This article originally appeared on VICE US
Our parents tried their best with us. Sure, most of our childhoods weren't a Norman Rockwell painting, but we made it out alright, didn't we? And it's not like we made it easy for them. Parenting is the hardest job in the world even without having a kid trying to sabatoge you at every chance.
We asked people about the worst thing they ever did to their parents. Some still felt guilty about typical teen behavior, like lying and sneaking out. Others, however, went that extra step into reprehensible actions that make the kid from Problem Child look like one of the Von Trapps.
PRETENDED TO BE SUICIDAL
I was in seventh grade, and I went from 90 pounds to 160 in like four months. All the popular kids I hung out with turned on me, started bullying me and jumping me on a weekly basis. One night, they left a voicemail threatening they would kill me if I came to school the next day. This is, of course, after they spray painted the school with "Alex is a tuna fish" and swastikas all over the building.
I deleted it before my mom could hear the voicemail. She was already causing problems at school for me because of the issue, and I didn't want to make it worse. So instead I told her the next morning that I didn't want to go to school... because I wanted to kill myself instead. And she didn't believe me, so I got a knife and threatened to hurt myself with it. Of course then she tried to intervene, and I tried to force it on her just to prove that I was serious. Once she believed me, I went peacefully to the psych ward where I convinced them to let me stay on a 30-day hold.
That wasn't the last time I faked it, either. By the time I was 14, I had over 13 visits to the psych ward. It was only recently that I found out that my mom had actually sold the condo to cover all my medical bills because of that. She paid over $250,000 and has been renting ever since because she never really recovered from that financial hit.— Alex, 27
CONVINCING MY MOM I WAS A HOME INTRUDER
My high school football practice had been canceled due to rain. Once classes ended I jumped on the bus, which I almost never did during the season, and came home to an empty house in a thunderstorm. I dropped my backpack in my room and went straight into the bathroom.
Then I heard the garage door opening. This would be my mother coming home from work, and I quickly realized there was no obvious evidence that I nor anyone else was in the house. So I did what any hormonal teenager would in the same situation: turned off the light, waited silently until I heard her just outside the bathroom door, then screamed like a rabid howler monkey on amphetamines.
Somehow, my mom screamed louder. I heard something heavy drop as she took off full sprint for her bedroom, where I'd find out later she was searching for my dad's revolver. But I came out quickly and announced myself, and she responded with a flurry of swearing usually reserved for sailors and Al Swearengen.
I realized what had dropped was a bag of groceries, and a bottle must have broken in the bag because there was a puddle on the hardwood. I cleaned the spill up and was putting away the rest when my mom finally emerged from her bedroom. She was red faced and shaking, as close to a human being's ever come to shooting smoke out their ears. Eventually though, she managed to form words: "How dare... you can't... you little shit, you made me pee myself!" It took me a few minutes to realize that nothing in the grocery bag had spilled. — Michael, 30
DRUGGING MY MOM
My friend slept over at my house, and we wanted to go out and smoke weed with our older friend who was gonna pick us up. We were young then and no one our age drove, so my mom would have known this was an older guy if he picked us up and therefore she would not been down. So I made everyone hot chocolate and put a sleeping pill in my mom's. But she didn't want to drink hot chocolate at 9 PM, and I never do that sorta thing, so she was very suspicious. It didn't work out, but that's not the only time I drugged her.
I made pot brownies for my one boyfriend, and when she asked for some (not knowing they were laced), I gave her two brownies to take to work for a snack later. I think she even gave one to her boss. I have to stop drugging my mom. — Yeri, 26
FAKING MY INJURIES
Around age ten or 11, I had this brief habit where, when I didn't want to do something, or just got bored, I'd fake a serious injury. I'd seen an injured kid at my pee wee football practice get taken away in an ambulance, and I liked all the commotion going on around him, so the next week I faked a dislocated shoulder from a big hit that everyone totally bought. The ambulance came out, and I was happy to be getting the attention as well as being done with practice for the day. The hospital naturally didn't find anything amiss and sent me on my way just telling my parents to keep it iced and stuff.
Then later that summer, while playing outside, I faked taking a spill on my bike and just laid there on the road until some random passerby stopped his car to run into my house to get my mom. They used old copies of National Geographic to splint my leg and once there, the hospital again found out that no, my femur was not, in fact, broken. I still stuck to the act and hobbled around on crutches for a while to sell it. Only as an adult do I realize the mountain of debt I must've put my parents through just because I was being a little shit.— George, 31
My mom was always super protective of me as a child. Even well after age 18, when I would go out, she would call me like every hour or two to ask if I was OK.
Finally one day I was like fuck this and decided to take my Mercedes (registered under my mom's name) and disappear. In reality, I was just staying at friends' houses. By the third week, she was completely freaking out and called literally everyone I know. I was still going to university at that time, but I don't think she knew what my class schedule was, so she showed up at the school and made this big scene until I surfaced. She then went on a rant about trying to get me to go to rehab (which was hilarious, because I didn't even do drugs back then). She took my car keys there, so I ditched my phone that night and just left to join some band on tour. I was away from home for just under three months. Looking back, it all seems kinda shitty. — Jamie, 25
BREAKING MY MOM'S RIBS
I didn't get along with my mother very well when I was growing up, especially as a teenager, which I think is pretty common between mothers and daughters. One day, when I was about 15, we were arguing about something trivial in the car. She pulled over on the side of the freaking freeway and made me get out. So I did, walked to the nearest gas station, and called a friend who ended up driving me home—but not before giving me a little booze.
I was so tipsy and pissed off that as soon as I walked in the door I got into a physical altercation with my mom and pushed her tiny ninety-pound frame into a wall, resulting in breaking almost all of her ribs. She gave birth to me, and I did that to her. We laugh about it now, 12 years later, but I'm really lucky she still loves me after that, and that she didn't call the cops on me that day.— Molly, 27
FAKING BAD TATTOOS
I have a ton of tattoos, and I constantly fuck with my mom, who lives across the country, by sending her pics I've Photoshopped where it seems like I've bought myself the worst new tattoos ever. Like one time I convinced her I'd got a throat piece of Wiley Burp, the dog from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.— Pat, 28
Follow Justin Caffier on Twitter.