No one should have to deal with the bizarre monsters featured in these stories. It doesn't matter how big the family is, sometimes getting some space away from the pure chaos is the best solution. These are some of the strangest ways that people realized they needed to get out! Content has been edited for clarity.
"My ex sister-in-law broke into my house and started painting my living room while I was at work. Apparently she didn't like the color, so much that it would ruin her upcoming Christmas holiday when she would come over to visit. She also used to break into my house to wear my clothing and sell my things without permission. She would give me thinly veiled insults in front of people, demand money from me, gossip behind everyone's back, and scam charities for money and gifts, even though she never actually needed those items. She would tell people her son was autistic when he wasn't, purely for sympathy points. She would claim to be illiterate and suffer form learning disabilities to receive special benefits. She would paint her partner as an abusive scumbag when he was actually pretty nice, and she would launch into outbursts when she wouldn't get her way. She also stole my ex's inheritance money. As a child, she would lock herself in the bathroom and give herself bruises that she would blame on her brothers. She would regularly do this for fun. I spent six very long years putting up with her antics, and my spouse would never fully acknowledge her terrible behavior. I have so many stories about this woman. She was a textbook narcissist, what can I say?
Don't even get me started on her animal cruelty! She actually stole my cat, who already had severe anxiety, and acted like it has been hers all along. She recently posted a picture of my cat online, and my poor baby look so scared. She apparently saw nothing wrong with this cat in the picture, according to the caption. She also had a dog that she never took to the groomer, so the dog's nails became talons and the fur was pretty matted. I can't actually save my cat, because my ex's name is on all of the veterinary paperwork. I can't legally prove she is mine. I was very young through this entire experience, and I didn't know any better. The first thing that I did when I got a safe distance away from that soul-sucking family was to report this woman to social services. Sadly, I don't think that anything was done about it."
"Years ago, I was hospitalized for a pretty nasty injury. I was so lucky to have a really great group of friends that would regularly visit me while I was stuck at the hospital for several weeks. It got to the point that I had to be moved to my own room, because my friends showed up too often and disturbed my fellow patients. The staff were super understanding about it thankfully. My only family member to visit was my younger sister. My mom, dad, and other four siblings didn't even bother. None of them came, and my mom only phoned and communicated to me through the nurses, never speaking directly to me until I was back at home. And this happened during a time where we actually had a decent relationship, compared to worse times in my life (at least emotionally). To be honest, I have never fully recovered emotionally. The whole scenario, even leading up to today, has had a pretty strong affect on me and my life.
I remember calling her when I got home. It was a short and quiet conversation. I remember I was crying by the time she answered the phone, and I tried my best to keep my composure. I really wanted to know what kept her away. But instead, she asked how it was at the hospital, when they thought I would be back at work, and commented that the nurses were nice to her on the phone, so it must not have been so bad. I still remember her saying that she had to get off the phone and get ready for work. It was the early afternoon, and she has only ever worked graveyard shifts since I was a kid. A few weeks later, my step mom (who I hadn't heard from in years and years after she divorced my dad for being an abusive prick) tracked me down and came to visit. I was happy to see her, but when I told my mom, she got very mad and we stopped talking for years afterwards. To this day, I have tried periodically to get back in touch, only to have the effort put forward ruined with reminders (and there are many) as to why I'm better off not seeing my family. I now do my best to absolutely never let my daughters feel about their family the way I do mine."
"When I was eight years old, I wrote my grandpa a letter telling him how I felt that he wasn’t always very nice to me and that, 'Why could he say cuss words like while I got in trouble saying them?' Basically, eight year old me called him out for being a loser with anger management issues. So instead of talking to me about it, he proceeds to start yelling at me and completely went off on me until I was crying. Then my grandma came in and told me I was wrong and should go apologize to him. Since then, I’ve noticed that my cousins, aunts, uncles, and sister have shown the same kind behavior. Not only does it go unchecked, but they immediately get defensive over anything that challenges their fragile ego. They are narcissistic and emotionally manipulative, they never consider themselves in 'the wrong', and anybody who challenges them (including me) is the bad guy and they are the victim. They always tell others how to react, but nobody tells them how to act. And they wonder why I choose not to be around them very much, if at all!"
"It's hard to say there was a specific moment, since I think it was more like a feeling that boiled to the surface after years of picking up on tiny 'off' details, but a big one was during my eighteenth birthday. Birthdays have never really been great for a lot of reasons, mostly because they always seemed to drive home how blasé my parents were about their children existing. My mom doesn't believe people need any celebrating after age twenty. By that I mean as we got older, she would always gleefully remind us, 'Enjoy this, because after you're twenty, I'm not doing a cake ever again! You're on your own!'
That's more just context for this birthday though, which had been going surprisingly well. I celebrated with my mom, dad, older sister, and my boyfriend. We went out to a nice dinner in the city and then to this massive movie theater. Everything was eerily perfect until partway through the opening of the movie. My mom tapped my boyfriend's shoulder and insists on talking to him outside. I notice they have been gone for a while, and my dad eventually got up to follow them both outside. Eventually, my boyfriend returned to his seat fuming, and neither of my parents was with him. I explained to me that my mom went completely insane on him, insisting that he had been ogling some girls standing nearby while we were all getting snacks. He had not been staring at them, since I was talking to him the entire time. My mom was deeply offended, and she was acting like a jealous girlfriend to my boyfriend! It was beyond appalling, but it wasn't new behavior. What was new was my dad eventually returning, saying that we all needed to leave the theater immediately.
I remember being furious. They were complicating things for the other viewers who had to deal with people shuffling around the theater and muttering during the film, which was embarrassing enough. Mostly, I was just upset that my birthday was being cancelled by someone else for a perceived slight that should have only been my problem. We all flatly refused to leave. Chaos ensued, and my parents threatened to leave us at the theater. I just remember sitting in the theater watching the movie, spacing out in despair. I then realized my mom would only ever make everything about herself, and my dad would enable her for the rest of my life. If they were present, they were gods, and I would never be free of it unless I cut off contact. That single ruined birthday was nothing compared to the full spectrum of resentment and pain I felt at that time."
"My mom didn’t even bother coming to my college graduation because my younger sister had a softball game. It wasn’t an important game or anything, but she is a narcissist who lived through my sister’s sports achievements, so she valued that more than my achievement that she couldn’t use to boost her own self esteem. I graduated with a 4.0, but never got so much as a pat on the back from either parent for it. It felt bad. My parents both dreamed of being sports stars, which is why my mom chose a softball game over my graduation. I’m not into sports, but I did tons of activities in high school, and I was their only kid who got an after school job all through my teenage years. But nothing I did mattered to them. There were some people in their softball orbit who would come to the house and be shocked to learn that I existed— somehow my parents didn’t even mention me to people!
I also got the top score (5) on all my AP tests for two years in a row in high school, so I got a special award from the my home state of New York. My parents never even mentioned it to me. I hung my award on the fridge myself. It was so sad. Once the recession his, my parents lost their entire home. They had wasted their money away on nonsense, and they were pretty flat broke. They wouldn't even ask me for any money, but they would be constantly pestering my siblings. In the same breath, they would be screaming about communist democrats. Nowadays, I am still ignored by them! I had a great job, but neither of my parents knew what I do for a living. They never asked, since all of our conversations would revolve around them. When I lost my job during the quarantine, I got zero sympathy from them. They just simply kept on talking about themselves and their petty problems. They never ask me how I am doing. Narcissists are completely insane."
"After my dad died, we were cleaning out his apartment. My mom, paternal aunt, paternal grandmother, and myself were there. I was eleven, and my parents were divorced. My mom tried telling me that my grandma was not a trustworthy person, but she detached her own biases enough to allow me to be close to my dad's family and make my own decisions.
My dad had a motorcycle, which he adored. At his apartment, because he had no will, every major possession was supposed to be recorded to the estate lawyers to be sorted out later. Nothing was to be taken home. On his motorcycle keys, he had a keychain of a bike. I was in the kitchen alone with my grandma and spotted them on his key rack. Nonchalantly, I said, 'Oh, it's dad's motorcycle keys!'
My grandma said, 'Oh yeah, it is.'
Then she grabbed them and slipped the keys in her pocket. Weeks later, I overheard my mom talking to the lawyer about not being able to find the bike keys. I told her what happened. My mom asked me if I was 100% sure I saw what I saw, and I was positive. Our lawyers spoke to more lawyers, and my grandma denied that ever happened. It came to the point where I had to give a sworn testimony at a deposition, all while my grandma looked me straight in the eye and calmly told everyone present that I was a grief stricken delusional child that was prone to lying. She then tried telling everyone that my word could not be trusted due to the intense trauma of my dad's death, and she questioned the courts if it were wise to believe an eleven year old over an adult. She chose possessions over family. Every member of my dad's side supported her, even when she then lied on my dad's gravestone, making him two ranks higher in the military than he was, and then also stating he served in a war that he never did. I don't even visit my dad's grave anymore because it's just full of lies. I tried to sporadically interact with them for a few years after that, but I officially cut contact in 2013."
"There were a lot of moments to talk about, but some of the worst ones were whenever I was seriously sick or injured. My mom would never believe me and actively try to ignore my pain. When I was nine years old, I told her that the vitamins she gave me made me feel sick. She told me to hurry up to the car, so I wouldn't be late for school. I said that I really didn't feel good. She yelled to hurry up. I go outside and suddenly I'm puking on the lawn. She rolled her eyes at me.
When I was twelve years old. I told her that I fell on my elbow at school today and it hurt a lot. She just hummed at me. I tell her the next day that my arms really hurts. She said I was fine. The day after that, I'm being driven to school and she asks me why I was wearing a sweater. even though it's hot outside. She demanded to know why I was holding your arm like that. I roll up my sleeve and show her my elbow, which is purple and unnaturally swollen. Her response? 'Oh.'
When I was seventeen years old. I was so sick, and she kept telling me that it was just allergies. I asked her if I could just lie down for an hour. At exactly an hour, she called for me to do the dishes. I didn't get up because I was just starting to doze and I didn't feel like I could move. She kept yelling at me to get up, stop being lazy, and to come do the dishes. I pulled myself out of bed, having to use the wall to support me. I see her in the main room and tell her that I genuinely didn't feel well. She scoffed at me and said I needed to stop acting. My brother had stepped in the main room then and immediately took a step back seeing me. 'Oh my god, you're literally gray. You look terrible, Mom are you seeing her?'
My mom didn't say a thing, but my grandmother came out of her room hearing my brother, and she also gasped in horror, expressing how terrible I looked. It was only then that my mother said, 'Okay, let's get you to a hospital.' It turns out that I had a particularly bad case of strep throat. Anyway, I'm twenty now. She still doesn't believe me if I'm sick or hurt. She is always claiming that I'm being dramatic, even though I'm not the type to play up my illnesses. In fact, I even tend to ignore them!"
"The toxicity in my family is basically the norm. When I was around seven or eight, my grandfather on my mom's side gave me a stuffed Mufasa and baby Simba from 'The Lion King'. I adored them. But we had to cut the visit short and visit my grandmother on my dad's side. I clutched both stuffed animals tightly. We ended up staying at my grandma's place for three or four days. When it was time to leave, I was collecting my things, but I couldn't find my baby Simba anywhere. My mom asked my grandmother is she had seen the plushie anywhere, but she had not. She then mentioned how I was apparently spoiled because, in her opinion, I wasn't very good at taking care of my things. We ended up leaving that say with only Mufasa and no baby Simba. One year afterwards, we visited my grandmother again. I went to the living room and, in one corner, my grandmother had arranged lots of toys for my cousins, so that they could find them easily when they were going to visit her. Packed next to a giant doll, plastic kitchen utensils, and a children's book, was my baby Simba plush. My grandmother had taken it away from me to give to my cousins. I even found a missing music cassette of mine in that pile!
Believe it or not, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. I have spent my whole life watching my parents fight and then give the silent treatment to one another, or even me for whatever reason. One time my father yelled at me because of a negative-looking face I made while we were moving to a new house. I was very tired and working through a terrible cold. I could make a massive list on my issues with my family. but I would rather uncover that Pandora's Box in therapy."
"None of my nearby family showed up to my three year old's birthday party. Don't worry, it gets worse. We had been planning this birthday party for a month and a half, which is necessary when you have three kids and busy jobs. Less than three weeks out, my mom decided to go on a mini vacation to Florida for three days and asked us to move the entire birthday party. Her husband, my step-dad, decided not to show up either. Even after my wife and I asked him to still attend, he traveled to Wisconsin to go camping. I am the oldest of three boys. One of my brothers decided to go on a kayaking trip right at this time. My youngest brother had a legitimate excuse, working in the National Guard and being on duty that weekend.
So the day of the party, everyone was asking me where my family was, since we all lived in the same town. I had some friends there, and my wife's family showed up, and they were all so lovely. For what felt like the first time, I didn't hold back and just told people how toxic and self-absorbed my family was. This was definitely one of those last straw situations. Over the last thirty-five years of my life, my mom, my dad, and my stepdad are just the absolute worst. My in-laws have acted like my real parents ever since I met them. They have been such a huge blessing in my life!"
"when I was fourteen years old, my mom promised to never set a curfew for me because I was such a good and reliable kid. All she wanted was for me to keep in contact with her while I was out every so often, and she would be cool. When I was twenty-two, I started to hang out with my friends more because I had some spending money and a car, so we would go out to a lot of movies and restaurants. All of the sudden, I was told that I needed to have a curfew. I tried to argue with my mom was I was way too old for a curfew. Unfortunately, she tried to use the 'my house, my rules' excuse, but it was all such a load of garbage! She really was just jealous that I was spending time with my friends, rather than every waking minute with her. She was seriously devastated when I started college a few months later. She completely sobbed and threw a tantrum when I moved out of her house three years later. She still acts all sad and lonely now that I have fully moved out! But she is completely free to go out and make new friends and find new hobbies to do! It has been three years since I moved out, and my mom was th only one to get herself in this situation. She really shouldn't have tried to chain me to her. Human beings aren't dogs!"
"I have ALWAYS felt my family 'wasn’t right' because they weren’t like the parents on television. They were petty, manipulative, angry, abusive, and cruel. But I’m an only child and never really had any friends, so I just assumed that all families were like mine. I assumed that television families, where people care about each other, hug and kiss each other, and don’t treat each other like a burden, were all a lie. They must have been some kind of escapism from the awful reality that is family, right?
It wasn’t until I was in therapy (for unrelated reasons) at twenty-seven that I was informed that I was RIGHT. My family IS toxic. It is definitely not normal to never apologize and make yourself the victim of every scenario. It is not okay to flip over your daughter's bed because you're mad at her. It is definitely not acceptable to scream yourself hoarse over your daughter taking a nap on the couch. It is never okay to constantly one-up your daughter, as if suffering has to be a competition. My therapist was genuinely horrified when I started telling her about my family."
"One of my grandfathers would only call me when he had some super negative information to share, such as when he had to put his cat down. he let me know on my twenty-first birthday that I was an old maid somehow. My mom's house was broken into while she was traveling elsewhere. My grandpa made sure that me and my mom weren't notified of this in advance. We only found out once we arrived home and saw all of the yellow police tape outside of my bedroom window. When my father died, he decided that my mom and I didn't need any sympathy cards or phone calls or anything, because according to him, it might upset us more. I had way more sympathy over this from total strangers. Eventually, he called me a while after my father passed away to let me know that my father never loved me. That was a total lie, since anyone who knew my father could have said otherwise. One time, I refused to use my professional degree to assist him in what was clearly fraud. He told me that I went to the wrong school and wasted my degree. He died in the hospital last year quite suddenly. One of my other relatives already was suffering through an illness and required my help, so I missed my grandfather's funeral. I couldn't have shed a tear anyway. Unfortunately, a lot ofo the town locals thought he was really great, but they only saw his public persona. This man was a monster behind closed doors."
Called me after my father died to let me know that my father never loved me - which was a crock as anyone who knew my father knew how close we were.
When I would not use my professional degree to assist him in what would be fraud, he told me I went to the wrong school.
He died in the hospital last year (suddenly, no one but one relative was with him), and one of my other relatives that lives near me needed an extra hand due to illness - so I missed the funeral. I couldn't have shed a tear anyway.
Meanwhile, many of the locals think he was great - they only saw his public persona.