For a time as a child, you're essentially powerless and beheld to your parents whims and feelings, some of which are not all that charitable.
For example. Your parents are unhappy with the service at a restaurant. They yell at the waitstaff and then demand to speak to a manager. You're forced to sit there while they continue to yell, yell, yell. Yet you can do absolutely nothing.
Here were some of those answers.
My mom is very I-want-to-talk-to-your-manager. She complains about stuff and treats service workers poorly because she sees them as beneath her. She doesn't demand free stuff, and usually doesn't ask for discounts, but she definitely complains about EVERYTHING. Like she once nearly made a phone store employee cry because the in-store stock was different from the website and my mom tried to argue with the poor girl and asked where she could lodge a formal complaint.
Anyway. Pretty much from a young age I was embarrassed by her behaviour, because I never saw any other adults behave like that and I knew it wasn't okay and wasn't normal. I stopped going places with my mom because I knew she would just be a jerk and I didn't want to be associated with it. By the time I was a teenager I'd try to slip notes to employees apologising for her behaviour.
From Oil Money To Borrowing Money
After losing her job in oil and gas which paid >$150k a year, I got the pleasure of paying her property taxes while she took out a reverse mortgage to "renovate the ($600k) house for sale," which never happened. The end result was her being $150k in debt with an unsellable house.
Then her BMW broke. Then her Jaguar broke. She refused to look for work outside of her industry for 3 years, then finally picked up some minimum-wage work 3 years ago. The catch was, she needed my (paid-off, Japanese, 4-cylinder economy)car to get to work. I haven't lived with her for 15 years and walk to work, so it was feasible.
This year, she's been laid off and expected that I was going to keep paying her property taxes while driving my car. I told her I won't give her a dime and I'm taking my car back if the house isn't on the market. She acted like a bratty teenager and continues to accuse me of "threatening" her.
I'm looking for a lawyer... ideally I'll sue her for the money she's borrowed, but ultimately I just want her out of my life entirely.
I'm not the child of an entitled parent, but my boyfriend sure is.
His mom is something else, let me tell you. I think the first time I realized I was not going to get along with her, she had taken me and my children to go get McDonald's for everyone.
I already didn't want to go, because I didn't know her well enough to be alone with her for any lengthy amount of time, in my opinion. But went to make my boyfriend happy.
A trip that should have taken, like, twenty minutes tops (she was getting food for 6 people) wound up taking close to an hour.
When we got there, in the drive through no less, she took her sweet time ordering and asking these people all manner of questions about the food. We had everything picked out beforehand, so she spent an extra ten minutes questioning them for just her order alone.
THEN, we get to the window and her card won't work. They tell her that it's their system, not the card. They always have issues with whatever type of card it was she had tried to use.
Now, this woman has all manner of credit cards in her bag. She also always has at LEAST two hundred dollars cash on her. My point being, she could have used a different method of payment. Instead, she makes them run the card, like, six more times. When that doesn't work (and she's been screaming at the poor drive through person the entire time) she pulls up and parks.
Makes me and my kids get out with her because she's acting like a raving lunatic. Says it's because she'll need our help carrying the bags, but it's because she wants an audience.
We go in, and she then proceeds to degrade the kid at the counter. Calls him names. Tells him she's going to call the owner of this particular store because she KNOWS her card will work here and "someone's doing something funny." The whole time, I'm apologizing.
I told my kids to go play so they wouldn't have to witness it. I even offered to pay for the damn food. But she was making such a scene that they just gave her the whole order for free. Like, refused to take my money (probably because she screamed at me for even offering) and told her she had her food, and to leave.
I have hated her ever since.
Isn't It Exhausting To Be So Negative
My parents are fairly relaxed but my paternal grandmother was what's known now as 'a Karen'. I hated being around her. Anywhere we went, she would find a reason to draw attention to us by loudly complaining or criticising everything she could.
Scoffing at merchandise in various shops, scolding employees for things they had no control over, sending food back multiple times in every restaurant, all of that kind of stuff. I've never been that sort myself and even if I'm upset by something, I make it clear to the poor employee that I know it's not their fault in any way. I learned how NOT to behave from her.
Boy, Was My Face Red
Embarrassing. I rarely went with her because I was always mortified, then when I was old enough I would offer to go for her - that really helped. She'd love the opportunity to stay at home while I did the errands.
But oh my god introducing my partner to her was so embarrassing. We went to a fancy seafood restaurant and she orders Pinot Grigio (this place so fancy that they give you the spit bucket for wine). He comes over with the white and she starts screeching "I didn't order THAT! I ordered RED!" and he kind of stutters and it's obvious this poor lad is about to panic.
I'm like "no mum, you definitely said Grigio" (poor boyfriend has no idea what we're talking about because he's not a wine drinker). After insisting she definitely said grigio (me reasoning that I thought to myself "Oh I don't like white so I won't drink tonight" - a lie, I never drink when out with her so I can drive because she always insists on driving home drunk) she accepts her mistake, but doesn't apologise to the waiter who's been awkwardly standing there while we had this discussion. I apologise to him and my mum later says "You know, it's really embarrassing when you apologise for me. You don't have to apologise to them. It's their job!" but I just reminded her that I work in food service so I understand how it feels to be treated like garbage at work and like to make things easier.
It was the most embarrassing thing. I think it's what partially contributed to my social anxiety because she would just make a scene about every little thing. It made me wanna just dissolve into the floor sometimes, I would just cry sometimes too. Like really?
Now it just makes me angry thinking back on it, but I still hate complaining about anything that I could rightfully complain about in public. I refuse to be that person so much that if you give me something completely incorrect at say a Starbucks I will simply smile and walk away with it as if it was the exact thing I ordered. I literally cannot be assertive about it because memories of what my mom was like just come rushing back to me. Ugh.
My mom is fine until she doesn't understand what is going on. She isn't the brightest crayon in the box and will start screaming at the person trying to help her and get really upset. I use to have to call help desks for her cuz if she did it she would yell at them because she didn't understand. I also occasionally had to step in when she got heated. She refuses to believe it's her fault she can't understand simple things. You have to figure out how to phrase it so she understands and the older she gets the worst she gets.
Both of my parents fit into this category. Best example (featuring dad for this one) is that they wanted to have dinner on my birthday and suggested I pick the place. I picked the wrong place apparently, so when we got there my dad screamed at all the employees, demanded a manager and told him how awful the service was, then left to get fast food while I was still eating. On my birthday.
Although my mom thinking that my wife should take second place to her when got married was pretty bad too.
As for what it was like, embarrassing, stressful, and sadly impactful on my ability to form healthy relationships. I vacillated between terrified to speak up for my self and extreme anger at people. It really did a number of my dating relationships for a good long while, and my wife is super awesome to both be patient with me and help me learn healthy ways to express what I want in life...she's awesome!
I knew it was wrong growing up, but when that's all you know from multiple angles it can be quite difficult to define "normal" or to build healthy habits for social interaction. You know many things that are wrong, but don't know what to replace hem with and your emotions often are uncooperative.
You're The Freakin' Worst Dad
You'd do your very best to avoid going out with that parent. My very entitled dad who also happens to be a homophobe, misogynist, and a body shamer always ALWAYS tries to intimidate people whenever things don't go in his favor. There was this one time when I went out to the mall with him because I needed to buy a pair of shoes for work (i'm a fresh grad and that's my first job, i'm still dependent) and he needed to renew a membership card.
The guy who assisted him told him that it takes two weeks for the renewal to be processed and he got really pissed and started assuming that the guy was gay. He walked out then went back immediately and tried to intimidate him with questions like, "What's your name? You new here? I know who to talk to. I'll make sure you'll remember me" and I was just there sitting on a chair pretending that I don't know him.
It Turned Around In Our Favor
I always lived nicely middle class growing up. My dad started his own company and really started making money after us kids moved out. We started having to sign trust papers every year but I didn't really get what that meant. I (finally) got married a few years ago at an older age (43) and my mom went nuts with it! My dad recently admitted they spent $53 grand on it! I was stunned! I am very happy we didn't have that kind of money growing up though. Kept us kids grounded and realistic about life; But it sure is nice now.