Top Stories

People Break Down Which Things From Their Childhood They Thought Were Totally Normal Until They Grew Up

People Break Down Which Things From Their Childhood They Thought Were Totally Normal Until They Grew Up
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

When I was growing up, I had a classmate who used to joke about his mother hitting him with the broom when he was particularly naughty. We had a good laugh at it at first until we realized... Wait a minute –– that's not normal. And it wasn't. Most of us grew up in homes with parents who didn't lash out at us, so something was definitely wrong there. But when you're younger, it can be hard to express when something feels off, especially when you lack any other basis for comparison.

After Redditor stupidrobots asked the online community, "What about your childhood did you think was normal until you grew up and realized it wasn't?" people shared their stories.

"I know when we eventually settled somewhere..."

I was a military brat, who grew up with other military brats. And because of dad's role, we moved around a lot.

Apparently, changing home/school/country every 1-2 years isn't normal.

I know when we eventually settled somewhere for me to finish high school, I was shocked to learn that there were kids at my high school who had been to kindergarten together. Like, they'd known each other for 15 years. It blew my mind.


"Coming home every day..."

Coming home every day from school to freshly baked cakes, cookies etc. I honestly thought everyone's mum did this. My mum just really enjoys baking, and is very good at it. She would seriously time it so that her freshly baked goodies were still warm but ready to eat when my siblings and I got home from school.


"An acquaitance of mine..."

An acquaintance of mine had really messed up parents growing up, and they never let him do anything. He was never allowed to hang out with me or our friends, and wasn't even allowed to go down to the fish and chip shop unsupervised. Even when he turned 18 (legal drinking age in the UK), he still wasn't allowed to drink alcohol. His mum told him that if he was caught even drinking a drop of it, there would be some severe punishment awaiting him.

Unfortunately, his guy genuinely believed the way his parents brought him up was completely normal. It didn't help that his parents kept him isolated from other people as much as possible, which most likely didn't help. What really disturbed me and still does to this day, after his parents found out about his poor GCSE results, he was locked in his room for a week and was not allowed to go out unless it was for the toilet or for dinner. I told him that's straight-up abuse. His response? "They don't hit me, so its not abuse. They just have my best interests at heart." He was baffled to hear that most parents did not do that.

Last I heard of him, he's beginning to stand up to them and has now even got his driving licence. However, the damage has been done already. This guy is 22 and acts at least 10 years younger, and has trouble holding down a job for longer than a few months. He's never spent one night away from his parents/grandparents in his life ever, and is likely to be very dependent on his parents. Let's just say, his parents have done him a massive disservice.


"The one thing I wish I could do..."

My parents were always there for me. There was no such thing as I was ever "on my own" until 18 when I left home and joined the military. I always thought parents were your support system and pushed you to do and be your very best. As I was getting older 17/18 I was surprised to see how many of my friends couldn't turn to their parents for anything. Looking back, I didn't realize how lucky I was to have parents that worked hard to make sure we had anything we wanted even whether or not we could afford it, which normally we could.

Thanks, mom and dad, for everything.

The one thing I wish I could do is to go back and help those who weren't as fortunate. But it's never too late to build a strong community around you and change what you can.


"My parents are old school Catholics..."

Having parents who hate each other. I genuinely had no idea there were couples who were happily married until I was in high school.

My parents are old-school Catholics who never thought divorce was an option. I have never seen my parents kiss or hug. I don't even remember a time when they shared a bedroom.

My four siblings and I struggle with relationships. I wish my parents had divorced and at least one of them had found a healthy, loving relationship.


"When I grew up..."

Emotional manipulation/abuse. I never considered it that I just thought its parenting. When I grew up and understood emotions better I realized that my parents were constantly emotionally manipulative towards me to force their opinions on me.


"My grandfather was a tinkerer..."

Hoarding. My grandfather was a tinkerer that grew up in a poor household. He saved everything. My dad adopted the behavior. He tried to be like his dad, but he was nothing like him. He didn't repair and invent things. He just broke things and kept on collecting things.Soon, my mom adopted the behavior. She would go to flea markets/yard sales and just buy up crap that would get thrown onto a pile. She only bought what she thought was "worth money."

I never realized how bad it was until I looked at an old photo of myself (probably about three) standing in what I thought was a storage room or maybe a flea market. Nope, it was our hallway. Boxes and items stacked from floor to ceiling. I sobbed. I didn't remember it being so bad when I was young, but it was awful. I wasn't allowed to have friends over. My parents were so extreme that they'd tell me to go clean my room, and then go through the trash bag to see if I threw out anything "valuable." I'd end up with 3/4ths of the trash back in my room, and getting screeched at for throwing away money.

Once I was an adult, I started throwing out anything and everything I could. Parents gone for the day? Throw out crap they don't even remember owning! After my mom passed, I went through a lot of the stuff she collected for value and learned that most of it wasn't even worth the amount she paid for them. All but one item was less than $1. I'm constantly purging stuff out of my house. I don't want a repeat of my childhood.


"That I didn't have to..."

That I don't have to spend the whole of a party or gathering serving people/cleaning up after them just because I'm a girl. This was expected of me every time. I was confused as hell at the first non-family party I went to, and this was as an adult.


Having to pay for basically my own life starting at freshman year of high school (year one).

I went around thinking that everyone paid their own phone bill, buying their own clothes, finding a way to school, etc.

But really I came to the realization that it seemed like my family didn't like me. No one else had to do it in my family and it's not like my family is poor. I've been the most successful in my family yet I've gotten to the point where I don't care.

Now I'm 18 years old about to graduate high school busting my butt to get money to pay for college. I'm literally getting 3-4 hours of sleep trying to keep good grades and working.


"For me, I appreciate it..."

I grew up in what my friends refer to as "a naked house". Nudity is no big deal to me. My mum was pretty much naked most of the time. We'd use the toilet with the door open and we wouldn't lock the bathroom door while bathing in case someone needed to use the toilet. Getting changed in front of my brothers or parents is totally normal to me. I didn't realize that was strange until it became a running joke with my friends that they've seen my mum naked more than their own.

For me, I appreciate it because I'm confident in my skin as I've never been told it's something that should be hidden/ashamed of and it also made for a more open relationship with my parents. We'd comfortably talk about body issues and that made puberty an easier experience compared to a lot of my friends' descriptions of theirs. One friend thought she was dying when she got her first period because her mum had never discussed it with her! That's what's weird to me. I can't imagine not being able to discuss a body issue with my parents.


People Describe The Most Historically Significant Event They've Ever Witnessed In Person

Reddit user FictionVent asked: 'What is the most historically significant event you witnessed IN PERSON?'

Aircraft losing control
Richard R. Schünemann/Unsplash

Do you ever wonder what it must've been like to experience major events throughout world history when reading about them in text books?

But if you take pause and actually think about it, we're living through many newsworthy current events that succeeding generations will be talking about long after we're gone.

Reading about them online or in newspapers is one thing. But seeing them happen unfold before our eyes is another.

Curious to hear from those who'll have anecdotes to tell in the future, Redditor FictionVent asked:
"What is the most historically significant event you witnessed IN PERSON?"

People recall the natural disaster events they've witnessed.


"1964 Good Friday Earthquake 9.2 Richter. Was a boy in Cordova, Alaska at the time."

– KitchenLab2536

"My father was skipper of the USCG cutter stationed there. He was inport, and when the quake struck shortly before 5:30pm, he and my mom gathered me and my three siblings on the front porch. At first, it felt like the house was crumbling at the foundation, but on the porch we could plainly see our whole world was shaking. I remember watching telephone poles swaying, and the wires snapping and crackling in the street. The quake lasted about five minutes initially. My dad got his ship underway to avoid the tidal wave which was sure to come. We had several aftershocks in the coming weeks, some of which were quite strong, though nowhere near as strong or as long as the quake itself. I was seven at the time."

– KitchenLab2536

Collapsing Freeway

"October 17th, 1989. I watched the 880 Nimitz freeway collapse during the San Francisco earthquake. The Honda in front of me had the upper deck crush her front-end engine compartment. The mother and her daughter were shaken up but completely fine."

"I was driving a convertible Triumph Spitfire, which was scratched up slightly from debris. However, I walked away unscathed. Aside from the fact I pissed my pants, which I didn't notice until much later."

– CatDaddyWhisper

Thar She Blows

"I sat on the roof of our house and watched Mt. St. Helens erupt less than 100 miles away."

– stinkykitty71

"This must have been fascinating and terryfing in equal measure. What a thing to witness."

– runrossyrun

"It was amazing! The ash that covered everything like snow was interesting to kid me, but less so to my parents."

– stinkykitty71

People recall seeing major catastrophes as a result of malfunctions or judgement errors.

Bomber Crash

"The b-52 crash that led to changing what large military aircraft are allowed to do for airshows."

"I didn't see the plane, but immediately saw the fireball. It was just a perfect, bright red turning to black mushroom cloud."

"Fairchild is a nuclear air base and there were a few minutes there where I was sure the world was about to end."

"A few years before a KC-135 doing the same thing crashed near the school while we were in class."

– goffstock

Tragic Takeoff

"I was standing on my front porch watching the launch of the Challenger."

– StarChaser_Tyger

"Was riding in my parents car to a basketball game in the next town over in north texas when we saw a shooting star and thought that was neat."

"It was the Columbia..."

– Misdirected_Colors

Demolition Gone Wrong

"The failed implosion of the Zip feed mill in Sioux Falls, SD in 2005."

"They hyped it up, sold tickets to it, had a big 'BOOM' marketing thing, and broadcast it live on TV."

"The explosives took out the main supports on the first floor, and the rest of the building above it just plopped down 10ft or so and came to a rest. It was a massive failure, and was a funny little blurb on news stations around the world that day. Definitely not major news, just the rest of the world taking 20 seconds to laugh at us."

"The building sat like that (the leaning tower of SuFu) for quite a while until they figured out how to safely demolish it."

"Here's a clip of the failed demolition."

– KitchenBandicoots

These well-known historical events were seen by very few who are alive today.

Historical Remnant

"The tumbling of the Wall in Germany… along with people selling bits and pieces of it on tables in lobby in front of commissary and px in the following weeks and months. I had picked up a chunk about the size of an oreo and kept it… has blue spray paint on the flat side. Wonder if anyone is buying them now?"

– SingedPenguin13

Major Upheaval

"I would have to say the LA riots. I lived about two blocks from where it started. I was on my way home from school and saw someone throw a brick through a window. I didn’t even wait. I just started running the whole way home."

– Scarlaymama0721

Day Of Infamy

"9/11, I could SMELL the collapse of the towers."

– go4tli

"A friend of mine was there. One day in the warehouse we worked in together there was an odd electrical burning smell. He stopped in his tracks and went 'this is what 9/11 smelled like.'"

– mantistoboggan287

I didn't physically witness the fall of the World Trade Center but I was living in New York City at the time.

However, I did see the smoke.

I was living up north in Washington Heights at the time and knowing what happened, uncertain of what was to come, and seeing the plumes of smoke from the attack site was the most ominous sight I've ever seen in my life to date.

Have you ever lived through a historic moment or witnessed something sure to be noted in history books? Let us know in the comments below.

man in business suit standing near the stairs
Hunters Race on Unsplash

A job search is not fun, so most people will tolerate a lot to keep a job.

But everyone has their limit.

Sometimes that limit is reached right in the middle of a work day and people are forced to walk off the job with no prior notice.

Keep reading...Show less
groom in gray suit kissing bride in white dress

Many weddings involve months of planning and thousands of dollars.

But the one guarantee in life is that poo happens and weddings are not immune to sh*t storms.

Natural disasters, unexpected illnesses, accidents or animosity can derail even the best laid wedding plans.

Keep reading...Show less

When I was in seventh grade, I had aspirations to be a poet. I made a Mother's Day card for my mom with a cute (but now, cringe-worthy) poem inside, and a hand-drawn picture of a rose that took me hours to perfect.

A friend saw the card and said they wished they could do the same. Then suddenly, she asked if she could buy the card from me. I said no, since I needed to give it to my own mother, but I said I could make her a copy. From there, my friend got the idea for me to make copies of the card to sell. I went along with it, mostly because I didn't think it would actually work.

Turns out, it did. After making sure people would actually be interested, we went to the library after school and made several color copies of my card for 10 cents each. The next day, we sold each card for $1. Not only did we make enough money so that my friend and I could both afford to get our moms an actual present in addition to the card, but we had enough leftover to put us over the top for the money we needed to buy the matching faux leather jackets we'd been wanting all year.

The next year, many people who bought cards asked me to do it again, so I did. Once again, we made a killing. We didn't try to do it again once we got to high school, but it was definitely fun while it lasted.

When we tell people this story, they think it's a pretty crazy money-making scheme. Maybe it is, but we're not the only ones who ever did anything like this. Redditors know all about crazy money-making schemes, and are eager to share their own stories.

It all started when Redditor primeiro23 asked:

"What are the craziest ways you’ve heard of people making money?"

Tumble Into Business

"In college, I take a class on how to start & run a small business. Prof tells us to think of ridiculous business models for our fictitious businesses as we will get more out of the class that way. Stupid ideas ensue. Selling paperclips door to door, refilling car gasoline tanks in people's driveways, service to read & summarize the newspaper to executives etc."

"One classmate decides he is going to sell tumbleweed."

"Guess who quits college and started a successful business? Tumbleweed guy. Takes a van to the desert, collects tumbleweed and sells them to Hollywood movie & TV studios who need them. Keeps the tumbleweed in a warehouse and since they never spoil, his only costs are gasoline, storage & a website. He eventually becomes the number one tumbleweed provider to studios around the world, shipping tumbleweed globally."

"Made a heap of money selling what millions of people drive by and ignore every year."

– Accomplished-Fig745


"I did have a job reading and summarizing newspaper articles to the boss. Literally only task I was hired for."

– Draigdwi

"An actual union job in the film industry is reading scripts and summarizing them in short mean book reports."

– Trixiebees


"Heard of crazier, but a guy I know, friend of my mother's, went to Texas 30+ years ago. (we are from Norway), and he noticed every single garden had a trampoline. And it was almost always "jump king" - the circular with blue mat ones."

"So he went to the HQ, bought 10 and took back to Norway. Within days they were sold, and he ordered 50 more, same thing. So he became the only importer and has God knows how many millions to his name today."

– alexdaland

"This IS wild. I went to Norway recently and one of the first things I noticed was that almost EVERY yard had a trampoline in it."

– TrulyMadlyCheaply

Working For A Home

"Back when Dogecoin took off I wrote a guide on recovering old lost wallets and it got so popular I was flooded with requests for further help. Some corrupted wallet files, some lost passwords, etc."

"I have a background in computer science and experience in data retrieval and password cracking, so I started helping people in exchange for a percentage cut (industry standard for wallet recovery). All above board with a contract and everything."

"For a while I was getting new clients every week and making hundreds up to thousands of dollars on every successful recovery (with a fairly good rate of success). The biggest one I ever recovered was a 19 letter long password someone had lost. The work dried up when the price of doge dropped but it got me the down-payment on a house."

– internetpillows

Horsing Around

"A cabbie in Dublin once told me a story about one of his fares who had a brilliant hustle."

"The guy was a sculptor. He would watch horse races, then when a horse won, he'd use social media to contact the owner directly with a digital mockup of a life-sized sculpture of the winning horse. Now, the people who own winning racehorses tend to be very rich - we're talking sheikhs, oligarchs, billionaires. Every now and again, one of these owners would bite, and spend €100,000 euros or so on a statue commemorating their animal's win."

"Dude only did a couple a year, and spent the rest of the time living the good life."

– escoterica


"Richest guy in a rich town near us makes enormous amounts of money buying Hershey bars and rewrapping them with customised retirement celebration designs or corporate logos to be given away at events. Literally just rewraps them in pieces of paper and doubles or triples his money."

"Every time I try to start a company or invent a better product or something, I ask myself why I’m not just rewrapping candy bars."

– perchance2cream

"F**k man, I think I found my new niche."

– LibertyPrimeIsASage

Slightly Used

"I went to college in a capitol C college town. A friend of mine bought an old school bus, fixed it up and took out all the seats."

"At the end of every semester she would drive around the neighborhood that was the fancier side of off campus living and collect whatever the rich kids were throwing out before they moved / went home for the summer. Flat screen TVs, couches, computers, tables, it was wild to see what people would chuck out and replace the next semester rather than having to deal with getting a storage unit or moving themselves."

"Sold it all on Craigslist over the summer or the beginning of the next semester and made a killing."

– sam_neil

Credit Where Credit Is Undue

"When I worked in a really busy, upscale restaurant my coworker would put all of his cash-paying customer’s bills on his credit card and keep the cash which he used to promptly pay off his credit card."

"He did this all day, every day for quite a while and the points started to add up and he was getting free airfare, etc."

"Worked great for a while until management notice a rise in credit card processing fees with an emphasis on one employee and they shut him down real quick."

– blinkysmurf

We Found Gold!

"My buddy worked his way through college by panning for gold. This was in 2009 in California. Most days he made nothing, occasionally he would come home with a couple hundred bucks worth and I think once he found a night worth over $1k."

– discostud1515

"My cousin had a metal detector when he was in HS. He would go every weekend down to the lake and take it with him on vacation. He found all kinds of things. He did find gold jewelry and would sell it online. He made so much money he bought his own car."

– Content_Pool_1391

Sleeping For The Job

"I knew a woman whose job was literally to sleep."

"A local office building owner wanted somebody on-site 24/7 to be the point of contact with first responders if they ever needed to be called. So they hired her to come in to the building in the evening when the maintenance crew was finishing their work. And she would settle up to sleep for the night in a bedroom they'd set aside for her. In the morning she'd hand the building back over to the office employees and go on about her day."

"No first responders were ever called. It's about the least stressful legitimate job I could ever imagine."

– CaptainTime5556

The Secret

"Back in the 90s, I knew a guy who put an ad in the classified section of the newspaper which read something along the lines of, “For $10, I’ll tell you my secret to making easy money. Send $10 cash to (address) to find out how.” People would send him $10 & he would then instruct them to put a classified ad in the newspaper telling people to send $10 & how to make money."

– freudianfalls

Accident Payment

"I was pushed down the stairs by a teen girl who told me to "pay attention and get out of her way" i ripped my dress during the fall and was getting back up when some guy rushed up to me, apologized for his daughter and handed me $500 as compensation."

– thebrilliantcounc

"LOL - years back, I was in a parking lot during a snowstorm. A guy was trying to pull around me, slid on the snow/ice and hit into my passenger side door. It really and truly was an accident. He was all apologies. We exchanged info - he said to get a quote and he would pay for the damage."

"Well, the car I was driving at the time was a crappy old Ford worth maybe $500. But, I went to a body shop, got a quote on the repair and it was $900. I faxed it to him (this was back in the 90's, LOL) thinking he'd tell me to go through the insurance company and just have the car totaled out."

"To my surprise, I had a bank check for $900 from him in my mailbox three days later. Now, I already owned another car, so I pocketed the $900, sold the smashed car for parts for $300 and ended up with $1200 on a car that was worth only $500 before the accident. I was very glad that he ran into me!"

– Deleted User

Only Feet

"I have a friend who sells pictures of her feet. In heels. Barefoot squishing cake. In mud. She charges extra for special requests. Has strict ‘no go’ rules. Never shows anything above the calf so she can’t be identified (no tats). All proceeds go to her kid’s college fund. Has made enough to fund a PhD."

– NotACrazyCatLadyx2

The things people do for money! But, I guess it works for her!