The internet is an interesting place today. Social media allows for the sharing and distribution of information in a way that was never possible before the era of the internet. The first major scandal online was the distribution of Pamela Anderson’s sex tape, and more taboo and downright disturbing personal scandals have been uncovered in the years since.

Family Isn’t Always What It’s Cracked Up to Be

Familial relationships are fodder for such scandals. Where it used to be taboo to discuss familial relationships in any way that could be construed negative, there has been a cultural shift towards expressing family dysfunction in a way that allows connection with similar stories.

Source: Pexels @ Matheus Bertelli

There’s often a fear of judgment when it comes to airing “dirty laundry.” Narcissistic parents and toxic siblings have been hidden under the veil of “social propriety” for so long that it’s only now becoming acceptable to talk about the bad behavior of our genetic family.

No Contact Is a Last Resort

Some of this bad behavior can be as simple as emotional outbursts that inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings. More often, though, the behavior that warrants extreme measures such as going no-contact or severely limited relationships is much more extreme than that.

Source: Pexels @ cottonbro studio

No contact means exactly what it says, and an increasing number of people are choosing to go no-contact with their parents and siblings due to bad behavior. And often, these stories get shared on the one platform that rewards rage farming and allows for sympathetic ears from others who understand: Tiktok.

Katherine, and Her Dysfunctional Marriage

One particular instance that surfaced recently has drawn attention to a Tiktok user, named Katherine. Her profile is largely videos of her talking to her audience, sharing stories and answering questions. One particular story that she recently shared has captured the attention of Tiktok and wider audiences alike.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

Katherine is very open about the fact that she has twin baby girls on her profile, as well as the fact that she is divorced. She discovered her ex-husband having an affair with her mother, and they had come up with a plan to take the babies and saddle her with credit card debt by the time she discovered the affair.

A Horrifying Story, But Not the Main Event

Monster mother-in-law stories are common on the internet, especially on platforms like Tiktok. Katherine’s story with her mother is unique in the fact that she is not only her biological mother, but they were also evidently very close before the reveal of the affair.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

As dysfunctional as the story of her discovering her mother and ex-husband’s affair is, it’s not the tale that currently has the attention of the Tiktok audience. That particular set of events happened when her children were nearly a year old, while the story in question happened much earlier.

Katherine’s Babies Were VERY Premature

The story in question happened when Katherine’s twin daughters were born premature, and had to spend several months in the NICU. Katherine explains that her daughters were born at 29 weeks, meaning that their lungs weren’t developed enough to support them outside the womb yet.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

During this time, Katherine spent a lot of time at the hospital with the babies, and her mother tried to be very involved. She would text Katherine frequently throughout the day, sometimes as often as every hour, asking about the babies and asking for pictures of them for updates.

Some Might Think Sweet, Others Think Too Much

Some people might consider this to be sweet, but in the video Katherine is clearly uncomfortable with her mother’s insistence. She goes on to describe how, when she would try to ignore her mother and be present with her premature infants, her father would be the one to call.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

The father would engage in the same guilt trip that Katherine’s mother did, telling Katherine that her mother was upset and sick with worry, and that if she didn’t text or send photos that her mother was threatening to kill herself. All incredibly dramatic, and certainly nothing that Katherine needed when trying to be there for two premature babies.

Insert: Monkey Dolls

Katherine then goes on to explain how her mother, in order to cope with the “complicated” feelings that came with being less involved with the babies, went out and purchased tiny baby dolls to help her feel close to her grandchildren.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

While that would be excessive enough under normal circumstances, Katherine’s mother took it one step further. Instead of buying tiny baby dolls that looked like people, Katherine’s mother, in fact, went and bought tiny little dolls that looked like monkeys.

Internalized Racism Has Entered the Chat

As the audience, most of Tiktok was baffled by this revelation. That is, until Katherine revealed her mother’s reasoning: she said that because Katherine’s children were half-Mexican, she felt that the tiny monkey dolls would help her feel closer to her granddaughters because they looked more similar.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

Racial component aside, this shows a confusing disconnect in this woman’s mind regarding her granddaughters. She even went so far as to name the monkey dolls after her granddaughters, anthropomorphizing the dolls in a very disturbing way. She gifted them to Katherine after the babies were released from the hospital, and Katherine promptly hid the dolls.

A Community of Understanding

Katherine is clearly very disturbed by this entire story, and goes on to give her audience a close-up of the dolls at the end of the video. While some corners of the internet can be full of vitriol and anger, Katherine’s comment section is full of nothing but support for her and what she endured at the hands of her narcissistic mother.

Source: Tiktok @ KATenacious

While most of us hopefully can’t relate to these exact events, many people do have challenging relationships with toxic family members. While these situations can be challenging to deal with in the moment, the internet reminds us that not only are we not alone, but someone else probably is out there enduring worse.