What are some weird things your parents did that you didn't realize wasn't normal until much later?

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What were some of the things happening in your household growing up that you thought were normal and assumed everyone else did, and how did you find out it was weird?

For instance, it was only after I'd go to friend's houses around age 15 - 16 and use the bathroom (taking a number two). I'd never flush and I guess they thought it was an accident until a pattern emerged and they all talked about it between each other. I thought it was normal not to flush after making a dookie because your mom was supposed to look at it to make sure you were healthy. They laughed when I said that then they got grossed out when I said once a month she'd dig through it with a spoon to make sure I didn't have any worms or parasites or whatever.

Another thing was that my mom, around the same age span above, would "scan" my face and upper back every night to see if I had any blackheads or big puss filled white heads (I did have some embarassing acne) and she'd squeeze them for me. It did seem to help because she'd catch them early before they got all red and inflamed. But somehow I innocently mentioned that my mom pops my zits for me in class and my friend that sat next to me just flat out said "that's weird". I remember getting mad and then remembered the "poop incident" above and just let it go and chalked it up to my mom doing non-normal stuff again.
 

Stones

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My dad starting buying and wearing pink socks cause all us kids kept stealing his black ones. What a joker.
 

Potatoe

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(*makes sure we're in the water cooler section, okay good...*)

I thought it was normal not to flush after making a dookie because your mom was supposed to look at it to make sure you were healthy.

That's so sweet and wholesome ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

But in all seriousness, I guess parents show their love in different ways. My mother wasn't around much because she had to work extra long hours to scrape by in a single-parent household. This lead to me being a latchkey kid raised by the earlier days of the internet, for better or worse. As I got older, I'd realize more and more the sacrifices she made, and that's been one of my biggest motivators in life.

I don't think this is all that abnormal though, because so many people have similar stories. I think it's why I've always been more drawn to, and inspired by, stories of a dumpster baby who manages to grow up and make ends meat against all odds, versus people who had every opportunity in the world dangled in front of them and just did what was expected, without really overcoming anything. In a weird backwards kind of way, it's a privilege to be in a position to have to overcome adversity, without having to invent false-adversity.

I think back to the first computer she bought, before I had any concept of money, and I remember having written a letter to try to convince her to buy it. Looking back, that was so significant. It was my portal out of normie-hood. I think she still has that letter, if so I'll post it for the lols. I must have been 9 or 10 years old. I wonder what sacrifices she had to make to buy that computer. The vacation she didn't get to take, or the ketchup sandwiches she had to eat. The collections agencies hounding her. The extra hours she worked.

Anyways, my point is, she didn't have the time or energy to dig through my poops, unfortunately :(

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the whole poop thing and the subsequent humiliation maybe, in certain ways, has had an impact on you not being the most well-adjusted person (pardon me if I'm off-base here... and I don't mean it in a negative way) In this field, a lot of us are not very well-adjusted in a number of different ways. Maybe, by virtue of the butterfly effect, your mom digging around in your poop will lead to you making millions of dollars on the internet and changing the world in very positive ways.

Back on topic, I thought it was normal to answer the phone as a young child and have bankers threatening to take our house away lol.

In hindsight, it's insane that they'd say things like that to a child. I think that played into my desire to save up enough cash to buy a house outright instead of taking out a mortgage, which turned out to be a pretty shitty strategy that I'm still paying for. It made home ownership seem like such a bigger mountain to climb than it was, when in reality I could have copped a home after my first big site flip years and years ago.
 
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Sutra

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What were some of the things happening in your household growing up that you thought were normal and assumed everyone else did, and how did you find out it was weird?

For instance, it was only after I'd go to friend's houses around age 15 - 16 and use the bathroom (taking a number two). I'd never flush and I guess they thought it was an accident until a pattern emerged and they all talked about it between each other. I thought it was normal not to flush after making a dookie because your mom was supposed to look at it to make sure you were healthy. They laughed when I said that then they got grossed out when I said once a month she'd dig through it with a spoon to make sure I didn't have any worms or parasites or whatever.

 

Potatoe

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Realizing I totally missed the point of the thread earlier with the self-reflection tangent... lol, my bad.

My dad and uncle used to clean their earwax with car keys, and if anyone questioned it, they'd say "Just starting my brain."
 

bernard

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I think I'll stick with Potatoe and not dwell on such things.

I actually read an interesting article recently with a priest about how many of Generation X and Millennials were too preoccupied with their parents and how they stayed as "someone's children" for far longer than previous generations and that growing means becoming your own person, that is responsible for yourself, and not just a product of your parents.

I thought that was very thought provoking, because I too have grown up with narcissistic and weird boomer parents. For the longest time I was pissed off and defined myself a victim of such circumstance.

However, if you define yourself like that, what would you do once your parents die? Who are you then?

So letting go of these things is the best and instead thinking about what you can do and how you can act, knowing what you know, and having experienced what you did.
 

secretagentdad

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Referred to the tv as the boob tube so much I thought everyone called it that.
My 1st and 2nd grade teachers were not impressed.
I made it worse by insisting on arguing about it.
 
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Gen X here. There is a ton of stuff.
My parents around 8th grade started taking week vacations to Vegas a lot and leaving me home alone a lot. I was smart enough not to F it up, and never invited friends over and locked the house up and stayed out roaming with other friends whose parents let them stay out late. I really enjoyed the freedom throughout highschool. I was a latch key kid too, they owned their own business.

My grandparents one time asked me I think around 5 when was the last time I pood. I must not have answered correctly because the next thing I know I am being stripped down by them forced bent over and a tube up my ass and water bag flushed while screaming. lol. This one I think is funny and tell people. So no damage was done.

I try to give my son things I didn't have, or teach him things my father didn't do etc.. I think our Gen X generation is the helicopter generation because we know all the shit that could happen and are more involved etc... weird way things come around.
 

Ryuzaki

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the next thing I know I am being stripped down by them forced bent over and a tube up my ass and water bag flushed while screaming.

I'd have turned 360 degrees and sprinted right out of there.
 
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Another thing that used to happen was that my mom knew we (me and my brother) didn't like the crust around the outside of bread, like on a PB&J sandwich. Instead of cutting it off with a knife, she'd make our sandwiches and then eat the crust off the bread. She'd chew around it like a hamster or something, spinning it, then put it back on our plates. It was funny at the time, something we all enjoyed.

You can probably guess that me and my brother ended up getting in a lot of trouble at one point in school for sharing food with other kids, taking bites out of sandwiches or pizza slices or apples, etc. The kids didn't seem to mind because we'd share what we brought for lunch too. But we learned pretty fast that it wasn't "normal."
 

Stones

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Another thing that used to happen...
I shuddered

Whilst taking us 4 kids across Europe on a camping holiday, my dad used to get some peace in French supermarkets by loudly singing 60s hippie classics at the top of his voice till we all ran away for a few mins.