? I was only 11 and it pretty much screwed with my head.
Even good parents, watch what you say to your kids. It can have a lasting impact. It may sound cute or snarky sarcastic to you, but little kids have big ears.
I've been having a hard time in university. Three years ago, I had to take a year-long break to pass the courses I failed and now I'm struggling to find the motivation to work on my engineering thesis. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if there's something wrong with me and compare myself to my peers and how most of them completed their studies last year and already have jobs while I'm held back by a year again.
For the past few months, I tried to hide that I'm having problems again from my parents because I knew that my mom wouldn't tell me that it is okay to take my time as long as I get there. She would much rather compare me to the people my age like I've been doing. And that's exactly what she did when I finally told her.
Throughout my childhood, I had to earn anything I wanted with my grades. Even the smaller things. Want to hang out with my friends? Gotta get more than 90% next exam. Want a birthday gift or a cake? Top of the class. Want to go on a school trip? Tough, go study. Many times, my parents would say it because they knew I wouldn’t get the marks they said.
In one way it helped that I ended up becoming a person who really pushes myself to do really well in what I do, but it also really shattered my childhood because I don’t remember having much of a life. I had to earn my life through grades which I could never really reach.
This one involved a mother and her 14-year-old daughter at an airport when the daughter was flying alone. I was going through security right behind them, and I could overhear the mom telling her, "Okay, now call me as soon as you get to the gate, and whenever you land. Make sure you go to the right gate..." and on and on.
As they got to the TSA guy who checks your boarding pass and ID, the mom tried to come with her through security, even though she wasn't traveling. She clearly knew about the rule, but she tried to talk her way into the concourse anyways. She then backed off, and her daughter went through security. As soon as the daughter got through security, she took out her phone and started talking.
I turned around, and her mother was talking to her on the phone (it's a small airport, so you can clearly see past the security checkpoint from either side).
My parents joined a cult before I was born, which prohibited watching TV or any sort of interaction with the outside world. My childhood was not too fun. The cult was a very, very obscure offshoot of Christianity. Probably mostly akin to Southern Baptist in practice but much stricter. There was the speaking in tongues and all of that.
A man named Sam Fife started this organization, which goes by the name of "The Move" or "The Move of God". He believed that the end times were imminent and encouraged his followers to go off into the wilderness and build communes to wait for Jesus' return in five years. 40+ years later, they're still going. The Move prohibits anything that has to do with "The World".
Modern haircuts, TV, pants for women, and even dating were all taboo for me. Young adults are encouraged to "walk out a year in the Lord" with a potential partner in which time they get to know each other. A six-inch rule is enforced meaning the couple must remain six inches from each other at all times until marriage, to prevent lustful demons from entering the couple.
I was 19, had moved out for college, and was seeing a man. My mom looked up his number through our phone records (they paid for my phone) and called and threatened him. Later that semester I went home to see a dying relative, and they decided my seeing my partner was immoral, snapped my phone in half, and took my car keys (my car, they did not pay for it).
My boyfriend came to bring me back to school for finals, and they advanced on him with a flashlight and fired shots into the air. All charges were dismissed because they are well respected in their community. They were not invited to our wedding, or our first child's birth. We are happy and expecting our second child.
I had only been dating this girl for a couple months, but she wanted to travel back home for a cousin's wedding and asked me to go. I agreed, knowing that this meant I was definitely going to have to meet her parents. The wedding was in her hometown out in the sticks of south Texas. We got to her parents’ house just after dinner time.
Both her parents were on the front porch sitting in rocking chairs. We walk up to the porch and make our introductions. Her mother was a very nice and sweet southern belle type, seeing as she was from Louisiana. She asked if I'd like some sweet tea. Yep, this girl’s mother goes in the house to get the tea and this girl went with her to help.
This leaves me alone with her father. He seems to have a very sour look on his face and is not at all pleased to meet me. I later learned that this is just the way he looks. All the time. I sit down in the vacated rocking chair, and a small table separates us. He pulls out a small .38 special with a recessed hammer and places it on the table between us.
He says, "This is meant to be fired from a jacket pocket. You'd never see it coming". I look down at his piece on the table and then look up at him, then back at it, then back up at him, and he has these squinty eyes that seem to be drilling into mine. I then slowly reach behind my back and pull out my Desert Eagle 5.0 and place it in front of me on the table.
It is audibly heavy and has a satisfying "ta-chunk" sound when I lay it down. I said to him: "This is my Desert Eagle. It's meant to kill people. Efficiently". At that moment, his eyes lit up and a smile grew on his face that I didn't think could get any bigger without his face cracking in two. Very soon after, the girl and mother came back out with the tea and I grabbed my piece and holstered it and got up for her mother to sit down.
The father looks at the girl, points at me, and says, "I like this one". The father and I got along just fine. Ah....memories.
I dated a girl for just a bit, with no plans at all to meet her parents at this point. We had just finished getting intimate for the first time when she got a call from her mom. Apparently, they had a little too much to drink and needed a sober ride home. She asked if I minded, and I didn't, so we headed to the bar to get them. They were kind enough to be outside waiting for us when we got there.
They were both leaning back on a railing above some concrete steps leading to an outside basement entrance. She waves at them and they wave back. Her dad lost his balance and went backward over the railing. Her mom looked over and just started wailing. I made my girlfriend stay in the car and call for help while I went to see what happened. It was more chilling than I could have ever imagined.
He landed just right on the corner of one of the stairs and split his skull wide open. He had passed before I ever said a word to him. That relationship didn't last very long.
When I was 15, my dad made my mom choose between me or him. He was angry at me for the dumbest reason ever: I'd refused to give him my email password. I thought my mom would take my side, but I was so so wrong. Without hesitation, she told me to leave. But that wasn't the worst part. It was the middle of winter. I had no coat and ended up wandering around town by myself.
After spending the entire evening freezing, I had no choice but to sleep under the stairs of the building we lived in. Later that night, my father gave my mother permission to let me back in. Years later, I told them about this trauma, and once again, they let me down. They screamed at me called me a "stupid liar" while I bawled my eyes out.
My girlfriend only had her mother since her father passed when she was young. I go to her house to wait for her to get home and meet her mom, and she has a bottle of Dewars on the table. Her mom was pleasant and not yet not intoxicated at the time, and she offered me a drink. I normally don't drink the hard stuff, but I decided to be polite and take it.
Her mother gets a phone call and apparently, my new girlfriend is going to be about two hours late. The mother then sits down next to me on the couch and strikes up a conversation with me. Then the unthinkable happens. Her mom, not very attractive by the way, puts her hand on my upper thigh. She says we have two hours if I'm interested and smiles.
Now at the time, I was only 18, but I had enough common sense to get the heck out of there really quickly. I met up with my girlfriend later that night and didn't even bring up what happened. I thought, “What good could it do, right?” Two days later, my girlfriend shows up at my house and is wide-eyed, and her breath is labored.
She tells me that one of her best friends just told her that he slept with her mom. I asked when it happened, and she said two nights ago. I made the right choice!
My fiancé’s mother is a single mother, and she is waayyy overly attached to my fiancé. She seems to think she is entitled to be a part of every aspect of my fiancé’s life and that she must always come first in all situations. For example, she was livid when we got engaged because we didn’t visit her first after the proposal. She pitched a fit that we had stopped by my parents’ first to show them the ring.
When we did arrive at her house, she was so angry that she ended up throwing a cake at us in her driveway. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She has made my life a nightmare since we got together, but it became much worse when I got pregnant. She has made numerous attempts to convince my fiancé to leave me because she doesn’t believe I am pregnant with his baby.
Her “proof” is that I was too fat, so I must be lying about the due date. This is just one of the many things she has done to hurt and embarrass me. We have limited our contact with her as a result, but she always seems to find a way to weasel back in. So, last week I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Both our families were not able to come to the hospital and will likely not be able to visit in person for a while.
My parents told me they planned to decorate the front of my house to welcome the baby home, and my mom said she had ordered a bunch of things off Etsy for the occasion. When I arrived home, I was surprised to see that there were no decorations. I didn’t think much of it and just assumed my family had run out of time. It wasn’t like them to forget, but I assumed there was a good explanation. Then I got a heart-stopping phone call.
My mom called me after I was settled and asked me how I liked the decorations and presents. I asked her what she was talking about and told her that there was nothing outside when I got home. My mom proceeded to text me several pictures of my house fully decorated in pink baby gear. I also noticed several wrapped presents on my porch in the picture.
They were also missing along with a large banner, balloon arrangements, and several other decorations. My mother told me one of the presents contained a little sweater knitted by my grandma that I wore as a baby. I had been looking forward to receiving this and passing it on to my daughter. I was extremely confused as we live in a rural area so porch pirates are not very common.
I asked my fiancé to check our security camera. He pulled up the footage and we were both shocked at what we saw. We saw his mother taking everything down and putting it all in her car. The footage was very clear and you can easily see her license plate in the video. My fiancé was livid and immediately called his mother. She tried to deny it at first but soon admitted what she had done.
She claimed she was angry that she was not given the opportunity to decorate our house herself. She said my family had insulted her by excluding her, and she began to cry about how horrible we are to her. My fiancé was not having it. He said she had one hour to bring everything back to our place or he would be calling the authorities.
She then laughed and said that she had already thrown everything into a donation bin and told us good luck finding it. My fiancé has already driven around to several donation bins in the area to check but hasn’t found anything yet. We now agree that she will have no contact with our child in the future. I am beyond done with her and I just hope this is all over.
I knew this girl who was a couple of grades younger than me. Her mom was the worst helicopter parent I knew. She'd go on dates with her daughter. She'd never let her daughter leave her sight when she was with a boy. When they were on dates and her daughter went to the restroom, she'd go with her daughter and apparently guard the door to the restroom to make sure the guy didn't follow her.
She'd pick out the daughter's clothes every day to make sure her daughter wouldn't get too much attention from guys. All of these things might describe your typical helicopter parent. When the girl went to high school the mom decided she was old enough to have her freedom. She stopped being a helicopter parent completely.
One day the daughter comes crying to her mom and tells her mom that her boyfriend just dumped her. Mom tries to calm her down and says that it was just a boy, there will be more boys. "But mom, you don't understand! I lost my virginity to him!" That's when the Mom went off the deep end. She then proceeds to drive over to boyfriend’s house, and asks the parents to see their son.
She confronts the son and proceeds to direct her anger at the son's tender area. Son is on the floor crying and his parents end up coming in to the room. Mom turns to the boy's parents and says, "If you press charges on me, I'll press charges on you". And that was that.
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.
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