Some people don't grow up surrounded by loving and caring parents, who want the best for them. Instead, these people have been deeply hurt by having awful parents and who didn't care about their well-being.
They say that one's upbringing can affect them for the rest of their lives. If that's true, then these folks have been dealt some pretty awful cards. Here's hoping these people can fight against their childhood demons and be better adults than their parents were. Content has been edited for clarity.
Why She Was Put Into A Foster Home…
“I was a teenage pregnancy. My parents were in no way mentally-equipped to have children right from the get-go.
Both my parents suffer from mental illness and substance addiction.
My mother was prone to mental breakdowns and would constantly lock herself in the bathroom, screaming and wailing like a 2-year-old when she didn’t get her way. When I was 8-9, she dragged me out of the house in my pajamas, proceeded to lock the doors and even pushed the couches/furniture in front of all of the doors so I couldn’t get back inside. I remember knocking on the windows and calling: ‘Mom? MOM?!’ to her curled up in the living room screaming: ‘Go away, I don’t want you anymore!’
She constantly locked me out of the house like this. She also liked to take away the privilege of food.
Well, she wasn’t lying about not wanting me, because she marched right over to social services and handed me over. Social services placed me with my father, who was worse.
HUGE substance addiction…
Eventually, I wasn’t allowed to go to school. He didn’t want anyone else influencing me. I didn’t graduate until I was 19 because he kept me out of school for so long, without anyone noticing.
No friends. No phone. No computer. No school. Ever.
Physically abusive, I remember him sitting on my chest and choking me until I passed out. Woke up 2 hours later on the bathroom floor.
Back-handed me so hard in the face once that I started bleeding all over a brand-new white hoodie his girlfriend bought for me (nosebleed). I got in trouble for bleeding on it, he asked me: ‘Why can’t you ever do anything nice, huh?’ after I did that.
He disappeared a lot. Sometimes I wouldn’t see him for days. Sometimes weeks. Once he disappeared for two months. The power got cut off, no water, no food. No idea where my dad was. I took showers and whatnot at a friend’s house, whose mother reported him to social services and placed me in a foster home.”
Using Her Father’s Illness As An Excuse?
“My dad pinned my sister to the dishwasher by her throat when he was angry about something. I think it’s because he didn’t like her boyfriend at the time. He also didn’t like where she was working at the time. He didn’t like how she was spending her free time. He didn’t like that she wasn’t the person he wanted her to be (she wasn’t doing anything illegal in her free time).
My mom just stood by and watched, did not intervene.
Dad chose to yell at my sister for hours on end one night, blamed her for him almost falling asleep at his machine the next day. All her fault, he could have been injured or killed.
Dad opened a discipline-lecture with the line: ‘DO YOU KNOW WHAT ASSAULT IS?’ The follow-up line was: ‘If your sister had been assaulted, it would have been YOUR FAULT.’ (My sister had been sneaking out of the house to hang out in a friend’s backyard 2 houses away, she was 12 and I was 14. I ratted her out after a few weeks of keeping quiet – I’m a terrible older sibling). He also chose that moment in time to tell us that some creeper snapped photos of us in our sleep when we were little kids; this was used to demonstrate that you can’t trust ANYONE because that person was a good family friend.
Mom added nothing of value to the conversation, didn’t even suggest that maybe now was an inappropriate time to reveal traumatic secrets.
Both of them just use the excuse of: ‘Your father was sick at the time and it was stressful,’ anytime it’s brought up.
My little brother recently left home. He’s underage and so he needs one of them to sign his bank account over to him. They refused. My sister had to go to their house and get his things because they wouldn’t let him (they couldn’t stop her, she was 7 months pregnant at the time and turned into the Hulk. Also, they were probably afraid of being crushed by her giant balls of steel).
The list is actually quite long. I have 7 siblings and some of them won’t admit to any of the injustices my parents have brought upon us.”
Lying To The Therapist?
“My mother has always been strange and I can remember her often taking credit for any praise me or my sister received because ‘she’s the mom.’
When I was in the fifth grade, my mother called me inside and sat me down with my sister and dad. She told me that she was divorcing my dad and that I needed to decide right then who I was going to live with. I choose her because I was a dumb kid.
We moved into my grandmother’s house. We didn’t have any furniture, much less a bed for me. She never kept food in the house, so I lived off of school meals. She never made sure I was keeping up with hygiene and I had to steal deodorant from her because the kids at school were making fun of me for stinking. She kept my hair in a short almost buzz cut that she had.
We didn’t live far enough from my school to get bus service so she was supposed to come pick me up from school. She often didn’t and I can remember once walking home (on the interstate since there wasn’t a back road that went by our house) to come home to find a message left on the answering machine from my mom that said (paraphrasing): ‘I guess you can tell you have to walk home. I suppose you’re mad. Oh well. I’m buying a new car at the dealership I’ll be home when I’m done.’
She started going to a therapist. After this started she claimed she was violated by my dad, her brother, her father, my eye doctor, and others. She lied to this therapist and said I was suicidal. I wasn’t, just sad. The therapist had me committed. I was there for two weeks.
I developed a minor facial tic around this time and anytime my mom saw it she would slap my face and tell me to stop. Or she would mock me, which I found too much kinder. Around this time I told my mom I wanted to live with my dad. She had me committed again to the same ward. Luckily the doctors were decent and saw that I didn’t belong there. They call my mom to come get me that I wasn’t suicidal. She refused and abandoned me there. The ward called my dad and he came and got me and I lived with him after this.
I found out much later that she had called my dad a couple weeks later and offered to trade my stuff that was left at her house for a new entertainment system. Thankfully, my dad told her off and bought me new stuff.”
His Father Sounds Like A Nightmare To Deal With
“My father was a huge dirtbag.
I remember, being as young as 4-years-old, getting spanked for crying. Having a man who was physically intimidating, scream at me to suck it up was awful. This same man once picked up one of my kittens, slammed it into the ground when it scratched him, and then spanked me for crying at the sight of it writhing on the ground in pain after having its spine broken. I was constantly told how fat I was. How ugly I was. I was screamed at for not shaving my legs when I was eleven. I was always a straight-A student. The few occasions where I got a B on so much as a single assignment resulted in me getting yelled and called a failure. He constantly criticized everything I did. I tried to kill myself when I was eight years old and it was entirely because of him.
My mother tolerated all of this because ‘didn’t she deserve to have someone.’ Despite how my father treated her like garbage, called her fat (my mother was all of 110lbs at like 5’1 for most of my life, she has NEVER been fat), just used her for money, wrecked several of her cars, tried to murder her beloved cat (and laughed about it), and was hated by everyone (most of my mother’s family hates him and my aunts (his sisters) acknowledge that he’s a childish, abusive piece of trash.
Honestly, I wish my father wasn’t always trying to ruin peoples’ lives. He has anger issues. I wish he’d rage out at the wrong person and suffer the consequences. Then my mother could get away from him.”
Living A Life Of Pain…
“One of the biggest rules I learned growing up is ‘NEVER WALK AWAY FROM FIRE!’ This means I don’t leave things unattended that heat up and could catch on fire, like the oven, the microwave, the stove, and electrical tools.
I think that yelling at me was sufficient without making me feel overwhelming pain after forcing me to touch my hand to a burning surface to make a point.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that haircuts aren’t supposed to be painful, awful experiences. I grew up dreading getting my hair cut because it felt like they were being ripped out of my scalp.
I read from time to time that people talking about using the snooze button on their alarm, but I don’t know how you can fall asleep again when your father pounds on the bedroom door and yells: ‘WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!’ if you’re not up immediately after it goes off.
I also don’t get what’s relaxing about taking a bath or shower – something else that people talk about from time to time. I was given five minutes and if I wasn’t out by then, I got yelled at.
A painful part of some teenagers’ lives is the sadness that comes with not going to the big school dance because you asked her and she said no. People can be cruel and laugh and mock you.
Your father should not be one of those people.”
Social Services Definitely Should Have Intervened
“I was raised by a single mother, who was very mentally unstable. Social services did absolutely nothing, too.
Basically, excluding the physical and verbal abuse, she would:
1) Refuse to cook dinner on a weeknight. Apparently, she was ‘too tired’ after work to cook dinner for her 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. I cooked dinner pretty much most nights from the age of 10.
2) When she did cook us dinner, it was either: noodles, pizza or ginger and cabbage soup. My mum had severe anorexia and lived off nothing/soup.
3) She would enforce me to have my hair cut into a bob, which she would do herself. She clipped my ear with scissors once whilst doing it, and I had to get 2 stitches.
4) During summer holidays, she would send my younger brother to summer camp (he was her golden boy) and she would work every day from 7 am until 7 pm. She refused to give me a house key, which meant that I was stuck in the house alone, pretty much all day.
5) She used to lock me in my bedroom at night.
6) I once asked her if I could ‘feed my pet fish’ and she slapped me across the face.
7) Regardless of the abuse, I was an A+ student and excelled in all aspects of school, sports and music. My mum never acknowledged this and never went to parents evening.
8) She kicked me out of the house when I was 12 because I was ‘getting on her nerves.’
9) If she’d had a bad day at work, she would come home, cry, eat about 2-3 full packs of biscuits and then purge them all up, whilst me and my brother could hear everything.
10) She would never clean the house, meaning that I used to clean it almost every day. If I missed a day, she would go nuts and accuse me of being lazy.
11) She wouldn’t comfort my brother if he was crying as a baby, that was up to me.
12) She would abuse our dog, Rosie (who was my best friend). She then proceeded to get rid of her, for no reason, and then brought another dog a few weeks later.
13) She was a hoarder and our house was always cluttered with her books, paperwork, etc.
14) She poisoned our neighbours dog because it was barking too loudly.
15) She also put nails on somebody’s driveway in order to puncture their tires.
I could go on, but seriously, not worth it.
She’s a sociopath with bipolar depression, suicidal tendencies, anorexia and is in complete denial of everything.”
Life Can Get Better
“My mother knew that my stepfather intimately assaulted me as a child and did nothing about it. My birth parents ended up getting back together a few years later after my stepfather beat my mother. Once they got married they would regularly beat me if I didn’t get a perfect score on something in school. My junior year of high school my dad punched me in the face for starting my homework too late and kicked me out, and I went to live with my grandparents. Life has been pretty awesome since then, currently in college going for a CS degree, hopefully, the whole experience didn’t mess me up too much. Honestly, I like to think that it’s made me into the person that I am today, and I’m pretty proud of how I’ve turned out considering the circumstances.”
Raised By Psychotic Parents…
“My dad disowned my sister because she was dating and now married to someone outside our race. I remember sitting in the car with him and my mother about a week after my sister told them about her husband, and he said that if he could, he would have just taken a 2 x 4 and killed her.
My mother is one of the most self-centered people I know.
My mother never wanted children, and I grew up knowing my sister and I were unwanted. Only after graduating college and interacting with people in the real world did I realize people were actually thankful for their children. Like, they thought their children were gifts and loved them unconditionally. I never really knew that people feel that way about their kids.
My sister and I were never allowed to do anything when we were in elementary/middle/high school. Go to school and come home. No birthday parties, no spending time with friends, nothing.
My sister has a baby she never sees now because she is separated from her husband due to her drinking problem. She will die from her disease. I blame it on my mother – I no longer talk to my dad, and she said, ‘Yeah, she made the decision to go with her ex, so she deserved what happened.’ Yeah, okay, mom. Whatever helps you sleep a night.
One of my earliest memories is from when I was about 3 years old. My mother locked me out of the house because I didn’t want to drink my juice. She only let me back in because the neighbors were starting to stare since I was screaming and crying.
So, yeah – horrible parents can really mess kids up.”
Her Mother Didn’t Believe In Disabilities?
“My father was a drinker and my mother doesn’t believe in mental/learning disabilities.
After believing my whole life I didn’t have a learning disability, I found my mom lied to my schools after the umpteenth teacher told her to get me tested for ADD or ADHD. (I only graduated high school because I broke my spine and the school didn’t send tutors so they had no choice but to pass me).
Also, after spending years cutting and having suicidal thoughts and being caught on both numerous times, I never got sent to a therapist or anything of the sort. Recently, while talking with my mother and brother about my brother getting diagnosed with anxiety, she said completely innocently: ‘Ugh I hate that, it’s always used as an excuse and I don’t want him using it as an excuse to be put on meds or not to work.’ I finally called her out on how she just doesn’t understand mental disorders and they’re not excuses they’re serious chemical imbalances in peoples brains and it’s okay you don’t understand but you need to start accepting it because all three of your children and husband suffer from depression so stop ignoring it.”
He Didn’t Have Much Growing Up!
“You know how families get together over dinner, sit at the dinner table, pass around food, and generally have good family time?
I thought that was a myth on TV. I didn’t actually realize that it happened in real life.
I thought that parents who took their kids to McDonald’s were rich because we rarely ate out. He was an engineer with a Master’s – not poor, just cheap.
I thought that everyone went to the theater once a year. They paid for one matinee movie in the morning, and then just stayed for the whole day in the theater.
My parents didn’t buy me any books or anything. So, I would sit in front of the TV. I averaged 6 hours of TV a day. This was pre-cable, so I would watch reruns of bad ’70s/’80s shows. Someone was tossing out a book containing major league baseball stats from 1986, so I took it, and I would just read the stats like it was a book for hours.
I thought kids were a burden. I didn’t realize that having kids was not a punishment for the parents.
Now my 10-month-old daughter can pick up her favorite book (which changes every week), runs towards me with the book and holds it out for me. I immediately sit down, she sits on my lap, and I read it to her. She gets so happy. I’m not mad at my parents – I just feel sorry for them. They don’t know the true joy of putting in the little effort to get maximum joy out of a baby.”
The Most Overbearing Mother!
“My dad is nice. My mom… I am still not sure exactly if she is a bad parent, but she certainly wasn’t an awesome one. Some examples:
She was super overprotective. I was 15 minutes late going home once, and she called all the other people in my class where I went. This was in high school. I was just talking for a bit after school. She also knew my schedule by memory.
When I was young, I could only read or watch educational things. Next to the fact that those were boring, I never had anything to talk about at school.
I had my own room, but this was not ‘mine.’ I could not leave anything on shelves or the floor. Also, starting from when I was about 13, my mom claimed the room as a nursery for the children she babysat. She did not want to use some of the empty rooms (we had 2 unused rooms) for that. I just had to leave and go do my homework somewhere else if the children had to sleep.
School went before anything in her eyes. You don’t need friends, only good grades. Never mind I got all good grades, I still had to do homework for a couple hours after school. Half the time I had simply no more work to do and was staring at my books being bored. I eventually learned how to secretly read books while doing ‘homework.’
Done with your homework? Why don’t you go clean your room, or the kitchen, or random room? It is logical to have chores for your kids, but she cleans the entire house every day, including the doors and bookshelves and every little place you can think of. So she complained she was too busy and I had to help before I could go and play.”
“I Can’t Trust My Own Parents”
“I think my mother wanted a perfect obedient doll that looked like her. She got me instead. I’m naturally independent and rebellious, and our relationship has been volatile since I could talk. I idolized my father growing up and wanted to do all the computer stuff too, but he always took my mother’s word over mine. Now, I haven’t spoken to either parent in close to three years.
She’s definitely not the worst parent in the world. And I still treasure some positive memories I have of my parents growing up. It still hurts, though, and I’ve only become aware of the emotional impact it’s had on my personal and professional relationships in the last year.
She would scream at me for everything. I often refer to it as ‘banshee mode.’ Anything I would say to try and defend myself for my imagined slights against her, she would twist and manipulate or just call me a liar to make me the villain, and then tell everyone what a horrible spoiled brat I was (character assassination). I learned to stop talking, so she’d tried to attack me emotionally and make me cry, so I learned to stop displaying my emotions – ‘Robot mode.’
My younger brother was her favorite ‘because she always wanted a boy’ and because he was more or less planned and I was an ‘accident.’ Where I would get called stupid and mocked for poor grades, he had a ‘learning disability’ though he just refused to learn how to read for a long time. Whenever he and I fought, it was always my fault, no matter what actually happened. He never got slapped or spanked, it was always me. When she gets upset, she is completely ruled by her emotions and completely unable to think logically in any way. She has this image of me in her mind that I am some completely horrible awful blight upon her life, and nothing I ever say or do, no matter how successful I get, will change it. Changing it would mean accepting that she’s not a perfect parent, and she couldn’t possibly do that.
I can’t trust my own parents. If I have a personal problem I could never talk to them about it, I had to find someone else. I can’t trust them with my emotions, my secrets, my opinions and thoughts, or even let them in my personal space. I started working when I was 15 so I could have my own money because I couldn’t trust that they wouldn’t try and dictate to me how I could spend my allowance. I can’t trust them with my money and when I was old enough took my mother’s name off my bank account, then later switched banks, so she could never steal from me. I can’t trust them with my relationships, as she would always view anyone I associated with negatively and speak negatively about them. I didn’t trust them to help when I put myself through college and never even asked, the loan was entirely in my name and I lived away from home and supported myself 100%. And now, though I’m not a parent yet, I can’t trust them around my future kids. I know they would be volatile around them and hurt them the same way they did me, and I won’t have it. I know the kinds of lies she tells people to get them to hate me. There is no chance that she’ll ever have the chance to turn my own children against me in the same way.”
Too Concerned About Other Peoples’ Opinions
“Born to a mother who calls herself ‘open-minded,’ so believed that my younger sister and I were spoiled rotten in terms of freedom.
In actual fact she was cripplingly paranoid, aggressively homophobic, transphobic, casually racist (the whole ‘I’m not racist but…’), and classist – we were considered poor but because she had rich friends, she considered herself ‘one of them.’
She also raised us to never judge a person on their looks but told me that she would ‘never be seen with me in public again’ if I got a nose piercing, because it would make me ‘working-class’ and ‘scum’.
Bad parent, because she was a hypocrite. She told me to follow any career I wanted, in front of her friends, but in private told me that my A-level choices would lead me to be poor and miserable.
You just can’t reason with someone who doesn’t know they’re wrong.”
Not Fit Parents For Kids
“My parents were never supportive or encouraging of anything. They always fought through me in the middle.
My mom has said various times if she could do it over again, she wouldn’t have kids.
She blames me openly for staying with my dad as long as she did because I cried as a 5-year-old the time she said she was leaving.
My dad said when I was growing up that I looked like a freaking monkey, which I don’t think is a good idea for a teen girl.
The house was a freaking mess, I have no idea how to clean.
They would have books about Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden with the death pictures lying about and also watched shows about ghosts, aliens, and monsters when I was really young. My dad had me watch horror movies constantly as a kid with him.
I have some learning disability and my mom just couldn’t handle that her daughter was slow, so she’d get ticked off that I couldn’t read till I was 10.
Honestly, I don’t know how they were never reported.”