People Share Their Craziest 'I'm In A Toxic Family' Realization
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Families are usually pretty adept at keeping up with appearances.

Nobody knows about curmudgeonly grandpa who cheated on grandma or another family member with a criminal history.

If the Desperate Housewives have taught us anything, it's that every family has skeletons in the closet.

The picture-perfect families tucked behind their white picket fences in the utopian neighborhood of Wisteria Lane were anything but model citizens.

Like their pearly whites gleaming in the morning sunlight, the depiction of their idyllic life was nothing but a veneer to disguise the darkness and corruption lurking behind closed doors.

However, that was all just nighttime soap opera histrionics.

Nothing is quite as dramatic in real life. Or is it?

Redditor aesthetic3 wanted to find out the moment people had an unsettling epiphany about their family by asking:

"What was your 'I'm in a toxic family' moment?"

Poverty Showers

"When my friend pointed out that most people are allowed to shower every day without having to negotiate it."


"Average middle class life. This continued until I was an adult with my own job contributing to expenses, too."


The Upstaged Mother

"I had my graduation from engineering the same day as my mother's birthday. I, of course, had nothing to do with the date choosing. My mother said I 'ruined her birthday' so she scheduled her birthday party to be on my actual birthday. Her birthday is March, mine is August."


Mama Lies

"My mom makes up lies then makes me look like the liar."


"It's called gaslighting. It's also just conveniently 'not remembering' that she agreed to something previously."


Angry Father

"My dad screamed at me for 20 minutes when I was 11, called me a b*tch and told me to get the hell out of his house when I casually mentioned we seem to argue more than other families."

"Edit, my heart hurts for everyone who shared their trauma. I'm giving you all a big hug right now. Things can get better, and I'm hoping it does for all of you. When you can, address your trauma, reach out and talk to someone. My dad regrets not having talked to someone about what he went through as a kid because of how much it hurt his own family. The problem with taking the stance of simply 'refusing to be my (blank),' is you create a whole new set of bad behaviors because you are trying to over compensate. Freedom is acknowledging that in some ways you may be like (blank), but that doesn't make you them."


Desire To Reach Out

"When I moved in with my SO and noticed she called her family for things I would never call my own for because she actually likes them and doesn't see communicating with them as an obligation, but rather because she wanted them to be part of her everyday life."



"This is something I noticed with my husband too. He talks to his family almost daily and has a good familiar relationship with his parents. I talk to my family maybe twice a year and it fills me with dread. Doing family stuff with him is hard and it makes me uncomfortable to be around a "normal" family. Like i just don't know how to act lol"


Troubled Parents

"An absentee father that ran guns and a mom that was into druid religious bullsh*t and had no time. Plus abject poverty. I get it. My wife has a wonderful connection with her entire family. The last cousin I blocked asked me for another 'loan.'"


The Wrong Christmas Color

"When my ex sister-in-law broke into my house and started painting my living room while I was at work. Apparently, she didn't like the colour and that would just ruin her Christmas."


"Yup. She also used to break in and wear my clothes, sell my things without permission, give me veiled insults in front of people, demand money, talk bad behind everyone's back, lie about being abused, scam charities for struggling mothers for money/gifts, tell people her son was autistic when he isn't, claim to be illiterate/learning disabled for benefits, claim she was a genius (she dropped out of grade 9 and was the dumbest person I have ever met. I know education does not equal intelligence but she was f'king dumb. Cunning and manipulative, but dumb.), paint her partner as an abusive scumbag to people, and have outbursts when she doesn't get her way. She also stole my ex's inheritance. She asked me if I had any clothes for her pregnant friend when I was very underweight due to anorexia. When she was a kid, she would lock herself in the bathroom to give herself bruises that she would blame on her brothers. For fun."

"I spent six years putting up with her antics and would get, "BuT ShE's mY sIsTeR" whenever I got upset. I have about, let's see, eight million stories."

"She was a narcissist, what can I say?"

"ETA story."


The Devil's Spawn

"When my overly religious grandma tried to defend her blatant favoritism of my older sister by telling me that I was 'born evil.'"


child devil GIF Giphy

The Taboo Subject

"When I found out a lot of my family members are child predator's and everyone knows but no ones talks about it."


An Enabling Mother

"The day I joined a specialty school and was informed that it was not, in fact, normal for my father and brother to relentlessly mock me for my Autism."

"Literally spent 15 years being called horrid things and being patronized for my interests, and I legitimately thought that was just what male family members did, because my mother would never stop them."


Traumatic Childhood

"7 years old. My dad hadn't been home for three days. My mom put us kids in the car and drove to every bar in town until she saw my dad's truck. Then she told me to go into the bar, look for my dad and tell him to come home. I refused, so she sent my 4 year old brother in."

"One year later on a family trip I couldn't find my brother. The bathroom door of the house we were staying at was locked for a really long time. I had a bad feeling about it so I just stood outside the door. Eventually my little brother and uncle came out of the bathroom. I asked what was going on and my uncle kept saying, 'nothing. Everything's fine. Everything's fine.'"

"Having been indoctrinated the previous school year about the dangers of child molesters, I dragged my brother away and asked my brother if my uncle had touched his penis. My brother said yes. I dragged him to my mother and told her. I could feel that the rest of the vacation was tense, but I have no idea what my parents did about it if anything. That same year my uncle went to prison for molesting boys in our town. He's still in prison today. For years as a child my mother made me and my brother go to the prison on visitation days and spend time with that uncle."

"I realized my parents would never protect me."


Temper, Temper

"I always thought my family was normal, it was just big and loud and everyone had tempers. Then I told someone a funny story involving my little sister throwing a loaf of bread at my mom... the look on their face told me not to stop there and not get to the part where she threatened to burn down the house with all of us in it."


Depression Is "Rude And Inconvenient"

"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 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 th 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 and my growth and healing the parts of me that have been broken from my past."


"Be Mean"

"I was 9 and I was really nice to poor guy selling shirts out of the back of his truck. 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 9 I was like 'bruh that's not... Great' and it really was an interaction that shaped our relationship. I went on to teach, have a vibrant friend group (every year a dozen of us meet up for new years and were in the 10th year this year!), and generally I love people. It's in my work and in every fibre of my life."

"He... Died 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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