When we were children, we weren't always the most aware of our surroundings. However, after growing up a bit we may look back at some situations and realize what was really going on. Hopefully, none of these realizations are too crazy, and it's all pretty mellow. But what happens when you realize the situation was very serious? Maybe even life-threatening?
We wanted to hear about the craziest situations that happened when people where children that they ultimately realized was very serious and very messed up. We looked throughout Reddit and found the most insane and shocking stories. This content was edited for clarity.
His Bad Feeling Was Accurate
“I had a great uncle who I was always creeped out by as a child. I just didn’t like being around him, he was creepy and liked to tickle a lot. I was a reserved child and didn’t want some weird guy tickling me. I remember I had to hide behind their sofa one time so he would leave me alone. My mom didn’t like him either, but we had to visit cause she liked my aunt and not many people visited.
Turned out, he really was a creep towards kids. He got arrested and convicted two years ago.”
Watch Out For The Neighbors
“There was a house directly behind ours, separated by our yards and a gate. The house was built similar to ours in that the second-floor windows were at the exact same level as ours, allowing you to easily see into your neighbor’s bedroom. I have memories of opening my bedroom door to go to bed, only to discover the neighbor had his bedroom lights on, and curtains drawn in the black of the night. It was like a literal spotlight into his bedroom. He would be laying starfish on his bed and completely naked, staring into my room pleasuring himself. He had to be about 30-40 years old and I was 10. I also cringe at the thought of how he must have watched me, unknowingly and naively undress when I wasn’t aware of his presence.
That and my friend’s neighbor used to have a recorder aimed at her room/bathroom. He would stand there, naked, stroking his junk and doing other absurd gestures. We never told our parents, or hers. Years later, we discovered he was also a Walmart greeter and had been arrested for a myriad of charges including filming his neighbor, child films, and assault.
I wish I could go back to that moment to find out why I didn’t tell my parents. I grew up with a great mom and dad who would never blame me for such a thing, but the thought just never formed in my head that what those men were doing was wrong or perverted. However, I think my Mom knew something was up, a few months later she installed blinds into my bedroom and that made a big difference.”
Grandma Couldn’t Stop His Step-Dad
“My stepdad used to beat me a lot. He was usually smart about it and would leave bruises where clothes could easily cover. One day, though, the beatings were especially bad and he left bruises all over my body, except for my hands and face. I remember going to my great-grandmother’s house, who was pretty much like a second mother to me. She was preparing me for a bath. She was quiet for a while and then made me put on a robe and sit on the toilet. I remember being frustrated because my body hurt and I just wanted to get in the warm bath water. Then she walked in with my aunt and uncle and spoke to them worriedly in Spanish. I couldn’t understand any of it and just kept quiet. Then my aunt asked to take pictures. I was kind of confused but I did as I was told.
I don’t remember what happened right after, but my next memory was standing next to my great-grandma on her porch and her and this man in a suit talking in Spanish again, my mom and stepdad standing behind him with a serious look on their faces. Then the guy turned to me and asked if I felt safe around my step-dad. I said no, I did not. Then I remember my grandma telling me to go inside and watch tv. I could hear my mom sobbing and yelling and my grandma yelling back at her and my step-dad.
Later on, my aunt told me my grandma had seen those bruises and immediately called her and my uncle to come and confirm what they were and to see if they knew all along what was going on with me. They took those polaroids to CPS and had me taken away from my parents for a few months or so. Then they had my step-dad take disciplinary classes or something but, of course, that didn’t help, he still beat the ever living heck out of me up until I was almost 17.
I did end up confronting my step-dad and mom about all of that abuse recently. They both apologize every chance they got, but the damage is done. I still have dreams about the abuse or still being abused and have these ticks that I get when someone raises their voice or touches me.
But my grandma protected me until her dying breath and I can never be more grateful than I am today. She really tried her best and I was able to escape later on because of the courage she instilled in me. If she hadn’t called CPS and stepped in, I honestly think the abuse would have escalated and I might have died.
It was a long time ago. Talking about it helps with the healing and stuff. It was definitely a horrible thing to go through. It angers me that people who are supposed to protect children have no second thoughts on hurting them. Truly sad. I am also thankful for my great-grandmother. She’s been my guardian angel since I was born, really. I’d like to think she would be happy with where my life turned out.
I’ve ultimately forgiven him. He still has his moments, but we get along a lot better when we don’t live in the same place. But I am still very wary of trusting him.”
A Close Call
“My friend and I were riding our bikes down a rural country road. A beat up panel van kept trailing behind us slowly, even though we pulled over multiple times to let it pass. Every time we did, it slowed to a stop behind us. Eventually, we came to a T, so we pulled over again on the road turning right so the van could get by. Instead, it hit the accelerator and pulled up next to us and the door flew open. Thankfully a car arrived at the T we’d just pulled off on. The door on the van slammed shut and it screeched off.
A couple of months later my parents were watching the news and a picture of the van came on screen. I said, ‘Hey my friend and I saw that once,’ while my parents quietly freaked. Apparently, it belonged to a guy that had been charged with illegal child photography and abuse.”
“Just Do It!!!”
“It was an early morning, before school. My brother and I were just doing whatever 4th graders and kindergarteners do. The neighbor from down the street saw my dad was home, so on his way to work, he pulled up out front and left his truck running. Then he came in and had a cup of coffee with my dad. It was cold outside, but warm enough in the house that the main door was open, so it was just the screen door. My neighbor and my dad were talking when my neighbor said, ‘Oh crap,’ and went running out the door. Two guys were trying to steal his truck. The neighbor tackled the one inside the truck, and the guy kept trying to grab something from his belt. The other guy was a little down the street and my dad was trying to talk to him. That guy was bouncing around, yelling at the guy in the truck, ‘Just do it!!’ I went and stood outside on the stoop, watching it all. My dad screamed at me to go inside and lay on the floor. I went inside and sat on the floor.
My dad and neighbor came inside after they let the guys run off and called the cops. I didn’t even think about doing that for my dad.
As an adult, I realized the guy in the truck was trying to reach for a weapon. And the guy yelling was telling him to shoot my neighbor. Something bad could have happened to me on the porch, or I could have seen someone shot.”
He Was Just Along For The Ride
“When I was about 8 or 9, I was living in Peru for a few months with my mom and brother. On the last month of us living there, our father came and we were going to come home to the States with him. On this particular day, my parents left me and my infant brother with my aunt while they had a date night. While they were gone, an old friend of my father’s showed up and told my aunt that my father had asked him to pick us up and meet them at my grandfather’s. Trusting him, my aunt let us go with him. We drove maybe three or so hours out of Lima, where we were staying. I didn’t understand what was happening but I just remembered something felt weird. Next thing I knew, we were stopped at a gas station and we were surrounded by police. This guy was grabbed from the car and my brother and I were driven back to Lima to my parents. Apparently, this guy had lied to my aunt and was heavily involved with a cult out there. From what I was told, he was going to take us to the border of Bolivia where he was going to sell us off. I was told the full story later in life (I’m 28 now) but my brother still doesn’t know.
We could have been trafficked or had our organs harvested.”
One Bad Dad
“When we visited my father for our weekend visits, he would stay in the bathroom for 6-8 hours a day while my sister and I just did our thing at 5 and 8 years old. That was just how it was so we never said anything. As an adult, I realized that he was in there doing crack while his very young children were completely unattended. Fortunately, my sister and I were not overly troublesome but we would spend three days indoors, never going outside until they took us home.
I also strongly blame this set up for my sugar addiction and boredom eating. I was in my 20s before I clued into this fact. My mom never spoke ill about my father until I started asking questions. She allowed us to deal with adult problems as adults. But that was when I realized the cartel stuff. Mom was pretty upset finding out because she realized how much danger she put us in.
My dad, at 65, got fired and binged on illegal substances until he was at a starvation point and decided to attempt suicide. His reasoning for killing himself is that since he cannot work/get an income, he can’t live. He wasn’t eligible for any state benefits because he had worked under the table for 30 years so he could report zero income and not have to pay child support.
I helped get him back on his feet and file 30 years of taxes. Within three months he went to no communication- a sign he was using again and I said forget it. A year later, his siblings called to see if I would take over responsibility for him as they could not afford to give him more money. I said no. That is their problem and it would be unhealthy for me. I haven’t heard from him since then.”
The World’s Most Dangerous Puppies
“When I was like 5 or 6, I was in a public library in the kid’s section with my dad who was in another part of the library. A man came up and told me his dog had puppies and that they were outside. Being 7, I obviously wanted to pet these puppies and told him I had to go ask my dad. When I asked my dad, he did his best to keep himself together in front of me and asked where the man was.
We couldn’t find him and the librarians said they saw him leave.”
They Didn’t Call The Police?
“I was on a field trip once. I was probably about 9 years old. We went to some farm. This other girl and I were approached by this man. He wanted us to come over to his car and look at what he had in the trunk. So we did. It was full of pictures of adult nudity. I remembered looking at it and really not quite understanding what it was, but I wasn’t afraid at all. The other girl was mostly talking to the man. I was confused by these images so was part way in the trunk looking at the magazines and video boxes trying to figure out why he wants us to see them. It was in the middle of a field so I’m not sure the car worked, but if it did, I suppose he could have easily trapped me in the trunk and driven off if he was a creep like that.
Luckily a teacher came over and started telling that guy what he was doing wasn’t okay.
I’m not sure if standards of behavior back then were just way lower? Or if there was something clearly wrong with this man and maybe he didn’t understand what we were looking at either? I don’t know.
The teacher was telling him it wasn’t okay. But she was doing it as you would explain to a kid that they have to keep their underwear on.
Maybe she just didn’t want to make a scene. But the fact that they didn’t call the police is kind of amazing.”
Game Gone Wrong
“My daddy would play hide and seek with us a LOT when we were younger. A lot. He’d mix it up by playing hide and seek in the dark with night vision goggles on, mute hide and seek, etc. It was our favourite game. So, one time when playing, my 5/6-year-old brain thought that the deep freezer would be an excellent place to hide! I quietly opened the freezer and hopped in. Perfect! He’ll never find me here! I shuffle a few of the boxes over to really hide, and I’m set. He would wonder where I was for ages! Me, a scrawny 5/6-year-old, sitting in a deep freezer, hiding under frozen boxes of food. Daddy had those daddy senses and a few minutes into our game, he opened the freezer and searched it, not having his happy daddy face on.
I got a big hug from him and a lecture on where we can and can not hide, and then the game was over.”
Your Parents Know Best
“When I was a little kid, my parents always told me to never climb over the fence that was around my house and to just stay in our yard and play. I never broke that rule because my parents are pretty strict. However, when I was about 7 or 8, I had some cousins from out of state visit us and while outside playing with the oldest of them (he was four years older than me) climbed the fence and ran into my neighbor’s yard. So without thinking of consequences, I climbed the fence and chased after him and ended up four or so houses over into someone’s backyard while looking for him. I stopped and was looking around when I saw an old man. He asked me what my name was and if I wanted to come inside for cookies. I got this really weird feeling and told him I’d have to go and ask my mom first, then I ran off back home. When I got home, my parents gave my cousin and I a nice yelling session about leaving the yard without telling anyone. I never told anyone about the old man that I saw.
I’m 20 now and through my early teens up to now I still randomly think about what could have happened to me if I had said yes and went inside.”
A Free (Freaky) Ride
“When I was 14, I went to a boarding school in Massachusetts and would have to travel home to Chicago all by myself pretty regularly. I was coming home for the first time by myself for Thanksgiving and my mom told me to take a cab home. She made a point to tell me to go to the taxi stand who have fixed rates to get home so I didn’t get overcharged. So I got my bag and started heading to the taxi stand when this guy approached me and offered me a ride. I figured he was just trying to scam me because he was dressed well and only seemed interested in money. I said no and then went to get a cab instead.
About a week later, I saw a picture on the news of some guy who tried to kidnap (or successfully kidnapped I’m not sure it was 15 years ago) some person at O’Hare. Turned out it’s the guy I saw who offered me a ride. I’m so mad. I should have mentioned him to a security guard. I could have at least spooked him enough to not try it. I thought he was just a scammer. At 14 years old, I didn’t think to mention it to someone because I didn’t get hurt.”
Who’s Your Daddy?
“My parents never really were together and I lived with my mom. There was this nice man we visited sometimes, who seemed to really like me and also seemed to like my mom. I just knew him as Martin. Because I only lived with my mom, I just assumed that I never had a father, I didn’t even really know what that was. As I went to kindergarten, the other children sometimes mentioned their fathers, so I asked my mom what a ‘father’ was and why I didn’t have one. She then told me that Martin was my father and she was genuinely surprised I didn’t know.
It wasn’t really a scary story, but still weird to me, also because I remember it so well.”