It can be easy to presume that parents and their children get along automatically.
But unfortunately, that is so far from the truth. There are SO many fraught, toxic, and already-destroyed relationships between children and their parents.
Of course, no parent sets off hoping it gets to that point. But sometimes the external circumstances, the other adults in the child's life, or the internal tendencies of that person--who is an autonomous individual--simply drive a wedge that, for parents, is impossible to surmount.
Some Redditors who are involved in a toxic parent-child relationship shared how it got there.
TheHeyHeyMan asked, "Parents who dislike their own children; why?"
A common thread was the negative response that many parents have to their children reliving their own flaws and struggles.
Many parents evidently treat child-rearing as a chance to perfect all the things that went wrong in their own lives. And when that doesn't happen, the all-too familiar person can be difficult to accept.
Churning Out Duplicates
"Probably because they're too much like me. I like to think that as a parent part of my job is to eliminate my foibles by helping my children be better than me. My failure as a parent instead has been to create copies; what I dislike about them is also what I hate about myself."
"Sometimes the harder you try the bigger you fail."
"P.S. I love my children."
A Flawed Approach
"Because after his mom died , I stopped disciplining him. I thought if I gave him everything I never had ; coolest clothes , shoes, toys , dirt bikes, game consoles etc would make me a good parent. I was wrong."
"He's about to turn 18 and i can't even stand to be in the same room as him. He's manipulative, mean, arrogant and condescending. And it's all my fault."
Projecting Onto a Clone
"I am not a parent, but a child who is not loved. Everything is quite ordinary, I just resemble my father, both in appearance and character, so my mother considered this a great reason for physical violence and discrimination among other 'right' children."
"As a result, my mother and I do not communicate, she abandoned me at the age of 12. The last thing I heard was, 'you should be grateful that I put up with you until you were a teenager.' Thank you for doing your job. Thank you, you disgusting person."
The Last Person He Wanted Recreated
"I hate my daughter bc she has all the bad characteristics of her mother and none of the good ones."
"She's mean, aggressive, demanding, she hits her classmates, gets violent when she doesn't get what she wants, yells loudly to overpower anyone around her when she can't use physical violence. She breaks things that aren't hers. She actually looks down on everyone around her; it's crazy, you can actually see it. She's six."
"....obviously, I am not the one who raises her. She's got a hard life ahead of her. Poor girl."
People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday
Others were more puzzled by the person their child turned out to be. These parents could not understand how, given the upbringing they provided, their child could ultimately be so unkind.
Choosing a Different Version of Community
"He has no conscience. He has brutalized people over rumors, you could watch him steal something, catch him with it, and he would lie. He ended up shooting someone."
"He grew up with an upper middle class suburban family that no one had ever even been arrested. My wife and I come from good families, he had so many aunts uncles, grandparents, cousins who all supported and loved him. He could have gone to college for whatever he wanted."
"He chose to join a gang. Then we found out he tells everyone he turned out this way because his mother beat him and I was always passed out drunk (neither are at all true.)."
"I can't deal anymore. It put me in the mental hospital multiple times."
"I just had to write him out of my life."
"His brother had a great childhood and is pursuing his Doctorate."
Too Late to Turn it Around?
"I'm not a parent but my uncle and aunt really hate their son because he's accomplished nothing in life and is a complete failure but still has an ego higher than the Mount Everest."
"He's always mean to everyone."
An Eternal Mystery
"My sister and I - who were well behaved and successful - never understood why we were borderline neglected while my piece of sh** brother was showered with praise and love."
"Oh well. I don't treat my kids that way."
A Whirlwind Debacle
"He did terrible in school, became a drug dealer, squatted in a house owned by the family, decided it'd be a good idea to start a METH LAB in the basement of said house, and then hired a crappy tv lawyer to blackmail us into selling the house back to him!"
"I can say there was a brief period in time where I disliked my youngest. I need to say I loved him and would have given up my life life for him but I did not like him. He was preteen and was trying to test the limits of our parenting and would question and/or resist EVERYTHING!"
"It was a trying time but now (17) he is probably my best friend and we enjoy being together and working on project around the house."
Others discussed the ways external circumstances--particularly around the birth of the child--that played into growing dislike as they grew up.
Cannot Accept What Happened
"my mother wanted a boy, had one before me but it was a miscarriage, i was conceived a year after, i was an early delivery, she was in coma for 2 weeks and after that she did not take me or touch me or look at me or even fed me for days."
"my dad took care of me and looked after me. she still curses me and wishes it was a boy"
The Product of Infidelity
"My father was sober for 18 years before I was born, then only started drinking again once my mom got pregnant with me. This eventually led to my father cheating, and my parents getting divorced. Since my birth was technically to blame for this, both of my parents despise me."
"I'm not old enough to move out of my mom's house yet, so I'm spending just about every day hiding in my room, making as little noise as possible, and trying to bother as few people as I can."
"My mother does not like me because she never got attached to me at birth. A year before my twin sister and I were born, our parents had triplets who all died after a few days. Untreated trauma followed. I was born nearly suffocated and poorly, so my mother, wanting to protect herself from more trauma, never attached to me. She did however to my twin sister who was born healthy and thrived."
"Years went by and this initial lack of attached turned into resentment or dislike during my childhood because by the time we were eight years old, our parents were divorced, and I physically resembled my dead-beat father. This only worsened during my teenage years as I was beginning to act up years of neglect and became depressed. She disliked the signs of her own doing neglectful parenting and lack of love in me. I remind her of that."
"Ever since we have pretended to get along, but the relationship is never really there. I am a mother of two myself now and have taken all of this on board trying to do better. I am also trying to understand her. That ultimately this was not her fault."
"My dad didn't like me for some reason. I asked him several times but never got an answer. He loved my older brother (the prodigal only boy), and he lavished on my two younger sisters. I need to add that my dad was married 3 times, and we have different mothers (my younger sisters are both from his 3rd marriage)."
"My mom said that he wanted her to have an abortion, my mom was the one that also initiated the divorce, whereas his 1st marriage he initiated, so my mom also thinks that she hit his ego pretty bad with that. I look like my mom, so that could be a factor too. He died March 2019, so I'll never know, but it affected me greatly."
"Parents, don't let your children know that you don't like them, it's a horrible feeling. The kids didn't ask to be here, you were the parent, their actions reflect your parenting (or lack there of)."
Others had some fun with the prompt.
"He's a vindictive and conniving prick, that's why. His first birthday is next week and I have scant hope that he'll change his ways."
Still Working Out the Kinks
"He is a 12 year old with no concern for personal hygiene and also manipulates me with the best hugs."
"Wash your feet you disgusting brat."
There's no question about it, this was a very depressing list to read through. But hopefully there are some lessons we can glean from these posts.
Maybe you surmised a way to make sure you don't do the same thing if you already have or plan to have kids.
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There's a reason people are prompted to say "Too Much Information" or 'TMI" in modern slang.
Most commonly, people are urged to say so when they've learned a piece of information that they think they would have been better off not knowing.
Information which caused a visceral reaction of one sort or another, be it disgust, sadness, anger or heartbreak.
Making them feel all the worse is knowing what they learned isn't an opinion, but the cold, hard truth.
Redditor airuarak123 was curious to learn what pieces of information people firmly believe they were better off not knowing, leading them to ask:
"What's a fact you wish you didn't know?"
Gone And Forgotten
"In most cases it only takes three generations to be completely forgotten."- Fred_the_skeleton
Stuck In Your Own Body
"Locked in syndrome is terrifying."
"You are alive and conscious but have no way to communicate that or stop it."- Lilliputian0513
Flight Of The Living Dead
"I read this book called Fever about doctors treating Lassa Fever victims in Africa."
"There was a pilot who would fly dead victims to a city morgue for autopsies."
"The bodies were on a gurney in the back if a small plane."
"Sometimes the change in air pressure would cause air to expel from the lungs over the vocal chords, which would create sounds like moaning."
"And more than once the air pressure caused the corpse’s stomach muscles to contract and it sat up."- Positive-Source8205
No Dare Is Worth It!
"The story of a Sam Ballard whose friend dared him to eat a slug."
"He ate it."
"Death came quickly AFTER THE 420 DAY COMA."- astoneworthskipping
Good for them
"Apparently farmers get the most sex out of any profession."- Outrageous_Package_8
Evil Is Real
"I seriously wish I hadn't seen all those Mexican Cartel videos."
"The level of creativity and evil is almost unfathomable."- watch_over_me
You Thought It Was Bad...
"The challenger astronauts didn't die until they hit the ocean."- Cravatitude
Neglect And Abuse Has Lasting Effects
"Childhood trauma and neglect leads to permanent structural changes to the brain that effect the way you perceive and interact with the world."- Doingmybest2019
They Know More Than Let On
"30% of people that report missing people end up kidnapping/murdering them."- Kewleila
As they say, the truth hurts.
And when we can go through our lives without needing to know certain things, then ignorance is, indeed, bliss.
Because honestly, who feels their life improved after learning the truth about Santa Clause?
Some of us dread going to the doctor's office, but keeping up with your checkups is important. You wouldn't want to have a sudden health emergency would you? (Keeping up with appointments is kind of difficult to do in a nation where so many people are uninsured, but that's a topic for another article...)
Ask a doctor, ask any doctor, and they're bound to have a story about a patient who came in for a routine checkup, not thinking that their symptoms were in any way important.
We heard some of these stories after Redditor Cuteregister1827 asked the online community,
"Doctors of Reddit, what was your worst, 'I don't think this is important, but—' patient?"
"Intercepted a young woman..."
"Intercepted a young woman who was just hit by a car. Her boyfriend was standing with her freaking out. I do a basic physical exam and get a history, and make her comfortable as we wait for the ambulance to arrive."
"Once the ambulance arrives they ask for the same information, except this time the boyfriend mentions he was the one who was actually hit by the car and was shielding his girlfriend's body. The entire car's windshield was cracked by the impact of his back. He was just freaking out and worried about her, and was in shock and hadn't begun to feel any pain yet."
Wow, imagine seeing that first-hand. Ouch!
"We continued talking..."
"Had a patient come into the ER with some sort of spider/bug bite on her hand that had progressed to a red line running up her arm. She stated she put Benadryl cream on and it was very itchy."
"We continued talking and I asked if she had any allergies…”yes, Benadryl.” I thought good lord wtf and I’m sure it was reflected on my face."
"We washed the Benadryl cream off her arm and miraculously it stopped itching."
So this is the person that makes it necessary for medication commercials to say "do not take this medication if you are allergic to this medication."
"I had a headache, and a few hours later noticed that my irises were different sizes. I went reluctantly to the emergency room. Minutes after presenting myself I had neurologists looking at me and I was rushed to get scanned. The artery about an inch and a half below my brain had torn. The doctors were basically just waiting for me to have a stroke."
"I didn’t. Somehow."
You are the definition of lucky, truly.
"Was told by their pediatrician..."
"Emergency radiologist here. I see plenty of people presenting with understated symptoms that turn out to be mind blowing advanced disease. The saddest one was probably the 4 year old boy who presented with a rigid abdomen for a few months."
"Was told by their pediatrician it was constipation months ago but his parents never followed up when it didn't resolve. When I imaged his abdomen I found his entire liver was replaced with a mass consistent with hepatoblastoma."
"I asked the parents why they waited so long to work it up. They said they were satisfied with the diagnosis of constipation. That one left a mark on my soul."
They weren't concerned that he was constipated for months?! This is so sad.
"Went in for a recurring pain..."
"I'm the patient. Went in for a recurring pain in my throat. Quadruple bypass a week later."
And here you are! Glad to see you're still with us.
"I went to examine him..."
"I had one a few months ago sent into the hospital by his primary care doctor with 'shoulder pain'. He said he felt absolutely fine, just a really uncomfortable right shoulder pain that hadn't gone away for a couple of weeks. He maybe felt a bit more tired than usual and oh, come to think of it, had lost quite a bit of weight recently and none of his clothes fit him any more."
"I went to examine him and had what we describe in the profession as a "heartsink" moment. He was jaundiced, and his abdomen was absolutely solid in the right upper zone from a huge, craggy liver."
"Get him in the CT scanner and he is just fulllll of cancer. Everywhere. Couldn't even work out which was the primary."
"The shoulder pain is what we call "referred pain" and is commonly caused by diaphragmatic irritation, in this case from all the liver masses pushing against it."
"Bless him. I think about him a lot."
Wow! This is simultaneously a relief but also oh so scary, for both the doctor and the especially the patient.
"Everyone at my company..."
"Everyone at my company knows the story of the patient who came in for genetic counseling, went through their whole family history with the counselor, and then concluded with, "Oh yeah, I was adopted as a baby and don't know who my birth parents are, does that matter?""
"14-year-old cancer survivor..."
"14-year-old cancer survivor comes in for his routine post-chemo screening echocardiogram. His heart was barely moving. I don't remember the EF, probably in the low teens. We sat him and mom told for some bad news, put EMLA on his arm for a PICC and walked him to the cardiac ICU."
"A few months later he has a heart transplant. Kids, man. They can look great on the outside when compensated. Then you look at the images and just get nauseous for them. Scariest thing about pediatrics and #1 reason why kids need kid doctors."
Always good to stress this. Heartbreaking otherwise.
"Man came in A&E for some laceration wounds after a fall, noticed he had a putrid nasty dead toe. On further questioning, he admitted that the toe had been like this for some time, but it didn't worry him because it didn't hurt. He was admited for an amputation and possibly sepsis."
Let's be clear: That is terrifying and some people have an insane pain tolerance.
"I was an internal medicine resident..."
"I was an internal medicine resident who had a patient come to my clinic for “persistent flu.""
"I had never seen her before, and she was a healthy appearing woman in her 60s. About a month before seeing me, she was seen by her PCP with persistent coughing, and otherwise had no shortness of breath or other infectious symptoms. Just a dry cough."
"She got tested for flu and was negative, but got tamiflu just incase it was a false negative. She had a chest X-ray which was normal. She came to me a month later because her cough persisted despite completing her therapy."
"Everything sounded great. Heart, lungs, everything. To be honest I don’t usually do this, but something in my gut told me to feel for lymph nodes. I felt around and found something above her left clavicle. It was hard, round, and she was completely unaware of it."
"I told her it was probably a reactive lymph node, but just in case, I wanted to get an ultrasound. This cascaded into her getting a biopsy, which showed squamous cell lung cancer. A CT scan showed stage IV lung cancer, not seen on her chest X-ray. All diagnosed because of a lymph node that almost by chance I was lucky enough to find by being thorough."
"I checked her chart about a year ago, and she was doing well. She got therapy and was in remission after a very long road and many obstacles. I’ll never forget her or her case."
That's seriously impressive. Sometimes it's just that extra bit of effort that pays off.
You never know when what feels like a routine doctor's visit can turn into a sudden health scare! Be honest with your doctor. You'll thank yourself later.
Have stories of your own to share? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below.
Many people in the workforce have complained about being tired and overworked in their jobs.
Because there is no other alternative to getting that weekly paycheck, workers in many industries endure the stresses of the job.
But what if the companies these exhausted employees work for could hypothetically alleviate their work-related stresses and anxiety by reducing their work hours?
Could you be on board?
Curious to hear what strangers online would think about modifications to their work schedule, Redditor LanaDelCoochie asked:
"Do you believe in the 4 day work week? Why or why not?"
People mentioned how poor time management was more problematic.
"Some jobs are literally waiting for something to happen."
"I don’t mind working if I’m busy, but sitting somewhere staring at a clock waiting for the time when I’m ‘allowed’ to leave drives me crazy. If there’s nothing for me to do, let me go home. You’re just wasting my time and your money."
"I'm food service, my first store was so slow I only needed 2 people in the afternoon. I intentionally worked 11-2 then 5-11 just so I didn't have to twiddle my thumbs and clean already clean things for 3 hours each day."
Stress Of Killing Time
"My current job (the contract for which expires next Friday, but is up for negotiation tomorrow) is 15-20h WFH at my convenience. I wake up at 3am, log in, and work until everyone else in my house gets up- usually, 7. If I need to add some hours, I log in again while my toddler is at preschool."
"A few years ago, when I worked for this same company, I was tied to a desk in a poorly-renovated school building and very frequently had nothing to do. I cannot tell you how many books I read during my days at my desk in the summer with nothing to do. I browsed Reddit a fair amount, sure, but it was easier to leave a Kindle window open just a sliver next to an Excel spreadsheet to look busy. I re-read a few of my favorites; I read many new things."
"But it was so maddeningly frustrating to be stuck inside at work with literally nothing to do, waiting for anything to come to my inbox!!"
People discuss the pros and cons of working remotely.
Benefits Of Working From Home
'If there’s nothing for me to do, let me go home.'
"Which is one of the reasons I've liked working from home since Covid started. If things are slow and I don't have anything to do, I can relax for a bit and wait for stuff to pick up."
Being Productive While At Home
"100%. I'm newish at my current job, so I try to be in the office as much as I can. But if it's a slow week and I already foresee my Thursday/Friday being slow- I'm staying home. I'm still doing what I have to do, but I can simultaneously do other things like read or watch something without feeling guilty, do some laundry, hang with my dog, etc. After my first full year I will most likely be normalizing this to be my Friday each week at the very least."
"On the other side of the spectrum, my last job was fully remote and I was a little too bored and also didn't push to do anything beyond my basic responsibilities, so that was very unhealthy. It's good to be at least moderately productive and accept a new challenge every now and again. I basically did nothing for 2 straight years."
It's A Preference
"I totally get why people love it, but I am so unproductive at home it‘s crazy. Tried nearly every trick in the book, but when it comes down to it just going to somewhere else for work does the trick for me."
"I think working from home is a nice tool, but it certainly isn‘t a solution for everyone. And even working from home a 4 day week makes a big difference."
Not For Everybody
"For me, I am discovering the reason for my unproductivity is lack of interest in the work. Like, if I go into the office then I feel I have to make it worth it by getting the work done. If I am working from home though... I feel so unproductive because I just don't care. Like I could get the work done easier while nobody is interrupting but instead I interrupt myself."
"I've got one more week in the current job then I start a new one where I actually feel interested in what I will be doing there. Who knows how long that will last for but it just feels more like something I'd like to think about than twiddling my thumbs."
"Not the case for everybody but something to consider."
The limited work schedule seemed to please a good majority of people.
The Popular Opinion
"You might be surprised. I work with a lot of folks who still do the five-day work week, but all of them have been incredibly respectful and accommodating of our 4-day week. They ask me to schedule a meeting or call on a Friday, I reply with 'I don't work on Fridays, what other options work for you?' and they invariably give me other options without batting an eye. And frequently say 'I wish we were on a 4-day week, too.'"
The Thing About Fridays
"It’s because even people who 'work on friday' don’t really work on Friday. Especially if your office has a WFH policy, 90% of the company will be from home on a Friday. And 95% of that group is signing off at 1pm, and breezing through their morning/just shaking their mouse. Just watch peoples skype statuses on Fridays lol."
"And even before Covid when I had to go into the office on Friday, it was well recognized that Fridays were for chilling. You don’t schedule a 3pm friday meeting."
"Yes worker burn out is real."
"So much work in offices is just created to fill time, make things more efficient, pay people the same, get the same amount done with happier workers."
Opinions varied across the board since different jobs come with specific demands.
But the overall complaint had to do with the mismanaging of time, with many arguing if there was no further work to be done at an office, employees should be sent home.
Conversely, even a handful of those who worked remotely had the itch to be in a less distracting environment.
Personally, I'd rather be working from home than inside a cubicle at a job location–even though the latter may be more conducive to work efficiency.
What are your thoughts?
Unrequited love is tough to get over.
There's nothing worse than having your heart set on a crush who gives you butterflies, but they just don't feel the same way and would rather be with other people.
And while it's hard to accept the fact that "it's not meant to be," the reality of a person not being right for you can manifest in a way that can provide a huge sense of relief.
Curious to hear examples of exploring this notion Redditor LinksOtherUncle asked:
"What’s your story about 'the one that got away' that turned out being a gigantic bullet dodged?"
These Redditors had no idea their romantic interest would wind up in trouble with the law.
She Did Jail Time
"She tried to stab the next guy she wound up with and did a little jail time. Came out an addict and proceeded to destroy herself."
"On a positive note, she’s good now, but if I see her coming down the street, I’m crossing the damn street."
Leaving For An Ex Con
"Was incredibly close to a gorgeous girl in my friend group. We’d dance at raves together, make out drunk, and talk on the phone for hours most nights. Whenever I'd ask her out on a date she’d say 'I don’t think I’m ready for a boyfriend yet but I like what we have.'"
"We’ll eventually she starts dating an ex con. They start doing drugs together. She runs a few thousand dollars on her dads credit card and gets kicked out of her house. She moves in with her now bf and a friend, then one day her bf trashes the place in a rage so they get kicked to the streets. A few years go by and she’s been arrested a few dozen times and serves a three year prison sentence."
"I was dating a guy a few months ago that was the sweetest person ever. 10/10 in every single way. He just got arrested for murdering two people."
Had these Redditors pursued their relationships, it literally would've been the death of them.
Filled With Rage
"I've told this story before in another post. Anyway, I was engaged to this guy who was apparently engaged to this other girl too. I dumped him of course and they got married. He strangled her to death."
These might sound like plot lines in a convoluted rom-com but with no happy ending.
"My very first girlfriend whom I truly 'loved' at the ripe age of 17, dating for about 7 months. We had plans to move interstate together, she moved first to secure the accommodation, I was to follow a week later once I’d finished working. Two days in she told me not to bother because she’s met someone. I was devastated for a whole year afterwards."
"She ended up marrying the guy and moved in with him and his best friend. Lived together happily for a few years, no issues with the marriage whatsoever."
"One summer, ex-girlfriend, hubby and housemate all decided to go on a 3 week road trip together. Partway through, hubby gets called back to work and has to fly home. Ex and housemate finish the trip and return home."
"Upon returning, ex and housemate announced they had discovered their undying love for each other on the trip, and would henceforth be an item. Hubby, understandably crushed."
"Here’s the kicker, not only did the three of them live together, so hubby had to listen to them sleeping together every night, but hubby and housemate worked together in the same company, in the same cubicle, directly opposite each other."
"Edit: I discovered this when I took a job at that same company, and heard the tale around the office."
"Ex and housemate have since had a child, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next chapter in the saga."
"Not exactly the same, but two friends through high-school got married a couple years after we graduated. Night before the wedding (for some reason) we had both the Bachelor and Bachelorette parties (because why not be hungover on your wedding day?)"
"Bachelor party decides to crash the Bachelorette party at the strip club we were at, where I bought the bride a private lap dance in the back. Husband to be decides he doesn't like seeing us at a strip club, queue huge parking lot fight where the owner is threatening to call the cops if we don't leave the premises. Screaming, yelling, throwing things."
"Anyway, we get back to the house and go to bed - a few of the wedding party were staying at the house that night."
"I get called into the office, where bride to be and our friend is naked making out with each other. They confessed their love for one another and wanted to be together before she got married."
"I'm in the living room, Husband to be comes out asking where bride is. I answered loudly enough for them to hear. He goes and opens the office door and shouting commences."
"She was scrambling to put clothes on and he was hiding in the closet naked."
"A few hours later, we're all awkwardly standing as they get married on the beach."
"They were divorced shortly after."
"Fast forward several years. A friend puts on a 'friend reunion', because nobody had set up a proper high school one. She is remarried and has a few children at this point. All is going well at the party, and I go to find the restroom. I open a closet door on accident and there she is, making out with the original friends brother. I just closed the door and continued to find the bathroom."
Look, it's hard to accept the fact that the person you love doesn't feel the same way.
But when they reveal their true colors–or murderous streak–in their next relationships, it makes getting over them that much easier.
This is also a good reminder that we shouldn't be blinded by love. Because you might miss seeing red flags.