December 2, 2019 | Jess Silverberg

Heartbroken Parents Share The Unfortunate Reason Why They Disowned Their Child


Trust is one of the most important pillars of a healthy family. Once that trust is broken, it's hard to reverse the damage that has been done. Sometimes, the situation gets so bad that a family is left with no choice but to remain apart from each other. It's hard to fathom parents ever losing their love for their kids; however, sometimes there is no valid solution and the only thing they can do to keep their sanity is to keep some distance. Heartbroken parents from around the world took to the internet to share the reason why they disowned their children. From abusive behaviors to religious differences, these families have gone through the worst-case scenarios:

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#1 The Worst Sister

My parents disowned my oldest sister. She always struggled growing up more than us (she became a teen mom with a bad older dude, partied a lot, etc), but my parents helped her a lot. They do okay for themselves but had a no-co-signing rule for all six of my siblings and I. Still, they co-signed for her house so she could get a head start. She didn’t pay the mortgage for almost three years before my mom got served in front of all the other nurses at her work.

My parents worked tirelessly to try to work out deals where my sister and her family kept the house and got some leniency, but to no avail because my sister never showed up for court dates. During this time, she paid $12k for IVF and got pregnant with her fifth kid. When my mom demanded some of the money back, she accused my dad and my brother of hurting her sons when my parents took them to Disney World (he didn’t) and said she’d file a police report if he asked for money again. They kept asking because it wasn’t true.

She awkwardly joined us for Christmas, and punched my brother in the face during the meal for “humiliating” her oldest son by asking him if he wanted to work at my brother’s company for good pay. Her oldest son is in and out of jail, and my brother was trying to help him after his release, but her son said he didn’t want a job and got mad. Needless to say, she is not welcome anywhere near any of us and my mom still cries about it but refuses to talk to her again.

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#2 A Mother's Hope

I was disowned, but I deserved it. I was a mess for a long time and my mom couldn’t keep bailing me out of trouble or watch me self-destruct anymore. I wasn’t living at home—she came to see me one last time to tell me she was done. He would no longer have anything to do with me. She was in pieces. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her. But it was the best thing she ever did for me. Once she cut me off, my rock bottom came hard and fast. After a little while of living on the streets and my addiction consuming me, I made my way to a detox center, got a few days clean under my belt and never looked back. That was almost 15 years ago. After I was clean a little while, I contacted my mom, and little by little we built a relationship again. Now we’re really close. I am forever grateful to my mom for letting me fall and letting me back into her life.

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#3 History Repeats Itself

My ex-wife disowned my son. We both married young when I was in the military. She became pregnant six months into our marriage. I don’t think she connected with him at all after he was born. The most she did with him was Instagram photoshoots where she painted herself as the #1 mommy. When he turned three, I left the military. A year after that, she ran for the hills.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat down with her at a local restaurant to talk about divorce plans. We split all of our financials and material items down the middle. We finally got to custody for my kiddo (something I dreaded to discuss because fathers never gain custody in my area) and she told me, “I want absolutely no responsibility.” I was taken aback and I asked if she was sure. She was. That one sentence hurt me more than anything else that happen during that time.

My biological father wanted nothing to do with me and now I was seeing it happen with my own child but with his mother. I received full custody and she married within a year afterward (she had another child too). Her parents try their best to be apart of his life but she still does her best to avoid him. He’s seven now and used to it, but I know it weighs heavily on him.

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#4 Out Of My Life

My biological father divorced my mom and also his three kids, basically bouncing out of our lives and making it clear he wanted next to nothing to do with any of us when he left. Many years later, at my older sister's funeral, that he had the freaking gall to attend. I asked him why he did that he said, "I thought it would be easier for everyone." He actually meant it was easier for him to run home to his wealthy family and enjoy second adolescence while my single mother worked two jobs to feed three kids under 10 with zero child support from him.

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#5 A Religious Rift

As Jehovah's Witnesses, my parents disowned my siblings and me several times since I was in my late teens. One of the JW “rules” is that you do not associate with others who know “the truth” but refuse to follow it, including family. Parents are encouraged to disown any children who have left the religion. The first time was when I was 19. It upset me and I was heartbroken. Eventually, they changed their minds only to do it again a couple of years later. I stopped caring and no longer attempt to be a part of their lives at all.

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#6 Cult Rules

Not a parent, but my parents stopped loving me the moment I was disfellowshipped as a Jehovah's Witness, and I was promptly kicked out. I knew nothing of how to live on my own at the time, but I had a decent job and survived. My brother stopped associating with them two years later and lives with me. They since moved away—1500 miles away to be exact. It's easier to tell people I am orphan or that I do not have parents, because it's hard to explain how they would stop loving or want to associate with there own son over some stupid cult rules.

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#7 Incapable Of Love

My father said my mother's issue was she had too many children and it gave her some kind of brain fever, much like a dog that loses its mind after having too many puppies. My mother said my father felt trapped by me. He was planning to leave when it was just my two older brothers and then my mother got pregnant with me and he felt obligated to stay. Now that I'm am an adult with two kids myself, I think I realized that both of my parents are just extremely mentally ill and incapable of loving anyone, including themselves.

#8 I Don't Care

I've disowned one of my siblings. My sister is just a horrible person. She's the youngest of the seven, and she's been rotten since she was a teenager. She is much younger than the rest of us, so while the other six grew up together, she was almost like an only child. She treats everybody in her life like they're here to serve her needs. Some of the things she's put our mother through are truly horrible. I wouldn't care if she disappeared forever.

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#9 Traumatic Dissociation

I didn't disown him, but I went through a dissociative episode after some really intense trauma, and I honestly couldn't feel any attachment and parental love that I had for my son. I tried not to show it, and behave as normally as possible because he was a child at the time and couldn't possibly understand what I was going through. It was pretty disturbing to not be able to feel any sense of bond with him. I eventually got better, but I definitely did not feel what I or most people would call love for him.

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#10 Seeking Independence

My friend wanted to move out and be independent, which was appropriate because she was 22. Her parents wanted to keep her under their thumb and told her she couldn't move out. A huge argument ensued. She grabbed all her stuff and left. She was then promptly disowned by both parents. Makes sense, right?

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#11 It Gets Worse

She started stealing from us as a kid, then it moved up to forged checks, multiple arrests, conversion, theft, and assault. The final straw was when she dumped her kid and left town to fool with a married man for several years. Everything she says is just a bunch of lies and more lies. It hurts but it is more peaceful. Did I mention the identity theft? Man, that took a really long time to fix.

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#12 Foster Issues

We adopted a three-year-old from foster care. He was the cutest, sweetest kid. He had a few issues, but we mostly figured it was because of his history. The issues then escalated quickly. When he was seven, he hit our dog with a golf club. We had to keep him away from our dog and our cat. The cat disappeared—we assumed she got out and ran away. We found out years later that he ended it and threw it in the woods.

The last straw was when he burned our home down. We sent him to a residential treatment center where he stayed for two years. During that time, he became extremely violent. The insurance company told us that they wouldn’t pay any more and we’d either have to pay for him out of pocket ($40k a month) or bring him home.

We have younger children and it wouldn’t have been safe. We ended up telling the state we wouldn’t bring him home. So now, we have a verified abuse report against us because we wouldn’t bring him back (even though the therapists agreed with our decision). I don’t love him. I wish the best for him, but I don’t feel anything toward him.

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#13 Opposite Parents

My parents didn’t “disown” me... I was just a weird mistake. My mother never wanted a child. She bailed after a few months. My father was a single parent and ended up in prison (life without parole) when I was 14. I finally met my mother. She was a police detective by the time I moved in with her. She threw me out after two months.

I am 30 now, and life is typically a little weird around the holidays, but I always get a good laugh when I tell people that my father is in prison for life and my mother is a cop. But then they get super awkward when I tell them that no... it’s not a joke. It took a long time for me to come to terms with it, but I know now that none of it was my fault.

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#14 Total Neglect

My parents got divorced and my mother decided she didn't want to be a mother anymore so she neglected my sibling and me and kicked us out of her house. Because the court system favors the mother, she got custody despite nobody asking us or looking too far into it. My dad had to give her the house and child support.

Despite this, she didn't do anything for us and we ended up living with him anyway. She spent our child support on world travel and wouldn't ever buy us anything. She met a guy and sponsored him. He had a son and that became her son. I was now nothing to her. They divorced and he stole all her money. She ended up homeless until the family took her in and it's been shaky since.

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#15  Avoiding Responsibility

I asked my biological father at 28 why he never tried to see me after he and my mom got a divorce. He said he never wanted to try for any custody arrangement because that meant he would have to pay child support. So the fear of child support led him to stop talking to his nine-year-old. He’s currently doing the same thing to my two younger half-sisters. Some people just really shouldn’t be parents.

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#16 That's Enough

My mom ceased all contact with my much older half-brother from a different dad. He was a violent, angry person and she finally had enough. He passed away this year and it's the first time my mom had seen him since she cut him off 15 years ago. I now have my own kids and I've always supported my mom's decision. That said... I feel so, so sorry for her, more so than when I was "just" her kid. I can't imagine ever reaching that point with my kids and I'm sure she never did either.

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#17 Taken Away

My wife left me and took our son from me when he was six weeks old. I fought for over five years to see him but in the end, I had to protect my own sanity. The feeling of that parental love turning into just a "feeling" of his existence is something you simply can't describe.

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#18 My Own Sanity

I'm dealing with an ex-wife that has alienated my kids. They don't see me. My ex is pretty much in dire need of a therapist. She's done a job on my kids. At some point, I'll need to walk away for my own sanity.

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#19 Serial Pawner

My parents disowned my brother for basically being a huge jerk. He stole a lot of my mom's expensive jewelry and pawned it, then stole about $1,000 worth of my video games and pawned them, then stole a lot of my dad's tools that he uses for his roofing business and pawned them. He even used my parents' vehicle as collateral for a loan that he defaulted on. Nobody in my family talks to him anymore.

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#20 Selective Love

My parents disowned me as I married a girl of my choice and not theirs (I’m in India, so arranged marriages are pretty much the norm). Funny thing is, their marriage wasn’t arranged. Theirs was a love marriage. A year after my son was born, my mom started a relationship with me and my son alone. My dad talks and loves my son but doesn’t even talk to me. Neither of them talks to my wife.

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#21 Unwelcome Surprise

My biological father left my mom as she was pregnant with me. He was in and out of my life until a couple of months after I turned 11. After two years of no contact whatsoever, I got home from school and my mom greeted me on the porch. She said my dad was there and wanted to see me... The giant catch was he was holding my newborn sister. I immediately left and now I haven't seen or heard from him in 15 years.

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#22 I Understand

My mom practically disowned me because I was a complete jerk son. Nothing crazy like physical or verbal abuse but I would lie and steal from her. The final straw was when I stole the rent money once and almost got the family evicted. She gave me the boot and we didn't speak for years until I finally got my life together. Even now she holds me at arms distance.I have my own place and a great job with a loving family but I did irreparable damage to our relationship and I know when we talk she wants to be more of a mother to me but she closes herself off. I don't blame her, and I understand.

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#23 All Over The Floor

My son and I got into a heated argument recently. He went crazy and bit me and then went all over the floor. I told my wife that this was the last straw and I wanted him gone, but she told me that he was just a baby and didn't know any better. The struggle continues, I guess.

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#24 Kicked Out

I can approach this from the other side. My parents have disowned me. I was raised Jehovah's Witness and when I rejected the faith right after high school they kicked me out. I came home to the house to find the locks changed out. I was paying rent so I had the police come and tell them that I had to be let back in. So I lived at home for another month before being kicked out again. After that, I was homeless for a little while. The last time I spoke to my parents was me calling and telling my mom that I was getting married, they had no interest in attending.

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#25 Out The Closet, Out The House

My wife’s parents kicked her out when she was 18. She came out as gay. She didn’t speak to them until last year, and she’s now 39. I think the only reason they accept it now is because they are getting old but I’m not really sure. I’m sure there are many worse reasons, but you shouldn’t disown your child for being gay.

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#26 Black Sheep

My mother is a narcissist. She was able to play her game until I realized what she was. The day after the blowout, my entire family turned their backs on me and gave me the silent treatment. I got confirmation of the family dynamic following this. I basically discovered that day that I was a black sheep and my role had to stay that way. Of course, I will not let them decide what I am. So I disowned them all. Screw them. I'll let them eat themselves up before I let them destroy me and my family. Goodbye.

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#27 Admission Is Key

As someone who is cut off from their parents, and who has seen this played out in two very close friends' families, I can almost guarantee that you will not get a serious response from a parent. If you asked my mother directly, she would cry and beg to know what she did wrong. Yeah Helen, keep pretending your way to the reality that looks better to you! If you ever admit to yourself how much of a self-centered, abusive witch you are, you might stand a snowball's chance in heck of seeing your granddaughter again! Maybe...

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#28 No Tolerance For Hate

My dad disowned me for dating black men. He himself is 1/4 black. He tried to speak to me after spreading some serious hate speech about me around town. I disowned him for being disgusting, disrespectful and generally out of his mind. Best decision ever.

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#29 Catholic Cleft

My mom was disowned by her parents—who were strongly Catholic—when she opted to divorce her husband (after he came out to her as gay). Believing that she would go to hell, they cut off all affiliations with her, including cutting her out of their will and refusing to meet me when I was born (my mom eventually met my dad and had me out-of-wedlock, which just infuriated them further). Ironically, my mom’s siblings divorced their spouses after they received their inheritances...

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#30 I Don't Know, Ask Them

I don't know. Ask my parents in 10 years. I got a divorce two years ago and it hasn't been the same. I don't think it ever will be. Some parents love you as long as they approve of your life choices. It took me a year and a half of therapy to deal with this... now I just don't give a heck.

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#31 Choose Your Family

I haven't gone so far as to disown my daughter but I have given up on trying to keep a relationship with her. After years of unanswered phone messages and no shows for holidays and family get-togethers, I have come to the realization that she does not want me in her life and that's okay I guess. You can't choose your relatives but you can choose your family.

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#32 The Wrong Response

My parents died in 2001 and while going through my dad's stuff we found a letter addressed to his sister that he never sent. It explained that my dad's brother was hurting him when he was younger and how when he told his mom all she said was: "Now you know how a woman feels." I was disgusted.

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#33 Goodbye, Mom And Dad

I guess I disowned myself or made the decision to be disowned... I got pregnant in college by someone of a different race and was told I need to get rid of the baby or be disowned. The kid is now 18 years old and I haven't spoken to my parents since. Best decision I ever made.

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#34 A Hard Battle

My parents are battling that now. I'm unable to take on the responsibility of six girls right now. My sister isn't putting up much of a fight. My older nieces say she definitely has a drinking problem. My middle sister and I try to take the girls on weekends to help my parents. They've been going to school in Florida since the beginning of August. Three of them were held back, but they're so much happier and healthier.

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#35 No More Nonsense

I was a hard-working dude, just getting by. My life was already hard enough as it is, and I just got tired of their nonsense. They kept nagging for food, kept begging to be entertained... So I threw them out of the home. I just felt nothing when I closed the door behind them and looked at their crib.

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#36 Shady Relative

I disowned a family member, not a child though. We were very close until he ended up being caught in a huge illegal operation. Then I turned my back and haven’t looked back. I can’t associate with scum like that.

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#37 Cat Problems

I disowned my cat because he's a jerk. I mean, he still lives in my house, I still feed him, and I still give him pats when he jumps on me. I've accepted the fact that I don't own him and am certainly not in charge.

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#38 An Enabler

Just yesterday at dinner, my son looked me directly in the eyes and dumped his food in my lap. Later in the night, he screamed as loud as he could for five straight hours, keeping me up even though he knows I need to sleep for work. He also will try to choke himself with anything he finds on the floor that fits in his mouth. My wife totally enables him saying there’s no such thing as a mental help for infants.

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#39 Standing Up To Dad

My dad disowned my sister. She told him some personal things that he then blasted (in great detail) to his sisters. Instead of saying sorry, he then tried to turn around and give her gifts pretending as if nothing happened. So she took the gifts and returned them for money, took the money and donated it to Planned Parenthood in his name. He’s super Republican and “pro-life” so she has since been taken out of his will and he refuses to be seen as anything but the victim.

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#40 Not My Grandma

My grandma disowned my dad because he stuck up for me. She’s a massive witch and I don’t even like referring to her as "grandma" because my other grandma is my best friend. I just feel like it’s disrespectful to even put them on the same level.

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#41 Placing A Burden

Does disassociating myself with my dad's mom because of all the verbal abuse growing up count? She would basically tell me and my brothers that we were a burden to my dad (her son). She would also tell us that we're the reason why my dad had to work a lot. To this day, I carry that trauma and it's a struggle for me to ask for simple help from anyone without feeling like a burden. My parents didn't know anything about this. Recently, we found out that she's sick and has only a few months to live. I feel bad that my dad feels sad. But I don't feel anything for her, as sad as it sounds.

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#42 Ugly Hurts

My mom said that I was ugly. Rejected at a young age. She was embarrassed by me and kept me in my room, only leaving to go to school. I couldn't talk to her. She kicked me out at 18. I'm 29, and I never saw her or heard from her again.

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#43 Never Looked Back

It'll be 10 years this Christmas since he disconnected both phones and moved houses without telling me where or why. He cut off both of his adult children when his divorce to our mother got finalized and never looked back. I wonder if we ever cross his mind.

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#44 Sent Away

I was seeing a girl in high school. Her family was JW but she really didn’t care. I really liked her and it was fun, but then she disappeared. Her dad found out and she was sent to live with her grandmother. I never saw her again. Her sister managed to let me know what happened and that the girl was sorry. Really bummed me out for a couple of years.

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#45  Restraining Order

I have disowned my oldest son. He hurt my daughter, has been diagnosed as a sociopath and we have restraining orders against him. It isn't fun and I never thought I would be that parent.

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