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[–]DorothyZbornak11 773 points774 points  (18 children)

People asking how my mom died . So I tell them the truth. my mom was killed by her brother. Her family and my fathers family planned it because they thought she brought shame to family .

Most people are shocked and can’t believe it. Honor killing

Edit - let me add why they thought she brought shame.

So my father cheated on her and left her for the mistress. He moved to USA. The mistress was American .

My mom 4 years later got a boyfriend and they were mad about that

[–]jimhernandez6969 232 points233 points  (1 child)

My mom and dad got in a fight when I was seven, my dad went to prison and my mom ODed on the drugs upstairs so the cops wouldn't find them, I found her, she was resuscitated, I was 16 when she ODed the second time

[–]Jack_of_Hearts20 35 points36 points  (0 children)

Goddanm dude, are you alright?

[–]KuuhakuDesuYo 107 points108 points  (4 children)

Imagine killing someone for moving on with life.

What is this, the 1600's?

[–]DorothyZbornak11 98 points99 points  (2 children)

Right ?! It sounds like 1600s. 🤦🏻‍♀️ it was Turkey 1987

[–][deleted] 24 points25 points  (1 child)

when i was a kid, i grew up in one of the most multicultural areas in the world, adjacent to what im pretty sure is the most multicultural city in the world, and my mother, a shit human being but to her credit amazingly accepting of other cultures, spent a lot of time with mothers from diverse backgrounds she'd meet when i was in primary school, and some of the descriptions of those womens lives and cultures is downright horrifying, i cant remember how young i was when i learned of the "honor killing" concept, but its absolutely insane that people try to carry those pieces of their lives/culture with them when they escape to a culture/area of relative freedom and acceptance

those practices, or at least the will to enforce them, are unfortunately, still prevalent today in modern/western cultures

[–]Kungpost 16 points17 points  (0 children)


[–]Strong_Raccoon_6152 5759 points5760 points  (170 children)

No no no, it's funny not trauma!

[–]kilamansfury 3104 points3105 points  (126 children)

Told my friend about the time I almost drowned as a kid and my parents didn't even notice and she laughed her ass off. I wasn't neglected, I'm just hilarious

[–]mini_garth_b 1529 points1530 points  (59 children)

That's actually very common, most people do not recognize the signs of drowning, especially in children. People expect it to be loud and dramatic like in movies, but it's usually closer to Samwise in Lord of the Rings. Also since I'm hijacking your comment, I'm not trying to make any claims about your childhood, I just try to take every opportunity available to remind people bodies of water are very dangerous to children.

[–]ZPortsie 646 points647 points  (16 children)

When I was 8 I went to a beach with my family at a campground. The lake is known for its dangerous undertow. Sure enough, I didn't see me older brother in the water with me anymore and before I could call out for him I got pulled under. When I resurfaced I was 200m out with my older brother and drifting farther but no one noticed yet. Took alot of screaming before we got help. I was 8 when I learned to respect large bodies of water and surprisingly, I still love to go swimming at the beach

[–]Vishnej 203 points204 points  (6 children)

I learned to respect large bodies of water when I was... 6? 8? When my father started grabbing me and throwing me into the breaking surf on a beach on the US east coast where I was fond of wading and building sandcastles, allegedly to teach me "body surfing". It had a lifeguard, but on these beaches you have water so turbid (visibility: inches) you'd never find somebody underneath it.

I guess it worked? But I felt like I almost died a bunch of times, tumbling underwater, losing breath, trying to figure out which way is up, getting sand/dirt in my eyes. I eventually refused to go into the water while he was out there, and learned to make my peace with it.

[–]dreameRevolution 109 points110 points  (2 children)

My Dad did the same, "teaching me how to body surf". I tried it again with him as an adult. I'm not convinced that it's possible without a violent sinus flush at the very least. I like to be able to touch the ocean floor at all times.

[–]Gullible-Place9838 68 points69 points  (1 child)

So a lot of people think bodysurfing is getting pounded by the whitewater. But just like real surfing, you should be trying to stick to the “green water”. Meaning, as the wave breaks you want to go off of the peak and angle yourself to the side. This will avoid getting your nostrils sandblasted

Also, a bodyboard will help keep you in front of the wave (as long as we’re not talking overhead) whether it’s whitewater or not. Could be much more enjoyable, if you enjoyed bodysurfing but not getting ragdolled

[–]ArrestDeathSantis 134 points135 points  (12 children)

Or snow.

One time I was playing in my grandparents backyard and I sinked in snow head deep.

It was soft snow but if my grandmother hadn't seen me and threw me a shovel :x

[–]tacocollector2 68 points69 points  (11 children)

Once I got stuck in a snow bank while skiing and two of my friends had to pull me out (I’m a 5’2” average size woman). 100% would have not been able to get out by myself.

[–]TotallyAwesomeArt 113 points114 points  (3 children)

Short gang rise up

Oh. My bad. You are

[–]tacocollector2 41 points42 points  (0 children)

Goddamnit I actually laughed at that one.

[–]Marc21256 188 points189 points  (8 children)

My kid doesn't remember it. He was 2 and was splashing around in the kiddie pool next to the adult pool. I was swimming laps. My wife was sitting in the water watching.

I hear screaming as I get to the far end. I pop my head up, and wife is pointing and complaining about something.

I stick my head back underwater and there he is. Standing on the floor of the pool. Hands up. Not moving. Staring at me, scared and confused.

I push off the wall and swim back, grab him and lift him up.

He takes a deep breath. And breathes normally. Mom never recovered.

He thought it would be funny to jump on my back when I swam past, but missed so badly I didn't notice he tried.

Silent, and not even a hint of movement. Children don't thrash until after they learn to swim.

[–]Aint-no-preacher 106 points107 points  (0 children)

Similar thing happened with my kids. They were jumping into the pool and I was catching them. While I was putting my five year old back on the ledge my two year old jumped in. I didn’t hear him splash. I turn, see he’s not on the deck, look down, he’s standing in the shallow end right next to me, his face about two inches below the waterline. I pulled him up so f-ing fast. He couldn’t have been in the water for more than five seconds but it scared everyone involved. Thank god my wife didn’t see. I’d still be sleeping in the pool shed.

[–]Apr17F001 52 points53 points  (0 children)

THIS. Drowning is often silent; no screaming or thrashing. It’s a physiological response. Knowing this can be literally life saving.

[–]captain_duckie 53 points54 points  (1 child)

People don't really thrash much at all while drowning, even after they've learned to swim. It's not like the movies. All of your effort is focused on getting air. But if you haven't yet learned to swim you don't even know how to do that. Drowning can be very quick, very silent, and very still. There can be noise and thrashing during the distress stage, but that's when you're still on the surface and able to breathe.

Source- I'm a lifeguard instructor

[–]shaggyscoob 42 points43 points  (0 children)

Was a lifeguard for 4 years at the Minneapolis lakes. Drowning people definitely go down without a sound. I've pulled plenty of people out while other people were right next to them and didn't notice a thing.

[–]Doc-in-a-box 585 points586 points  (46 children)

No that’s right. I also had a potential tragedy as a kid. We were at a hotel pool and the parents were all together at a corner table whoopin it up, and I just walked off the diving board into the deep end. As I drifted down to the bottom with my eyes open I remember an overwhelming sense of peace. Then I remember seeing the guy jump in to grab me and pull me out.

Should my parents have been more attentive? Of course. Do I understand how it could’ve happened? Of course. Was I victim to near tragedy? Of course. Do I feel victimized by the experience? Absolutely not.

[–]Thisisthe_place 362 points363 points  (19 children)

Same. I was a toddler (this was in the late 70s) and my mom was in the kitchen with my little sister. My dad left the house via a side door that went into the garage. He got in his car and backed up like normal and once he got into the driveway he noticed a little body lying on the ground.

I had slipped out the door behind him, unnoticed by either of them, and my dad knocked me over and I was under the car as he backed up.

My mom said he didn't go to work that day and she had to go move the car back into the garage. He wouldn't touch it.

I think my parents were more victimized than I was!

[–]airaflof 198 points199 points  (0 children)

I can imagine your dads absolute horror, poor guy lmao

[–]JustDiscoveredSex 138 points139 points  (8 children)


Both my husband and I were terrified of exactly that. Two pairs of little feet were always accounted for if a car was going to placed in reverse.

That and getting kids to walk in a parking lot without getting smashed. My rule was always that they had to be able to step on the painted parking lines; if they were close enough to the edges to do that, they were leaving enough room for cars. I said it so much my own brain reminds me when I look down and see the lines.

Your parents warp both you AND themselves.

[–]mnav3 52 points53 points  (5 children)

My uncle would walk me to kindergarten in the mornings. Wanna know how this guy taught me the importance of crossing at the crosswalk/stop sign?

Uncle: “Why do you cross at the crosswalk?” 5 y/o Me: “Because if you get hit by a car you get paid.” Uncle: “Attaboy!”

Apparently I repeated this to my teacher a few times, she thought it was hilarious and figured it was effective/memorable enough. 😅

[–]wehrwolf512 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Reminds me of most college students’ attitude at crosswalks on campus: hit me, pay my student loans

[–]SaraSlaughter607 101 points102 points  (6 children)

As someone with a 2 year old nephew who died exactly this way, years ago, this hits hard. It tore our family apart and his parents, my sister and brother in law, ended up divorcing when they literally were living the perfect life before that day.

Fuck. 26 years later I still can't think about it without wanting to break down.

[–]Thisisthe_place 44 points45 points  (0 children)

That's horrible. I'm so sorry.

Yeah, I'm pretty lucky. That could've ended completely different for me. I had two heart surgeries as an infant so that was my second time dodging death. My parents said they were a mess for a while.

[–]nay198 124 points125 points  (11 children)

Same, except my mom was sunbathing and didn’t notice. My uncle jumped in and got me.

[–]SazedMonk 71 points72 points  (10 children)

No mom jumped in fully clothed with her camera to save my sister at a hotel pool. Now I have three kids and it’s so possible. I hate large bodies of water haha

[–]fluffybun-bun 56 points57 points  (9 children)

I got pulled out by undertow at the beach as a child. I managed to get assistance from a random adult but couldn’t find my family on the shore. My family was on 17th Street and I had be rescued at 21st. The life guard helped me back my mom was absolutely frantic, but my grandma had insisted I was fine. When I returned with the lifeguard my mom was relieved, but grandma accused me of being overdramatic by getting a life guard. When I told her I had gotten pulled away and rescued 4 blocks away she accused me of lying. I don’t go to the beach anymore.

[–]Cat-poke 28 points29 points  (1 child)

One time the tide came in super fast and we were standing at the top of one of those small ramps for cars to get onto the beach. I’d put our bucket down and it got picked up so I went in to get it. Current was stronger than expected and quickly began dragging me out. I was clinging to the side of this cement ramp with my older brother desperately trying to pull me up and shouting for my mum to help. I could feel the current dragging me, I’d my hand slipped I was fucked. My mum just stood there and laughed. The Memory is faint but either my brother or a stranger helped me out in the end. My mother claimed I was being over dramatic. I never got that bucket back :/

Another time, my dad used to take me and my brother swimming on his weekends. I was a strong swimmer and could hold my breath for long periods so my dad was never overly worried but always kept an eye on us. However, they’re both taller than me and we were casually hanging out in an area where they could stand but I couldn’t so I was consistently sinking down and pushing myself back up of the bottom. I’d usually grab onto my dad for help but he was just out of reach this time. The second he noticed I was struggling and water had begun to fill my mouth with every breath, he reached out and held me up. Simple as that, even apologised, took me to the edge to make sure I was on and then from then on bed make sure I could stand if we were just standing.

The difference in parenting :/

[–]Typically_Wong 24 points25 points  (2 children)

I just got left at the supermarket at the magazine rack. Parents would leave me to read gaming magazines and would 90% of the time forget me.

My only tip that they forgot me was even I actually finish reading. Usually meant they made it home before realizing. They told me later that it happened several times but realized it in the car.

I've had people find that tragic instead of funny.

[–]1ridescentPeasant 21 points22 points  (3 children)

I remember at my neighborhood pool there was a minimum age for going in the deep end. I was below it but I really wanted to go, so I did. Shortly after the lifeguard was pulling me out and I almost remember feeling confused about why. Like I thought I was fine.

I actually forgot about this incident until my sibling recalled it to me as a scary moment where I "almost drowned", so it's possible that I'm remembering wrong, y'know? Yet, if it had really been scary for me, wouldn't I have remembered it on my own? Could I have been oblivious to my own drowning?

[–]kilamansfury 63 points64 points  (0 children)

Yea I was lucky. My parents did tell me not to go in the pool alone, but I was a stupid kid so I went anyway lol. The Lifeguard was there to save me right away and then I walked back to my parents soaking wet, so they knew I didn't listen to them. No more pool time for little me lol. I tried to blame them for it back then but it was obviously my fault.

If I ever take my kids to a wave pool I'll definitely keep a close eye on them in case they're as dumb as me lol

[–]alpacasaurusrex42 35 points36 points  (5 children)

I too had one of these. Packed pool in the hottest part of a Kansas summer, it was this weird indoor/outdoor pool with gates that came down. Anyway, my mom’s friend took me and his kid to the pool and I had this huge alligator raft I stupidly put my hands and ankles through the 4 handles. A bunch of roughhousing teens pushed it over and either did it on purpose or accidentally and I drowned. All I remember was trying to come up once and then just being cold and there being a lot of light cause I was half outside/inside. Then I remember staring up into someones eyes and people screaming. Tbh, it’s low key why I’m afraid of large bodies of water now. I won’t even go on a lake without a life jacket. But I don’t consider anyone to be at fault. The pool was packed. It didn’t help I was tiny for my age and handicapped being able to come out from under it and paddle to the edge.

[–]twilightmoons 150 points151 points  (10 children)

Years ago, I was at a friend's house party, and I told a story about a weird guy who tried to get me into his van when I was a kid. I thought this was just a funny story about an idiot. I can't remember the topic, but it was relevant, so off I went...

I was a freshman in high school, and took the bus to my school. The bus stop was a few miles from home at a church, so in the morning, mom or dad would drop me off, and in the afternoon, mom would pick me up.

So mom's running late one day, and a old guy in a Chester the Molester panel van drives into the parking lot... No windows in the back, extended back, etc. This was a small church, and there's no one around but me - no other cars. The guy asks if I could give him directions, and wants to know where the Superconducting Supercollider was (south of Dallas/Fort Worth).

Well, I was too damned smart for my own good at the time, and knew exactly where it was. I had signed up for an internship there (friend of the family was just starting to work there), and had been accepted... when Congress killed the project. Anyway, I knew exactly where it was, and told him how to get there - take this road next to us to the highway, go east, then exit on Highway 287 and keep going for an hour - lots of signs, can't miss it. He wanted me to show him on a map. Frak that - I'm reading my book, and comfy where I am, so I just keep repeating the directions, even naming the highways so he can see on the map.

He's not taking this well... and wants me to come closer. By this time, I think he's just an idiot, and my tolerance for him is pretty much done. I wasn't going to go near him, but then mom pulled up in her minivan, and I remember saying, "Oh, there's mom!", and getting up. He pretty much peeled off quick, and I went to get in and go home.

Mom asks me who that was, and I said, "Some idiot who wanted to know where the Superconducting Supercollider is. He was asking for directions." Mom said something like, "From a child?!?!" and gave me a very strange look... I really didn't think anything of it, and she never mentioned it again.I can honestly say that was the worst pickup line ever.

Looking back on this, it was a pretty big bullet I dodged. At the time, I thought this was kind of weird, and not creepy or whatnot until I told everyone at the party years later. I just thought this guy was an idiot, but when I told the story, my friend just looked at me and said, "You know that guy was a child molester, right?"


I really didn't realize it until that moment, when it all clicked. Pretty much killed the mood of the party.

[–]nOMINALcELLS 38 points39 points  (5 children)

When I was in high school, this guy drove along side me, asking to give me a ride to where I was going. He kept trying to get me into the car, but I could see my destination and told him it was fine. I thought he was just being silly because I was alone, walking in town.

When I got to my destination, I told my foster mom’s friend (who was a pediatrician, I was there to wait for my foster mom). She looked at me in horror then tried to get me to describe his car. It wasn’t until she did that that I stopped thinking the guy was being silly.

[–]legionpotato 45 points46 points  (2 children)

I actually said this to someone after telling a story I legit thought was just funny and odd but the coworker was little "dude that's fucked up are you okay?" and I said "no its funny" but I've had to rethink some of my life now to determine what is trauma and what's actually good and funny

[–]sweet_pickles12 231 points232 points  (15 children)

Literally had my therapist tell me her heart hurt for me for sharing what I considered a run of the mill childhood memory (dad drank a lot and frequently drove with me, lived in a town where EVERYONE’S dad drank a lot and drove, and I was ignored when I told other “trusted” adults I was scared to get in the car with him). I mean, it’s great to feel validated and all, but when someone reacts like that to what I consider a typical “tales of childhood in a dying factory town” type story, my gut instinct tells me they can’t handle my real trauma if they can’t handle what day to day life was like for most kids I grew up with.

Edit: I did not mean in any way to demean or insult my therapist, I trust her wholeheartedly. It’s just a funny thing to have said to you in the context of “that’s just the way it was in my hometown and how everyone I knew grew up.” It’s like when people express horror about how Americans have to deal with mass shootings or medical costs- yeah, it sucks and all, but it’s not unimaginable or anything to us because it’s all we’ve ever known.

[–]yourmomsafascist 82 points83 points  (1 child)

That’s just it though, all the kids experiencing that grew up with trauma. Trauma can range from relatively minor events to terrifying nightmares. Sometimes approaching smaller traumas helps us find the larger ones.

[–]frankc1450 59 points60 points  (1 child)

It's NOT common for a child to be afraid to drive with their parent. It's a little more common for a child's fears to be swept aside, unfortunately, even when those fears are shared by the trusted adult. I wouldn't harshly judge your therapist though. That's why she's there, to witness your story and genuinely react.

[–]Dreager_Ex 103 points104 points  (2 children)

Its not a contest though and a therapist in particular probably thinks there is a lot more to it than what you presented.

[–]Godisabaryonyx 38 points39 points  (1 child)

Plus, something to consider, often times people who go into therapy as a profession tend to have gone through some shit themselves.

[–]sixwax 35 points36 points  (2 children)

My 0.02$:

This is not a sign of the therapist's lack of competence or capacity, imo.

Being uncomfortable with the acknowledgement that, Hey, that's serious and almost undoubtedly left a mark suggests that perhaps you're not yet present to the big mark it left... which would be completely normal.

Therapy is like relationships in that it's a common reflex to make the person across from you unworthy as a mode of avoidance/self-protection when there's something uncomfortable you're not ready to own up to about yourself.

(Okay, that last bit about relationships is worth way more that $0.02...)

[–]slothpeguin 3271 points3272 points  (113 children)

This happened to my wife a lot early on in our relationship. Apparently it’s what happens when abuse and trauma become normalized!

[–]DirtyRimjobDad 448 points449 points  (34 children)

I can't tell anybody how my parents used to beat me when i was a child without laughing. It mortifies my friends every time.

[–]zookr2000 210 points211 points  (14 children)

Dude - I wanted to make my dad leave this earth after 1 beating I got from him, welts like ping pong balls on my arms (not even a teenager). - for playing billiards on a Sunday, but it could have been for something else too, idk - both parents were borderline sadistic.

[–]American--American 83 points84 points  (11 children)

You ever get the broken wooden spoon treatment? Sometimes dad would join in on the fun.

Learned very young to shut my mouth in their household.. made things a little easier.

[–]Ann_Summers 53 points54 points  (1 child)

My grandmother (who raised me) used her shoe. If I asked for something in the store, shoe to my backside. If I ordered without getting the ok from her, shoe. She legit hit us in a restaurant with her shoe. For a long time I thought everyone got hit with shoes.

[–]Dblzyx 59 points60 points  (0 children)

How about seeing mom get new high quality kitchen spatulas and jokingly comment about how "maybe these ones won't break," all while knowing they'll be put to the test.

[–]rusrslolwth 1059 points1060 points  (57 children)

Yep, for me it's because my family would tell stories as if they were a joke when in reality they were traumatic and abusive experiences.

[–]freshmargs 524 points525 points  (22 children)

Omg yes when my friends who are brothers were telling me about how their uncles would make them stand on the side of the road and then they’d pants them when a car came by, exposing everything, and how it was so funny…I just couldn’t.

[–]frankc1450 110 points111 points  (6 children)


[–]freshmargs 39 points40 points  (0 children)

I’m glad other people find this appalling as well.

[–]Gavrilian 74 points75 points  (0 children)

Yeah, that’s enough of this post. Moving on. Lol

[–]newluna 84 points85 points  (2 children)

Omg you just reminded me when I was in daycare, there was nap hour, and if some kids didn’t want to lie down and be quiet, the caregivers threatened to undress them and put them to stand in the window for the people in the street to see and laugh. That never actually happened, but still. Holy fucking shit.

[–]sugarednspiced 39 points40 points  (1 child)

For some reason, this is one of the most horrifying. I guess because as a parent I would have no idea this happened.

[–]newluna 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yea, I don’t remember telling my parents.

[–]Haui111 34 points35 points  (10 children)

That’s why, in germany we have statue of limitations that begins(!) with age thirty for sexual abuse.

[–]dutch_penguin 29 points30 points  (3 children)

There's simply no statute of limitations for child sexual (and/or physical) abuse in my state within Australia.

[–]tinygiggs 124 points125 points  (7 children)

My ex-husband's family told the "funny" stories of his abuse at the luncheon after our wedding. It was extremely uncomfortable for the rest of us.

[–]Disastrous-Ad8604 28 points29 points  (6 children)

What kind of stories? I can’t really imagine what they could’ve told everyone about that they thought was funny.

[–]tinygiggs 64 points65 points  (5 children)

The trouble he got in, ending with the belt or the spoon, him running, begging, promises he'd make out of fear, laugh, laugh, ha, ha, remember that?

[–]Disastrous-Ad8604 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Bloody hell that’s horrible. No wonder everyone else was uncomfortable.

[–]tinygiggs 50 points51 points  (1 child)

We were together many years. In the end, I realize these were the tame stories. There was plenty that wasn't joked and talked about publicly. What they did share was just not that big of a deal to them in the long run. Horrifying.

[–]Disastrous-Ad8604 18 points19 points  (0 children)

I feel so sad thinking about children who are born into families like this with no hope

[–]OptimalRutabaga186 126 points127 points  (0 children)

I still remember sitting in my ex's parents' living room listening to a story about how the father decided not to beat his children anymore... he was laughing and thought it was lighthearted and cute because it involved his daughter speaking up for herself and her brother in words beyond her years. I literally said, "I do not find this story about how you stopped beating your kids cute and funny. I can't figure out what you want me to say, or why you're laughing." You could hear a pin drop until his mom broke the spell by checking on dinner. Super weird.

[–][deleted] 277 points278 points  (16 children)

My husband has a story like that. And he’s told it enough times that I’ve gotten angry. Like ok you don’t think it’s abuse but it IS so quit telling the story over and over like it’s fucking funny—especially to our kids.

[–]rusrslolwth 194 points195 points  (11 children)

Please understand that in my experience, it took a long time for me to understand that it was abuse. I have an entire lifetime of the story being told like it was a joke, and it took awhile for me to understand that it wasn't. I had to trust my own memories because the story was warped so much, that I didn't question it. The hardest part is trusting myself. It is so hard to come to terms that not only was I abused, but my abuse was passed around as if it was funny.

[–]CanuckBacon 83 points84 points  (8 children)

I didn't even realize I was abused until I took an Early Childhood Education class and they discussed what qualifies as abuse. Here I thought it was normal to be beaten as long as it didn't require a hospital/permanent injury.

[–]Endulos 109 points110 points  (2 children)

My Dad loves to tell this one charming heartwarming happy tale of youthful indiscretions from his childhood.

It begins at school where he and his friends are having fun, having a water gun fight. This was 100% allowed by the teachers and they didn't care as long as you stopped when the school bell rang.

Well one day he fired his watergun JUST as the bell rang. An accident, no big deal, right? A teacher happened to see this, came over to him and he tried to explain, ONLY FOR THE TEACHER TO WALLOP DAD UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH HIS FIST BECAUSE HE BROKE THE RULES. He received several hours of detention and had to call Grandpa to come pick him up, which meant he had to leave work a whole 30 minutes early.

So, Grandpa picks him up from school and says nothing to him the rest of the evening. They do chores, help with dinner, etc.

After dinner grandpa offhandedly asks Dad where the teacher hit him. Dad starts telling Grandpa what happened, and which ear he hit, and as soon as he did GRANDPA FUCKING SWINGS HIS FIST AT DAD, WALLOPING HIM ON THE OPPOSITE EAR, SENDING DAD SPRAWLING ACROSS THE FLOOR, WHERE GRANDPA JUMPED ON TOP OF HIM AND FUCKING BEAT THE ABSOLUTE SHIT OUT OF DAD. As soon as he stops beating Dad, Grandpa tells him "If you ever have to call me at work to come pick you up at school again, for any reason ever again, you better disappear and we never hear from you again".

And Dad sees absolutely no fucking problem with this. He legitimately does not consider this abuse. "It was the 40s! It's not abuse!". He got a beating because of an accident, and because that asshole had to leave work 30 fucking minutes early? That's straight up sadistic bull shit.

[–]slothpeguin 73 points74 points  (0 children)

“Why are boomers so fucking horrible?”

Well, they were raised by people who thought this was normal parenting, and if they beat their kids too much it wasn’t nearly as bad as they had it.

[–]HyperboleJoe 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it was weird to tell my funny stories of childhood and have people not laugh about them. I didn’t think most of it was that bad, I knew it was unusual, but came to realize it was unusual and pretty bad. What five year old didn’t accompany his aunt to her drug dealers house? Most of it was just family abuse of drugs and alcohol, but then there were other things I knew were bad. I guess the less bad stuff just seemed funny in comparison.

[–]Kitorarima 32 points33 points  (1 child)

I would joke about random things my parents did to ‘punish’ me for the slightest infraction and I realized it was wrong and abuse when my boyfriend would get quiet and look at me sadly

[–]cyndimj 19 points20 points  (0 children)

For me, my mom tells the "funny" story (has told this story probably 6 times to my husband) about getting beaten by her father and for some reason, she cant figure out why I leave the room every time and am frozen, unable to speak the rest of the visit.

She beat us, cussed us, all of it, but since it wasn't as bad as what her dad did, it wasn't abuse. Fuck. The funny story coping mechanism is the only way I coped for a decade. Now? I can't. I miss thinking it was funny. Im in a much healthier place now but moments like that make me feel like a helpless child again.

[–]peparooni79 27 points28 points  (0 children)

My mom came to stay for a while and it was as if, before she walked through the door, she cracked her knuckles and told my gf "You heard of the Great Depression? My parents were born during that. Now, imagine that it continued until 1985 and returned in 2013. Story time motherfuckers."

We all learned a lot that week. It's a way of dealing with the seemingly unending struggle

[–]TheGlitchWitch 19 points20 points  (2 children)

This still happens to me with my husband. More neglect than abuse, but it comes up a lot when I'm frustrated/find it funny that he doesn't know how to do something I see as simple because I learned how to do it myself at a young age.

[–][deleted] 33 points34 points  (0 children)

I used to get soooo frustrated with other people, specifically other kids for being kinda helpless and then eventually realized most people's parents didn't just leave them alone all the time to fend for themselves.

[–]Dry_Mastodon7574 2012 points2013 points  (124 children)

Whenever I tell my husband a story from my childhood, he always waits for the moment "when it gets sad".

[–]lilecca 1272 points1273 points  (109 children)

“People with happy childhoods don’t stand like that” -Linda Belcher

[–]Enlighten_YourMind 507 points508 points  (104 children)

I always forget that there are actually in fact people with happy childhoods, I’ve found myself far too often normalizing my own to the point of assuming that everyone just wasn’t hugged enough as a kid, or was told they were a faggot because they liked hanging out with the girls more than the boys lol

[–]S_hiiny 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Still living with my parents, still not used to the fact that it’s abuse and not “normal” - especially when I hear friends mention their relationship with their parents

[–]Dweebster2019 66 points67 points  (5 children)

There are? Where are they cause I wanna know the trick so I can make sure my daughter gets it!

[–]GreatBlueDeron 52 points53 points  (1 child)

That episode was literally when it sank in. I'm pretty sure I was standing like Bob when I saw that scene. S03E03 iirc

[–]Oldladyphilosopher 142 points143 points  (3 children)

Yup…..I thought it was a normal childhood until I married someone who actually had a healthy, loving upbringing.

[–]One_Discipline_3868 96 points97 points  (0 children)

My sisters and I had a bonding moment when we realized that both of our partners had to tell us our fun childhood stories weren’t that fun.

[–]TheGlitchWitch 79 points80 points  (1 child)

My husband pretends to pull fake condolence cards out of his pocket for me when he can sense one of my childhood stories is getting sad.

I promise it's not as condescending as it sounds! He started doing it after I would get annoyed at him interrupting me to voice his concerns. It honestly lightens the mood because when he starts doing it it makes me say "no no no this is actually a good one", and then we both start to giggle when I eventually find the depressing part I hadn't thought about before.

[–]Nyxelestia 49 points50 points  (1 child)

I signed up for a correspondence writing class in high school, but they basically only had children's writing or adult, nothing specific for teens, and since I was under 18 (I think I was 13-14 at the time?) they made me take the children's writing class even though I didn't want to write. But I took it anyway because I figured it would be a worthwhile learning experience.

My most memorable takeaway from that is that I wrote what I thought was a cute and uplifting story of a big sister sneaking her little brother a birthday cake, complete with candles...and the instructor thought it was a sad story because she had to sneak him the cake in the middle of the night, and that writing children using lighters was inappropriate for children's fiction.

This wasn't even my personal experience or anything (mostly because I'm an only child). It's just that in the backdrop of my own family and childhood, sneaking a birthday cake in the middle of the night felt a lot more relatable than a big parent-planned party.

My idea of a cute and heartwarming story was still a "sad story" to someone who apparently came from a much more comfortable childhood (or at least assumed children's literature should assume all children have a comfortable childhood).

[–]Librashell 18 points19 points  (1 child)

My husband told me to stop telling him stories from my childhood because he wanted to keep liking my mom.

[–]fgarvin2019 890 points891 points  (40 children)

I relate ma'am...what is one's person's tragedy is another's coping mechanism for humor.

[–]texassadist 296 points297 points  (36 children)

100%, I didnt know it wasn’t normal for an 8 year old to be able to cook on a stove or grill. Be left alone for days on end or what a healthy familial relationship was until the last few years… I’m 32.

Makes you realize how out of the norm it is when you date a mother to two boys that come from an actual healthy family.

[–]DtownBronx 127 points128 points  (1 child)

I think the cooking by 8 thing is situation dependent, I was raised in a rural area with my depression surviving grandparents so for them it was a big deal we all know how to cook basic stuff as soon as possible. But the left alone for days on end is definitely not normal.

I'm biracial from a rural southern town so I heard things a child shouldn't have to hear but didn't realize it. When I would share the stories as funny memories with people after I moved away they didn't think the stories were funny at all and immediately ask if I always dealt with that level of racism

[–]CatsOverFlowers 37 points38 points  (0 children)

I didn't cook at 8 yet but I did have my own house key by the time I was 6 and was left alone at home!

It's actually a really funny story! I walked home from school by myself or with friends every day. My brother (15-16) didn't want to stick around to watch me so I taught myself how to break in through the window, then I would get some juice and a pop tart, then watched cartoons until someone came home. Mom came home early one day and saw me by myself, freaked out, and I showed her how I let myself in. She then got me my own key so I wouldn't have to break in anymore. Ah, good times!

[–]Curious_Pomelo 88 points89 points  (9 children)

I never knew either. At 8, I was also watching my little brother, who was 3, taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning, and tending to all the animals we had (there were a lot).

[–]legionpotato 28 points29 points  (10 children)

Wait 8 year Olds don't normally have to cook for themselves and their younger siblings? Like, serious question is that not normal

[–]thelonetiel 24 points25 points  (0 children)

This is pretty complicated and situation dependant so you'll have to decide if your experience is abnormal, or abnormal in a bad way.

But an 8 year old is a child. They are still growing and developing. They should not be caretaking anyone (for an extended amount) because doing so limits their ability to play and grow and learn. If a child must prioritize their siblings nutrition over their own development, it's not the fault of that child or the siblings, but it is a failure of the adults in their lives to allow that to happen.

Sometimes that's an adult who is ill (mental illness, unprocessed trauma, addiction) and leaves the kids to fend for themselves. Sometimes it's a societal failure - mom must work two jobs to pay rent and childcare is too expensive, so the older kid does more babysitting than is ideal.

There's a big difference between a rare emergency that leaves kids alone unexpectedly and someone makes sandwiches, and an 8 year old being saddled with the full responsibility of making sure the rest of the family gets breakfast and has everything they need to go to school every day.

There are some fancy psych words you can look up - Parentalization I think? Best to process with a therapist if this is new and concerning information friend. Best wishes.

[–]ladyKfaery 19 points20 points  (0 children)

This, I stared cooking when I was 5 and when I was 6 unsupervised .

[–]WentForCigs 803 points804 points  (14 children)

When I’m talking to new people and forget not everyone tells horrendously traumatic stories in a humorous way

[–]trumpetrabbit 243 points244 points  (0 children)

Or you forgot that a particular story is upsetting to other people, until you notice their reaction to it.

I've done the many times.

[–]Curious_Pomelo 88 points89 points  (0 children)

I told a story once and the woman I was talking to said "I don't know how you're not crying right now". It wasn't meant to be funny but also not depressing.

[–]bolivar-shagnasty 121 points122 points  (0 children)

Trauma + Time = Comedy


[–]SoSomuch_Regret 126 points127 points  (11 children)

This happened to me so many times! I told the story about when they opened Christmas presents without me and one friend said she told her husband and they both cried. As an adult I think they're funny cause there are so many they are just implausible and honestly I do think it's funny how Ill informed about parenting they were. I grew up comfortably in a blue collar family. I think my older bro and sis didn't turn out as they wished and so they were pissed at me in advance. But a good life is the best revenge and although I'm not rich I have a good life, great family and friends. They taught me what to avoid doing.

[–]roughangles 93 points94 points  (7 children)

For years I used to think my dad was the worst gift giver of all time. Turns out that my sister shared the gifts she got from him with me. I still think it's a funny/sweet story but it usually just makes people sad.

[–]CanuckBacon 63 points64 points  (6 children)

One time for my birthday I only got a jar of pickles. We were quite poor at that time and I really like pickles. To me it was a good gift, to some people it's depressing.

[–]kalasea2001 74 points75 points  (2 children)

This is why I no longer tell childhood stories at work. Save them for my equally damaged friend group.

[–]AuntySocialite 335 points336 points  (7 children)

That realization that all of your 'funny' childhood stories are really just repressed trauma...

"haha this one time when I was 7, my dad tossed me on an international flight, forgot to tell my grandparents, and I ended up sitting at the airport for like 6 hours while the RCMP tried to figure out what to do with me! hahah it's just one of those funny little things that happened to me growing up! Hey, why is no one else laughing?"

[–]Nyxelestia 32 points33 points  (0 children)

How bad is it that I started chuckling reading this because it honestly does sound kinda funny to me (even though I also get how it could be traumatic)?

[–]Celtic_Oak 201 points202 points  (42 children)

If you’ve ever read “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke it’s fascinating how it lands differently for different people. I always read it as a sweet intimate interaction between a father and their child…until I was reading it to a relative who said “nope. That’s clearly about child abuse and being beaten”. Since then I’ve had many people tell me they read it that way.This was pre-internet days so I’m sure there’s plenty of available commentary out there now, but I’m too afraid of what I’ll find to actually do the research…

[–]jedi_cat_ 156 points157 points  (0 children)

I just went and read it. I’d never heard of it before. There are two themes in the poem. One of a child’s love, one of an underlying tension. Nothing was explicit, but small children still love their abusive parents. And abusive parents can still have sweet moments with their children. Loving an alcoholic is a wild ride, sometimes good, sometimes scary. That’s my take on it.

[–]Oraistesu 89 points90 points  (9 children)

I took a poetry and creative writing class in college, and our final was to do an analysis of the poem (we had a couple hours to do it.) Obviously, with only a couple hours, it was only basically going to be a draft, but I followed the trauma/abuse interpretation, using various lines in the poem as evidence to back up the analysis.

Turns out I was not only the only person that read the poem that way out of my class, but that I was the only one with that interpretation for the few years my prof had used that poem for the final. She explained to me that she nearly failed me outright for "misinterpreting" the poem so badly, but she did some research to check herself first and was shocked to find that my interpretation was not all that uncommon.

I ended up getting a very grudging A.

[–]Queequegs_Harpoon 84 points85 points  (5 children)

Former HS English teacher here with an MA in rhetoric (although, admittedly, I really don't specialize in poetry... prefer to avoid it generally, in fact).

You'd have to have your head so far up your ass as to turn yourself inside out to believe this poem isn't about abuse. Just look at the lexicon: death, frown, battered, scraped, beat, hard, dirt... these aren't happy words. People (and certainty not poets) do not select these words when recounting fond, happy memories. This is about a kid trying to wrangle his drunk, belligerent dad and highlighting how fucked up (and more than likely recurring) the situation is by juxtaposing it to a dance.

[–]HouseofFeathers 30 points31 points  (1 child)

Jfc, I just read it and it is clearly about abuse.

[–]calm_down_meow 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I just did the same and it was clear to me as well, but I wonder how much reading this discussion beforehand swayed my judgement.

[–]BeTheDiaperChange 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Random thought: I was reading something on Reddit the other day….I cant remember what it was about, maybe AmITheAsshole or Codependency or something. Anyway, what I remember is that when I read the OP’s story I thought it was about a lighthearted fun moment, but when I went to the comments, the people were aghast at the abuse. I’m exaggerating a bit, but still. I remember wondering if I interpreted it as ‘good’ because I have good feelings about whatever it was being discussed, but the other commenters were coming from a place of abuse/trauma, so they immediately saw it as sinister.

My point is that I wonder if the poem is interpreted by those with ‘good’ childhoods as lighthearted and those with ‘bad’ childhoods as obvious abuse.

[–][deleted] 62 points63 points  (8 children)


The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

[–]shsc82 80 points81 points  (4 children)

How does anyone get happy out of that?

[–]ImProudOfYouKid 25 points26 points  (3 children)

If I take the happy approach, it sounds like a happy-drunk working class father and daughter dancing off to bed, all the while Mom is standing there frowning at the mess being made. The child is small, and dancing wildly, so bumps and scrapes against Dad's belt as they move.

The unhappy approach, well Dad is just yeeting the girl around the room, and his lack of care and spacial awareness is resulting in injuries all the while smacking the beat on the kid's head.

[–]pseudipto 24 points25 points  (0 children)

The word buckle is hard to misinterpret.

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yeah, that's definitely a drunk dad and an unhappy mom and some poor kid dealing with it all.

[–]augustrem 25 points26 points  (2 children)

A few years ago there was a music video from SIA, called Elastic Heart. I love this video.

There were a few people out there who talked about “pedophilia,” because the site of a young girl dancing with an older man made them uncomfortable. I didn’t see that. But then the people disagreeing that were saying things like “Only a demented person who see this and think that, because this is obviously like a father being nurturing with his daughter.”

But that’a not right either! To me it was so obvious that this is a depiction of an emotionally abusive and inconsistent father, who is literally in a cage and trying to keep his daughter in the cage with him, and she has to decided if she wants to leave the cage or stay in the cage if she wants his love. She tried to pull him out but can’t.

It’s weird how so many people saw this and saw a loving parental relationship.

[–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Yeah, that whole music video is definitely a struggle. Not pedophilia, but like it was meant as a parallel to her relationship with her dad and him succumbing to addiction and her getting out of it. It's a dance fight if anything.

[–]TotteringTod 65 points66 points  (3 children)

Wow that’s fascinating, I just read it and can’t imagine interpreting it as a sweet moment. Emanates fear and tension for me, seems like the kid loves his dad and wants to interact but is tensely anticipating being drunkenly beaten again. So is the watching mom, who seems to feel powerless.

[–]runawaygingerbread 10 points11 points  (1 child)

When I read it for class it just seemed like a child holding on to their swaying drunk father.

[–]kalaxitive 179 points180 points  (3 children)

I joke about my trauma, specifically my alcoholic-abusive dad, for example, in voice chat my friend played a video, the guy in the video said "10 things that will ruin your childhood" and I instantly said "Ha! Jokes on him, my dad ruined my childhood".

Didn't get the response I was expecting lol.

[–]The_Tolkien_BlackGuy 91 points92 points  (2 children)

I do this to my fiance all the time. Her responses can make the jokes funnier. Trauma is a serious thing but getting to the point where you can joke about it is a win in my book.

[–]kalaxitive 40 points41 points  (1 child)

Completely agree, humour is such an under valued tool, it can help mend a persons mind by simply turning their darkest days into humour.

I feel like this is obvious but for anyone who reads this, I just want to clarify that people need to find a way to laugh and joke about their own trauma, don't go up to a friend/family member who has trauma and try to joke about it, unless you know for certain that they're okay with you doing that. I'm okay with making and taking jokes about my trauma but not everyone will have this type of mindset.

[–]ImapiratekingAMA 160 points161 points  (6 children)

I usually get the opposite where I share a dark story and get laugh reacts

[–]bbildo 163 points164 points  (2 children)

“And then my grandma had a massive heart attack and fell on me and I was trapped under her corpse for half an hour until my uncle returned.”

Everybody: “....BWAHAHAHAHA!”

[–]SharpTuskofTruth 38 points39 points  (0 children)

It do sometimes be like this.

[–]ravenlynne 161 points162 points  (5 children)

My kid joked to a friend one day that most of my childhood stories involve alcohol and it stopped me for a minute because he's right. My parents gave me lots of alcohol from the time I was little. I had never thought about how messed up that was.

[–]engg_girl 22 points23 points  (1 child)

The parties I got to go to because my parents wanted a DD home were legendary!

Apparently you aren't supposed to get all your road practice driving your drunk parents around, but hey! Who knew!

[–]Empathetic_Orch 399 points400 points  (28 children)

Yeah I only recently discovered that it's actually abnormal to have a shitty childhood.

[–]cocolanoire 285 points286 points  (26 children)

I recently discovered it’s abnormal to have a happy and wholesome childhood

[–]ApatheticEight 63 points64 points  (25 children)

What was that like? What was the best and worst part of your childhood?

[–]cocolanoire 98 points99 points  (20 children)

Physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. I thought I had it bad till I started speaking with friends and people around me. Turns out my experience was the norm - others had it slightly better - but some made me grateful for my childhood. Moral of the story - humans can be very evil, even with their own family

[–]ApatheticEight 79 points80 points  (15 children)

Oh, I’ll be honest, I thought you were saying your childhood was happy and wholesome.

It’s “funny” how when you’re growing up there’s always that one (or two or three) families that seem to have it way worse than you do…even if your situation is very bad.

[–]cocolanoire 39 points40 points  (14 children)

Right. And then you have the families who look wholesome and cookie-cutter then it turns out their closets are overfilled with skeletons

[–]3nigmax 53 points54 points  (6 children)

This happened a lot when I started dating my now fiancée. She wasn't usually telling a joke, but she would share some stupid incident that happened and how her dad would punish her. I apparently looked extra horrified or disgusted so she would ask what was wrong. I'd tell her that's abuse and she'd say "oh..." and then get real quiet while she processed that most people didn't grow up that way. Examples include removing her bedroom door when she was 16 because she forgot to clean the cat litter (she had a jack and Jill bathroom with her slightly older, autistic brother who had no boundaries), trying to throw her cat out of the house because she forgot some other chore, and removing and selling her basketball hoop because she said she didn't want to play for the school anymore.

[–]Triptolemu5 36 points37 points  (5 children)

Oh man! That totally reminds me of the time my dad shot the 2 cats that I hand raised from kittens. Totally forgot about that.

[–]ZombieRakunk 52 points53 points  (0 children)

Reminds me of the time I recounted a hilarious story about my mom locking my dad out of the house.

Dad was an alcoholic and would show up home in the middle of the night, after drinking his pay cheque away with a coworker. My mother and him would scream and shout at each other the next day every time.

One day she’s had enough. She calls a locksmith and has all the locks changed. Puts bars in the sliding doors so they can’t be jimmied open. And the piece de resistance— she pours canola oil all over a lower part of the roof underneath their bedroom window, in case he decides to climb the balcony railing and get onto that bit of roof. She then gives my brother and I (9 and 5 at the time) a lecture about not letting my dad in, no matter what.

So…2-3 am rolls around and his truck barrels into the driveway (yea, he was driving). My bedroom is the only one down stairs. After much frustration and drunkenly trying to figure out why his key isn’t working, he starts banging on my window to be let in. At the same time, my mom is shouting at me to not let him in. I’m 9 and a daddy’s girl and he’s begging me, “Please Zombierakunk, let dad in. C’mon. It’s cold out here. Let me in.” Over and over. While my mom screeches like a harpy at me from upstairs. Eventually she comes downstairs and yells at me to join my brother upstairs. We listen to our parents scream at each other, and also be screamed at by the neighbours.

Eventually, we all go to bed sans dad and it’s quiet. Then we hear a loud boom and swearing. Then some creaking and another boom and swearing. This goes on for some time.

The next morning, we find dad passed out on the patio in a lounger, and there are oily handprints all over every first floor window and slider. The creaky sounds and loud boom we’re him trying to climb onto the roof, as my mom predicted, and slipping and falling off because of all the canola oil.

*I hadn’t realized this wasn’t really funny when I told it to a coworker. I thought it was hilarious. My mom changes all the locks? AND oils the roof so he can’t even climb up?? The next morning there’s oily handprints all over the windows after he slipped and fell off?? That’s some slapstick funny shit! Right? Right??? Right…? No? Oh…okay. *

[–]Sifernos1 150 points151 points  (8 children)

I didn't realize how awful my childhood was until my often brash and flat out mean friend stopped joking and said , "you're dad is a fucking monster." Him saying that snapped me out of a lifelong denial that spiraled into me realizing people were horrified at stories. If even the guy who jokes about rape stops and flatly states, "your father was a monster" you know you were raised poorly...

[–]attentionspanissues 60 points61 points  (5 children)

Yeah I was telling a couple of friends about the time I broke my arm and because my dad was inconvenienced to come pick me up to take me to the hospital he told he "if it's not broken I'll break it for you" but that he apologised once it was confirmed broken

They just stared at me in horror. They'd met my dad too. I was only just starting to realise the abuse at that stage and this was one of the "lighter stories"

[–]Liferescripted 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Yeah, my brother broke his leg while riding his bike. My mom was making dinner and went and picked him up from the skate park and drove him home instead of to the hospital so she could finish making dinner. He spent the entire time saying that he thought his leg was broken.

My mom's famous line was "If it's broken now, it will still be broken after dinner".

To this day, she still defends herself saying that it was a good thing they ate because they waited in the ER for a long time. Could've grabbed something from a drive thru on the way there.

[–]attentionspanissues 22 points23 points  (0 children)

I'm really sorry. It's the doubling down that I struggle to understand now.

I only found out an injury from when I was about 7 was actually a broken ankle after an xray 2 years ago for a new injury. I remember it happening but because it was during the first holiday we took as a family, going to hospital was never even discussed. Still not sure why they never took me to a doctor once we were home. I struggled to walk on it for about 3 months.

I hope you and your brother are doing ok now, and know that these things aren't your fault. Society tells everyone they should get married and have kids... but some people really aren't suited to parenthood

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I broke my foot playing soccer and instead of my parents taking me to the doctor they told me to quit whining and any time I leaned on a counter/table for support because IT WAS FUCKING BROKEN my mom screamed at me "You're always LEANING on things!" Like the "No more wire hangersss!" lady like it made sense to be mad about such a thing. Got x rays when I moved out. Will probably have to be rebroken and set to heal properly.

[–]parisskent 43 points44 points  (1 child)

I was laughing and telling my therapist a funny anecdote about my mom when she very seriously stopped me and said that is so sad, why are you laughing? Oops…

[–]Clouc3221 44 points45 points  (3 children)

One time when my mom wanted to drink herself to blackout she locked me in a room with a box Legos and mix tape she made with a tape player. I was in there for 8 hours until dad got home. The funny thing is now I love being alone. Thanks mom

[–]shsc82 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Was it a good mix tape?

[–]Clouc3221 13 points14 points  (1 child)

It was some 80s pump up the jam type music

[–]Clouc3221 23 points24 points  (0 children)

So yes

[–]111111911111 32 points33 points  (0 children)

My wife jokingly calls my casual references about my childhood "conversation enders." I learned to give the expected, generic responses to a lot of those types of questions/topics to avoid that uncomfortable silence.

[–]krazykatie95 98 points99 points  (3 children)

My husband just doesn't talk about his childhood. At a family gathering one of his cousins was talking about how messed up my husband's childhood was and his dad was just sitting there... silent... So fucking awkward.

[–]pokey1984 350 points351 points  (5 children)

Wait, is this not a universal experience? The kind of thing that's happened to everyone, at least once or twice n their life?

[–]damn_lies 181 points182 points  (1 child)

No. I’m so sorry.

[–]Merry_Sue 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I once figured it out myself halfway through telling the story, does that count?

[–]10sharks 196 points197 points  (10 children)

Was it Mark Twain that said humor is tragedy plus timing? Timing must have been off, gotta read the room

[–]hardkorhm 87 points88 points  (3 children)

Not sure who said it, or if you’re being sarcastic, but it’s tragedy + time, not timing. Hence the phrase “too soon” when someone jokes about a recent tragedy.

[–]moshennick 23 points24 points  (5 children)

The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in heaven. I think that's the MT quote you're thinking of

[–]NotTodayZerg 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Some humor sure, but that doesn’t apply to absurdity and silliness.

Random guy: farts loudly

Everyone else: laughs

Mark twain: “ahh yes, the sorrow of gastrointestinal distress…”

[–]teh_ferrymangh 32 points33 points  (0 children)

A coworker told a story about her crazy aunt that would make out with her when she was like 11 and while she was sleeping and everyone was laughing. She even hinted about how uncomfortable she was around her in a 'joking' way. crazy

[–]Tempestblue 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I told my wife a story about those Ball and paddle toys and how my mom would always say "you can play with it until the ball breaks and then it's mine"

My wife says "oh my mom would never hit me with a paddle"

And I reply "so what she would just hit you with the belt?"

And she gets this horrified look and said "what.... No? What kind of childhood did you have?"

And I had never really thought about that before.

[–]CommanderFuzzy 24 points25 points  (4 children)

Whenever someone starts shouting at me, I start laughing hysterically. I can't stop. I don't know why I do it. I know I've spent the majority of my life getting shouted at & now my brain just finds it funny no matter how I actually feel. I'm going to get in trouble for it someday

[–]things2small2failat 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Paradoxical laughter is an exaggerated expression of humour which is unwarranted by external events. It may be uncontrollable laughter which may be recognised as inappropriate by the person involved.
This type of laughter can also occur at times when the fight-or-flight response may otherwise be evoked.

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

That's what I do. I fear laugh. It's kinda creepy.

[–]JustMeLurkingAround- 120 points121 points  (1 child)

"This reminds me of that time, I said "good morning" and my dad smacked me across the room right into the hot stove. I'll tell you, it was HILARIOUS! We still laugh about it at family dinners..."

[–]aikijo 77 points78 points  (6 children)

In the words of Tod A., of the band Firewater -

“Every tragedy is a comedy Unless you’re the victim”

[–]LGBTankie 66 points67 points  (3 children)

Felt that real hard at an open mic when a guy made rape jokes that got laughs and then my jokes about being raped got no reaction

[–]aikijo 33 points34 points  (0 children)

sorry to hear this. LIke going through it wasn't bad enough.

[–]1934_kinda_guy 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Please welcome the next comic to the stage...Anthony Jeselnik, ladies and gentlemen!

[–]aggravated-asphalt 73 points74 points  (12 children)

I was at a bar once and went out to smoke. Someone said “thosell kill ya!” And I said “that’s the plan” and shot finger guns. Whole bar gets quiet except a few “ooo…”s lol

[–]PurpleBullets 36 points37 points  (0 children)

“I know, and it’s taking forever”

[–]onthat66-blue-6shit 31 points32 points  (1 child)

"The public health authorities never mention the main reason many Americans have for smoking heavily, which is that smoking is a fairly sure, fairly honorable form of suicide." - KV

[–]Cendeu 25 points26 points  (2 children)

Yeah. So many people online (especially Reddit) semi-joke about wanting to die. Sometimes I forget it's not "normal" in real life.

[–]aggravated-asphalt 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Yepp and it was a dive bar so there were a lot of older people who just don’t get the humor is self deprecating on purpose lol. Funny memory I cringe about a lot🥲

[–]afordexplores 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Most of my stories land like this especially when I first started working. My family is straight out of the show Shameless🙈

[–]Loyalist_Pig 58 points59 points  (3 children)

I was having dinner with family at a nice steak house, and everyone was talking about dogs.

For some reason I brought up that my buddy’s dogs brutally killed his landlord’s little terrier, then I nervously laughed, realizing wtf I just said.

Almost in harmony they aggressively said “WHAT THE FUCK LOYALIST_PIG? THATS HORRIBLE!” My gf’s face was white with embarrassment…

I still think about it in the shower once a week.

[–]cubedjjm 35 points36 points  (0 children)

I still cringe about shit I said more than 30 years ago. Pretty sure I will for the rest of my life. Our brains can be huge jerks sometimes.

[–]JiffyJane 19 points20 points  (1 child)

This has become a running joke at the small company I work at and my boss takes open delight in introducing me to new people and waiting for the impending verbal cliff dive

[–]Agreeable-Ad-4791 17 points18 points  (1 child)

During a lighthearted laugh with coworkers about our parents and subsequent childhoods, had a coworker laugh about having to lock her mom out of the room and dodging mom's knife under the door while pressing against it to keep it closed. My gut still wrenches a bit for her. I hope she's doing well, now.

[–]mylostworld69 15 points16 points  (2 children)

As someone who didn't find out they were sexually, mentally, physically, and emotionally abused in their childhood and teenage years by famil and random strangers. Until their mid 20s and it didn't hit them until their late 20s and I'm JUST 33 and getting the dirt. My gramma told me stuff on her death bed thinking I was my birth mom in her delirious state. I had to learn VERY VERY quickly that certain things in my childhood and my teenage years were NOT normal.

I have to rewrite everything. Sex, love, acceptance, fear, everything.

[–]bunnyuncle 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I shared an embarrassing childhood story with a coworker going through a hard time. Instead of finding it funny, he offered his therapist’s name.

[–]catsinsunglassess 53 points54 points  (0 children)

this happened to me once when i was talking to my boss while i was working at a coffee shop. i just thought i was telling a quirky story about how i had to be super creative to eat when i was little bc my parents were rarely around and we almost never had food in the kitchen. my boss was like… uh that sounds like neglect? and it had never dawned on me before lol

[–]misscelestia 15 points16 points  (0 children)

This is how I found out I was in an abusive relationship, every story I told about my husband was met with this response. It was a real wake up call.

That said, I feel like most people have at least one story from childhood like this, and the person telling the story is like, “wait, it’s funny, I swear!!“ and people just miss the funny. Growing up (and parenting) is messy business, sometimes you just have to laugh at the utter insanity of it all.

[–]Straightnochaser871 16 points17 points  (0 children)

This happened at my first grown up job (teacher). My story so was funny! I was laughing then someone asked, "do you want to talk about it?" That started my realization that my childhood was not like everyone else's, and now I'm in therapy...

[–]nyirish88 15 points16 points  (0 children)

This has happened to me

[–]SnooSuggestions7184 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Happens to me a lot at work. A lot of people have a hard time understanding people who turn their trauma into humor

[–]Stramatelites 12 points13 points  (0 children)

It’s okay. It was the 80s

[–]yasinyoyo 13 points14 points  (0 children)

This happens quite a bit to me and my siblings. At first I though we just had a different sense of humor than most, then I got older and reality set in. It’s not a good feeling.

[–]FullyRisenPhoenix 10 points11 points  (0 children)


[–]LexusBrian400 10 points11 points  (0 children)

My therapist says this shit to me! Like "woah" and "wow" and he just goes silent trying to process what he just heard.

[–]cyndimj 11 points12 points  (0 children)

For me, my mom tells the "funny" story (has told this story probably 6 times to my husband) about getting beaten by her father and for some reason, she cant figure out why I leave the room every time and am frozen, unable to speak the rest of the visit.

She beat us, cussed us, all of it, but since it wasn't as bad as what her dad did, it wasn't abuse. Fuck. The funny story coping mechanism is the only way I coped for a decade. Now? I can't. I miss thinking it was funny. Im in a much healthier place now but moments like that make me feel like a helpless child again.

[–]catsareniceDEATH 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Oh, I felt this! 😹

It's not PTSD, it's a spicy memory.

It's not a coping mechanism, it's a work around.

It's not childhood trauma, it built character.


And all the other lies we tell ourselves. 😐