You can't choose your family.
The sad reality is that many people do not know when they're in a toxic environment until they're introduced to a healthy one. Especially children - kids only know of the small world of their households until they get an opportunity to meet more families.
Redditor u/lalaswee asked people"What made you realize that maybe your family wasn't as normal as it seemed?" and many people shared heartbreaking stories of the moments when they realized their families were abnormal and even unhealthy.
10. As it should be
"some parents actually treat their adopted and biological kids as if they're both their kids entirely and one being adopted just means the dna is different and isn't a factor in their parenting or a topic in any conversation"
9. A talkative dinner
"I was 14 and I was invited to dinner at my boyfriend's house. They were allowed to talk to each other at dinner. And they appeared to be interested in each others' lives."
8. Real life game nights
"That most people weren't afraid of their dads and family movie night or game night wasn't just a thing people made up for movies"
7. This absolutely heartbreaking misunderstanding
"When I was 6 or 7, I was invited to a sleepover and we ruined my friend's mom's make-up and clothes after playing dress-up without her permission. Her mom said, 'Claire, this is the last straw. I've had enough.'
I started packing up my things because I assumed her mom was going to call CPS and Claire was going to a new foster home. I sat on the porch waiting for the cop car, and Claire's mom came out. We had a very confusing conversation and eventually Claire's mom realized that when my mother got very drunk and sad and I tipped her over by refusing dinner or not taking a bath, she would call CPS to bring me back to foster care.
Claire's mom had a very strange facial expression. She explained that she hadn't really meant anything with that sentence, then she took us all out for ice cream."
6. Commitment issues
"When people would ask if we were a military family because of how often we moved. I went to 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 4 high schools. Truth was my mom couldn't commit to a job or a marriage for very long and would start over with zero consideration for the stability of her children."
5. Cruel punishments aren't universal
"When I found out that most people dont receive punishment by being slapped and locked in the garage. I was seven"
4. Not that into "I love you"s.
"I only realised this as an adult: holding in your emotions and releasing them every few months is definitely not normal. My family aren't the most emotional of people even by British standards, we never say 'Love you' to each other."
3. Santa's appetite
"Growing up, I was told, rather than milk and cookies, to leave out a ham sandwich and a six pack of Busch Light for Santa."
2. Family addictions
"When I realised we were all addicted to my mother's pain killers. I still remember the first time at 16 finding out what opiate withdrawls were. I couldn't go to school without hydrocodone/oxycodone, Xanax and soma everyday. It made me the kid I wanted to be confident and social everything I wasn't normaly. Yet we looked like the perfect upper middle class family untill we weren't anymore. Still dealing with the consequences of the shit at 31 years old on suboxone."
1. Mom's not that mature
"I just stumbled across a book last night and discovered my mom is textbook emotionally immature. It was surreal to read, suddenly my childhood and our current relationship makes sense."
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