These Toxic Families Are Beyond Twisted

These Toxic Families Are Beyond Twisted

No one gets to choose their family. Some people are bound to draw the short end of the stick, but these stories are ridiculous. From manipulative mothers to insanely over-protective fathers to flat-out crazy relatives, these messed-up families take "toxic" to the next level.

1. Stronger Than Any Lullaby

My dad waited till I was grown up to tell me that my mom had routinely given me a ton of sleeping pills when I was a little child 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…

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2. 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 knife. 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 attacked 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 toxic. 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.

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3. Busting A Gasket

I married into a toxic 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 “fight.” 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.

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4. The Bare Necessities

My shower stopped working one day. I went to my mom, who was sitting in bed, and told her it was broken. Her response chilled me to the bone. She just looked at me, annoyed, and shrugged. Well, then my bedroom light burned out. Same thing. I tell her, hoping she'll at least give me a new bulb. She says "okay?" And shrugs me off.

She made me feel entitled for asking for necessities. So I stopped asking for things. Most of my high school life, I spent in a room with no light, a kitchen with no food, a bathroom with no means to shower, one pair of pants, no socks, and in pain. Sitting in my dark room, unable to shower for a few months, I considered why some people shouldn't have children.

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5. 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.

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6.  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.

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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 horrific 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. 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 toxic 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.

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9. Visiting Hours Are Over

Years ago, I was in the hospital after getting a knife 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.

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10. Dark Deeds

My Uncle Joseph is very probably a pyschopath. He was a major suspect for the West Mesa Bone Collector. He has also been convicted of even worse stuff. 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.

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11. Warm Wishes

My mother was toxic, greedy, manipulative, and eviscerated my self-esteem since birth. She’s never given me the truth about anything, and I feel no shame in saying that I do not care for her. Especially since last year, she burned down my childhood home where she, my dad, my niece, my sister, and my sister’s partner live.

Effectively, she destroyed everything we had and made in that home—including my dad’s dog and my sister’s cat. She did it because she thought my dad was cheating on her despite having no evidence. Then after the fire, in what I can only guess was an act of desperation, she took out all of the funds from my bank account since she was the secondary.

I was in the process of changing banks, but it hadn’t been finalized yet. I now tell people to take their parent’s names off their bank accounts as soon as they’re of age. My mother is now serving time in county prison for the arson because she got a plea deal for a reduced sentence. She played the poor old lady act to the judge who took undeserved pity on her.

Crime in the familyShutterstock

12. Where’s Dinner?

My cousin was addicted to a myriad of substances and lost his mind one night. It was absolutely gruesome. He broke into his mom’s house and snuffed out her dog. When she came home, she caught him trying to eat the dog. He dropped it when he realized she was there and attacked her. Luckily, my aunt was able to get out of the house to get help.

Crime in the familyUnsplash

13. Making An Illing

My uncle was working in China with his partner who often gave him things to eat. And in the US, she had a friend at the bank forge the form to get her power of attorney over him. After that, she took out thousands of dollars in loans in his name buying expensive things and paying off her own debt. Meanwhile, my uncle started to notice that he was getting sick.

That’s when he made a disturbing realization. He ended up figuring out that she’d actually been feeding him poison while at the same time bankrupting him. He got back to the US and tried to get her charged for forgery and embezzlement. But she didn’t do much time, if any at all. My uncle is now still in a lot of debt because of her and has to live in the Philippines.

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14. Evil Stepmother

I didn't realize this was an example of how awful and toxic my stepmother was at the time, but when I was 11, my stepmother got my two sisters, her biological kids, iPod touches. I did not receive one. At first, I brushed it off as my stepmother not getting me one because I didn't really listen to music much, but then again neither did my sisters.

I realized years later this was just another example of her blatant favoritism towards her own children, whether she would admit it or not—and trust me, she wouldn't.

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15. Buyer Beware

My dad gave me the silent treatment because he thought I crashed the car he had just bought for me and I wouldn't own up. Why? because it had red marks on either side of the window. He thought I must have hit a barrier or something, despite me pointing out that this would have almost certainly smashed the screen into smithereens.

After a week of racking my brain, I asked if there was a red “for sale” banner across it...he replied yes, then slowly began talking to me again.

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16. Actually Toxic

My oldest sister, who is not mentally well, went on a bit of a toxic streak several years back, literally. She kept putting stuff in people's food/drinks. We pretty much told her that either she needs to stop, or she's officially kicked out of the family. But yeah, so my sister apparently would be spreading salmonella and E. coli into our drinks and food whenever she could.

Me and my dad went into her apartment, and her fridge was full of uncovered raw chicken and it wasn't even cold. The whole fridge was unplugged. All the chicken had that slimy grey film on top of it and I would have blown chunks right then and there if I hadn't splattered the toilet bowl two or three times over just earlier that day.

She admitted to us later that before she'd come to hang out with us, she'd rub the slimy, rotting chicken all over her hands and face and then spray on perfume to mask the odor. I always thought her perfume just smelled bad, but I guess it was always because she had the putrid scent of rotten meat all over her skin. Sadly, it gets more horrifying.

Then, for whatever reason, a reason that she couldn't or wouldn't explain, she'd take her disgusting hands and rub the rims of our cups or glasses and lick and spit on our food when we weren't looking. Who does that? Of course, there was tons and tons of mold growing everywhere in her place as well. Every little crack and nook had something growing in it.  I left her place fully willing to just cut her out of my life.

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17. The Ones Who Are Left Behind

My brother is the worst. He may be depressed or addicted to his computer or something like that, but he's just terrible with everybody around him. To him, everybody is stupid, nobody cares about him, and the entire world is out to get him and keeping him from achieving anything. He's 28, without a job, living with our father.

Meanwhile, our poor father is doing all he can to help him, but there's nothing to be done. This is, of course, after our mother gave up helping him after many years of putting up with him. In the meantime, my brother has been tormenting everyone who dares talk to him. When visiting my father a few years ago, I saw my brother very briefly.

It was tough for him because I'm getting on with my life. I have my own home, a cool job I love, I'm getting married, money isn't an issue...and he on the other hand is alone, living at his dad's, without a job. We talked, again briefly. He tried and tried again to find ways in which he was better than me or to say that I'm stupid. He got frustrated, called me names, and left.

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18. 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 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

19. 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 dead.

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.GettyImages

20. Brother Beware

I was dating a twin and one time, we were being intimate in his room while his brother was asleep on the couch. He had one of those bathrooms with two doors, one going into the bedroom, and one going out to the living room. After we finished I went to the bathroom, you know, as ladies do. I was still completely nekkid.

His twin brother came into the bathroom from the living room. I didn’t realize it was his twin at first, and I grabbed him. He didn’t stop me at all. In fact, he pulled me more toward the living room door to go out of the bathroom with him. That’s when I realized it wasn’t my dude. I told him to stop, and pulled away and went back into the bedroom.

I told the guy I was dating the next day that his twin brother followed me into the bathroom, and tried to get me to go with him, while still completely unclothed, out to the living room. He acted shocked and was bothered that his brother did this, but I still can’t help but think this might be something that they do, like take turns with girls. I don’t date him anymore.

Lost Crush FactsShutterstock

21. Silica Dreams

My best friend and his brother shared the same room throughout childhood and puberty. They were well-behaved teenagers but their mom was always concerned about dangerous substances and stuff so while they were sleeping she would smell their shirts and pants. If she detected a small trace of smoke or booze odor, she would go insane.

So one day the mother is checking the older son's sneakers and she finds a tiny packet. Oh lord! She beat this poor guy using a broom while my best friend woke up because of all the noise and screaming. At the end she yelled at him that none of her children would become addicts. And then she threw the packet in front of the two puzzled teens.

It was a silica gel packet he forgot to throw away before using his new sneakers for the first time. Their mom didn't understand English, and so had assumed the worst. Awkward!

Helicopter Parents facts Wikipedia

22. Protecting Her from the Dangers of Verse

A 15-year-old genius girl arrived on our small liberal arts college campus. Her parents made her check in by phone every time she got back from classes, randomly called during the evening to make sure she was still there, had the RA spying on her every move, and picked her up Friday at 2 PM. She said that dad paid the phone bill so he could see every call she made (this was before cell phones or the internet).

She loved poetry. We had a poetry slam on Wednesday nights at the student union cafe. She wanted to go, but they feared she would become too passionate in public. She took a risk and went anyway; they happened to call five minutes before she got back, and then kept calling until she answered. She told them she'd been in the bathroom, but then they started calling her friends (they'd made her highlight names in a campus student directory) and in just a few minutes they got a well-meaning fellow student to admit she was at the poetry night.

Her mom and dad showed up before midnight to move her back home. We never saw her again.

Helicopter Parents factsShutterstock


23. The Original Classmates

I used to teach/lecture at a university. I had one poor homeschooled student whose mother insisted on attending the university with him. She enrolled in the same course and used to follow him around to observe his social interactions, and dictate to him who he should be friends with. He had limited social skills as it was, and this made it much, much worse.

In the end, I put them in different lecture streams so that they had to attend separate lectures and labs. She spat the dummy and took me before the Dean to make me put them back together, but the Dean was actually pretty happy with what I had done. A few weeks later, the student came and thanked me personally. So everything worked out!

Helicopter Parents factsPixabay

24. 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

25. Monster-In-Law

My father-in-law is beyond toxic. 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.

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26. 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.

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27. 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."

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28. 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.

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29. The Cheater

My sister’s fiancé passed 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 loss, 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 passing. 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

30. Better Off Apart

My mom and dad separated because they finally admitted that all that fighting wasn't normal. I'd talked to them in my young teens about how I hate how they fight so much, and my mom said all married couples fight like that and that it was normal. Now I'm 18 and they separated this year, and they realized it is not normal or healthy to have "discussions" that involve screaming, tears, clenched fists, and everything short of physically harming each other nearly every day.

Neither of them are bad people in the slightest. They are both good parents, but they were just in a bad relationship and thought that staying together would make me and my sisters happier, when in reality I wish they would've separated years ago. They brought out the worst in each other. Then recently, my mom let out her biggest secret.

My mom came out as a lesbian. Turns out, part of the reason she was angry all the time was from repressing her sexuality.

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31. 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 overdose about 10 years ago. The funeral would've been basically empty if not for all the friends who came to console me.

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32. Mother May I

My first memory is of my parents fighting 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 fight 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.

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33. 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 fistfight 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.

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34. 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.

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35. 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.

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36. 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 Karen, 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."

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37. 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.

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38. Correcting The Sins Of Father

When I was growing up, especially in my teens, I now realize I suffered from anxiety and severe depression. My parents never did anything about it, even though they definitely could see something wasn't right. I don't place ALL the blame on them, as this was back in the 90s when mental health was still not openly discussed. But I was messed up for a very long time.

I got the help I needed, albeit as an adult, and now am a mom to an 11-year-old daughter. I am starting to see some familiar things in her; anxiety is the big one right now. So we have "Brain Checks." If she ever needs to talk, at any time, all she has to do is say she needs a "Brain Check" and I stop whatever I am doing and let her tell me what is bothering her.

I can't always fix her problem for her, but we talk it out and see if we can ease her mind or how we can do that. I know she won't come to me for everything, but I hope that by doing this, she knows I will always provide her with a safe space to speak her mind and not be judged. I have no qualms dragging her to our GP for either meds or a therapist referral, though, if I feel talking to me just isn't enough. I don't want her to suffer like I did.

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39. 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.

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40. 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

41. 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 war 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.

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42. Lean On Me

I was waiting outside the toilet at my mom’s house for my partner to come out. I was with her because she has severe depression and anxiety, and wanted someone there. My mother came out of her room and exploded, asking me why I'm sacrificing so much and telling me that my girlfriend was faking it to manipulate me, horrible things like that.

Worst of all, my girlfriend heard everything and broke down really badly. I haven’t taken her to my mother’s since.

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43. Big Day, Big Ego

I was at my sister's wedding, and it was the most fun wedding I've ever been to. Everyone was having a blast. I was catching up with some first cousins I don't see very often when my mom walks up to us and starts complaining about how my sister didn't want to invite some of my mom's cousins. My sister and I had only met them a few years before and my sister didn't like them.

My mom insisted that she needed them to be there so she could have fun. The screwed up thing was my sister had given in to my mom's demands and some of those cousins were actually there. So my mom was actually insulting my sister at her own wedding for letting her have her way. I had known my mom's siblings and parents were pretty awful, but this was the moment I accepted that she was just as bad.

Toxic familyUnsplash

44. 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

45. 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

46. Milk Carton Blues

My mom wouldn’t let me open a new milk carton or anything without her permission. Even if we had another milk jug in the fridge, I would have to call her and ask. So that meant if she didn’t pick up then I would have to wait for her to call back so I could get some more milk. The first time I realized this wasn’t normal is when my friend went to open a new gallon of milk and I got super anxious and was like “Dude you have to call your mom right now or she’ll freak out.”

She was like “Umm, don’t worry, it’s okay.” It suddenly clicked that my mom was a control freak.

Helicopter Parents facts Shutterstock

47. 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 passed, we found his journal and it was just horrifying.

Right up until the night he passed, he detailed all of the torment 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.

Learned About After Died FactsNeedpix

48. 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

49. 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.

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50. Burning Rage

When my uncle came back from Vietnam, he found out that his wife had been cheating on him with his best friend—and his reaction was truly disturbing. Incensed, he went over to his best friend’s house. He locked him and his wife into a closet then barricaded the door. After, he poured fuel all over the house and set it on fire.

Armed, my uncle held the firefighters off until he was sure they couldn’t be saved. Then, he took his own life.

Crime in the familyPexels

51. 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 jail 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

52. 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

53. 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.

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54. Dark Secret

I always thought that my paternal grandfather, from Denmark, was one of three boys born to my great-grandparents. However, I found out that there was a fourth brother that no one would talk about. Eventually, I learned the chilling reason why. It turns out that his own men offed him in WWII when they found out he was actually a German sympathizer who'd been trying to act as an agent provocateur.

He woke up one day, was greeted with an armed escort, taken out to a tree line, and shot until they ran out of rounds. They didn't bury him or bring his body back. The family got a short letter from the army saying he was KIA, then a family friend who was in the army and in the know sent a letter filling in a few details, just enough so they knew why they weren't getting a body to bury.

His name was never spoken again until my grandfather was in his 90s and starting to mentally slip away.

US_Soldier_with_cattle_dog.jpg Wikimedia Commons

55. Axe-Grandpa

My grandfather tried to kill my dad with an axe. He literally showed up to his place of work and went looking to cut 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, but my dad didn't show up to work, so my grandfather turned the gun 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.

I’m Outta Here FactsShutterstock

56. Great-Grandparent Histories

On my mum’s side, my great-great-grandfather slew 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 done it. 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 Facts PxHere

57. I Told You So

My aunt had this boyfriend, Mike. He was the life of every party, and everyone loved him. Mike was always holding my aunt from behind and kissing her and showing almost too much PDA; but they were happy. Well, there was a devastating dark side to their relationship. The truth came out that Mike was physically and mentally tormenting my aunt and that neck kissing wasn’t PDA.

It was really Mike whispering in her ear and berating her for making a fool of herself dancing. My grandfather found out how he was treating my aunt and went over to see Mike. When he opened the door, my grandfather said, “If I hear that you hurt my daughter one more time, I’ll make sure that you'll never do it again.”

A few weeks later, my aunt showed up with a black eye and a sling. The following weekend, Mike’s body was found on the roof of his apartment building. Everyone knows who did it. As a successful lawyer, my grandfather surely had connections to get help if he was ever suspected. All he said about him was, “What a shame.”

Crime in the familyPexels

58. 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 prostitute 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.

Family Secret FactsShutterstock

59. The Spy

I went through a nasty break up with my oldest kid’s mom that lasted several years. We were never married and she was crazy as heck, so she told the hospital she didn't know our kid's father just so she could have leverage over me. You know, like a sane person does. Years later and after several investigations, she lost custody.

Over the next several years, we kept getting oddly specific complaints about things going on in my house and my daughter and her step mom specifically. Dumb stuff like matching clothes or details about how we do time out. Then my mom passed. When we switched her Facebook to memorial mode, I saw that she had been talking bad about me for years to my ex and was essentially spying on me for her and twisting information.

I'm guessing it's because she felt bad for a mother that lost her kid, but it was still a jerk move. It's been two years and I still refuse to visit her grave with my siblings; I haven’t shed a tear for her since.

Dumbest Things Explained factsShutterstock

60. Love Thy Neighbor

My adoptive parents kicked me out my junior year of high school for being gay—they had already known for a while, but my then-boyfriend coming over Christmas morning to exchange gifts made them “deal” with it. They told me to break it off or get out. I declined and came home one day the following January to find out they’d changed the locks.

My boyfriend’s mother found out that I was staying with my aunt and what my parents did, and immediately drove me over to make my parents let me get clothes and items from my room. She then let me stay with their family. A few weeks after that, my parents showed up with officers, claiming they were holding me against my will and brainwashing me.

We told them our side of the story and it ended up in court. I went through the process of getting emancipated while dealing with them and finishing off high school. I haven’t talked to them since I graduated, over a decade ago. I still hear about how crazy and manipulative they are from the stuff they do to my brother when he complains about them, but I won’t see or speak to them under any circumstances.

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61. About Face

My aunt has always been difficult. She could be very nice and caring, but then, for no obvious reason, she suddenly turned into a screaming monster. Once, my mom, who has a key to her apartment, left her a present and a card in her bedroom for my aunt on her birthday, and all my aunt did was scream and yell about "How dare we break into her place.”

A few months later, she was detained for throwing a chair at her co-worker. This led to her being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She had to get into therapy and was on probation for many months. She’s doing much better now, and her therapist helped her a lot. It turned out that my aunt is the sweetest, most caring person in the world. I'm looking forward to seeing her next week.

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62. 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

63. The Patriarch

My grandfather passed last spring. I found out he’d been verbally and sometimes physically attacking his four sons, and the same with my grandmother their whole marriage. My grandmother had been making plans to leave him with my father and uncles' help when he fell and broke his back, so she stayed with him until he passed a few months later.

All of this was hidden from myself and the rest of the grandkids. My mom quietly told me a few days after the funeral. I’m concerned she only told me because my father may be doing the same to her, but she denied it when I asked.

Shania Twain Facts Air Mobility Command

64. Exit, Stage Mom Left

I ran a kid's theater program, so who wasn't a helicopter parent? I had one kid who had a leading role two years in a row, but didn't get a lead the third year she was in our program—she just wasn't the right fit for any of the parts (we were doing "Fiddler on the Roof Jr." and her onstage personality was very "diva").

But we did take one of the smaller roles (named townsperson) and divide it into three and gave that girl one of the three. The mom came storming in and demanded to know why her daughter didn't get a lead, and how dare we give her a made-up role, and how come a girl who had just joined the program got a lead (because that girl was a perfect fit for the part).

It was just ridiculous, and the kid ended up dropping out of the show.

Helicopter Parents factsShutterstock

65. 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 chilling 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 fighting this in court for the past 20 years and owes about $300,000 in fees. I found this out after stumbling onto a stack of documents in my grandpa’s attic. We still don’t know where Randy's son is, to this day.

Small Town Scandals FactsPxfuel

66. When Grown Men Take Dares

Growing up, I always noticed an odd tension between my dad and my aunt. Any time we'd have get-togethers, she would try her best to distance herself from him. Fast forward to age 12: I went to have a sleepover with my cousin (I did so frequently) and my aunt had to work. So, being a couple of bored kids, we started snooping around where we shouldn't have been.

I went into her bedroom and started to sift through all her stuff, and after some digging, I found what turned out to be a suicide note. In it, she described how she couldn't handle the trauma my father had caused her. Me, being confused and concerned, brought the note to my mom, who then brought it to my grandma, who then confronted my aunt. The truth was devastating.

It turns out that my dad had assaulted her several years ago, and in addition, gave her HIV and Hepatitis B. My mom and dad had been divorced for about three years by that time. After discovering this, my grandma and mom confronted my dad. They then learned that he had intentionally given himself HIV because he was dared to by one of his drug-addicted friends.

I’m In Big Trouble FactsShutterstock

67. Against All Odds

My secret is that my 3-year-old is an absolute miracle. Her birth mom (my wife’s sister) didn’t want her and basically tried for an intentional miscarriage via massive drinking and substance use. Born 11 weeks premature and with 5 different substances in her system, she shouldn’t even be alive by most medical estimations—yet here she is.

She has had slight developmental setbacks, but she is solidly inside the bell curve nevertheless. Her socialization is on point, and she should start school on time. She will know about none of this until she is in her teens, most likely. I am so grateful for this impossible little person being in my life. She's a joy to me every single day.

Biggest Secrets factsPixabay

68. Just My Two Cents

I have this uncle who I hate because he’s a jerk and thinks he’s so cool and edgy. In his 20s, he started a fight in his regular pub after they tried to charge him an extra ten cents for his usual and another 10 cents for the lime. He stomped out the bartender and broke an officer's nose. It eventually took eight of them to bring him down.

He went to prison for a few years and boasts about coming out with more felon experience than when he went in. He was also proud of making metal hooks for other inmates that they’d used to scale the fences to escape. I can’t stand him. He’s so full of it.

Crime in the familyUnsplash

69. 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

70. Kind To Be Cruel

The first time my husband spent time with my parents was when I realized I was in a toxic 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

71. Fire Alarm v Fog Machine

I was in the school musical. It was my first lead role and I was singing a duet with the cutest boy in school. True, I was playing his mom, but THIS WAS MY MOMENT! Then the fire alarm went off. The stage manager signaled to us that it was just the fog machine and to keep going. So we did. The audience, confused and uninformed, began to shuffle out the doors because that’s what you do when you hear a fire alarm. But the show must go on!

All of a sudden, my mother runs up to me on the stage, rips me away from Cutest Boy and screams into my face microphone, "What are you doing?!! There's a fire! Get these kids out of here! WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE?!!" Obviously I was shunned for weeks and 12 years later my drama teacher still tells that story to his students.

Helicopter Parents factsFlickr, Tony Webster

72. How’d You Like That?

When I was younger, I had a babysitter, Chris. He was the uncle of my two best friends who were sisters Abby and Becca. He treated me horribly. He liked to berate and humiliate me in front of them. He made them listen to me cry and scream. It was traumatizing, and I never told anyone about all the awful things he said.

I recently found out that even though I never mentioned it to my mom, my best friends did tell her. She was furious. Soon after she found out, she came up with a devious plan. There was a party at my friends’ house. My mom saw Chris in the backyard and started chatting. They got to joking, light roughhousing, and messing around. It was all pleasant.

Then my mom grabbed some lighter fluid and sprayed some on him laughing. Chris laughed with her. Then she lit a match. Still smiling, Chris said, “ha! You wouldn’t do it, would you?” Without saying a word, she lit Chris on fire. He wasn’t on fire for long, so he was fine. But she told him, “That’s what it’s like when you’re scared for your life,” and left. He flew back to Florida the next day.

Crime in the familyShutterstock

73. Only One Option

My great aunt disappeared off the face of the earth after her daughter’s wedding, and nobody had any clue what happened. Foul play was never suspected, but we didn’t know much else or had any leads. Then, we found out the absolutely bizarre reason behind her disappearance. She had apparently skipped jury duty to go to the wedding.

And, instead of doing something that actually made sense, she straight up just ran away and lived in hiding in a backwoods town in Washington. She didn’t send letters or anything. She just believed that living in hiding for 30 years was the most effective way to avoid jury duty so she could attend a family wedding. She passed on last year, we only found out afterward.

Crime in the familyUnsplash

74. Jer-ry! Jer-ry!

My "grandfather" was my great-uncle and my "great-uncle" was my grandfather. To make this less confusing...let's say there are two brothers, John and Harry. John has a good job in America and is back visiting the old country. Both brothers are at a football match and meet my grandmother, Rose. Now, Rose is really into Harry, but John is the one with the job in America, so when he asks her to marry him and go with him to Boston, she agrees.

So John and my Granny marry, and she has three of his kids. Sadly, it ends up being not a great marriage (go figure), and they haven't had another child for 10 years. Meanwhile, Harry has come to America and is living with the family…when all of a sudden, grandma is pregnant with my father. Fast forward to much later, when Rose gets drunk and admits to someone that she "really loved" my father's father.

John had always treated my father poorly, so we were able to put the pieces together. I’m pretty sure John and Rose weren't sleeping together by this point, so he definitely knew the paternity of my father, but being a good Catholic, he just put up with it. So, there's my Jerry Springer-level family secret.

Worst Guests factsShutterstock

75. Daddy’s Girl

My grandfather’s father worked at the mines all day then came home to beat his children and his poor wife. He always drank and was mean and awful to his family. Mean as in, he set the house on fire with his wife and 13 children inside twice, mean! There was one day where my grandfather was at home with his siblings.

They were across the street picking berries when their father came out and used them as target practice. My grandpa, his brother, and oldest sister ran back to the house with the agreement that the first one there would have to finally end everything. His sister was first, aimed at their father, and pulled the trigger.

Crime in the familyShutterstock

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. Always Gotta Have A Spare

My grandfather had two separate families in two different cities. Both of his “firstborn” sons were named after him, and they too passed the name down to their sons, including myself. So, I share my name with my father, grandfather, half-uncle, and at least one of my cousins.

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78. Not All For Show

Back in the 90s, my uncle was a kingpin in Northern California. He lived in a compound out in gold country, which you could only access after passing through three guarded gates. As a kid, I questioned nothing; I just enjoyed going to fish in the stocked bass pond that had snapping turtles in it as another defense line.

My uncle would take me out shopping at the mall where he’d occasionally sniff from a film canister of white powder—and that’s not even the craziest part. Once, we were out for a ride in his Corvette going well over speed limit when highway patrol stopped us. My uncle talked his way out of the ticket and told him that he was just showing off for his nephew.

The officer believed him thinking it was hilarious and let us go. My uncle said that we were lucky since there was a lot of stuff in his trunk that he shouldn’t have had. If the officer had wanted to open it, we would have had to make a run for it. Authorities ended up swarming his compound and taking him into custody.

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79. Keeping Her Good Name Alive

My mom kept it a secret that the woman I was named after (her mom, my grandma) was slain by my uncle when my mom was just 18 years old. I always suspected that my grandma had a tragic end because of how my mom would always avoid talking about it, but I had no idea that it was that tragic. It was really difficult to find out.

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80. The World is a Contraband Locker

I was 11-13 at the time. I had a friend on the swim team who was also around that age. His parents were the most controlling people I had ever seen. His mother looked like the head of a Catholic girls’ school that punishes students for singing. We all used to play Nintendo DS games during meets. He just watched over our shoulders because if he touched a gaming console he would be punished.

His parents always made him wear the same clothes every day. Tan khakis, white shirt, dark blue sweater vest. Every day. I once got him a T-shirt for his birthday. He gave it back saying that he wasn’t allowed to wear it. He was homeschooled. Pretty sure his family spoke ecclesiastical Latin at home. It was freaking weird.

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81. Hidden Truths

My mom was raised by her mom and her stepfather, who touched her inappropriately. Where was dad? He passed when she was 11, or at least that's what my grandmother said. This would have been around 1961. Flash forward to 2015 and my sister is doing genealogy work on the family. She finds out my biological grandfather not die in 1961, he passed in 2005. But it gets worse.

He had five more daughters, one of which he gave the same name as my mom. So, my mom got cheated out of a potential relationship with her dad by her liar of a mom (who moved and remained hidden from her ex, my mom's real dad). My grandmother moved down to Texas from Virginia to stay in a nursing home and to basically make my mom and dad's life terrible.

We went to visit one weekend and she came over for dinner. I dropped the facts on her that we'd figured out she'd been lying for 50 years. She then had the nerve to act offended. My dad told her to shut up.

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82. 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 military, 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, slew our family dog, and took an old lady's life in the process when the fire jumped to another house. After that, he was sent to prison 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 kill me. They were planning on telling me through a letter when I joined the military, but I figured that out before-hand.

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83. 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 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.

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84. Culture-Shock

We were born and raised in the Philippines. After moving to the US, my mother has always been about "Pinoy pride" and making sure we weren't “contaminated” by Western culture. She also hates (with a passion) being confused for anything except Filipino. In my late 20s, we found out that we aren't even Filipino! We're Japanese.

My mom was hiding the truth because she thought it was embarrassing to admit. That’s why she didn’t mention it when we were kids, and as we grew older, it became more and more awkward to bring up. I think she emphasized Pinoy culture with us so much because she was worried about getting called out. We now greet her with “Konichiwa” to mess with her.

Family Secret Facts Pxfuel

85. Scamming Granny

My family found out with my grandpa passing that my grandma was never married to him. She refused to marry him because her main goal was to live on Social Security and never work a day in her life. She claims she only said they were married when she got pregnant with my aunt because she didn't want to be seen as an unmarried pregnant lady.

She did end up living off Social Security, but recently the government found out, and now they may sue her. She's a horrible person who only cares about money, so this is karma.

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86. The Siblings

I have nine siblings. We all share the same father. I only knew about seven of them until my dad passed. 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.

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87. Call Your Mom

While I was away at college, my mother decided to call me. I was at the movies and had my phone off. A normal person would call, get no answer, leave a message. Not my mom. I got out of the movie and found she had left 13 voicemails, all at least a minute long. I also had one from my father. He, being the completely normal human being, simply said "call your mom."

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88. Online Discovery

While using a certain DNA service, I was contacted through the website by a first cousin. However, I did not recognize this cousin. Turns out, this cousin was put up for adoption at birth years ago by my aunt. My aunt only told my mother, who told me after I started digging to figure out how this person and I were related.

My aunt is horrified that I found out about her child, and now avoids me at all costs at family gatherings. I honestly don't care that she had a child and put the child up for adoption.

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89. It Started With a Snowstorm…

When I was around two, my mom's mom was watching my sisters and I while my parents were at work in the city. For some reason, she refused to let us see our parents after that for any reason, and we ended up staying with her for around half a year. All that time, we had no idea my parents were living a waking nightmare. Turns out our parents had been trapped in the city for two days because of a horrible snowstorm, so my Nanny had gone to the courthouse and claimed they had abandoned us.

She took temporary custody of my sisters and I, and my parents had to wait six months to be deemed "suitable" parents so that we could return.

Family Secret Facts Piqsels

90. A Mother’s Greed

My friend's mom took her husband's life. She had taken a $200k life insurance policy out on him six months before he passed, and he passed from not taking his medication that he'd taken no problem all of his life. My buddy was away for the weekend so he wasn't home when it happened. After his mom was gone, we found out even more: She'd taken a life insurance policy out on my buddy at some point too, and she'd also forged his signature to sign over $100k my buddy's dad had left to him.

She robbed my buddy blind and he had no clue. She took his inheritance from his grandma too that he'd had no clue about and gave a big chunk of it to her friends/his godparents who used it to buy a beach house... She also faked illnesses to get prescription drugs and had little books filled with info on what she'd sold and how much she'd made from selling them.

Nobel Prize factsNeedpix

91. Squatting Aunt-Turned-Cultist

I had an uncle who was trying to sell a really nice house of his, and after a year and a half, he called his agent to figure out why it wasn't selling. It turns out that my aunt had taken all of the For Sale signs down, and had been living in the house the whole time. When confronted about it, she sold off all of the furniture and stripped the house of wiring and pipes before ditching out.

This same aunt hands out business cards with "Reverend Dr.” before her name because she got some certificates online. Now, she owns her own church and all of the church members live on this giant property in Virginia. Sounds like a cult to me.

I’m In A Cult factsShutterstock

92. Salacious Sisters

My sister appears to have husband-swapped with another couple. Both of the couples in question seem to have children that look like they belong more with the other family. My other sister appears to have a secret, lesbian, side relationship with a woman with whom she's constantly attending work retreats (when no such work retreats are actually going on).

Reason for Divorce FactsShutterstock

93. Wild Woman

My father found out from an obituary a few years ago that he had an aunt who he never knew existed. He asked my grandmother about it, and she revealed that her parents had put her sister in an institution when she was in her teens (in the 1940s) because she was "too wild" and just NEVER TALKED ABOUT HER AGAIN. Even when he asked her about it, she didn't want to discuss it with him. Eventually, she gave him that bare minimum, saying only that she was very wild and their father had had her sent away to an institution.

I've never been able to find the obituary—but this is a very strange and dark part of our family history.

Family Secret Facts Wikimedia Commons

94. Gang Family

I discovered that my family was taking part in some really bad stuff involving Mexican gangs, like distribution and some disappearances. I found out when my brother’s dad was found dead the day he got out of prison. My mom was talking to my aunt about it. They were talking in Spanish, but they didn’t know that I was learning the language (we never learned Spanish as my siblings and I grew up, so they would talk in Spanish if they didn’t want us to pick up on what they were saying).

Anyway, after that, my uncle went to where the crime had taken place and, after about a month or so, a couple of other people that our family knew were reported missing or dead. Later, I asked my mom about it, and she said that our family has been part of this shady stuff since before my grandmother even migrated from Mexico.

Suddenly, it all made sense. I always wondered why we would have to move every three to six months, why my uncle and grandma always had respect from countless people I've never seen before, and why they were given so many freebies from strangers. People seemed to know me before I've ever even heard of them. My siblings and I are not involved anymore, but four of my cousins are.

Family Secret FactsShutterstock

95. Bad Suggestions

My twin brother passed in a car wreck and my family suggested that I should date his girlfriend because...grief, I guess? REAL FREAKIN' AWKWARD, MOM.

Worst Airplane Experience FactsShutterstock

96. Family Friends With Benefits

I have a regular breakfast place that I had been frequenting on the weekends for about a good five or six years. One day I went into work later because of a doctor’s appointment, so I decided to pick up some breakfast at my regular place. I walk in and I take a look around to find a spot to sit at and I see my dad.

He’s sitting in a corner spot with some woman I don’t recognize. He looked shocked and I decided to walk over. He stands up and gives me a kiss/hug and introduces her as a coworker. It was the most awkward introduction of my life. My dad was an AC Repairman and was strictly on the road. No women in his office.

I pretended like I believed him, said hello and sat down on my own. Definitely one of the most awkward moments of my life that will stand out for a long time. More background: My mom and dad haven’t been together since before I was born however, he was married to another woman when this took place.

The waitresses were all my friends and a couple of days later when I went for breakfast, they proceeded to tell me how he met that lady there every week. I never brought it up to him and pretended it never happened. That was about 14 years ago...I still go to that breakfast place and the girls told me after that day he never came back to that restaurant.

In a couple of weeks, it will be one year since he passed. I’m glad I got this opportunity to think and talk about him.

Awkward Situation factsPexels

97. Her Anxieties Never Held Water

My grandmother (who lived with us) did not let me walk up and down stairs, 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 die. 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 passed. Both of these were enforced rules (amongst 10 million others) in my house.

Now sure, the reason for her rules was super sad—she had a kid who had passed from heart problems—but the shower water thing is only an instruction for like RIGHT AFTER open heart surgery. Jesus.

Helicopter Parents factsPixabay

98. The Sound of Absolute Silence

I wasn't allowed to make noise. If I spoke above a mumble I was being surly. If I was playing it could not be audible outside of my shut bedroom door. If I was cleaning, which I usually was, then I couldn't make noise while doing it. The consequences varied; usually being screamed at, having something thrown just past my head, or having something I valued taken away.

My brother did not have the same restrictions. He's always been an avid musician. Played video games at full volume. Cracked jokes and was generally encouraged to speak up. The only time he had the same rules was when our mother was on the phone, which was pretty often. I don't resent him for being treated better and he frequently advocated for me.

Now I have some interesting quirks. I can wash dishes in complete silence. I still leave drawers and cabinet doors slightly ajar. I sneak up on people at work by accident. If people are watching TV with me I have to remember to turn up the volume for them. There are days when I can't handle the sound of turning on the shower or running the vacuum cleaner.

I have a decimeter app on my phone and frequently check to see how much noise I'm making. I even sneeze silently. But I blast the radio in my car and through my headphones.

Yes, I'm in therapy.

Weirdest Rule FactsShutterstock

99. The Old Switcharoo

I secretly bought my son from a human trafficker after my wife had lost our biological child during the birth process. 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 regained consciousness after 4 days. Neither she nor my son know about this.

Dean Martin factsPixabay

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