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This is a question Terrible Parenting

My parents used to lock my brother, sister and I in the car while they went to the pub for a "quick one" after work. This quick one might last several hours, during which they would send bottles of Indian Tonic Water to us by way of refreshment.

On one particularly cold evening, bored stupid, we lit a small bonfire on the back seat of the car using the cigarette lighter and the contents of the glove box. We owe our lives to passing winos. (BTW: Please no more Maddie or Jesus gags, they've been done.)

(, Thu 16 Aug 2007, 9:47)
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My former stepmother...
...did the following after my Dad's not entirely unexpected death just over 18 months ago:

* Expressly forbade my mother from attending the funeral, threatening also to disallow the attendance of me and my brother if we 'carried on making such a big thing of it'. My mother acquiesced for our sakes.
* Put a guest list in force at the chapel of rest where my Dad's body was beforehand, with again the express intention of excluding my mother.
* Invited about half the people to the funeral that should have been there, only actually informing the local community in which he was very well known of his death after it.
* Chose Peter Kay's rendition of that Amarillo song as the theme music to his cremation, and dancing - MOTHER-FUCKING DANCING - as the curtain went down on the coffin. Fair to add at this point that she was half-sloshed by this time but that's so far from an excuse as my brain can't comprehend the distance.
* Shed a tear with me whilst I was looking at some photos a few weeks later, then was observed boogie-ing away once again mere minutes later whilst redecorating the bedroom they had shared. We were alone in the house - I almost just went for it and killed her right then.
* Refused to scatter the ashes after a reasonable period despite his entire family's insistence and then pretending to change the date she eventually chose at the last minute, which turned out to be a lie. We were waiting for her on the original date and she arrived bang-on-time with the urn. Upon seeing us there, she refused to do it and after rearranging the date with the clerks for real this time, she instructed them that we were not to be informed of the arrangements, despite that the assembled included two sons and the only sister to have attended his funeral. She forgot to deny us knowledge of the scattered ashes' location though, so we know where they are at least - I've no doubt she would have if she'd thought quick enough.
* Kept the urn until that point at the back of the sofa in what was now her living room. Didn't even fucking dust it, her or her witless kids.
* Said all of these actions were my Dad's wishes when my Dad had visited us all a few times in the couple of years preceding* to let us know how he felt while he still could and make peace where he needed to - even his severely black sheep sister got a visit. Suffice to say, stepmo's description of his wishes didn't match his own. I try to imagine his face if he'd been told that it was going to happen the way it did - I can't seem to imagine a happy face.

In a nutshell, she used my Dad's memory to show me and mine what she thought of us AND my Dad, because she knew it would be her last chance to do it where those with sense to care could see. In doing so, she broke my family's heart and bred hate in me for the first time in my adult life. For all of these things and more, I can't forgive her - she truly doesn't deserve it.

But what gets me more than anything is that she did these things in plain sight - these unforgivable insults to us and him, there for all to see. But only a handful including us objected (for all the good it did), or even appeared to notice. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

So not exactly bad parenting** because I'm 34 and haven't lived under the same roof as the bitch for more than 25 years, but now you understand that she's my former stepmother more than just because my Dad's gone.

Apologies for length - I have lots of material on this specific topic. I try not to think about it much though - it makes me want to do some pretty terrible things :/

EDIT: I should add something more current - this needs an epilogue. More recently I've made peace with my Dad's memory and mostly compartmentalised my outrage his widow's actions, so things are good again. The only thing of his that I took aside from some photos was an unopened box of 25 cigars. One's been smoked already, but for the next 24 years at least, wherever I call home at the time, I'll still be where his ashes are every xmas day with a cigar in one hand and a flask of single malt in the other, sharing both with my Brother. For Dad.

* Basically because he knew he couldn't talk freely where she was. She had a temper - see below.
** But here's an example for the sake of staying on-topic. When I was about 6 or so and still living with our Dad, self-same cunt had her feet firmly under the table and used to wash mine and my brother's hair in the kitchen sink before packing us off on the weekly trip to see our Mum. This one time, she had a 'fork-in-the-knife-drawer' moment and went away to take care of whatever it was, telling me to stay where I was. There I was, a not especially mischievous 6-year-old boy, twiddling my thumbs whist stood on a stool in front of the kitchen sink, so I picked up the shampoo and was reading the back - it was Vosene, I distinctly recall. When she walked back into the kitchen I immediately put the bottle back down, knowing that I had done something wrong, but these days I haven't a fucking clue why that was. But I had done though, because she dragged me upstairs and slapped me. Hard. A lot. And then she sent me off to my Mum in hysterics and carrying angry welts all over my legs and arse. My Mum naturally went bananas - she involved the police and came around the next weekend threatening to beat her to death if she ever laid another hand on her kids. I wasn't allowed to go see my Mum for weeks after. Did I say 'bitch'? That said, she didn't touch either us after that even though we couldn't bear living with her even for the sake of my Dad for more than another couple of years after and transferred to my Mum.
(, Mon 20 Aug 2007, 19:53, Reply)

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