From a mother not believing in her childs education and achievements, to struggling with self-worth because of a fathers hurtful words, people share the most awful thing their parents said to them as a child that still messes with their head today.
[Source can be found at the end of the article.]
When I was about 14, I noticed that my mom never told me she loved me. I started playing this game where I'd call her from wherever I was, like at a friend's after school, and at the end of the conversation I'd say I loved her to try to "trick" her into saying it back. She'd have none of it and hang up.
When I eventually asked her why she never told me she loved me, she said, "I just can't." I stopped trying and it was a real moment of clarity in our relationship.
As an adult, I finally cut her out of my life and that's been that.
I used to love singing. One day, I was singing near my mom, and she said, "Sing for real, no really. Sing for real." She thought I was just making noise, but I really was trying to sing.
Ever since that day, I can't sing out loud - even when I'm alone. I get too embarrassed. The ironic thing is that she's always singing in public and she's just loud and tone deaf. Maybe that's what I sounded like to her.
When I was a kid (probably 10 - 11 years old) I was watching cartoons with my dad. When a commercial break came on, I went downstairs, microwaved and cut some sausages, and got some crackers as a snack for both of us. When I sat down and offered the snacks, he said, "Couldn't you put some mustard or something else in there, you imbecile?" I just ran to my room to cry. After two decades, it still hurts - more so because I was just being nice, and his rage came out of nowhere.
My mother used to be paranoid about me breaking stuff in stores. I'm in my 40s now, and every time I am around breakables I can still hear her voice telling me to watch where I'm going and keep my hands to myself. (For the record, I've never broken anything while out shopping - it's just something my mother fixated on.)
I finally told my mother the things my stepfather was doing to me when I had got scared of the escalation, and where it might lead.
She asked me why I was trying to ruin her marriage.
I don't think that will ever stop messing with me. There's just not enough therapy out there to get over a mother choosing an abuser over their own flesh and blood child.
Society just preaches that narrative of "a mother's love" over and over, from the earliest fairytales and childhood movies.
And then you realize it's all a lie.
When I was 11 years old, I lived in a pretty small house. The easiest way to get from my bedroom to the kitchen was to go through the pantry. I was simply walking through to get to the fridge one night to get a glass of iced tea.
On this particular night, my dad happened to be pretty drunk. He watched me come out of the pantry. Within earshot of the rest of my family (due to the aforementioned size of the house), he yelled at me, "I knew you've been sneaking food! No wonder you're so fat!
Two main things:
My dad said my mother was the ugliest person he knew - I'm basically a younger, dark blond version of her. I was in my late teens.
In my early teens, he told me that he didn't believe I could be loved for me, that every man would either be out for sex or money and would eventually cheat. I'm 23 now, and in a relationship with a really good guy. But the conversation I had with my dad that morning still messes with me.
My garbage father told me that my thoughts and opinions don't mean anything to anyone because I'm not a person. My mother also reinforced this idea, though more with her actions; she didn't verbalize it quite as concisely as my father. He would regularly say, "You're not a person," verbatim. I still struggle with some serious self-hatred to this day, and I feel like I have no identity — like everyone else matters far more than me and I'm just an ghost in the background.
"Can I help you?"
"You can help by watching."
Six year old me almost started crying and I vowed to never ask my father if I could help him ever again. I know now that he was actually trying to be nice, but he is/was a terrible father. Something about that moment solidified in my mind that he didn't value me as his daughter or as a female.
When I was about 12 years old, I was swimming in the pool. I was chilling in my floaty when my Nanna yelled loudly, "WHAT IS THAT?"
I was like, "What?" She yelled, "THAT!" I was freaking out, thinking there must be a spider on me or something. My family were all looking over. Then my Nanna pointed to my stomach and went, "THOSE ROLLS! YOU'VE GOTTEN REALLY BIG!"
My brother started cracking up, and I just remember thinking... "Ouch. That really hurts." I've felt self-conscious ever since. I love my Nanna, and I'm sure she didn't mean to hurt me. But she did.
I've got other stories from growing up, things my dad said, but it hurts too much to put into writing. Now, we are actually really close, and have a loving relationship. I think he just says messed up stuff sometimes 'cause he loses his temper.
My mother basically drummed it into me from a young age that I had to love members of my family, no matter what, simply because we were related. She's a really selfish woman, and seemed to use the phrase "I love my kids" as a way to excuse her terrible behaviour towards us.
Sadly, she's now got one child less (my brother passed away) and the ones she does have don't really like her enough to bother with her. It's sad, but she's going to die a lonely old woman.
You can see how that runs through her head too. She constantly 'jokes' about living with one of us when she's old. I still live at home, but don't think I'll be there in a year's time. (I just graduated so next payday, I'm gone.) And that'll be the last of her kids leaving. The other two siblings have families, and she knows I won't put up with her crap or have her anywhere near me.
One that I still think about is my grandma (she was in her mid-to-late 40s at the time) talking to her four female grandchildren about if she could design her younger self with certain parts of us.
"I'd have the body of X, the face of Z, the hair and lips of Y, and I'd have your hands [my name]."
Like, cool, only my hands have any worth.
My parents didn't believe in me, and made me feel stupid even though I graduated 4th in my class. My mom would always call me names, and put me down if I wanted to try anything.
They even made driving a nightmare! I finally got my beginners' license this past Friday. I'm 35 and still terrified because apparently I shouldn't be trusted behind the wheel.
My mother convinced me that I killed my grandmother, which is literally impossible - she died from a brain tumor. My mother is a narcissist and got mad at me when I was 15 because I hung out with the sister she didn't want to talk to anymore. The next day, she attacked me while she was drunk, and screamed at me over and over again. "You killed her! You killed her."
All this because, when grandma was losing her memory due to the tumor, I was the only person she remembered - not my mom. No one liked my mom because she was an abusive alcoholic, and my grandmother raised me while mother was drunk. It still messes me up, since she tried to hurt me and make herself feel better by saying I killed the person I loved most in the world.
I was about eight or nine, and had just beat Twisted Metal 3 for the first time (that game was hard for me). I went to excitedly tell my dad, and his response was:
"Okay, but does that really even matter? It's just a game."
I don't know if he was just having a terrible day or what, but it kind of hurt. From that point on, I pretty much refused to share personal accomplishments with my parents, and still do to this day. Like I said, I know it's silly, but it just affected me so much.
I was punished for defending myself from physical assault in school. They told me that I was supposed to "turn the other cheek" and just suffer the assault.
It instantly taught me that my parents wouldn't protect me if needed.
I never took their advice and learned that overwhelming force always gets the message across effectively if someone is bullying or victimizing someone else.
In the balance, it was likely a good early eye-opener that only I control my own destiny.
My mother says a lot of very mean things in the heat of the moment. But a few years ago, I was in a really bad place career-wise, unemployed and not sure what my next step would be.
We had a disagreement that stemmed from her wanting to tell me what to do with my life, despite having never lived in the country I was in at the time and not knowing what the reality of my life was. In the midst of the argument, in the heat of the moment, she shouted, "Everyone else has moved on. You are the only one who is stagnating!"
By everyone else she meant my siblings, and what I was talking about was a lot of physical and emotional abuse we had suffered at her hand. I have never forgotten that. Especially since I had just started opening up to her about my frustrations with not being able to find a job in my field.
She will also never get another chance to know me as intimately as she did back then.
When I announced I was going back to school in my early 20's, my mum laughed out loud and told me I'd never succeed.
My dad then sat me down and told me get these fancy ideas of going back to school out of my head. I had my chance at secondary school, he said. Since I had failed, I should just be content working in a supermarket for the rest of my life.
I got the last laugh with a top degree in university, and a successful career.
My aunt (dad's sister) had a very strained relationship with my mom. My mom and dad lived in two different states when they divorced, so I would stay with my dad in the summer and sometimes my aunt would watch me. I think she took her resentment towards my mom and hurled it at me. I remember being single-digit aged. I forget what I did or said, but she turned around and told me I was a money-hungry person, just like my mom. It never affected me emotionally or anything, just showed how miserable my aunt was.
When I was nine years old, my mom was overseas, so I lived alone with my dad for a year. That was also the first year that my dad picked me from school. He was always late, but one day me and my teacher waited for my dad for more than two hours. When he finally arrived, his response to my teacher's scolding was: "So what?"
It may feel like nothing, but it made me think a lot back then when I was just kid. Personally, I do not believe in the strength of relations between people in a family. We are just people who live together.
My mom used to say "If you can pinch an inch" to me in passing sometimes. She's tall, and when she was young, she was very thin. I'm short and stocky because of my dad's genes (he's a 5'2" former wrestler). Guess who's going on 5 years battling a pretty all-consuming (no pun intended) eating disorder? ME!
My brother got a PSP for Christmas and I didn't get anything remotely as awesome (I'm going to assume because I'm a girl - girls don't play video games according to my family). So I went out and bought one with my own money because I also loved video games and wanted one. When I got home, my step-mom called me all sorts of terrible names. I was 13. I still don't understand why she did that. It really hurt my feelings.
I was an illegitimate child and adopted by my birth mother's sister, who died a few years later. We were raised by my maternal grandmother, who, I swear, every day of my life growing up, told me, "You're no good. You're never going to amount to anything." Her favorite name for me was, "You little snot."
It took me years and years, including four years with a very good therapist, to finally feel some self-worth. I knew I was very intelligent and talented, but didn't know how to express it. It took me years, and the extreme patience of a devoted lover, to make me realize I really was worth loving. Even more important, he taught me HOW to love.
Over time, I rose to be one of the top four in the USA in my profession. One day I realized, like a bolt from the blue, "That old lady was completely evil and couldn't have been more wrong!" It was a true epiphany and I felt like this damp, dark cave I had been living in just suddenly disappeared. I was 40 years old when that happened.
My mom is the type who needs every little detail explained in a way she can understand. If she doesn't get it the first time, she'll go "HUH?" really loud or "WHAT?" in the same manner. It's led to me talking too much when trying to explain even the simplest of things, and makes it hard for me to have casual conversations with others. She also doesn't trust me and just looks for a reason to give me crap about anything. I think it makes things worse because I never give her anything to yell at me about, so she's resorted to just overreacting about the smallest of things.
When I was young, like 10, I was messing around with my dad's bicycle, which was older than me and had two flat tires (generally not in the best condition). I was just trying to ride it, even though it was too big. He found me, scolded me, and told me, "This bicycle is worth more than your life."
Otherwise he's been a great dad, but I'll never forget that.
When I was 12, my mom told me that I had to learn to suck in my stomach. She said that it looks really ugly when a girl's stomach isn't flat, and I needed to learn how ladies should be. Before then, I had never given a second thought to how my body looked. I started to throw up after every meal. That went on for a few months until I saw a show about the dangers of bulimia. I stopped right away. But what she said still messed with me. I've had a problem with my body and weight my whole life. I'm currently 25 lbs overweight and I feel miserable. All I want is to reach my ideal weight for my 30th birthday in December, but I don't see that happening.
October 12th, 2011. I was about to be taken to the hospital as a suicide risk. I was 15. I was crying on the couch while I waited for my stepdad to get home so we could all go together, when my mom collapsed, screaming, onto the stairs.
Her exact words were, "Am I the problem? Do you hate me? Does everyone hate me? I must make everyone's lives so miserable if you want to act like this, maybe I should just kill myself instead because obviously I'm the problem! Would that make you feel better?"
I'm 21 and it still messes with my head all the time.
When I was 14, my dad invited me over to spend a month with him and his other family in London. My mom didn't want me to go. When she realized she didn't really have a say, she told me I could go but that she hoped I died while I was over there. Twenty years later, I still can't fathom how or why that phrase would ever come out of anyone's mouth, let alone from a mother directed to her daughter.
I was told I don't have a learning disorder, I'm just lazy. I am dyslexic; it effects my spelling, anything to do with numbers, my ability to see angles. I am also practically face blind. I have ADD too, but because I was wild like my mom's friend's kid (who had ADHD!) I didn't have that either.
My mom thought I would use my disorder as a crutch, so she just screamed at me for being stupid and lazy instead.
She has since denied ever knowing that I was in special-ed. According to her, she knew I had to go to the resource room because I didn't do my projects right, and I was supposed to have extra homework, but she never did the homework with me because it's not like I ever did homework anyway. But she had no idea that any of it was because I was in special needs classes.
She would take any good marks I had and use them as proof that I was lazy. "You got a B in social studies... Where is your B in math? You just need to apply yourself to everything." Or, "85%? I thought you said you were good at this... Where is the other 15%?"
Then, when I was diagnosed as bi-polar she decided that I wasn't bi-polar either, I just "really feel my feelings." It wasn't a disorder because I've "always been like that." That is pretty much the definition of bi-polar disorder.
Answers edited for clarity.