There's often a dark side to having your DNA heritage tested - you might found out you're not who you think you are. But that's the risk, and maybe if everyone got their DNA tested, there would less racism in the world. Personally, I'm open-minded, and family isn't only defined by blood.
gonegirlss asked: People whose families have been destroyed by 23andme and other DNA sequencing services, what went down?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
50. Dad got around.
I've been searching for my father my whole life and through 23andme I just found a half-brother, finally answering the question. Our father is unfortunately passed, but we're meeting in person in April.
A couple weeks after we found each other we were also contacted by another half-sister.
Damn good luck, but dad sure got around.
My brother got our whole family 23andMe kits for Christmas last year. Everyone did the swab and got their results back which showed how we're all related and yada yada yada, but my results came back inconclusive. 23andMe sent me a new kit to do it again and THAT one also came back inconclusive. So the company sent me an email basically saying I can never do it again probably because I'm using a bunch of resources with no results.
Anyway now my family says I don't have any human DNA and that I must be a lizard. They make lizard sounds when I'm around and I am ashamed.
Someone has gone to a lot of effort to block your DNA truth...
Whats ur mum been up to?
Emotionally, at this point in my life, I cannot deal with the idea that my mom cheated on my dad with a lizard.
48. What are the odds?
Kind of the opposite. I found out I have an older sister, apparently my dad was being a little promiscuous lol. RIP old man. And she also shares my birthday, what are the chances?!
Edit: for everyone sending me the probability, I get it lol. I just meant it's crazy that I found out I have an estranged older sister who just so happens to share my birthday as well. Pretty crazy to me anyway.
47. When your dad isn't your dad.
I just got off the phone with my newly found bio dad. My mom died in 1980, my dad in 2012. I logged Friday in to AncestryDNA to get my results from their Black Friday sale. It said that this person in NC was my father, no doubt. Turns out it was my moms boyfriend before my dad came along. I have no idea if anyone knew. My newly found father certainly didn't.
How was that conversation? You must be feeling a lot of feels!
I am indeed full of the feels. But I've had 24 hours to think about and cyber stalk the guy, I just sprung it on him at 6pm last night. I need to let him process.
46. This is pretty cool.
I discovered that I have some of the highest known Neanderthal DNA, more than 99% users and over 4% of my total DNA. 3 tests submitted and a flight provided to a university in Australia for a testing. Was cool at first, and then not.
It bothered my wife a bit at first thanks to watching a couple documentaries.
Not trying to sound rude, but are you different physically because of your higher than normal percentage of neanderthal DNA?
It's possible. A professor wouldn't talk to me directly, he talked to 20 other people about my x-rays and stuff. A lot was about my chest/torso, and arms and stuff.
45. This can't be easy to learn.
Not me, but one of my bar regulars did the test with her older sister. Turns out not only are they not related to each other, but both of them are adopted. And, their adoptive parents are both dead. And, their entire extended family knew the whole time but no one ever told them.
Bright side, two people chose very deliberately to adopt them as they were and raise them as their own and that's beautiful.
44. Malpractice much?
My 75-year-old grandmother just found out her dad was not her real dad. Turns out her mom had an affair with the family doctor and never told a single soul. Not only did she find out her family doctor was her real dad (the one who birthed not only her but also all of her own children) but turns out this family doctor was sleeping with a lot his patients. She now has a bunch of new half sisters and brothers, some of them knew who their real dad was and some of them didn't. My great grandmother was quite the secret keeper.
This just happened a lot in the past. Regardless if they are patients, it's an ethical violation even if the relationship was consensual. The power differential makes it an abuse of his position.
43. A common theme, it seems.
My dad turned out not to be my dad. So the basic 23andMe family surprise I guess? Also found out that my heritage can best be described as white mystery.
When my birth mom was pregnant with me she was too ashamed to admit who my father was. She was too young to be a mom and so she gave me to my current parents when I was born. (they were 10 years older than her and already had a kid) I love my parents and couldn't care who my birth father was but I wanted to see what I was made of.
Everyone was pretty pissed when we found out my dad was my birth dad.
That's a hell of a twist.
Honey, we have to tell you something....
You're... not adopted.
41. Mama was busy.
Not destroyed, it just confirmed what we already knew that there was more than one Father between 5 siblings. At least three as it turned out.
Yup. Love my mom but my late grandmother told me she had doubts that my older brother was my dads kid. Also, there is doubts of 2 of my half siblings who my father fought legally to gain custody of when they were very young.
We've agreed we'd rather not know and just be our own little messed up family of 6 children who love each other and their nieces/nephews dearly.
My siblings and I choose to love each other regardless of who is biologically related to who.
40. When Catholic guilt has its revenge.
Spouse found out his dad wasn't his dad. His judgmental holier than thou Catholic mom had some explaining to do. He lost an immense amount of respect for her, especially when the bio dad tried to reach out to him. She is still in contact with the married man she had an affair with over 4 decades ago. He refuses to speak to him and has limited contact with her.
That's brutal. Did his non bio dad find out too? That's got to be terrible to find out after so many years. I hope they still have a good relationship.
Yep, he did and they still have a good relationship. My husband doesn't discuss it with him because he doesn't want his mothers lies to compromise the relationship he's had for 4 decades.
39. Alzheimer's is terrifying and devastating. Would you want to know if you have the gene?
My grandpa passed away from Alzheimer's, so my family uploaded our raw DNA to another site to see if any of us have the same genes that make it likely for any of the rest of us to have it as well. Luckily most of us didn't have the gene my grandpa had, but my uncles have it. So while my immediate family knows we've got average chances, my poor uncles are probably dreading the future.
Edit: I used Promethease.
Yeah I'm trying to decide if I would want that information about myself or not. On the one hand, I like having information and planning. On the other hand, knowing that would probably make me sick with anxiety.
That's the other thing, we figure if we know, then we can do whatever we can to look out for things and actively try to prevent them. I think it was good for me, because I saw high probabilities for stuff like diabetes and heart problems that I already knew ran in my family. Things like this, I can actively try to prevent. But for things like Alzheimer's, I think living with the anxiety would be tough. Also, people are still figuring out DNA, so obviously you have to take results with a grain of salt, and it's hard to decide if it's worth the anxiety in case the results aren't even accurate.
38. I want a new family in France.
Ours was backwards. A French lady messaged my mom and said she thought they shared a father. Very believable because Papa was a proven whore. Sure enough she did a 23andMe and sure enough yep. Rest in peace.
Ay a new family member.
Yeap. I haven't talked to her yet. Mostly because I barely have time to give my mom attention let alone an aunt who I'd have to use Google translate with. I do think my other full aunts are sort of upset but not my mom. My mom realizes it isn't half aunt's fault. She was adopted out and has 4 or 5 other siblings on her mom's side all of them were adopted out and one of them ended up near us in america. Her bio mom really liked to sleep American soldiers apparently.
Anyways, she looks exactly like my great grandma!
37. Money money money money... money.
Husband found cousin who informed him of the passing of his estranged father. Father had some money in bank, family fought over the money.
They got the money even though they wanted nothing to do with him when alive. They still fought between themselves over it. So much more about this family they are piece of work. I have barely any contact with them.
36. When your DNA contains genetic fossils.
My family wasn't destroyed, but my Grandpa held the family record for Neanderthal DNA variants and I broke the family record by just a few. I have 1 more than my mom. I just thought I'd share.
Edit: Lots of people are asking. I have 318 variants, my mom has 317, and my grandpa has ~312.
Ever get the urge to paint a cave?
Would you say that you relate to the Flintstones on a personal level?
Yes. sometimes I just Yabba Dabba do.
Ever feel like calling the ACLU on Geico for "so easy a caveman could do it?"
Definitely. My caveman blood starts to boil and I consider a civil lawsuit every time.
As is the caveman way.
35. No Danny Boy!Giphy
I found out I'm not Irish after taking one.... I have an Irish tattoo. My mom's family always bragged about how Irish we were. My life obviously wasn't destroyed but funny anyways.
It was over twenty years ago, I was 18 and stupid. The tattoo is a nautical compass with a Celtic knot in the middle on my shoulder. Josh__1980
34. Is this Sex Ed?
Can't speak for myself but one of my old high school teachers took an Ancestry DNA test and found out his dad wasn't actually his biological father. His mom had cheated on her husband. He joked around so much that when he told our class, I thought he was joking. Nope. fionalemon
33. Oh... by the way....
Family wasn't destroyed but my dad found out he has a 43 year old daughter he never knew about that was conceived when he was 16, (I was his oldest, I'm 23) and my mom found out her grandad had an illegitimate child there was no record of. Wild. bright-noise
32. Sounds like an episode of 'Dynasty.'Giphy
My mom's coworker (adopted) took the test and found a full sibling match (and then found out she had actually 4 full siblings). The coworker and sibling made contact but couldn't piece together the story so the sibling put her in touch with her bio parents. Both of them flat out denied that she was their daughter and freaked out.
After a few go-arounds with the parents, the dad admitted to this lady that she was their daughter but the mother had gotten pregnant super young and they weren't ready to start a family so they sent her to one of those homes where she gave birth and immediately put her up for adoption. Then the parents just decided it never happened and lived their lives (got married, had kids) like they didn't give their first born child up for adoption because of societal pressures. But the mother actually believes she never had this first daughter because of some psychotic break and cannot accept her own reality as truth. ToniLobotomy
31. The Unwanted....
My wife has a cousin that was adopted. He was finally able to find his bio parents and he had several full siblings. As an only child, he was so happy and reached out only to be told he wasn't one of them. He was dropped off for adoption because he was born after the parents divorce and no one wanted him, including his siblings. Really heartbreaking to hear about because he'd always wanted this big family and they wouldn't accept him. PhukYoo2
30. Leaving well enough alone....
It's not something that has happened but it's a fear I have. I don't have the same father as the rest of my siblings and it's not a secret but I'm the only one who knows my father was not a past boyfriend but just some psycho who kidnapped and assaulted my mother. My younger (half) sister is always carrying on about all of us getting those things done and has insinuated she's thinking of buying us all a kit. I'm really apprehensive about that because if my sperm donor has other family members who have done it, and that's not far fetched at all, I'll be linked to them and I DO NOT WANT THAT. I think I know who he was and I definitely don't want confirmation of that staring me in the face, or relatives of his trying to get in touch with me, or anything else like that at all. ChristopherRabbit
29. It's never too late....
My grandmother found out she was adopted and had two sisters with kids who also.... have kids. opened some new chapters and closed some too. She is 76 years old. beachmasterbogeynut
28. A Score!
Actually wasn't destroyed, added an aunt that was older than my grandparent's relationship so it meant no cheating. I'm just sad that she was never given the opportunity to meet her dad. She is an extremely charitable person and I am excited to meet her at some point. papablessurprivilege
Meet her soon. We just found my Mom's family a couple years ago, we've been looking for 20ish years. The coolest person, my uncle, just passed away from a surprising illness. I meet him all of three times. It was meeting him that helped me realized I wasn't the only one in the family like me, introverted with a very strange humor. He was in his late 50's.... You don't know how long you have. rawrvenger
27. This Family is Closed....
My aunt's birth mom was married when she got pregnant by my granddad. Her mom's husband wasn't a fan of raising someone else's kid so they sent her to live with other family members.
This was before my granddad and grandmom were together but my grandmom was still pretty upset that he had a kid with someone else (even though he didn't know about her).
My aunt is a very charitable person and never got a chance to meet her dad either. Most of my family is pretty closed-minded and don't want to associate with her. They all seem to think she wants something from us (i.e. money) but all she wants is to get to know her dad's side of the family. Tanlyss
26. Infidelity Wars
Family wasn't destroyed... But we are still trying to figure out who cheated. It's narrowed down to between two or three generations. But not exactly sure who it was. ancientflowers
Same thing happened with us. My great-great grandfather cheated on his pregnant wife with the neighbor. My aunt found out when she had a match with a stranger and they found out they lived in the same town in the late 1800s. lillian0
My mother got an extra half sister, about the same age as her younger sister, and turned out they were in the same class at school and there is one photo of them together in a school photo about age 15. No big dramas, grandfather who did the dirty has been dead over 30 years so he escaped it. Surviving siblings were a little miffed and my mother recalled a temporary split of her parents, but it caused no big drama. finackles
24. Fingers Crossed...
I have just sent mine in, and I'm anxiously awaiting the results. I was adopted at birth, and met my biological parents 10 years ago (I found them after an exhaustive search). My bio father's mother (my bio grandmother) was adopted at birth, and my biological mother was adopted as well. I pretty much know about 25% of my background (bio grandpa), and my whole family is curious to see what comes out of it! mechanchic
23. Thank you God!
I wouldn't say mine was destroyed but it was definitely a Godsend. When my grandma passed, my aunt went through her old journals and found out three of her five kids weren't fathered by my drunken, abusive grandfather. One of the non-biological children was my dad. I hated my relatives - my family is full of, I kid you not, drug kings (my uncle), thieves, and jailbirds. My dad confirmed through ancestry that not only is the a**hole who raised him not his father, but he's apparently of the swap-babies of the 60's, so his mother isn't even his mother. He cut ties with everyone since he's no longer got any obligation to talk to anyone. AstronomyWhore
22. Photo ProofGiphy
This is related but not from a DNA test. My father always told us stories about how his father was very hard on him and very generous to his sister. My grandmother divorced his father when he was young and married grandpa's best friend. He, grandma's second husband, died before I was born so I'd never met him. When I was in college I was looking through some old photos to get a picture of grandma and grandpa for some project I was doing.
I found a close up black and white old time looking picture of my father in his forties or so that I had never seen before. Strangely, he had blonde hair. My father had dark, almost black hair for most of his life. I turned the picture over, it was dated forty years ago and was labeled with the name of my grandmothers SECOND husband, my grandfathers BEST FRIEND. They were virtually identical. Being the stupid girl that I was, I pointed it out to my father who went ballistic! It seems I stumbled upon a family secret, a very painful family secret. Blameking27
21. Oh Brother.....
I am in the process of finding out! I clearly have a half brother and no one knows who this person is! We share an insane amount of DNA cMs but not quite enough to be full siblings. It is weird and he won't answer my messages on ancestry.com. It says he hasn't logged in since April though. pillow_pooter
20. A new Dad....
No destruction, but 23andme showed me the dad who I knew as a child (left early, so no real relationship) wasn't my bio dad. Then about a year later, my sister on my bio dad's side (I thought I was an only child and didn't know who bio dad was) reached out because 23andme told her about me. Now I have a bio dad, a brother, and a sister. They are all really nice and we are all trying to forge a new relationship.
They are all coming over in about 2 hours where my wife and daughter will meet the dad for the first time. They've already met the brother and sister. I have nothing but good things to say about what 23andme did for me. caudron
19. Lovers & SiblingsGiphy
Throwaway for obvs reasons.
Lived next door to my best friend, and her family, all through my childhood and young adult life. Graduated from high school, friend and I had a weekend bender to celebrate, and hooked up, started dating. Fast forward a few years, to late November this year, we decide to try a test, just for craps and/or giggles.
Turns out she's my half sister on the paternal side. Apparently my dad and her mom had been having an affair, and she got pregnant. Both parents are getting divorced, and we haven't been able to look at each other since. Throwaway11992288336
18. Mystery Solved!
I mean the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer went undiscovered for almost 40 years for horrific crimes until one of his relatives spit into a tube for 23andme or one of the other genetics services, matching DNA on file and leading criminologists right to his door.
So that's a bad day for that guy and a great one for the rest of us. UncleGoldie
17. Just Vanilla....
Husband's grandmother was going on and on about how her grandmother was 100% Cherokee Indian. My MIL and I never believed her. The test results come back with zero percent Native American, so she starts saying the whole thing is a huge scam. Honey, no. You're white all the way. hejgurlhej
16. Lost Truth.
Family wasn't destroyed but my hopes for knowing my birth parents were.
Using the DNA testing I found my birth parents (confirmed by CPS documents) and reached out. They want nothing to do with me. I had always imagined some great meeting but now I just know it will never happen.
It hurts to know that they don't want to know me more than not knowing anything. Lalina13
15. Well that's Boring....
In my family there's a lot of tumultuous relationships and occasional infidelity. So after decades of speculation and rumors, a bunch of us decided to get tested through Ancestry.com and settle any lingering questions. Frankly we just weren't mentally prepared for the results we received.
Turns out we're all related to each other after all. No mystery babies, new cousins, or missing dads. I'm still shocked and haven't come to terms with it, tbh. Ghost_In_The_Valero
I think this is my favorite. PANTSorGTFO
I like that this is the complete opposite of everything else in this thread. It must suck to know you're related to people you wish you weren't! Star_Statics
Jerry Springer would make a great comeback if he partnered with 23andme! s4g4n
I remember when it was about other things aside from "You are (not) the father." episodes. sonicz3r0
13. Fake News
Late to the party but my dad just found out a couple of days before Christmas that none of his sisters are full blooded. My grandma told him that DNA testing is bull so he'll probably never find out who his real father is. spiralpath
I had a positive outcome. I have had multiple cancers. The latest and reoccurrence of breast cancer. My first visit to the mayo clinic they did a DNA pharmacology test on me. To find out what drugs actually work with my DNA type. They confirmed that the original drugs that I was taking where ineffective with my DNA type. Starting treatment with a new drug regime and hoping for a positive outcome. Techfromhell
11. An Overdrawn Account....
Obligatory also not destroyed, but we found out my dad donated sperm in the mid-late 80s and now I have at least 9 half siblings. They used it a lot. A few of them didn't know they were sperm donations and not their fathers blood relative. Met some of em and we got along great. Wasn't cheating but my mom isn't stoked about it. Haha. hackcomstock
10. More to Love....Giphy
AncestryDNA didn't destroy my family, but I was able to meet my biological father. My parents used IVF to have children and from the limited info we had before the testing, I assumed that part of my genetic makeup would remain a mystery. It was an eye opening experience and I am glad I did it. osc43s
9. Worldwide Family....
We thought there were 4 of us kids. Actually there are 13. Dad was a pig and a narcissist: there are 4 kids with his first name (2 of them female). Many are same age or younger or older than us so: cheating. He even had a daughter who is OLDER THAN MY MOM.
I made it my mission to meet them all and let me tell you: nature had way more influence than nurture. I wouldn't have believed this until I met my siblings who grew up in different countries speaking different languages and with all kinds of different upbringing yet we had: same laugh same taste in food/music/film/fashion same sense of humor same general level of success same mannerisms same intelligence same friggin' quirks and other things you'd think come about by experience. We are the same people. aiandi
8. Isn't that a movie?
Not destroyed, but we did find out that two family members have been sperm donors. One has 40+ children, is unmarried, and likely lost his last serious relationship after she found out. The other only has one donor kid that we know of, but he's married and has a family. Wife was not happy, but the donation was over 30 years ago. RealCoolShoes
7. Find the Connection....
Not me, but my wife. She got a match with someone that didn't make sense. She reached out to them, and it turns out she has a brother that she didn't know about. Turns out her scummy dad cheated on her mom when my wife was very young, and that produced a son. My wife's mom and dad divorced when she was 5 from another cheating incident, so while surprising, it wasn't at the same time.
Everyone has met and they are trying to get a relationship going, which I think is cool. It wasn't my wife's brother's fault he was illegitimately conceived, the parents have been long divorced on my wife's side, so the weirdness is largely minimized. pimptastical
6. Back in the Day....
My family wasn't destroyed, but we finally found out who my mom's long-lost first cousin was.. and funnily enough, she lives like 45 minutes away from us (and lived in several of the same cities we did when growing up). Her father was a prominent figure in the state she was born and so they sent my great aunt to one of those "unwed mothers" homes and forced her to give the baby up for adoption.
Now my mom and her kiddos (including myself) have a budding relationship with this woman and she basically gained a new family shortly after her adoptive parents passed away. The rest of my mom's siblings and first cousins have some coming around to do, but the nice thing is our new relative can choose whether or not she wants to engage with them. hermi0ninny
5. Thank you FacePlace.Giphy
My mom and I did ancestry last year for Christmas and found out her birth dad wasn't her actual dad and we were able to find out who her real dad was (both deceased) because one of her birth cousins found her on Facebook and contacted her and they put the puzzle together.
My grandma had an affair with her husband with someone he was serving in the military with and when we brought it up to her she denied it ever happening and then we were going through old photo albums and found a picture of the 3 of there where on the back she wrote the month and year with "had an affair with (his name)" And still denies it. itsNxte
I have an 86 year old friend that found out he has another son (has 6 kids by an ex wife). The guy is 61 and has been looking for his father all of his life. My friend only went out with the mother twice and then she disappeared. They met for the first time this month. I hope they have several more years to get to spend time together. SierraBravo22
3. Family History....
I'm adopted and did it to try and find some answers to a few basic questions. I looked at the relative's thing and a 4th-5th cousin contacted me. My family told me to stop talking to them and I disconnected from that part completely. Deep down I really feel the need to know who at least my great great grandmother is. I think I honestly deserver to know who that one person was. My family has a deep history I am sure of it knowing what country we are from. I'm watching everyone get to find people who are related.
I understand why I had to disconnect but it hurts me secretly. I know in 10+ years there may be less and less of a chance of some older family being alive. I want to know my family's WW2 history and experience. I want to know who died in the war and who got sent off and was never seen again and I want to know who came home. chainandscale
2. Numbers Never Lie....Giphy
Not destroyed but... it's odd. I learned my father was not my biological father. He died a few months before I took the test but apparently, he knew and didn't want me to know. I didn't get the chance to tell him it didn't matter. Also apparently my Mom doesn't know my bio-fathers name either it since it's been over 30 years.
Wasn't even an affair, she met dad like a month later. The math of the pregnancy had always been tight so it makes sense, but now I wonder what to do. 23andme has 3 close family connections supposedly and no one on moms side has used it. I wonder sometimes about opting in. surfingbored
Your mum's lying. 😬 you don't just forget the name of who knocked you up. That's just not how it works. Sure if you've had many sexual partners you might not be able to list them off in full but the ones you father your kids you remember. Unless she has dementia or something I guess. Good luck. Reddit
Yes, a woman may not know the name of the man who impregnated her if it was a one night stand, or he was using a nickname, or drugs involved. I knew a woman who hooked up with a guy at a rock concert and then never saw him again but yet had his son. This type of thing would exactly lead to a DNA match with unknown relatives like in this reddit thread. econobiker
1. Blood is Truth!
I don't think it's been destroyed but recently my stepmom found out through Ancestry that she has an older brother from before her father met her mother.
Her entire family worshipped their alcoholic, dead beat, military school graduate, "veteran" father (in quotes because he was only in the military because he was a creepy little teenager and he was put in military school as punishment and he never actually saw action). From what she's told me he was abusive but she talks about it like he raised her up to be tough.
Anyway, her sister and oldest brother were really empathetic to this poor guy who has never known who his family was, he was adopted out as an infant, but her middle and youngest brothers are being crappy about it.
The half-brother's daughter did a lot of the digging and reached out to people she found on Facebook. Many in the family were not receptive to her reaching out.
My step-mom's middle brother said it's "creepy" and that they're "stalking the family" because they did their research. He sees it as an unwelcome intrusion because they've gone 60 years not knowing this guy existed. The youngest brother, anytime my stepmom says anything about their new brother he corrects her and says "half."
I'm glad some siblings are being welcoming in the family to this man but I find it appalling that grown adults would sit there and reject him as their brother like some of them are doing or say nasty things insinuating that he had no business looking them up all these years later. Many people in the family are trying to say it's a scam and that he's going to start asking for money or saying stuff like it's not real because they don't believe their father slept around like that. DNA doesn't lie, though.
I know second-rejection is a fear a lot of adopted people have when searching for their families so I feel sorry for him. bonezillion
Some years ago, I had to advise a college friend to stop chasing the girl he was interested in at the time. She'd already turned him down. Explicitly. At least two or three times.
He wouldn't take no for an answer and didn't see anything wrong with his behavior.
Perhaps he'd seen too many movies where the guy eventually breaks through the girl's defenses and essentially coerces her into going out with him?
Sadly, this is behavior that is tolerated and yes, normalized in our society.
People were keen to share other observations after Redditor EnoughSandwich_7057 asked the online community,
"What's toxic behavior that's considered socially acceptable?"
"Trying to make people..."
"Trying to make people drink/smoke or drink/smoke more when they have firmly declined the offer."
This is a big one that can have disastrous consequences. I am thankful I got a bunch of terrible nights out drinking out of my system by my early twenties.
Being drunk to the point that you're incoherent is horrible.
"I hate the whole prank thing..."
"I hate the whole prank thing, especially when it's done for likes. Scaring or humiliating people for attention just means you are a bad person."
I don't watch any of those videos and I don't understand what people see in them.
"Overworking yourself and then collectively judging others who don't do the same."
I had a coworker like that once, and she was a (minor) reason why I ended up leaving one job, but still a reason nonetheless.
"Taking your work with you..."
"Taking your work with you on vacation. I mean if you enjoy working then that's your thing, but I get sick of people like going through paperwork and having meetings while on vacation. Like dude, stop."
"Looking down on someone..."
"Looking down on someone because of their job."
When people say things like, "If fast food workers deserve $15 an hour..." that says a lot.
"Deliberately misunderstanding what someone is saying so as to make it easier to argue with them."
"People tend to give drunk people..."
"People tend to give drunk people misbehaving a pass if they regularly do it, 'Oh don't mind Tom, he's just drunk.' That just reinforces that toxic behavior."
You can say that again. How many times have you run into bad behavior like this while out and about, perhaps in a bar? It's not fun.
"The fact that we reward..."
"The fact that we reward customers for being wrong. The number of times my old manager would be so exhausted from arguing over the cost of a carton of milk with a customer that she would just give it to them is appalling."
"It reinforces this mentality because even if the customer KNOWS they're wrong they don't care because they will still win."
Annnnd this is why I don't miss retail. I'm fine where I am.
"Verbally abusing minimum wage employees who don't make the rules. If I could change the laws tomorrow I'd encourage businesses to ban pieces of garbage like these who can't operate in public."
"I'm here to do a job..."
"Toxic workplace behavior needs to be top of the list. I'm here to do a job and go home, not be harassed because you don't like some aspect of my personality. Managers who let this slide should be held personally liable."
When you stop and think about it, you realize we live in an imperfect society. It's astounding that some people just tolerate bad behavior and, in many cases, don't even see anything wrong with it.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.
Parents make mistakes. We want to believe that parents are doing there very best to raise their kids, but sometimes they do more harm than good.
Research into childhood trauma didn't actually begin until the 1970s, so we don't have as much knowledge about our mental health as adults as we might like.
However, a study that followed 1,420 from 1992 to 2015 found conclusive results about childhood trauma:
"'It is a myth to believe that childhood trauma is a rare experience that only affects few,' the researchers say."
"Rather, their population sample suggests, 'it is a normative experience—it affects the majority of children at some point.'"
"A surprising 60 percent of those in the study were exposed to at least one trauma by age 16. Over 30 percent were exposed to multiple traumatic events."
Not all of the things our parents do that were not so helpful technically classify as trauma, but it definitely has an effect on us as we get older.
Redditor Gooncookies asked:
"What could your parents have done better when raising you?"
Here's some of the ways that these Redditor's parents could have done better.
Rules to maintain purity.
"Would've been nice if my dad hadn't convinced me I had to behave in certain ways to maintain my innocence and purity."
"Catholic? I can relate."
"Nope. He's an atheist. He's actually extremely upset that I practice my (non Christian) religion. He just has some really weird ideas about having female children. Like, if I wore spaghetti straps when I was a child he'd say it was like he was living in a brothel."
Becoming afraid of failure.
"Encourage me to do more. I was never pushed to do anything. I mean, I get why some athletes are like 'my parents pushed me too hard where I hated it.' But I was never encouraged to go out for it try anything new. I played little league baseball and decided I thought it was a good idea to try and be a pitcher. I told my mom, but got the response along the lines of 'That's a hard position, and the whole game kind of rides on you, and if you mess up, everyone is going to blame you.' As a 37 year old I now see how that kind of stuff screwed my self esteem up and why I'm so afraid of failure as an adult."
"Same here. Also when I wanted to try anything new my mom was like 'But that's too hard for you, are you really sure you wanna do this? I don't think that you want nor can.' What's even worse than just forbidding, in this way the kid won't 'protest doing it' and get too low self esteem to do it."
"I'm really happy now that I overcame this after I moved out. I started doing all those things I wanted to do as a kid and I freaking love it (but kinda hate the fact that I haven't started earlier)."
"But even if I have a good relationship to my mom I hide a lot of things I do from her, since she still does the same and tries to convince me that I actually don't wanna do what ever I planned."
"But dear mom, sometimes you just need to try new things. if it wont work out who cares!? Even got a tattoo with 'What if I fall? Honey what if you fly?' to remind me if I should ever forget. (And no, my mum doesn't know about it)."
We're allowed to feel our emotions.
"Allow me to express my emotions, treat me like an actually person, actually interact with me instead of just ignoring me and them just telling me to kill myself."
"Wow. I'm so sorry. I think a lot of parents forget that their children are actually human beings."
"Its okay. I'm trying to work through some of that trauma, its easier said than done."
Interest is nice.
"They could have shown more of an interest in my mental health and education."
"I didn't get help for my anxiety until after college and it's so frustrating to hear my parents acknowledge I was an anxious child yet nothing was done. I can look back and see how many things could have gone better for me."
"I had diagnosed ADHD and my mom thought that the meds made my brother and I zombies and decided she wanted us to just be kids. My parents never looked into any kind of non-medication help for my ADHD."
"I'll always wonder what school would've been like if I had the tools to properly manage it."
"I got an MFA, but I feel my entire life has been a whole lot of masking."
I also have comorbid sleep/circadian rhythm disorder which they also never did anything about. Going to the doctor for anything, physical or mental, was not prioritized. But, my parents definitely weren't well off financially, so I imagine that that was the biggest contributor."
Kids deserve autonomy.
"Taught me to question adults and trust myself."
"They thought they were doing the best thing by teaching my sister and I 'All adults are always right and you obey them no matter what,' but it made me a dysfunctional employee and vulnerable to abusive relationships."
"The good news is it can be unlearned. But I hope this new generation will teach our kids to assert themselves respectfully instead of blind obedience."
Why keep up the charade?
"My parents are great people who did a good job raising me, but there was one weird thing they did that still kind of annoys to this day (and I'm 44.)"
"Once I got old enough to figure out that things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny weren't real they still wouldn't admit it for some reason; I think it was more my mom and my dad just went along with her. But even when I became a teenager and all my siblings were teenagers it's like they still thought it was funny and cute to keep pretending that Santa Claus was real. I don't know why."
"They missed the point of that sort of thing. It's a rite of passage for children to eventually get old enough to figure out that this sort of thing isn't real and for the parents to let them in on it. I was denied that and it still bugs me for some reason."
"I could imagine that being infuriating at 14-15 years old. At that age you're wanting to be seen as more of an adult and I can imagine them not acknowledging Santa as a way of not welcoming me into adulthood/making me feel like a little kid."
Yea that's weird. When I got older and looked back I realized that my folks never flat out said Santa was real. My mom would say something like, 'He's only real if you believe in him,' so she never technically lied to me. Maybe it stems from that, they don't want to admit they lied to you?"
"That could be, but I think it was more a matter of my parents (again, my mom especially) thinking that doing the whole Santa Claus thing on Christmas morning, and Easter Bunny thing on Easter was fun and something that she just didn't want to let go of when my sisters and I got older."
Healthy criticism is necessary sometimes.
"They lacked discipline and parental authority which led us to treat them like our friends, disrespect them. We also couldn't be academically successful because they didn't help us develop a healthy studying habit."
"Kids like it when a parent tells them what to do (I mean, parenting is about teaching a kid what to do, if you just leave it like that, it won't learn anything), help them when they can't get through it, never give negative criticism, but constructive criticism when they fail and appreciate them when they succeed."
"Negative criticism: this type only tells them what is wrong. e.g. 'you can't do this,' 'you are doing this badly.'"
"Constructive criticism: this type gives them an insight into what should they do, you can add what is lacking if necessary. e.g. '[...] is not good behaviour, please do [...] next time, then you would succeed,' 'it looks ok (if it is badly done, then don't say this), but if you do [...] it'd be better / [...] is the correct way.'"
Whatever the situation was with your parents or caretakers, there are ways to heal from this trauma.
Psychology Today says we need to process our emotions, especially if we were taught not to when we were children.
It's important that we break these generational curses.
Want to "know" more?
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Breaking up is something that never gets easier.
That kind of thinking, however, does little to keep us from feeling dejected for days on end.
Curious to hear from heartbroken strangers on the internet, Redditor whitecheeks-24 asked:
What's your sad love story?
Death never comes at the right time.
A Difficult Decision
"The love of my life and soulmate who I was married to for 20 years and together for 24 passed away about 8 months ago. I feel alone and empty inside. I have nobody to love or to love me. My life is an empty waste of space now."
"I took her off of life support because I know that's what she wanted and I had to respect her wishes but I sometimes wish I was a little more greedy. I just want my doll face back."
"I am so sorry. I had to do the same thing with my love, married 40 years. It's been 28 months and I'm sinking deeper into despair. We had so many plans, did everything together, and I am honestly lost without him. I send you warmest regards."
The Shy Admirer
"I was a shy teenager, in love with a cute neighbor. His sister and my mom were friends. He died in a car accident. Nobody knew how I felt about him. I overheard his sister tell my mom that he was in love with me. We never got to share our feelings with each other."
"I think a guy I found on match.com died but I have no way of knowing. We had only been dating for 2 or 3 months and we were taking things slow. Then he got sick..tumors in his back and he needed surgery. We still hung out but he was in a lot of pain."
"At the time I was frustrated because I felt he was pushing me away. I just adored him and he was sending mixed messages. Now looking back.. I'm thinking he was just trying to survive. He went in for surgery and I never heard from him again. I didn't know his family and he didn't have social media."
"My mom would check the obituaries in the paper for me and I just always wondered. I hope he didn't know how to end things and just felt this was easier. It's been 5 years and I have a family of my own now but Michael..I hope you're okay."
It's hard for these Redditors to accept the fact their love was never meant to be.
Long Distance Fizzle
"I had to leave my first boyfriend behind because I moved out of state and didn't even get to say goodbye because I didn't know we were moving when I left. We left to see my aunt who had been traveling and was diagnosis with brain cancer in another state, she was too sick to travel home so they rented a house and stayed there essentially until she passed away."
"My mom liked the area better than my hometown tho so we ended up staying, our stuff was shipped to us so I never got to say goodbye to my boyfriend in person."
"We kept in contact for a couple years but being 16 and 18, it wasn't easy for me to just pack up and head back to move in somewhere with him. We both knew we weren't ready for that so we tried our best to keep the long distance romance going."
"Eventually he messaged me one day and told me that he can't do it anymore and he didn't want to hear from me again because he couldn't handle it."
"When I was in my early 20s, I've had a love at first sight experience. It completely broke me. He actually was into me too, but not in love like I was."
"I had never had a boyfriend before and I got so excited, I came in like a wrecking ball to cite a great poet. Long story short, I scared him off, he broke up, I couldn't get him out of my head and couldn't imagine a world without him, so I tried to kill myself."
"Though let me reassure you all, it's been years and I'm over him (as long as I don't see him IRL, I just know that I'd fall back in the spiral), I even had a long-term relationship after him."
Tough Reality Check
"I got left out of a 5 year relationship. I got injured, lost my job, and had to go take care of my dying mom. I was not in a good way. I come back from the ER and she calls our entire relationship off because I was not 'passionate' any longer. Right."
"My entire life fell apart. Lost the house we had gone in on. Lost the dog we had gotten together. And I lost my girl. She was my bestfriend, my first love."
"Huge reality check but at least I'm only 22. I'm glad I saw her true colors when things went bad. Easy to stand by someone when times are good. Saddest part is I would take her back in an instant. I lost a piece of my soul with her."
Some of the biggest heartbreaks come when someone shows their true colors.
"FOUND OUT MY BOYFRIEND WAS MARRIED WITH KIDS ON THE INTERNET. I was happy and in love for two years. One day while doing my research for a client work, I come across a research paper. The research paper matched what I was looking for, scrolling through it, I realized the owner had some names as my boyfriend."
"But this time he acknowledges his wife and two children for being patient with him as he was busy doing the thesis. I got curious, I took a screenshot and sent him a picture and asked if it's his paper."
"Also, I asked if it's true that he has two kids and a wife and he why didn't tell me. He answered 'DOES IT MATTER '. That was the end of my relationship. Never talked about it, never told any soul what happened."
"I finally got with my best friend and soul mate. He knows more about me then anyone and knows what I've been put thru my whole life. When we first got together he promised he would never do anything to me that others have."
"One year later he cheated, lied and and broke my spirit. Something i never thought was possible with me, yet he accomplished it. It's been a year since i left him and he still tries to get back into my life. The sad part is I know he doesn't love me and I can't stop loving him."
"After four years of supporting my lover through his depression and alcoholism, he announced tonight that he is leaving me. I'm pretty depressed."
A Devious Scheme
"Wife moves our small family across the country for a promotion at her company. When we arrive and settle into our house, she leaves me for her boss."
"The move was a scheme for her boss to leave his wife and kids, and for her to leave me, while being able to be close to all their children. So I unknowingly left my career, family and friends behind to move to a state where I don't know anyone so she could be with her new guy."
Unexpected tragedy will always be, to me, the saddest break up story.
A co-worker of mine used to date a young man who was a patron at the store where we both worked.
Their budding romance was new and exciting and absolutely adorable to watch.
He told me he planned to propose to her before he went away on a family vacation, but sadly, my friend never got the proposal. The guy drowned in a horrible boating accident during his trip.
Although my friend is now happily married with two kids, I wonder if she still thinks about him.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
On the outside, so many professions and careers look glamorous, financially enticing, and fun.
Often we sit back in our own lives and wallow in our dead-end jobs with that "wish I could do that for a living mentality!"
But if you look a little closer or, much like Dorothy Gale in OZ, just wait for a Toto to push the curtain back, you'll see that a lot more is going on behind the scenes.
And the shenanigans we don't see, make all that fun... evaporate.
So many careers and high power industries are built on a foundation of lies, backstabbing, and stress. And not in that fun "Dynasty" way.
That quiet, dead-end gig may not be so bad after all.
Redditor MethodicallyDeep wanted hear all the tea about certain careers, by asking:
What is a secret in your industry that should be talked about?
I swear if every single person was forced to work in the hospitality industry for at least one month in their life, y'all would be beside yourselves. The amount of craziness and laziness could keep you eating at home for every meal until death.
Play Bigmartin scorsese casino GIFGiphy
"Casino dealers really do want the players to win. We don't work for the house. We get paid crap hourly rates and rely on tips. Unless the player is super nice they only to tip if they win so we really do want you to win." ~ thedevilsgame
Not the Good Stuff...
"That you can take a gallon of paint and give it a different label, price point, and warranty depending on the store it is sold in." ~ big_d_usernametaken
"My professor told me the same thing. He was a job coach and erased the due dates on food products with I believe acetone or some product in nail polish remover."
"Would slap a new date on it, and the food would get shipped to poorer neighborhoods. That crap blew my mind." ~ Additional_Bar_2013
"Oh crap, I may actually go to jail."
"That if everyone being charged with a crime insisted on it going to trial, no plea bargaining, the system would crash." ~ mikenyle
"When I was a juror, the judge also commented before everything started that trial by jury is the only thing causing people to plea bargain and "getting the system moving."
"Many trials sit in limbo for years, and it's only the threat of "Oh crap, I may actually go to jail."
"That really negotiations start. That's exactly what happened in my case - jurors got selected, and that afternoon (after being 2 years in the system), the defendant pleads out." ~ zealeus
"Safety. It's not really about your health and well being. It's about saving the company money from medical expenses, lost time, lawyer costs, etc. Very rarely does your company actually give 2 craps about you, no matter how much they preach safety, they just don't want to pay if you get hurt/killed." ~ WhenThePiecesFit
"pen to paper"New Girl I Give Up GIFGiphy
"TV/screenwriter here. If you're established and well connected, it's very easy to coast and be a TV writer for YEARS and do very little actual writing. Most of TV writing is just talking in a room with other writers spitballing."
"This is why there's so many old, unfunny dudes still "writing" on TV shows. They're hired by their friends and in TV, a lot writers don't actually do much "pen to paper" writing. Plus everything gets rewritten to death." ~ GardenChic
So much mess. Someone hire me to write for TV. Why are you just giving away jobs to unqualified people? Life is so unfair. This list makes me mad. Let's continue...
Carbon Copiesmail GIF by RabbidsGiphy
"I work in the print industry, we print cheques for companies and there is so little security involved in hiring, or keeping the materials secure, or running the actual work, or shipping the work to customers. I'm shocked we haven't had a problem with stolen cheques." ~ Jeff_Cunningham
"Advertising. I keep reading that advertising is leading people to be more woke, or multicultural. Companies don't lead, they follow. They do lots of research and know where the future markets are."
"I worked for a very conservative global brand. 5 years before gay marriage became legal, they told us it would happen and we needed to start targeting the LBGTQ community." ~ leftside72
"Visa agent and I've seen people be refused because the manager didn't like their face." ~ Ok_Albatross9395
"Omg this happened to my sister. She couldn't start her semester in time because she kept being refused a visa even though she fulfilled all conditions."
"Finally my parents found a "connection" in embassy to see what's going on; turns out someone just didn't like her when she came to give her papers the first time. I never knew if I can fully believe that story." ~ animal7239
So much typing...
"I'm a writer, among other things. I used to ghostwrite. You'd be amazed how many popular books are partly or fully ghostwritten. I specialised in taking people's crappy first drafts and rewriting them so they were actually good. Not "good" according to people's taste, which is subjective."
"But objectively better in the sense of being properly spelled, not having gaping plot holes, making sure characters were consistent. By the time I was done there was often very little left of the draft the "writer" had created, but there was a marketable product."
"Pisses me off no end when I see all the bull the publishing industry comes out with about how writers submitting a manuscript must make sure it's perfect because only excellence will get you anywhere."
"I don't know how they can say that and still sleep at night, knowing full well that they're hiring people like me to do large-scale rewrites (or to take a half-baked plot and create a draft from scratch)." ~ iwillckingbiteyou
ThievesJoseline Hernandez Facepalm GIFGiphy
"I work in payroll. The number of payroll reports I see where people are conned out of their overtime is saddening."
"Also, taxes paid by a business shouldn't actively dissuade them from paying employees less. The system shouldn't be based on paying a percentage of employee salary in taxes (FICA, Workers Comp), in other words." ~ ThongofSekhmet
I think some investigations need to be launched. I always knew payroll departments were running a scam. Too many people are being ripped off. Time to expose some people.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.