A teenager who was raised by his dad from the age of 2 has discovered the shocking truth behind his mom’s apparent “abandonment” of him in his formative years—and it’s left many feeling furious on both his and her behalf.
Separation from a parent is a traumatic experience for any child, with the loss of a major influence and source of protection in their day-to-day development.
According to Stanford psychology Professor Ian H. Gotlib: “Early life stress is consistently associated with behavioral problems in children, with symptoms of psychopathology and with psychological and physical disorders.”
That trauma is apparent in the account shared to Reddit by one 18-year-old who has spent the past 16 years growing up without a mom. Writing under the handle Basic-Cherry-3008 in a post upvoted over 11,000 times, the teen explained that he grew up thinking his mother of him had “abandoned” him and his father of him —because that was what his dad told him .
“He told me my mother packed up and left us when I turned 2 years old,” the teen wrote. “I grew up to resent and hate her. Mainly because I saw how my father was working super long hours to make ends meet.”
Those feelings were exacerbated when he managed to track her down on social media and discovered she was now working as a chef in a Michelin star restaurant.
“She was out there living her best life,” he wrote. “She travels, has a huge apartment, and apparently is married.”
Angry at what he had seen, he sent her a private message, slamming her for “abandoning” him to live a “frivolous life.” She replied, but rather than offer an explanation there and then, she asked that they meet face to face.
They met in a restaurant. The teenager said he was “angry” and upset at first and kept “berating her” for her actions. His mom from him, who had “just sat there and took it all in” then proceeded to tell him the truth.
She told him that she met his father just before finishing university. After a few months together she got a job offer in another country. Around that time she also admitted to him she was “not ready for the type of commitment he wanted” and that while she loved him they “weren’t compatible.”
Then she found out she was pregnant. Eager to take up the job, she considered an abortion.
“She did not feel ready to be a mom at 22,” he wrote. “She did not feel maternal feelings. She said she was already struggling with depression and late-diagnosed ADHD.”
His dad “convinced” her to have the baby but his mom said the first few months after he was born were difficult and she had “suicidal thoughts” and was scared she would “hurt” him. Things worsened as he approached the age of 2 and she even tried to commit suicide.
The teen’s mom produced court documents backing up her claims, including one that declared her “unfit to be a parent.”
It then emerged that she had in fact been paying almost $3,000 a month in child support. Though the teenager insisted they “don’t receive that money” she once again had the documents to prove it.
They raised and shared a warm embrace before he left, but the revelations she shared have left him cold. “My whole life is a lie,” he surmised.
The Reddit post left readers stunned and angry, with some speculating on what the teen’s father may have done with the money.
Content-Bowler-3149 suspected his dad has “some hidden addiction” with FullyRisenPhoenix furious at the idea of him “spending it up somewhere instead of on the kid he supposedly wanted so badly.”
Fantasi_ added: “It makes me sick to my stomach thinking of what he’s done with all that cash.”
TxGiantGeek was more concerned about the implications his mom’s claims had when it came to his teen’s home life.
“Your father is a manipulative horrible man,” they said. “I can’t even imagine the level of pain from the revelation of all of this.”
They added: “Don’t tell your father or anyone on his side of the family until you get all of your stuff, anything you might need out of that house.”
Kerfuffle-Bunny, meanwhile, encouraged the teenager to lean on his mom for support.
“While your mother may not be able to be a ‘mom’ to you, she does sound like someone who can be a very useful ally for you to have,” they said. “If your mom is serious about the money, talk to her about finding a therapist for yourself so you can process this.”
Newsweek has contacted Basic-Cherry-3008 for comment.