Here’s Something To Be Sorry About!
“Growing up if I didn’t clean up right they would undo whatever work I had done. For example:
My dad asked me to clean the kitchen once and I forgot to wipe off one of the countertops. He walked in there to ‘inspect it’ and he noticed so he took the trashcan (that had just been used to clean up from dinner the night before and clean out the fridge) and slung it all over the cabinets, countertops, and floor. He also took all the dishes out of the almost full dishwasher and told me to clean it up and when I did the dishes I wasn’t allowed to use the dishwasher, I had to wash them all by hand. He would do it with my room too – take the dresser drawers out and dump them, take the rod out of my closet and dump it, then pull the blankets and sheets off my bed.
He’s really scary when he’s mad and it’s even worse when he’s wasted on top of it”
Eventually, The Authorities Had TO Set His Parents Straight
“I was terrified of the dark growing up, so my parents took away my lights as punishment. I lived in a basement room, and the only windows I had were small ones near the ceiling, and those were covered with bushes. I spent many a dark night in isolation, terrified out of my wits, hiding under blankets weeping and shaking. Thus, I started cutting around age 11. Like, my brain couldn’t handle it, and I got no sympathy from my peers. Everyone was like, ‘fraidy cat, scared of the dark!’
When CPS finally got involved when I was 15, this was brought up, and dad laughed like they were claiming child abuse because I wasn’t allowed to have cake for breakfast or something minor. He didn’t know why cutting was a bad thing, because he considered that a joke: ‘he’s just doing that for attention. It’s convenient: self-punishment built right in. He’s so stupid and you’re all just falling for it.’ Yeah, he had no clue.
I got over my fear of the dark, eventually, and even prefer it to sleep better as an adult, but my childhood still gives me PTSD flashbacks.”
Treated More Like A Convict Than A Kid
“This started in about the third or fourth grade and continued until I moved out at 18.
During the months of the school year (usually stretched to ten months out of the regular year, to be fair) my room consisted of:
A bed, a bookshelf (empty), a closet (with clothes), a desk (bolted to the wall so that it could not be moved, back to the door at all times), and textbooks.
Anything that might’ve been remotely entertaining, distracting, or engaging was removed. Books? Gone. Computer keyboard? Adios, locked up, had to ask permission to get it back to type up homework on the rare occasion they allowed that. Even random toys, when I was a kid – gone. Most of that stuff I genuinely gave up on when I was in middle school and only got back when I moved out.
To continue. Music with lyrics: banned. Tv and movies: banned except for extremely special circumstances (Friday night with parents if they deemed I warranted it, I could watch about two hours of TV, they picked.)
Door lock: removed. At any point, my room would be prison-tossed to see if I was hiding contraband or stuff from school I should be showing them (usually low-grade assignments.) At any point, I could be subjected to a pat-down, my bookbag dumped on the ground and the contents kicked about until they found anything to get mad about. I’d then have to clean up the mess of that or the tossed room, or often both.
Privacy was a privilege, and one I didn’t have during those months.
There was a lot more, but that’s the high points.”
Forced To Drink Sour Milk
“I didn’t like to eat in the mornings when I was young (8-9 years old) because I had a nervous stomach before school.
My dad was going into work late and insisted I eat the apple jacks cereal in front of me, he was getting very angry saying things like, ‘you waste food – you gotta grow up and quit being nervous’ because that super helped.
I told him that the apple jacks tasted funny. It really tasted weird and then I saw the small white things floating in the milk and suggested the milk was sour. Obviously, he called nonsense – got so mad at my ‘lie’ that he made me eat all of it and drink the milk.
Then I went to school and threw it up and got to go home.
He wasn’t good for a long, long time. By the time he stopped drinking and using substances all the time he missed so much ‘how to be a dad’ steps it didn’t get much better.
I will say this, he did his best, and even though his best wasn’t good enough it still was his best.”
Strict To The Point Of Pure Criminal Insanity And Abuse
“I wasn’t allowed to ‘grow up.’ My parents forced me to bathe in front of them for years so they could keep an eye on my body and when I started developing, I wasn’t allowed near my younger siblings because I was ‘tainted.’
I wasn’t allowed any friends because ‘Friends will use you, you only need your family.’ Well, that’s kind of hard when I wasn’t allowed to be around my family.
I wasn’t allowed an education because it’s a sin.
I wasn’t allowed to talk or even look up from the floor.
I wasn’t allowed outside.
I wasn’t allowed to have a ‘crush.’ This included fictional characters.
I wasn’t allowed to wear a bra, but I was reminded how much I was a jezebel for having a developed chest.
I wasn’t allowed new clothes. I could only wear my younger sister’s (by two years) old clothes and if I couldn’t fit them, I was put on a diet.
I wasn’t allowed to sleep on a bed, because my parents thought I would get fantasies.
I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom, I was allowed outside once or twice a day to go behind a tree.
I wasn’t allowed to look at my younger siblings, if I did my parents accused me of violating them (We are one year apart. It started when I was six years old and my parents thought since my younger siblings were always ‘touching’ each other that I was the one that gave them that idea.)
I wasn’t allowed to sleep until all of the daily chores were done (the list would grow as the night went on).
I wasn’t allowed to eat unless it was leftovers.
I grew up in a ‘Christian’ household in the Montana. I ran away when I was 17. I’m married now and even though we’re struggling, I’m a lot happier.”
Treated Like A Dog
“I was a loud eater, and one day I was grunting while eating. I was probably 5 or 6 or so, and I don’t remember what we were eating, but my dad got so mad at the sounds I was making, that he cut my food up, put it in a bowl on the floor and said if I wanted to sound like an animal while eating, I could eat off the floor like an animal. And so I did, I ate out of the bowl without utensils or using my hands, like an animal, because the alternative was not getting any dinner and get my behind beat with a belt.”
A Completely Crazy Father
“My dad has a severe untreated anxiety disorder as well as OCD. He doesn’t believe in psychologists, psychiatrists, medication, etc. so it just runs rampant. Growing up he made lots of arbitrary crazy rules every day. I have no idea why, but my mom agrees with him and would go with them, and still does to this day. I’m fairly certain I’ve shared some of them on here but here are some of the highlights again:
-I’d have to wash my hands 100+ times a day. I had bad eczema so this made my hands constantly crack and bleed and people at school called me alligator hands.
-Friends weren’t allowed over because they were ‘dirty’ and would ‘touch things.’ I also wasn’t allowed to have birthday parties or any social gatherings for that matter.
-I wasn’t allowed to use the brakes on my new electric scooter, which I saved up and bought myself, because it might ‘dent the wheel’ and break it.
-Friends weren’t allowed to touch my stuff at school because they’d ‘get the oil from their hands on it.’
-I would get yelled at for accidentally making crumbs, spilling something, etc. but wasn’t allowed to clean it because they had to be the ones to do it. Then I would get yelled at because they always had to be the ones to clean it…
-He would dictate the way I did everything, the way I pressed on the soap dispenser, the way I poured milk, the way I put on shoes, the way I tapped my toothbrush off after brushing my teeth, he even commented on how I wiped my butt WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER.
The list is endless because it was a new/different rule every day. He still does it to this day, but as an adult, I can understand why he thinks the way he does, and I have autonomy over my life now.”
Beaten With A Broomstick
“When I was about ten, I was alone with my father (I think my mother was away on vacation). I did something my father didn’t like and he sent me to sweep the cellar. After a while, he came down and was unhappy with how I was sweeping.
He told me to sweep harder and when I did he yelled, ‘Not that hard!’ and I gave him a look of pure disdain. Then he grabbed the broom and started hitting me with it. He hit me in the face once or twice, so I dropped to the ground and covered my face, at which point he started jabbing me in the back with the end of the broom handle.
Then he jammed it under my shoulder blade to try to pick me up. I screamed and jumped up grabbing the broom handle and looking around for something to protect myself. There was a small pool table and I started to reach for a pool cue.
When, he saw that he was shocked and said, ‘Really, you’d hit your own father with a pool cue, what’s wrong with you?’
I replied, ‘I’m not going to sit here and let you kill me. If you hit me again I’m going to call the police.’
He threw the broom at me and stomped off.
He never apologized for it and if I called out on any of his abuse he always insisted that I deserved it.
Today, I still have two ribs that are misaligned. They cause intermittent back and chest pains and flair up occasionally causing pretty severe pain in times of stress. When it’s bad, I’ve gone to chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. The ironic thing about it is that the people helping me deal with the pain are very apologetic any time they cause me discomfort (which can be severe if it’s spasming) but the guy who caused it all was never the least bit apologetic.”
His Parent’s Rules Still Haunt Him
“I was 20 years old, in college, still living with my parents and I still had a 10 pm curfew on the weekends. Ended up getting kicked out of the house for disobeying it too much.
I also never developed a social life because I didn’t go to a single party that wasn’t chaperoned by a parent until I was 20.
In my unprofessional opinion, I believe I have some pretty severe social development issues because of this that have hindered me my entire life.”
Treating Her Kid Like An Animal
“My mother was pretty narcissistic and selfish growing up, so we had some pretty odd rules we had to follow.
One of them was that the house had to be spotless 100% of the time. If there was even a crumb left on the counter she would flip out on us for HOURS. She has a hard time letting the little things go. She would wake me up at 5 am and be yelled at if I didn’t get up right away. Then right when I got home from school, she would find something I did wrong in the morning and yell at me for it. Then I would continue to ‘mess up’ in some way until I went to bed then the cycle would continue the next day.
A weird punishment I had was if I didn’t wash a glass after I used it (I was 10 or 11 at the time), she banned me from using glasses to drink out of. So, I had to either cup my hand under the faucet to get a drink or drink out of the garden hose outside.
Looking back, my mom most likely has some sort of disorder most likely as a result of trauma from her own childhood. She lies a lot, everything has to be perfect, uses me as a scapegoat, manipulative (mostly gaslighting as well as making me believe I’m at fault for most things). I’m just glad she lives half way across the country now.”
Controlling The Whole Family
“There were five very horrible rules set by my father.
-Being weighed before meals to decide if we were allowed to eat
-Everything had to be ironed. Everything. Including underwear. I never iron anything anymore.
-You were only allowed to read 20-30 pages per day, including textbooks. This made high school a little difficult.
-Women (my mom and I) were not allowed to change the tv channel.
-You had to ask permission to use the toilet.”
Taking It Out On The Dogs
“We had an outside dog and in the winter months (Like HARSH winter months) if we backtalked our mom she would take away our dogs blankets and let him freeze out in the cold as out punishment. My mother actually sent my older sister to a mental hospital after she tried to commit suicide. I too wish to be gone from this house, I would do anything to get away from her. I’m actually dating a boy I don’t like just so I can get away from her.”
Losing Everything And Not Understanding Why
“One time, someone ate some chocolate that was supposed to be for s’mores and neither my brother or myself would fess up and say we did it (I was 10 at the time, my brother was 7). So my dad stood us in the living room and told us to hold our arms up so we were in like a ‘T’ position. He made us stand there for an hour and a half before my brother finally started crying and said he did it. My dad told him to stop crying because when he was a kid he would get thrown in cold showers and beat with his own car tracks because he didn’t finish his dinner. To this day, I’m not sure it was even my brother who did it.”
A Controlling Father
“I didn’t realize how controlling my dad was until I left. Here are a few odd ones:
• we were not allowed to eat anything before church service. He said that we had to listen with open ears and an empty stomach to really understand the service.
• we always had to finish all of the food that was on our plate- no matter what. He would leave me sitting at the table for hours until I was done.
• if I had to stay home from school sick he would take the house phones, the batteries from the tv remotes, and the power cord from the computer to leave me completely bored. Oh and expect to have dinner ready for the whole family by the time he got home.
• my older sister and I had to wipe my youngest sister butt every time she pooped until she was 5 years old.
• he is a big water drinker, he would always demand for a cup of water. It would have to be the perfect ice to water ration else he would hurl it at the floor make me clean it up and try again. The ‘do you pay for water’ line never got old.”
Almost Driven To Insanity With The Controlling Rules
“Where to start?
Dress code: no form-fitting pants/tops (no jeans unless they were from the men’s section or 4 sizes too big). Pants had to be full-length, no exceptions. Tops were to cover the top half of my thigh because if my butt was showing then I was too easy. Tops were to have a crew neckline and sleeves were to be down to my elbow. No makeup until I was 16 when I started sneaking some into my room for ‘natural’ looks. No heels because all heels = ‘dancer’ stilettos. Don’t stay out past 7 pm. No guy friends because all guy friends want to get into your pants. All girlfriends had to be pre-approved and ‘good influences.’ No going out during the week. No sleep-overs. No parties (duh). For a while, I wasn’t allowed my phone in the bathroom with me, still not totally sure why. No social media.
As for more serious stuff… I wasn’t able to seek mental health help because ‘why waste time talking to a stranger for an hour.'”
With A Brother And A Father Like This, Who Needs Enemies?
“My dad would yell at/smack me whenever I cried out from my older brother hitting me because I was ‘making too much noise.’
My brother still laughs at the fact that I flinch whenever he raises a hand near me. I also have a messed up fight or flight response because my mom told me (rather than standing up to my dad or telling my brother off) that I should ‘just not react to him hurting you and he’ll leave you alone.’
I knew it was unfair at the time but thought it was a normal thing (a lot of people get roughed up by their older brother) until someone pointed out that being told to shut up/stop complaining when I’m in pain wasn’t right.”
Forced To Eat The Same Thing For Days
“My mom had a period when she met a new guy and married him and wanted to ‘toughen up’ her spoiled children. I lived with my dad but was visiting for the summer.
I was 14 and I have always, always hated mushrooms. My mom has always resented this, as we were poor and mushrooms were a good way to fill out stews, pasta sauces etc. and everybody else loved them. She forced me to ‘taste it’ every single time, convinced I was just being fussy, making me detest them even more – even today, 25 years later, I can still puke instantly if I taste the texture of mushrooms.
So she makes fried vegetables for breakfast. About half of it is mushrooms, the cheap, nasty canned version. I say I don’t want it. She goes on a rant about how spoiled I am and tells me there will be no other food. For context, I have always loved food and eating and was an extremely hungry growing teenager at this time.
I say fine. She then serves me the same portion of vegetable/mushroom mix for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three days straight and I refuse to eat each time. I was really hungry that summer.”
LOVE STORIES AND WANT TO READ MORE LIKE THESE?
Subscribe to our digest and receive a weekly email of hand-picked stories.