Instagram | @terror_on_tape
15+ People Share ‘Normal’ Childhood Memories That Turned Out To Be Traumatic
When you're young, it is easy to think that your reality is everyone's reality. You are taught to trust your caregivers, so even when you know you are in a situation that you shouldn't be in, you may not question it.
Those who experience childhood trauma are often unable to come to terms with it until they are much older and in a safer mindset to do so.
A number of people recently took to Reddit and shared their personal stories of trauma that they previously assumed were just aspects of a 'normal' childhood experience.
If you yourself are struggling with PTSD or a trauma-related disorder, these first-person accounts of trauma may be a negative trigger. Story # 15 is a check-in point.
Instagram | @jaz_oli
"My mother would have to regularly go on 'rescue missions' to stop my grandmother from killing herself," one woman shares. "I would get phone calls saying 'I'm on the way to grandma's again....'"
Instagram | @2_brothers_bp
"One year on Halloween, I was probably about 8 or 9 years old, my mom didn't let my sister and me go outside to do some 'trick or treat' in the neighborhood but bought us a new Barbie movie and lots of sweets instead," this man reveals. "We were allowed to stay up as late as we wanted to. It was because she was afraid our father (parents were divorced, father abusive) would try kidnapping us, he had tried before. "
Instagram | @fernandaz_dom
"My step dad would frequently 'play fight' me and my sister when my mom wasn’t home," one user writes. "But his play fighting was actual abuse."
Instagram | @someoneelsesme
"Apparently it's not normal for you to fear your dad's presence," one person writes. "And I didn't realize that until I was much, much older."
Instagram | @jaeelizabeth
"When I was in the second grade my older sister came into the bathroom while I was taking a bath to play with my toys with me," one woman explains. "I didn't find out until later it was because my father was having a stroke from drinking too much and was making sure I didn't finish taking a bath before the paramedics arrived."
Instagram | @tiapunkrocker
"When I was in kindergarten they would make us kneel in a corner on some wood piece for every time we hurt each other or cursed," one man explains. "As soon as I got to elementary school I asked the teacher the 1st time I was in trouble where I should go kneel.
They took attention to that and long story short they called the police on our old kindergarten and it's now closed since 2006."
Out Of Town
Instagram | @collection.connect
"When I was about 10, my mother had to leave the country for work for almost a year, so she left me to live with her long time boyfriend," one user writes. "Every night he'd come home drunk.
He'd come into my room and sit on my bed touching me. I never thought of telling my mum about this because I thought it was normal."
Instagram | @frankly.a
"I though that whenever a kid got home late it was normal for them to be locked outside for the night," one woman writes. "Also thought an appropriate response to not doing your chores was to be locked in a closet without food. My younger siblings never got this treatment, I just thought I was an extra awful child."
Instagram | @taraclarkishere
"There used to be this man that would live at my house when I was about 3-5ish named Skip," one man explains. "Whenever I would walk by him he would ask me 'you wanna see my sexy leg?' Too which I would always respond yes enthusiastically.
He would then roll up his pant leg really high and rub his thigh up and down while dog whistling. At the time I thought it was hilarious.
Well, turns out he was my dads meth dealer who needed a place to stay because he was being investigated for murder."
Instagram | @tuckintoddlers
"Growing up, every summer we would pick apples at the local orchard ... LOTS OF APPLES," one woman writes. "We would keep some but most just went to the orchard. I always thought it was just a fun time out.
20+ years later it finally occurred to me that it was a little weird so I asked my Dad about it. He looked straight at me and quietly said, 'With five kids we needed the money. I would save my vacation at work and we would pick apples for the extra money.'"
Instagram | @boomerregz
"My big brother used to give me 'treats', m&ms, brownies, cheese & bread," this man explains. "Only years later did I realize he was sneaking me food because we were not being fed. I am healthy and functional today because a 3 year old stole food for me."
Instagram | @bwm.brisbane
"My friend's Uncle wanted me and my friend to model clothes for a catalog," one user writes. "I didn't go but later discovered that store didn't and never had sold clothing.
Turned out he was a pedophile and had been sexually abusing my friend for years."
Instagram | @cosmectegg
"Going to the church instead of the hospital," one user writes. "Because God would ‘heal my wounds’, including a back problem that is now permanent."
Instagram | @photorestoration.678
"My sister used to chase me around with a knife when I didn't do as I was told." one woman shares,."For the longest time I thought that's what everyone just did."
Instagram | @frenchieapparels
Hi, how are you doing?
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We're talking about some heavy stuff, so it's important that every so often, we pull our heads up above water and ensure that we're doing okay.
Are you good? Good. Let's keep going then.
Instagram | @nday_129
"When I was about 11 or 12 years old my orthodontist told my mom I needed have 3 teeth removed," one woman shares. "I don't remember most of the details but because we did not have the month for the oral surgery she had me lay across her lap and removed them with pliers. Not all of them were baby teeth."
Instagram | @lappoid
"My father would make me pee and keep it in a pill bottle," one man shares, "to use it for drug testing."
Instagram | @escollianburguluria
"Went to pick up my uncle at a crack house when I was like 11," one user writes. "People sprawled out everywhere, some lady was on the couch sleeping naked, me and my cousins were just snickering cause we got to see boobies."
Instagram | @expectoveritas_621
"When I was 11, my parents helped a battered wife out of an abusive situation, " one man explains, "Her husband was a bad bad guy but was still roaming free. My mom ran me through the 'steps' if he were to break in:
I would get my younger siblings in the closet with me, she would run and draw him out and away from the house to a pre-determined location in the back yard. Once they left I would take the shotgun out of the closet and shoot him.
I was groomed to kill a man at 11. Never had to, but totally prepared."
Instagram | @lularoe.heatherma
"When my mum was having ‘a bad day’ (before I’d leave by myself for primary school) she would say ‘if I’m not here when you get back, you know why’," one woman explains, "Implying that she would kill herself because of her stressful life."
Instagram | @veritosistos
"When it was my weekend with my dad I would be dropped off at peoples houses and I thought it was fun because it was all so different and got to meet new people," one girl reveals, "When I got older I realized it was neglect and he was palming me off while he went elsewhere."
The Long Road
Instagram | @jjoules
"We(my mother, my siblings and I) used to go on those long walks around the city when we were super young," one man explains, "I recently discovered that it was a way for my mother to escape our father and save us from getting beaten almost to death."
Instagram | @oldfamilyphotographs7
"One time my dad threw a temper tantrum and threw a plate full of food at the ceiling because my Mom hadn’t gotten the right sauce," this person writes, "I thought it was funny at the time but looking back that’s an awful way for an adult to act."
Instagram | @cheryl4799
"My parents fighting over me. I remember one time each parent grabbed each arm and pulled on me yelling, 'she’s my daughter!' 'No, she’s my daughter!'" one woman reveals, "Didn’t realize how messed up that was until now."
Instagram | @darby_pyyyle
"In year 5, after getting dressed for PE, my teacher would come in and do an 'underwear competition' where we'd run up in our undies and pose.," this woman shares, "The 'best underwear' would get a high five from the teacher then we could continue getting changed."
Instagram | @jessica_harmon
"My mom used to leave me alone with my infant siblings starting when I was 6," one woman shares, "Completely thought that was normal til I saw my siblings at 6 years old and thought I could never leave my baby alone with one of them or any 6 year old. Thankfully they all turned out okay."
Instagram | @bugbusu
"We have a saying in my family: 'It’s not a holiday unless someone’s crying!' Then everyone laughs," this person writes, "It took me until this year to realize that it’s really screwed up how true that is."
I Love You
Instagram | @hindubuque
"It’s a very simple thing.. but my parents didn’t tell me they loved me," one man writes, "No hugging and zero verbal expression of being proud or things like that. They weren’t abusive or bad, just didn’t express love. Left me with some deep rooted problems. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t normal until I was an adult."
Instagram | @rxw1989
"As a kid, I used to brag about being able to sleep for over 24 hours straight to friends or teachers or really whoever would listen," one man shares. "I was mid sentence mentioning it as a freshman in college when I realized my divorced father was drugging preschool me with cold meds so I'd sleep through his weekends of custody with me."
Instagram | @terror_on_tape
"My older sister used to play our Disney read along tapes to my younger brother and I, whilst guiding us through the words in the books; she taught us to read this way," one woman shares. "I didn't realize till years later that she was using the tapes to cover the sound of our parents fighting downstairs."
The Luckiest Boy In The World
Instagram | @mrs.shell.nich
"Every time my dad would pick me up from school he’d leave me in the car for three plus hours whilst he went into the local pub and got drunk," one user writes. "Nothing to do. Just sitting there in the car. He’d come back after the few hours had passed and throw me a bag of chips as he started the car. I always thought I was the luckiest boy in the world to be getting those chips."
h/t: Ask Reddit