"My parents caning me whenever I misbehaved. I thought it was normal. They caned till I bled and sometimes after that, they stripped me, dragged me into the shower and kind of waterboard me with water. I remember not being able to breathe and my cane strokes hurting so bad.
I thought every kid experienced this. Not till in my 20s while seeing a therapist. It really messed me up."
"When I was in the third grade I saw my neighbor, Johnny, drowning animals in his pool. It was absolutely terrifying because he was having fun doing it. I told my parents and they confronted Johnny's mom and dad but didn't hear anything else about it. Maybe two weeks later my next door neighbor found her dog dead. A day after that someone had thrown a bunch of swimming pool chlorine tabs into the kiddie pool I had in my yard where I had some pet turtles (yeah they were dead). Just as we learned about that another neighbor came by with Johnny in one hand and a weapon in the other; caught the evil prick trying to shoot his dog. Johnny and his family moved away a few months later."
"I was 10 when my grandfather was put into his first nursing home. He had lung cancer. I wasn't sure what it meant to be in a nursing home.
I can't remember if I believed he would get better or if I knew he was going to die. But I figured it out after a while, just by the way my parents and family would talk about him.
Death didn't take him as fast as they thought. He started to develop bed sores from the lack of movement. The nursing home wasn't doing their job. I witnessed that turn into an amputation. First, it was his right leg from the knee down, then his left leg. Eventually, all that was left was nubs.
I remember thinking, 'Why is this happening to him?' But then I would think that my family must have a plan, however, it kept getting worse. I remember he went to a few different ones. The last one thankfully was the best, but he died with no legs, in pain, couldn't recognize his family anymore and alone. After a long life with a big family, he had to die like that. I had a hard time dealing with all of that."
"I'll never forget the time I was taken into foster care.
I was in the middle school, minding my own business and then I was called to head to the office before school ended. I found out my mother was on some illegal substances and had been holding my 3-year-old sister over a neighbor's fence, who had a big dog, who is prone to biting strangers. The neighbors called the police and had taken me and my siblings out of the custody of my mother. My dad was in Iraq and learned nothing about what was going on until 9 months later.
My sister and I were in the same foster care, and my brother (3rd grade at the time) was taken to another place. He would get bruises, not enough food, and I saw him with a black eye while we went to school. I was really livid about his foster parents because they hurt him for no reason - he's a gentle soul and wasn't rambunctious at all. I actually attempted to fight his foster care parents once during visitations because I couldn't handle seeing him getting hurt anymore and being unable to do anything.
The place I stayed wasn't much better either. I stayed in the attic and there were several dead animals in the room - just rotting. No one took me seriously when I found a dead cat. The foster parent's 13-year-old son would try to harass me and make attempts in getting me to do lewd things. He would often steal my undergarments before they were washed in the laundry and it would be found in his room by his mother. And she did nothing. One time he tried to harass me at a skating rink and I got so mad that I kicked him in the nads with a rollerblade. I know it's bad to do to another person, but I felt like it was worth it after all that crap.
I did realize why the lady did do the foster care system though. Apparently, in the state I've lived in, you get a lot of money. And a lot of people took advantage of it. It sickened me.
Thankfully they treated my little sister better, she basically was fed and got to watch TV a lot (her room was shared with the foster parent's grandchild-- so it was a nicer space.) I'm glad she was okay in the end- but it did hurt whenever she asked for our mother.
Speaking of which, somehow news about what my mother did in my neighborhood got around to someone I thought was my best friend. She ended up telling classmates that I don't live with my mom because she's crazy and that kids shouldn't play with me because I have no family. It was really dumb and I honestly think she just wanted to feel important- but it ended up getting me and my brother bullied at school for the dumbest of reasons.
I had to see the school counselor often because I was really suicidal and dark. My assignments during writing class would be very depressing to read. I had to learn to act happy because they scared me into thinking if I kept acting up, I'd go to a mental home like my mom. Gosh just looking back at these times makes me want to cough up vomit or something.
There is a happy end to all of this though. My grandmother flew from the Philippines (one of my mother's friends paid 20 dollars for a calling card to let my grandmother know what's going on) and ended up taking custody over me, my brother, and sister. She and my dad (whenever he was around, sadly the military made it difficult) tried doing the best they could at raising us. There were a lot of hard times in between. But in the end, my grandmother did everything she could to let us have the best childhood experience possible. Whether it was taking us on hikes and walks on the Rockies, making us delicious food, or watching every episode of Dragonball with us.
And after nearly five years without her in my life, my grandmother got my mom the help she needed to come back in our lives again. She never gave up on my mom, even when I did. I still remember praying every night to have my mom come home- it was disheartening as I grew older. I was really bitter towards my mom. I forgave her though since it's pointless to hold onto such grudges.
My mom's been clean for nearly a decade now. She's doing the best she can for my dad and siblings, and thanks her lucky stars to be back. My brother is now happily married, and my sister is working and enjoying life. I know a lot of people don't generally recover from addictions, so I'm thankful to have my mother here. She makes fun of her past sometimes, and claims she's 'breaking mom'.
Sadly, my grandmother had passed away a few years back. But she often would tell the family she was really proud of my mom for getting up on her feet and taking responsibility. She was a great woman. I'm really thankful for her and everything she has done."
"Christmas of 2005:
Christmas Eve my parents were fighting, at this point, we already knew that presents weren't coming this year (I had always gotten a combined birthday/Christmas present anyway, so I wasn't expecting much).
My parents were going full at it fighting, yelling and screaming. I remember my brother and I hiding upstairs while I comforted him and put a movie on my computer for him to watch with headphones so he wouldn't have to hear the screaming.
I usually broke up the fights with my parents but this time it didn't work. I went downstairs and tried to pull them apart, my dad threw something, a cup or plate I can't remember, it broke on my head and cut me up kinda bad. Also, part of the glass embedded itself into my mom's foot. She screamed at him in Chinese, I can't remember what was yelled. I just remember next that she left in a hurry to our Grandma's house. My dad locked himself in his room and it was like that until about New Years.
I had already been cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my brother basically on my own at that point but that two weeks really felt different, it really felt like I was on my own. I distinctly remember having to go into my personal piggy-bank at the time just to be able to buy dinner for me and my brother. I remember having to go to the church and asking the pastor for advice and having him give me $20 to get dinner. The pastor tried coming to our house to talk to my dad but my dad denied any of it and I got beaten that night for telling others about our personal family stuff.
Every day my little brother would ask when mom was coming home and why they were fighting, he thought it was his fault or something (as most kids do in situations like that). I had to spend time reassuring him it was fine while fighting back tears of my own.
After New Years, my mom came back and my parents didn't talk for like 3 months, but then things basically went back to normal. This happens every few years now but it's gotten more and milder, more passive-aggressive than physical, but still just as awkward. I really did learn that year that the world really isn't fair and that not all families are good ones."
"This story happened in middle school.
We'll call my friend in the story, Kevin. He was probably the most bullied kid in the school. As a bullied kid myself, he was my first true friend. He was brilliant and nerdy-looking, and upon being confronted by bullies he would employ logic. Bullies don't really get that. He got his butt whipped then we both got our butts whipped defending each other.
One day he asked me to come over after school to play Madden '93 with him. Anyone alive during that era knows how amazing that game was, so I said heck yeah. We started playing. However, he'd told me before that if his mom knew friends were in the house, then there would be trouble. I didn't think about it much until we both heard the front door slam shut. My bike was next to his, which rested along the house because his mom had sold the kick-stand for scrap metal.
The force of the door closing versus the ambient air pressure of the house made the blinds in Kevin's room flinch. I looked at Kevin and he was horrified. His jaw was clenched and his eyes were wide. We were sitting on the edge of a bed and I still swear that I felt his heartbeat. He said 'I gotta go' and raced downstairs.
I didn't know what to do. It took me a minute. I was up by 3 in the game and the crashing I heard downstairs made me think that this game was truly over. I finally snapped into action. As I crested the stairs, below on the living room floor I saw Kevin on his back; his mom straddling him, delivering slap after slap after slap to his face. Left, right, left, right. On and on and on. Each slap left a thump and it went on forever. She kicked his butt.
So I ran down the stairs and out of the house. She noticed me and yelled but I ran home. I left my bike. I never knew or understood that an adult could do that to a kid.
He came out of it though. He's a smart guy, a professional. He's been to a lot of countries, he's doing better than me. Bless you, Kevin."
"My mom started dying when I was ten.
She needed Gamma globulin shots every month, but healthcare banned these and replaced them with an expensive IV. The insurance company dropped them from our plan and my mother could not fight off the smallest virus. So she almost died and I had to take care of her, as Dad was at work all day.
The insurance company decided to keep my mom alive when I was about 16-years-old. Around the time my mother was almost dying, I developed a chronic depression that caused lonely little old me to try to commit suicide. So I was sent to a care facility for months and locked away from the rest of the world. But that was only the beginning. While I was in there, they tested for mental illness; Lo and behold, I'm autistic.
So after I got out I was forced into a program for the mentally ill in schools. Basically, they threw all the mentally ill into a trailer behind the school and made us do repetitive 'learning' tasks that were made to keep us busy. This went on for four years until I realized I wasn't learning anything and was seriously behind on schooling. I tried to go back into the main schooling and never could do it. That sent me into another round of suicidal depression. Since there was no possible way for me to graduate, I'm now out of school going for my GED. I don't even remember when I lost hope and saw the world as evil."
"When I was like 13 my mom dropped my sister and I off at my dad's house and borrowed both his and my stepmom's phones (they had the pay per minute so I guess she wanted to make sure they had minutes).
They asked me to sit in the car with her while she made the calls, because, at this point, she was using illegal substances, quite frequently and pretty hard (you'd think seeing your mother doing that kind of stuff would ruin your childhood, but it was the norm for me at that point).
So I'm sitting there, waiting for her to get done, and she starts saying stuff to get me out of the car. Probably the most hurtful were, 'You're the reason I have to do bad things to pay bills' and, 'I'll love your sister more than I love you,' being a close second. Of course, I get upset leaving the car and go inside so mad I'm crying. And of course, just as expected, she drives off stealing the phones.
Then at the end of the weekend she comes back to pick us up but ends up passing out in the car so my dad (who didn't have his license at the time) had to drive her car home and my stepmom drove my sister and I. We had to wake her up to move her to the passenger seat and she spent the entire car ride trying to be all over my dad and looking back at my stepmom to make sure she saw it all. So we finally make it home and my mom goes upstairs in the house (our house was like two apartments stacked on top of each other so we lived upstairs and rented the bottom part out). And of course, we were all chilling outside because no one wanted to go in and deal with her. But I ended up needing to get something out of the house so I go upstairs to get whatever it was and didn't say a word to her and she starts trying to yell at me but I just continue to walk away. She ends up following me to the front porch when she tries to slap me and I panic and end up pushing her down the stairs. Luckily she ended up being fine although even if she wasn't. she probably wouldn't have told anyone so she didn't have to go to the hospital and get tested.
Oh and not to mention the few years she forgot my birthday. As an adult it's not that big of a deal but when you're a child, that stuff really hurts. Later on when she got sober we ended up getting on good terms before she passed."
"My family and I were in Disney World probably ten years ago or so.
My mom and I were playing skeeball trying to get enough tickets for this stuffed Mickey Mouse doll (plus my mom is an incredible skee-baller). A guy probably around 20-years-old was next to us and without hesitation, snatched the tickets my mom had coming from the machine and ran out the door before she could say so much as a word. The look on my mom's face was upsetting and at that point, I didn't even care about the tickets.
My mom was so proud of herself for killing it at skee ball, and seeing someone thoughtlessly steal from her and run, made me realize that people are shameless and don't care about others nearly as much as I previously thought."
"I was bullied A LOT as a child. So bad, I walked with my head down and never met anyone's eyes. I felt like I didn't deserve to.
Then one day while at recess on the playground, I met a teacher's aide who was helping watch kids. I noticed none of the bullies stayed near her, so I became her helper. She was very nice to me, and even though I was like 7 or 8, I really considered her my friend. I started to look forward to recess.
Fast forward some months, and one day after school, some kids threw my sister's and I hats into a tall 'Lost and Found' bin. While we were trying to get our hats out, (mom really struggled, single parent) the aide who I considered a friend caught us. I began to tell her what happened and she LIT INTO ME. She started yelling and scolding us for being troublemakers, telling us we're getting lunch detention, etc. I was shocked I just start crying. I was hurt, and as sad as it sounds, I really couldn't understand why she was treating me that way. Then the knockout blow. She noticed I was crying, and snapped: 'I don't care about your crocodile tears!' My heart shattered, but at the same time, it froze. I just walked away, sobbing now, and walked home with my sister.
I learned not to put my trust in anyone to that magnitude again, and just because you call someone your friend, doesn't mean they'll do right by you.
The next day at school, I ignored her - not like she sought me out anyway. I didn't talk to her ever again and moved away when I was 13. Years later, I saw her while I was out with my mom, and my mom said hello. I still didn't speak. I think deep down the 7-year-old me is still hurt, and I feel so bad for who I used to be. Even at that young age, I didn't want to live, and no child needs to feel like that. Other teachers aides would talk about me, teachers turned a blind eye when I was bullied. She knew, and I'll never know if she talked about me too."
"My friend told me this one.
He got picked up by a lady (driver) and her friend (passenger) in a convertible. He got into the back and realized there was a relatively newborn baby in a car seat in the seat next to where he would be sitting. He didn't think much of it until she started using illegal substances, blaring music and started speeding excessively (we're talking 80 mph down a 30 mph road).
Due to the fact that they were in a convertible, the wind was too much for the baby and the baby was going blue in the face! So my friend had to take off his jacket and cover the baby completely so it could breathe. It baffles me how the driver/mother thought this was acceptable."
"I think the worst experience was seeing my dad in the hospital for the first time when I was 7 or 8. I started to realize that he was probably going to die.
He had brain cancer, so he was completely bald with those massive metal staples across his scalp from where they'd removed the tumor (that was I think his second lot of surgery; I'm now 16 and he had his fifth earlier this year).
That's probably when we stopped being close (I have no memories of us ever being close, but my mom claims we were before my youngest sibling was born), and I think part of it was me emotionally distancing myself from him. I only did that because if/when he dies, my mom will be a total mess, so I'll need to keep it together and take care of the kids.
Luckily, I've grown up apathetic as ever, with all the empathy of a rock, so, that won't be a problem."
"When I was in the fourth grade, there was this really geeky kid named Matthew. Well, everyone in the entire class would bully him in some way. I never understood why this kid was given so much contempt.
I'm ashamed to admit that even though I was friends with him I did do some bad stuff too him. On St. Valentine's Day our school had a rule that you could only give Valentines out if you gave everyone in your class one. So everyone, including me, smashed lollipops or whatever candy we had for Matthew. The sad part is Matthew was almost oblivious to most of this. You would think that a really short kid or a kid like me, who was socially awkward and in special ed classes up until the fifth grade, would get bullied. Nope! It was the tall smart kid that gets all the hate.
I realized it probably was this way because people were jealous of Matthew. He was a bit of a know it all, but he was talented at drawing too. He'd make his own comic books and sell them for $1 dollar. He called this one booklet he made, 'The Idiot's Book.' It was really cool. Evil isn't committed by monsters. Evil isn't self-aware. It's innocent and good people that are responsible for the evilest acts in the world."
"When I was about 11 years old, I got a foster cousin. My family has always been close and my horse was kept at this cousin's property so I was there a lot of the time.
Things were good at first but as we got closer, this kid started trying to do inappropriate things with me. He'd try to kiss my neck and stuff like that. He was quite young himself, maybe 7?
Each time I'd kind of just awkwardly move away, cause I wasn't really old enough to know how to deal with it either. But it did quickly become clear to me that something wasn't right and could understand he probably learned this behavior somewhere.
That made me realize people had taught him to be like that, and it made me very sad. To this day I wish I had known that I should have talked to the adults about it, so he could get help. Maybe if I had his parents wouldn't have gotten him back."
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