Parents Who've Disowned Their Children Explain What Happened


Sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do.

Sometimes tough love is the only love. Also, often we forget that self preservation and survival is imperative, especially when it comes to a loved one. Every now and again we have to come to terms with the fact that blood and family maybe the most toxic of all. And when those moments arrive they are the hardest, most gut wrenching times, especially for parents, but it's often best for everyone involved.

Redditor u/thenotoriouswtf wanted to hear from parents out there who've made some tough choices by asking.... Parents who have disowned or genuinely stopped loving your child - what happened?

The Kiddo. 

My ex wife disowned my son.

We both married young when I was in the military (high school sweethearts). She became pregnant 6 months into our marriage. I don't think she connected with him at all after he was born. The most she did with him was Instagram photo shoots where she painted herself as #1 mommy. When he turned 3, I left the military. A year after that, she ran for the hills. I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat down with her at a local restaurant to talk divorce plans. We split all of our financials and material items down the middle.

We finally got to custody for my kiddo (something I dreaded to discuss because father's never gain custody in my area) and she tells me "I want absolutely no responsibility." I was taken back and I asked if she was sure. She was. That one sentence hurt me more than anything else that happen during that time. My biological father wanted nothing to do with me and now I was seeing it happen with my own child but with his mother. I received full custody and she married within a year afterwards (she had another child too). Her parents try their best to be apart of his life but she still does her best to avoid him. He's 7 now and used to it, but I know it weights heavily on him. Stuff sucks butt but it's life I guess.

*I just woke up and saw all the upvotes, messages, comments, and awards. I want to say thank you so much. I didn't expect this level of response. I don't usually share something as personal as that. My kiddo is a very awesome kid that has shown great resiliency beyond his years. He has rolled through the tough times better than even I. I can just hope he doesn't question his worth because of what his mom did. I know I questioned mine due to my own father leaving and that has left scars that will not heal. Well..... thank you all again and you all have a wonderful day. Yardbird753

Every Friday. 

Since it seems to have widened a bit, a family torn apart. Based on an aunt and her niece.

Aunt starts signs of dementia at a relatively young age, is moved into an assisted living home. Niece (who bounces around jobs) gets hirex to go visit her about once a week, take her out to the mall or a walk in the park, whatever. Paid handsomely.

We get an alert that aunt has a check bounce from her account that should have $5k in it. Niece has drained the account. Proven beyond a doubt, with receipts. Niece would take aunt to aunt's bank machine every Friday and withdraw $200, then fill her car with gas (aunt can't drive), and charge us hours when she clearly didn't spend hours with aunt (charged us claiming she took aunt to appointments - there was no appointment. We can actually call the doctor fyi).

The family rift? For some bizarre reason niece's family took her side. NiceSasquatch


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

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

Thank you for Letting me Go.

A little different, I was disowned, but I deserved it. I was an addict and a mess for a long time, my mom couldn't keep bailing me out of trouble and watch me self destruct anymore. I wasn't living at home, she came to see me one last time to tell me she was done, not to contact her, she would no longer have anything to do with me. She was in pieces, I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her. But it was the best thing she ever did for me, once she cut me off my rock bottom came hard and fast.

After a little while of living on the streets and my addiction consuming me, I made my way to a detox center, got a few days clean under my belt and never looked back. That was almost 15 years ago. After I was clean a little while I contacted my mom, and little by little we built a relationship again, and now we're really close. I am forever grateful to my mom for letting me fall and letting me back into her life. pickmeacoolname

An Episode. 

I am not sure if this counts. I didn't disown him, but I went through a dissociative episode after some really intense trauma, and I honestly couldn't feel any attachment and parental love that I had for my son. I tried not to show it, and behave as normally as possible because he was a child at the time and couldn't possibly understand what I was going through. It was pretty disturbing to not be able to feel any sense of bond with him. I eventually got better, but I definitely did not feel what I or most people would call love for him. jadepalmtree

Lacking Empathy. 

Drugs, violence, theft, repetitively trying to destroy his younger brother, becoming a danger to myself and others, mental health issues that he refuses to deal with any longer or take his meds for anymore. Just plain off the chain behavior that was too much for all of us. I wouldn't call it disowning, as much as putting down boundaries and setting up fences to protect people who don't deserve his treatment. He also tends to be very manipulative and leans toward narcissistic behavior, in that he will habitually lie about you to others and try to play the victim.

This can be very damaging to relationships with people that don't understand what's going on, so I'd rather just not bring myself into the equation anymore, because it's too costly and it's not worth it. He lacks empathy and doesn't know how to stop himself from his harmful behavior due to a developmental disability, although he will also admit that he knows what he's doing and he knows that he is manipulative and playing games at times. When he was younger and was under the rules of being a minor, then he had all the help in the world and it was easier to deal with. roxeal

1 of 7...

I've disowned one of my siblings (still have 5 other siblings). My sister is just a horrible person. She's the youngest of the seven, and she's been rotten since she was a teenager. She is much younger than the rest of us, so while the other 6 grew up together, she was almost like an only child. She treats everybody in her life like they're here to serve her needs. Some of the things she's put our mother through are truly horrible. I wouldn't give a crap if she disappeared forever. jcpmojo

"the truth"

As Jehovahs witnesses, my parents disowned my siblings and I several times since I was in my late teens. One of the JW "rules" is that you do not associate with others who know "the truth" but refuse to follow it, including family and parents are encouraged to disown any children who have left the religion. The first time was when i was 19. It upset me, i was heartbroken and eventually they changed their minds only to do it again a couple years later and so on until i stopped caring and no longer attempt to be a part of their lives at all. Mizzscarlett2pt0

The Breaking Point. 

Not the parent, but my mom ceased all contact with my much older half-brother from a different dad. He was a violent, angry addict; would steal from and beat up my grandparents and my mom. She finally had enough. He died this year and it's the first time my mom had seen him since she cut him off 15ish years ago. I now have my own kids and I've always supported my mom's decision. That said... I feel so, so sorry for her, moreso than when I was "just" her kid. I can't imagine ever reaching that point with my kids and I'm sure she never did either. CMTraceBeaulieu

Bye Dad.

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

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


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

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

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

The Sad Sister. 

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

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

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

Edit: I never really finished my point with the story. My parents had disowned my oldest sister when she moved to North Carolina with deadbeat for six years until my niece reached out to me through Facebook. I had never even met my two youngest nieces until this event. I regret turning my back on my sister. I really hate her and what she put her babies through, but if we stayed in her life for those six years we maybe could have prevented this. Lettucelove185


My siblings and I have stopped interacting with my oldest brother. We found out that years earlier he had assaulted at least two boys. He was an adult at the time. He showed no remorse, and turned the story around to say that those boys were at fault. It was so disgusting to watch someone you grew up with treat people so poorly and show such a blatant disregard for others. The good news is that the remaining four siblings have become closer and we now are able to appreciate the good we see in each other. It's true when they say that if you could pick your family it would look much different than it is! HeidiU521

Did the Best. 

My parents disowned my oldest sister. She always struggled growing up more than us (she became a teen mom with a bad older dude, partied a lot, etc), but my parents helped her a lot. They do okay for themselves, but had a no-co-signing rule for all six of my siblings and I. Still, they co-signed for her house so she could get a head start.

She didn't pay the mortgage for almost 3 years before my mom got served in front of all the other nurses at her work.

My parents worked tirelessly to try to work out deals where my sister and her family kept the house and got some leniency, but to no avail, because my sister never showed up for court dates. During this time, she paid $12k for IVF and got pregnant with her fifth kid.

When my mom demanded some of the money back, she accused my dad and my brother of beating her sons when my parents took them to Disney World (he didn't) and said she'd file a police report if he asked for money again. They kept asking, cause it wasn't true.

She awkwardly joined us for Christmas, and punched my brother in the face during the meal for "humiliating" her oldest son by asking him if he wanted to work at my brother's company for good pay. Her oldest son is in and out of jail, and my brother was trying to help him after his release, but her son said he didn't want a job and got mad. She then called the cops and told them the same brother had illegal guns in his truck, and they came on Christmas night and searched his truck (no guns found!)

Needless to say, she is not welcome anywhere near any of us and my mom still cries about it, but refuses to talk to her again. badjuju824

Bye Wendy....


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

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

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

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

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

Stealing Identity. 

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

Edit: she is my step daughter, met her when she was 8, I still love her a lot. sonoran22


I love my son, but he abused me. When he turned that violence on to his sister by choking her, I had to say "Good-bye." 13Lilacs

I wish my mom had done that to my brother sometimes. She saw it all. But what hurt the most was having my parents, the people who are supposed to protect me, ask me to forgive my attacker. Just because he happened to be my brother. If anyone else had done that to me they would have gone nuts on them. But he's blood, so it cancels out I guess? Abazableh

Incapable of Love. 

My father said my mother's issue was she had too many children and it gave her some kind of brain fever, much like a dog that loses it's mind after having too many puppies.

My mother said my father felt trapped by me. He was planning to leave when it was just my two older brother and then my mother got pregnant with me and he felt obligated to stay.

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

Getting Away....

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

I cut her off for years, and didn't ever want to see her again but my family bullied me to just get over it and have a relationship with my mother and that I was hurting her. Even my sister who knew what happened, knew I stayed for so long to protect her, fell into a trap of my mother whining to everyone around her and painting me as a liar. About 4 years ago she was very suddenly diagnosed with advanced cancer and didn't have much time.

I was moving out of my home state and everyone told me I needed to see her before I left, that I needed to be there, but I didn't want to. In the end everyone turned their back on me. They were so mad I wouldn't just forget my trauma just to say goodbye to someone I hadn't loved for a long time, and rightly so. Merryprankstress

The Lost Child.


My parents didn't "disown" me... I was just a weird mistake. My mother never wanted a child. She bailed after a few months.

My father was a single parent and ended up in prison (life without parole) when I was 14. I finally met my mother. She was a police detective by the time I moved in with her. She threw me out after two months.

I am 30 now, and life is typically a little weird around the holidays, but I always get a good laugh when I tell people that my father is in prison for life and my mother is a cop. But then they get super awkward when I tell them that no... it's not a joke.

It took a long time for me to come to terms with it, but I know now that none of it was my fault. The_Loudest_Fart


You May Also Like
Hi friend— subscribe to my mailing list to get inbox updates of news, funnies, and sweepstakes.
—George Takei