People Share Disturbing Childhood Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults

October 21, 2023 | Sammy Tran

People Share Disturbing Childhood Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults

“I always looked forward to being an adult, because I thought the adult world was, well—adult. That adults weren’t cliquey or nasty, that the whole notion of being cool, or in, or popular would case to be the arbiter of all things social, but I was beginning to realize that the adult world was as nonsensically brutal and socially perilous as the kingdom of childhood".—Paul Cameron

Growing up goes by fast and we see a lot of things that we simply don’t understand. Sometimes we forget about what happened and it never enters our minds again, but sometimes it stays with us. It can take a long time before we realize what it is we saw and why it affected us, but that’s just what growing up is. Sometimes our parents try to protect us and other times they can’t. Here are some stories shared on Reddit about disturbing experiences people had in their youth that they didn’t realize until they were adults.

1. A Chance To Get Away

On 9/11 my cousin was a middle school kid, and was a few blocks from the WTC. He was going to work with his mom that day.
Right after the first plane hit he and his mom saw a guy get out of a cab, stand on the sidewalk for a minute looking at the tower, then open his wallet, take out the cash, and toss the wallet into a trash bin. He threw his briefcase away too, and took off his tie and threw it away, and walked away from the towers waving for a cab. He got in and drove away.

They never talked about that for years, it would upset my aunt. They do now. The leading theory is he worked there and took the chance to just get out. I don't know. But they both saw him throw his stuff away and walk away. My cousin had no idea what was going on, but it dawned on him years later what had happened.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults facts

2. Surviving A Plane Crash

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 had 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 barbeque. 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 disturbing memory for me but my dad was awesome. To this day my dad can never get on a plane without being heavily medicated. My parents also recently told me (around 13 years later) that after we got home and I went to bed my parents sat in the kitchen and cried for a solid hour.

Airplane with four engines landing on runwayIgor Karasi, Shutterstock

3. In School For The Attack

Not horrible from my end, but I was in elementary school through the whole DC assassin time. We had all these new rules like keeping the blinds down and running to the bus. None of the students understood why we weren't allowed to have outside recess, it was just the way things were for a bit.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsPacific Standard

4. Doing Substances With The Kids In The House

When I was little and my mom was out of the house, my dad would be the one to watch me and my brother. He would just tell us to watch TV, and would go off into his room. He would periodically come out of his room and start turning on and off random lights in the house, and he wouldn't talk to us or look at us.

When I would go near his room it smelled like really bad burnt popcorn, and I remember it being the worst smell in the world. I would ask him if something's on fire but he would tell me to just go away.

Well years later in my early teens after my parents' divorce, I finally realized he would smoke crack whenever my mom left. It may not be as horrible as other stories here, but to me that is what tore my family apart and has caused me not see my father the past seven or eight years.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsEyeni

5. Witnessing An Exorcism

I grew up in an evangelical unaffiliated church. They believed in speaking in tongues, demon possession, and exorcisms. A local boy that I befriended, maybe 12 to 14 in age at the time, 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 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 for the next couple of HOURS until he was exhausted and bruised enough and they were satisfied the demon left. The hundred or so onlookers just all started praying and crying and dancing around it.

That was just a pretty normal church night, maybe a little more spirited than usual. He didn't return and in retrospect, it's amazing that the authorities never even showed up. Similar things happened multiple times throughout my childhood.
It wasn't until I was an adult and I looked back to see how completely messed up that all was. How terrifying that must have been for him.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsNext Quest

6. Hide The Evidence

Kind of a reverse situation that happened to my teacher. When she was a kid she ran over a kids foot with a bike. It triggered a seizure (I believe he was epileptic) and after that, he passed out. She thought she ended him and instead of getting help she hid the body in a closet. After their recess was over they were looking for him and she just started bawling, crying saying she ended him. The kid was completely fine wondering why he woke up in a closet.

Beautiful Acts Of KindnessPexels

7. Holding Hands Not For Fun

Went to the local beach with family. When we arrived, I remember being enamored by so many people holding hands in a huge line (had thought they were all playing a game) and walking from the shore into chest high water. I got excited and started begging my mom to go play with them. Had never seen the human chain done before to find a missing swimmer.

Eventually, they found her, attempted CPR, but couldn't revive her. So it also became the first time that I had seen a deceased  body. I thought they had just found her during the course of the "game". It wasn't until I got a bit older that I realized that was why they were doing it in the first place.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsKey Biscayne Citizen Scientist Project

8. Setting The Right Example To The Kids

On a family trip to Washington DC when I was eight. For half a day 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 if 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.

Made her come with us, called the authorities, talked her out of the relationship and set her up with a safe house.

My mom grew up in an abusive 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 mistreatment and will always step if I see someone uncomfortable in public.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsECR

9. More Than Just A Creepy Guy

This might sound insane but I have a story. When I was around 13 I would get the public bus to and from school with friends. It was public knowledge among the kids on the bus that girls wouldn't get off at one of the stops because of a creepy guy who would "get them". He would ALWAYS be standing in his front garden a few steps away from the bus stop looking into the bus and looking generally creepy/sinister.

We would make sure our female friends and other girls wouldn't get off at that stop like it was just a normal thing we had to do each day. People would either get off at the stop before or the stop after. There were known stories from girls I knew about how he grabbed someone and tried to touch them etc. or how he tried to coax them into his house. Like many, many first- and second-hand stories.

Thinking back on it now, OBVIOUSLY we should have told someone or phoned the authorities but it was only something we'd think about for five minutes each day then forget it even happened as soon as we went past that stop.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsRD

10. A Dangerous Fall

An old guy fell down the stone steps outside our local library when I was five or six.

I didn't think it was a big deal, I was super clumsy; I used to fall down the stairs in my house twice a week, it felt like—but it didn't occur to me that the steps were stone and slippery and the old guy probably wasn't as bouncy as I was.

I ended up getting hurried away, but I think my mother or some other adult I was with called the ambulance (I asked about this a few years ago, and she didn't remember any of it, but I can remember it vividly).

That old dude probably got really messed up on that fall, but I didn't think anything of it.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsWikipedia

11.Booze Mistreatment 

My parents used to give my brother and I liqueurs at age seven and eight on up. Like a lot of them, all the time. Mostly TGI Fridays single shots and Godiva. Pucker was a favorite of mine, too. My kids are now that age and I would never ever dream of giving them booze. I have no idea what my parents were thinking. We weren't loud, obnoxious kids, so chilling us out wasn't the reason.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsSurvicate

12. Adults Need Alone Time Too

During a family gathering, found my aunt covered with only a towel, in a dark room in an unused part of the house.

She was nowhere to be found and my uncle and others were looking for her. I was helping them and went into this dark room and turned the light on, and there she was. She was terrified. I was embarrassed so I quickly turned the light off and left. Didn't see if anyone else was in there, but later only I realized she must have been cheating on my uncle while he was in the other part of the house, which wasn't even a very big house.

I told everyone she was changing because that's what I thought she was doing. Didn't know what happened afterward. They are still together after ten years or so. But they do not have a happy marriage.

Now, I think it's more probable she was just having some "alone" time.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsTime

13. Nose Dive

I was with my dad at an airshow in Toronto, back in the 90s. We watched this big plane go up and do a maneuver, and then go into a dive, going nose first into the lake, with a massive splash. My dad was a photographer and had managed to capture the seconds before and after impact, and told me we had to go right away (he booked it to the newspaper with the film roll to get it developed).

I said I wanted to watch the rest of the show because I thought it had just dropped a explosive device and flown off. Didn't realize that I had just witnessed seven people die.

Airplane at the landingm.mphoto, Shutterstock

14. A Glimpse Of The Farmers Pelts

Not me but my dad. He grew up in a small town in Canada, when he was around 10-11 years old he was working at this old guy's farm. The old guy made it very clear that my dad could roam wherever on the farm except for this one specific room (You try telling a ten-year-old boy not to go into one room). So one afternoon my dad went wandering "looking for something" and stumbled into the room he wasn't allowed in.

The old farmer had pelts of lions and tigers and all of these rare species pelts hanging with price tags on them. The old farmer found him and hurried him out telling him not to return. My dad never thought much of it until years later and it was too late but he still feels shameful he didn't tell his father of what he saw...

I just called my father to see if there was more to the story. I guess years after the incident with my dad the farmer was caught illegally selling the pelts. I guess he had a shady connection that got them for him. So the farmer wasn't ending the animals himself but he was profiting off of someone else doing it.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsEggabase

15. Sheltering The Kids

Watched a car go way too fast on the highway and basically do a barrel roll before landing on its roof, that is if it had a roof. It was a roofless sports car.

My brother didn't see it and my mom refused to acknowledge that anything happened, so I assumed that I had daydreamt it.
Ten years later I asked my mom again and she admitted to denying it to shelter me from seeing someone die.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsCar-revs-daily

16. Actually, He Was Not A Nice Guy

In kindergarten we had a sub who did this thing where he would have the kids say "Mr ____ is a nice guy". Young five year old me thought he was a nice guy. About two years later he was fired for throwing a desk at a first grader (luckily he missed).

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsTwipu

17. Just Like On TV

I was going to see a baseball game, and I saw a car accident. It was a pretty bad one, two cars slamming into each other at high speeds.

I was about five, and I was thinking, "Oh, that's so COOL!" I had no concept that there might be people IN those cars, or that someone might have lost their life, just that two cars crashed just like on TV.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsCityLab

18. Covering Just In Case Of The Secret Authorities 

I’m half Libyan half British, and when I was like six or seven I’d go to Libya twice a year. Anyways by the side of roads there were these huge propaganda posters with pictures of Gaddafi on. Anyways I didn’t know who he was and said that man is ugly or something along those lines.

My mum then freaked out and shouted “you’d never say that about Tony Blair (the British prime minister)” and told me never to talk about Gaddafi. I didn’t realize until now that she was worried about me talking about the state and someone hearing.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsMommy Cusses

19. Like In The Movies

I still swear that I saw someone burying a body in the woods when I was like 14 years old. I was riding my bike on this gravel roadway back behind a cemetery in NJ and there was this old van, a hole with a shovel and a dude moving this body-shaped thing covered in a black garbage back from the van to the hole. Very stereotypical—exactly what you would see in like an old mob movie or something. He saw me and froze and I just biked home as fast as I could.

This was maybe 15 years ago. I remember thinking at the time that it looked like a body, but telling myself that I'm just a kid and it must be a mistake. Looking back on it now as an adult, replaying everything over in my head, I still think it could have been a body.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsNedda Baba

20. She Watched Her Sister Go

When I was about six, I watched my sister die. She was born with many health complications due to her biological father (we had different dads) being exposed to certain chemicals in the army. She suffered from epilepsy, a cleft palate, autism, eye issues, etc.

One day my family was at a lake celebrating my brother's birthday when my sister began to have another seizure. Except this time it was different, she was turning blue and I distinctly remember my mother sucking the foam out of her mouth so that she would be able to breathe.

I watched they rushed her to the car to drive to the hospital. Apparently, she was declared brain deceased there and later a golf ball sized tumor was found in her brain, She was taken off life support, passed and I never got to play with my little sister again.

I remember being so sad, but not quite realizing that what I saw was horrendous. In a way, I'm okay that I witnessed it all, because at least I got to be near her in her final moments and I'll never forget her or the day she left.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsCouple Therapy Inc.

21. A Friendly Neighbor

When I was little there was this sweet old man who lived next door to us named Mr. Culpepper. He was your typical textbook nice next door neighbor, always cheery, baking cookies for everyone in the cul-de-sac, seen whistling while watering his lawn and talking to birds while tending to his garden.

Well, one day after church there were several law enforcement cars outside his house. My father told me and my sisters to stay in the car while he and my mother went to ask what was up. When they came back my mother was crying and my father was stone-faced.

Years later when I asked what had happened to good ol' Mr. Culpepper I found out he had shot himself in the head. Even sadder still it was because his kids never came to see him and he was terribly lonely and was diagnosed with cancer. I always think about him. He didn't deserve to go out that way.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsNewsLocker

22. Step Dad Snaps

I saw my stepdad pull a piece on my mom because she was trying to leave him. I was only four or five at the time, and me and one of the stepsisters came out. It snapped him back and he started unloading it and dropped the  secret. I remember trying to pick up to be helpful. Didn't hit me till much later what was really going on.

And no she didn't stay with him that much longer. He had severe mental health issues and idk what happened other than his daughters went to live with their grandmother. Didn't stay in touch so no idea what happened.

kid covering his earsMonstera, Pexels

23. Sad Walk To School

Walking 20 mins to school only to pass the booze store parking lot where you see your dad passed out in the parking lot.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsPerdriau Family Lawyers

24. Aiding Abandonment

Helped and watched my best friend's Dad pack out the house. I was maybe six or seven at the time and had no idea he was ditching wife, kids, job, or any other adult responsibility.

He made the task into a game for me and his son; we were taking things to go "camping". After we packed up, he told us boys to head back to town, where there was a local parade going on, and not tell the wife / Mom because it was a surprise.

As young as I was, I had no idea of the magnitude of what he was doing. Apparently he cleaned out their bank accounts, money, and valuables. We were just excited to go camping. An hour later, my buddy's life was in ruins and they had to leave the house they were renting and move away. To this day, I have no idea what happened to my childhood friend, his Mom, or the Dad.

It was a pretty despicable thing that guy did...

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsThe Manual

25. The Horror

My dad and I were going camping when I was five or six years old. We headed out early (5:00 AM or so) and saw something in the ditch a couple houses down from us. We pulled over thinking it was an animal. It was a woman. This woman was missing her entire bottom half of her body. Legs several meters away She was gone and lying face down in a pool of her own blood.

Dad quickly hurried me back in to the truck trying to block my vision. We turned around, sped back home, called the authorities and waited until we saw their lights over the hill before we headed back out.

The entire camping trip, dad was shaken in a way I had never seen him before. He barely said anything all night. I didn't think anything of it, really.

When we got home, my mom told me that the lady had been hit by a inebriated driver on her morning walk. She had been hit so hard that her body was severed in the middle. Unfortunately, she was a friend of my parents from way back and they talked at least once a week or so.

Now that I'm older with my own kids, it gives me chills thinking about what was going through my dad's mind. All he wanted to do was to get me away from that horror.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsJust Brennon

26. Watching The Roofie

I saw a man put something in a woman’s drink at a restaurant. She had gone to the bathroom and he put some powder in her drink. Back then, I didn’t know what roofies were, so I thought maybe it was just medicine or something.

It sickens me when I think about it now.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsTwipu

27. Higher Education

When I was 11, I went on a weekend camping trip with my best friend, her mom, and her mom’s boyfriend (who later became my high school principal)—Mr. DP.

On the way we stopped at someone’s house because Mr. DP said he had to pick up something. I remember walking up to the door and seeing a man with long hair sitting on a couch watching TV and then getting told to go play in his yard while the adults went in.

I realized when I was in college that my high school principal took us to buy weed.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsKazak

28. Tragic Car Wreck

My mom, great-grandmother, two sisters and myself were on a road trip home from visiting NC. I remember it pretty vividly because I was leaned forward between the front seats showing my grandma something. I heard my mom gasp and looked up.

We were on a divided highway and in the oncoming lanes an SUV was flipping. It kept going. Across the divided grass section. Across our lanes of traffic and lodged in some trees on our side.

My mom pulled over. This was probably around 1994-95, but my mom had a cell phone which were still not crazy popular. She called the authorities as other motorists swarmed the scene to try to help.

I was looking out the window. I remember all this luggage on the ground. Just strewn across the ground hanging in the trees. Fairly close to the car there was a squarish green case. As I was looking at it I realized it looked like a sweatshirt. Thought that was pretty weird. Looked closer and I realized it was a body. Folded in half.

At the time I just pointed it out to my grandma. We left the scene shortly after as we weren't really any help and were just going to be in the ambulances way.

I can still vividly see that body. At the time I didn't associate it with end or even a real person.

Later I came to understand that there was no way that person lived. How horrific the accident really was. And how terrifying it must have been for my mom and all the other drivers to see a car flipping uncontrollably into your lane.

The Customer Is Always WrongPexels

29. José The Brosé.

I grew up in NYC and a really nice guy and his wife who lived in our building would watch me after school. They were Puerto Rican and the husband, Jose, spoke very little english. He was basically my best friend and we would spend our days going on chores and communicating in our own way.

One day we are in a bodega and this big dude comes in talking loud and being a bit of a jerk. Jose literally picks me up, walks me to the back and starts letting me pick out all this junk food I usually can't have. It was awesome and every time I'm like "yo Jose this is what I want, I want these ho-hos" he's like "you sure papi?" and induces an existential crisis in me, so I'd put them back and further scrutinize my options.

Eventually, I have my snacks and I'm firm on my decision. That's when I realize Jose is acting really weird and there is a chaotic buzz in the air.

I see a pool of blood and the dude who works the register sitting down with all these people around him.

Turns out that guy who had come in was a big, brolic lunatic with metal pipe. He had beaten the store owner to a pulp, screaming gibberish, all while I was distracted by delicious hostess snacks a few aisles away.

We awkwardly paid this dude who was messed up and bounced. it wasn't until many years later talking to Jose's kids that I found out how dangerous the situation was and how brilliantly he insulated me from it.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsRadiomof

30.Deceased Man

When I was little (I guess like six or something) a friend and I found a man sleeping in the bushes at our sports field. We thought it was some homeless guy that was sleeping there and we thought it was hilarious. We told everyone on the field en showed some of them the sleeping man. My uncle, who works for the authorities, also came with us when we asked him to come see our sleeping friend.

A few minutes later, the game that was playing on the field was canceled and the place where the man was swamped with authorities. I thought they came to wake the man up.

Turned out a few years later, he was gone, I believe he was liquidated in the park that connected to our sportsfield.

Yeah, so I guess I found a deceased man when I was six.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsDaily Republic

31. Lollipop Games

I don't know if this counts, but my cousin and I were the dumbest children when we were younger. We had a game we played when no one was around, it doesn't have a name and it could have gotten us ended on a couple of occasions.

Basically, we would get lollipops and push them down each other's throat. Like actually hold the lollipop stuck, and slowly slide the candy down.

When I got anatomy in school it dawned on me how absolutely idiotic we acted as children.I hope the dumb idiot DNA doesn't run in family.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsWillow & Boo

32. Creative Mothering With A Happy Ending

When I was 11 my mom and I left my dad and were homeless. I did not realize we were homeless til I was 20. I just thought we were on some kinda excursion. We were just kinda sleeping in the car and at friends houses for a while.

I just had so much trust for my mother I was never once startled by the situation. My mother is also very creative "wow, I found these flavored tuna pouches, wouldn't it be cool if we acted like cats?" "I bet you can't brush your teeth with only a water bottle," and other classics like "I'm gonna leave you at the library for a while". About two years later we did find a house.

To clarify, we were only homeless for two years, haha, it just didn't occur to me that we were actually homeless til I was 20. PS, she now has a very nice house with four kittens and gets to retire in three years :) She's my everything.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsJoe

33. Seeing The Jump

When I was about six my mom was driving me and some neighbor kids home from a day at the beach. As we crossed a bridge there was an old man standing on the side of the road. My mom looked in the rearview mirror after we passed him and noticed he was gone. This was before cell phones so she pulled over and started flagging down cars. Thankfully one of the first cars she flagged down had a CB radio and called an ambulance.

Meanwhile, my friends and I were looking down at the man, lying on train tracks at the bottom of the bridge. My mom told us he fell and was going to be ok. It wasn't until years later that I found out he had jumped to his end because his wife of 50+ years had just lost his life to cancer.

train going over a bridgeCelil DOĞAN, Pexels

34. Drug Education

I have only a mild recollection of this but apparently, people were doing a lot of IV substances around me as a child. When we got to our drug awareness/DARE type class in the third or fourth grade, they showed us pictures of substances and needles and stuff with the usual scare tactics.

My classmate, confused, asked how the powder could go inside the needle. Ever helpful, my eight/nine-year-old self explained that you had to get a spoon and cook it over a candle first until it melted down. My teacher was not happy.

Senior teacher wearing white shirt and tie teaching at classroom.gualtiero boffi, Shutterstock

35. Losing A Best Friend

I was maybe three, can't really remember. We were awakened by the siren of the fire truck. We ran to our lawn to see the neighbor's house engulfed in flames. As we're watching they bring something out and let it on the grass but 20 feet from me. It's small and blackened.

It was my best friend's charred body. I remember staring at it until my mom finally realized what it was and took us all back into the house. It didn't really register for a long time. For a couple weeks I kept asking if my friend was going to come back so we could play.

Finally, I stopped asking, and I guess I eventually forgot about him and what happened. It all came flooding back to me one day when I was in my forties, and I confirmed my memories with my mom.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsThe Mercury News

36. Experiencing  Conflict

Balkan conflict. Very blessed I was too young back then. Never really questioned the bodies on the side of the roads because I had the feeling that it was something I don't want to know until I'm older. Some older kids who survived still have issues to this day, but I was fine because I didn't realize the abnormally.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsThe Straits Times

37. Scared Of Marriage

When my parents bought a house because my mom was pregnant with my younger sister, my parents slept in separate rooms; they didn’t do that in our previous one-bedroom apartment. It never occurred to me that they hated each other.

They would eventually separate and then divorce. I also had my paternal grandparents for 28 years before they passed and they slept in separate bedrooms for longer than I had them in my life.

Always thought it was because they had separate schedules (grandpa was up around 9am and went to bed around 10pm while my grandma would go to bed around 3am and wake up at 3pm), but apparently they had a marriage of convenience in the 1940s. They and my parents are why marriage makes me nervous.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsLawyer Monthly

38. Credit To Dad For That Game

When my sister and I were kids (about six or seven years old) my dad would have us play a “game” while my mother was in the hospital. He would have us look for bottles of pills, whoever found the most won. We had no idea what was going on or why my mother was ALWAYS sick and in the hospital. We just knew that was the way things always were. She was gone when I was nine years old.

Fast forward to when I was 17. I was experiencing a really bad part of my life (that I’d rather not discuss) and came home crying to my dad. He eventually told me that he understood how I was feeling and told me that my mother was an addict and was making herself sick. At that moment I remembered the long-lost memory of the “game” we played as kids and what it really was.

Two young kids are making a diorama for school.Artem Podrez ,Pexels

39. Dad’s not Permitted Pieces  

My dad getting inebriated , ridiculously depressed, and putting a piece to his head and threatening to pull the trigger. This happened fairly regularly. The worst, which I know no one will believe but is sadly 100% true, was the night he took a grenade out and pulled the pin, keeping the safety lever depressed in his hand, and threatened to let go and hurt himself . I remember just walking to the other end of the trailer and waiting for the boom.

He ended up taken into custody on pieces charges, surprise surprise. There had been an incident years before, too, where he was inebriated and messing around with a friend and they set off a tear gas grenade in the house.

All of this just seemed like "inebriated dad" stuff to me as a kid. I didn't realize how nuts it was for your dad to have a trunk full of not permitted pieces   buried in the woods.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsKnow Your Meme

40. Missing Lip

My mom was walking me to preschool in Pacific Beach, San Diego, and what do we find on the sidewalk? A lip, with a mustache. Just sitting there.

Someone bit it off, either the guy missing a lip or someone else. Either way, it’s disturbing. But another time around age three, same area leaving a 7-Eleven, found a small bag with an engagement ring and three tiny loose diamonds in it. So I like to think I broke even.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsRecipesbnb

41. Lucky The Car Stalled

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. To me (four at the time) and my sister (six), we assumed he was a worker trying to move us out of the way of the garage. He said, "Buckle up" in a way that still gives me chills to this day. The car stalled as he put it into gear (manual, tricky clutch).

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.

Incidents That They Only Understood As Adults factsMarketWatch


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