From a mother not believing in her child's education and achievements to struggling with self-worth because of father's harmful words, people share the awful thing their parents said to them as a child that still messes with their head today.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
This mother’s terrible wish for her daughter
When I was 14, my dad invited me over to spend a month with him and his other family in London. My mom didn’t want me to go and when she realized she didn’t really have a say, she told me I could go but that she hoped I died while I was over there. Twenty years later, I still can’t fathom how or why that phrase would ever come out of anyone’s mouth, let alone from a mother directed at her daughter.
No more singing
I used to love singing. One day I was singing near my mom and she said. “Sing for real, no really. Sing for real.” She thought I was just making noise but I really was trying to sing.
Ever since that day I can’t sing out loud even when I’m alone. I get too embarrassed. The ironic thing is she’s always singing in public and she’s just loud and tone deaf. Maybe that’s what I sounded like to her.
When trying to be nice …
When I was a kid (probably 10 – 11 years old) I was watching cartoons with my dad. When a commercial break happened, I went downstairs, microwaved and cut some sausages and got some crackers as a snack for both of us. When I sat and offered the snacks he said, “Couldn’t you put some mustard or something else in there you imbecile?” After that, I just went to my room to cry and after 2 decades it still hurts, more so because I was just being nice and that came out of nowhere.
Don’t break anything!
My mother used to be paranoid about me breaking stuff in stores. I’m in my 40s now, and every time I am around breakables I can still hear her voice telling me to watch where I’m going and keep my hands to myself. (For the record, I’ve never broken anything while out shopping – it’s just something my mother fixated on.)
What a terrible mother!
October 12th, 2011. I was about to be taken to the hospital as a suicide risk. I was 15. I was crying on the couch while I waited for my stepdad to get home so we could all go together when my mom collapses, screaming on to the stairs.
Her exact words were, “Am I the problem? Do you hate me? Does everyone hate me? I must make everyone’s lives so miserable if you want to act like this, maybe I should just kill myself instead because obviously I’m the problem! Would that make you feel better?”
I’m 21 and it still messed with my head all the time.
This shocking remark
When I was 11 years old, I lived in a pretty small house. The easiest way to get from my bedroom to the kitchen was to go through the pantry. I was simply walking through to get to the fridge one night to get a glass of iced tea.
This particular night, my dad happened to be pretty drunk and watched me come out of the pantry. Within earshot of the rest of my family (due to the aforementioned size of the house), he yelled at me, “I knew you’ve been sneaking food! No wonder you’re so fat!”
Two main things:
Said my mother was the ugliest person he knew – I’m basically a younger dark blond haired version of her. (Late teens)
(About 13/14) That he didn’t believe I could be loved for me, that every man would either be out for sex or money and would eventually cheat. 23 now and in a relationship with a really good guy and the entire conversation I had with my dad that morning still messes with me.
And more but I’ve already given two and that’s one too many.
Struggles with self-hatred
That my thoughts and opinions don’t mean anything to anyone because I’m not a person, courtesy of my garbage father. My mother also reinforced this idea, though more with her actions as she didn’t verbalize it quite as concisely as my father. No, he would regularly say “you’re not a person” verbatim. I still struggle with some serious self-hatred to this day and feeling like I have no identity — like everyone else matters far more than me and I’m just an NPC in the background.
The father that doesn’t value his child
“Can I help you?”
“You can help by watching.”
Six-year-old me almost started crying and I vowed to never ask my father if I could help him ever again. I know now that he was actually trying to be nice, but he is/was a terrible father. Something about that moment solidified in my mind that he didn’t value me as his daughter or as a female.
Nanna’s harmful words
When I was about 12 years old I was swimming in the pool and I was chilling in the floaty and my Nanna yells loudly “WHAT IS THAT?” and I’m like “what?” she yells “THAT!” and I’m freaking out thinking a spider or something my family are all looking over and than she points to my stomach and goes “THOSE ROLLS! YOU’VE GOTTEN REALLY BIG!” my brother starts cracking up and I just remember thinking ouch that really hurts and I’ve felt SELF-conscious ever since. I love my Nanna and I’m sure she didn’t mean to hurt me but it did. I’ve got other stories from growing up things my dad has said but it hurts to much to put into writing and we are actually really close and have a loving relationship now. I think he just says messed up stuff sometimes cause he loses his temper.
No putting up with this selfish mother
Worse than it seems:
My mother basically drummed it into me from a young age that I had to love members of my family, no matter what, simply because we were related. She’s a really selfish woman and seemed to use the phrase “I love my kids” as something to excuse her terrible behavior towards us.
Sadly, she’s now got one childless (my brother passed away) and the ones she does have doesn’t really like her enough to bother with her. It’s sad, but she’s going to die a lonely old woman, I feel. You can see how that runs through her head too. She constantly ‘jokes’ about living with one of us when she’s old. I still live at home, but don’t think I’ll be there in a year’s time (just graduated so next payday = leave day) and that’ll be the last of her kids leaving. The other two siblings have families, and she knows I wouldn’t put up with her crap or have her anywhere near me.
Worthy hands to this grandma
One that I still think about is my grandma (young grandma in her mid to late 40s at the time) talking to her four female grandchildren about if she could design her younger self with certain parts of us,
“I’d have the body of X, the face of Z, the hair and lips of Y, and I’d have your hands [my name].”
Like, cool, only my hands have any worth.
Constant terrified of trying new things
Not believing in me, making me feel flighty, despite graduating 4th in my class. My mom would always call me names, and put me down if I wanted to try anything.
Even driving! I finally got my beginners license this past Friday. I’m 35 and still terrified because apparently I shouldn’t be trusted behind the wheel.
Blaming others for the death of grandma
No more sharing personal accomplishments with parents
I was about eight or nine, and had just beat Twisted Metal 3 for the first time (that game was hard for me). Went to excitedly tell my dad, and his response was:
“Okay, but does that really even matter? It’s just a game.”
I don’t know if he was just having a terrible day or what, but it kind of hurt. From that point on I pretty much refused to share personal accomplishments with my parents, and still do to this day. Like I said, I know it’s silly, but it just affected me so much.
Controlling your own destiny
I was punished for defending myself from physical assault in school. They told me that I was supposed to “turn the other cheek” and just suffer the assault.
It instantly taught me that my parents wouldn’t protect me if needed.
I never took their advice and learned that overwhelming force always gets the message across effectively if someone is bullying or victimizing someone else.
In the balance, it was likely a good early eye-opener that only I control my own destiny.
In the heat of the moment
My mother says a lot of very mean things in the heat of the moment. But a few years ago I was in a really bad place career-wise, unemployed and not sure what my next step would be.
We then had a disagreement that stemmed from her wanting to tell me what to do with my life, despite having never lived in the country I lived in at the time and just not knowing what the reality of my life was. In the midst of the argument and the heat of the moment she shouted “Everyone else has moved on. You are the only one who is stagnating!” because I wanted to talk about something she did in the past that I wasn’t getting over without addressing. By everyone else she meant my siblings, and what I was talking about was a lot of physical and emotional abuse. I have never forgotten that. Especially since I had just started opening up to her about my frustrations with not being able to find a job in my field.
She will also never get another chance to know me as intimately as she did back then.
Education is key!
When I announced I was going back to school in my early 20’s my mum laughed out loud and told me I’d never succeed.
My dad then sat me down and told me to get these fancy ideas of going back to school out of my head. I had my chance at secondary school he said since I failed, I should just be content working in a supermarket for the rest of my life.
I got the last laugh with a First at Uni years later and a career.
This totally miserable aunt
My aunt (dad’s sister) had a very strained relationship with my mom. They lived in 2 different states when they divorced so I would stay with my dad in the summer and sometimes my aunt would watch me. I think she took her resentment towards my mom and hurled it at me. I remember being single digit aged. I forget what I did or said but she turned around and told me I was a money hungry person, just like my mom. It never affected me emotionally or anything, just showed how miserable my aunt was.
No family bond
When I was nine years old, my mom was overseas, so I lived only with my dad for a year. That was also the first year that my dad picked me from school. He was always late but one day me and my teacher waited for my dad for more than 2 hours and his answer to my teacher scolding was: “So what?”
It may feel like nothing, but it made think a lot back then when I was just kid. Personally, I do not believe in the strength or special relations between people in a family. We are just people who live together.
Battling an eating disorder
My mom used to say “If you can pinch an inch” in passing sometimes. She’s tall, and when she was young, she was very thin. I’m short and stocky because of my dad’s genes (he’s a 5’2″ former wrestler). Guess who’s going on 5 years battling a pretty all-consuming (no pun intended) eating disorder? ME!
A girl’s love for video games
My brother got a PSP for Christmas and I didn’t get anything remotely as awesome (I’m going to assume because I’m a girl – girls don’t play video games, my family can be pretty sexist), so I went out and bought one with my own money because I also loved video games and wanted one. When I got home my step-mom called me all sorts of terrible names. I was 13. I still don’t understand why she said that and it really hurt my feelings.
I was an illegitimate child and adopted by my birth mother’s sister, who died a few years later. We were raised by my maternal grandmother, who, I swear, every day of my life growing up, told me “You’re no good. You’re never going to amount to anything.” Her favorite name for me was “You little snot.” It took me years and years, including four years with a very good therapist, to finally find some self-worth. I knew I was very intelligent and talented, but didn’t know how to express it. It took me years, and the extreme patience of a devoted lover, to make me realize I really was worth loving, and even more important, taught me HOW to love. Over time, I became one of the top four in the USA in my profession and one day I realized, like a bolt from the blue, “That old lady was completely evil and couldn’t have been more wrong!!” It was a true epiphany and I felt like this huge and dark iron cave I had been living in just suddenly disappeared. I was 40 years old when that happened.
This annoying and over-reacting mother
My mom is the type that needs every little detail explained in a way she can understand and if she doesn’t get it the first time she’ll go ” ~HUH~ ?” Really loud or “WHAT?” In the same manner. It’s lead to me talking too much when trying to explain even the simplest of things and makes it hard for me to have casual??????? conversation. She also doesn’t trust me and just looks for a reason to give me crap about something. I think it makes things worse because I never give her anything to yell at me about so she’s resorted to just overreacting about the smallest of things.
This bicycle’s life
When I was young, like 10, I was messing around with my dad’s bicycle, which was older than me and had 2 flat tires (generally not in the best condition). Just trying to ride it, even though it was too big. He found me, scolded me, and told me “This bicycle is worth more than your life.”
Otherwise, he’s been a great dad, but I’ll never forget that.
Developing body image problems
When I was 12 my mom told me that I had to learn to suck in my stomach. She said that it looks really ugly when girls stomach isn’t flat, she said I needed to learn how ladies need to be. Before then I had never given a second thought to how my body looked. I started to throw up after every meal. That went on for a few months until I saw a show about the dangers of bulimia, I stopped right away. But what she said still messed with me. I’ve had a problem with my body and weight my whole life. I’m currently 25 lbs overweight and feel miserable. All I want is to reach my ideal weight for my 30th birthday in December but I don’t see that happening. It might not be as bad as others but that really messed with my head.
Choosing someone else over their own child
When I had finally become scared enough of the escalation in what was happening to me, and where it would lead, I told my mother the things my stepfather was doing to me.
She asked me why I was trying to ruin her marriage.
I don’t think that will ever stop messing with me, there’s just not enough therapy out there to get over a mother choosing a pedophile over their own flesh and blood child.
Society just preaches that narrative, “a mother’s love” over and over from the earliest of childhood movies.
And then you realize it’s all a lie.
A mother who can’t love
When I was a young teen (14?) I noticed that my mom never told me she loved me. I started playing this game where I’d call her from wherever I was, like at a friend’s after school, and at the end of the conversation, I’d say I loved her to try to “trick” her into saying it back. She’d have none of it and hang up.
When I eventually asked her why she never told me she loved me, she said, “I just can’t.” I stopped trying and it was a real moment of clarity in our relationship for me.
As an adult, I finally cut her out of my life and that’s been that.
Being called lazy when having a learning disorder
Being told I don’t have a learning disorder, I’m just lazy. I am dyslexic, it effects my spelling, anything to do with numbers, my ability to see angles, and I am practically face blind. I also have ADD but because I was wild like her friend’s kid who had ADHD I didn’t have that either.
My mom thought I would use my disorder as a crutch so she just screamed at me that I was stupid and lazy instead.
She has since denied ever knowing that I was in special-ed. According to her she knew I had to go to the resource room because I didn’t do my projects right, and I was supposed to have extra homework, (but she never did the homework work me because it’s not like I ever did homework anyway.) but she had no idea that any of it was because I was in special needs classes.
She would take any good marks I had and use them as proof that I was lazy “you got a B in social studies… Where is your B in math? You just need to apply yourself to everything.”… Or “85% I thought you said you were good at this… Where is the other 15%?”
Then when I was diagnosed as bi-polar she decided that I wasn’t bipolar, I just “really feel my feelings” and ours, not a disorder “because I’ve always been like that”… That is pretty much the definition of the bi-polar disorder.
Note: Comments have been edited for clarity.