From a mother who would take her kids to the “park” so she could flirt with another man, to the father that would go scuba diving while leaving his kid alone on the boat, people share the moment they realize what their parents used to do was completely wrong.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
My mom harboured a very strange guy who happened to be a fugitive in our basement for about 6 months until one day a bounty hunter or plain clothes cop or something came into our house waving a gun and made 8 year old me and my 6 year old sister stand in a corner while he dragged the guy out. Our mom took us to visit him in prison like 4 or 5 times over the following year. I honestly thought it was just a normal occurrence until about 3 years later when I told the story to my dad’s divorce lawyer and he was shocked it had never come up before (although I suppose it’s not the type of thing you bring up in court if you don’t have to), and my dad who was deployed in Kosovo at the time had no idea it had ever even happened.
My parents always told me that they were going to the doctor quite frequently. Of course, I hated visits to the doctor and was happy to not tag along.
My siblings eventually went to the doctor quite frequently.
When I was in high school, my family brought it up during a holiday gathering, but I never pieced that puzzle together on my own. It was then that they revealed that going to the doctor was just a way to get me to stay home if anybody wanted to go somewhere without me (errands, the mall, McDonalds).
Once me and my mom were at the bathroom sink brushing our teeth. After trying to brush my tongue I looked at her and asked, “Do you ever gag when you brush your tongue?” In complete seriousness she said, “No. I got over my gag reflex when I met your dad.” Years later I was brushing my teeth and thought of that and just froze on the spot. “OOH! WHY, mom?!
Lying to get out of any problem, especially those caused by their own incompetence or malfeasance. It’s still something I’m working on. My first thought when I’m running late is always some fake excuse like “oh the traffic was terrible/the checkout girl was so slow/I was attacked by zombies but I had a chainsaw so I’m fine but that’s why it’s 10am and I’m in pajamas and not at work yet.” I have to continually tell myself that a person with integrity apologizes and either offers no explanation (when none is required, or when it’s not helpful) or tells the truth about what happened and accepts the consequences.
My dad would drive to LA with me and brothers while my mom was at work, about an hour away. He used to leave us at his friends house while he went to do (stuff) for like two hours. Years later I realized he had a side woman and I had a half-sister same age as my little brother.
Our street was probably two miles long and gravel. Once we turned onto our street my dad would let us lay on the hood so we were only holding on by our fingers by the windshield and he would fly down that gravel road trying to shake us off. Watching my brother topple off the car and into the ditch and looking through the windshield to see my dad’s head thrown back howling in laughter was a frightening experience for me.
My parents argue constantly. They hated each other and still do. The only reason they never divorced is because they depend on each other financially. They always had separate rooms and everything.
I never thought it was weird, I just always thought marriage wasn’t for me. Because it looked like it was pointless and overall a pain in the neck. Eventually I graduated high school, moved out, and started dating… that’s when I realized you can actually like your partner and prefer to be around them. I just had no idea.
My mom’s boyfriend forbade me from ever going in the garage. They said it was dangerous. I snuck in one day to get a hammer or something and there were plants growing under lights. This was the 80’s so you’d still get serious prison time for pot. They found out I was in there because I didn’t put the thing back. I was grounded from my bike and tv for a month. Those were two very important things to my 10-year-old self.
My dad and his friends would go to baseball and football games, and since I liked baseball, I got to go too. We would always get nosebleed seats because, you know, cheap.
Before going in, I would always be wearing this trench coat like jacket and they would hide flasks and beers, or whatnot inside. Since I was <10 or so, Id never get patted down by security.
We’d ride in the bed of pickup trucks. Those indentations for the tires were seats right? We got pulled over once and all the cop did was tell my dad to drive safely and for us in the back to not stand up while the car was in motion. Once when I was 13 the truck stopped, the passenger door opened, so I got up to get out as well. The driver then hit the gas. The truck flew out from under me and I flipped out, landed on the pavement with my arm. That’s how I fractured my arm.
Letting our dog just roam the neighborhood unattended. This was in a very developed suburb of DC in the 90s, not like some rural area where it’s normal to just let your cats and dogs roam around your farm or whatever.
The dog was friendly and as far as I know never attacked anyone, but he did get attacked by some other unleashed dogs and was hit by a car twice. Also people who are afraid of dogs shouldn’t have to worry about a friendly beast bounding up to them, and I shudder to think about how many turds he must have left in people’s yards.
My Dad was out of work for awhile in the late 80s and my Nintendo stopped working after only having it for about a year. I remember going with my Mom to buy a new one. We brought it home, opened the box, took out the new one, and put my broken Nintendo back in the box. We returned it the next day.
My mom sent me to the mall with a locker key once and told me her friend had sent a package with gifts for us and I was to get on the bus, open the locker, grab the package and bring it straight home. When I got home she went to her room with it and when she came out I asked where was my gift. She said her friend forgot to send mine…
Now I know that I was picking up her drug drop!!! I was 12 years old and had no clue.
When I was a kid and would have my friends sleep over, my dad would come downstairs every 30 minutes and grab two beers, talk to us for a second and then go back upstairs. He would do this anywhere from 8-12 times on an average night. I always thought he was just checking on us, making sure we weren’t doing anything we weren’t supposed to. It wasn’t until I was about 15 that I realized he was drinking anywhere from 16 to 30 beers every night.
My dad always smoked cigarettes. He went through a pack a day. Just about everyone smoked cigarettes so I didn’t see a problem. As I got older I started to take up smoking. Now if I’m watching a movie, I got to take a smoke break. If I’m going on a long drive, I got to take a smoke break. It’s really began to take over my life. I’ve made a little progress towards quitting and hope to be completely done with cigarettes soon.
My dad used to take me everywhere when I was little. He started taking me to an apartment of a friend of his from work. Unfortunately for him this woman owned a cat and I had very bad allergies, so when we’d come home my mom would question where we went. My mother would never suspect what he was doing if I was with him, so he kept taking me with him. Getting smart he’d put me out on the balcony of her apartment and lock the door. It took me years to realize that he was cheating on my mom.
Dad took me out alone on the boat with him while he went scuba diving. I was just really bored at the time, didn’t realize how dangerous that was until I got older and started learning more about scuba diving. Number one rule: never dive alone. Especially never dive alone while leaving your kid alone on the boat with zero knowledge of how to drive said boat or even phone for help in case something awful happens!
After the municipal snow plows had been by, Dad would aim the snow blower so that it discharged out into the street instead of piling up near the driveway entrance.
Doing so made it miserable (and, I think, dangerous) for cars to pass by at normal speed because of the mound of snow he sent shooting out into the roadway.
I found out that my mom lied to my brothers and I about the child support my dad gave, among other things. I was told he gave the minimum requirement as per state calculations. Years later, after an incident that led to my family cutting her out of our lives, I found out that he gave nearly 3 times the minimum requirement for years so she could save for my brothers’ and my college. It also hadn’t quite clicked that despite crying poor to us all the time, she didn’t start working full time for some two years after my parents split.
My parents would go to Hollywood Video or Blockbuster, rent the latest kids’ movies and record them on VHS for me. I remember mentioning that I had a “free” copy of A Bug’s Life at school and the teacher giving me a weird look.
Now I realize my folks were the original Pirate Bay.
My mom would lie to my dad, saying she was taking us (my brother & I) for a bike ride. Instead, she’d take us to the park, where we’d play on the monkey bars or whatever, and she would meet-up w/ the man she was cheating on my dad with. This happened countless times. As an 8-year-old girl I couldn’t fully comprehend what was going on, I only knew that I didn’t like this other man. Anyways, there are a lot more stories but my mind doesn’t want to be take back to that time.
There were lots of weekends that when my dad got home from work on Friday, we had to take a sudden trip to the next state over where my mom’s family lived. 8 hrs away. Some weekends we didn’t even get to pack clothes. Found out my dad was a thief. He stole big pieces of machinery. Still not sure how he pulled it off. But he worked there from 18 till he retired at 62.
We (my brothers and I) were just always excited that we got to go see our cousins.
Giving you medicine at the first sign of illness. Their medicine cabinet is packed to the brim. I try to avoid medicine like the plague, not because I’m one of those nuts who thinks that Flu Vaccines causes autism, butt because I think my body needs to fight off things on its own sometimes.
Until I was about 12 or 13, my parents and 7 year younger half brother would go to the beach the same week every year. Drive was about 3 hours and they would always fill 2 clear plastic quart sized bottles with champagne that they would drink on the way down and again on the way home. My brother and I called them out on it during a family dinner when I was about 21. They were shocked we knew, not sure what that says about how smart they thought their children were but…
My father purposefully avoiding a high paying position as a truck driver or mechanic ($20+/hr) to evade child support for me and my sister. He ended up working for an old bag/friend of a friend who he ended up living with for $10/hr. Meanwhile, my mother was working 12 hr shifts with a bunch of ignorant, delinquent, man-children in a factory assembly place. job which required her to stand at all times, although she was seriously injured and partially disabled from a very recent car accident. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized what she went through to support me and my sister, and to what extent my father did to pretend we didn’t exist. I guess I was overly occupied with school or something.
My mom hiding bills from my dad and lying to his mom about needing money for clothes for my brother and I, but it was really because she spent my dad’s $1700 on herself as soon as she got it and didn’t have any money for bills. Then she would go on to play the victim when confronted about. Always saying he was the reason for this and that, making my dad feel awful since he’s a very caring person. My mom also kept telling us that he was the reason for the divorce, that he was crazy and violent, but he had never laid a hand on her when they fought, but she would hit him.
This was stuff that I knew was very wrong, even when I was really little. Now though, roughly 15 years later, looking back I can see how wrong it was of her to be like that. She turned my dad in to a shell of who he was. She sent into debt, $16k I think. It took the better part of 10 years to give up on loving her.
When I was about 11 or 12, my uncle (who was my guardian seeing as my parents are drug addicts) would drop off my brothers and I at the arcade at the mall, I think it was called Tilt, but he would drop us off and give us like 5 bucks apiece and tell us he would be back in a little bit to get us. Well it would be like 5pm when he dropped us off and he would usually pick us well after the mall closed. We would wait outside, so usually after 9pm for sure. He’d pick us up reeking of booze and we’d go home thankfully with no incidents. I’ve asked about it now that I’m an adult and he told me he used to get hammered and come get us. He doesn’t drink anymore but it must have been hard being in your early 20’s and raising the three of us. One time the SWAT team raided the house cause he used to grow weed outside, I never knew, just thought it was weird I was being picked up by my aunt in the middle of the night.
My father’s favoritism to my brother, his only son. The rest of us are girls and he would make us do the typical gender stereotype stuff. It was especially hurtful when I asked him to take me hunting from the age of 8 until about 15 but he never did, but the second my brother could learn to use a gun, he took him hunting every season. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s something that still bothers me to this day.
Anyways, I didn’t realize it was wrong until I would see how other girls were treated by their dad’s in high school… like the dad’s were really interested in their lives and proud to have them as their daughters. It’s like my value lessened just because I was a girl, even though I’ve been extremely successful in life.
When the whole family was going to the grocery store and my mom would just run in, my dad would drift donuts in the parking lot while we waited. Literally the most fun ever.