Mom Who Admits She 'Cannot Handle' Her Husband's Disabled Daughter Worries She's An 'Absolute Monster'

She shouldn't feel bad for being exhausted.

Step mother breaking down while dealing with a difficult step daughter MART PRODUCTION, pixelshot / Canva

Many parents experience the common phenomenon of parental burnout, but one mom, in particular, seems to be going through a rough time as her husband’s disabled daughter causes everyone in the family to be “miserable,” as she stated her own words.

She went to Reddit’s “r/TrueOffMyChest” subreddit to vent about her situation, hoping that anyone would listen and maybe offer some words of encouragement or support. Words of encouragement and support, however, are not the things she expected to receive.


The woman thought she was an ‘absolute monster’ because she ‘cannot handle’ her husband’s disabled daughter.

The title of the lengthy post reads, “I absolutely cannot handle my husband's disabled daughter,” and at the very beginning, she posts a small disclaimer: “I know this will bring a lot of hate and I’m super sorry. I hate feeling this way and I wish to god I didn’t. I never in a million years imagined I would be writing this or feeling this way but please at least read until the end.”

The woman feels a certain pressure from society that tells her that she should not feel the way that she feels. Were she to talk badly about her experience trying to parent her husband’s disabled daughter, she would be deemed cold and heartless — and this is a real phenomenon that occurs for many parents with disabled children.




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A woman named Jen Olney uploaded a video in June 2023, specifically responding to the backlash she received from commenters after she said, “My son is a blessing, autism is not.”

“If autism is a blessing for you, I’m so happy for you. That’s great,” Olney said in her video. “You are not profoundly affected… you don’t know anything about the struggles that my son faces because of autism and the struggles that our entire family faces because of autism.”


The woman in the Reddit post is dealing with a profound struggle, one in which the complexities of the situation make her feel as though she’s in the wrong for feeling this way.

However, once she explained her situation to the people of Reddit, they were kind and compassionate.

She claims her husband’s daughter is "extremely stubborn, unhygienic, antagonistic, and has explosive outbursts." She adds that her husband’s daughter is 13, high-functioning (although she doesn’t specify her diagnosis), and can be very sweet, but most of the time, that’s not how things go.

Things get very hard for their family, increasingly so as she has her own kids she has to deal with.

“She has an older brother whom she absolutely plagues. I mean, this boy can’t even go to the bathroom without her following him and juggling the knob the entire time,” she explains. “If he’s sitting behind her she holds up a pillow so he can’t see the TV for no reason. It is insanely miserable.”


Whenever she’s told to leave him alone, it feels like a “showdown,” she says.



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When it comes to her, she claims that “She absolutely loves me and while that’s sweet, she seeks out my attention when I’m already exhausted/overwhelmed and will not stop until I look at whatever she’s showing me and react in some way.”


And it doesn’t stop there. The woman adds that “she also has a litany of disgusting behaviors that I am having a ton of problems dealing with,” including putting up a fuss whenever she’s told to shower, getting blood everywhere whenever she’s on her period, and even urinating on floors because “it’s fun.”

“I’m so exhausted by her. My husband just asked me if she could come this weekend and I got the biggest pit in my stomach,” she explains toward the end of the post.

She adds, “Obviously I understand that she can’t help her mental disability, and I don’t blame her; but I’ve been in tears since my husband called me and I needed to get this off my chest.”

The top comment read, “Vent received, no judgment.” In response, she said, “Thank you so much. I can’t believe how amazing it is to FINALLY be able to talk about this. I feel like if I ever told anyone, they’d think I’m an absolute monster.”


The OP has every right to feel the way that she does — it sounds tiring, especially when she has her own kids to deal with. It also seems as though she’s very aware that her husband’s daughter may not be able to control all of her actions and behaviors either, and her disability may be speaking for her more often than not.

No matter how people personally feel about the situation, it's essential to show others empathy.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.