20 People Who Only Realised In Hindsight That Their Parents Were “Completely Insane”

Published 7 months ago

A famous line that our parents used a lot was, “Because I said so.” While there’s a lot we’ve learned about parenting now that our parents just didn’t have access to, there were some instances of extreme behaviours displayed by some parents that may have been way out of line. While the kids didn’t realise it at the time, now that they’re adults they’ve learned to recognise these behaviours as rather unusual in fact. 

Redditor,  J—L  got curious about folks who have personally dealt with such experiences. So they posted on the ‘Entitled Parents‘ subreddit, asking, “What’s something completely insane your parents did that you only understood how messed up it is when you became older?” Hundreds of replies were received and we’ve shared some of the most upvoted in the gallery below. 

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#1

Image source: Eureka05, Laura Chouette

Mine were champions of mixed messages. To the point I still doubt my first instincts, or initial decision, At 47 years old!

They would complain I wasn’t dressing nice enough, for school or other events,, then refuse to let me wear a silk shirt out, as if it was something reserved for the queen. I have snuck out a nice blouse on several occasions.

Dad would tell me there must be something wrong with me because I wasn’t “going out” like other teenagers. Then tell me by going out somewhere when I don’t know everyone, I’m going to get myself raped.

That’s just 2 examples

So I second guess *everything *…. still

#2

Image source: Condensed_Sarcasm, Ayla Verschueren

My dad demanded my sister and I put our dogs outside in a lightning storm to pee with their invisible fence collars on. We didn’t do it and they were in the house when he got home. The storm was even worse at this point.

In response, he put them outside himself, then locked me and my sister in the dogs’ crates in the garage to “show us how the dogs felt” for a few hours.

I’m not losing any sleep about him being gone.

#3

Image source: VixenRoss, Sora Shimazaki

I would get accused of being pregnant at 16. I had heavy periods that would be every 32-35 days instead of 28. She would monitor my period and then accuse me of being pregnant if I didn’t have a period on day 29.

At one point I was anorexic and missed a period and she went mad insisting I was pregnant.

#4

I’m nowhere near the level or even same universe as many here. My mom was just… inattentive. I realize now looking back that she was terribly depressed, so she would often sleep the day away while young me would putter around the house, watch TV, eat cereal for every meal until she’d finally get up just before my dad got home. She still jokes about the time I locked myself in the refrigerator as a toddler and she couldn’t find me for almost an hour. By the time I was 12, we got Internet in our house (this was the late 90s) and I basically just set my own schedule, stayed up all night on chatrooms if I wanted. My room and the computer were on the opposite end of the house so nobody ever bothered me.

They were lucky that I was a “good” kid with crushing anxiety of my own that prevented me from taking advantage of their laissez-faire parenting style because I honestly can’t remember my parents ever… parenting me. Never had hard rules, never had a curfew. I raised myself.

Image source: TrustyBobcat

#5

Image source: HappeeWrite, Mārtiņš Zemlickis

My parents used to strip us naked and lock us out of the house from Friday to Monday morning as punishment. I was in 2nd grade when this started.

They would flip over chairs and have us lay over the backs, and tie our arms and legs to the chairs and beat us with the buckle end of the belt until blood splattered the walls, “so we would bleed for our sins.”

They used to turn the stove on and wait until the burner was red hot and hold our hands JUST above the burners while we sobbed uncontrollably. This only stopped once I passed out a few times and had burns so bad they required ER visits. The Docs asking questions made them stop that.

At age 6 my mom caught her boss touching me and from that point on would SCREAM at me on a daily basis about being a s**t and asking how many d***s did I suck? Regularly. Until I moved out at 14.

Slamming our heads into walls and when we fell, kick us in the head, back, face, ribs until their legs got tired and they would tap out with each other.

When my parents found out my brother used to sexually assault my sister and I from age 7-13 they blamed me for it and cut me out of the family entirely. Despite my brother admitting to it and confessing he sold me to his friends as early as 3rd grade. I still have those texts and read them anytime I miss having a “family” to remind myself they never were that to me. I’m better off alone.

#6

Image source: MerelyWhelmed1, i yunmai

I was never an acceptable weight. If I was 115 pounds, I looked anorexic. If I gained five pounds, I was told my “a*s looked six axe handles wide.” Consequently, I am still unable to tell what I actually look like.

I was also accused of “sleeping with half the Western hemisphere”…before I had even received my first kiss.

#7

Image source: Criticalfluffs, Manuel Will

I would stay up until 3am working for my parents business. When I was 13. And it was a smoking establishment.

I would deliver food to sketchy parts of town by myself. As a 16 year old girl.

My mom started s**t shaming me at 12 for what seemed like everything.

This doesn’t include the physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I didn’t know why but I felt so ashamed even as a kid and I thought it was my fault.

Needless to say, we don’t speak anymore.

#8

Image source: ummmchef, Porapak Apichodilok

They would take my phone when I was a teen and text my friends pretending to be me to intentionally break up friendships. I’m talking 40 year old people texting 13-16 year olds saying they’re worthless and should give up or leave “me” alone. I used to just be mad and think it was a normal adult punishing me because it was their property. Now I look back and think of how much enjoyment they got bullying children and saying the most awful things.

#9

Basically my dad locking me in the house and never letting me leave outside of taking me to school. And sleeping in the same bed as my dad until I was 14. He only let me have my own room when he remarried. And he made me shower with him too.

Image source: Krillins_Shiny_Head

#10

Image source: Snausage-Time, Joshua Hoehne

My parents are Mexican immigrants but my dad became a us citizen along the way anyways. They raised me to cook and clean a was the middle child of two brothers. They always hated when I would focus on school work outside of school and would scream at me to stop. They said women are only good for cooking and cleaning. Currently I’m in school for my masters I’m working as a RN. My two brothers are working customer service jobs and both decided not to go to college after high school.

#11

Image source: dewihafta, Quino Al

My mom giving me the silent treatment if I said something she disliked or did something that pissed her off. Half the time I didnt even know what Id done wrong!

As a mom now, I cant imagine ignoring my kid the way she did me or not outright correcting the issue.

#12

Image source: pizzasauce85, Sincerely Media

Having to eat soap or hot sauce when one of us lied/said a bad word/backtalked. Didn’t matter who did it, I was punished too. And if one of my siblings broke a major rule, I MUST have also done it so would get grounded and lectured, but the sibling that did it would get a minor punishment.

Basically my parents confessed that they thought by showing my siblings that I could be punished, it would deter them from breaking more rules.

#13

Image source: Irondaddy_29, Arina Krasnikova

My mom found Christianity and made us all find it. Secular (non religious) cds got thrown away, we had to have angel television (only religious shows), we were forced to go to church/youth group/and church camp. Reading material was the Bible. We had no choice in the matter and were forced to be religious. If we questioned anything we were going to hell and grounded. Shocking that both my sister and I have zero to do with Christianity. Do not force your beliefs on your children. You can guide them but let them make their own choices. My daughters know I don’t buy into any of that but I told them I will support whatever they believe as long as you don’t use those beliefs to hate others.

#14

My father was absent until I was 11. He returned and my siblings and I went from neglect to extreme abuse.

We weren’t allowed to win anything that involved my father.

Didn’t matter if it was a board game, trivia, or a video game. If you won, he would beat you to prove that, “he really won”. He was shocked and angry that no one wanted to play with him after the first week.

I wasn’t allowed to wear shorts in the house because, “men have urges” and I was “causing a reaction”. I didn’t realize until last year what that meant. I was 13, which makes my skin crawl.

Everything I did was viewed as sexual. His way of telling me goodbye was, “don’t come home with a wet a*s” and that I didn’t need to work because I was “sitting on a gold mine”.

I’m in my late-30s now and I’m still scared that I’m only good for sex. I’ve been working on it for years in therapy but the shame lingers.

Image source: LDubs9876

#15

I had bowel issues from age 2 years to about 8 years of age that required multiple surgeries. I physically couldnt poo due to my colon having issues.
My parents locked me in the toilet room from lunchtime until bedtime once (8.5hrs) to try and force me to do a poo. Of course I couldnt as my body would not allow me to.
They put soap up my bottom and would often bash me to try scare me into pooing. My mother overdosed me on my bowel medications, as she was sick of dealing with my issue.
They treated me as if I was purposely holding onto my poo just to be ‘naughty’.
Looking back now and having my own kids, I realise how messed up their behaviour was. How could they do that to someone they are supposed to love and protect?

Image source: nicoleg58

#16

I never received any recognition for the good things I did. Only greif when I messed up.

As a result, I (now 40) still have trouble recognising when people do or don’t like me. I also have very little confidence in myself. I also struggle with motivation to do things.

Now, my problem is that even though I can see what the problem is, and where it came from, I don’t know what to do with it. I have repeatedly asked the NHS for help, as going private (for therapy) isn’t financially viable. As of now (4 years into asking for help), I have received 6 50 minute sessions, of therapy. Which, in my own words, is like showing up to an earthquake with a dust pan and brush.

Image source: H16HP01N7

#17

My mother got an internship three hours away from where we lived when I was 11 and my sister was 13. My mom moved there temporarily for six months. So every Friday for six months, my dad would put us on a Greyhound bus and we would ride it alone for three hours and my mother would pick us up and then send us home the same way. My sister was in her “cool teenager” phase, so I got to sit with a lot of weird adults for six months who told me their life stories.

As a teacher now, I cannot fathom putting two children alone on a Greyhound bus one time, let alone for six months over and over again.

After my parents got divorced when I was 14, my mother got a promotion on the East coast (we lived in Arizona). She needed to go to three months of training in Virginia before her job actually started. So she left my sister and I alone for three months. And then she came back and we packed up and moved. She never called to check in, she never had friends stop by to check on us. It was up to me to get me and my older sister fed and to school every day.

Great mother. Haven’t spoken to her in almost a decade. I hope she rots.

Image source: Blergsprokopc

#18

Image source: marble-polecat, Michal Balog

Hearing my mom say to me and my older sister she can’t wait for us to grow up and move out the house since I was 7yo. When I finally gained some independene and tried to move out with my bf, she kept nagging for me to delay the move or come visit frequently after I was no longer living in her house. Similarly, as a teen, I would often go visit friends across the country for several days at a time. Kept calling to ask where I was and when I’m coming back, guilt tripping me to not stay long because that was poor guest etiquette(??), even though I was invited. When I finally got back, she and my dad viciously asked when is the soonest I can go away again. Havent spoken to them in two years, best decision ever.

#19

Image source: WifeofBath1984, Bud Helisson

These are probably small things in comparison but the older I get, the more they upset me. They wouldn’t pay for glasses for me even though I literally couldn’t see the blackboard at school. My dad took me for an eye exam and when I was perusing frames afterwards, he came up to me and said “what are you doing? I never said I was buying you glasses” in this aggressive, angry tone. My dad wasn’t usually like that and it still confuses me to do this day. Idk why he was angry at me over needing glasses (which I finally got at 23 when my state insurance actually covered them, which they do not any more and only did so for about a year). I wear glasses 24/7, I obviously needed them. They also would not pay for braces and now my teeth are screwed up. They never taught me how to drive but they did teach my 3 siblings. My dad is a software engineer, he has always made decent money. So it wasn’t bc we couldn’t afford it.

#20

Image source: Philosemen69, Taisiia Shestopal

I was obsessed with buttoning the top button on casual shirts. It felt safer to me to be buttoned up tight, probably because bodily autonomy was non-existent in my family. My mother HATED this habit. It got to the point where whenever she caught me with the top button closed, she would reach in with one finger, hook it behind the button and yank hard enough to pop the button off the shirt. It hurt like hell and usually caused bruises on the back of my neck along with a scratch from her fingernail in front. More than once she had to pull so hard, she backhanded me in the chin when the button finally popped off. She would always say, “That’s one collar you can’t button anymore”.

Now, I can’t stand to have anything around my neck.

Thanks mom, you saved me from walking around with my shirt collar closed.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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health, insane parents, mental health, parenting, poor parenting
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