People From Around The World Share Why They Had To Disown Loved Ones

People From Around The World Share Why They Had To Disown Loved Ones

Family is forever, isn't that the saying? Oh no wait, that's diamonds. It's a good thing, too, because some blood really is thinner than water. What do you do if a close relative steals your identity? Takes advantage of your generosity time and time again? Treats you so badly that you're left with scars for life? When it comes to the worst case scenario, sometimes it's better for everybody to say goodbye. We asked people to tell us what their family member did that was so bad, they had to be disowned.

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34. Father of the year award over here.

My biological father divorced my mom and also his 3 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 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 a second adolescence while my single mother worked 2 jobs to feed 3 kids under 10 with zero child support from him.

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33. What a piece of work.

I have been legally disowned by my father. When I was 11, my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer (this was her second diagnosis in around 4 years, obviously she recovered the first time after intense surgery and a lot of chemo) and he did not want to look after her like he did before. He also had a new girlfriend and her family to look after and apparently and he had no issues leaving us. When my mum passed away when I was 14, my brother, grandmother, him and I met up to discuss who I was going to live with (the plan was my brother and his family, father was never considered) and he showed up and declared that he was in the process of going to court to legally emancipate himself from me. He went out of his way to legally declare that I was no longer his child. Just so that my brother (22yo with a wife and 2 young children already struggling on one paycheck) couldn't seek child support.

Needless to say it stung coming only days after my mother's funeral.

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32. Bad blood lasts forever.

My mother and her sister were both adopted into a great family.

Recently, my Grandfather fell ill and we were told to prepare to say goodbye. So the family gathered. My Grandmother has had a hard time with her memory since she had a brain hemorrhage, but she welcomed my aunt into her home during this tough time.

Whilst my Grandfather was in his final week, Wendy (my aunt) took my Grandmother's ATM card and proceeded to spend well over a thousand dollars on herself and get herself a motel room. She alsp attempted to steal their car. When my uncles found out, she basically disappeared into the wind.

After my Grandfather passed and his funeral was all sorted. My Grandmother went to an attorney to write Wendy out of any inheritance she would get from their estate when she passes. She didn't press any formal charges, because the whole process would have been lengthy and more painful for her. She didn't need the extra stress.

I'm pretty sure one of my uncles also threatened Wendy to make sure she stayed away from my Grandmother from now on too.


31. Priorities in disorder.

As Jehovah's witnesses, my parents disowned my siblings and I 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, and parents are encouraged to disown any children who have left the religion. The first time was when I was 19. It upset me, I was heartbroken and eventually they changed their minds only to do it again a couple years later and so on until I stopped caring and no longer attempt to be a part of their lives at all.

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30. It's hard to let go.

I wouldn’t say I’ve disowned or stopped loving my son, but it’s real tough to find love for him. He’s almost 14 (next month) and he’s currently out of our home at a treatment facility. He’s averaged two arrests a year for the last two years, and he’s attacked my wife several times, our daughters several times, and the neighborhood kids several times. He’s run away from school, run away from home, and tried to push me off the roof of our house (after threatening to jump off and hurt himself). We have become “that family” in our town where the police are called to our home on a semi-regular basis. He’s been getting more violent as he gets older (not to mention bigger and stronger) and I honestly don’t see an end in sight.

The key fact I’m leaving out is that he’s been diagnosed as high functioning autistic and is also bipolar. That’s like putting walls around a tornado and expecting it to stay inside the walls. A lot of what has occurred he had little control over because of the way his mind is (where he’s constantly at war with himself, structure versus chaos), and my wife and I have tried desperately to give him the best life we can while keeping ourselves and our daughters safe, but I’m tired. It’s been 8 and a half years we’ve been going through this with him and I’ve been ready to throw in the towel on him for a while. But my wife refuses to let him go, so we wake up every morning trying to give him the best life for him and our girls.

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29. Split over differences in belief.

Not a parent, but my parents stopped loving me the moment I was disfellowshipped as a Jehovah 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 2 years later and lives with me, and 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 its hard to explain how they would stop loving or want to associate with their own son over some stupid cult rules.


28. Forced to grow up fast.

I disowned my parents as soon as I moved out.

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 it's 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 adult with two kids myself, I think I realized that both of my parents are are just extremely mentally ill and incapable of loving anyone, including themselves.

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27. No love lost between sibs.

I've disowned one of my siblings (still have 5 other 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 6 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.


26. An oldie but a goodie.

My great grandma was disowned by her parents. This story is really sad but also interesting, so I thought I'd share it.
She was a young creole teenager. French creole was her first language, and she was a quarter-to-half black like me, with tan skin and loose brown curls. She was born in Florida, but when things started getting worse for black people in Florida, her family relocated to Texas. For those who don't know, creole people tend to play heavily into colorism. Although they are definitely mixed race, they prioritize light skinned people. The looser your curl, the lighter your skin, the more white you look, the better. Her parents had high expectations for her to marry a wealthy, light-skinned man who would take care of her.

Instead, she met my great grandfather. A poor, dark-skinned man jumping from job to job working for farmers and trying to make a living. The two of them fell in love. They were just teenagers. Her parents threatened to disown her if she continued seeing him, and like a rebellious teenager, she refused. They wanted her to do better. She wanted to be in love.

They might have broken up eventually, if she didn't get pregnant. But she did, and that was the end of it. Her parents basically said "you've ruined your life" and disowned her right there. The whole family disowned her. No one would speak to her. Aunts, uncles, cousins, not a single person stood up for her. So she had no choice. The two of them moved to California, so he could get a job picking oranges. He built a house. They had their first daughter. She was 16. She never saw her family again.

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25. So much for the evil stepmother.

My stepdaughter started stealing from us as a kid, then it moved up to forged checks, stole her sister's Christmas gifts. Then there were the multiple arrests, conversion, theft, assault, drugs. The final straw was when she dumped her kid and left town to fool with a married man for several years. Kid is 11, he has had a long haul. Everything she says is just a bunch of lies and more lies. And yes she has had counselling numerous times. It hurts but it is more peaceful, did I mention the identity theft? That took a real long time to fix.

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24. A horror story.

We adopted a 3 year old from foster care. Cutest, sweetest kid. He had a few issues, but we mostly figured it was because of his history. The issues escalated quickly. When he was 7 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. Found out years later that he killed 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 2 years. During that time, he beat up a roommate and became extremely violent. The insurance company told us that they wouldn’t pay anymore 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 be 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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23. Love is selectively blind.

I disowned my dad. My father had this incredibly awful woman as a wife. She is just terrible. She left him, owed me quite a bit of money, cheated on my father and on and on. After 3 years of marriage. She is around 36 and my father is 50. He did everything for her and she just made him miserable, but he kept going. When she left my father became really really depressed and I cared for him. Hoping that he would get over the whole situation etc. We even fought the whole divorce together. He got better and everything. I was really happy for him. Then came the day that she had no money left and she came back to my father. He told me about it and I was so angry that he didn’t learn from the story before. I told him that I don’t want to see her ever again and I won’t do anything with him if she is there as well. One day he said he wanted to meet for lunch. As I arrived I saw her sitting there with him. I said that she had to leave or I’m gonna leave. He became mad at me for that and I left. He tried to do the same move again. I never spoke to him again.

I never trusted this woman. It became better and then I found out about her cheating, lying and everything. She told me to get lost when I wanted my money back. I won’t trust her ever again but I can’t help my dad. I told him everything and he is still blind through those love curtains.

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22. Not a peaceful season.

My mom got taken out of my grandparent’s will, and she only got to know so because of her sister. Her side of the family has always been very conservative, so ‘til death do us apart’ is serious business with them.

When she ran away for over a week without giving any notice, leaving me an my sister alone, only to come back with some stranger we couldn’t tell anyone they were living with us, it was obvious things were about to get hairy.

She divorced, and remarried in the span of about 6 months trying to keep everyone in the family out of the loop. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone learned about it through the invitation to the party. Cries and drama ensued that day. She wasn’t invited to the Christmas family reunion, and she used me and my sister as bargaining chips.

They took away from her anything that was still in their name. She moved away, and only recently has she been trying to connect back.


21. Would love more backstory here...

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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20. Sometimes it's the only option.

I moved out of my mom's house when I was fifteen. Often my mom used to say that I didn't love her. Each day it got worse and worse. The affirmations from her saying that started getting to me, and soon enough, I really did stop loving her.

She's not an alcoholic, but there have been quite a few nights where she came home very intoxicated and said horrible things to my brother and me. She lies often. I've caught her stealing my money for her gambling addiction. She wastes 200-300 dollars weekly on lotto tickets. About 80% of the time she's not even paying with her money.

She is so irresponsible that she's been fired from around six jobs in the span of two years. I get called many horrible names daily by her, she finds way to talk to me even though I'm living with my grandparents. One major thing she does that bugs me is after her screaming session, she'll try to "make it up to me" and when I don't reciprocate her affection, she blames our horrible relationship on me.


19. Not everyone's a mother.

My parents got divorced and my mother decided she didn't want to be a mother any more so she neglected my sibling and I and kicked us out of her house. Because the court system favours the mother, she got custody despite nobody asking us or looking too far into it and 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 anyways and she spent our child support on world travels and wouldn't ever buy us anything. She met a guy overseas, sponsored him, he had a son and that became her son. I was now nothing to her. They divorced, he stole all her money and she ended up homeless until family took her in and it's been shaky since.

She went off the deep end about a year ago and I tried to get involved to help her but she kept being demeaning and went crazy, got arrested and I cut off ties. She threatened to come shoot me and I called the police and even went to try and make a police report but nobody would listen to me and the guy at the counter at the police station laughed at me. It was very bizarre.



18. The lost boy.

I disowned my son, because if I hadn't I have no doubt our whole family would have been ripped apart. Substance abuse, violence, theft, repetitively trying to destroy his younger brother, becoming a danger to myself and others, mental health issues that he refuses to deal with any longer or take his meds for anymore. Just plain off the chain behavior that was too much for all of us. I wouldn't call it disowning, as much as putting down boundaries and setting up fences to protect people who don't deserve his treatment. He also tends to be very manipulative and leans toward narcissistic behavior, in that he will habitually lie about you to others and try to play the victim. This can be very damaging to relationships with people that don't understand what's going on, so I'd rather just not bring myself into the equation anymore, because it's too costly and it's not worth it. He lacks empathy and doesn't know how to stop himself from his harmful behavior due to a developmental disability, although he will also admit that he knows what he's doing and he knows that he is manipulative and playing games at times. When he was younger and was under the rules of being a minor, then he had all the help in the world and it was easier to deal with.

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17. Left behind.

My mom disowned my sister. My sister is the worst person I know. She's an addict, narcissistic, drinks, and is abusive. She has all the worst traits of our abusive ex-stepfather. She may or may not be carrying on the tradition in my family of teenage pregnancy, no one in my family talks to her so I can't confirm it but I don't doubt it. She blames my mother for everything bad that had happened to her. She cannot be anymore diffrent from me and my siblings, and cannot stand that me and my brother are no longer traumatized by our childhood. She has blocked 90% of my family and no one misses her.

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16. Child endangerment blamed on the child.

I cut contact with my mother but from what I hear nowadays she hates me for ruining her life.

First awful thing I did: my mother purchased her first home when I was 12. She had always had this vision of me having a house and playing in the backyard as a child, and I think she felt like I was missing out by living in apartments all my life. Thing was, I had no desire to move out of where we were, and probably more importantly, she couldn't really afford a house plus this was just around the housing crisis as well so the price was super inflated and dropped significantly a year later. We only lived there a year before moving in with her at the time boyfriend and renting it out. I apparently was the sole reason that she purchased that house, she did that for me. So it was my fault that she bought a house she couldn't afford.

Second awful thing I did: She got pulled over while driving to a nearby city because she was swerving on the freeway. I was 13 at the time and had fallen asleep, but got woken up by the car shaking back and forth and almost hitting a semi, while she was asleep at the wheel. I woke her up and she insisted on pushing through, and not too long after she was pulled over by an undercover cop. I watched as she was failing the sobriety test hard, she fell a couple of times trying to walk in a straight line. I cooperated with police and gave over the prescriptions she had in the car with her. So basically that was an act of betrayal. She was in the medical field and was struggling to find/keep a job that would hire her with a record (charged with child endangerment). So she was driving while heavily medicated, but I took most of the blame because I wasn't loyal to her and sold her out to the police.

So now her finances are in shambles and can't keep a job in her field because of the awful things I did as a teenager. Her career is ruined because of me. A lot more happened to damage our relationship but I think she would identify these two things as the main reasons having me as a child ruined her life.

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15. He was right on the brink.

My son was in college and not doing the work. I was paying for school. He started withdrawing from classes in the last month of the term, then just hanging around with friends instead of going to class. He kept just enough credits to sign up for the next term, so I was unaware of his lack of progress until he needed to sign up for a fifth, then a sixth year to complete his degree. He eventually graduated but looked for work so slowly it took almost two years to land any job at all. I was at my wit's end what to do and friends, family and even some professional counselors I consulted told me he was in need of "tough love" and I should kick him out; with the expectation that faced with cold reality he would suddenly get a lot more responsible.

I demurred. While I was very unhappy with his attitude and progress in launching his life, I could also imagine a lot worse things could happen to him (such as drugs and criminality) if I withdrew the only stabilizing influence he seemed to have (living at home being supported by me). In the end, he hated his first job, worked hard to get a better one and then a few years later a really good one. He's fully on his own, he's got an active circle of professional friends, he's financially responsible and may buy a house next year. I'm so glad I ignored all the well-meaning but harsh advice and just let him mature on his own timeline. Sometimes a harsh limit may work for some kids, but sometimes it isn't needed. Hard to know what's right in the heat of the moment.


14. The past does not rest.

My grandma disowned my father because of the way he acted towards the family. He used to tell my mother that his father once chained him in the basement when he was a teenager and his sister secretly brought him food. He also told my mother that his father used to beat him.

But around the time my parents seperated, he suddenly started arguing it was all his mothers doing. However his sister was a witness back then and saw everything that happened. Plus his father (my grandpa) was always very shady. Eventually my father disowned my grandma first, so his sister and my grandma disowned him as well.

My grandma keeps saying until today that if he gets help with his psychological problems, changes and comes back on his own will, she would acknowledge him again and accept him back into the family with open arms.

Just that my father will never do that because he keeps dwelling on the past that he made up with his own mind. It's pretty obvious because he also keeps twisting things concerning my mother where I obviously trust my mother way more than him.

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13. Punished for no reason.

My father disowned my older sister when she was in high school. She was depressed in high school, never really fit in. She later tried jumping out of a moving car because she was depressed and suicidal. My dad never liked my sister and refused to go to any father-daughter dances. He was distant to her for seemingly no reason. He finally said he disowned her after she was taken to a mental hospital to help with her behavioral issues stemming from the literal daddy issues. He called her "broken goods" when he disowned her. Because she was disowned, she got pregnant at 17 to spite him, and it sealed the deal for my dad. My sister is jealous of me because I was the younger, beloved child that my dad always wanted. But she doesn't see that he treats me like a doll and makes degrading comments when my looks aren't up to his standards. My sister grew up with a voice and a free will. My father hated that. The only reason he loves me is because he not only broke my free will and my ability to choose, but thinks of me as clay that he can "mold into the perfect daughter." Now I'm trying to break the mold and ignore him now that I'm an adult, but it's hard accepting it's okay not to be perfect. My sister still has mental issues from everything my father has put her through. She's become literally crazy and she requires meds and a lot of therapy even now.

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12. Hoping for a reunion.

I signed away my parental rights to my daughter. It sounds terrible, but here is the backstory:

My ex-wife and I separated for a while. Then we briefly reconciled. We were working things out and then she says there's been another man in the picture and the kid isn't mine. She wants a quick, clean divorce. I refuse to proceed with the divorce until paternity is sorted out.

DNA test is finally done and what do you know? It's mine. I deploy to Afghanistan. When I get back, finally get a hearing for the divorce. It took a judge's order to finally allow me to see my daughter. She was already walking when I saw her for the first time.

Fast forward 1.5 years and I am flat broke, killing myself to travel 600 miles on weekends to see my daughter for just a few hours, if at all. (The ex was pulling no-shows and showing up late for my scheduled visits.)

When my daughter called me "other daddy," I knew I didn't have a chance. I knew that my ex was going to bad-mouth me and undermine me every chance she got.

I signed away my rights shortly thereafter. She is 16 years old now. Once she is 18, I'll be able to contact her.

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11. Living with a psycho.

My parents disowned my older brother. He has been a petty crook as long as I could remember, into hard drugs since his pre-teens, and pretty much a full-blown sociopath.

He treated my parents like trash. He would be in and out of jail and they would take him in whenever he was out. Then he’d find a job, lose it, and go back to jail. Rinse and repeat. He would get in physical fights with my mom, dad, me, he’d kick our dogs, cats, etc. We’d have to get new drywall to replace the holes he punched through those walls. He’d have freakouts and smash things all around the house. Living with him was a nightmare.

The last straw was him walking out on his kid and her mother, and starting a gang fight at our house over a drug deal gone wrong. Things got really violent and I’m pretty sure weapons were involved. He left the house, and on that very same night, he came back because he needed a place to stay. When my dad said no, he started fighting my dad. I stepped in at that point and almost beat the life out of him. It ended with my dad having to hold me down to stop me from killing him, and my brother walking away down the street yelling obscenities. Haven’t seen him since. This was 6 years ago.

At this point, he’s either in jail or dead. I may have every reason in the world to hate him for everything he’s done, but I don’t. He’s a tortured soul who has let his demons get the absolute best of him, plain and simple. I just hope that he finds some kind of peace, even if it takes death for him to do so.

Bill, if you’re reading this, you’re my brother and I still love you, and I hope you’re okay, wherever you are.

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10. An unhappy family reunion.

My parents disowned my oldest sister. I'm the youngest of three girls. My oldest sister had a horrible relationship with my father and blames me for getting in the way of their relationship. She had her first baby to spite him when she was 16 years old. My father refused to give her money because she met a deadbeat child predator, and got pregnant again, the again, and again. She constantly put herself and the deadbeat before the kids. Dad would send money to her girls for Christmas and birthdays and never heard a thing, he finally gave up... She's 30, has six daughters, and lives in a mobile home in North Carolina.

We hadn't seen or heard from my sister until June of this year. My oldest niece contacted me asking to come to Florida (where I live) for the summer to get her and her sisters out of the trailor. I agree, contact sister and she agrees, I set up plane tickets and organize the rooms they'll stay in. When they got here, they were completely disheveled. Clothes visibly dirty, smelled foul, so covered in lice that my white towels stained gray from removing them. My niece informed me that they had been without water and electricity for 6 months. They live in a 2 bedroom mobile home, there are holes in the roof, bugs and rats everywhere. As a family, we decide the girls aren't going back to North Carolina.

We tell my sister to come to my parents house in Florida to get her life together and get back on her feet. She refused because the deadbeat is not invited. Ironically, she found out that deadbeat is cheating on her. She confronts him and he kicks her out of the trailer. Deadbeat said "I would rather be homeless than live with you." Sister now works for the dollar store and doesn't pull her weight with kids. At least the girls are safe now.

My parents had disowned my oldest sister when she moved to North Carolina with deadbeat for six years until my niece reached out to me through Facebook. I had never even met my two youngest nieces until this event. I regret turning my back on my sister. I really hate her and what she put her babies through, but if we stayed in her life for those six years we maybe could have prevented this.

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9. Past wounds given a chance to heal.

My mother was disowned by her her parents for her interracial relationship.

Yes, we are from the south (Arkansas). There are parts of this that are weird too. My mother initially lied to her parents and said she was dating an Arab man. This was fine but they found out she was lying leading to her being disowned. I guess in the early 70s Arabs were ok but blacks were no-nos.

They disowned my mom but it was fine if we, her kids, came over. My older sister was close with them but me and my younger sister always felt weird going over there. They adored my older sister though and she stayed over and went on vacation with them among other things. I remember asking my grandfather why he didn't like my mother when I was about 8 or 9 years old at a cousin's birthday party. He just walked away.

These same people who essentially pushed her out of their lives were the same ones she took care of and comforted in their darkest times. She sort of went back to them and they didn't push her away for what I am assuming is they knew the end was near and they were trying to right their wrongs. I have no idea just an assumption. She was there with them until their ends though. My mom might not be perfect but that made me look at her in a completely different light.

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8. Slow separation.

My parents have disowned me to some degree. We still talk a few times a year but we are very low-contact. During college they had gestured that I was going to be 'fully' disowned after I graduated so I built a life away from them.

I figure they still love me but my "lifestyle choices" (I'm transgender) are untenable with their own. My dad told me we weren't related when it came to business and didn't want others at his company finding out. My mom told me she didn't like being around me in public. My siblings and relatives all have worked at my dad's company, but nope, not me. One of my siblings bounces between being employed there and not, due to basically sucking at holding a job. I had to figure out everything myself while my siblings get chance after chance.

I am the only child who has a college degree, got their own job, stable relationship and support themselves. But I am the bad one.

I haven't seen most of my grandparents for years. I haven't seen my oldest grandpa in about 6 years. I am figuring one day I am going to be told he died and I am not allowed to go to his funeral. Or he will die and I just won't be told.

I haven't seen most of my cousins in years. My uncle threatened me as a teenager over being gay (I am in my late 20s) so when I officially came out (in my late teens) my parents stopped inviting both of us to the same events; score +1 for my parents I guess. I haven't seen those cousins in maybe 3 years.

The closest collision with my uncle was 5 or 6 years ago. My dad was selling a car to him at the house, so my dad ordered me pizza then rushed me upstairs before my uncle got there.

One of my other uncles is dying apparently and I haven't seen him in probably a decade despite growing up seeing him 2 - 3 times a year.

So I just have my siblings and my parents. I see them 2 - 3 times a year for a few days each over the holidays. They send me a text on my birthday, but otherwise we don't really talk about life.

My parents have warmed up over the last 10 years, but when you go through your late teens and 20s thinking you have lost your family, you find another one. I would love to rekindle a good relationship, but I have no idea how or if they're even interested.

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7. So strong.

My family disowned me because I disowned my mother. I was abused/tortured by her husband for years and when I finally told her she not only didn't believe me, but stayed married to him for seven years. I had to move out at 16 to get away from how I was being treated. Then when I finally began speaking to others she started to cover her self within her social circle by telling them that I seduced her husband.

I cut her off for years, and didn't ever want to see her again but my family bullied me to just get over it and have a relationship with my mother and that I was hurting her. Even my sister who knew what happened, knew I stayed for so long to protect her, fell into a trap of my mother whining to everyone around her and painting me as a liar. About 4 years ago she was very suddeny diagnosed with advanced cancer and didn't have much time. I was moving out of my home state and everyone told me I needed to see her before I left, that I needed to be there, but I didn't want to. In the end everyone turned their back on me. They were so mad I wouldn't just forget my trauma just to say goodbye to someone I hadn't loved for a long time, and rightly so.

girl-447701_1920-300x201.jpgImage by lisa runnels from Pixabay

6. No custody battle here.

My ex-wife disowned my son.

We both married young when I was in the military (high school sweethearts). She became pregnant 6 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 photo shoots where she painted herself as #1 mommy. When he turned 3, 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 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 tells me “I want absolutely no responsibility.” I was taken back 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 afterwards (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 7 now and used to it, but I know it weights heavily on him. I just hope he doesn’t question his worth because of what his mom did. I know I questioned mine due to my own father leaving and that has left scars that will not heal.


5. The wildest child.

I was a kid and my sister was much older when my parents were finally done with her. From my recollection, she went through the cycle of making one stupid decision after another, even when they would tell her and show her why she shouldn't make that decision.

She dropped out of college, which they were paying for, and used the tuition money she was refunded to buy a Firebird, then quit her job. She let car run out of oil, but kept driving it until the engine seized up. My parents bailed her out again, buying her what they could afford on one salary: a decent, used station wagon. That day my parents come home one day to find strange car in driveway: a Sunbird. It was a 1:1 trade my sister managed to swing on the station wagon, which wasn't cool-looking enough for her.

Lo and behold, that car breaks down almost immediately and she simply stops showing up to work, gets fired. She moves out with no car and no job, accusing parents of controlling her life, then moves back in three months later. She was upset that I have moved into her old bedroom (which is bigger), demands to be moved back into the bigger bedroom. Parents say no, she threatens to move out. She goes on a semi hunger-strike about the bedroom. Turns out she was shoplifting and stockpiling candy to eat so she wouldn't have to eat with the rest of the family.

During this time, dates a number of less-than-stellar boyfriends. Eventually, she is told to pay rent, go to college, or move out. She chooses to move out, and is gone by the end of the week. I clearly remember her threatening to burn the house down as she left. Two months later, she asks to move back in because her roommate and best friend kicked her out. Parents say no, she's on her own unless she wants to go to college or get a job and keep it. They say no, and not to call again.

There were a whole raft of other things, too, including forgetting to pick up her grandmother from doctor's appointments, generally loathing the existence of the rest of her family, and, then, ironically, deriding the family as "rednecks" when she finally managed to hook a guy who was a small business owner and actually had some money.

Anyhoo, it's been about twenty years since I've spoken to her, and, from the stuff I hear now and again through the pipeline, I'm better for it. I do expect her to come calling when my parents pass and she finds out I'm the sole heir.

woman-3516437_1920-300x201.jpgImage by engin akyurt from Pixabay

4. Can't say he didn't give her a second chance.

Not my kid, but my sister I raised for several years. I was a senior in high school when my parents had my sister - she was completely unexpected. They were 58 and 55. I never really got to know her much as I went away to college when she was 5 months old, and was in the Air Force by the time she was 1 1/2. I saw her twice on leave, and got pics, but the way life was working out we never really got time together. Fast forward, our dad dies when she is 2, and my stepmother is raising her. She was a terrible parent, like the kind that saw one of her kids run away at 16 to halfway across the country, another runaway at 15 and get married, and one that is just a loon who spent his life bouncing around whatever hot MLM program was out there as a career. She also convinced my dad to send me to a pray away the gay camp in Tennessee when I was 15. So when my sister was 11 and begging for help, I took leave and went to her. Surprisingly, my stepmonster was happy to get attorneys to draw up the paperwork for me to become my sister's guardian, and even pay for it.

So I'm raising my sister and things are okay until she is about 14. Then I caught her doing these dirty videos online. So that was a mess of trying to get those down and suing the people that hired her to do them. Then she ran away for a week, hiding out at a friends house, found her when she was caught shoplifting. A B&E charge at 14, trying to steal the phone of a boy she was dating to se if he was talking to other girls. It happened on base and I managed to talk it out of being a bigger thing. A second B&E charge with friends breaking into the NCO club to try to steal beer. I was told I had to leave base housing at that point, my security clearance was suspended to make sure she wasn't putting me in a position I could be compromised. She was still still 14 when she was arrested with a stolen military ID trying to get into a bar. But at 16 things seem good and she is taking school seriously.

At 18 she was accepted to RISD, graduated with honors, and had an actual decent paying job with a web company with benefits and everything. Started getting stoned a lot, lost her job. Sold her car to pay bills. Lost her apartment, still hadn't bothered looking for work. Got her trust fund at 24, blew over $400k in two years, nothing to show for it. Had multiple cases against her for drugs. Was restricted to the state, but decided to go follow Phish around anyway and sell molly. Got picked up for hooking and possession out of state, was returned to RI where she was detained and somehow released pending trial yet again. While awaiting trial she was caught holding enough packaged for sale smack to qualify as a distribution charge. By then, I hadn't heard from her for almost 7 years, and only managed to keep up with her reading the police blotter or from the occasional attorney that she had contact me to verify I would pick up her legal tab - I wouldn't. Against any logic, she was out of prison in under three years. I heard she dimed a bunch of people out to make it happen. She showed up at my house, asking for a place to stay. I said I couldn't have her in my house, but I'd get her a place for the night and then help her locate a place of her own. That night she broke into my house, nearly got shot by me while doing it, and tried to spin some story that she was looking for something she dropped in my house earlier that day, despite never actually entering my house. I told her she had to go, she threatened she would call DCFS and tell them I was abusing my kids if I didn't go with her to an ATM and give her all the money I could withdraw. Told her to get out before I exercised the castle defense law and dropped her.

I took out a restraining order the next day, and in doing so found she once again left state when she wasn't supposed to have and violated her parole, so back to the clink. Since then she's been dead to me.

girl-2219110_1920-200x300.jpgImage by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay

3. De-throning the family drama queen.

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 3 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 beating 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, cause 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. She then called the cops and told them the same brother had illegal guns in his truck, and they came on Christmas night and searched his truck (no guns found!)

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.

costume-15847_1920-200x300.jpgImage by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

2. Seriously sad legacy.

I disowned my father. I don't believe that it nearly as difficult a decision as disowning a child, but it was tough.

I grew up in an upper middle class perfect nuclear family. My parents were high school sweethearts. My dad was an operator at an oil refinery, my mom was an accountant turned stay at home mom. I am a middle child. I have a 3 year older brother and a 3 year younger brother.

When my older brother was about 10, my dad's drinking got out of hand and be became extremely physically abusive. A few years later, my mom divorced him after 23 years of marriage because she was afraid for our lives.

My dad went off the deep end. Started doing stealing, etc. Was involved in a few hit-and-runs. My older brother, who had received the brunt of the physical abuse, was manipulated into a relationship with my dad for a few years. To a lesser extent, so was I. He seemed to take an interest in us for the first time since we were little, but in hindsight it was just more manipulation and gaslighting.

Won't go into all of the details, but my brothers and I eventually got wind of just what kind of sketchy stuff he was involved in. My little brother and I, who both had aspirations to get into law enforcement, cut him out of our lives completely. My older brother took a while longer. He was a kid who always just wanted his dad to love him and so he was wearing blinders. He did eventually see the light, and cut my dad out as well.

A few years ago, my dad was living with his mom. My grandma had been manipulated by him for years, and they had a symbiotic co-dependent relationship... she was a prescription addict and he was an "everything" addict. My grandma had a reverse mortgage on her home. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and given 6 months to live, and moved into a nursing home. My dad kept squatting at her house, despite the bank coming to (rightfully) claim the home. Cops got involved, and he was arrested.

My grandma slipped and fell 2 days after moving to the nursing home. She developed a brain bleed and died a few days later.

My dad had a seizure his first night in jail and was brought to the hospital, where it was determined he had a burst brain aneurysm. The doctors theorized that the aneurysm was the result of his substance abuse, and when he was scuffling with the cops during the arrest, his increased blood pressure and/or jarring caused it to burst.

He's now in a nursing home, and functioning at about a 6 year old's level. He has some inkling that he's messed up royally and it is all his fault but he really doesn't understand the specifics. He can kind of communicate, and hold conversations but they're bizarre and wander all over and a lot of very strange words make their way in.

I visit him a few times per year. I only do it because the person he became with addiction is dead. I believe that karma caught up to him, and he's earned his hell. I truly would not shed a tear if he dropped dead tomorrow- he's been dead to me for a decade. I do have some compassion for a sad, confused 58 year old man who is alone in a depressing nursing home with no visitors. He knows he has kids, and a wife (he doesn't understand they're divorced) and sometimes he even knows he has grandkids he has never been allowed to meet. So he doesn't understand why nobody visits him. I've started occasional visits not because I have any interest in having a relationship with him, but because unfortunately the doctors saved him when his aneurysm burst and we're left with a person who is paying for crimes he doesn't know he committed, in a world he doesn't understand. He sometimes cries when he asks to see pictures of "that little boy" (my nephew- his grandson) and I have to explain, yet again, why he isn't allowed to meet him. He asks me questions about "that cop"- my little brother, whose name he can't remember. He looks so proud when I tell him that his son is rising through the ranks and just became a K9 officer. It's like a shard of the dad he was 25 years ago has surfaced, and everything in between only exists as a convoluted fever dream. It tears my heart open as a human to see his suffering, but in a really twisted, sick way gives me satisfaction that his actions caught up to him, which makes me hate myself even more than I already did.

That's how I disowned my dad, then kind of developed a minimal relationship with the ghost of his former humanity than now occupies his body. My heart goes out to people who have had to disown a child. I was extremely fortunate to have an incredible mom and extended family to support my brothers and me, yet I am still damaged from my time with him. Having to choose between compassion and love for a flawed person and your own or your other loved-ones' physical and mental wellbeing rips something open inside of you and leaves you permanently scarred.

silhouette-1082129_1920-300x169.jpgImage by Free-Photos from Pixabay

1. A little light at the end of the tunnel.

I was disowned, but I deserved it. I was an addict and a mess for a long time, my mom couldn’t keep bailing me out of trouble and 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, not to contact her, she 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, and now we’re really close. I am forever grateful to my mom for letting me fall and letting me back into her life.

hug-1315552_1920-300x225.jpgImage by Mark Filter from Pixabay