"My grandma had a 'no leaving the table until you eat your food' rule. Pretty reasonable, except she would prepare your plate, often with more food than you wanted.
One time, she made me a chicken salad sandwich, but the chicken salad had turned. She wouldn't let me leave; she just sat across from me to make sure I didn't get up until I ate it. This went on for hours until my mom got off work and picked me up.
It wasn't even that strict a household, I think she liked the control and this was one of the few areas where she could exercise it."
"We had to wear a jacket if the weather was under a certain temperature. Even a single degree wouldn't sway my dad. He kept a thermometer outside so he could check every morning.
On the other hand, our health insurance sucked, so there's that. Once I grabbed a jacket out of the hall closet, sending everything else flying off the hangers and into a pile on the floor. I was halfway through my mile-long walk to school when he pulled up in his car, his face red, refusing to talk to me. I thought something terrible had happened to my brother. When we got back to the apartment, he pointed at the hall closet. After I cleaned up, he refused to give me a late note (school had already started) or a ride.
Once, I saw him on campus at my high school, looking for me over the tops of kids' heads. I turned around and made a beeline for the bathroom. I have no idea what terrible transgression I committed that day - left a jar of jelly open, perhaps?"
"This was something I only really came to understand after I'd left home and gotten some perspective on my childhood, but basically:
My sister and I were not permitted to ever be angry.
It wasn't that we weren't allowed to shout or raise our voices, that was a given. It wasn't that we weren't allowed to talk back or argue, that was also a given. It wasn't even about not getting violent or something, there was no question of that.
It was that we were never supposed to display any signs of being angry. Being angry isn't 'nice' and we were supposed to be nice little girls who only said, did, and thought nice things.
So it didn't matter how horribly I was being bullied or how staggeringly unfair something was or how cheated I felt about another unreasonable change of mind on my parents' part. I was never allowed to get angry and if I was angry, I was not allowed to let that show in any way.
There would be enforced smiling, being made to say, 'Thank you, daddy, for making sure I don't waste money on the thing you promised I'd be allowed to buy,' or whatever was necessary to make sure that all the emotional autonomy and 'wilfulness' was absolutely stamped out of me.
It wasn't that we were taught to manage our anger and deal with issues in a more reasonable way, we were just expected to repress it all and never mention it.
For anyone out there who might be wondering what the longer-term life consequences of that might be, rest assured that it involves a lot of very messy relationship problems and a lot of fairly harrowing therapy.
Trying to learn how to experience and express anger for the first time in your late 20s is stupidly uncomfortable."
"I wasn't allowed to get dropped off at the mall with my friends without an adult when I was 13.
Eventually, the other girls stopped calling and inviting me places, then my mom thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't have any friends. She'd get really mad at me and try to force me to invite kids over to our house to do dumb stuff like play dolls.
When I was 22, I finally made a friend and was going to crash at her house in the city after seeing a late play. She made my friend come in and meet her and asked her questions about where we were going and who would be there, who was driving, what their driving record was like.
It was humiliating.
I moved out two months later without telling anyone, to an apartment that I couldn't afford on my retail paycheck. I went to metal bars every night until 2 am and kept 'unsavory' male company at my place.
My mom's parenting backfired a little bit."
"NO BOOKS. Seriously.
Both of my parents have really bad eyesight, so naturally, I have bad eyesight as well. Unfortunately, my parents firmly believe it was my fault for having bad eyesight, so they started off by banning anything electronic: computer, TV, video games, etc. They even banned a toy dog that required batteries to operate (I'm still baffled by that logic).
I was forced to write everything by hand until middle school. When my eyesight continued to deteriorate, they started locking me on the balcony for an hour every night so I could 'look far away' and 'better my eyesight.'
We lived in Illinois, which gets horrific weather. Did my parents care? Nah. I still had to spend a miserable hour outside every night, which by the way, never improved my eyesight. However, my parents hadn't even reached their extreme yet.