Momma’s Getting Out
“When I was ten, I woke up in the middle of the night to my mom yelling and I went to find out what was going on. I went into my parents’ room only to be told everything was fine by her and that I should go back to bed. Since it was dark and I couldn’t see anything, I didn’t think anything otherwise.
It turns out my father was violently violating my mom – so violently, in fact, that he broke her pelvis. What my mom didn’t tell me until I had already grown up and was living on my own, is that when I came into the room he tried to make his way towards me and she got her hands around his ‘manhood’ and iron-gripped it to stop him coming after me.
My mom almost immediately started to divorce him after that. It was a long time coming since he was a heavy drinker and an addict, mainly coke. He was frequently cheated on her. Being messed up on whatever mix of substances of that night, an argument over whether my father should run off to his main side chick apparently broke out.
He went to prison for his crime against my mother and was in and out of it for around 14 years for violating his parole. After my mom secured being able to legally move out of state with us, she moved us as far away from him as possible. He was in jail when he approached another convict and asked him to plant some contraband in my mom’s car to get her in trouble. This person knew my mom, called my father an idiot and reported this information to the police. The last time I’ve seen him in person was the morning after that incident.”
Stories In Daycare Land
“When I was growing up my mom ran a daycare out of our home. Naturally, my siblings and I became friends with some of the kids, especially the ones closer to our ages.
When I was about 10, a girl who was 9 and her brother who was 3 used to come over often and stay the night because their mom worked the graveyard shift. My sister and I became great friends with the girl because we got to regularly have sleepovers.
The girl was younger than me but acted so much older. She had lots of stories she’d tell us while we were going to bed. A lot of them revolved around parties with her mom’s friends. I learned what a shot was because of her; she had tasted one by accident.
Then she told me stories of kissing people, sometimes teenage boys. Then the story about her aunt wearing only underwear and insisting on sharing a bed with her. Then she told me a story about how one of her mom’s boyfriends showed her his dingdong when she was six and tried to get her to touch it. She said no, told her mom, and her mom got angry.
But she never sounded concerned or scared. She told these stories like she was ‘dishing dirt,’ or showing off how adult she was. My sister and I listened with curiosity. And while I knew about the ‘birds and the bees’, I hadn’t made the connection until many years later that this girl had been abused repeatedly and that was causing her to act this way.
I never told my mom either. A couple of years later, we moved to another state and mom got another job. We never saw that family again. Now I feel guilty about the whole thing and wonder if that girl and her brother are doing okay.”
The Very Scary Normal
“I remember my parents shooting up and laying on the floor for sometimes days at a time. There was one time my mom passed out on the toilet. She still had the belt in her teeth and the needle in her arm. I was four years old and pulled the belt off. I shook her legs and she didn’t move, she sort of slumped to the side and stayed there for the next 12 hours.
When I was 10, she had been clean for a few years but was losing a battle with a horrific autoimmune disease. She was on high dose downers and other medications, so I ended up taking care of her during her final months. I had frequently made her breakfast, made trips to the grocery store on my bike, and wrote the checks to pay the bills. I carried her to bed when the medication started to work and she was too sick or sleepy to go by herself.
Looking back, I don’t know how it wasn’t obvious that we were in rough shape. I missed school all the time due to frequent episodes of food poisoning because I had no idea if meat was spoiled, when to throw away leftovers, or how to properly store, prepare, or reheat food. To this day I can’t stand Kraft macaroni and cheese because we got so much of it from the food pantry. It was rough, but I can say that it’ll never be that bad again, and I came out of it stronger, more independent, more resourceful, and resilient because of it.”
A Sick Punishment
“My grandfather assaulted my mother when she was 19 as ‘punishment’ in front of me while my grandmother held me back.
I was four years old. It’s my second earliest memory. I didn’t understand what was happening. I just remember screaming for my mom and the sounds. His grunting and her screaming pleas for him to stop. Even worse was that it was my grandmother’s idea. I later realized that my grandmother lives on control. She craves and thrives on the pain of others. Physical, mental, any and everything.
Afterward, my mother drove me to my great grandmother’s house. She told my great grandma exactly what happened in front of me and left me there as long as she could.
When I was 10, my great grandmother got sick and died and I went back to my mom’s. My mother denied what I saw before ever happening, but she also abused me in ways that rivaled what her father did to her. Exclusively me, not my siblings. As I grew up I always had to fend for myself. No consistent home, no bed, no regular food. Mom would hand me off to anyone she could, but only when she even noticed I was even around. She was/is a broken, violent person.
All of this has haunted me for a long time.
My family is all dead to me now. Have been for a long time. They are still out there masquerading as humans. But they are dead to me.
Yet I remember that night so often. Sometimes I wonder if my grandfather is my biological father, which fuels me to do everything I can to protect my children from them. Honestly I still fear them. They stalked me for years and I think they may know where we live again.”
It’s Clean Up Time
“When I was 15, I found my stepdad covered in his own pee, Smirnoff bottles, and pills lying everywhere. I told my mom and she called an ambulance and they picked him up, and my mom went to the hospital with them. Meanwhile, I felt the urge to do… something. To help my mom somehow. So I cleaned up the room and all the pee and the pills and the bottles together with my then 10-year-old sister.
Only later did it dawn on me that he was had a raging drinking problem, dealing with depression and anger issues and that he had tried killing himself that day. I remember covering my sister’s eyes when they took him to the hospital because I instinctively felt that otherwise, this scene would burn itself into her memory. She’s still grateful for this, seven years later.
They divorced shortly thereafter. He then emigrated to the United States and I haven’t heard from him since, but I did find him on Facebook. He seems to be alive at least. My mom has remarried since and my new stepdad is a great guy. My sister and I never talk about what happened though and I know from my mom that she sees a therapist, but I don’t know whether it’s due to that or for different reasons.”
Oh, That’s How It’s Done
“I have only a mild recollection of this, but apparently, people were doing a lot of IV crank/smack around me as a child. When we got to our substance awareness/DARE type class in the 3rd or 4th grade, they showed us pictures of illicit uppers and downers, needles and other materials with the usual scare tactics.
My classmate, confused, asked how the different kinds of powder could go inside the needle. Ever helpful, my 8/9-year-old self-explained that you had to get a spoon and cook it over a candle first until it melted down. My teacher was not happy with me after that. I didn’t realize why it was such a problem until years later.”
“When I was 11, my mom and I left my dad and became homeless. I did not realize we were homeless until I was 20. I just thought we were on some kind of excursion. We were just sleeping in the car and at friends’ houses for a while. I just had so much trust for my mother I was never once startled by the situation.
My mother was also very creative and made the best of the situation with games, saying things like, ‘wow, I found these flavored tuna pouches, wouldn’t it be cool if we acted like cats?’ and ‘I bet you can’t brush your teeth with only a water bottle,’ and other classics like, ‘I’m gonna leave you at the library for a while.’ About two years later, we did finally find a house. She now has a very nice house with 4 kittens and gets to retire in 3 years. She’s my everything.”
Just Trying To Help
“I saw my stepdad pull a weapon on my mom because she was trying to leave him. I was only four or five at the time and one of the stepsisters and I came out during the fight. Seeing us snapped him back and he started unloading it and dropped the bullet. I remember trying to pick it up to be helpful. It didn’t hit me until much later what was really going on.
My mother didn’t stay with him that much longer. He had severe mental health issues and I don’t know what happened other than that his daughters went to live with their grandmother. I haven’t stayed in touch so I don’t know how they are now.”
“When my parents bought a house when my mom was pregnant with my younger sister, my parents slept in separate rooms. However, they didn’t do that in our previous one-bedroom apartment.
It never occurred to me that they hated each other. They would eventually separate and then divorce. I also had my paternal grandparents for 28 years before they passed away and they slept in separate bedrooms for longer than I had them in my life. I always thought it was because they had separate schedules.
My grandpa was up around 9:00 am and went to bed around 10:00 pm while my grandma would go to bed around 3:00 am and wake up at 3:00 pm) but apparently they had a marriage of convenience in the 1940’s. My grandparents and my parents are why marriage makes me nervous.”
Watching Something I’ll Never Forget
“When I was nine years old, I watched a man die with my best friend.
At the time, the road I lived on was gravel and ran back onto lands owned by the local paper company. Our house was the last one before miles of logging road and trails. My mom also happened to be a registered nurse.
The road and trails, coupled with its distance from law enforcement, made it an ideal place for dirt bikers and ATV riders. Inevitably the riders would combine all sorts of illicit substances like speed, and a gravel road, leading to frequent disaster. At least once a month someone would arrive on our doorstep, slurring their speech and asking to use our phone.
It was my mom, my buddy, and I on this fateful day since my dad was at work when the knocking came. The woman was frantic, incoherent, and we could tell she needed help so my mom dialed 911 and told them something bad had happened back on Deep Gap. Then my mom loaded us up in the back of her Chevy Blazer and drove a mile back on the logging road.
The kid who was hurt, and at the time I didn’t realize he wasn’t more than 20, had gone off the road on his bike and went head first into a tree. There was blood all over the tree, the ground, his friends…they had dragged his body up onto the road and you know how a head wound bleeds.
Framed by the back window of the Blazer, my buddy and I watched the scene unfold like one of those medical dramas that hadn’t quite been invented yet.
My mom did CPR because the guy was unresponsive and his friends were begging her to not let him die. She did CPR until the paramedics arrived and took over. I remember my mom walking back towards the car, wiping the blood out of her mouth and shaking her head.
At the time my friend and I felt disconnected from his death, we didn’t process it as a loss or feel the impact. Honestly, I don’t know if we even let ourselves realize he was dead. We only knew we’d never ride a dirt bike.
It was only later, as a grown-up, when I knew about things like blood-borne pathogens, that I realized the risk my mom took to comfort these friends of the victim who were utterly out of their mind with loss and high.
I still think of that day often, and he wasn’t the last person I saw die in an accident this way while growing up, but being the first left an impression.”
A Nighttime Fire
“I was maybe three; I can’t really remember. We were awakened by the siren of the fire truck. We ran to our lawn to see the neighbour’s house engulfed in flames. As we’re watching intently, they bring something out and let it on the grass but 20 feet from me. It’s small and blackened.
It was my best friend’s charred body. I remember staring at it until my mom finally realized what it was and took us all back into the house. It didn’t really register for a long time. For a couple weeks, I kept asking if my friend was going to come back so we could play. Finally, I stopped asking, and I guess I eventually forgot about him and what happened. It all came flooding back to me one day when I was in my forties. I heard a fire truck siren. I had heard them many times before, but for some reason, that particular time, a memory came up of standing in my front yard and a fire truck pulled up real close. Then I remembered the little body being carried out, just flashes, little snippets. I didn’t really remember what it was, I just remembered the scene. I asked my mom about it the next time I saw her, and she filled in most of the rest of the story. I still don’t remember what my friend looked like alive, just his body after the fire.”
A Mysterious Birthday
“I still swear that I saw someone burying a body in the woods when I was around 14 years old. I was riding my bike on this gravel roadway back behind a cemetery in NJ and there was this crappy old van, a hole with a shovel and a dude moving this body-shaped thing covered in a black garbage back from the van to the hole. Very stereotypical – exactly what you would see in like an old mob movie or something. He saw me and froze and I just biked home as fast as I could.
This was maybe 15 years ago. I remember thinking at the time that it looked like a body but telling myself that I’m just a kid and it must be a mistake. Looking back on it now as an adult, replaying everything over in my head, I still think it could have been a body. It was really weird, man.”
A Sick Game
“When my sister and I were kids (about 6 or 7 years old) my dad would have us play a ‘game’ while my mother was in the hospital. He would have us look for bottles of pills and whoever found the most won. We had no idea what was going on or why my mother was ALWAYS sick and in the hospital. We just knew that was the way things always were. She died when I was nine years old.
Eventually, my life moved on and I turned 17. I was experiencing a really bad part of my life and came home crying to my dad. He eventually told me that he understood how I was feeling and told me that my mother was an addict and was making herself sick. At that moment, I remembered the long-lost memory of the ‘game’ we played as kids and what it really was. She was addicted to prescription pills. The messed up thing was she used to be a nurse and she actually lost her license because she would take patients’ pills and write prescriptions for herself and then she got caught. My little sister to this day still doesn’t know any of this.”
A Disgusting Dare
“I was playing in my backyard when I was 6 or 7-years-old and the 16-year-old neighbor boy next door asked me to get something for him that flew over the chain-link fence that separated our yards. I obliged and when I handed it over the fence to him, there was his wiener in all its glory. I ran inside and told my mom and she called the police.
When the police got there, they asked what happened and I sheepishly told her that he ‘showed me his ding-a-ling but it wasn’t where it should be, it was all the way up by his belly button,’ which they found confusing but seemed to figure out pretty quickly. Turns out, that was the first time I had ever seen an erect ding-dong. Thinking back on that as an adult, I now know makes the situation even worse to think about since that boy was turned on when he did that. He told the police his friends dared him to do it and he’d a get a skateboard and $50 if he did.”
“I woke up one night to hear the shower running and my mother screaming and gurgling. She told me to call 911 because ‘your dad is trying to kill me.’ My dad yelled that I’d better stay in my room and go back to sleep.
I was crying and screaming for him to leave her alone, and she was yelling that he was drowning her. He told her to stop scaring the kid. The next day, they acted like nothing had happened. Then, about a week later my mom went away for a month. Of course, I don’t know why she would leave me with someone who had just tried to kill her and I was wary of him for a good long while but eventually, all was forgotten.
Now that I’m an adult, I know what happened. My mom had a drinking problem and she came home extremely inebriated. My dad got upset because he didn’t know where she had been, so he tossed her in the shower to sober up and get her crap together. The yelling that he was trying to kill her was icing on the cake and he convinced her to go to rehab.”
What A Weird Belly Button
“I only realized the impact of this pretty recently. Within the past five years.
When I was around 7 or 8, my friend and I were playing in the woods right next to my house. These woods were pretty sparse and we were playing right near a pathway that you could actually see my house from.
A stranger comes up to me in a white tracksuit, bleached and spiked up hair, diamante earring on the left side. I don’t know why but I can only describe his features as snake-like. Or like Goldmember from Austin Powers.
He says ‘Have you girls seen two wee blonde girls around your height?’ We answer no but this guy is still standing around. He asks us to help him find them. We are still hesitant. He eventually pulls down his tracksuit bottoms and says that the girls like to touch ‘this.’ We had no idea what it was. He’s continuing to push us to touch it.
Across the road was my school, which had woods next to it as well. These woods were darker and much thicker in terms of trees and foliage. You couldn’t see into it. He started to say, ‘Do you want to go into those woods so you can get a better look at it?’ I had no idea what was going on but had a weird feeling so I said, ‘I need to go home for dinner,’ and quickly grabbed my friend out of there. This was in the morning and I said I needed to go get dinner. I remember feeling dumb for saying that.
We both had big sisters that hung out with each other. We go to tell them thinking that this strange man with a deformed belly button was bothering us. We all just ended up laughing because we all literally thought he just had a deformed belly button and how that was weird.
I think about it now and I’m like HOLY CRAP.”
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