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Auntie Dearest Created Terror All On Her Own

, , , , , , | Related | January 13, 2021

My family took a trip to Disney World back in 1997 when I was eight years old. With me were my mother, step-father, twin four-year-old half-brothers, and twenty-two-year-old step-aunt (my step-father’s sister). My parents offered for [Step-Aunt] to go as she was fresh out of college and they felt that they may need help with three kids; they even paid for all of her meals, flight, and hotel room.

My family and I had a lot of fun going to all of the parks, but I really wanted to go on the Tower of Terror ride in the park that was known then as MGM Studios. Unfortunately, the day that we went there, the Tower of Terror was having issues and closed down for the day. I was distraught when I found out we couldn’t ride it that day.

The next day was our last full day in Florida before we went home, but my parents were too tired from all the parks and wanted to relax with us kids by the pool. I was insistent that I needed to ride the Tower of Terror and asked if one of the adults could take me.

Mom: “[Step-Aunt], would you please take [My Name] to MGM?”

[Step-Aunt] appeared reluctant, but my parents reminded her that they’d paid for everything so far and this was the only time they were asking her to do this for them on the trip.

My mother got me ready to go to the park but made sure to give me some money and a list of emergency numbers in case I got separated from [Step-Aunt]. My mother then gave [Step-Aunt] specific instructions.

Mom: “You are not to turn off your cell phone, you do not let [My Name] out of sight, and please make sure to put more sunblock on her if you are gone for more than two hours.”

[Step-Aunt] took me from the hotel and we started walking to the theme park, but I soon realized we weren’t going to MGM but to another theme park, Epcot.

Me: “[Step-Aunt], this is the wrong park!”

Step-Aunt: “We are just going to get a drink and then we will go to MGM so you can ride the Tower of Terror.”

At this time, Epcot was known to be the only theme park where you could get alcohol, as they had areas themed after different countries, each with their own alcohol. I went along with it because I figured [Step-Aunt] was telling the truth, but after [Step-Aunt] got her first drink, we started walking further into the park while she was drinking. By the time [Step-Aunt] had finished the first drink, we were in a new country’s area and she got a second drink.

I tried arguing with her, but [Step-Aunt] said she just needed another one and we would get going soon, but I had my doubts. After [Step-Aunt] got her third drink from a different area:

Me: “When are we going to MGM?”

Step-Aunt: “We may not even make it there and you will just need to deal with it.”

[Step-Aunt] continued to drag me through four more country areas, getting a drink in each one. I even tried buying my own snack and water since we had been in the park almost three hours and I hadn’t had anything since breakfast. [Step-Aunt] told me no because then she would need to take me to the bathroom and that would slow her down.

At one point, when [Step-Aunt] went to the bathroom herself, I snuck over to a payphone and called my mom.

Me: “Mom? We’re not at MGM; we’re in Epcot. [Step-Aunt] has just been getting drunk, and she won’t let me buy food or water. I’m thirsty and sunburnt.”

My mother was furious.

Mom: “What store are you near? Go there and wait, and do not go anywhere.”

A minute later, when [Step-Aunt] got out of the bathroom, my mother called her on her cell phone to tell her that she was on her way to get me and that she was not to leave. [Step-Aunt] tried claiming that I was a liar and that we had gone to Epcot after we had been to MGM and ridden the Tower of Terror. My mother wasn’t buying it.

Mom: “I will meet you at [Nearby Store]. If you’re both not there, I’m going to call the police for abducting my daughter. If only [My Name] is there, I’ll tell them you abandoned her.”

[Step-Aunt] and I waited for about twenty minutes in the store in silence until my mother showed up, practically sprinting. My mother was furious seeing me so sunburnt and dehydrated.

Mom: “You have thirty minutes to get back to the hotel. [Step-Father] wants to talk to you.”

[Step-Aunt] tried arguing her case, but my mother just told her to go. Then, she bought a sports drink, water, and a snack for me and let me regain my strength. When I was feeling better, albeit sad about how I’d been treated all day, my mother brought me back to the hotel but said she would take me to ride the Tower of Terror later if I was up for it.

When we got back to the hotel, [Step-Aunt] wasn’t there but [Step-Father] said that she had shown up but had gone home early. After I rested and got an actual meal, my mom took me to MGM before they closed for the night and I was able to ride the Tower of Terror. Besides the issues during that day, I had a great time on the trip.

I didn’t find out until years later what exactly happened with [Step-Aunt]. When Step-Aunt got back to the hotel, [Step-Father] was furious with how his younger sister had treated his daughter and asked what she had been thinking. [Step-Aunt] said that she had been planning on getting drinks at Epcot that day, that she was just going to drag me around for the day, and that she was just planning on lying about going to MGM before when they got back.

[Step-Father] was so angry.

Step-Aunt: “[My Name] isn’t your real daughter, anyway! Shouldn’t my happiness matter more to you?”

This really struck a nerve with [Step-Father] as my bio-dad bolted before I was born and [Step-Father] started seeing my mother when I was just five months old. As far as he, my mother, and I saw it, he was my real father. 

Step-Father: “You have two options, [Step-Aunt]. One, I give you some money and you take the bus back home, or two, you pay for your own flight back home, because I am about to call the airline and cancel your ticket.”

She tried pleading with him, but he was so angry with what she did that after she left, he didn’t talk to her for almost two years.