Don't worry, Dr. Freud. They're not all about sex.


Not ALL of them.

This piece is based on answers to a Quora question. Link on the last page.

1. I grew up poor in Los Angeles, but not in a poor section of LA. My parents wanted their children to live in a safe neighbourhood with a quality education, so we lived in a middle-class area with upper-middle-class suburbs around it.

They scrimped and saved and did everything possible to afford to live there. We only had one car. We used coupons. Hand-me-down clothes. My dad worked 3 jobs sometimes, and my mom also worked long hours. We had enough to eat, clothes, shoes, beds, the money to pay the bills, and each other. But no more.

One day, I was walking home from school (we never had the luxury of being picked up by a parent) when I saw a man climbing out of a dumpster. I felt so bad for this homeless person . and then recognized him as my dad.

He was going through the trash, gathering aluminum cans to be ultimately turned in to a recycling center in exchange for a small amount of cash.

My dad was sorting through huge amounts of garbage in order to make maybe $20. And I knew he probably did this all the time - I had just never been aware of it before.

I decided right then that I was going to make enough money so that my dad never had to sort through someones trash. The image of my dad climbing out of a dumpster still haunts me.

-Persephone Willard

2. In high school, I worked part time at a burger joint. I busted my rump and worked like a slave during my shifts because I really needed the money for gas, phone bill, etc. I would often come home sweating grease and smelling like a rancid onion.

This particular night (a fricking Friday of course) was absolutely horrid and filled with the usual griping, hateful customers. When the clock hit 10 I hung up my grease stained hat and apron, giving a large mental middle finger to the place, and left.

Now I should note I did not get off any earlier or later than I usually did. (continued...)

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I arrived home at my expected time and sluggishly half-walked half-crawled down the hall towards my bedroom. I had to pass my parents room in order to do this.

Suddenly, I caught an orange blur out of the side of my eye.

I turned to look and-OH GOD!-my dad was buried between my mother's thighs. Lo and behold, her orange socks, high in the air, were the blur that had caught my attention.

I shrieked in surprise and disgust while running like a crazy woman to my bedroom. Now not only was I dead tired and exhausted from a hard day at stomach was threatening to regurgitate its contents.

My mom still denies it to this day. I call her "orange socks" and she gets irritated.


Or, more hilariously, Agent Orange.

-Alexandra Bagale

3. My older brother committed suicide when I was in my late teens; he was 21 at the time.

I periodically visit his memorial; I've been once or twice with other family and my father. Visits tend to be emotional, but the pain clears after some time - different people grieve in different ways.

I hadn't been to my brothers grave for a long time - years. I felt I'd had closure - not forgotten, but forgiven him as it were. I'd moved on, in a way.

One day I was driving past the cemetery and thought I'd go and say hi. I could barely remember what the plaque looked like. As I got closer, I saw someone standing right by where I was heading. I backed off, I thought I'd give them respectful space.

Some time passed, and the person turned - he had a flower in his hand, and he was exiting the area of the garden away from me. I recognized his walk, and I don't know why I hadn't picked up on it sooner. (continued...)

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I guess I just wasn't expecting it or something, but I knew my Dad - it was definitely him. He was too far away, and I didn't want to awkwardly shout out to him. So I called his phone. The distant figure pulled his cellphone out, looked at it, and cut the call.

He put the flowers he had brought in the garbage can, leaned heavily on it and heaved his shoulders. Then, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and walked away.

Nothing in my life has alarmed or disturbed me so much - my father who I love deeply, the pain he feels at the loss of a son. I saw something that day that cut me in two. Defeat? Whatever it was, it was painful for both of us.

We've talked about it - that day in fact. He told me he didn't take my call because he was too raw - sometimes it happens I guess. He's angry sometimes at my brother but more often himself; he feels despondent and worthless sometimes - a father who buried a son.

I wish I never had to see my parents (either of them) like that, ever.

-Jonathan Pashby

4. Im in my final year of studying Electronics and Electrical Engineering and at one of the most well-known and one of the best private colleges in my country.

The fees are quite high, and hard to afford for a middle class family. My dad has no siblings and hes managing all the expenses of our house for our family. My younger sister is in grade 9, and shes a good classical dancer so her costumes are quite expensive.

My dads salary isnt much. He is a government employee and my mom is a housewife. I know it's hard for them to afford my tuition but they never wanted to take a student loan because they dont want me to pay for it my whole life.

Once, I was home on a vacation on a Sunday morning. I saw something which my parents had never told me. (continued...)

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I woke up and was heading towards the washroom (for which I had to go through my parents room) and on the way I saw my mom was doing something with her gold jewelry.

She immediately put all the jewelry back inside the locker when she saw me. 23 days later,while searching for my documents, I found a receipt in a file for several thousand dollars. My parents had sold the jewelry (some of it quite old) to pay my college fees.

They never let me know what they were going through. They just wanted me to see happy and did their best.

I learned a valuable lesson: parents are gods on earth. I love my parents a lot and Im trying to be the best son ever since then.

Our parents do so much for us but sometimes we ignore them. We yell at them for not giving us everything we want. Love and respect your parents. They give up more for you than you can imagine.


5. I was 16 and in bed. My father was prudish but my mother was definitely not.


My bedroom was at the bottom of the stairs that led up to their room. Apparently that evening my mother decided to cheekily flirt with my dad by tossing cold water onto him when he was in the shower. So he got out and chased her up the stairs, trying to hug her while she had her good work clothes on.

Anyways, I was minding my own business with my CD player and headphones on. It was 10:45-11pm. I don't remember how or why, but I heard their bedroom door open above me. My mother was laughing way too hard. (continued...)

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Next thing I knew, my dad came rolling down the stairs and bounced through my door into my room. Naked.


I'm looking in shock and keeping my eyes up at his face as he covers his junk and he yells at ME! He's like, "Amanda! Go to your room! And I was so flustered I just said, "but, daddy! I am in my room!!!"

He got up, careful to keep his butt and privates hidden and he's like, "Good! Go to sleep! I've told you about those headphones. I don't want to see this again."

And I just snarled back "I don't wanna see this again either!"

My mother was about dead by then. Her laughter was silent and shed slid to the floor as my dad did what sounded like the fastest upstairs naked dash of all time.

But that wasn't my first embarrassing encounter with my dad.

Rewind a couple years to when I was 8. My dad was showering. There was opaque glass, so nothing was visible. Therefore, my mum thought it'd be ok to let me in to brush my teeth.


I'm partway through and I hear: "Hey, look at this. What do you think?"

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And I turn around to see my dad's ass pressed against the glass so it was the only part of him visible.

I spit out my toothpaste and said, "I think you need to shave, daddy." He slipped as I rinsed my mouth out.

-Amanda Zawjatunazmul

6/6. I was about 16 years of age when this happened. It was the last week of the month, and a few of our family friends visited us for chit chat after dinner.

When they showed up and said, hey guys, lets go get some ice cream together, my parents said yes very reluctantly and they just then mysteriously went upstairs. I was not sure why this seemed to be a big deal.

After some time, when they hadn't come back downstairs, I went upstairs to look for them. That's when I discovered that they had opened up my piggy bank and were counting money (pennies, coins, some notes).

I was shocked that they had opened my piggy bank and when they saw me standing, they said, "honey, sorry we have to use your money for ice cream now as papa is out of money for the month. We will give it back to you on payday."

For some reason I understood the situation, and they gave me the money to run down to the store to buy some ice cream. I did and we all shared it with the visitors.

I wish I had never seen my parents in that desperate moment, but it also motivated me. I studied very hard and worked tirelessly after that so that my family would never be that poor again.

Today, we're not rich by any means, but we're doing much better. We certainly don't need to raid children's piggy banks!



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