November 7, 2023 | Carl Wyndham

These Messed Up Families Put the Lannisters to Shame

You don't get to pick your family—and that fact is worse for some of us than others. From insane dads to manipulative moms to shocking secrets that were never meant to come to light, there’s just no drama like family drama. At least these wild stories about ridiculously unhealthy families made us feel a whole lot better about our own kin!

1. The Great Deceiver

When I was six years old, my aunt, who was my guardian, faked my grandmother’s passing. She lied to all of us—local churches, her friends, and strangers—for sympathy and money. She wrote to multiple people asking for support. She needed money for a headstone and the funeral, etc. People bought into it hook, line, and sinker.

So you can imagine our surprise a year later when we received a letter from our grandma saying she was coming to see us.

Shocked elderly woman and mother consoling daughter split image

2. Crazy In Love

My great aunt was a nurse at a mental hospital about 100 years ago. She fell in love with a guy who had been committed there by the State. She helped him escape, and they ran off together to another part of the country. Romantic, right? Wrong. It turns out that the guy was a psychopath that took people's lives, and he got extradited back and put behind bars.

My aunt, a sweet old soul, lived to be 99 years old, and I never knew anything about her past until decades after she was gone.

Coma Survivors factsShutterstock

3. Missed Moments

My father talked about how he was there with my mom for her last dying breath. It wasn't true. My brother-in-law (who was abusive and crazy) was searching for his wife (my sister) because she had been away from the house too long. He called my father in a freak-out-panic trying to figure out where she was, assuming that she was somewhere cheating.

While my father was trying to calm him down, my mother lost her life. When my father came back to my mother, she was gone. When my brother-in-law perished a few years later, I was surprised that my father didn't seem that upset. Before my father lost his life a few years after that, he told me why. I was in my mid-30s.

Men Cry FactsShutterstock

4. Binocular Mother

I wasn't allowed to hang out with girls when I was younger. One day I was at the school park with some of my friends and there were a couple girls there. My mom called me to ask who I was hanging out with. I only mentioned my guy friends. Big mistake. Apparently, my mom was spying on me with binoculars. She drove to the park, made a big scene, and made me go home.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

5. Fly-in Uncle

I had a rich uncle. He was real crazy…and not in a good way. He would come to visit us when we were kids, maybe once every ten years. The last time that he visited, he brought us to a Denny's. When he arrived, he met my brother at an airport, was with us for an hour, and then he got on another plane and went home. When he passed, he had no friends, and he had basically driven his wife to drink herself to the grave a few years prior. In his will, he left his entire estate to an Elvis impersonator. Everything.

Crazy Wills FactsShutterstock

6. Man Hands Misery Down

My dad screamed at me for 20 minutes when I was 11, called me a witch, and told me to get the heck out of his house when I casually mentioned we seem to argue more than other families. In truth, I know he was hurt too, and he regrets not having talked to someone about what he went through as a kid because of how much it hurt his own family.

Toxic familyPexels

7. Sister Swap

I found out that one of my aunts had an arranged marriage. She wasn't actually the aunt who was supposed to be in the arranged marriage, but her sister was adamantly against marrying the guy. I guess my grandma somehow persuaded my aunt into replacing her sister's part of the marriage. My aunt and the guy got married, moved away, and had kids.

They lived far away so I barely ever saw them. Only as I got older did I learn that the dude was abusive to my aunt, to the point where she still had some intense mental breakdowns long after he was gone. I guess her sister was right.

Family Secret FactsNeedpix

8. Stronger Than Any Lullaby

My mom always struggled to be there for me, but my dad waited until I was grown up to tell me about her worst act. When I was a little kid, my mom had routinely given me a ton of sleeping pills so that she could leave me at home alone to maintain an affair with her lover while my dad was off working in another country. That cleared up many, many things up for me…

Biggest Secrets factsShutterstock

9. The Other Family

I had a cousin who passed a few years ago. I went to his funeral and was walking around hugging his wife and kids and giving them my condolences when a lady and two teenage boys walked in. Nobody knew who these people were, so of course, my great aunt asked. She claimed to be his wife and the two boys were his sons. Turns out all those week-long work trips he'd been taking weren't actually work trips. They were trips to see his OTHER family.

Learned About After Died FactsShutterstock

10.  The Black Sheep Of The Family

My wife helped me come to the realization. Out of myself and my two brothers, I was the only one to have never been behind bars, yet I was the only one my parents didn’t buy a car for. And actually, it wasn’t just about getting a car—they refused to even teach me how to drive. I had to move out of the house before I learned how.

So one day, I had my wife (girlfriend at the time) over to my parents’ for Christmas dinner. My mom offers me a glass of champagne about two months before my 21st birthday. No big deal, right? My stepdad proceeds to throw a temper tantrum about how I’m underage and not in his house and all this. Well, a couple of months later, I found out he bought my little brother, his biological child, a bottle of high-end bourbon for his 18th birthday.

When I was in the service, they had a whole bunch of deep-sea fishing trips and pro sports games they would go to without even so much as asking if I could come. They didn’t come to my boot camp graduation that I offered to pay for. They didn’t see me off when I was deployed. They weren’t there when I came back. Great times.

Toxic familyPexels

11. The Cheater

My sister’s fiancé lost her life very suddenly and very tragically from a heart attack. She was 20, and he was 23. It turned out that he had an underlying condition. In the months following his end, she found out he had been cheating on her basically since the start of their three-year relationship. Some women were long term and knew about her, others were just casual one-night stands that probably didn't know.

She kind of went off the deep end a little, because now she was not only mourning a man she loved; she also had to deal with this fact without being able to ask him for answers. Silver lining though; she ended up dating and marrying one of his good friends. They sort of bonded in the aftermath of  his end. He is the best thing that ever happened to her and vice versa.

They will be married for three years this summer.

Life-Shattering Secrets factsPixabay

12. Bad Grandpa

My grandfather liquidated one of his co-workers when they were installing power poles on roads in Alaska before it was a completed town. He was investigated but they couldn't prove it. I guess he did it because the guy wouldn't pay a $5 debt owed for booze brought in. My grandfather was a horrible human and he got away with everything.

Until he ended up with colon cancer that he didn't get checked out and he lost his life of cancer weighing about 78 lbs. Alone.

Change Life FactsPexels

13. Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

My father burned down our childhood home for the insurance money. He took me along as his alibi, so that I could “verify” that he wasn't anywhere near the location when it happened. I was only 13 years old at the time. I remember crying so hard knowing that all of my clothes, books, photos, and everything I owned would be destroyed.

I wasn't allowed to save anything because he told me it would have looked too suspicious. It got even more chilling. I found out years later that he blamed the whole thing on me. He told the fire chief, plus all of our friends and family, that the fire had started because I had been secretly lighting up in my bedroom. I've never smoked in my life!

a man with a shocked  look on his faceTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

14. Drug Tragedy

My uncle, who was always very smart and fun and kind, was actually addicted to substances of some kind. I haven’t seen him since I was a young kid, and I always wondered why. A few years ago, he liquidated a woman and fled, and is missing now. According to authorities, while he was high, he was in his car with the window was rolled down, and a woman (most likely a street walker and also high) tried to get into his car through the window for some reason.

He tried to drive off, but she clung on. I’m not sure how she lost her life, but I assume her hanging onto a moving car was part of it. It’s really sad. He’s a genius, a great artist, and an all-around good guy as far as I remember. He did magic tricks for me and gave me a cool small statue of a fairy and a dragon for my birthday because I told him I liked dragons and I liked my fairy cat toy. I miss him. I hope he’s ok.

Dark Family Secrets FactsUnsplash

15. Secret Sister

When I was a kid, I knew my grandfather was odd. He'd call me his grandson even when I was wearing a dress and clearly female, but my parents would tell me to ignore it. Then I made a disturbing discovery. I found out that when my dad was a kid, grandpa had sold my dad's sister Barbara to someone, and kept my dad and his brother because he didn't want a girl in the family.

My dad found his sister Barbara around the time I was in middle school, through making some calls and getting access to records. They were reunited, and she's my favorite aunt now. No one liked grandpa.

Family Secret FactsFlickr,flauschviech

16. Working for Mom

My mom once called my work—where I was working full time—to complain that she and my dad didn’t see me enough. That's when she went too far. She asked my boss to cut my hours so I could come home and be their little boy again. My boss was angry, and my mom's crazy antics almost cost me my job. I went home and screamed at my parents. They’ve never done it since.

Helicopter Parents factsShutterstock

17. Don’t Skirt Around the Real Issue Here...

My mum once pulled up my skirt, causing me to involuntarily flash a room full of people, at a family Christmas dinner. I was absolutely mortified. She wanted to check for any potential self-harm scars on my thighs, apparently. I've never physically harmed myself before in my entire life. I was 17 years old at the time.

Louise Brooks FactsShutterstock

18. Her Anxieties Never Held Water

My grandmother (who lived with us) did not let me walk up and downstairs, and I was also not allowed to let shower water hit my chest. She believed that if I either fell on the stairs or did them too quickly, I would lose mu life. She also told me that if shower water pounded on my chest it would destroy my heart and it would be my fault if I had a heart attack and perish. Both of these were enforced rules (amongst 10 million others) in my house.

She did have a kid who had lost his life of heart problems, but the shower water thing is only an instruction for like RIGHT AFTER open-heart surgery. Jesus.

Helicopter Parents factsPixabay

19. The Prodigal Son

My birthday: "I got you a pack of socks, but I realized I can get them cheaper from somewhere else, so I'm going to return them." My brother two weeks later: "I think I'd like archery, will you get me this $600 bow?" Parents: "Oh, heck yes!" Thing is, I never even got the socks. The favoritism runs very deep in my family.

Toxic familyUnsplash

20. Something to Be Thankful For

For some inexplicable reason, my mom decided that it would be a good idea to casually tell everybody at Thanksgiving dinner at her boyfriend's house about my tween bouts with anorexia. I didn't want to be there in the first place, and she just kept going on and on about how I used to just eat carrots for dinner for a year. It got so bad that I eventually had to shout at her to get her to stop.

Trashiest Holiday factsWikimedia Commons

21. Reverse Psychology

My father and his wife spent years convincing me I was a bad son, and I believed it. Genuinely, from when I was around 3-4 until I was 23, I thought I was a bad son and felt so guilty. It wasn't until I was 23 that I realized that they were the ones canceling seeing me and then calling me up to reprimand me for not seeing them. It was them. They were bad parents, I wasn't a bad son. Their friendly facade to me and my friends was so thick that I never saw it, and a lot of my friends still don't see it.

I cut contact with them three years ago and have refused to acknowledge their existence since. I just tell people I don't have a dad.

Toxic familyUnsplash

22. An Onion Farmer’s Story

Growing up, my mom told me that my aunt and uncle didn't live in our country, and that's why we never talked with them. The truth was so much more horrifying. My uncle never wanted kids and resented his wife (my aunt) for having my cousin, so he liquidated her and then himself, leaving my cousin with both of his parents lost their life in the middle of the night, all by himself.

As crazy as this sounds, my cousin is now an onion farmer out in the middle of nowhere and we only hear from him once or twice a year. It's very, very sad.

Awful First Dates FactsShutterstock

23. Never Change

My grandfather's will had several conditions for our inheritance. Some were heartwarming, but most were strange to fully absurd. For example, my parents both had to remain left-handed. The only thing I received (or really cared about) was a 1932 Philco radio (it was the first radio I restored when I was a kid). To get it, I was required to promise that I'd keep “the old beast,” as he called it, running for as long as I owned it.

My daughter received a music box on the grounds she remains the eldest great-granddaughter (?). She also received a couple of puzzles that she had helped my grandpa with when we had visited a few times before his passing, again on the grounds that she actually “finished the darn things because he had never gotten around to it.” Actual wording from the will!

Leave it to my grandfather to give us a reason to laugh after leaving us!

Weird Flex Kids FactsShutterstock

24. The Victim

All the lies unraveled after my grandfather lost his life. My mom finally admitted that when she was a kid, he'd touch her. I was pretty shocked, especially since my mom didn't seem to carry any kind of baggage from it, though of course I don't know what went and still goes on in her head. Something that made sense though was how she always made sure my brother and I always slept in her room whenever we stayed at Grandpa's place, which wasn't too often.

We were never alone with my grandfather, and we never had a warm or loving relationship with him. He was cold to us and we never really got attached to him, and we visited him maybe once a year. I think my mom felt obligated to have a relationship with him for some reason, but she was always very protective of us and my brother and I were never victims of his.

Learned About After Died FactsPxHere

25. Spoiler Alert

Two sons of a really wealthy couple go to the family lawyer to have their recently deceased parents' will read. The lawyer is super nervous because he has known them both since they were kids. One son gets the entire inheritance, and the other gets nothing. The explanation was that it should be passed through to blood relatives only. So that was the day he found out he was adopted.

Crazy Wills FactsShutterstock

26. How About You Quarterback-Off, Dad

My friend is positive that his kid will be an NFL quarterback—and he goes to chilling lengths to make it happen. This poor kid—who’s 10, by the way—is a decent player, but his father has him spend hours each day practicing. He takes vitamins and has a special diet. He can't have sleepovers or do any normal kid things. I know for a fact that the kid has told his father that he doesn't want to play anymore, but the dad doesn't care. In his messed up head, he thinks he's doing what's best for his son.

Helicopter Parents factsPixabay

27. Sit Tight

Until I was 16, I was essentially grounded non-stop with the exception of holidays. I'd come home, do my chores, do my homework, then sit on my bed until bedtime. I'd just sit on the bed in my room until dinner time. And thanks to my stepdad, no, I could not lay down, I had to sit upright. That meant no sleeping either. Just sitting on my bed.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

28. No Means Yes

I'm a teacher, and after a student's parent's divorced, the mom taught her toddler son to say "No daddy's house" even though he loves his dad. He understood "yes" and "no" perfectly before this. After she did this we had to re-teach it by taking things away when he said no, he didn't want it. He was so confused and cried so much. His mom is literally the devil.

Infuriating Parents factsPixabay

29. Mother May I

My first memory is of my parents arguing when I was three years old. I remember my mom looking at my dad and yelling, “This is why we’re getting a divorce.” They separated when I was two, but took some time to figure out custody, as well as the actual finalization of their divorce. My mom was always so angry and would scream, throw things, and tell me consistently she didn’t want me around.

I finally had a breaking point with my mom the day before I turned 17. We got into a huge argument and I realized that she was just taking out the aggression of her past on me. I realized she had been blocking out what she put me through, and finally brought it to her attention. I know her mother was awful, and she kept perpetuating this cycle.

What triggered the whole realization was when I dated someone for the first time when I was 16, and my boyfriend’s mom treated me like her own. It was the first time I felt welcome in a home. She made sure I ate because she knew I wasn’t eating properly at home, she always had a bed made for me in case I ever needed a place to stay, and would always check in with my boyfriend to make sure I was okay when I went home.

Toxic familyPexels

30. A Twisted Family Tree

I was eight years old and sitting in my new babysitter's apartment having an asthma attack. I was very allergic to cats and my mom had left me with her despite knowing my allergy and knowing that she had nine cats. But the reason why she left me there was even worse. She needed me out of the way so she could go sleep with my older sister’s boyfriend.

She hadn't even sent my inhaler with me. My life nearly ended that day, honest to God. To make matters worse, my sister found out and got in a physical brawl with my mom in the hospital hallway while respiratory therapy was working with me. They both caught an STD from the dude, and I learned to always have my inhaler on me. Among other lessons.

Toxic familyPexels

31. Facebook Sneak

My mom would go through my phone when I wasn't around. How do I know this? Glad you asked. I'd find out because she would bring up embarrassing information in front of all my friends and family. Once my mom even found my crush on Facebook and messaged him an extremely long message. To this day, I don't even know what it said.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

32. Communal Readings

My mother loved to read the texts I sent to my boyfriend out loud to my family at dinner. It was extremely embarrassing, even though my boyfriend and I were only middle schoolers, so the texts themselves were innocent. Talk about privacy violations!

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

33. Panopticon Problems

My parents were horrible. They would regularly read my diary and go through my computer, until apparently that wasn't enough. They once left video cameras up while I was hanging out with a friend and talking. They loved to repeat things I had said or written to me, just to let me know that I had no privacy. It created a huge surveillance culture and terrified me!

Creepy Things Witnessed factsPixabay

34. Stomp Stopping

My sister had a habit of stomping up the stairs, and my Mom was sick of it. To get her to stop, she made my sister stomp up and down the stairs until she couldn't walk anymore. Her legs were so sore that she could hardly move the next day.

Question Reality FactsShutterstock

35. A Lifetime Burden

My mother is sending me a copy of her will. She said if I ever open the envelope before she passes, she will end herself. And if she ever sees me in person again, I need to show her the unopened envelope. She said if I "get snippy" about it, she will turn around and go home. I tried to help her find a different place to keep it. But she doesn't know of one. And she will hassle me about not opening it for the rest of my life.

Toxic familyPexels

36. Monster-In-Law

My father-in-law is beyond unhealthy. My wife always said she wasn't close with her dad, but we would see him for Christmas every year. We lived in southern California, and her family lives in Michigan. My father-in-law once took a trip to southern California and never told my wife until the day he was flying home. On that call, he told my wife that she "was ungrateful" for not driving down to see him.

She had just had a spinal tap for a meningitis scare and couldn't drive by herself. Then when my son was born, my father-in-law dropped off another family member but said he needed to run an errand. He didn't come back for a few hours. When he did, he just said he had to leave. Didn't even talk to me or my wife. Oh, but it gets worse.

For my son’s second birthday, he said he and his wife would be out of town for a wedding. Turns out, the wedding was the next day, and “out of town” meant 20 miles from our house. The third birthday, he just didn't show up. When my mother-in-law—they aren’t married anymore—got diagnosed with cancer, my wife called him, and all he had to say was "Huh, crazy” and hung up.

When my mother-in-law passed this last January, he never even checked in on his daughter. My wife calls him out now, and I've told him off a few times and "ruined Christmas" after he tried to say my wife wasn't a good daughter since she never visits.

Toxic familyPexels

37. No Going Back

When I was locked out of the house and my father told me, "You're not my son" at age eight because I'd forgotten my homework at school. I was let in when my mom came home from work at 11pm. There were a lot of other things that happened before and after that, but being told your status as a family member is that arbitrary really puts it in perspective.

Toxic familyPexels

38. Long-Lost Son

I was the family secret. My biological parents started having kids as teenagers. For context, when my biological mom found out she was pregnant with me, she was 21 and I was their fourth child. They quickly realized they needed to get their act together. They were already struggling financially, had countless drug issues, etc. They decided that they were going to put me up for adoption when I was a baby.

A loving family adopted me quite quickly, and we lived only about an hour’s drive from the city I was born in. Coincidentally, I ended up returning to that same city for college. During my sophomore year, I decided to seek out my biological family. It turns out that my biological parents separated right after I was born. My biological mom is still in and out of lock up to this day, but my biological dad was able to start a new chapter.

He got clean and sober, remarried, started going to church, and built a legitimate career for himself. He told his new wife about me when they first met, but didn't tell any of his children. My other siblings didn't know I existed. Thanks to the internet, I ended up tracking down his work number and gave him a call. Later on, he said as soon as I said, "Hi, this might be really weird, but..." he knew it was me.

Apparently, ever since I turned 18, he and his wife were waiting anxiously for me to resurface. They knew the day would come eventually. That evening, they sat my siblings down and told them about me. It was difficult at first, but now I'm 25 and he and I have a pretty solid relationship.

Fatherhood FactsShutterstock

39. Unknown Twins

My dad was discharged from the army for going AWOL. He had found out his ex from when he was around 15 had had his children back then and had never told him about it. I have two siblings who are twins. I don't know their names or what they look like, but they're out there somewhere, and they're only three years older than me.

Twins experienceShutterstock

40. An Aunt’s Love Story

When I was 14, my aunt lost her life very suddenly. She was only 37, but she had a lot of health problems (obese, substance issues, alcoholism, etc.) As a family, we tried our best to encourage her to get healthier, but disappointingly, she never listened to us. None the less, she was always happy. Smiling, laughing, and always complimenting me and saying how much she loved our family.

I never understood why someone with such cheer and utter happiness could end up in the situation she was in. While I was spending the night with a distant cousin of mine, we got into a deep conversation about my aunt. We both spoke our feelings about the demise, including my confusion for why she had so many problems.

My cousin looked at me with an “oh no, you don’t know?” kind of look. I asked what happened but she hesitated. She asked me to not tell anyone I heard it from her. I said of course and pushed her to tell me. She explained how when my aunt was about 17, her mom (my grandma) had just gotten married to another man.

His brother (let’s call him T) was very close with my aunt. Apparently, they went out to ice cream and looked at fancy cars that he promised to buy her. When my cousin was telling me this, I was confused, because it’s just an uncle and niece type of thing. Why is that so bad? Well, one night, my aunt had to spend the night at T’s house while her parents worked graveyard shifts.

My cousin didn’t exactly know what happened, but it was heavily implied and speculated that they slept together, or even worse, he charged her. This was because, after that night, my aunt asked to spend the night over and over again. She basically begged to see T every day. T and her parents eventually got tired of it and said that she wasn’t allowed to go over there again.

T never acted the same around her. He ignored her at family events, didn’t take her out anymore, and never brought her up or even talked about her in conversations. After that, my aunt struggled to find a real boyfriend and even tried experimenting with girls. She never knew what real love was, and it was obvious that it bugged her. She had been played with by this tool and left in the dust.

She eventually got a husband and had a kid, my favorite cousin that I love oh so much. But life wasn’t kind to her. And I guess drinking her life away was her way of coping. It hurts to think that she passed thinking that she was nothing but a waste, when in reality, she was a blessing to everyone who came in contact with her.

I wish I could tell her how much I love and appreciate her.

Learned About After Died FactsShutterstock

41. Axe-Grandpa

My grandfather tried to end my dad with an axe. He literally showed up to his place of work and went looking to bring him down. Somehow, my unprepared dad fought him off with his bare hands. Grandpa escaped—but the nightmare wasn't over. He came back the next day to finish the job with a piece, but my dad didn't show up to work, so my grandfather turned the piece on himself in the parking lot.

I still can't completely grasp that this story, and the circus of insanity that surrounded it, were real.

Man in black hoodieCottonbro Studio, Pexels

42. Baby In The Cupboard

My dad tried to run out on my mum while she was pregnant with me, because he’d been embezzling money from a photography club at his workplace (a government institution) where he’d been treasurer. It was all about to come out because the club needed the money, so my dad decided to cut and run. My mother’s brother and father caught him by pure accident as he was leaving the house, and my grandad, a burly Scottish coal miner, got him by the throat and told him if he ever pulled a stunt like that again, he’d be gone.

My dad, according to the story, wet himself right there. My grandad paid the money back to the club so that no one found out, as not only would my dad have lost his job, he’d most likely have been jailed too. My mum could never trust him with money again, and so although they had a joint bank account, she had them limit his access and made a separate account to control the bills etc.

She went back to work so she could always support herself, which in those days, in rural Scotland, was really uncommon. In that area, most women were stay-at-home moms, so there was no such thing as childcare for kids under four. Mum went back to her job as a primary school teacher and I spent the first few years of my life sleeping in a basket in the stationery cupboard in her classroom.

At mum’s funeral, some of her former colleagues were still coming up to me, saying, “Oh, it’s the baby in the cupboard!”

Fingers art of couple during quarrel. Concept the husband left his pregnant wife.Getty Images

43. Misdiagnosis

I’m not sure how my dad discovered this, but he found out he had a secret older brother, his parents' oldest child (Ron, if I remember right, named after his dad). When Ron was preschool-aged, my grandparents were told he was mentally disabled. Horrified, they turned him over to the state and never spoke of him again.

Years later, they learned the truth. Word got back to them that the kid was not, in fact, disabled; he had "auditory dyslexia"(now called auditory processing disorder). He grew up to be a fully functioning, independent adult. He refused to have any contact with the family when my dad reached out. I don’t blame him at all.

Cher FactsFlickr, TheDyslexicBook

44. A Bad Stalker

My mother once drove to my workplace after school to check and make sure I was actually working. She didn’t drive all the way into the parking lot since she drives a very distinct car, and didn’t want me to see her, but because she didn’t drive all the way in, she also didn’t see me at work. As a result, I came home to her freaking out, claiming I had skipped work. I was 17.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

45. Sibling Rivalry

I was 11 years old when my mom and I came home to my aunt stealing our stereo equipment. When my mom confronted her, she pulled a blade. At the same moment, my uncle happened to be driving by, slammed on the brakes, reversed, and then came into the yard on the lawn and hit the corner of the house a little bit, jumped out of the van, and charged my aunt. I only found out the dark truth about that day much later.

As my mom unpacked everything to me when I was older, she explained that my aunt was taking things to get money for her substance habit. Much later than that, I found out that my uncle wasn’t sober and shouldn't have been driving at all. I look back on that day as the day I lost my innocence in a lot of ways. Can’t really go back from that.

To be fair, my nuclear family was generally your standard loving functional family. It was just my mom’s half-siblings who were unhealthy. They were always taking money and never around unless they had to be or needed something. After my mom passed, my aunt called me looking for money, and I pretty much hung up and never talked to any of them again.

Toxic familyPexels

46. Busting A Gasket

I married into an unhealthy family. My husband realized it when his sister insulted me, out of the blue, to him for an hour. She then blamed him for making her husband hate the entire family. Meanwhile, everyone else in the family who was within earshot of all this all claimed to have not noticed or heard anything. It was loud and long. They knew.

He was pretty shell-shocked by the whole thing. It was ignored and NEVER resolved or discussed. It's a very large family. I have been the black sheep ever since even though I wasn't even in the “brawl.” I would actually take responsibility for anything if I knew what made her so mad at the time. I apologized to her and she has never even admitted anything happened.

She was having a really tough time in her marriage at the time, however, and is now divorced. We didn't live in town, so each visit was a nice, pleasant time and we all got along fine prior to this. Really changed out entire dynamic.

Toxic familyPexels

47. You Are What You Eat

My cousin Stephanie made a peanut cake, just everything out of peanuts. The flour had peanuts, it had peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and peanut chunks. I'm very allergic to peanuts, and she knew it. I refused to eat it for obvious reasons, and Stephanie shed some crocodile tears about how she had lovingly made the cake so we can all eat it, and how insulting it was for me to pass on it.

Between my Aunt Caren, her husband, and my paternal grandparents, they forced me to eat a HUGE piece of that cake while my other cousin called emergency from outside the house. I literally almost passed on. Afterward, they said they didn’t know about my allergy (???), and “I was a rebellious teenager who was very picky about food."

Toxic familyPexels

48. Rain Check On Decency

When none of them showed up to our youngest child’s third birthday party. Oh, but it gets worse. We had this planned for about a month and a half; you have to when you have three kids and crazy lives. Less than three weeks out, my mom decides to go on a mini-vacation to Florida for three days and asked us to move the whole party.

Her husband, my stepdad, decided that since she wasn’t going to the party, he didn’t have to either. Meanwhile, one of my brothers decided to go on a kayaking trip because he felt no obligation since my mom and stepdad weren’t going. Our youngest brother is the only one with a legitimate excuse because he had work that weekend.

So, the day of the party, everyone’s asking, “Where is your family?” This is both friends and my wife’s family, who I love dearly. For the first time, I didn’t hold back and said, “Because they’re unhealthy and too self-absorbed.” This was definitely one of those last straw situations. My wife and I were married young, and to be honest, my in-laws have been my parents ever since then.

Toxic familyPexels

49. Visiting Hours Are Over

Years ago, I was in the hospital after getting spiked in the abdomen. I went under and the doctors had to bring me back. I woke up in the hospital full of stitches, but still alive. I had a really great group of friends who came throughout the weeks of my being there, to the point that I got my own room because it was disturbing fellow patients I shared a room with and the staff were super nice about it.

The only family member to visit, however, was my younger sister. My mom, dad, other four siblings....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 was during a time where we actually had a decent relationship comparative to other times in life.

Toxic familyPexels

50. Bring Your Dad to Jury Duty

I was 21 the first time I was called up for Jury Duty. My dad tried to follow me into the court because he didn’t believe I could do it myself. Thankfully, he was stopped by security guards outside the area, but then he threw a huge fuss about not being able to accompany me. Most of the courtroom was confused and weirded out. Luckily, they didn't need me throughout the trial, so I was dismissed.

Are You Serious? factsShutterstock

51. The Slip-Up

Apparently, our dad had another kid about eight years older than me. My mom blurted something out about it after their divorce when she was ticked about something. It was along the lines of, "if he thinks he can forget you exist like that other kid of his..." She then turned very white and I was never able to get more out of her than that. My dad pretends he doesn't know what I'm talking about but has apparently told my brother a bit of the story and then backtracked and never talked about it again. So yeah, apparently I'm not the oldest.

Forbidden Family Secrets factsPixabay

52. AIM Kidnapping

In middle school, I had an AIM, which I loved and used often. We had moved out of state and I'd made no new friends yet and AIM was a lifeline to me. Of course, my insane stepmom read every single conversation I had on there. Then, I don’t know why, she decided to print out pages and pages of my chats. She added handwritten notes about myself on the pages.

On the drive home, she told me that an officer pulled a guy over and found that info packet on me in his backseat. She didn't even change her handwriting, so I knew it was her, but wow!

Disturbing True Story FactsShutterstock

53. Double Life

My dad had a secret girlfriend for several decades. We suspect some of her children might be his as well. He had 7 children with my mom, and I guess to escape he'd leave and live with the girlfriend for a couple of weeks at a time. The woman lived a couple houses down from them, so me and my siblings never suspected anything, because he was still around the house a lot during those times.

My mom didn't like it, but she was a very prim and proper woman, and this was during a time when people didn't air their dirty laundry and they certainly didn't divorce. I was told that when the woman lost her life in the early 2000s, my mom sent flowers to the funeral; not sure if it was out of spite or just because that's the kind of woman she was.

No one talked about it for years and years until my mom started showing signs of Alzheimer's and dementia in her 70s. She would revert back to that time a lot. It was hard watching her relive it every day.

Forbidden Family Secrets factsPixabay

54. Come Clean

One day, my dad walked into my room. I was watching a movie and eating pizza rolls. He was visibly upset, and then started yelling at me that I should “give him the contraband” and “come clean” because he could smell that I was lighting up. I was not lighting up. I had never did that. The neighbor’s house, on the other hand, was on fire.

Angry father yelling at teen son, holding his head with arm.LightField Studios, Shutterstock

55. Bar Mom

My friend and I were going to college three hours away. We ended up at a random bar, had some drinks, had a good time. Next thing we know, his mom showed up, grabbed him by the ear and dragged him out to her car. She proceeded to drive him back to our hometown. The next day, it was his responsibility to figure out a way to get back to college—in time for class, of course.

I Messed Up factsShutterstock

56. Playing Pretend

There were kind of a lot of moments; but some re-occurring moments were whenever I was seriously sick or hurt, my mom wouldn't believe me, or she would ignore me. When I was nine years old, I told her 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 12 years old, I told her that I fell on my elbow at school and it hurt a lot. She just hummed at me. I tell her the next day that my arm still 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 and also, "Why are you holding your arm like that?" I roll up my sleeve and show her my elbow, which is purple and swollen like heck. Her response: "Oh." 17 years old. I was sick, sick sick 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 really felt like I couldn’t move. She kept yelling at me to get up, stop being lazy, and 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 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." I had a particularly bad case of strep throat. Anyway, I'm 20 now. She still doesn't believe me if I'm sick or hurt. She’s always claiming that I'm being dramatic, even though I'm not the type to play-up my sicknesses. In fact, I even tend to downplay them.

Toxic familyUnsplash

57. Prom Date Quiz

When I was a freshman, I made a lot of friends that were upperclassmen. At the end of the year, I got invited to go to prom. My parents made my date (who was just a friend) come over two weeks before prom. They asked him every question imaginable. They got his phone number, home number, email, the works. He was super chill about it, but it was brutally embarrassing.

Girl and guy in blue at a promPaolaV1, Shutterstock

58. Why Waste a Good Follicle?

I'm a teacher. We had a kid with hygiene issues and when I met his mother, I understood why. We were sitting in a parent-teacher conference with several teachers and at least one administrator present when the mom plucks a hair from her head and starts flossing her teeth with it. It was so gross and inappropriate that I nearly puked.

Portrait of young angry shocked woman  teacher in  jacket and glasses holding  her hands on headRealPeopleStudio, Shutterstock

59. She Lost the Game of Thrones

In my first college course, there was a 16-year-old in my class and their parent sat through the entire lecture next to them. The professor expressed his concern about her taking up a seat for a student, and the mom immediately snapped at him about how she was paying his salary by enrolling her kid there and she deserved "respect.” Poor kid made no friends that year.

Helicopter Parents factsShutterstock

60. Postcards From Heaven

My girlfriend’s aunt lost her life years ago in a car accident, but she isn’t supposed to know that. Her parents still haven't told a soul, and they definitely did not want their young (at the time) daughter to find out about it. Despite the fact that it has been so long since it happened, my girlfriend’s mom still makes fake holiday cards every year claiming to be from her deceased sister.

She always mails them to my girlfriend, fully not realizing that my girlfriend has known about what happened from the aunt’s children for years. It’s a super crazy situation. Any time my girlfriend mentions the aunt’s name, her mom just tries to change the subject immediately. I don't know who they think they are helping here.

Damaged car with distorted reflection of townGetty Images

61. Full Circle

My parents are divorced, and they have a big secret that they don’t realize I know. They are both cheating on their current spouses. With each other.

Biggest Secrets factsShutterstock

62. In Sickness And In Health

When my mom opened my mail, took out a credit card check, made it out to herself for $4,000, and put it in front of me to sign…while I was in the hospital getting chemotherapy. I did not sign it, and she was very angry and told me how I owed her. We really didn't have any kind of a relationship after that because I was just trying to stay alive and the stress was too much.

Then my sister started jumping all over me because I was asleep and didn't answer the phone when she called me…because I was tired from cancer and the treatment. Yeah, we're still not talking.

Toxic familyPexels

63. Great-Grandparent Histories

On my mum’s side, my great-great-grandfather liquidated his brother’s wife. Apparently it caused a rift in the family, because some relatives believed he did it (he did), and others thought someone else had liquidated her. I also know that my great-grandmother was in Poland during WWII and came home one day to find her entire family just gone.

They were rounded up and sent to camps while she was out. She survived by working as a maid in Austria. After V-Day, she and some of her family that had survived ended up working on the anti-communist black market selling meat and underwear.

Plot Twist FactsPxHere

64. When Bachelor Parties Get Out Of Hand

My one cool uncle, who came to our house every Christmas and Thanksgiving, was always really great and pleasant. He had a bunch of cats and dogs at his house and got married to my aunt shortly before I was born. One day, my mom and I went to visit him and my aunt at their house, and there was this girl there. I think she was a year older than me, so about 15.

My mom and I asked who the girl was, and my uncle said, "Well...I just found out a few days ago that I have a daughter, so...I guess this is your cousin!" It was crazy, but then we learned the story of how she was born, and my jaw straight-up dropped. It turns out that before my uncle and aunt got married, my uncle had a pretty wild bachelor party in which a street walker was thing led to another, and my cousin appeared 15 years later to find her father.

She was so sweet, and my uncle was actually really good about the whole situation. He even started paying child support to my cousin’s mom, his idea. My aunt was also very forgiving. I've never met my cousin’s mom.

Guys at  a bachelor party in  black suitsDmytro Voinalovych, Shutterstock

65. Meddling Grandmother

My uncle got his high school girlfriend pregnant, and my grandmother drove her to the clinic for an abortion, agreeing to pay only if the girlfriend didn't tell my uncle that she was going to abort his child. It tore him up when he found out, but that hardly excuses his next actions. My father got my mother pregnant around that time as well, and she was also (not too discretely) offered the same deal by my grandmother. My mother refused with a few choice words.

My uncle found out, tracked my mother down, and punched her in the stomach for "daring to take what was ripped away from him." My mother subsequently miscarried who would have been my big brother. My mom, the saint that she is, forgave him and tried to help him get some therapy. He rejected her help and joined the army instead.

I didn't find out any of this until I was an adult, which really messed with my head since my uncle had always been really close to me, right up until I came out of the closet. I think he somehow thought of me as the daughter his mother had forced his girlfriend to abort.

Agrippina The Younger FactsShutterstock

66. Rapacious Randy

My family could have been worth millions. My great-grandfather had built a company from the ground up called Johnson Corrugated. They made corrugated cardboard for shipping boxes. Great-grandfather wasn’t very nice, but he did build the family empire, so we still see him in a good way. My grandfather was supposed to inherit the company 30 something years ago…until Uncle Randy happened.

My great-grandmother was still alive after her husband passed, and so she was technically the owner of the company. She was also blind and deaf. Uncle Randy visited her, impersonated my grandfather, and had her sign away the entire company over to him. He gave half of the $15 million to his son, who fled to Europe after demise threats. Uncle Randy passed within a month after fleeing the family, from cancer. Nobody went to his funeral.

My grandpa is now 80 and can’t retire because he's been addressing this in court for the past 20 years and owes about $300,000 in lawful fees. I found this out after stumbling onto a stack of lawful documents in my grandpa’s attic. We still don’t know where Randy's son is, to this day.

Small Town Scandals FactsPxfuel

67. The Gift of Debt

After my father lost his life a few years ago, we learned that he had taken out about $40k of loans in my name. We share the same initials (and surname obviously). He forged my signature, and kept on applying for loans and credit, got approved and never paid a single dime back. Seeing as he was the main contact, no-one ever called me to ask me why I wasn't paying my debt... so only after he perished, we got contacted by institutions informing us that my father owes them money, just to find out it was actually on my name...

So now my credit record is screwed due to years of payments not being made and I need to pay back all of these loans. Fun times, right?

Luisa Casati FactsShutterstock

68. Bad News Bear

One of my grandfathers only called me with super-negative information. He’d tell me thing like he put one of the cats down, with details on how the cat acted on the way to the vet. He let me know on my 21st birthday that I was an old maid. That one was just after my grandmother, his wife, had passed a few months prior.

When my parents’ house was broken into, he didn’t even tell me. I only found out when we arrived home to see yellow tape outside my bedroom window. When my father passed, he decided my mom and I didn't need any sympathy calls or anything. Because it "might upset us more." I had more sympathy from perfect strangers.

He did call me after my father passed 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. He passed in the hospital last year, and I had to miss 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.

Toxic familyPexels

69. The Silent Treatment

My brother got mad at my dad for bringing him the wrong food—my brother is older and spoiled. When I stood up for my dad against him, my dad yelled at me, marched out of our house, and then didn’t talk to me for two weeks straight, despite the fact we were living in the same household at the time. He proceeded to only talk to my brother and my mom.

Toxic familyPexels

70. Brain Drain

My grandma and I are very close. I live a few hours away from her, and she is not very tech-savvy, so it’s difficult to phone her sometimes. I went home a few weekends ago and we got some time alone to talk. She told me that her sister, my great aunt, is getting pretty sick. She is having problems with her kidneys and it’s affecting her mind.

My aunt and grandma took her to the doctor, and then to get some medications that were about $7. Her card got declined. She hadn’t been checking her accounts, and after calling the bank, she found out they were drained of over $10k in checking and were overdrawn on top of all that. That’s when she discovered a horrific truth.

They called her daughter and granddaughter, and they both admitted to taking the money from her account. My great aunt has been paying their rent for three years and has given them two vehicles. She pays the insurance on them both. This was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she is cutting them off. Best of all, the latest update on her health is positive.

Toxic familyPexels

71. The Lion’s Share

I will mention one episode only that particularly hit me, as toxicity in my family is basically the norm. I was around seven years old and my grandfather, my mother's father, a plush of Mufasa and baby Simba from the Lion King. After visiting him, my parents and I went to my grandmother’s, my father's mother. I had my plush with me.

We stayed at her place for 3-4 days. When it was time to leave, I was collecting my stuff but I couldn't find the baby Simba anywhere. My mother asked my grandmother if she had seen the plush anywhere and she said no. Also, she commented "She (referring to me) is spoiled" because, in her opinion, I wasn't good enough at taking care of my things.

I left with Mufasa only and without baby Simba. One year after, we visited my grandmother again. I went to the living room and my blood went cold. In one corner, my grandmother had put all my cousins’ toys so that they could find them easily when they were going to visit her. And...well, together with a giant doll, kitchen utensils, and a children’s book, there was my baby Simba plush. My grandmother had taken it away from me to give it to my cousins.

Toxic familyNeedpix

72. Get Away From It All

When my mom yelled at me for being depressed. She was saying how rude and inconvenient it is for everyone around me that I was depressed. She was screaming so hard that her face was all red. She screamed at me frequently. She would also always wait until I was in the car with her because I would be unable to leave.

I stopped talking to her after that and she played the victim. She apparently was suffering because she was “abandoned by her daughter.” No one in my family wanted to hear my side of things, no one reached out to check in on me. I was made out to be the bad selfish daughter. Now, I don’t have a relationship with anyone in my family.

I cut both my parents off after I realized they both will not change or get help or see they ever did anything wrong. It’s been tough to deal with the emotions of it all, especially the emotions I felt when I was younger and in their care. I’ve been working on it with therapy for a few years now. But it’s been a necessary decision for me to cut those ties, so I can focus on myself.

Toxic familyPexels

73. Girl Next Door

The girl next door had crazy helicopter parents.  Whenever she came to hang out, her parents would watch her leave, walk across the lawn, enter my house... and she then had to call when she got inside. It was about 15 seconds of travel time.

Dumbest Person FactsPxHere

74. The Mistress Part 2

My father had this secret mistress and when he passed, she had the nerve to show up at his funeral. It was really terrible, but not as terrible as all the stuff we found out later. It turns out that my dad paid all of his mistress' bills, including her college bills for when she went back to school in her early 30s.

The college thing really hurt my mom as she always wanted to get an education for herself but there was never money, or so my dad said...

Grief-Stricken Stories About the Most Inappropriate Acts Committed at Funerals FactsShutterstock

75. Going Whole Hog

After my dad passed, we were cleaning out his apartment. My mom, paternal aunt, paternal grandmother, and I were there. I was 11, my parents were divorced, and while my mom tried telling me that my grandma was not a trustworthy person, she detached her own biases enough to still 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.

Lawyers spoke to lawyers, and my grandma denied that it 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 who 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 passing, and questioned the courts about whether it was wise to believe an 11-year-old over an adult.

She chose possessions over her family. Every member of my dad's side supported her—and then she topped even herself. She lied on my dad's gravestone, making him two ranks higher in the service than he was, and then also stating he served in a conflict that he never did. I don't even visit my dad's grave anymore because it's just lies.

I tried to sporadically interact with them for a few years after that, but officially cut contact in 2013.

Toxic familyPexels

76. The Root Of All Evil

Growing up, my family basically pooled together all our paychecks, and whatever was extra after bills was more or less fair game to use for my parents. So I constantly got my paychecks drained. I tried saving money up by saying I had a little less than what I did. After a year, had about $1,000 saved up. That’s when disaster struck.

My mom took my card to "buy dinner" and proceeded to check the balance on my card. She sees I have a lot more money than I was telling them. So she used my card to buy over $150.00 of food that I got none of, and then kicked me out of the house for "making the family do without." Imagine not being proud of your kid for trying to save money.

Toxic familyPexels

77. I Know You Are But What Am I?

When my mother and I were on a heated phone call with each other and she said how much I "hurt her." I finally had the courage to say "Well, what about how you hurt me?” Her response was "Well yeah, I MEANT to hurt you!". Big eye opener on that one.

Toxic familyPexels

78. Loud And Proud

I always thought my family was normal, it was just big and loud and everyone had tempers. Then I learned I was wrong. I told someone a funny story involving my little sister throwing a loaf of bread at my mom...the look on their face told me to stop there and not get to the part where she threatened to burn down the house with all of us in it.

Toxic familyPexels

79. Don’t Follow Your Dreams

I was on the ride home from school and my mom said, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I answered, “Maybe be an author or something like that.” She replied with “That is so dumb, that is the stupidest thing. You are smart and you have the whole world at your fingertips, and you want to be an author? You can be a scientist or a doctor, but you want to waste your life being an author.”

Toxic familyPexels

80. Kind To Be Cruel

The first time my husband spent time with my parents was when I realized I was in an unhealthy family. When we left, he was like, “Wow, your parents have literally not said a single positive thing about you. All their ‘funny’ stories about you growing up are really just awful.” I kind of just figured that was normal. Lots of eye-opening times later, and I don’t talk to my parents anymore for a slew of reasons.

Toxic familyPexels

81. Lost Little Boy

I went on a retreat during my freshman year where no one brought phones. I told my parents that I was going away for three days and not to call me. On the day we came back, the guy driving us got a call. It turned out that when my parent couldn't reach me for three days, they came to my college, and went around campus asking everyone if they'd seen their lost little boy. I was 18 at the time.

Creepy Experiences factsShutterstock

82. Diary Dabbles

I kept a diary during high school, and one day my mom found it, and read it. From reading my diary, she learned that I had recently lost my virginity to my boyfriend. She freaked out so much that she called my school principal and accused my boyfriend of assaulting me. She did a lot of crazy things, but that one was the scariest by far.

Helicopter Parents facts PxHere

83. The Siblings

I have nine siblings. We all share the same father. I only knew about seven of them until my dad lost his life. I found out that two of my "cousins" were actually my brother and sister. My father had cheated on his then-wife with her sister. So those kids were born out of wedlock. When my mother passed, I figured out that my sister (whom I thought we shared the same parents with) was fathered way before they met.

My only full-blood sibling is my twin. I'm only close to him and my sister. The other half-siblings get along well with us but we are not close.

Elizabeth Woodville FactsShutterstock

84. Paranoid Delusions

I had a brother who had some paranoid delusions (FBI, CIA following him, spying on his apartment, etc.). My brothers and I tried to get him help and he would just have no part of it. After a few years, it seemed like it had gotten better. He stopped bringing it up and we felt like it must have just passed. After he lost his life, we found his journal and it was just horrifying.

Right up until the night he lost his life, he detailed all of the brutality that they were inflicting on him. I can't go into much detail—it's hard for me to write about. Briefly, he believed that they were using some type of focused energy beam. They focused on different parts of his body at different times. Every noise that an appliance made was proof of electronic surveillance. Every bump on the wall or person walking in an adjacent apartment was a message from either the "bad" FBI agents or the "good" FBI agents.

It was just incredibly disturbing to read what an awful life he was living inside his mind while acting relatively normal outside.

Things That Go Bump In The NightShutterstock

85. Dark Deeds

My Uncle Joseph is very probably a notorious psychopath. He was a major suspect for the West Mesa Bone Collector. He has also been convicted of even worse offences. One day, Uncle Joseph was just sort of out of the picture and no concrete explanation was given. At the time, I was young enough that I didn't think to particularly wonder about the details.

Caravaggio FactsShutterstock

86. She Has to Find out Sooner or Later

A colleague of mine has a friend who hid from her 8-year-old daughter that she would lose her life within a few years because of a terminal illness.

Public transitShutterstock

87. Chewing Gum Woes

My parents had this ridiculous rule where they wouldn't let me spend any money unless I told them about what I'll buy first. I once bought a pack of gum without asking them and let me tell you: it wasn't pretty. Because of a single pack of gum, my mom and dad shouted at me for a solid hour, then took away my phone for a week.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

88. Dark Father

I was always told that my dad left me when I was born, and technically that’s true, but I was told my dad was someone completely different. I got a little suspicious about the whole thing because my cousin, who apparently didn't know the whole cover story, told me that my dad had blonde hair and my mother had black hair, and that's where I got my black hair. Strangely, everyone else told me my dad had black hair.

When I had to use my birth certificate so I could join the army, more evidence surfaced, and the mystery deepened: the name of my father said Alexander Smith. My last name is Smith, but my family told me that I got my name from a baby book, so that's why my last name was different from everyone else’s in my family. I then spent a couple of days doing research on Alexander Smith.

He was born in Russia and changed his name when he got here, and I'm 70% Russian so that makes sense. What really sold it for me was that it said his mother's name was Natasha Kelovich—which was my grandmother’s name. I confronted my family about it and they revealed that he was my dad, and they told me what had really happened. To put it bluntly: after I was born, he decided he didn't want any kids, so he tried to smother me in my sleep.

Luckily, my brother and my uncle stopped him, and he fled. They called the authorities, but they didn’t find him fast enough. He returned in the middle of the night and set fire to our house, liquidated our family dog, and liquidated an old lady in the process when the fire jumped to another house. After that, he was sent to  penal institution  for life, never saw the outside again.

They said they wanted to keep it a secret so that I didn't know my dad was a psychopath who tried to end me. They were planning on telling me through a letter when I joined the army, but I figured that out before-hand.

Annals of History FactsShutterstock

89. Clandestine Vacation

When I was three years old, mom and her mother took a month-long vacation together. That was the only trip the two of them ever took just by themselves. It was also the only time my grandmother took a vacation without her husband. Dad's parents looked after me in the meantime. The day mom returned, she handed me a pair of maracas.

She and her mother told everyone they had been to Spain, but they didn't bring back any pictures or tell any stories about it. In contrast, grandma was full of snapshots and anecdotes about her other travels. When I was around eight years old and asked mom about Spain, she quoted old movies: right out of My Fair Lady, she answered, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain."

She never showed me a passport stamp. For all I know, she never even had a passport. When I was in college mom claimed that she had never traveled overseas. When I reminded her about that month in Spain, she fell silent. Apparently she had been hoping I'd forgotten. There had been other hints that something was off.

During childhood, she tried to donate those maracas to charity a couple of times. I insisted on keeping them, but they disappeared when I was ten or eleven. Shortly before they vanished, she saw me playing with them and told me they weren't really maracas. This started an exchange where I asked her what the correct term was, and why she had always called them maracas until then. She gave a couple of evasive responses before falling silent.

None of this added up until decades later, when I finally made a dark realization. I realized her trip to Spain took place shortly before abortion was legalized where we were living, and that something like 30% of women in the United States have had an abortion. My best guess is that she and her mother either drove to Canada or flew to the UK and spent the month shuttling between medical clinics and a hotel room.

Mom, dad, and I had been living in a one-bedroom apartment at the time. Mom and grandma probably decided she couldn't afford a second child. Dad never guessed a thing. Incidentally, my mother is a lifelong Republican who's also adamantly pro-choice. Mom never had substance misuse problems, and her marriage was going well, so mental health treatment doesn't seem likely either.

Although she and dad were on a tight budget, a month-long trip was no stretch for my grandma; she and my grandpa were country club people. My mother has never been a reliable narrator, and her mother has long since passed. The big tipoff is my mother’s adamant support of abortion rights. It's neither her political leaning nor within her personal temperament to take abstract stances in favor of rights, but she'll champion issues she knows firsthand.

Dorothy Dandridge FactsShutterstock

90. Child Detective

I was seven years old, and my dad hadn’t been home for three days. My mom put us kids in the car and drove to every bar in town until she saw my dad’s truck. Then she told me to go into the bar, look for my dad, and tell him to come home. I refused, so she sent my 4-year-old brother in instead.

Toxic familyPexels

91. Forgive And Forget

My mother threw a fit about how my son is so involved in his dad's life. This hit home, because my mother and father have been separated for a long time because she did the same thing to him with us. She decided that I was “neglecting” my son because I didn't want to limit what he does with his dad. I'm sorry if I won't repeat my family’s mistakes and that I want my son to have a father.

Toxic familyUnsplash

92. Shoddy Support System

When my parents realized that I had been accepted into a premier school on a partial scholarship, they retracted their promise to pay for my college, just because they wanted me to go to a state school near them. They even gave me an ultimatum, telling me that if I went there, I could never really be accepted back into their house.

I ended up going to the local state school they wanted, and flunked out due to stress and depression. 24 years later, my brother is on his fourth degree and they are still supporting him and his wife. Oh, and his "professional poker playing."

Toxic familyPexels

93. Hush Little Baby

I was talking to a friend about how my allergies had been acting up recently, a problem I had never had until I moved out of California, when she asked me if I wanted Benadryl because she had some in her purse. I told her I built up a tolerance to Benadryl, and she was very surprised because my allergies had just started getting bad when I moved here.

She asked me how in the heck did I build up a tolerance to Benadryl? My answer made her go white as a ghost. I mentioned to her that growing up, my mom would give me Benadryl every night until I was about 14 or 15. It would make me drowsy so I would go to sleep and leave her alone. She was very alarmed.

Toxic familyPexels

94. The IT Dad

My stepdad is an IT guy and constantly monitored our Internet browsing habits and blocked certain channels on TV (normal ones!). Anytime I tried to wear something new or do something different, he criticized it so heavily that most of the time, I just went and cried. The first time I got a buzz cut, it was like I committed an offence.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

95. Daddy Doesn’t Know Best

I was 9, and I was really nice to a poor guy selling shirts out of the back of his truck. My father’s reaction haunts me. My dad pulled me away and told me directly "It's great to be nice to people, Chris, but be mean too. You want people to be a little scared of you." Even at nine, I was like, "That's not...great," and it really was an interaction that shaped our relationship.

I went on to teach, have a vibrant friend group, and generally, I love people. It's in my work and in every fiber of my life. My dad didn’t come out so well. He passed, alone, of an great amount of substances about 10 years ago. The funeral would've been basically empty if not for all the friends who came to console me.

Toxic familyPexels

96. Helicopter Mom

Even though I seldom leave the house because I’m pretty introverted, my mom can’t handle it at all when I visit friends. Whenever I get home, she accuses me of loving them more than her. It's even worse if I go out for two consecutive days or more, than she just goes totally ballistic. It's suffocating and stupid, really.

Toxic familyPexels

97. The Mother Of All Pettiness

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.

Toxic familyPexels

98. The Old Switcharoo

My wife and I absolutely adore our son. It’s been amazing to watch him grow up—but neither of them know the painful secret that I’ve had to keep from them ever since the day my wife went into labor. She nearly perished while giving birth, and the labor was so difficult that she fell into a coma afterward for days. When she woke up cradling our son in her arms, she had no idea about the sin I’d committed.

Our baby never made it through the birthing process, and I secretly bought our son from a human trafficker. This is quite easy to do in my country, considering that there are a lot of very poor parents willing to give their children away. My wife has no idea and I have no intentional of telling her or our son the truth.

Dean Martin factsPixabay

99. Whoops

My dad divorced his harpy of a second wife. She was furious about not having her sugar daddy anymore, so she proceeded to buy all kinds of stuff, thinking she'd stick him with the credit card bill one last time. But there was just one problem with her plan: She was not happy to hear she was the only one on the account. My dad had taken his name off their cards a few weeks ago.

The man is stressed with debt owed by using credit cardGetty Images

100. Bad Suggestions

After my twin brother lost his life in a car crash, my parents sat me down. When they began talking, my blood ran cold. My brother's girlfriend had been especially devastated by the loss, and they were worried about her, so they'd come up with what they thought was an ingenious idea. They wanted me to date my deceased brother’s girlfriend.

Worst Airplane Experience FactsShutterstock

101. A Sweet Treat Before It Ends

When I was in kindergarten my dad would routinely show up, sign me out of class, and take me for ice cream. Best memory ever. In retrospect, my dad knew he was dying, and passed when I was 6. He routinely did stuff like this. I feel as if I missed nothing, I’m now 35. There's been a huge hole in my family ever since.

Don't Tell Mom factsMosaic Magazine

102. Shots Fired

I was 11. Woke up to the sound of screaming and shouting. My cousin (who was living with us) was about 17 and in my room holding the door from being opened. On the other side of the door was my mother screaming to be let in. My sister was in the bunk under mine and she was crying. Suddenly my cousin comes to and opens the door.

My mom rushes in and asks my cousin and us if we were okay. There was a commotion in the hallway and living room but I couldn’t tell what it was. When I peeked out of the doorway I saw my stepfather holding a small 22 caliber piece looking out the windows frantically. Suddenly authorities show up and start arresting my stepdad.

My mom is yelling at the authorities and I’m sitting there with my cousin and sister completely baffled. We all notice the broken sliding glass door and suddenly realize there are large slug holes all over our house, through the entertainment center, and above the couch where my cousin was sleeping just minutes before.

I guess what happened is someone was hitting at some people walking by our apartment and the stray bullets all hit our place. My cousin woke up and immediately thought people were inside hitting us so he ran to the kids room and kept anyone from coming in like a badass. My mom woke up and immediately thought to check on us but couldn’t get into the room because of my cousin. My stepdad grabbed his piece out of instinct. The authorities showed up and assumed my stepdad was the shooter and took him to custody. All in all a pretty fun night.

Photo of a Shocked GirlKoolShooters, Pexels

103. At Ease Soldier

My twin had recently joined the Navy and was at boot camp. I, on the other hand, was walking around the grocery store when a man came running up to me in a panic. He began to shout, "What are you doing here?! You're going to go to federal lock up!" A bit shocked, I assumed it was just some crazy person, and started to back away but he followed.

So, I said, "Sir, I don't know what you're talking about." He then proceeded to say my twin's name and then I started laughing. Still very panicked and now angry, he asked why I thought this was funny. I explained I am such-and-such's twin. He didn't believe me until I finally pulled my ID out to prove I was who I said I was.

He then apologized and explained he was her enlisting officer and was very concerned when he saw me.

Twins FactsShutterstock

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11



Divorce Lawyers Share The Most Outrageous Reason A Client Filed For Divorce

From crazy husbands and wives to petty disputes over the most ridiculous things, divorce lawyers are never short of an interesting divorce tale.
October 6, 2023 Jess Silverberg
Layer 3

Police Officers Share Laws They’re Uncomfortable Enforcing

Citizens are aware that some laws are a bit bogus. Well, these police officers feel the same way and here are a few they actually disagree with.
September 15, 2023 Maria Cruz
Compliment Internal

These Words Of Kindness Changed Lives

Paying someone a compliment can not only lift their spirits but sometimes can even change their life.
December 5, 2023 Violet Newbury
Unsettling Experiences

These Unsettling Experiences Sent Us Running The Other Way

Grab a blanket, turn off the lights, and get ready. These unsettling, unexplainable stories will send goosebumps going up your arm.
October 26, 2023 Rebecca Wong
Messed Up Family Behemoth

These Messed Up Families Put the Lannisters to Shame

From insane dads to manipulative moms to shocking secrets that were never meant to come to light, there’s just no drama like family drama.
November 7, 2023 Carl Wyndham
Hr Internal

The Most Ridiculous HR Complaints

It started pouring one day, so I grabbed one of the loaner umbrellas from the front desk on my way out. I had no idea what kind of chaos it would cause.
December 5, 2023 Sarah-May Oldfield

Want to learn something new every day?

Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.