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Messed Up Childhood Memories

Mae Stanley

Many of us have stories from our childhood that we like to tell to get a shocked reaction from our audience. For most of us, they’re not that bad, but it’s fun to take about how oblivious we were as children. Well, these Redditors take it one step further and tell us about the times they played witness to things that no child should EVER see.


1. Someone Pay Attention

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My mom would spend the entire day on the computer in AOL chat rooms talking to her “friend” while dad was at work. She was so glued to the computer that my siblings and I could walk in the room and yell things at her trying to get her attention and she wouldn’t even notice us. We took care of ourselves. I was forced to bottle feed my baby brother during this time and take care of him because my mom just wouldn’t otherwise.

What I really hate is that I’m pretty sure I told my dad that I was having to be my brother’s caretaker and he didn’t do anything to make the situation better for me. I don’t know if he knew she was having this emotional affair or not but how could he not have? Then this whole mess took a disturbing turn. One day, my mom decided we were going to leave my dad while he was at work so she could run off and be with this friend.

She took myself and my five younger siblings while my dad was at work and drove us on a cross-country road trip from Nevada to Ohio to surprise her online lover (who was also married). Once we got to Ohio and she told him we were there, he panicked and ghosted her. At the time, the situation was confusing for me because my siblings and I just wanted to go home.

megryan2020

2. Trailer Park Affairs

I grew up with a single mom until l was 12. We lived in a rundown trailer park where the owner of the park lived on-site. On the first of the month, there were always a few women who would go into the owner’s trailer, be in there for half an hour or so, and come out. The owner had some fierce arguments with my mom because she never went into his trailer.

He would shout at her to get in the trailer, and she would refuse and scream at him, saying that she’d have his money Friday or whatever it was that month. I didn’t figure out what was really happening until I was older.

That_One_Cat_Guy

3. Turn It Off First

When I was 10, my family and I lived on the first floor of an apartment complex in Colorado. That year we had a particularly snowy winter. Every day following snowfall, the groundskeeper for the complex would make his rounds, cheerily using a snowblower to clear each and every path. I’d wave whenever I saw him pass by my bedroom window.

After one especially heavy snowfall, the groundskeeper was walking along clearing snow just outside my room when something got caught and obstructed the snowblower. I saw him struggle with the machine for a moment then walk in front of it. He bent over to look, and when he reached his hand in, a splattering hit my window like a hammer. I’ll never forget that horrifying sound.

We called the emergency services, but his hand was gone. Luckily, it was just his hand. He left the job shortly after and I never saw him again.

AardvarkHoliday

4. With Friends Like These

When I was in elementary school, I became close friends with a family that had children similar in age to me. I only ever saw them at school with their mom and my dad. The oldest daughter and son couldn’t stand me and I never knew why, so I would cry and talk to my dad about it and he would reassure me that they did in fact like me.

During this time, we had a landline at the house and I happened to pick it up one day and heard my dad on the other line with the mom of that family. I wish I’d never picked up that phone. He was talking about giving her roses and spending time with her. When I asked my dad who that was, because it clearly wasn’t my mom, he disconnected all the landlines in the house.

Turns out, he was absolutely cheating on my mom with this woman and I was inadvertently involved by becoming their friends. I only realized later that my friend’s older siblings knew and that’s why they hated me.

InsomniacCats

5. Bad Babysitter

My mum had to work when I was little and my older sisters were in school. I was locked in the bathroom during the day until my sisters came home from school and let me out. Sometimes they wouldn’t let me out, so they didn’t have to watch me. They were 7 and 9 years older than me and I was somewhat afraid of them because they were not very nice to me so I would often stay in the bathroom or hide in the hamper. It does explain why I’m perfectly okay being alone.

goodsocks

6. Dress-Up Barbecue

Me and my parents were staying in a duplex temporarily after a house fire. Our neighbors had a Southern-style cookout, where everyone was wearing white clothes, in the giant backyard that was shared between the two units. I just remember being disappointed my parents wouldn’t let me play in the backyard that night.

It looked like fun and I was disappointed I couldn’t go to the party too. I was 3 when this happened. Although I do remember grabbing something from my little bedroom at one point and looking out the window and yelling, “There’s a ghost party next door!”

whatnameisnttaken098

7. Just Be Honest

My uncle on the farm took his really old dog for a “walk in the woods” when I was about 7. He came back without him, and when I cried asking where he was, my mom told me he must’ve gotten lost. So every weekend for the rest of that summer I would put food and a blanket at the edge of the woods and sit and call his name.

I was convinced he was finding his way to the food because it was being eaten, but he was too scared of getting in trouble for getting lost so he was hiding in there.

SuperMommyCat

8. Sounds Like A Lovely Place To Stay

My great-grandmother lived beside this shady “hotel”. Growing up, I learned that we never left the house without one person staying behind, otherwise the house would be broken into. The explanation was that there were bad people in the hotel who would watch the houses and take any open opportunity. But that’s all I knew about it growing up.

I didn’t think much about it and just kept with the rule, and as I grew up I started to think maybe it was nonsense. When I was in my upper teens, I happened to look over at the hotel through the window. There was this lady at the phone booth, wearing a purple mini skirt and a blue tube top. I’d seen these types of ladies at the hotel all the time, so it was nothing new.

That’s when the truth finally dawned on me. I turned to my boyfriend and told him how shocked I was. He just laughed at how long it took me to figure it out.

Nemesys2005

9. It’s Not The Same

When I was a young kid, my all-time favorite movie was Indiana Jones and it also got me interested in history because the Germans were such good bad guys in that film. One day, my friend whose parents had separated invited me to go to his dad’s house with him. I’d never been there before as we usually would hang out at his mum’s place.

I remember his dad having a whole bunch of historical German memorabilia and thinking it was so cool because he must have been a fan of Indiana Jones too. It wasn’t until I thought about it again as an adult that I realized he was just a bad person.

usef11diot

10. Trust No One

When I was a teenager, I was out late with my boyfriend who was driving us around. We got pulled over by what seemed to be an undercover cop (unmarked car but had the lights). But when the man approached the window, he was not in uniform and it was immediately apparent that he was not a cop at all.

He seemed surprised when he got to the window and mumbled that he was “looking for a suspect with my daughter” and then walked away. It was very peculiar and we just laughed it off. Looking back (and having listened to an abundance of podcasts), I think this guy was up to something very nefarious.

Some men abduct women using this method. My boyfriend had very long hair and I suspect the man mistook him for a woman and was caught off guard when he saw the driver was actually a man. I wish we had reported it.

floortoll

11. Curiosity Is A Dangerous Thing

When I was nine, I was at a friend’s house snooping through some unmarked VHS tapes stored under his TV. Most of them were totally innocuous, just recordings of TV movies and whatnot. The last one I checked out was, ahem, different. It showed like 4-5 ripped guys working out in a home gym, nothing too crazy. At first.

Well my friends, from that point things went 0-100 really quickly. Next thing you know these guys are taking off each other’s clothing. I freaked out and started fast-forwarding the tape. That was definitely a mistake. I shut it off, put the tape back, and my sweet summer child brain tried to figure out what I just saw.

afipunk84

12. Family Tradition

When I was little, my dad was a night owl due to his job. On weekends, he’d get my siblings and I and we’d do a lot of activities at weird hours. One thing we’d do was drive this stretch of road by the river to look at the deer. It was a pretty secluded area, very few houses mostly spaced far apart. One night we are doing our thing and we drove past this house that had big windows all over the front side.

You could basically see inside this whole house. My dad slowed down because something caught his eye. When I saw it, my jaw dropped. There was a man, totally unclothed, cleaning his living room. It was in the middle of nowhere so in retrospect, I’d be doing the same thing, given the circumstances. My dad and us kids thought it was hilarious. We watched for a while unbeknownst to who we now referred to as the Clothesless Man.

Cut to next weekend, we are looking at deer again and my dad drives by his house again. Sure enough, this guy is just going about his business in his birthday suit. Laughter continues. Next thing we knew, it became a ritual to drive by his house at night to visit our new friend. We had stopped asking to see the deer and requested to see the Clothesless Man.

BigBeautifulBuick

13. Indoor Gardeners

I had a friend who lived across the street from me who I would play with. I always found it weird that his parents had a bunch of plants that smelled weird growing in their bathtub and all over their bathroom. One day, the family was gone. Just upped and moved and no one knew why…Though as an adult, I could probably guess.

iamwiam420

14. Surprise!

I was about five, and I visited my grandmother. It was usually very boring there: no other children around, grandma was busy all the time, and her dog was old and too lazy to play. That day, grandma was away, and her brother brought a big basket and pulled out of it two big tins of tuna and three electric water heaters.

After wrapping stuff in old shirts, he put the package in the wardrobe and asked me not to tell anybody, because it was a surprise for the upcoming birthday party. Ten years later, I was watching a movie when suddenly recognized the familiar tin cans, it was a scene where men were placing anti-tank mines on a railway bridge.

VohaulsDream

15. Fresh Air Is Good For The Health

I was probably about ten and I came home on my bicycle from a friend’s house. I had joint visitation with my parents and only saw my dad every other weekend. When I went inside the house I couldn’t find him anywhere, so I checked the garage. Next thing I know, I’m screaming for help. It was December so it was very cold and he had a gas space heater running in the garage.

On this day, he had all of the windows and doors closed. He was also apparently painting a door and had been drinking. Needless to say, he was out cold on the floor of the garage from the very strong fumes. I opened the garage door and halfway dragged him onto the cold concrete and smacked his face around until he woke up. He never thanked me. I never forgot about it.

nyabbi

16. Brainwash Them Early

I went to an evangelical church growing up. One day at Sunday school, when I was 5 years old, they gathered me and about 30 kids in the basement. The Sunday school lady sat in a chair in front of all of us and told us how babies were being removed from the world. She then made us all watch the clock in front of the room with her in silence.

Each time 90 seconds went by, she would say “a baby is gone” because she claimed every 90 seconds a procedure would happen. The counting went on for about 5 minutes. I remember being so sad. Now looking back on it as an adult, I know that was pretty messed up.

lloydxmay

17. A Fun Adventure

When I was 11, my mom and I left my dad, and we were homeless. I did not realize we were homeless until I was an adult. I just thought we were on some kind of excursion. We were just sleeping in the car and at friends’ houses for a while. I just had so much trust in my mother, I was never once startled by the situation.

My mother is also very creative and would say things like, “Wow, I found these flavored tuna pouches, wouldn’t it be cool if we acted like cats?”

handzies

18. New Friend

On a family trip to Washington DC when I was 8, this random lady came with me and my family to all the museums. She was really nice and friendly and hung out with my mom. I thought she was an old friend of hers. Years later I find out that this woman was being beaten and threatened in public by her boyfriend and my mom stepped in and rescued her.

She made the woman come along with us, called the authorities, and set her up with a safe house. My mom grew up in a scary home and knew the signs when she saw them. We don’t know what happened to that woman but I like to think that my mom helped save her. I now look for subtle signs of unhappiness and will always step if I see someone uncomfortable in public.

SaphiraBrightscales

19. How Planes Work

My dad and I were in a plane accident (it wasn’t quite a crash) where the front of the plane caught fire somehow. The whole cabin lost pressure and we plummeted from cruising altitude to around 1,000 feet at a 45-degree angle. The plane was going from Florida to Connecticut but we instead made an emergency landing in Savannah, Georgia.

One of the flight attendants said to tell your friends and family you loved them while sobbing over the intercom. It was pretty serious and the veteran pilots we had absolutely saved our lives. I didn’t think it was bad because my dad played it like an absolute pro. I remember asking him why there was smoke coming from the front of the plane to which he told me that the pilots were having a barbecue.

When we were plummeting, I asked him why and he just said, “Sometimes you have to do that when flying.” It could have been a very awful memory for me but my dad was awesome. To this day my dad can never get on a plane without being heavily medicated.

Permalink

20. Thank Goodness For Manual Transmissions

My dad was driving us to school and stopped at the mechanic’s shop on the way to check on my stepmom’s car. He parked parallel to the front of the garage so he could easily go straight back onto our route. As he expected to be in and out, and it being 1988, he left the car running. After about 30 seconds, a man walked up to the car, got in, and tried to put it in gear.

My sister and I assumed he was a worker trying to move us out of the way of the garage. When he tried to get the care to go, it stalled as he put it into gear. My dad sprinted out of the shop with a couple other men, opened the door of the car, hauled the guy out, and wrestled him to the ground. I went to school that day and didn’t really think about it until years later. I was about to be kidnapped.

BoomChocolateLatkes

21. Treasure Trail

When I was about nine, I was playing outside at a friend’s house. There was a row of shops further down her street and we would play ball games behind them when the shops closed because there was a large wall we could bounce our balls off. One evening we went down to play ball and found some money on the ground.

We happily ran to her house excited about our luck. On our way back up the street we found some more coins and a few bills, then some more further up the road. By the time we got to her door, our pockets were full of coins and bills. We ran in to tell her parents about our treasure, only to find more money on the floor in the hall inside the house.

We lifted it as well and excitedly told her father everything and showed him all the money. He took it off us and said he would take care of it and I shouldn’t tell my parents as we could get into trouble. When I got home, I told my parents everything because I was worried someone would come to my door asking about the money. My parents told me to never mention it again but wouldn’t let me play with my friend again. I often wonder what was really happened that day.

smokencold59

22. Quick Disposal

When I was a kid, my dad had a weird hole on the floorboard of his truck. I remember being a child, riding with him way out to a random house where I’d stay in the truck while he went in. He always came out with a grocery bag that stunk so bad. I had no idea what it was…at the time. Anyways, I remember the talk he had with me nearly every trip.

He would say, “Raise that floor mat and see that hole? If I ever tell you to, raise that up, then you rip this bag open and pour these vegetables through that hole, but only if I tell you to.” Later on, I finally figured out what those veggies were.

DontH8TheWitnezz

23. Sometimes You Have To Talk About Personal Business

When I was between the ages of 5 and 10, my stepmother would be watching me while my dad was at work. I would have to stand in the corner all day with my head against the wall or sometimes I would have to do other exercises like wall sits. I would do this all day until my dad got home from work and would tell me to go to my room.

I always thought this was normal until I said something about it at school. They sent someone to the house. All I remember was being pulled out of the school district and moving to a new house with just my dad. Later on, he told me that the social worker came and was appalled with the conditions. I guess my dad didn’t know the extent of it, and he left my stepmom once he found out.

stitches31

24. Justified Feelings

I don’t care for being tickled, but I tolerate brief moments of it from my sister because I love her and we tease each other a lot. But one time she kept going after I asked her to stop. She did stop eventually, and then I just didn’t want to be around her for a bit. I cried when I was alone. It sounds so silly to cry over being tickled, but it happened anyway.

My best guess is that it wasn’t about the tickling, but about the fact that I asked her to stop touching me in a way that made me uncomfortable, and she didn’t, and she’s never deliberately done anything like that before or since.

IzarkKiaTarj

25. Not Reality TV, Just Reality

When I was 4, I was watching TV at home with my mom. I thought we were watching some kind of competition where they would send up a remote-control plane and crash it down over and over. I even asked my mom if we could watch it again the next day. Years later, I put the pieces together and realized we were watching replays of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

7DollarsofHoobastanq

26. The Negative Effects Of Parentification

Both my father and stepmom worked so I had to be in charge when they were at work. This included getting my siblings up, feeding them, getting them off to school, and enforcing chores and punishments. My stepbrother, who was only six at the time, was always in trouble with them, and one summer he was grounded the whole time.

Grounded meant that, after chores and worksheets were done, he would stand in the corner. No TV, no radio, no talking, no singing, no leaning, no moving around—just stand and stare at the corner. And I made him do it. I didn’t think it was wrong at the time, but now I know better, I am so sorry. So utterly and completely sorry.

ReadontheSeat

27. Don’t Say Anything At All

My family would tease my grandmother while she was sitting right in front of us. They’d laugh at her for being forgetful in the midst of dementia. This was at the point where she would switch between being in the present and in the past, right before she got really bad. She was always confused about who we were to her.

My father, uncle, and cousins were all making fun of her. She was visibly upset that she was being made fun of, and the teasing turned into a downward spiral. I’ll forever look back as adult me and wish 13-year-old me could have done something.

thebirbseyeview

28. Knew Him Before He Was Famous

I once got a prison tour from Ted Bundy when I was 7 years old in 1977. I lived in Glenwood Springs and my dad was an on-call EMT. He often had business at the Sheriff’s office downtown. I went into the office with him one Saturday. There was a man at the door and I couldn’t help but stare. To this day I don’t know whether it was the Sheriff or Ted suggesting me taking a look inside.

I remember being transfixed by seeing a real cell which prompted the tour suggestion. The Sherriff opened the door with his keys with Ted and my dad making the suggestions to go ahead and go inside. I walked inside the door and Ted put his arm on my shoulders. The worst part was the Sheriff closing and locking the main cell door behind me.

I walked the length of the short hallway and remember seeing an inmate watching TV with the chair tipped back. Ted himself was nice and I didn’t feel threatened at all because my dad and the Sherriff were there. The whole thing lasted maybe five minutes tops. It wasn’t until 1988, living in Wisconsin when Ted’s upcoming execution was in the news, that I realized the full extent of what had happened.

Chucker1970

29. Anything But Merry

One year, on Christmas Eve, my mom let me stay the night with my dad at a hotel because it was his turn to have me for Christmas. My sister and I had brought our Christmas money because he said he was going to take us to get toys. He ended up inviting over two women of the evening and his friend, and they all started snorting powder in front of us.

Then the next morning, me, my sister, and my dad were going to my grandmother’s to get our presents. He ended up taking my sister’s and my money and picked up more powder with it while we were in the car with him. Then later on Christmas day, he was so out of it the entire time. It never really registered to me how open he was with his substance issues around me and my sister until I was older.

Ixserbb

30. Too Much, Too Soon

When I was six, my family lived in a pretty isolated area in the countryside. No neighbors for miles type situation. My dad’s a contractor and remodels houses for a living, my mom worked hours away in the city as a lawyer. One day, my dad was up on a huge extension ladder fixing some siding on our house during the summer. That day will haunt me forever.

I guess the ladder wasn’t safely positioned because it tipped backward when he was 15 feet up. He fell back on the concrete and was injured really badly, unable to move. I was the only other person home and came running when I heard him screaming. When I saw him, I couldn’t cope with the condition he was in.

He kept asking me weakly to go to the phone and call for help, but I was young and didn’t really understand how bad the situation was. I was crying inconsolably and kept insisting on bringing a bandage to help him. My six-year-old mind was completely panicked and couldn’t cope. I don’t remember the rest, I guess I got him the phone eventually. He didn’t suffer any permanent damage, thank goodness.

Patches95

31. Unwanted Childhood Memories

I was living in a youth facility for troubled teens for four years. It was privately funded by the Mormon church. I saw a lot of messed up stuff. They performed wrap sessions (a type of attachment therapy that is now banned) in front of other kids. I saw a staff member force a kid to brush his teeth with a toilet brush.

I didn’t realize how messed up it was or the lasting impact it would have on me. And I was there for so long I became pretty desensitized to it. It also became second nature to lie to others and myself just to gain some meager comforts in life. Seems like a bad dream when I think back on it now.

Alaskaferry

32. Having A Talk Might Also Work

I had two exorcisms at 15 for having pre-marital relations. My mom said she found out by testing my urine. She had an idea that I was getting intimate, so she said she did the test and lied that I was pregnant. And of course, I came clean. I didn’t realize how wrong it was and how much it affected me.

brainsandstuff

33. Never Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth

When I was a kid, I saw bags of stinky plants around my house on a regular basis. I vividly remember days where I would barge into my parent’s room, it would be a haze with smoke and people would be laughing, my mom would be on the bed with a scale and bags, money neatly stacked on the bed as my dad talked about this-and-that with his “friends.”

Quite honestly, they were extremely friendly for their line of work. My parents were jovial all the time and would love to show me things they got while traveling and give me pocket change. I never saw anything bad about any of it.

shuboni

34. Um, Sir?

Once I was watching Coldplay at a music festival when I was around 10 years old. I was standing on a fold-up camp chair in front of a tree and an old man stumbled up to me (not seeing that I was there) and proceeded to start peeing all over my legs and feet. I was too stunned and scared to say anything so I just let it happen. I didn’t tell anyone until recently.

bandrewes

35. A Quick Ride

My family left a bowling alley and there was a woman standing out front looking rather lost and stranded. My dad asked if she was okay and if she needed a ride somewhere. She said yes and asked us to take her to the motel nearby. She gets in our car and that’s when we all notice that she is very overdressed for a bowling alley with her slinky dress and high heels. We drop her off at the motel, mom turns to dad and says, “Was that a call girl?”

SlobMarley13

36. Naps Aren’t Always Good

In elementary school, I went to a daycare for a year or two that had mandatory two-hour naps. This involved all of the kids getting locked in the basement for two hours and forced to sleep on the floor while the owner smoked upstairs. We weren’t allowed to talk or even sit up. Not sure how she knew when we did, but we always got caught, without fail.

Every day, two kids were chosen to instead sit on a couch in the basement and watch cartoons if they were really good. Those kids were usually the owner’s son and daughter. Kind of forgot about the whole thing until a year or two ago, I brought it up to my mom and all she could recall was the fact that the daycare got shut down a few years later.

grafrabble

37. Scapegoat

My mom took me with her to cheat on my dad. She would tell him she was visiting my godmother and was taking me to play with her kids. I remember sleeping on a strange couch multiple times overnight and mom making me lie to my dad about where we had been. Funnily enough, after the divorce when she married the other man, she did the same thing to him.

She took me on a trip with her hours away to visit “family,” but was hooking up with a Marine at a base. She left me to wander around the housing neighborhood for hours until some strangers realized I was by myself and took me in, fed me, and let me play The Sims on their laptop until my mom eventually remembered I came with her and called me to find me.

emiliana3296

38. Something’s Wrong With Her

When I was five, I lived with my mother in Spain and would often play with the other kids my age in the park, which was visible from my kitchen window. My mum would always watch over us when she was there. One day, I fell off the climbing frame and broke my leg. I was crying and screaming in pain and my mum was just staring at me from the window smiling.

I went home and told her what happened and to take me to the doctor as I thought I’d broken my leg. She told me I was overreacting and sent me to bed with no dinner. But this nightmare was just beginning. In the night, I hopped to the bathroom to go pee. On my way back, I fell over…causing my broken bone to break through my skin. In shock, I started screaming and then I hear my mum cursing me from another room.

She comes to see me there with my bone poking out my leg and says that I’m a baby for waking her up and goes back to bed. I laid there in pain for two more hours before my dad came home from his night shift to find me and rushed me to the hospital. My mom said she didn’t hear me. My dad took me away about a year later to protect me.

bladerunner1701

39. Always Remember What’s Important

My sister’s father had $3.5 million in warrants against him when SWAT raided our house. I was home alone in my underwear watching an animated dinosaur movie when 10 dudes, fully decked out, started knocking on the door. One was even equipped with a ballistic shield. My mother and stepfather at the time had been in Vegas vacationing.

I wasn’t scared at the time when they came in with all kinds of equipment because I love that type of stuff. Anyway, my sister’s father has been in federal lockup ever since. I asked the men if I could take my brand-new Lego kit to my grandma’s house. They let me, but they escorted me the whole time and before I left, they opened the box and thoroughly searched it.

Next-Ad-3720

40. There’s A Time And A Place For That

I was around seven and on holiday with my parents. We were all sharing an open concept room. I woke up to the sound of them getting busy five meters away from me. I didn’t know what to do or what was happening so I just stayed quiet until they finished and pretended to be asleep after my mom called my name to check if I was awake.

I didn’t realize how weird it was until I started working with kids. Like, imagine getting intimate with someone in the same space as a sleeping seven-year-old. They weren’t even under the covers.

ProfessionalStill14

41. Things Left Unsaid

There was a girl I knew when I was younger, though I never saw her much. My family was religious, and I met her at our church. One day at the church, she was there joining our after-church class. It was unusual, because, as I’ve said, her family was rarely there. While we knew each other, we weren’t friends or anything.

She and I were alone in the classroom, waiting for the rest of the class to arrive. She looks scared and nervous. She says, “Can I tell you a secret and you have to promise not to say anything?” I replied, “Yes, of course.” Before she could tell me, another kid walks in and that was that. She bailed and her family never came back. I have no idea what happened and I will never know what she was going to tell me.

danjonesyt

42. A Boy Named Lucky

My dad and I were driving somewhere and we were sitting waiting to turn left onto the road along with a lot of cars behind us. As we were waiting, I see my dad visibly start to cringe and there was terror on his face. I look at him and say, “What?” I see that he’s watching some kids very slowly riding their bike across the crosswalk from our left.

My dad looks in the side view mirror on our right and says, “Oh! He’s not stopping! He’s not stopping!” Then two seconds later, I see it. A pickup truck rolls past and hits one of the kid’s bikes. Luckily, the kid walked away without being hurt. I didn’t realize at the time, but this kid was probably inches from severe bodily injury.

ensum

43. A Terrible Plan

When I was small, we lived with my great-grandmother. She was a hard woman. We had a dog briefly. One day we came home from school and she told us we left the gate open and the dog was probably run over in the road. I cried for a long time. When I was in my twenties, my mom told me she gave that dog to a farmer because she was convinced we couldn’t take care of it.

It was a terrible thing to do, also for my mom to not tell us until we were adults. For years, I thought we were horrible kids.

bengalfan

44. Some Jokes Aren’t Funny

I was bullied pretty badly all through elementary school and junior high. When I was around eight years old I was walking to my grandparents’ house from school with a group of girls from my grade that travel the same route. They dared me to stick my face in a deep snow pile. When I did they all grouped up and pressed my face deeper and piled snow on top of my head, burying me.

I remember feeling panic and struggling to breathe for a few minutes before my grandfather came and pulled me out. He’d seen the girls all walk past and I still hadn’t come after almost five minutes so he came looking for me. As a kid I wrote it off thinking they played a joke on me, but as an adult I wholeheartedly believe I would’ve suffocated if my grandfather hadn’t pulled me out when he did.

owlsandmoths

45. The Opposite Of Healing

I grew up in an evangelical unaffiliated church. They believed in speaking in tongues, demon possession, and exorcisms. A local boy that I befriended lived in the apartments near our church. He was poor and rough, he cussed and smoked and was generally on his own, but on Sunday and Wednesday nights, he started coming over to the church.

One night, for some reason, someone decided that they needed to put healing hands on him and pray for his soul. He didn’t like that so he jumped back and yelled profanities at them. That apparently was clear evidence that he was possessed, so several adults wrestled him out of the pew and held him down while he screamed and flailed and cussed at them.

The hundred or so onlookers just all started praying and crying and dancing around it. That was just a pretty normal church night, maybe just a little more spirited than usual. He didn’t return and things like that happened multiple times throughout my childhood.

apost8n8

46. Add Two And Two Together

I was the quiet kid in elementary school. My grades and behavior were always good, so my classmates liked to pick on me. The teachers tried to find ways to keep me from having to deal with those kids. I got sent on lots of errands. So for a few weeks in 7th or 8th grade, I was this one popular girl’s “chaperone” around school.

Kids weren’t allowed out in the halls alone during class time, but she was getting sick a lot and had to use the bathroom during the day, mostly mornings. We’d make small talk here and there while walking downstairs to the bathroom, I thought she was nice. Eventually, she was out of school for maybe a week or two, and when she came back she wasn’t getting sick anymore.

She didn’t talk to me after that. She wouldn’t even look at me. At the time I just figured I had served my purpose and was no longer needed, so I forgot about it. I’d completely forgotten about it until my college years, when I bumped into her somewhere. She gave me a hug and said something like, “You were always nice to me. All everybody else did was talk about me.”

ShantbeUttrd

47. The Circle Of Life

In New Zealand, the country schools have what is called Calf Club. It’s a school event that happens on one day, but you have 2 months to prep. Part of it is the kids have the option to rear/train a calf or lamb. You have to clean them, teach them to come to you when called, walk them on a lead etc. The point of this is that I reared a lamb.

My lamb was called Chuck, I loved him so much. One day mum said he needed to go live with our neighbor’s lambs so that he wouldn’t be alone. About a week later, I couldn’t find him and I got told he ran away. I was devastated. I found out a few years ago that he was in fact sent off to Lamb heaven. But that’s not even the part that scarred me for life.

He was never lost as he had, in fact, been in our freezer and we had enjoyed him over numerous meals.

Gan-and-Turtles

48. Bad Influences

My mom and dad would lock my grandmother in the washroom and not let her out for days. They told me she was crazy and made me feel like her being in there was for her own good. She wasn’t allowed to come out for anything. She was hidden away from the world and I never knew why. I tried to be nice to her when I saw her and she was nice to me.

I was told to make sure she was locked up and couldn’t get out. She would sneak out at night and grab food, but if my parents saw her they would scream at her and my dad would hit her. She was around 80 and I was between 8-11 years old when this all happened. So if I saw her leave the room I would yell at her and shove her back in.

I was emulating my dad and how he treated her. I don’t know why she was kept in there. I know she had a house that we used to live in and then we moved. Were my parents cashing her social security checks? I don’t know. She was treated like a nasty secret and my parents made me be mean to her. I’ve never recovered from that.

mache24

49. Nothing Good Happens That Early

When I was around 10 years old, I was sleeping over at my best friend Juan’s house. We usually stayed up really late playing and would sleep in until noon the next day. I loved this because I rarely got to do that at my house. At about eight in the morning, his dad comes into the room and tells me to get dressed because he needed my help.

His dad was a big drinker and he’d clearly already gotten into the beverages. He tells me he needs my help picking out a toy for Juan as a surprise and we were going to drive to Walmart. So we get in the car and drive down to the Walmart which was 10 minutes away from his house. It was a pretty awkward ride.

We get to the Walmart and he takes me to the toy section and asks me what I think Juan would like. I walk around and see Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter. Juan and I were huge Star Wars fans, so I knew he would like it. Juan’s dad buys the toy and then we have another awkward car ride back. He thanks me for helping and asks me to keep it a secret.

I changed into my pajamas again and tried to go back to sleep, but about 10 minutes later, Juan’s dad comes in and surprises him with the toy and gives me a wink. At the time I thought it was such a nice thing for his dad to do for him. Years later, I learned the chilling reason we went on this mission. Juan’s dad had been drinking a couple of nights before and hit Juan, so he wanted to make it up to him.

-eDgAr-

50. Messy Behaviour

One day when I was 12, I was home alone, hanging out down in the basement as I often did. I heard the front door open, so I was about to go upstairs, assuming it was one of my parents or my brother coming home. But then I heard something that made me stop. It was my father’s voice, followed by the voice of an unfamiliar woman.

Over the years, I’ve forgotten what I heard them say, but I do quite clearly remember that I felt very uncomfortable with the whole situation. I decided to just stay quiet downstairs. About a half an hour later, they both left, and when my father returned home another couple hours later on his own, I greeted him as normal and made no mention of what I’d heard earlier that day.

Fast forward to summer of last year, at the age of 21, I’d just gotten into a massive argument with my father in which he effectively blamed my parents’ divorce on my brother. I showed my mom some of the text messages my brother had sent me, and asked her what she felt were some of the biggest issues that led to the divorce.

She told me that with the guidance of their marriage counselor, they had for a time experimented with an open relationship. They’d agreed to seven rules regarding that, and my father broke four of them within the first month. One of the rules that he broke was their agreement not to bring their other partners into our home at any time.

MasteringTheFlames

Sources: 1, 2

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