Evil stepparents aren't just found in fairytales. And sometimes the ones in the real world are so bad that no Disney writer could dream up a character so depraved.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share stories about the terrible things they're stepparents have done over the years. Most of the stories found within are heartbreaking but some of them are flat-out devastating to read. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"To preface this, my dad and stepmother had been married for five years prior to this and had been having issues in their marriage at that time. When I was around the age of 11, my stepmother took me to get some ice cream while my dad was working. Right after she bought my cone, she said she wanted to talk. She looked me coldly in the eyes and said, 'I think it's best if you live with your mom full time. No one in our house loves you and your father and I think you are just an illegitimate child that sucks all of our money away. You stink, can't do anything for yourself, and above all, you make your dad always come to your rescue. You are a pathetic waste of life and ruining the love between us.'
As soon as she said that, she walked to her car and left. Needless to say as an 11-year-old, I began to cry my eyes out. One of the attendants at the Coldstone came to me and hugged me as she was working a register in ear-shot of where we were sitting and asked if I needed to call anyone. After getting picked up by my mom, I started telling her what my stepmother said to me word for word. My mother is not a confrontational woman by any means and I would be surprised today she could hurt a fly, but when I finished telling her what happened, it was like a mama bear saw someone touch her cub. Oh boy, did we get to my father's house faster than the legal speed limit and my God have I never seen so much anger and fury in a small Czech woman when she proceeded to beat the living pulp out of my stepmother.
After a trip to the hospital for a fractured eye socket and a broken nose for my stepmother and an assault charge on my mother, time went on. I'll never forget those words my stepmom said to me and how much it hurt, but I'll also never forget how much my mom cared for me that day.
My dad was pretty enraged but they are still together so he couldn't have been that angry. He's a good guy but she has him on a leash."
"I hated my stepmom with a burning passion. Every time I was at my dad's house for the weekend, she would make my life a living nightmare. She never bothered to really know me but would judge me on decisions I made or my appearance. One day, I was so overly tired of her crap that I just zoned out while she was talking to me about herself (something she enjoyed doing a lot) and she told my dad because I wouldn't focus on her face, I was clearly mentally challenged.
When I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school, my dad wanted to take me on a vacation. Naturally, she had to come. We ended up going to visit her brother in the south. Within minutes of meeting him, he was touching me and hanging all over me. If I moved away, he followed. He tried putting his hands down my pants and kissing me. I was a teenager, he was in his 50s. I told my dad and stepmom. I could tell my dad was ticked off about it but my stepmom said, 'Suck it up, he's lonely!'
My dad didn't do anything then because he wasn't allowed to go against her wishes or else she would abuse him (mentally, emotionally, and occasionally, physically).
In the end, she finally turned my dad against me and told them I was pregnant.
Later on, she made him call me to ask if I would be willing to give up my grandfather's trust fund I was set to inherit upon my dad's death. Obviously, I said no, so she tried to keep my father alive on life support for three months until the cut-off date (10 years after the death of my grandfather) of when I would no longer inherit it. Luckily the doctors didn't want to let my dad suffer that long and they pulled the plug. She lost out on the money by one month.
In the years I didn't talk to either of them, I was broke and homeless. Now the tables have turned because she is being forced to work (something she refused to do while my father was alive) and can't seem to function. She forced her daughter to help her with her lavish lifestyle, which caused her daughter to start dealing. Her daughter got caught and is in jail for a rather long time now. Her son took off out of her life - sick of her crap. She ran everyone off because of her craziness.
She still tries to contact me through Facebook (I block her pages) or through Skype (block those too). Always the same, asking for money. I still refuse to help her with anything."
"I have technically never met my stepmother even though she and my dad have been together for nearly 20 years. My dad brought her into where I worked as a teenager, but I immediately ran away and locked myself in a bathroom and cried until my manager had to drive me home.
People have asked why my siblings and I refuse to meet her and don't just get over the past. There are plenty of good reasons: her breaking into our house, her keying our car, her actually trying to run my dad over not six months ago which resulted in him having to call the police on her, and her endangering their infant child in the back seat.
But the one overriding reason why I will never let that woman have any part of my life is that she attacked my mom. Back when it all came out that my dad said he'd leave my stepmom and stay with us, she didn't take that very well. So at a party, she attacked my mom, beat her, and ripped out half of her hair. My mom still has patches where it'll never grow back. Just the thought of being in the presence of that woman turns me back into that 16-year-old locked in the bathroom crying."
"I used to have a huge front yard when I was young (5 or 6 years old) and a lot of the kids around the neighborhood would come over, play football and baseball, and just have a ridiculously good time. Well, sometimes we could convince my friend's 22-year-old cousin to come over and play quarterback or pitcher for us. Anyway, my mom had an affair with that guy and filed for divorce. We moved almost 50 miles away and I never saw most of my friends again. Guess who moved with us to our new town? Yep, my new stepdad.
My mom hit an early midlife crisis because they started partying. Their relationship started getting verbally abusive and then turned violent. My stepdad did a ton of stupid crap:
He smashed my PlayStation with a bat because the game was loud. My grandpa bought me that PlayStation a few months before he died.
He pulled a weapon on my aunt.
He got into a fight with one of my uncle's at a family reunion. He started it and then had to be rescued because of my uncle's size and military training.
When my friends would call, he would answer with 'WHAT do you want?' and stuff like that. He started doing that when I was about 10 years old and made a few girls cry. Sometimes their parents would call back and he would yell at them too. It got worse when I started having boyfriends.
Anyway, my mom stayed with this guy for nearly 20 years. He ended up cheating on my mom and left. I haven't really heard from him since."
"I 'lived' with my stepfather for most of my life. I use quotation marks because he was never really there, but he technically lived with us. At home, I was the only kid that wasn't his, and my mom would always treat me differently because of that. My mother is messed up and a bad parent. Since I was the oldest one, I had to take care of my younger brothers, and when my stepfather came home, I was his personal slave. He would sit on the sofa and snap his fingers and order me to do things. I hated him with all my soul. I still hate him now, but it's more of an 'I don't give a crap about you' kind of hate.
Sometimes, when he decided he would be nice to his own children, he would go with them to parks while I had to stay home and clean. He would also constantly tell me how useless I was and how I couldn't do anything right. I was always very good at school, and I would win a lot of contests and get very good grades. Of course, then he would show me off to people and tell everyone how I was such a good and smart kid.
Sometimes, he would come home mad and beat my mother. I remember this specific time when I was around 7 or 8 years old, he was really mad and he started hitting my mother. I was scared so I went to throw up in the bathroom. When I walked out, he was waiting for me there and slapped me across the face so hard that I fell on the floor. He, of course, said how it was my fault that I fell because I was stupid and because I deserved it. Not only that but once he was gone, my mother decided to see if I was fine. I had a huge bruise on my face and she got mad at me because people at school would notice it, so she made me lie to everyone and say that I fell while playing."
"The first time I met my father's wife, I was 4 years old. While eating, I casually put my elbow on the table (which I had never been told was wrong) and she immediately stabbed my arm with a fork. There were four bleeding holes in my arm. On the drive back home, my father told me not to tell my mom. He dropped my brother and I off and I struggled so hard to hide the wounds from my mom. Two years later, he married that woman.
I would experience years of abuse every other weekend when we had visitation with my father.
The worst event culminated in her sitting on my back and hitting me repeatedly with the heel of a high-heel shoe while my father sat on the couch and watched. This was my punishment for having an asthma attack and being unable to finish mowing the lawn.
I kept everything secret from my mom. It would hurt her so much to know what happened. She would feel like she failed to protect me, even though it was my father who failed to protect me. I look forward to the day I receive a phone call telling me my father and his wife are dead."
"Stepmom #1: My dad married this crazy lady when I was in high school. On the day of their wedding, she demanded that my dad stop paying child support to my mom - he had to give her a copy of the court documents showing that it was a court order.
Then, even though she had no driver's license, she demanded that she have a car. Guess who was driving my dad's second car? Me. So then I had no car.
I went to see my dad with a friend, who happened to be overweight. My stepmom put her hand on the girl's stomach and said, 'Oh, so fat.'
Soon after that, she would give my dad crap about seeing me at all. She would threaten to accuse him of abuse and stuff.
She got pregnant and around three months after my brother was born, my dad filed for divorce. She went to the hospital that night for an X-ray saying that my dad broke her leg. The weasel drove herself to the hospital, walked inside, and said that her husband broke her leg. It turned out that she did have a broken leg, but from when she was 12 years old.
That divorce cost my dad over $100,000 and guess who's college fund that came out of?
Stepmom #2 is only 32 years old, I'm 27 years old. So yeah."
"When I was 13 years old, my stepdad (who I refused to call dad because he was a raging pile of crap) left my 2-year-old sister and I home alone to go to the 'grocery store.' My sister and I were upstairs in my bedroom the whole time. I had finished up some homework and decided to go grab a snack when I noticed smoke rolling under my door. The door handle in my room was broken, which probably saved my life. I would have had to reach into the door and pulled the slide by hand to open the door. I got nervous and decided to climb out onto the porch roof to survey the situation.
When I was on the porch roof, neighbors were sprinting down the street to help my sister and me get out of the house. The entire back of the house was a raging inferno. I climbed back in and grabbed my sister, lowered her into the hands of the neighbors and then lowered myself off the roof. I ran around to the back to check on my dog, he was outside and okay. My grandmother's dog and two parrots did not make it. The house was a total loss, a firefighter was injured when he fell through the floor and everything I owned was ruined.
The fire started because my stepdad had been burning candles to cover up the scent of the something he was smoking. The candles got so hot that the glass exploded and started a fire on the coffee table. By the way, he never went to the store. He came back empty-handed."
"Oh man. I had a pretty awful stepmother. Luckily she's now my ex-stepmother. She was pretty terrible to me throughout my whole childhood. Physical abuse. Emotional abuse. She constantly tried to kick me out of the house (I was a pretty good kid, as stated by three out of four of my parents).
But the part that was most messed up for me was when I figured out why she treated me so poorly. My dad finally divorced her a few years ago and she admitted that she hated him for not loving her like he loves me. My dad and I are really close. He had me when he was in his early 20s and was a very committed single dad until he met my stepmom when I was 6 years old. We're very alike (personality wise), we are now in the same profession, and we've been through a lot of crap together, so we know how to take care of each other.
My stepmom was incredibly jealous of our relationship and told my dad she wanted him to treat her like he does me - she wanted him to be her dad. It was creepy. She didn't see why that's not an appropriate relationship for adult partners. She wanted to punish me for having such a good relationship with him. The last straw for her was when my boyfriend (now husband) was diagnosed with cancer at 24 years old. My dad was really my go-to person to talk about everything. He's been incredibly supportive of both of us. But she hated how much attention he gave me, instead of her."
"I'd known my stepmom ever since my brother and her son played tee-ball together. We got along great. She was like my second mom. Two years later, my dad started having an affair with her. Three years later, we found out and my parents split up. I couldn't believe it.
After a while, I was sick of being mad and forgave my dad and my soon-to-be stepmom. Back to the great relationship with her. Once she moved in, things changed. She no longer cared about me or my siblings, she treated us like burdens. Nothing we did was ever good enough. Every chore we did was done wrong, never were we given encouragement or a 'Thanks! Good job.' She'd take her kids out shopping, to movies, out on trips, but never invited us. It was very clear the difference between her kids and us. I get it, it's different, but we were always yelled at, criticized, put down, with never any positive feedback. I dealt with severe anxiety, but she thought I just had to grow up. She'd tell my sister that she shouldn't have dessert while looking her up and down. She'd say my brother wasn't a good enough dad, even though he's single, on his own, working his butt off, going to school to get his degree, in the National Guard, and still manages to be his son's favorite person in the world. He just lets her comments roll off.
It's not that she hit us, or made us mow the lawn with scissors. It was the shift from cool stepmom to silence at the dinner table for fear of setting her off. It was the constant, personal, passive-aggressive attacks. It was the fact that she knew that my dad had kids, that she knew what she was getting into, but she would still treat us like the gum on her shoe. It was that my dad was too freaking oblivious to see any of it going on.
My sister and I were not allowed to eat snacks, so I would buy us food to hide in our rooms. She'd buy herself expensive hair and beauty products, we'd get the sales at the dollar store. After a while, I just started buying the hair and body care stuff, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, deodorant, and all other necessities for both my sister and myself.
At one point, she accused my dad of cheating and left. I was devastated about losing my stepbrothers because we actually got along great. She ended up coming back, but I've never understood their relationship. They fight all the time and it's loud. You can hear it through the whole house. They just don't understand each other either and disagree all the time."
"My stepmother started out as a typical biker bar trawling party girl when my dad married her. However, she turned into an overly religious fanatic within a couple years, hated all the music I listened to, hated violent video games, wouldn't let my little brother (not hers biologically, either) do anything that might get his blood flowing faster than a quiet nap, hated my dad and me joking around, and pretty much didn't like anyone doing anything particularly fun.
But the real 'Forget you, Shawn, you're out of my life' moment was the day of my grandpa's funeral when I was 20 years old. I was living three hours from 'home' with my girlfriend, she couldn't get off work to go to the funeral, so I left her the car and rode my motorcycle back home. She spent the whole three days I was back home just making rude remarks about it, but the coup de grace was when I was just making a pot of coffee. I asked the people in the kitchen to make sure that they were okay with it strong since I had never made coffee for any of them before.
She immediately cornered me and said, 'You don't even know your family! How do you not know how they like their coffee? Even I know they like it strong! And you only rode your bike up here to show everyone how much you could hurt your grandmother!'
I know it sounds petty for that to be what sealed the deal but it had been building up for most of the 15 years she had been in my life at that point. I was raised by my grandparents, so I only had to deal with her in small, yet terrible, doses.
On the plus side, she recently discovered my dad has been cheating on her with a girl who I'm pretty sure is younger than me. He's 54 this year, I'm 30, and I haven't met her but from pictures I've seen, she can't be more than 25 years old. Their divorce is already negotiated, he managed not to punch a single lawyer, he'll be paying her alimony for like 10 years and is losing the house, but he's been so happy since then I don't think he really cares about the money."
"My dad let my stepmom live with us after she got out of prison for possession. She never held down a job or actually tried. She regularly cheated on my dad. She withheld food items from me because she 'bought' them with 'her' money. She manipulated me into hating myself and thinking it was all my fault. They screamed at each other all the time while I hid in my room wishing it would just stop.
She terminated two pregnancies without dad's consent. Kept the third baby but found out several years later it's not even his, surprise surprise. One night, she went crazier than usual and dad had to shield the baby in the crib from her. She hit and scratched him, then went and gave herself a bloody lip so that when the cops came, she could claim he beat her and they arrested him instead.
We were in that apartment for three weeks. I got out and lived on my grandma's couch for the remainder of my senior year of high school while she continued living there because she co-signed the lease. I ended up living with my dad later without her when I went to college but I still had to hear constantly about all the nonsense she put him through over that child.
This all happened from the time I was 13 to 18 years old. She never hit me but she didn't have to. I don't hate my dad, he's still a good man in spite of everything, and he's done his best to make amends with me and the rest of the family. The damage is worse than I would ever admit to him because he already knows how bad he messed up and I don't want to open up those wounds again."
"My evil stepmom came into my life when I was an adult, but still managed to do damage. My mom died at the age of 50. My dad was 52 years old at the time of my mother's death. He married his second wife two years later (I refuse to refer to her as 'stepmother'). She's divorced with two children a few years younger than my sisters and me. They've been married for 20 years and she has slowly but surely been extracting my dad from his children. They live within driving distance of me but I'm lucky if we see them once a year.
She has done the following:
When my son was 4 years old, she didn't set a place for him at Thanksgiving. She said, 'I figured he could eat before or after. She read him the riot act every time we entered their home on not touching anything.
When my nieces were little, they were terrified of dogs, but she wouldn't put her huge dogs outside or in another room when they came to visit. So the girls spent the entire visit on the laps of adults.
She never even held either of my children, even though she was married to my dad before they were born. I thought she wasn't into babies - fine. But then her grandchildren were born and she never put them down. She was the epitome of the loving grandma with them in front of my kids. Never once did she offer to babysit under any circumstances. My in-laws live in another country, sisters in another state, so yeah, I could have used the help. Especially since when I was growing up I regularly stayed with my dad's parents. Then once her grandkids came along, they watched them once a week, plus weekends 'so that those tired parents can get a break.'
The only framed photos she has in the house are of their dog and her grandchildren. I stopped giving her annual school photos of my kids when I found out she was throwing the old ones away.
They've taken her family to Hawaii and Disneyland more than once. Me - nothing.
I haven't spent a Father's Day with my dad since she came into the picture. One year, I found out that they hadn't made plans for Thanksgiving and I was hosting. But my dad said, 'Oh no, we just want to stay home this year.' Can't remember the last Christmas we spent with them.
She no longer allows my dad to drive - so she decides where they go. My dad's hearing has deteriorated and he won't get a hearing aid, so no phone calls. Email? He claims he's a terrible typist, so he dictates to her.
The most recent and worst one: A few years ago they moved to be closer to her sons (of course). It's now a two-hour drive to me. A drive they do regularly to see their dentist, my uncle, and their various rental properties (but not me). However, on the day of my daughter's graduation, they gave up en route because 'the traffic is too bad.' It was a little slow on a weekday afternoon due to road maintenance for a few miles. They still had 90 minutes to cover 60 highway miles to attend a two-hour ceremony and have cake with us afterward. But nooo, they decided to turn around and drive an hour back home.
The ONLY thing I feel ok about is the inheritance. The ONE thing my dad did right - he and my mom locked up their joint assets and they can only go to my sister and me (and our kids)."
"Mostly it's my dad who is the one I have issues with but my step-mom is not entirely innocent either.
They started dating when my dad was still seeing someone else (classy), and I met her two weeks after they started seeing each other. She seemed nice and all, and about a week later, I met her kids.
This was all very fast to me, and I had always been an only child so being thrown into life with step-siblings was scary.
It was about a month later that my dad moved in with her and I ended up sharing a tiny room with my stepsister every time I came to visit. And I'm not kidding when I say tiny, there was no room on the floor to move cause that's where I was put and the room had no door either.
I remember how everything happened so fast - first, they were engaged and then she was pregnant only a few months into the relationship. I didn't even get to find out from them.
I've never really been included in their little family except when I can babysit my little sister, whom I adore, but it's terrible when their all going abroad on a holiday and you're not invited but her kids are all going. That really messed me up as a kid, spending days crying because I've never been abroad and hey look off they go.
Most recently, it's that they tell me I will fail. I am about to start my two-year college course for my diploma, and they told me not to move to the city near the college because I'd have no support. And, they are also convinced I'll do the course for a month and drop out. They think my anxiety and depression is just 'all in my head' and don't like the fact I am on medications.
I only keep in contact for my little sister, I already don't get to see my other one, but that's another story."