Sadly, I think almost all of us had at least one questionable experience as a kid. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse, though, a lot of the time we don’t realize just how messed up a situation really was until we’re older.
These 15 people are the proof in the pudding, but be careful – their memories just might jog loose some of your own.
15. They went to “deal with it.”
A guy tried and failed to kidnap our neighbor’s baby over a $20 debt.
We lived in navy housing in Charleston, SC when I was a kid (this was in the 80s). We were at the neighbor’s house. This neighbor owed someone else in the neighborhood $20 and hadn’t paid.
While we were all in the living room / dining area, we heard the loud sound of shattering glass come from the baby room. The baby cried out and everyone rushed down, but the guy was gone before we got there.
The guy apparently tried to pry open a locked window with a putty knife and pressure on the frame caused the glass to shatter. The dude left the putty knife and the note he’d written in the window sill when he took off. The baby was fine.
I heard the grown ups talk about knowing exactly who it was. I also remember them deciding not to call the police and to go deal with it in person.
14. Some people shouldn’t be parents.
My dad used to take my little brother and I to a car graveyard in the middle of nowhere and no matter what direction you looked in you wouldn’t be able to see any lights at all. It was just pitch black in all directions and the only light was a tiny lantern thing outside this little shack.
My dad would go in there and do heroin with this random couple and tell us to play with the cars. It’s a miracle my brother and I didn’t get injured in the pitch black climbing on top of burnt out and broken cars with metal sticking out everywhere.
To make things slightly worse I was ten, he was eight, and he’s also mentally disabled.
13. At least there was a happy ending.
From 4th to 6th grade, I would go to a friends regularly. For most of the friendship his mom was super nice and engaged with us as kids, while his dad had always been this mysterious person at a high powered job that everyone tip-toed around once he got home.
My friend’s attitude started changing near the end of our friendship, being abusive to his dog that he used to be obsessed with and overall high strung. Parents were a little off compared to before. I stayed for dinner one night like I had before many times and his mom sits down with a black eye.
I was confused, like, how did she get hurt? It was a bit awkward, but the dad was there and those meals were more about finishing up than chatting. I guess everything was always less fun when he was around.
My friend was not the same as he was before. More aggressive and that wasn’t my style. Our friendship just kind of waned off.
I didn’t realize till many years later that his dad was likely an abusive a$$hole, was hitting his wife, and maybe his sons. Ill never forget the weird anxiety that filled the house in those last few months, and that my presence may have been a kind of reprieve period where the dad had to play it cool.
That anxiety did end up pushing me away, and looking back I hope My friend, his brother, and Mom got out of the situation.
12. That will leave a mark.
My mom attempting suicide in front of me on more than one occasion, as well as being in the car as my dad drove her to the hospital after said suicide attempts.
11. Why would you take your kid?
When I was 5 my dad would take me to the park on a Sunday sometimes. Sometimes he would then take me to this woman’s house nearby. They would sit me in front of the TV and put on teenage mutant ninja turtles. Then they would go upstairs.
I never made the connection the were having sex because I didn’t know what sex was.
My mother left him anyway when I was older, for being a gambler and a drunk. I think about it now and again how oblivious I was.
10. I hope their dad feels guilty.
On a day out with my dad when I was little I was playing in the park with a girl same age as me I didn’t know her but she was on her own , me and my dad left after an hour or so leaving the girl on her own again , obviously my dad asked where her parents were etc .
Later on that night there was a big story on the news about a girl who had been abducted and all my family kept asking me question about this little girl .
It went right over my head at the time being about 5 yrs old . 40 yrs later I still think about her
9. Breaking the cycle.
I was five years old the first time my mother told me she was going to kill herself and it was all my fault…but also later in the same day that I’m the only reason she didn’t kill herself…that probably wasn’t the actual first time either, just the first I remember.
But whatever you experience as a kid is normal because you have nothing to compare it to. You have no idea you’re being head fucked.
I got to 41 before I realised, in fact, it is not the job of the eldest sibling to shield the younger siblings from their parents. It took my son saying “but you’ve never done anything even a bit like that to us” for it all to click into place.
8. Always help a friend.
I remember having a friend in high school whose parents were practically absent for most of his childhood. We use to make jokes about how jealous we were that he got to do basically whatever he wanted, he could sleep over at anyone’s house any day of the week, and never had a curfew.
We got close and I started coming over to his house, which was very dirty to say the least. All the food was microwaveable or non-perishable/junk foods, they had a turtle tank in the kitchen between the sink and the stove, dishes always stacked, trash everywhere, etc.
My friend would jump at any opportunity to stay at our houses whenever our parents allowed, but I had to stop after a while because my friend didn’t clean up after himself often. One day, my mom got upset after he left bread crumbs all over our couch, she said, “he should know better, what would his parents think?” “Well mom, i don’t think they’d think much.”
i proceed to explain the conditions of his house, my mother was shocked and insisted he sleep over whenever he needed, but only if I made sure he learn to clean up after himself and was well-fed.
7. Well that’s terrifying.
Around age 5-7 I was out shopping with my mom when a man grabbed my hand and went to walk out of the shop with me. I didn’t realise it wasn’t my mom at first, but then I realised I didn’t recognise him and pulled away, went absolutely dead weight. He looked down at me and said something like “come on Tommy, your mom’s been looking everywhere for you” when suddenly my sister and mom came to the rescue and he apologised, said he thought I was his nephew, and immediately left.
Looking back, he was definitely a pedophile or kidnapper who was trying to take me to his van or something. I distinctly remember the entire shop full of people stopping and staring, and later the person working there allowing me to have a toy for free. I think it was his way of making me feel better, though I had no idea what had happened at the time.
6. There are good people out there.
I feel that. When i was a senior in high school, i was homeless. Family gave up on me because I was a “troubled teen.” Definitely heading down the wrong path.
My best friend found out one day when i asked to sleep over one night, and had him buy me breakfast from McDonald’s.
He told his mom, and she told me i could stay as long as i needed.
That moment alone probably saved my life
5. Some heavy stuff.
When I was about 10, my dad offered to buy me candy and stopped at a store to run in. We had a long drive back and I asked where the candy was. He said in the bag in the back but that he’d get it for me when we got home since he was driving. I said “it’s okay I can reach it” and as I reached for it he slapped me and said yelled that I can wait until I got home.
My father had never hit me before that, and never did again after. The most confusing part to me was the look of utter sadness and shock on his face after he hit me.
My dad was an alcoholic and killed himself before my 18th birthday.
It wasn’t until I was older that I understood he had bought a bottle of vodka and forgot to place it in its own bag…or that I hadn’t seen him drinking water all those times he disappeared to his truck and I snuck to the window to watch where he went.
4. Fun for a reason.
My uncle withdrawing from drugs. He was always the fun loud crazy uncle. I was around 10 and my mom and I came home from somewhere and when we pulled up he was sitting outside and said he needed a place to stay.
My mom had to work the next day and he and I were both hanging out at the house and I could tell he didn’t feel well and was dry heaving. It was really scary. I asked him if I should call 911 and he said no he’d be okay.
I had no idea he had drug problems until I became an adult. He passed away not too long ago from liver failure.
3. Something they’ll never forget.
When I was 5 or 6 I lived in a complex with 8 units. One day my dad asked to jump through one of the units bathroom windows, run through the house an dopen the front door.
I didn’t really want to as an old lady lived there that I didn’t know well and thought I’d get in trouble if caught.
Anyway off I go, through the window and make my way to the front door. As I get to the lounge room she was on lounge chair slumped with eyes opened looking straight at me. Scared the crap out of me, it was creepy but more so remember thinking I had been caught breaking into her house.
Anyway open front door and run past my parents and neighbours straight home, ambulance came not long after but didn’t really click what was going on.
I later realised in my teens she was dead, apparently had been for a few days. Everyone in The complex was worried about her so used me to get into the house to check on her welfare. 30+ years later can still picture it.
2. It’s like a Stephen King movie.
My neighbor’s body just hanging by the window, kids my age got to see it too since we were playing outside.
1. It didn’t go as planned.
When I was younger I really never really saw my two oldest brothers because they were always in n out of jail. One day my mom tells me they will both be released on the same day and I’d get to see them when I got home from school( 1st grade )
As I got home I raced to the front door to see them finally only to see my brother and top of the other one trying to stab him in the face with a kitchen knife on the couch.
My body instantly froze and my mom shoved me out of the way to separate them. I never understood why my brothers would fight like that until I grew up realizing my (kitchen knife wielder) brother was addicted to meth and would steal from us to get some drugs so my brother had confronted him ensuing the scuffle.
I’m 25 now, my brother is still addicted to meth and in and out of jail (Currently in rn). My other brother got his life together and has made a living for himself.
It’s not something oblivious but as a child I didn’t understand why this would happen. I still get nightmares or flashbacks about this fight till this day.
I want to say yikes, but this type of thing is clearly very common.
If you’re a parent, how do you plan on helping your own kid avoid these experiences? Let’s chat about it in the comments!