Let’s face it—everyone has parents who did sh*t when they were younger that later in life they realize was absolutely insane. As a child, we had no choice but to think it was normal because we didn’t know any better. Then, we get older and expand our social circle and realize that our parents were absolutely batsh*t crazy and we were living in an alternate universe. Recently Reddit asked their users to share some of their own personal experiences growing up that they realized were not okay.
They kept everything. EVERYTHING.
The moment I walked into my friend’s house and realized you’re NOT suppose to have stuff lining the walls was ridiculous.
When my mother “left” my dad, she pitched a tent in my walk-in closet. I was 7 or 8 and she lived in my fucking closet for months before she got her own place. I still remember her reading her Joyce Meyer books by lamplight.
I don’t have very many memories of my childhood, or really anything in the last 25 years. But I do remember when we would go in time out, we had to bend our knees and fold our arms behind our backs while staring at the wall. We had to stand motionless and silent for 30 minutes. If we moved or swayed, we got another 30 minutes. This would go on for hours sometimes. My brothers and I would pull muscles and pass out sometimes.
Also while we were in the shower our parents would search our rooms. They did this every day and if they found anything they didn’t like they’d make us jump out of the shower, still dripping wet and naked, and come clean up or explain whatever they found.
And we were always “grounded” but they would never tell us why. So, since we were already grounded, they would just take away our birthdays or do timeout for punishment. I have only celebrated my birthday twice in my life, and both times my mom shut it down within 10 minutes.
My mom was always very invested in our romantic lives, partly because that was an area where we didn’t stack up well as compared to our cousins. The most insane manifestation of this was when I agreed to go out on a date with a guy, only to find out before the date that he was a sexual predator who’d been fired/arrested after he preyed on four separate freshmen at the school where he taught.
Mom flipped out trying to convince me not to cancel the date. “He might have grown out of it! You don’t know if you don’t give him a chance!”
Thankfully, my dad was on my side and I cancelled the date. But Mom sulked the entire rest of the night and demanded I log her in to my Facebook account so she could scroll through my friends list so that she could see which of my male friends were straight and single so that she could push me towards them instead.
Let homeless punk rockers live with us. Several. And some of them slept in our beds with us, with her permission. Two of two of my sisters were teen moms.
We lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere (at least 35mins to the nearest grocery store). I am not sure how it started, because I was a kid, but any time our puppy dog howled, we would all howl. To the point that it was a deafening sound and would kind of make your ears rattle.
His name was Duke. I would occasionally howl first because then he would follow and then so would my mother, father, and two older brothers. I thought it was awesome and it felt invigorating to do. I now realize this is odd.
My parents visited underground Atlanta back in the early 90’s. Not the safest place. Anyways, my brother was a baby and crawled under a bench they were sitting on. He pulled out an umbrella bag with a very sinister knife inside. My parents don’t report the knife or anything, but instead KEEP it and it becomes a staple knife in our kitchen. So yea, pretty sure my parents used a murder weapon to cut the crust off our pb&js.
My brother while raising his boys would buy like 10 gallons of milk at a time when it was on sale and then put it in the deep freezer. It never tasted like milk after it thawed. He claimed to not have noticed a difference. Oh theres a difference all right.
No restrictions on food or drinks. From the time I was 4 or 5 I was drinking around 5 cans of Dr. Pepper a day. My parents never told me I needed to drink water and real juice was never in the house, “juice” when I was little was Hawaiian Punch or the 5% juice Minute Maid fruit punch. Lunches during the summer was a continuous cycle of pizza rolls, Spaghetti-Os and McDonalds. Breakfast was either chocolate pop tarts or Fruity Pebbles cereal.
I don’t think junk food now and then is too much but I don’t think I had a single day in my childhood where I wasn’t given sweets, fatty snacks and caffeine. The funny thing is as a kid I used to think it was my friends parents who were the odd, mean ones for only letting their kids have things like sodas on rare occasions. Looking back I speculate that along with just being lazy parenting, it was also probably my parents way of trying to make me happy and make up for the lack of time spent with me by buying me whatever junk food I wanted.
Mom got mad at my sister for missing curfue and shaved her head as punishment.
My dad fell victim to many money scams in the early 2000s. He would always say he’s sitting on a gold mine and I thought we were gonna be rich. Yeah I don’t think he’s learned his lesson, I still catch him replying to bullshit emails.
I was seven and my brother was five (during the early 80s). We were told to wait in the school parking lot for the babysitter to pick us up. Thing is, we never met her before and had no idea what she looked like. So we waited until a woman pulled up with a picture of us in her hand. She showed us the picture and asked if it was us. We said it was and she told us she’s our babysitter. We got in the car without thinking twice. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
I have a brother with disabilities. He’s relatively low-functioning and requires regular attention, both inside the home and out.
I love him to death, but it made for a pretty untraditional childhood.
I didn’t realize until my late teenage years that other families were…happy. And relaxed. Which isn’t to say that they didn’t have their problems. Just that they weren’t constantly preoccupied by one family member who requires more care and attention than others. At all times.
To be clear, my brother is a wonderful person. I cherish every moment that I get to spend with him now. But, at the same time, I spent a disproportionate amount of my childhood in waiting rooms while he went to various therapies. And I spent very little time with my parents growing up, because all of their attention was focused on my brother. I was an afterthought, because I was lucky enough to be an afterthought and still function.
My dad once took three of us kids out for a ride in the pine barrens. He drove us twenty minutes into the woods on a sandy trail in a minivan. He had just gotten into a fight with my step mother and needed a drive to burn off all the alcohol in his system. He didn’t say much during the ride. We got stuck (obviously because we were in a 2wd caravan) but luckily some 4wd truck dude came through and winched us out. When that guy showed up dad wasn’t quiet anymore and we left the woods when we were unstuck and went home. I’m not sure what his intentions were that day but the look on my stepmothers face when we returned made me rethink wether it was a fun ride in the woods or a fuck this life moment worthy of the nightly news narrowly averted.
Get into a screaming argument where they ended up throwing dishes at each other’s heads, fairly frequently. “Wow they’re really mad right now. Better play some Nintendo until this blows over”
I used to babysit my parent’s friend’s kids occasionally. After I babysit two kids that were 4 and 6, my mom said her friend was happy and I did a good job. I was thirteen. Then she mentioned that that was good because her friend was distrustful of babysitters since her other two kids had drowned while under a babysitter supervision. Thought that was slightly odd. No helicoptering in the 80’s!
My mother used to barge into my room every single morning because she heard me “talking to someone” she would creep up to my door and throw it open. She did this for weeks while I was in high school.
My mother sends her professional emails in comic sans.
My mother refused to take me to the emergency room growing up. She took my stepdad and my stepsister, but refused to take me. Have permanent damage to my ankle thanks to her refusing to take me there. Thanks mum. (I live in UK for reference, so it wasn’t like we couldn’t afford it).
My Grandparents in Italy would burn TONS of marijuana plants because it was unknown to them and like an unwanted weed on their farms. I mean, they would never had done anything with it anyways even if they did know but still… they burned lotsa weed.
My mom made grilled cheese. By making toast and then microwaving it with cheese in between.
For YEARS I couldn’t figure out how my parents always knew what I was doing – sneaking a boy in, GF bringing in a bottle of vodka, getting in late after curfew, you name it. I chalked it up to them being parents. I was TWENTY ONE, when I found 4 surveillance monitors in the canning closet downstairs.
When I was very young (maybe 5 or 6?) my mother would cuddle with my younger brother and I – she thought it was funny when she pretended to die while holding us. I was terrified and I will always remember that. She would wake up from “death” and laugh to get a reaction out of us. That is my earliest fucked up memory of her.