Bad Fathers

11 comments | July 29th, 2012

chestist black scratch

(by Natasha, 19, a Chestist)

My dad gives me crap about my weight and how unpretty I am all the time. For the record, I am 5'2'', 103 lbs (naturally, no eating disorders here), and have been called "stunningly beautiful" and "fairy-like" by my mom's friends. In a month, I'm heading off to college in New York and my dad keeps teasing me in front of the entire family. He says I'm going to come back 50 lbs heavier and looking like a whale, and that it's simply a fact. I also mentioned that a friend of mine auditioned to play a Disney Princess. His response? "She looks more like Ursula." This is one of my best friends. He keeps saying that she's "chunky" and needs to get a nose job. At the same time, he blatantly tells me that he thinks my tall, beautiful, stick-thin friend is one of the sexiest people he has ever met. This kinda language lead to my younger sister's anorexia earlier this year. I've tried talking to him about it, but he won't stop. I'm terrified that he ...

#bodiesSelf-Loathing, Just Like Mama Taught Me

10 comments | July 12th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted as a comment, by Lana a Chestist, and reposted here, now)

The writer first posted this as a comment to our story on Mothers, and what they teach us about ourselves - for good and ill.  Here's her story:

When I was 14, my mom told me that, for her, 130 lbs was "big." At that time, I weighed about 165 lbs. In that moment, I wanted to kill myself.

She wasn't telling me to lose weight, she was expressing her own dissatisfaction with her body. My mom has a curvy hourglass figure - she's wears a 32DD Bra and size 12 pants. Her waist is tiny but she has our family's hips bodacious booty. My whole life, my mother talked about food, and she still does. She decides to "hate" foods that have "too much fat," like cheesecake, which, I recently found out, she actually loves but told me that she hated it my whole life. She won't even drink a latte because it has "too much milk." She has been on Weight Watchers my entire life and when we went around the table ...

Pregnancy Loss.

7 comments | July 8th, 2012


(submitted by Nicole S, a Chestist)

"Baby "Gunther", on May 1, 2012, I heard your little, but strong heartbeat. You were right around the 160's and still even at 14 weeks, you made mommy sick in the mornings. Shelley, the midwife, said that eventually that would taper off. I told her, it must be your way of letting me know you were still in there since it was too early to feel movement.

As the weeks progressed, it was evident that you were starting to grow. My belly started sticking out and I got what was the beginning of a baby bump! I was totally in denial, thinking, "It's much too early and at my size, I'm sure this is cake or ice cream." But a couple more weeks passed, and I noticed that my feet were disappearing. I was elated and nervous! I just knew I had gained a ton of weight.

I was excited and nervous for my appointment on May 29 with the midwife. I figured if my belly was making my feet disappear, then surely I had gained a ton of weight. I knew it ...

Happy HatingHow Do I Cope?

3 comments | July 5th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

my dad's a drunk...

...although i have many great people who are willing to talk to me or just listen. im so tired of them acting like they know how i feel or that its gonna get better. IM. SO. TIRED. OF. IT. because they dont! they dont know how it feels to be scared coming home from school, or being embarassed to have your friends over because your dads passed out in the living room, etc. and STOP TELLING ME ITS GONNA GET BETTER. because its not! the only way its gonna get better is if he wants to get better and he doesnt. he doesnt. so no dont tell me you know how it feels. i get that everyone has problems but no one should have to live with this because it SUCKS. it really does...the thing is, my mom and i both want to leave but we cant unless we want to be do i cope with this...i dont know what to do and i want it all to stop. {end story}

When you can't fix ...

#lifestagesThey Say They’re Ok With Who I Am

12 comments | June 21st, 2012

green eyed

(story submitted by a 17 yo Chestist)

I don't understand why they can't just be happy with who I am.  They're family.  You'd think they'd be nice to their daughter and granddaughter, especially after knowing I self-injure but that just made things worse. I love my family but its hard sometimes.  They say they're okay with who I am but they disapprove of everything I do and everything I stand for.  {end story}

Doesn't matter how old you are or aren't; you ever feel like those closest to you are judging who you are and what you do?  How do you deal with it?

Happy HatingI Still Want a Dad Though

13 comments | June 14th, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story submitted anonymously, by a 20 yo Chestist)

My whole life I've basically loved my dad more than my mom. I feel horrible for sharing that.  i mean i love them the same i just showed the love more to my dad. My dad was scary at times but i just couldn't help but love him still and when he was nice and sweet it reassured my love. He paid for everything, always was the man of the house.  he was strict and i never wanted to get him mad, and you know what writing this now actually has made me realize that maybe i loved him more or cared for him more because he had expectations and my mom didn't.

It was almost like a challenge to stay within his love lines i guess you can say, i didn't want to cross that line and have him be disappointed. that was life up to a month or so ago. It turns out he's been seeing another woman behind my mom's back. Everything just stopped.  i didn't want to be loved by him any more.  there ...

Your Mother Was a Nightmare!

4 comments | June 7th, 2012


(story submitted by PL, a Chestist)

My BFF's mother died suddenly a few years ago.

When we were growing up, she was mean, drunk, absent, emotionally abusive, I'm talking a seriously terrible mother.  When they had any relationship at all it was a bad one.  Despite all this, BFF glorifies this woman and remembers her as an amazing mother, and an example of the mother she hopes to be.  This post-death version of who her mother was has not even a slight resemblance to reality.  This woman terrorized her.  I want to shake her and scream and wake her from these fantasies of maternal bliss.  I get so angry and even a little bit disgusted. Then I think maybe this is how she's reconciling not being able to reconcile.  If this is how she chooses to remember her mother, does it matter that it's a total fairytale?  Why does it bother me so much that she's forgotten how things actually were for her?  It's not my life. {end story}

We're all capable of reinventing the past to fit our present.  What do you think...should our writer remind ...

#lifestagesFamily Bed

16 comments | June 6th, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(story by Renea from

Can I please have my bed back now?

After weathering the twin tsunamis of weaning and potty training, the two most anxiety producing events in a new mom’s life, my husband and I decided that after 5 YEARS, we might like to sleep next to each other in the bed again.

Not only did “Our Precious” sleep between us, but due to her overwhelming need to be close to me and my “Nips” (weaned or not), she literally slept ON MY HEAD.

We started out the night with one tiny arm over my neck and one tiny leg thrown over my waist in a human impression of “tiny baby monkey clings to Momma monkey”; oh so cute in the wild, not so cute in our Queen size bed.

I hate to re-visit a sore subject – but way back before I had a child, when I was a judgmental bitch, I said things like, “babies are supposed to sleep in their own beds”, “it is not healthy for a child or a marriage for the baby to sleep with the parents.”  What did I ...

Love & SexHello, Mom?

8 comments | May 10th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted by A.L.C., a Chestist)

My mother's been dead for 2 years.  I was never very close with her and the truth is I didn't like or respect her very much.  I've always thought that being a parent was about having this unconditional love for your child for my mom it was all about whether or not we had unconditional love for her.  I guess I didn't.

That's why it was seriously strange when earlier today something really good happened and my first thought was "oh, I should call mom."  I don't know if it's because it's mother's day on Sunday or what, but not only is she dead, I didn't  talk with her very much when she was alive.  That instinct to pick up my phone and call her is kind of weirding me out.  Where did that come from?  {end story}

Obviously Sunday is all about celebrating, well, Mother's (yes, our insights know few bounds).  Not everyone has (or had) a mother you feel like celebrating though.  On a scale of 1-10, how do you think your mother did?  Anything you need ...

Happy HatingPutting My Kids Through a Wall

7 comments | May 6th, 2012


(story submitted by J, a Chestist)

I really love my kids.  There are times when I just want to put them through a wall.  Not to cause them misery or pain mind you, but to put them out of mine.  In case anyone's worrying, I really won't do it.  I just want to. 

It's just there are moments when for no reason at all, or lots of reasons altogether, I can't help but thinking that the one instant of release would be like an immediate full-body massage, total relief.  Kind of like my body screaming S-T-F-U for one minute WON'T YOU, PLEASE.

Then, of course, I feel guilty and sad, and my guilt and sadness pushes my frustration to the side and I hug and kiss them and tell them how much I love them.  {end story}

Probably not a lot of parents that can't relate to this story somehow.  Regardless of whether or not you have kids, has your frustration ever reached a point where you did something you really wish you hadn't done?  Remember, you can always share anonymously.  Go on and get it off ...

#chestismsMother May I?

7 comments | April 12th, 2012

Sketch 2011-01-30 18_54_33

(submitted by OOC)

If Sue Sylvester can have this kind of insight, thinkn what the rest of us are capable of: "You know when I finally began to like who I am?  When I decided to stop trying to please you." ~ (Sue to her mom)

You spend your time more worried about pleasing others than you are about pleasing yourself?  What do you think is the right balance?  Go on and #discuss.  We're listening.

#lifestagesWorst Day Ever.

5 comments | April 5th, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story by Nicole, a Chestist)

A few days ago we tweeted a question, asking what was the worst day you'd ever had.  Here's Nicole's story - about her 2 worst days ever.

My "worst" day got replaced with one even worse - it happened almost 2 years ago and shattered my reality.

At the time i was 38, the mother of two young children & married.  my parents' marriage was something i had always looked up to as the ultimate union - they were going to be celebrating their 40th year of marriage in the fall of 2010.  So when my father called me in May of that year to announce he was leaving my mom ---- i was not only shocked, but also very, very sad.  Not just for them, but for myself as well - my idealized version of their marriage was shattered.  i cried, my dad cried and then when my mom got on the phone, she just sounded numb.  She was as shocked as i was, as we all were.  My brother and his wife were completely caught off guard, as ...

#lifestagesWalking Tall

19 comments | April 3rd, 2012


(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda)

It finally happened, and I have to tell you... I'm not usually all that sentimental, but it got to me. Not even when it was happening, but later.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start over.

Yesterday I took my daughter to Goodwill with me. I've been a dedicated thrifter since high school, which is a fancy way of saying "I'm cheap and I don't mind buying used." It's only recently that my teenage daughter put two and two together and realized that the chances of me saying "yes" to a purchase at a thrift store are astronomically higher than if we're at, say, the mall. (This is a no-brainer to me. A t-shirt for $2? Sure. The same t-shirt for $35? Uh, no.) So nowadays if I say I'm going to the thrift store, she's eager to join me.

As it happens, I was looking for shorts for my son. And as it often happens when it comes to thrifting, the thing I needed that day was in short supply. It seemed silly to leave five minutes after I discovered someone had ...

#lifestagesHow Do You Explain “Perfect”?

12 comments | March 22nd, 2012


(story by seth@OOC)

Quick background.  (Cue serious-movie-voice-over-guy) What you are about to read is true.  It happened.  It was also first published on the Huffington Post.  But since we wrote it, we figured we can repost it here.  So, here's our story, which begins and ends with  question...

How do you explain what "perfect" is to your kids, when they're 5 and 6?

Do you define it as the absence of flaws, or is it the presence of flaws that don't matter? Is it attainable or unattainable, something they should strive for, expect, ignore? Not so easy, right?

Here's why I ask. My kids (that's them up top) were playing in the back when their quiet play erupted into a scream of dismay. As I rushed to see who'd just lost a finger or who had lit the other's hair on fire (you'd think I'd have learned by now), Dear Daughter yells "Daddy, (Dear Son) just said I wasn't perfect but that he is."

Okay. Hmmm. Right. In the spur of the moment I had no idea what to say; days later I still ...

#lifestagesI Don’t Want To Have Babies

17 comments | March 3rd, 2012

chestist enthralled

(submitted by Angela, a Chestist.  Originally posted 5.18.11, and again now)

I'm a 35 year old female, married to a wonderful man, educated, working at a good job, but I have a confession to make.  This confession has taken me several years to actually realize.  Here it is...ready? (You may think you are, but I don't know!)

Okay...I don't really want to have babies!

There, I said it.  Do I still get to keep my Woman Card?  I feel like I’ll be booted out of the club for daring such a thought, the lone woman out in a world obsessed with fertility.

What I do know is that my hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant for about 5 years now - our progress is one ectopic pregnancy and...well, that's it!  He and I both have some fertility issues, meaning our reproductive organs aren't exactly working in rabbit-like fashion.  Okay, so no big deal, right?  Take some fertility drugs, try a couple (or more) of In-Vitro fertilizations, and just pop some out!  Or adopt a bunch, there are kids everywhere who don't have families!  Or get your mom ...