"When I was about 14 years of age (almost a freshman in high school), I started researching where I wanted to go to college. My whole life I had always been an A+ student, very active in extracurriculars, and admired by my teachers for my inquisitive mind and love of learning.
My family and I were driving somewhere one day and I brought up the topic of college searches. Out of the blue, my mom said to me, 'You won't make it past community college.' This utterly broke my heart; I'm not sure how I reacted but I know I did not say much and just sort of internally processed her words. Take note: at that time, no one in my family had graduated from college.
Today, I am proud to say I am the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year university, and on top of that, I graduated with highest honors. I did it all while working 2-3 jobs at a time to support myself. Now in graduate school at the University of Southern California, I hold a very high GPA and am on my way to earning a Master's degree. My mother is now deceased and although I miss her at times, I often wonder if she remembered how much her words hurt and affected me. My own mother did not believe in me.
However, as I have matured I have realized that it was not me my mother did not believe in, but herself. She had many goals she wanted to accomplish in life that she never had the confidence to attempt. By trying to tell me what I could not do, in reality, she was trying to make herself feel better for the things she had not done. Moral of the story is, believe in yourself, and believe in your children."
"When I was at university, my girlfriend at the time was at a funeral on the other side of the country and she called me to break up with me out of nowhere. 'I met this really nice guy and we've gone back to his place. I'm just in the bathroom and I didn't want to cheat on you so I'm ending it.'
So she basically told me that she had met someone at the funeral she really liked and was about to make love with him, but didn't want to cheat on me so thought she would give me a good 30 seconds notice as she wasn't the kind of girl to cheat on her boyfriend.
Needless to say, having someone break your heart and the awareness that she was probably getting it on with someone else within five minutes of ending the phone call was not a happy feeling."
"It's a close one, but first place has to go to:
'If you weren't my kids, I'd want nothing to do with you!' and the runner-up would be, 'You're a skinny little witch worth nothing!' These were said by my dad and stepmother to my brother and me.
My stepmother was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive and tortured us for nine years. Eventually, the courts gave my mom majority custody. My dad said we weren't worth the effort of partial custody. He stayed with my terrible stepmother until I was 18. When I was graduating high school and invited him to the ceremony, he told me he was leaving her for someone else.
I thought I'd be happy if my dad ever left her, though I truly believed it would never happen. But it did happen, and I didn't feel the way I expected. I was surprised and almost a little disappointed. My father had chosen that horrible woman over us for so long, but now that there was another woman in the picture he decided to leave her.
I guess I'd hoped that he really felt like my evil stepmother was important to him; at least important enough to ditch his kids. It felt like we weren't enough for him to leave her, but the new woman was. My dad is a part of my life now, but our relationship will never be what it could have been if things had been different."
"The most hurtful thing ever said to me came from the mouth of my father six years ago in May. I worked for him and with him for my entire adult life, beginning at age 21 as a producer and later a co-host for a talk show at the radio network he founded. It was a dysfunctional and unbalanced life, but just how much so has only become apparent to me with the (inevitable) tragedy that followed.
At age 45, my husband and I had to leave our jobs of nearly a quarter century as the toxic situation with my dad escalated to an intolerable level. We had no choice. The most hurtful thing ever said to me came from my dad in one final phone conversation.
He was at work where he always was. I was trying to appeal to his heart, trying to break through the pride and hostility, and trying to reach the love I presumed was there underneath it all. He would have none of it. His last words to me were, 'I have to go. I have an important call to take.' Message: YOU are not important. He died one year ago. He refused to reconcile, even on his deathbed in the hospital."
"In 2012, we were living in a house in Virginia and my wife's health was declining rapidly. She couldn't do anything for herself and was ready to quit life because no doctors knew what was wrong. It turned out we had extremely high levels of toxic mold in the home and her immune system could not handle it. She was dying.
My wife's doctor ordered that she leave our house as quickly as possible, so my parents drove up from Georgia to pick her up while I got ready to follow. In Georgia, my mom said the following to my wife one night: 'I don't know what it is about you, but I just don't like you.'
My wife was instantly heartbroken and devastated, and of course called me bawling. My wife was there for love and support as her health recovered, but she went from one toxic environment to another.
That statement has changed my view of my mother completely. I was disappointed and completely disgusted, and to this day our relationship isn't the same, but she's totally oblivious to it. Someday I may forgive my mom, but I will never ever forget what she said."
"I was 14 and going through my puberty. One day I went to a street food store to pick up something for the dinner. The owner, who was a 40ish-year-old woman, asked me which dish I wanted. I told her I'd like the #1 combo.
She seemed confused and asked me, 'What?'
I repeated again, trying to sound louder and clearer, 'A combo, please!'
Once more, she asked me with a more grumpy voice, 'What did you say?'
I started feeling intimidated by her voice, so I chose to point my finger at the menu to tell her what I wanted. Finally, she understood and started preparing my food. However, as she handed me the dish, she told me with an annoyed voice, 'Use your fingers next time, your voice sounds just like a male duck. Loud and gross!' Luckily my voice deepened, but I'll never forget the comment that store owner made to me.'
"When I was born, my mother didn't have a job and my father was paid very little so they had lots of difficulties raising me. It was all stressful and my father started not coming home because of that when I was 4.
I used to wake up at midnight and find my mom crying in the kitchen. I couldn't understand why or how back then, but I knew there was something wrong. My younger sister was also born that year.
I realized that my father paid zero attention to either of us. I used to see my friends' relationships with their fathers and wonder what was wrong between me and mine. We never talked, never hugged, and he even scolded me when I was ill and refused to take me to the hospital so my mom had to take the bus. She kept telling us that our father loved us a lot, though. She said that he just didn't love her and it had nothing to do with me and my sister.
Years passed like this. One Sunday, my father decided to take us out. We were surprised but happy and had lots of fun. For the first time in my life, I saw what spending time with your father was supposed to be like. It might've been the happiest day of my life. But that night, I saw the message on his phone from a woman he added as 'My Berry.'
I read the messages and saw the one he had just sent. It said: 'I'm sorry I had to spend the whole day with my kids. You know, it meant a lot to them but it was nothing for me since you weren't here.'
He chose that woman over us and would prefer spending time with her instead. Now I'm 18 and it's been four years since my parents finally got divorced. He's planning a wedding for next year where he's marrying the woman he chose over me and my sister."
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"I had a very close guy friend who I worked with and got along with very well. We would usually go out on weekends with another girl, and it was always the 3 of us. One day the girl couldn't come, so we went out to a bar by ourselves.
We had some drinks and talked about all kinds of random stuff. He got tipsy and asked me to dance. We slow danced to the beat of the music and all of a sudden, he kissed me. I moved away because he was tipsy and just a buddy, and we went back to our seats.
Then he told me he liked me, but it was a waste because I have a child. That instantly made me furious, but I kept my cool and told him we should end the night. The next day at work he tried to talk to me, and I told him that the moment he said those words was the moment he broke our friendship.
I never went out with him after that and stopped talking to him, except about work-related stuff. He made me feel like less of a person because I am a single mother."
"I had an operation to break my thigh bone and reset it, where it was manipulated to the right angle with a frame. I had a plate and about ten pins put into my leg. After the operation, I caught a double chest infection and I was very ill. I could barely move and I had to have blood thinners injected into my stomach.
My mom had a boyfriend who lived two hours away. When I was being released from the hospital, my mom's boyfriend texted her, 'Can't she just stay in the hospital for the weekend so you can come down?'
I arrived home so weak I needed help getting to the toilet and that small trip exhausted me. My heart was beating so fast it was like I'd just run a marathon. Because my mom had to inject me since I was too weak to do it myself, she moaned and told me, 'You're ruining my life.'__She then left to go see her boyfriend, leaving me in a horrible state where I could do nothing for myself.
I even had to hold my bladder for 20 hours as I couldn't go to the toilet on my own. I was so weak and so ill, yet she chose to leave me in that state so she could see her boyfriend. I was so ill that my knee froze and didn't bend for five months. I had to go and have another surgery to get it moving because no physiologist could get it to bend."
"My ex-husband was by far the most cold-blooded being I have ever dealt with. He was a delusional, pathological liar who would constantly play mind games to mess with my sanity. He would say something to me one moment, then deny it altogether an hour later and try to make me believe that it was just my imagination.
For instance, he lied about his education and immigration status to trap me into a marriage because he wanted papers. After I did some digging, I found out he never went to medical school and was just an imposter. Everyone was calling him 'doctor' which meant he fooled them all. When I confronted him, he said he had never told me he was a doctor. He said that I was just a desperate woman who wanted to get married to a doctor.
There he was, a useless idiot that I was supporting on all levels while sponsoring him at the same time, and he had the guts to abuse me emotionally while I was pregnant with our little one. He would spend all his time Facebooking and talking on the phone while expecting all the meals to be prepared and served to him like a king.
One night when I'd had enough, I told him that we had to talk because I was not going to continue living like a slave. He hit the roof. He started threatening me, saying that I better not think about leaving him He turned around and looked at me with the most hatred one can imagine, then he pointed at my womb and said, 'If I leave, you have to terminate the pregnancy. That thing must be flushed out and I don't care if you go with it.'
I felt like I was nothing. I felt worthless, along with my baby. I felt my humanity leaving me. I felt empty. How can a father call his own child a 'thing that must be flushed out?!' When I regained some strength, I decided he was the only 'thing' that needed to be flushed out my life.
I called the police and the next time we saw each other it was in the courtroom. I was divorcing him, getting a restraining order, and receiving full custody of my baby. I made sure he was completely flushed out so I don't have to see his ugly face ever again. I am a beautiful, valuable lady and my girls and I deserve better."
"My twins were born over two months early. My son's prognosis was not great; we were advised to have him blessed as he might not have made it through the night. The neonatal intensive care unit team was amazing and things were looking more promising, but we were cautioned he may have some neurological and/or physical challenges.
My husband called his mother to update her and she suggested we 'focus on his twin sister, tell your friends he died and give him up for adoption because he will always be a liability.' The words still bring me to tears for the pain and lack of support my poor husband endured and for our amazing son. Who attacks a baby like that?
He is 13 years old, has a brilliant, curious mind, and a gigantic heart. He is the poster child for the difference early intervention therapies can make in a child's life. Academically, he is at the top of his class, and more importantly, he is kind, tenacious and empathetic. He has NEVER felt like a liability, and is the best combination of love, faith, and science I know.
My husband's mother is the same evil person who once had this conversation with me:
Her: 'The cancer, what happens if they can't get it all?'
Me: 'I will die.'
Her: 'Well, have you contributed that much to the world, anyway?'
She is as toxic as Chernobyl, so I gave myself permission to remove her from our lives. Some relationships cannot be saved. Some people are too hateful to expose your kids to, even if they are relatives. It still astounds me that someone could have a soul so black."
"My father had left my mother for another woman when I was 5 years old and pretty much walked out of my life as well. I spent all of my childhood and teenage years desperately trying to get any nugget of attention from him during the rare times he would allow me to visit him and whichever wife he was with at the time.
I was on an overnight visit when I was 15 and that night, my 14-year-old stepsister chose to sneak out the window, unbeknownst to me, while I was asleep in the other bed. Around 4 am, my father came charging into the room, shouting at me, 'Where is she? WHERE IS SHE?' It took me a minute to work out what had happened, and I stammered out that I honestly didn't know where she had gone. He glared at me. 'Tell me where she went or I'll kick the crap out of you.'
I started crying and my stepmother pulled him out of the room. I could hear her say that she believed me, I obviously didn't know where my step-sister had gone, but my father wasn't spent with his rage.
'Why do I have to deal with this? I never even wanted kids anyway!' I am my father's only natural child. He has had a string of stepchildren, all of whom he chose to live with. He never wanted me, though. That was a tough pill to swallow."
"'You're a floozy! How many guy friends do you have?' said to me by my mother. When I was 15, a guy named Alex asked me out and when I said no to going any further with the friendship I had with him, he moved on to do something crazy by leaving his house. Well, he was 18 when this happened and he lived with his single mother, so it was a big deal for her. Then someone told her he made the decision because of me, which didn't make sense. His mom came to my school to talk to me, and unfortunately that day happened to be parent-teacher meetings, so my dad was there as well.
His mom started accusing me and saying things I don't remember because she doesn't matter. It was awkward but fine until my dad and I got back home. My dad came to me and cried because my mother was confused since she didn't know what'd happened, so he told her everything.
My mother slapped me and physically hurt me till I turned blue. I didn't say a word. My mother threw my phone from one corner of the room to the other so that it eventually broke. I had no contact with any of my friends, and no one had any way to check in on me.
One day as I sat on the couch, my mother brought the topic up again. She said she would get me married if something like that happened again. I didn't say a word. She said a lot of things which still hurt me, but at the end of the day she's my mother and I can't help but behave like nothing ever happened.
Then my dad called my mother and told her that Alex's mother called him and said to keep tabs on me because Alex was coming near my area for some work. That made my mother literally lock me up in a room. This all happened when I was NOT in a relationship with him!
While closing the door, she said, 'You're a bimbo!'
I was like, 'What?' very taken aback.
She said, 'Who asked you to befriend that guy? Who asked you to make guy friends? What was the need? Your job was just to go to school and come back home. God knows how many people you will sleep with in the future.'
It definitely hurt me and it still does. I'm crying now just thinking about it. It's not about what she said, it's about the fact that she, my mother, had those thoughts. I consoled myself thinking she just said it in the heat of the moment.
I'm 23 now and I still get blamed for things I have no knowledge of. I'm still forced to sleep in the same bed as my mother because she's afraid of me talking to men. Whenever I get a call, she snatches the phone from my hand and looks at the name before giving it to me. However, I believe there will be a day when I can get away from all this."