I Decided to Teach My Mother a Lesson: Am I Justified in My Revenge?

Amidst the clutter of an old attic, I stumbled upon a letter that unveiled a secret inheritance from my dad, meant to secure my dreams. However, this unexpected gift soon became the center of a family turmoil, challenging my relationships and forcing me to ponder the true cost of standing up for what is rightfully mine.

Curves abound in life, and I, Violet, seventeen, found myself at the receiving end of one such unanticipated turn. It started on an apparently regular afternoon as I was sorting some ancient boxes in the attic.

An old wooden attic interior with old cardboard boxes for storage | Source: Shutterstock

My fingers stroked an aging, yellow envelope. It sealed a broken promise. When I saw my name written in my dad’s familiar handwriting, my heart missed a beat. Ten years ago, Dad passed away, leaving a tangle of unspoken words and unresolved emotions. Here, though, was a bit of him reaching out from the past.

Inside the letter revealed something as well as a salve for my hurting heart. Thanks to inheritances from his parents and uncles, one of whom was rather successful in business, dad clarified that he had come into a sizable sum of money.

Before his cancer diagnosis, he had created a trust fund for me meant to pay all of his medical expenses plus some. Tears filled my eyes as he discussed wanting to protect my future in that letter, using words so full of love and hope.

A shocked young woman reading a letter | Source: Shutterstock

The letter then, adopted a tone of serious advise. Dad begged me to spend the money sensibly for my schooling and to get a house—something solid and physical that no turn of events could eliminate. He said he wanted me to lead a life full of possibilities he never had, and in his words I sensed his presence and direction.

But my revelation was not kept under secret for very long. Mom came upon me tears running down my face as I went back over the letter. She was curious enough to override herself. She soon had the letter in her hands, reading every word with a rising mixture of shock and, dare I say, greed.

She murmured, passing the letter back to me, “I had no idea”. Her eyes had changed, though; she now had a fresh strategy forming in her head.

Claiming it was for my own benefit, Mom insisted on accompanying me to the lawyer’s meeting the very next day. but I knew better. Reality struck me there in the austere, clean office of Mr. Hargrove, the family attorney. The money was real and rather large.

A classic oil lamp and books placed on an antique office desk | Source: Shutterstock

Mom was thrilled that evening over dinner. She told Joel, my stepdad, about the money, and suddenly the matter turned quite delicate. Mom went into great length on how the inheritance might fix their financial problems. Joel, a practical man, always listened carefully, his eyes ablaze with possibilities.

“But it’s Violet’s,” he said warily following Mom’s outline of her desired use of the money.

Mom said, “Violet will understand,” with a conviction that broked no argument. “For the family here is involved. She wants to assist her siblings; don’t you, honey?”

Although I wanted not to share the money as they wanted, my mother handled my money since I was not yet an adult. Arguing that the money would be more than plenty for all of us, they wanted me to divide it among me, them, and my step-siblings. Justifying it as a family obligation, my mom had already taken $20,000 from it to renovate the kitchen and buy clothes for my step-siblings.

A view of kitchen cabinets with sink and white old appliances | Source: Shutterstock

Their discussion on how to make use of the remaining spiraled into a scheme whereby I would be tossed with wishes to the wind. Their expectations and their behavior choked me. Originally meant to be my lifeline, my link to a father I hardly remembered, the money was being wasted on minutiae and wish lists.

When I learned, I was enraged, but my mother reminded me I had to share. I chose to teach my mom and her husband a great lesson instead of having to deal with it. Because Lydia, my paternal grandmother, was the only person I knew who would comprehend my conflicted emotions, I contacted her.

Over the phone, my voice shaking with passion, “Gran, I need to talk to you.”

I arrived on her doorstep the very next day, a bag of mixed feelings thrown across my shoulder. Grandma was a lighthouse of comfort with her wise eyes and gentle hug. We sat in her living room among pictures of happier times, and I confided everything to her—the inheritance news, my mother’s actions, and my ingrained fear of losing the last physical connection to my dad.

A brown wooden door with green plants | Source: Unsplash

Grandma Lydia listened silently, her look a mix of grief and determination. She took my hands when I was done and said, “We’ll make this right, Violet. Your dad would have wished for us to.”

Grandma Lydia wasted little time, as promised. Driven to guard my inheritance, she started legal actions without thinking twice within days. The ensuing legal fight was quick and aggressive.

The court made it abundantly evident that my mother and Joel had overreached themselves in handling my trust fund as their personal emergency fund. The court’s decision was clear: They were to reimburse every dollar they had taken.

An empty courtroom | Source: Shutterstock

The aftermath was instantaneous. With words like knives, my mother unleashed a wrath unlike anything else. She screamed, “How could you do this to your own family?” her sense of betrayal reflecting mine.

I was the villain, the unappreciative daughter who had chosen money over blood in her view. I was advised to flee that very night, to hide with the grandma who had dared to stand by me.

I went to live with Grandma Lydia then, and found comfort in her relentless support as well as memories of a father who had always wanted the best for me. But a persistent question tormented me even as I tried to fit into this new phase of my life: Was it worth it?

Sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen now, the scent of fresh coffee mixing with the morning light makes me wonder if I made the correct decision. Indeed, the trust fund belonged rightfully to me, a last gift from a father who had wanted to guarantee my future. But in trying to secure it, I had alienated my mother—the woman who had raised me despite her faults.

A cup of coffee on a wooden table | Source: Unsplash

Legal battles and hard words that cannot be undone have widened the chasm of silence between us. I miss my siblings, naive onlookers in a war they never wanted. And Joel, with his quiet strength and pragmatic knowledge, is today only another victim of my pursuit of justice.

Readers, I find myself reaching out to you. What do you have to say? Was it justified for me to go to such great lengths to impart knowledge to my mother and stepfather? Was losing my family worth the effort for my inheritance? Alternatively, was there another road I could have followed that might have resulted in another type of resolution?

A pensive young woman sitting on a bench in a park | Source: Freepik

Ultimately, I’m left with more questions than answers, juggling the complexity of family, allegiance, and the weight of a legacy. One thing is certain, though: often the toughest conflicts we face are those we fight inside our hearts.


This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided “as is,” and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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