People Who've Aged Out Of The Foster System Without Being Adopted Explain What They Wish Prospective Parents Knew
The foster system, while unfortunately necessary, is inherently broken. It results in traumatized kids and several groups of families who ultimately "use" the system for their own gain.
Sometimes foster care ends in adoption and a loving match, but sometimes all it ends in is pain and the need for more therapy. Though folks with good intentions can be found, it takes a special kind of person to be able to sink themselves into the constant love and difficulty that comes with fostering kids.
Here were some of those answers.
Sometimes it's better to age out of the system since the state will pay for your schooling until 23 and medical until 26 (look into your own state laws).
You can always formally adopt later, but if you do so before, there will be loads of legal hoops to jump through due to how the system is run.
Aside from this, allow them to be kids. Teach them things like finance and get them a way to build credit, also how to apply for loans and work with investments (both financial and also goods).
Love Them First
I know that this doesn't answer the question... Foster dad here. My sister adored a few kids and had a hard time. Someone gave her the following terrible Advice. "you don't have to love them, you just have to tolerate them". Terrible advice that my sister lived by.
I live by a much different philosophy. I try to treat our foster kids the same as my own. That being said, I understand that they have many life experiences that I have not had and probably can't comprehend.
I try to give them a little more space and patience. At the same time we try to provide some structure and make sure the understand expectations. They get the same amount of emotional support our kids get and as much physical love as they'll tolerate.
We're also in the process of adopting a little boy. He's lived with us since the summer. He's slowly transitioned from calling us by our first names to mom and dad. The other day he even said "love you" as he left to play with some friends. First time, we were a little shocked.
Assume The Best
Don't treat your adoptive kid(s) differently than your real kid(s), foster kids are not always abused so try not to assume the worst, be willing to be patient with your family member(s) while they navigate their new situation.
To Build Trust
I was a temporary ward but hopefully it's okay to comment.
One piece of advice that I'd like to give to prospective parents is to not badmouth the child's biological parents. It's of no benefit for a child to hear an adoptive or foster parent going on about your parent's issues like addictions or not showing up for court or visits.
It doesn't help your self esteem when you hear negative things about them. When people did that I almost instantly disliked them for doing that so I never trusted them. It also made me feel like they were using my sad story to make themselves look like heroes and it annoyed me.
A System For Comfort
I ended up with a bonus teen in February of 2020. My son's gf needed a place to stay and her family life was rough at the time. She has lived with us since then and while she talks about moving out at 18 in 6 months, I tell her she doesn't have to move out so quick. I didn't get financial compensation for having her (never my intention) but it did make things tight as a single mom.
It has been awesome watching her blossom here. Christmas was interesting as she shared her past experiences. She worked part time to be able to give her huge extended siblings gifts. It is prepping me for foster work after both kids move out later.
The other thing that started happening as she got used to me, was she asked me where I was going and when I would be home. My son didn't do that and he also stays at his dads part time. I learned it was trauma she had as a young child with bio mom abandoning her with younger sibs and being put in bad situations. So now I make sure she knows my schedule.
I try to treat her as my child. She adds stuff to the food list, and gets shopping trips to get shoes, underwear, makeup, hair stuff- she is biracial so her hair is different than mine and needs different products. Over the years, kids have always been welcome to stay for a little while to a long while.
Kicking kids out of foster care at 18 with no safety net is immoral.
The Kids Are The Best Parts
Not 100% sure about whether I can reply - I'm a foster parent for a few kids who have aged out. In general, the advice I'd offer other parents is what folks have already suggested - treat them no differently, don't assume the worst, assume good intentions, etc.
What I would offer to other parents that might be different, would be a few things
- how important different foundational assumptions are. Don't assume kids know how to deal with time or schedules. Assume kids have food security issues. Don't assume they have any idea how to safely navigate the internet. Etc
- TALK to the kids. Just talk to them and ask them what they want. And, ya know, execute against what they want.
- The system is often harder than the kids. Protect the kids against the system itself.
Slow And Steady
Treat your foster kids as more or less equals who you are letting live in your house at first. Go slow. They are going to believe you're only in it for the money and not trust you. Giving them chores or too many restrictions are going to make them really stressed and annoyed. Find a way to connect with them. Play a board game or take them out for lunch. Talk to them like they are your friend. Eventually over time if you do things right they'll come to see you as a parental figure and not a warden or stranger. Hopefully someday they'll see you AS their parent. Just take it slow. Okay?
Skills Need To Be Taught
I wish people would understand just how developmentally delayed some of us are. Between severe adhd and years of horrible abuse and neglect, I was nowhere near the level of life skills that caregivers would expect of me, and it led to so much added stress and trauma.
Knowing you're going to age out on your own is so much added pressure, and it feels like people just expect us to be able to rise to the challenge even more so than our peers outside care, despite having none of the tools or support they do. It's really f**king hard.
I'm not a foster kid or former foster kid. But I'm a therapist for teen girls in group homes who mostly end up aging out. It sucks. We need more foster homes willing to take teens. The system is broken and it perpetuates a sense of hopelessness for anyone who actually gives a damn.
Also, most of these kids have been in for YEARS bouncing from home to home. Stop giving notices so easily. Ask the social worker for help, get in family therapy, figure out what the kid likes and support them doing that thing. They aren't some thing you picked up at the store and you can return because they cuss or yell sometimes. Even if they smoke or "are disrepectful" they deserve to be kids and have a safe and stable environment.
Just my opinion.
That moving from home to home transporting your stuff in trash bags and getting a new mom and dad all the time is exhausting and causes trust issues.
No, we don't believe you love us (because we've been moved out of previous homes), no we don't trust you (again, it's not you, it's what we've been through) and that we probably have anxiety disorder which manifests itself differently in everyone (with common themes- jumping at loud noises, tapping our foot, etc.).
We might be quiet, we might talk too much because we are accidentally overcompensating. We don't know who we are because our entire existence has turned into a coping mechanism. Coming out of this will take time.
Edit: also if you foster us for years and never adopt, we assume you are doing it for the money and badge of being a "good person."
I aged out at 21 because I was a full time student. My mothers rights were never terminated so I wasn't able to be adopted. My advise is don't give up on them and just because we age out doesn't mean we don't need you anymore. At the ages of 18 or 21 we are still basically kids.
If you do plan on severing ties after they age out at least teach them about money management, savings and building credit, family planning, resume writing, interviewing skills and make sure they have at least one good set of interview clothes. Those are just a few things that immediately come to mind for me.
I wish that my foster parents would know that I didn't mean to be so feral. I wasn't removed from my bio family until I was 12. I had a hard time unlearning my survival skills or figuring out which ones to keep. For the most part, I enjoyed most of my foster homes. At 17 I was placed with a family that is still my family.
It's really hard for a child to reconcile losing their whole world. I lost all my pets, my friends, and oh yeah- my siblings and parents. Being separated from my siblings caused damage to those relationships that has still yet to be repaired 20 some years later. I still mourn that loss. There is no one alive today who has known me my whole life. Not one single person, and I am young. I don't know how to explain how that feels. Not lonely, but unseen maybe?
Being split up from my siblings permanently affected our relationships with each other. We have no animosity towards each other but we are like polite strangers. Visiting with each other was always awkward instead of being able to just hang out naturally. My older brother and I went to live with our dad when I was 13 but I never got to live with my younger siblings once we were split up.
We all live in different parts of the country now and go years between seeing each other in person. I think we all limit how much we interact today because it feels awkward. My brother passed away in October and for about 4 weeks, we were all in touch and I was thinking, "Maybe we will start having more of a relationship with each other". And then the communication just died off again and none of us bother.
You know, I've seen countless "no texting while driving campaigns" and I agree with the premise. I think it is dangerous not to have your eyes on the road. That's how accidents happen. With that said, don't car manufacturers think it's counterintuitive to include touchscreens instead of knobs or dials in new cars these days? You have to take your eyes off the road to adjust anything. I think it's hazardous, especially if you happen to be driving in inclement weather.
After Redditor TheTenthDimension asked the online community, "What's your best example of 'Whoever designed this must not use their own product'?" people shared some suggestions.
"I've personally worked on projects..."<p>Here's a fun one. We just installed a bunch of new Kronos badge readers at work. The type you swipe your ID card to clock in and out. Everyone at work wears a lanyard that is attached at the top middle by a plastic strap, and your badge must always be displayed while at work.</p><p>Anyway when you go to swipe your badge in the new reader the card reader slot is too deep because the lanyard attachment on your badge hits the slot and prevents you from fully swiping your ID so you have to take your ID fully off the lanyard to get it to swipe now.</p><p>I've personally worked on projects at the Kronos headquarters, when I saw this design flaw I was not surprised one bit, between that and the usability of their web portals it seemed pretty par for the course for Kronos.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqn3t0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Brancher</a></p>
"I have a fan..."<p>I have a fan with a bright LED light that shows what setting it's on. Luckily, there's a 'sleep' mode that makes the light dimmer. Except another light comes on to let you know sleep mode is on, and that one is at full brightness. Just... why?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqpcsw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ArtemisJQ</a></p>
"Engineers must have forgotten..."<p>All TVs without at least the basic controls on the TV. Engineers must have forgotten the possibility of breaking or losing the remote.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqi1tq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">willbeach8890</a></p>
"Straps can stretch out..."<p>BRAS.</p><p>Straps can stretch out during a long day's wear. Whose brilliant idea was it to put the adjusters in the <span style="background-color: initial;">back</span> where you can't see or reach them?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqlzt3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aphid61</a></p>
"For someone who has a really hard time..."<p>The system to get help with mental health, like anxiety and depression. For someone who has a really hard time with making phone calls, it's tough to get help when every step requires more phone calls and appointments. Not to mention how expensive counseling is.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqsuv0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Ipomoeatricolor</a></p>
"To make matters worse..."<p><span>We got these new pin pads where I work and the slide part for the credit cards is at a 45-degree angle instead of completely sideways or completely up and down. To make matters worse a light illuminates the slide area, but when you're looking at it from the perspective of the customer it makes it look like there's nowhere to slide the card at all due to where the angle of the light hits. I've seen people struggle for thirty seconds trying to find where to slide their cards before I have to show them. Unfortunately, there are some functions where a customer has to slide their card and not insert the chip. The cherry on top is that these pin pads do not have tap to pay or Apple/Samsung pay functionality...</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqjbqf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Grand_Corgi</a></p>
"Bathrooms in brand new..."<p>Bathrooms in brand new (and fairly expensive) homes seem to be designed for women by men who have no idea what the majority of women (and some men) really need.</p><ol><li>nice vanities but no real storage.</li><li>walk-in closets that you access through the bathroom, so if one of you is using the toilet, you either walk in on them or wait until they're finished before you can get to the closet.</li><li>beautiful walk-in showers with completely inadequate space for shampoo and etc</li><li>beautiful walk-in showers with nowhere to put your foot when you shave.</li></ol><p><span>Not about the bathroom, but in those walk-in closets, nothing configured for dresses or long coats.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjrm865?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">product52403</a></p>
"The volume control..."<p>The volume control on a car radio should always be a twist knob, not a slider on a screen. There's no way to use a slider without taking your eyes off the road.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjrik9s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">picksandchooses</a></p>
"I can't think of anything more infurating..."<p>McGraw-Hill products.</p><p>I can't think of anything more infuriating and less educational. My teachers use them for absolutely everything.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqsj9w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SuckMyClock</a></p>
"I once stayed..."<p>I once stayed in a "trendy" "designer" hotel which was clearly designed by someone who had never stayed in a hotel. The only lights were dim as hell mood lighting, and the windows were floor-to-ceiling with blackout blinds but no net curtains, so if you needed to see anything clearly then your only option was to have zero privacy. Never staying there again!</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqf041?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">inflatablefish</a></p>
If only all the things we excelled at were also the very things we loved to do most. But sadly, that is not the way it goes.
Instead, some horrible force of the universe made you way better at, say, sewing the holes of pants than playing guitar. The universe can be a spiteful, fickle jerk.
Art, Forced Upon<p>"Not me but - my friend has taken piano lessons since he was 6 years old and is f***ing amazing at it. But it was much more of a 'parents with high expectations forcing him to take lessons' sort of deal."</p><p>"He hates playing the piano, which is really sad...and his parents kind of suck"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6kydd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SnooMarzipans9028</a></p>
Conditions for Very Good Work Ethic<p>"Cleaning. I f***ing hate it, so when I do it, I make sure not even the smallest stain is left so I can postpone the next session as long as possible." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6mfa5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">avadakabi***</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I have a weird quirk where, when I get sick, I have a compulsion to clean. Its like my brain says 'you are already miserable, you may as well do stuff that you hate so you don't have to be made miserable later, when you are feeling better.'"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My wife has gotten to the point where she almost looks forward to me getting sick because she knows the house will be spotless by the end of the day." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6p160?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BranWafr</a></p>
The Introvert's Dilemma<p>"Being nice to people. I can be very pleasant if needed, but it's also very draining." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6ktfn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">nomadinlimbo</a><span></span></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"This is me as well! People are so surprised when I tell them that I identify as an introvert."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"People need to understand that being an introvert is not necessarily always about an inability to act naturally in groups, sometimes it's more about how hard that might be. When I've spent time in social situations I feel completely drained afterwards." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6yg6n?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DorneForPresident</a></p>
The Debate Goes On<p>"Coding. Never make your favorite hobby your job, kids!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6nv49?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mortambulist</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Too late. Turned my hobby into my college major and then into my job. Now I don't like doing it anymore lol." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7kqs5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SpecialChain</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Eh, or do. Often it works out. I held off going into tech precisely for that reason and did physics instead. Hated it and switched."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I enjoy my job, it happens." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7fs07?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ApprehensiveSand</a></p>
Can't Decide If Kafka Would Be Proud or Devastated<p>"Bureaucratic red tape type paper work. I guess I am just very good at filling out tons of forms and papers. Also sort of part of my job."</p><p>"I don't like it, but I am very good at it."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6m9x4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BigBearSD</a></p>
The Go-To Friend<p>"I am fantastic at moving furniture, either around the house, or from one home to another. I don't f*** up walls, and I can definitely get that bureau of yours through the doorway."</p><p>"But don't call me and ask me to help you move sh**, I'm busy that day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6ng58?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">InternetKidsAreMean</a></p>
Bad at Parties<p>"Being analytical. Life would be so much easier if I could turn my brain off and just have a knee jerk emotional reaction to everything like society expects right now."</p><p>"Pro tip: when asked about a current hot topic, 'I'm waiting for the whole story to come out' is not the correct answer."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj705jt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FuerGrisaOstDrauka</a></p>
Doomed to Phone Duty<p>"I'm good at customer service, helping people on the phone, etc. but those jobs are soul sucking black holes" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6r01i?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheRealOcsiban</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I so feel this. I've had a few customer service jobs, and I was very good at them but I f***ing HATE customers, entitled little sh**s, every last one of them, even the nice ones. Instead of picking up the phone or standing at the desk thinking 'how can I help?' I'd just be thinking 'WHAT do you want NOW?'"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"But I was good at it, and as I think it's due to me genuinely liking to listen to people's problems and help them (just not in a customer service setting) I decided to retrain as a Psychologist." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7pach?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Zhylia</a></p>
Hospitality Trumps Laziness, For a Night<p>"Cooking. I only cook for other people (I love throwing parties) but when I'm eating by myself it's takeout, ramen, and frozen meatballs all day. The idea of slaving over a stove for hours when I just want to grab a bowl of canned junk food and go back to watching youtube videos irritates me."</p><blockquote>Cook smarter, not harder<br></blockquote><p>"Still too much work."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6z7fl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ryeshoes</a></p>
The Logical End of the Game<p>"Monopoly, like freakishly good at it. I'll win every game. But people are going to hate me..." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6ohmr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sadpanda___</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My oldest son is like that. No one in the family will play with him anymore." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj753qh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">momtimesthree</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"This is the way. The trick to monopoly is to grind the other players into dust. Slowly. Brutishly. Inevitably."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Then you never have to play the wretched game again and as a bonus you've ruined the game for others. You must do your part to break the cycle of familial abuse that is monopoly." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7fjh3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">nefariousinnature</a></p>
In a perfect world, family has your back harder than anyone else.
In the real world, it can sometimes be your family that cuts deeper than anyone else. Intentional or not, the people closest to you have the ability to seriously super suck.
No, you're not the only one who has dealt with a mom who just, for the life of themselves, can't NOT be critical. Or a dad who just always seemed chronically underwhelmed by you.
Too Young To Have Problems<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUzMjM3Mi9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzU4OTQ4Nn0.IS0f7DOIDbguteBysLtbbRK28ICbWY8p6Q7DuQ0H_Yk/img.gif?width=980" id="09640" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0b52e8847e8a71ba3bd6f885e7e10ac0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="270" />sad carry on GIF by MasterChef JuniorGiphy<p>As a child (13) i was diagnosed with kidney cancer. </p><p>The news hit me pretty hard because, as a kid that had lost family to cancer, I knew how serious it was. My diagnosis threw me into horrid depression.</p><p>The mother of my step father (so step grandma) laughed at me when the news got to her because "You're too young to have problems so just get over it."</p><p>My mother was flabbergasted. She already hated the woman. Probably a factor in us cutting her completely out of our life once my step father passed - he had already been in the hospital for 2 years at that point and he hated watching the two of them (my mother and his mother) fight. </p><p>My mother sparred telling him for the sake of peace. He died without ever knowing what his mom said. </p><p>I'm still in and out of remission, currently doing good. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhlwlc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">metalicoe</a></p>
"Like You Ruined Mine"<p>When I (a married adult) told my father I was expecting a baby he said: </p><p>"Get an abortion, a kid will ruin your life, like you ruined mine." </p><p>Broke my heart. My kids are the two best things that have ever happened to me and my husband. </p><p>They are adults now and I cannot for the life of me ever understand how a parent could feel the way my father feels, much less understand why he would say such a vile thing. </p><p>It says more about him than me. His loss.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhmzb3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Veganmon</a></p>
Not The Call OP Was Expecting<p>Toxic childhood, my mother had no parenting skills. </p><p>When I was 15 she assaulted me pretty terribly for asking if she would buy groceries because I hadn't eaten in a few days. I moved out the next day and couch surfed for a long time. </p><p>After putting myself through university and getting an advanced honors degree, she called me... to tell me that I'm stuck up and think I'm better than my family.</p><p> I'm doing well now. I have a lovely wife who loves me, a good job even through the pandemic, and I haven't spoken to my family in a long time, which is for the best. </p><p>Still struggling through that for sure (guilt, anger, etc.), but doing alright with it.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhojy7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AwkwardCranberry7</a></p>
Too Ugly, Too Dark<p>My mom wouldn't ever let me go to parties with her and my dad when I was a kid. She brings my sister and little brother though because they have light skin (we're from Asia).</p><p>One day I dressed up and got ready because everyone else did. And then she asked me "Why are you getting ready?" and I asked why "Aren't we going to a party?". She stared at me and told me "No... you're too ugly" in our language.</p><p>I'm 21 now and our relationship has never been the same since. I aged well though thankfully but it still stings whenever I remember it.</p><p>I also remember our most recent fight - I was mad that my sister who graduated college more than 5 years ago now still gets allowance while I, still in school, with full units, with a full scholarship, am working for my own bills and allowance.</p><p>None of my siblings had to work while they're studying. Now she even gets my savings and gets mad at me whenever I ask for it back. </p><p>I know my life's sucky right now but after I'm done with school, I'm planning on going no-contact with everyone and will build my own life and hopefully find people who truly love me.<br></p><p><span></span>Sorry for the rant. It's nice to let out a little sometimes when I can.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhkl3l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">artmxs</a></p>
Not Exactly Worried About A Rapist's Review<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUzMjM3MC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTM2ODk0NX0.NMwYKi-EBJ9bpQ0GUjxSNKu3y9KRzGNdk4qeHWrC8H4/img.gif?width=980" id="afb3c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="67bb89c5864aed944e8e133953536cf1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="444" />cat illustration GIFGiphy<p>I'm a pale woman with dark body hair. My mother saw that I hadn't shaved my legs in a while and said: <br>"You need to shave that hair off, what happen if you get attacked and they rush you to emergency and the doctors have to see that hair?<br>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhunb9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">grindelvvald</a></p>
Beat Me Stupid<p>My dad told me if I didn't change my attitude my future husband would beat me stupid. </p><p>I'm actually married to a very smart and kind man. My father is, and always has been, a piece of sh*t. </p><p>Me always being strong was what made my father hate me even more. He was abusive and would hit us. So this was a common thing he would say to break me down.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhaawj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">postylowkeyokey</a></p>
Too Stupid, Naïve and Immature<p>When I was in middle school I applied for a college training type program. They help you apply, gain knowledge etc while you're still in school. </p><p>On the way to the interview my dad told me he was wasting his money, gas and time on something so ridiculous, because I was too stupid, naïve and immature to ever be accepted into this program, let alone graduate hs or make it to college.</p><p>I spent that entire ride bawling my eyes out, aced that interview, and had my first two years of college paid for. F*ck you dad.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhf1sq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">GothSpite</a></p>
What Do You Even Contribute?<p>I (23f) got a notice in the mail saying that my insurance company was lowering my rates on car and rental policies. I told my mom (53) and she said, "rental? What do you even contribute to the house?"</p><p>I'm 23 years old, I'm a medical biller and make a decent salary for someone who has two years experience but not enough to move out yet. When my dad passed away at age 49 from cancer five years ago, I helped my mom a lot by helping her settle my dad's will, help her make financial decisions, cook, clean, signed us up for medical insurance, help my older brother (26) with his and her taxes I also helped him apply for school financial aid. I was a teenager. </p><p>I took time off of work take care of her after two major surgeries because my brother didn't feel "comfortable". I would drive him to places too. We use to share a car and I paid for over $100 a month for gas and he would only give me $20. </p><p>I snapped at my mom because I know if I didn't step up my older brother wouldn't even do anything. I told her everything I did and still do for this family. I don't mind that they rely on me to help them but I'm not going to set myself on fire to keep them warm anymore. </p><p>My mom did apologize and she didn't realize how much I did for her and my older brother. I accept the apology but those words still sting my heart.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhl6qx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Calypos_Luna</a></p>
I Left For A Reason<p>I tracked down my estranged mother a couple years ago after she had been gone from my life since I was 5. When she figured out who I was, her response was: <br>"I don't have a daughter. I left for a reason." </p><p>Then she hung up the phone and I just stood there in my living room trying not to cry. It hurt, but I made it 34 years without her and I have every intention of continuing to do so.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhizb4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">feralhippie</a></p>
She Took My Hand And Said...<p>When I was 9 I adored my older sister (8 years older than me). I just wanted to be like her in every way. </p><p>One day I did something (probably an annoying little sister thing) and she took my hand, led me to my room and told me, "you don't understand how powerful the word hate is yet but you one day will and you should know I hate you. 100% hate you." </p><p>She said it so matter of factly and just walked out. It broke my heart. Changed me from that day forward.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhx4d9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KaEcold</a></p>
After Mom Died<p>After my mother died, my first cousin's wife told me that I was no longer a member of the family because I was adopted (as an infant, FYI) and the death of my mother severed my membership in the family. I was 41 when she said this to me.</p><p>For an adopted child—at least for me, fear of rejection is an early childhood trauma you can't escape. I had WONDERFUL adoptive parents. </p><p>When she said that to me I half expected them to rise from the grave to defend me. They loved me, I am secure in that. But the knowledge that she felt that way and nobody else shut her down still hurts.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhtkyn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CartoonistSpecific75</a></p>
Society is an odd conundrum when you attempt to wrap your head around it. This phenomena typically occurs whenever you witness a new trend or share experience and everyone seems to go along with it. Only much later, when you think about it with a bit of critical thinking, do you notice something might be off.
Going against society can be strained, difficult, like pulling back a sticker that's been on way too long, however sometimes it's necessary to get rid of what we probably shouldn't be so welcoming of.