Parents Who Disowned Their Kids Share Their Stories

by Ivan Kim

If you're always on social media, you might have seen a lot of "perfect" family photos. People who see these images may think that other families are perfect, while theirs are flawed. But one thing's for sure: there is no such thing as a perfect family.

There's always the gossips, blame game, unequal treatments, and family members who value their friends more than their family. Families go through ups and downs -- sometimes they get to heated arguments, screaming, awkward family dinners... you name it.

Kids often do dumb things that hurt the feelings of their parents. Sometimes, they do serious stuff that pushes their parents to disown them.

We've gathered stories from parents who disowned their kids. And each of them has their own reasons. So before you judge 'em, you might want to know their stories.

15. My heart sank when I read this.

I am not sure if this counts. I didn’t disown him, but I went through a dissociative episode after some really intense trauma, and I honestly couldn’t feel any attachment and parental love that I had for my son. I tried not to show it, and behave as normally as possible because he was a child at the time and couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. It was pretty disturbing to not be able to feel any sense of bond with him. I eventually got better, but I definitely did not feel what I or most people would call love for him.

14. The definition of true love

I wouldn’t say I’ve disowned or stopped loving my son, but it’s real tough to find love for him. He’s almost 14 (next month) and he’s currently out of our home at a treatment facility. He’s averaged two arrests a year for the last two years, and he’s attacked my wife several times, our daughters several times, and the neighborhood kids several times. He’s run away from school, run away from home, and tried to push me off the roof of our house (after threatening to jump off and hurt himself). We have become “that family” in our town where the police are called to our home on a semi-regular basis. He’s been getting more violent as he gets older (not to mention bigger and stronger) and I honestly don’t see an end in sight.
The key fact I’m leaving out is that he’s been diagnosed as high functioning autistic and is also bipolar. That’s like putting walls around a tornado and expecting it to stay inside the walls. A lot of what has occurred he had little control over because of the way his mind is (where he’s constantly at war with himself, structure versus chaos), and my wife and I have tried desperately to give him the best life we can while keeping ourselves and our daughters safe, but I’m tired.It’s been 8 and a half years we’ve been going through this with him and I’ve been ready to throw in the towel on him for a while. But my wife refuses to let him go, so we wake up every morning trying to give him the best life for him and our girls.

13. Niece thinks everyone owes her

since it seems to have widened a bit, a family torn apart. Based on an aunt and her niece.
Aunt starts signs of dementia at a relatively young age, is moved into an assisted living home. Niece (who bounces around jobs) gets hirex to go visit her about once a week, take her out to the mall or a walk in the park, whatever. Paid handsomely.
We get an alert that aunt has a check bounce from her account that should have $5k in it. Niece has drained the account. Proven beyond a doubt, with receipts. Niece would take aunt to aunt’s bank machine every friday and withdraw $200, then fill her car with gas (aunt can’t drive), and charge us hours when she clearly didn’t spend hours with aunt (charged us claiming she took aunt to appointments – there was no appointment. We can actually call the doctor fyi).
The family rift? For some bizarre reason niece’s family took her side.

12. It's for the safety of everyone

I love my son, but he abused me. When he turned that violence on to his sister by choking her, I had to say “Good-bye”.

11. I feel like I'm reading a novel. This could be a movie, you know.

Not me, but my great grandma. This story is really sad but also interesting, so I thought I’d share it.
She was a young creole teenager- french creole was her first language, and she was a quarter-to-half black like me, with tan skin and loose brown curls. She was born in Florida, but when things started getting worse for black people in Florida, her family relocated to Texas. For those who don’t know, creole people tend to play heavily into colorism. Although they are definitely mixed race, they prioritize light skinned people. The looser your curl, the lighter your skin, the more white you look, the better. Her parents had high expectations for her to marry a wealthy, light skinned man who would take care of her.
Instead, she met my great grandfather. A poor, dark-skinned man jumping from job to job working for farmers and trying to make a living. The two of them fell in love. They were just teenagers. Her parents threatened to disown her if she continued seeing him, and like a rebellious teenager, she refused. They wanted her to do better. She wanted to be in love.
They might have broken up eventually, if she didn’t get pregnant. But she did, and that was the end of it. Her parents basically said “you’ve ruined your life” and disowned her right there. The whole family disowned her. No one would speak to her- aunts, uncles, cousins, not a single person stood up for her. So she had no choice. The two of them moved to California, so he could get a job picking oranges. He built a house. They had their first daughter. She was 16. She never saw her family again.

10. The parents did their best.

My parents disowned my oldest sister. She always struggled growing up more than us (she became a teen mom with a bad older dude, partied a lot, etc), but my parents helped her a lot. They do okay for themselves, but had a no-co-signing rule for all six of my siblings and I. Still, they co-signed for her house so she could get a head start.
She didn’t pay the mortgage for almost 3 years before my mom got served in front of all the other nurses at her work.
My parents worked tirelessly to try to work out deals where my sister and her family kept the house and got some leniency, but to no avail, because my sister never showed up for court dates. During this time, she paid $12k for IVF and got pregnant with her fifth kid.
When my mom demanded some of the money back, she accused my dad and my brother of beating her sons when my parents took them to Disney World (he didn’t) and said she’d file a police report if he asked for money again. They kept asking, cause it wasn’t true.
She awkwardly joined us for Christmas, and punched my brother in the face during the meal for “humiliating” her oldest son by asking him if he wanted to work at my brother’s company for good pay. Her oldest son is in and out of jail, and my brother was trying to help him after his release, but her son said he didn’t want a job and got mad. She then called the cops and told them the same brother had illegal guns in his truck, and they came on Christmas night and searched his truck (no guns found!)
Needless to say, she is not welcome anywhere near any of us and my mom still cries about it, but refuses to talk to her again.

9. Some things are out of our control

Not my kid, but my sister I raised for several years. I was a senior in HS when my parents had my sister – completely unexpected. They were 58 and 55. I never really got to know her much as I went away to college when she was 5 months old, and was in the Air Force by the time she was 1 1/2. I saw her twice on leave, and got pics, but the way life was working out we never really got time together. Fast forward, our dad dies when she is 2, and my stepmother is raising her. She was a terrible parent, like the kind that saw one of her kids run away at 16 to halfway across the country, another runaway at 15 and get married, and one that is just a loon who spent his life bouncing around whatever hot MLM program was out there as a career. She also convinced my dad to send me to a pray away the gay camp in TN. when I was 15. So when my sister was 11 and begging for help, I took leave and went to her. Surprisingly, my stepmonster was happy to get attorneys to draw up the paperwork for me to become my sisters guardian, and even pay for it.
— So I’m raising my sister and things are okay until she is about 14. Then I caught her doing these videos online talking dirty trying to get guys to jerk off. So that was a mess of trying to get those down and suing the people that hired her to do them.– Ran away for a week, hiding out at a friends house, found her when she was caught shoplifting.– A B&E charge at 14, trying to steal the phone of a boy she was dating to se if he was talking to other girls. It happened on base and I managed to talk it out of being a bigger thing.– A second B&E charge with friends breaking into the NCO club to try to steal beer. I was told I had to leave base housing at that point, my secuirty clearance was suspended to make sure she wasn’t putting me in a position I could be compromised.– still 14, arrested with a stolen military ID trying to get into a bar.– 15 escapes rehab.– 15 escapes rehab again-16 things seem good and she is taking school seriously.
At 18 she was accepted to RISD, graduated with honors, and had an actual decent paying job with a web company with benefits and everything. Started getting stoned a lot, lost her job. Sold her car to pay bills. Lost her apartment, still hadn’t bothered looking for work. Got her trust fund at 24, blew over $400k in two years, nothing to show for it. Had multiple cases against her for drugs. Was restricted to the state, but decised to go follow Phish around anyway and sell molly. Got picked up for hooking and possession out of state, was returned to RI where she was detained and somehow released pending trial yet again. While awaiting trial she was caught holding enough packaged for sale heroin to qualify as a distribution charge.By then, I hadn’t heard from her for almost 7 years, and only managed to keep up with her reading the police blotter or from rthe ocassional attorney that she had contact me to verify I would pick up her legal tab – I wouldn’t. Against any logic, she was out of prison in under three years. I heard she dimed a bunch of people out to make it happen. She showed up at my house, asking for a place to stay. I said I couldn’t have her in my house, but I’d get her a place for the night and then help her locate a place of her own. That night she broke into my house, nearly got shot by me while doing it, and tried to spin some story that she was looking for something she dropped in my house earlier that day, despite never actually entering my house. I told her she had to go, she threatened she would call DCFS and tell them I was abusing my kids if I didn’t go with her to an ATM and give her all the money I could withdraw. Told her to GTFO before I exercised the castle defense law and dropped her.
took out a restraining order the next day, and in doing so found she once again left state when she wasn’t supposed to have and violated her parole, so back to the clink. Since then she’s been dead to me.

8. I'm pretty sure he will be a great kid who doesn't need his mom to be truly successful and happy

My ex wife disowned my son.
We both married young when I was in the military (high school sweethearts). She became pregnant 6 months into our marriage. I don’t think she connected with him at all after he was born. The most she did with him was Instagram photo shoots where she painted herself as #1 mommy. When he turned 3, I left the military. A year after that, she ran for the hills. I remember it like it was yesterday. I sat down with her at a local restaurant to talk divorce plans. We split all of our financials and material items down the middle. We finally got to custody for my kiddo (something I dreaded to discuss because fathers never gain custody in my area) and she tells me “I want absolutely no responsibility”. I was taken back and I asked if she was sure. She was. That one sentence hurt me more than anything else that happen during that time. My biological father wanted nothing to do with me and now I was seeing it happen with my own child but with his mother. I received full custody and she married within a year afterwards (she had another child too). Her parents try their best to be apart of his life but she still does her best to avoid him. He’s 7 now and used to it, but I know it weights heavily on him. Shit sucks ass but it’s life I guess.
*I just woke up and saw all the upvotes, messages, comments, and awards. I want to say thank you so much. I didn’t expect this level of response. I don’t usually share something as personal as that. My kiddo is a very awesome kid that has shown great resiliency beyond his years. He has rolled through the tough times better than even I. I can just hope he doesn’t question his worth because of what his mom did. I know I questioned mine due to my own father leaving and that has left scars that will not heal. Well…..thank you all again and you all have a wonderful day.

7. Good thing that taught me life lessons

A little different, I was disowned, but I deserved it. I was an addict and a mess for a long time, my mom couldn’t keep bailing me out of trouble and watch me self destruct anymore. I wasn’t living at home, she came to see me one last time to tell me she was done, not to contact her, she would no longer have anything to do with me. She was in pieces, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her. But it was the best thing she ever did for me, once she cut me off my rock bottom came hard and fast. After a little while of living on the streets and my addiction consuming me, I made my way to a detox center, got a few days clean under my belt and never looked back. That was almost 15 years ago. After I was clean a little while I contacted my mom, and little by little we built a relationship again, and now we’re really close. I am forever grateful to my mom for letting me fall and letting me back into her life.

6. The love is still there

she started stealing from us as a kid, then it moved up to forged checks, stole her sisters Christmas gifts. Then there were the multiple arrests, conversion, theft, assault, drugs. The final straw was when she dumped her kid and left town to fool with a married man for several years. Kid is 11, he has had a long haul. Everything she say is just a bunch of lies and more lies. And Yes she has had counselling numerous times. It hurts but it is more peaceful, did I mention the identity theft? Christ, that took a real long time to fix.
edit: she is my step daughter, met her when she was 8, I still love her a lot

5. You've got to pick yourself up and take care of you

My family disowned me because I disowned my mother. I was sexually groomed and abused/tortured by her husband for years and when I finally told her she not only didn’t believe me, but stayed married to him for seven years. I had to move out at 16 to get away from how I was being treated. Then when I finally began speaking to others she started to cover her ass with her social circle by telling them that I seduced her husband.
I cut her off for years, and didn’t ever want to see her again but my family bullied me to just get over it and have a relationship with my mother and that I was hurting her. Even my sister who knew what happened, knew I stayed for so long to protect her, fell into a trap of my mother whining to everyone around her and painting me as a liar. About 4 years ago she was very suddeny diagnosed with advanced cancer and didn’t have much time. I was moving out of my home state and everyone told me I needed to see her before I left, that I needed to be there, but I didn’t want to. In the end everyone turned their back on me. They were so mad I wouldn’t just forget my trauma just to say goodbye to someone I hadn’t loved for a long time, and rightly so.
EDIT: I’m getting a lot of replies so I just want to say thank you and send you all virtual hugs. I’m ok now, I’m grown up and though I was set back in a lot of ways life-wise I came out on top for the best. Anyone who is also experiencing this you aren’t alone, and if you need to talk I’m here.

4. She got what she deserved

My mother and her sister were both adopted into a great family.
Recently, my Grandfather fell ill and we were told to prepare to say goodbye. So the family gathered. My Grandmother has had a hard time with her memory since she had a brain hemorrhage, but she welcomed my aunt into her home during this tough time.
Whilst my Grandfather was in his final week, Wendy (aunt) took my Grandmother’s atm card and proceeded to spend well over a thousand dollars on herself and get herself a motel room. She alsp attempted to steal their car. When my uncles found out, she basically disappeared into the wind.
After my Grandfather passed and his funeral was all sorted. My Grandmother went to an attorney to write Wendy out of any inheritance she would get from their estate when she passes. She didnt press any formal charges, because the whole process would have been lengthy and more painful for her. She didn’t need the extra stress.
I’m pretty sure one of my uncles also threatened Wendy to make sure she stayed away from my Grandmother from now on too.

3. Sometimes you should not blame yourself for the decisions your kids make

I have disowned my oldest son. He molested my daughter, has been diagnosed as a sociopath and we have restraining orders against him. It isn’t fun and I never thought I would be that parent.

2. Life is always weird anyway

My parents didn’t “disown” me… I was just a weird mistake. My mother never wanted a child. She bailed after a few months.
My father was a single parent and ended up in prison (life without parole) when I was 14. I finally met my mother. She was a police detective by the time I moved in with her. She threw me out after two months.
I am 30 now, and life is typically a little weird around the holidays, but I always get a good laugh when I tell people that my father is in prison for life and my mother is a cop. But then they get super awkward when I tell them that no… it’s not a joke.
It took a long time for me to come to terms with it, but I know now that none of it was my fault.
EDIT: This blew up way more than I expected. Thanks for all the kind words, everybody!

1. At least the girls are safe now…

I’m not a parent, I’ve never disowned a child. My parents disowned my oldest sister. I’m the youngest of three girls. My oldest sister had a horrible relationship with my father, blames me for getting in the way of their relationship. She had her first baby (to spite him) when she was 16 years old. My father refused to give her money because she met a deadbeat child predator, and got pregnant again, the again, and again. She constantly put herself and deadbeat before kids. Dad would send money to girls for Christmas and birthdays and never heard a thing, he finally gave up… She’s 30, has six daughters, and lives in a mobile home in North Carolina.
We hadn’t seen or heard from my sister until June of this year. My oldest niece contacted me asking to come to Florida (where I live) for the summer to get her and her sisters out of the trailor. I agree, contact sister and she agrees, I set up plane tickets and organize the rooms they’ll stay in. When they got here, they were completely disheveled. Clothes visibly dirty, smelled foul, so covered in lice that my white towels stained gray from removing them. My niece informed me that they had been without water and electricity for 6 months. They live in a 2 bedroom mobile home, there are holes in the roof, bugs and rats everywhere. As a family, we decide the girls aren’t going back to North Carolina.
We tell my sister to come to my parents house in Florida to get her life together and get back on her feet. She refused because deadbeat is not invited. Ironically, she found out that deadbeat is cheating on her. She confronts him and he kicks her out of shit hole trailer. Deadbeat said “I would rather be homeless than live with you”. Sister now works for the dollar store and doesn’t pull her weight with kids. At least the girls are safe now…

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