People Share Strange Memories From Their Childhoods That They Only Understood As Adults
As children, we didn't know what was going on! We were just simply existing, holding on desperately to this thing we call life, until we got to hang out at the playground again. So young...So Naive.
But don't fret, cause as they say "you'll understand when you get older."
For more stories - find the original thread at the end of the article.
When I was 5, we had a lice check at school and it turned out I had lice. I was sent home and quarantined. All of my bedding and stuffed animals were thrown away and I couldn't be around anyone. Every morning and night my mother had to use tweezers to pull them and their eggs out of my eyebrows and eyelashes. After about a week of this, a stranger showed up at my house and took me into the living room alone. She showed me a girl and boy doll and started asking me really weird questions about private parts and touching. I was 100% confused.
It turns out I had crabs. Since they typically live in pubic hair and I didn't have any, they decided to live in my eyelashes. My mom thought I'd been molested. In reality, the babysitter had banged her boyfriend on a couch (at a different house) that I then took a nap on.
I want to add that I didn't know the truth until I was about 25. My niece got lice and I was surprised they weren't in her eyelashes. My mother told me what had really happened and I'm still mortified.
There was a solid year growing up where my mom, dad, and I ate lots of macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I was in little kid heaven and I thought it was the best thing. I never realized we didn't have anything to eat and that my parents did the best they could to hide it.
When I was in kindergarten, we had a little bathroom in our classroom (like a supply closet but with plumbing) that we could use so that we wouldn't have to go down the hall whenever we needed to. One day, while I was in there, I realized that there was no toilet paper.
My solution was to walk out of the bathroom, pants down, in front of the whole class, and explain to my teacher the situation, in the middle of her lesson.
It's one of those memories that makes me physically cringe anytime I think about it.
My sister would pick fights with me in public so I started acting like I had a mental disability so everyone near her thought she was harassing someone with special needs.
I though it was funny and clever but I can't believe she didn't get in more trouble. I only remember that one time this older guy was just like "I think you need to leave him alone, Where are your parents?" in a scary deep voice.
I think I was four or five. My parents were fighting which was a pretty common occurrence, but I remember this time my dad yelled for someone to get him a knife so he could kill himself.
Not understanding what that meant at the time and hoping that the yelling would stop I started to go to the kitchen to get a knife until my older brother stopped me.
When I was about 11 I woke up to my 17-year-old cousin with his penis out joking around and "peed" on me. I had to promise I wouldn't tell on him.
Later on in life I realized dude ejaculated on my head while I was sleeping.
I would always get mad at my mom for packing me homemade sandwiches. All my rich friend's parents were giving them ramen noodles for lunch and we would eat them raw and thought they were delicious. I always thought my mom didnt buy me that because she hated me and wanted me to eat boring food.
One day, in college, while buying ramen I recalled this stuff from my childhood. I realized that although we were poor, my mom made me home made lunches every day. And my rich friends parents were just sending them off with whatever took the least effort.
When I was about 6-years-old, I picked up a Brazil nut out of a jar and asked my step-mother what it was. She told me it was a "n-word toe." When I asked her what that was, she told me it was another word for friend.
A couple weeks later I got thrown out at my mother's house for calling my sister the n-word. I was so confused.
When I was about seven and my brother was around four, we were laying in our parents bed watching cartoons because they had a comfy bed and big T.V. I reached under the pillow and I found this weird long pink thing. I found a button on the top of it and it started vibrating. "Hey look, this thing vibrates!" I told my brother.
Being kids, we just rubbed it all over ourselves and such to feel the vibrations, including putting it out mouths. And yes, I threw up in my mouth multiple times while typing this out.
I was placed in foster care at an early age because of abuse and I had to see a counselor on the regular. This counselor's name was Bryant. Bryant's office was full of interesting things. He had dolls so kids could point to where uncle Jimmy touched them. He had crayons and paper and all sorts of other stuff. He also had two plastic totes full of sand. One was full of wet sand, the other full of dry sand. I'm sure I don't know what the ostensible purpose of the sand was. Moving on.
I was six when the sessions began and for nearly a year I had to see this guy every two weeks to tell him how I felt about my foster parents and how school was. It wasn't until many years later that I realized this guy was a pervert. He always locked the door to his office and then he would pull out the sand boxes and he'd say pretend we're at the beach. He'd encourage me to take my shirt off because, hey, it's the beach.
On a couple of occasions he tried to give me a massage by pinching my shoulders but my muscles weren't developed, so it hurt. I told him so and he stopped.
And that's it. He never did anything else. A year later I stopped seeing him when one of his coworkers got in trouble for hiding X-MEN cards in his pockets and having my older brothers fish them out. It was like a whole organization of creeps.
When it finally occurred to me that this was unusual I was much older and it pissed me off because there was this guy fondling helpless victims of child abuse. This world.
Growing up, there was a hot tub in my backyard. When I was maybe 7 or 8, a friend and I were chilling in the tub when my older sister (10 or 11) demanded we vacate the tub so she and her friend could hot tub in peace. She and her friend offered to "flash" my friend and me in compensation.
They did it trench coat style with their towels, then my friend and I went and did other stuff, not really having any idea what we were supposed to get out of that trade.
I was staying at my sister's apartment complex for the weekend and took her dog out to the parking lot for a walk at around 10 pm.
A guy stepped out of his van and started asking me questions.
The gist was, "Does the dog bite?" "No." Some small talk.
"I live in this van. It is pretty cool. Do you want to come in and see?" "No."
I went back inside and told my sister about this weird guy. She flipped out, told me to stay here, and stormed outside.
She came back and said she couldn't find the van.
I came home from school (4th grade) and ran into my room to change into baseball pants and grab my bat bag cause I was running late to practice. I open my bedroom door and my older brother and his girl were banging in my bed.
They just told me they got tired and his sheets were washing. I thought nothing of it. I changed, grabbed my bag and on my way to practice I was. None the wiser.
My mom has Multiple Sclerosis and didn't want me and my sister to see how bad it could get when we were little.
So we would go to chuck e cheese all day on her worst days during the summer, or if she couldn't cook during the school year we'd have Eggos for dinner! Me and my sister thought those days were the coolest things, and so much fun.
It took me years to realize she was doing it so we weren't scared by her disabilities.
I was maybe eight or nine, but we were pretty bad off at the time. I remember sometimes late at night my mom would dress up super fancy, complete with a big trench coat, and she would have me ride with her to random houses and tell me to sit in the car while she went to go "see some friends". I'd wait for a while and then she'd come out and we'd leave and if I was really good, she'd take me out to dinner the next day.
Now as an adult, I'm pretty much 99% sure she was selling her body to make ends meet, which is absolutely horrible, but hot damn did she do her best to keep me from starving to death.
I was 5, my brothers talked me into banging on mom and dad's locked bedroom door to ask them if they needed a banana.
When my mom and sister weren't home, me and my dad would play a version of hide-and-seek, and he would roam the house with a knife in his hand talking about how when he found me he was going to ram it up into my eye socket lobotomize me. I loved it.
I was 6 and my next door neighbor was 5.
She walked in on her sister, who was 11, indulging in some adult activity with her teenager boyfriend, and wanted to try said activity with me. So we sat in her garage with the lights off and smashed our faces into each others crotches.
Afterwards, we ran back to my house where my parents were hosting some company and we quieted everyone down to tell them about how we just had sex.
I just thought they were kissing but no they were really going at it. We were there for like 10 minutes before they noticed.
We had alligator snapping turtles in our pond when I was growing up, and my dad once remarked on how he had seen a huge one in there and was always looking for it to get rid of it.
One day I was hunting frogs on the bank and I see him...freaking enormous. So I jumped in the water, grabbed him by the tail and dragged him up to the house and put him in a water tub outside the back door.
I had no idea he could have easily bitten off my hand if I wasn't wily enough.
I was shot at by my brother. We used to go hunting together when I was between about 9. He taught me all about gun safety, how you should never point a firearm at anything but the ground or sky unless you intend to fire it, and above all never ever point it at a person not even as a joke.
One day we were out hunting and I was standing a little way away from him. I looked up to see him pointing his gun at me. I moved to one side just as he pulled the trigger and I felt something pluck at the sleeve of my sweater. There was a small hole in the material. I was so confused and asked him why he had shot at me. He laughed it off and said of course he hadn't, he hadn't been shooting anywhere near me. I didn't question it anymore at the time.
Now I think: why the hell was my brother trying to shoot me?!
It was a couple years afterwards that my family learned he had mental health issues and they started showing up.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.