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Mom's Secret Side Hustle

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Mom's Secret Side Hustle

"One day my mom and I were having a conversation about 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' She said that the author writes much better than her, but if she knew how to use the internet she'd make much more money. I was like, 'What are you talking about, mom?'

She then explained she writes dirty letters along with pictures that get distributed among various prisons in a tri-state radius for $5 a pop. She said she makes $750/month. I'd love to say I'm shocked, but unfortunately, my mom has never had a filter."

Born Just To Prove A Point

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Born Just To Prove A Point

"My mother and I were riding in the car one day when I was 11 or 12. I got curious and asked my mom why I didn't have a brother or sister closer in age. I'm the youngest of four children and there's a big age gap between myself and my sibling closest in age. Even more so with my oldest sibling. My mother, world-renowned for her tact, proceeds to tell me an impassioned story in graphic detail.

She told me she had an abortion before me. Then she got pregnant with me but didn't abort just so she could prove to my father that she wasn't cheating on him. First words out of her mouth to my father after it was determined my blood type is the same as my father's: 'What now, mofo?'

I was born with the purpose of winning an argument."

His Dad Wasn't Who He Thought He Was

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His Dad Wasn't Who He Thought He Was

"I was told when I was nine that the man who raised me wasn't my real dad. My real dad was apparently's my stepdad's ex-coworker.

I was told when I was 17 that I had two sisters and a brother on my dad's side. I found said siblings when I was 19. My dad had kept me and my sister's existence a secret from his wife, son, and daughters their entire lives. Apparently, both my older sister and I were conceived while he was married to his current wife.

The first time I met my dad was at his mother's funeral who I also never met. It was the only place I was sure to know he would be at. I showed up in all black. I walked up to the casket. The viewing room was empty except for two people who I didn't know. They asked who I was, and I said her grandson. They looked confused. Turns out it was my aunt and uncle. I turned around and my dad was standing dead center at the end of the parlor pale white. His wife and everyone else was in the reception area stuffing their faces. He put his arm around me and walked me out saying it was good to see me, which was actually a really slick move. I didn't even notice until I was outside that I had basically been kicked out...

Apparently, my mom wasn't a complete saint either. When I was 29, I learned she was an exotic dancer, maybe even a streetwalker, while working at the donut bank around the time I was conceived. She had ran away from home at 14 (the first time) and went to work as a dancer in New Orleans. I was told that my mom found out she was pregnant when she puked all over the bar. She knew it because she had never puked from drinking before.

When I was 31, I learned I was conceived on the chess table that used to be in my grandparent's house and now sits in my living room. Yeah..."

When One's Religion Puts Their Children In Danger

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When One's Religion Puts Their Children In Danger

"My brother and I moved back in with our mom mid-adolescence. She became part of a very small and radical Pentecostal sect. We would sometimes tag along and even became somewhat involved (we were young). Money was very very tight, and she would often ask us to help her out with what little money we made part-time. My dad made a lot more money and sent over alimony in the amount of almost a grand every month.

After a few years of her going to that church, she became more and more radically devoted. We, at home, weren't getting very much food, yet luckily we both worked in restaurants so whenever we worked we got to eat tons and bring home more too.

She had done her taxes one year and filed the scanned paperwork in a document on my computer because she didn't have the money to have her own.

Not being a snoop, I had never opened it and decided I shouldn't either...until my dad asked me to bring the computer with me when I would go visit him next. It was his old work laptop so I didn't see a problem with bringing it in the first place. He saw the file and copied it immediately without my knowledge. A few weeks after I returned to my mother's house, and had delved back into the world known as hunger, my father called me up and told me to go into a specific part of the folder.

Tax document showing alimony payments in year X, in the amount of $10,000

Tax receipt from Pentecostal Sect for the same year in the amount of $9,985

My mother put two growing teens in a home of hunger and uncertainty because she was brainwashed to give all her money to the church."

Dad's Wild Past

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Dad's Wild Past

"When I was a kid, my dad always used to go to these meetings, every Saturday, without fail, very early in the morning. I wondered what he was doing at work on a Saturday but just chalked it up to him being a hard worker. Later in life, around the age of 12, I found out my dad was an addict and that he was going to AA and NA meetings. As an upper-middle-class, white kid from the 'burbs, this was a revelation to say the least. I knew that when I was very young we used to live in the sketchier part of town, and I knew my father didn't drink or smoke like so many other parents I knew, but I had no idea that he had this debilitating disease.

Over the next seven years, I learned even more. He told me stories about how he started drinking and smoking pot at 11, how he moved on to hallucinogens like mushrooms and others. By the time he was 14, how he almost got arrested for stealing barbiturates from a mental patient when he was 15, how he finally moved on to coke at 21 and started pushing to support his habit. He met my mother at a party and they started dating because she could get him stuff for free. After my sister was born he was doing crack in the morning then downing 15 benzos so that he could look 'normal' at work. He used to smuggle stuff in my sister's diaper bag (yes, like in Goodfellas) to and from his various connections. My mother threatened to leave him with my sister and in a fit of rage, he stabbed himself in the stomach with a steak knife so that she had to stay.

After all of this, he was still using, still going out every weekend for a crack binge so that he wouldn't get the shakes too bad when he went into work on Monday.

I've learned a lot about my parents over the years and honestly, I'd rather not know."

The Unbelievable Things Found In The Red Tool Box

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The Unbelievable Things Found In The Red Tool Box

"My brother and his best friend were at our house. They were both 15, I was 13. My dad was at work, and my mom went to the store, so they decide that they are going to raid my parents' bedroom, looking for stuff that they had confiscated or anything else that was interesting.

Well, they found my parent's little red toolbox. We bust off the back hinge of the box, and low and behold, a trove of adult toys!

My brother's friend did what anyone would do in the situation. He slapped me across the face with one of the toys. Full on, kerplow. I was furious. With a nice big red mark across my face, I turned to him and screamed, 'You slapped me with my own mother's freaking play toy!'

He calmly responded, 'Or your dads.'"

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"People Talk About How Their Families Are Crazy, But Mine Actually Is"

"My sister was the scorn baby. Mom hated her mother-in-law and when Gramma told her, 'One boy and one girl. You have the perfect family-just like me!' she went and had another one. My dad is no better. After my sister was old enough to attend school, mom wanted to go back to work. Dad was afraid she'd get a good enough job to leave him, so he sabotaged her birth control and she got pregnant again. My littlest brother was born because of this, and the pregnancy almost killed her. She insisted on a vasectomy after that

But beyond this, my family is totally messed up. I know other people talk about how their families are just sooooo crazy, but mine actually is. Out of 6 immediate family members, 3 have been committed. My youngest brother is one of them. My sister would be, but she doesn't have insurance and threatens to kill herself if anyone tries to force her to go. I wanted to call her bluff, but mom freaked out and talked about her own suicide attempts and how she can identify with her pain. She brags about being a 'cutter.' To say we are dysfunctional is an understatement.

Dad is bipolar, and so are my brother and I. Dad's the worst. He beat all 4 of his kids...and my mom. She's not exempt from the blame; she sometimes even encouraged the beatings we got. She pretends things didn't happen like I remember and yells at me for yelling at the grandbabies when they're being rotten. None of us escaped unscathed. My other brother is messed up too, but we don't have a word for what's wrong with him. He abandoned his illegal immigrant wife with this family and moved away. He hates everyone so much that he's willing to leave her here to rot rather than come here and do the paperwork for her citizenship.

It's just beyond effed up, all of it."

Finally Reunited After Years Of Separation

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Finally Reunited After Years Of Separation

"I grew up being told by my family that my mother abandoned me. I later found out that my father kidnapped me from her. We were on the run the entire time I was in elementary school. I never had a stable set of friends at that time because I went to a different school every year. I slept in bunk beds with my dad growing up in a one bedroom apartment. I was 18 when my mother's private investigator found me and I learned the real story.

My parents never really loved each other. When I was born, my dad was 35 and my mom was 19. My parents got married in Colombia and then came to this country illegally shortly afterward because they wanted me to be a natural US citizen. They eventually gained legal residency (not to be confused with citizenship). After a long fight, my mother said she wanted to go visit her mother in Colombia to decide if she wanted to stay married or not. My dad quickly filed for divorce and won full custody because he claimed that she abandoned the household. He knew she would be gone for a couple of months when she made it clear she was coming back. He packed up everything in the house and we left without a destination. He didn't want her to argue the court's decision and lose full custody of me.

I don't hate my dad because I couldn't have asked for a more caring and thoughtful father. I'm not happy with what he did, but I can't ignore the fact that he was my best friend growing up. He wanted me to excel in school so he would write homework for me to do on top of what the teacher assigned so I would always be ahead of the class. He knew I didn't have a stable set of friends from moving so frequently so he took me to movies, the arcade, and to dinosaur exhibits when I was young. We grew up broke, but I didn't realize it until I was much older. He always seemed grateful for every day that I was in his life. I'm 26 now and I can only hope to be half as good of a father as he was to me one day.

My mother found herself homeless, out of money, and illegal in this country whenever she came back. She was known at the women's shelter as the young foreign woman who didn't speak English and did nothing but cry for several days. She began working at McDonald's and continued living at the women's shelter. She kept going to a nearby church and someone quickly took interest in her. She wasn't attracted to him but he had a professional job, owned a house, and seemed hopelessly devoted to winning her affection. She became friends with him and he said he'd do everything he could to help find her son. They wrote letters and made phone calls together to every person in the phone book they could find with my name. They even wrote to my uncles and aunts on my dad's side to 'do the right thing' and tell her where I was. She did this for years.

My mom's family and my dad's family knew each other in Colombia. Things escalated quickly when they found out what happened. Family members on both sides were beaten up. My pregnant cousin was kicked in the stomach by my mom's mom when she didn't confess to where my dad was hiding.

My mom felt like she was out of options. The man from church was her only friend in this country. She told me that she believed she could grow to love him although she wasn't attracted to him. Soon after, she went on a date with him and he was very considerate and sweet. That only confirmed what she believed before so they ended up getting married and having three kids. They were told that they would one day see their big brother. She eventually decided it was best to give up her search until I turned 18 so my dad couldn't keep me from seeing her. She knew that I would have been told lies by his family of how I was unwanted and abandoned and she wanted me to be old enough to understand her side of the story.

My dad has always been very active in the church. The private investigator found my dad's picture on the member's list of our church's website so my mother showed up to church that following Sunday. During the service, my dad was kneeling with his eyes closed during the prayer and he felt someone tap him on the shoulder. He was completely in shock whenever he saw his ex-wife for the first time since she left to visit her mother about 14 years ago. She caused a huge scene and told everyone that my father had stolen her son from her. The pastor called the cops and she said she refused to leave without her son. I had slept in that Sunday and my dad drove back home to get me. He woke me up by knocking on my door like he was the police. I had never seen him so terrified in my life. He just said 'get ready, your mom's at church' and I got dressed as fast as I could. I had only seen one picture of my mom because every other picture of her had been destroyed. It was a picture of me standing in the house I lived in with both of my parents and on the wall, there was a Glamour Shots style picture of my mom with big '80s hair and a tacky backdrop. That's what I was expecting to see when I showed up to church: a brunette, petite woman with a somewhat awkward smile.

When we arrived, I was in the parking lot of the church looking for the person from the picture. I see a chubby middle-aged woman with unnaturally blonde hair stuffed into a leopard print dress running in heels towards me saying in Spanish 'my sweet little Daniel, I finally found you!' I just stood there frozen in disbelief. She told me to take her to a restaurant so that she could explain herself. She brought court documents and pictures of us. Later when I arrived at the airport for my first visit, I was greeted by my three half-siblings I didn't know existed holding up a homemade banner that said 'welcome home big brother!'

I'm still closer with my father, but I'm glad she's in my life and I try to fly out and visit her a couple times a year."

The Truth About Who Dad Does Business With

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The Truth About Who Dad Does Business With

"I grew up in New York City. My dad was involved in shipping electronics out of city factories for many years. One night we went to our neighborhood Italian restaurant and sitting in the corner was this massive guy in a good suit. He looked maybe 60 and looked like he could rip a normal man in half. When he saw my dad his stone face cracked into a huge smile and he stood up to shake hands.

'What are you doing all the way down here?' my dad asked.

'Oh,' he said, jerking a thumb toward the kitchen, 'I come to see Vinnie' (Vinnie was the cook, and a great one). 'He likes to play the ponies and sometimes he forgets to call me, so I gotta come say hello. It's okay, I like Vinnie, he's a good kid.'

The giant turned his face to mine, still smiling. I almost wet myself. That was when I realized my dad regularly did business with The Mob. So that's how all those shipments of easy-to-sell TVs and radios made it out of Brooklyn intact.

Years later my dad acknowledged that 'sometimes we'd have to let a truck go to keep everyone happy.'"

That's Why You Don't Snoop Through People's Texts

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That's Why You Don't Snoop Through People's Texts

"My parents wanted another kid, but they were at the time saving up to have an addition put on to the house and were getting close so they figured about two or three years to finish saving up, get the addition built, get knocked up again, and give birth. Of course, my dad goes and got my mom pregnant with me. They converted this one tiny little room into a bedroom for me, still planning on getting that addition when my dad got diagnosed with cancer and, well, there went the savings.

But that's not even the kicker. Apparently such was the extent that my mom did not want to have me she actively tried to have me put up for adoption, and if my dad hadn't been alive at the time I probably would have been. In hindsight, growing up in adoptive care might have been better, but it's still freaking great to know your own mother never wanted you and tried to get rid of you.

My dad died in 1994. Sometime around 1995 or 1996, when we got that good ol' dial-up, my mom started looking up old friends and e-mailing them. One of them was a guy she knew for all of two years, only one year of that in person (he moved across the country after the first year, they wrote letters to one another but then her family moved down to PA from MA and they stopped writing for whatever reason).

At some point between the initial contact and later, things got romantic. I don't know when. What I do know is by the time I was in 7th grade (2004-2005 academic year) they were texting and calling one another constantly. I mean constantly. Their relationship is the whole reason we got unlimited texting, it was costing so much. The way she talked on the phone and the two times they met up in person that I was around for they always seemed kinda flirty to me, but I never really thought too much about it. Mostly on account of the fact that he was married at the time and I figured one or both of them was at least halfway decent.

When I was in 10th grade, my laptop died and I had to use the desktop (which is in my mom's room) for school stuff until I got a new one. I went to delete some old papers now that I'd handed them in. I clicked on the recycle bin to empty it and I saw things no one ever wants to see of their parents, even in slightly indistinct thumbnail form.

My mom always takes her phone everywhere with her at all times. Except there was one time when I was in 11th grade one of my mom's friends was back in town, they went out to dinner, and my mom left her phone behind. I was hanging out in the living room, trying to have a relaxing evening playing video games and watching TV and whatnot while I had the house all to myself.

M mom's freaking phone kept going off every two seconds. After about forty or so minutes of this, I got fed up with it and picked up my mom's phone to tell him my mom's out to dinner and to knock it off with the freaking texts. I opened the first unread message...and he's talking about going down on her. I threw the phone clear across the room at the wall, ran out of the house, and took off to the train station planning to get myself out to Ohio to crash with my sister for a while. I didn't have any money so I just wound up sitting on a bench at the train station in the middle of the night in November feeling like freaking crap.

They're still together now, but at least he's finally divorced I guess."

Pride Can Be An Ugly Thing

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Pride Can Be An Ugly Thing

"Even though my parents are separated and seemingly hate each other, my dad is still clearly in love with my mom. No matter how much my dad pushes her away, my mom is subconsciously open to the idea of getting him back. My dad, however, has a pride issue and is incapable of admitting his love for my mom, acting on it, or sacrificing for it.

I regret learning this and I don't. The reason I regret learning this is because now I look at the two of them differently. I hate the fact that I see my dad for who he is. A guy who is completely miserable without my mom. He's a functioning addict and it's clear as day that his only cure is getting my mom back. At the same time, I don't regret learning this, because its what got me back together with my girlfriend. I realized that I too have an ego/pride issue and that I was still in love with my girlfriend, but incapable of admitting it, acting on it, or sacrificing for it. Once I realized how crazy I was being, it all hit me. I needed her back.

My parents were always separated while I was growing up, and the idea of them being together sounds grotesque to me. But they've both been single for the longest time and they really need to put their pride aside and be happy together."

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