People reveal childhood memories they thought were normal but now know were traumatic
We all know that kids are resilient little buggers. If you’ve ever worked with them or been exposed to kids who’ve dealt with some pretty f**ken horrendous circumstances, you’d know that there’s no one tougher and more adaptable. It might be that part of the reason for that is that without a wealth of experience to draw from, the things they’ve been exposed to just seem normal. After all, if it’s happening to you, it’s probably just part of growing up…
That’s why it’s always interesting to ask regular blokes and sheilas what kind of experiences they had as kids that they thought were completely normal at the time, but have realised upon reflection that they actually dealt with some pretty traumatic and f**ked s**t. As usual with this kind of discussion, we’ve got Reddit to thank, but it certainly makes for some interesting reading.
There used to be this man that would live at my house when i was about 3-5ish named Skip, and whenever I would walk by him he would ask me “you wanna see my sexy leg?” Too which i would always respond yes enthusiastically. He would then roll up his pant leg really high and rub his thigh up and down while dog whistling. At the time i thought it was fucking hilarious. Well, turns out he was my dads meth dealer who needed a place to stay because he was being investigated for murder. – BeardedLady7
When I was 11, my parents helped a battered wife out of an abusive situation. Her husband was a bad bad guy but was still roaming free. Nobody knew where he was, and he had made serious threats against my family.
My mom ran me through the “steps” if he were to break in: I would get my younger siblings in the closet with me, she would run and draw him out and away from the house to a pre-determined location in the back yard. Once they left I would take the shotgun out of the closet and shoot him.
I was groomed to kill a man at 11. Never had to, but totally prepared. – Chasinbubbles
When my mum was having ‘a bad day’ (before I’d leave by myself for primary school) she would say ‘if I’m not here when you get back, you know why’ implying that she would kill herself because of her stressful life. – PrincessWasPromised
My cousin’s extremely religious mother would practice “rapture drills” with her. This consisted of her mom bursting into her room at like 3:00 am, banging pots and pans together, and screaming “IT’S THE RAPTURE!! THE RAPTURE IS HAPPENING!! WILL YOU BE SAVED???” She would then make my cousin confess her sins to her and then tell her that she would be going to hell for her sins. It terrified her. But she thought that this was a normal thing that all families/mothers do until adulthood when she casually mentioned it in conversation and the whole room went silent. Her now husband had to explain to her that no, that is not normal. – Shaolinblaze
Once again it speaks to the resilience of kids that some of these stories – all taken with a grain of salt, mind you – just coped with s**t like it was normal. There’s a few tales of domestic violence, of drug abuse, of neglect, and of incredibly sad personal stories.
My big brother used to give me “treats”. m&ms, brownies.. cheese & bread. Only years later did I realize he was sneaking me food because we were not being fed. I am healthy and functional today because a 3 year old stole food for me. – Ofeckit
One weird example was when my older brother and I asked for Digimon Starter decks for christmas, but my mom and her boyfriend only had money for one for my brother. I got some cheap squirt guns or something. My momma had to leave for whatever reason and I was pouting. My moms boyfriend asked me what was wrong and I told him I didnt get a digimon deck. He went over to my brother and asked him if that was true. My brother looked scared and said yes. All I remember is him hitting my brother all over and my brother screaming, trying to crawl away while he dragged him by his legs from the living room into the kitched hitting him all over. Then I remember him throwing him an ice pack. It was normal cause we were beat all the time and it only seemed fair he should get beat real bad since he got the digimon deck but, I didnt. – aqua_rabbit_hunter
My mom used to give me enemas when I misbehaved. I didn’t realize until I made a joke about it during my first semester of college and everyone looked at me in stunned silence that it was not a normal punishment.
Edit: To my fellow friends who have been punished in similar ways…I love you. – Bacchicfrenzy
Of course, reading s**t like this is also a pretty bloody tops opportunity for those of us who never experienced anything like it, to reflect on the privileged upbringing we had. In a way, despite its normality, it’s pretty f**ken scary that so many of us passed through our life completely unaware that people we knew at school and in our day-to-day lives might have been dealing with this kind of s**t. And, like it or not, some of the statistics regarding abuse and neglect suggest they were.
There’s so many to choose from, but one that sticks out is mum and dad constantly “falling asleep” on the couch when they were really on the nod from doing smack. Great way to leave a 6 year old and a newborn baby. – SerenitybyJan
My mom leaving me at different places with different people for months at a time…or when we would be driving I remember there would be times where she would tell me about the “school” she was going to take me to and that i would live there. I remember her describing the horses they had (lies) and how much I would love it…she never ended up taking me there but would always talk about it like it was some magical place. Found out from my uncle years later it was an orphanage. Only reason she didnt end up taking me is because he threatened to kill her if she did. – Cabbie27
My friend’s Uncle wanted me and my friend to model clothes for a catalogue. I didn’t go but later discovered that store didn’t and never had sold clothing.
Turned out he was a paedophile and had been sexually abusing my friend for years.
I think we were 8 or 9 at the time. – JustAnotherNerd1988
My mother used to let me skip school a lot to take me to the hospital to see my older sister. We’d have ‘hospital camp outs’ where I’d sleep in the hospital bed with my sister and she’d sleep in the recliner chair provided for parents. It’s now that I realise she’d do that because everyone (doctors, child psychiatrists, social workers, even friends and family) told her she needed to give me as much good memories with my sister as possible before she died. Surprisingly, that’s not the traumatic memory.
On those ‘hospital camp outs’ she used to make me memorise a nursery rhyme. She’d sing it to me, then make me sing it back to her over and over. It was to the tune of ‘hickory dickory clock’ (because I used to watch Play School a lot, so it was one I loved but one that wouldn’t come up in school [so there was no risk of teachers asking us to play it on recorders then wondering why I was singing the wrong lyrics]). She drilled it into my head so heavily that I still remember the lyrics.
The first verse was about my dad. That he was abusive and that I couldn’t be placed with him. The second verse was about my godmother, her name and her phone number. That she had documents to prove the abuse, and that she will take me in.
I realise now that my father was severely abusive to my mother, and my mother was constantly trying to prepare me in case he killed her. Whether it looked like an accident or not, she needed me to be able to tell the police officers that he was abusive, that my godmother’s number is xyz, that she has evidence and will take me in. I learned the nursery rhyme when I was 4. I guess it was the only way she could ensure a four year old would memorise information like that. – SeabeeDecodesLife
Final thought: As already suggested, use stories like this to build some compassion and understanding into your life. Not everyone has it easy and some people have dealt with some pretty f**ked situations. With that said, we might hijack this one a bit. If there’s something you thought was normal, but now know was f**ken awful, share it in the comments.
Just in case you missed it, here’s one of Ozzy’s latest commentary videos…Ozzy Man Reviews: WTF Happened in March 2019