I've thought back to my childhood a couple of times and wonder what in the world was going on? This is mostly because a few of my memories are blurry and scattered, but I mean hey, I turn out alright...I think.
How about you? Do you have any memories of things you did back in the day that you couldn't explain if you tried?
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
"When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I was learning about slavery. The way I heard it, the slaves kept running away. My parents told me that running away was bad, and when I ran away, I would get spanked or similar. When they got punished, I saw it as the same deal. So I concluded that the slaves were very bad and in the wrong, for running away, and being beaten was their punishment for not coming 'home.'
My brother and I played a game where one of us was a slave, and one of us was the slave owner. The owner had to chase down the slave and drag them back to the plantation (under our playground). Then, we would pretend to beat the other as punishment."
"At around seven or eight years old I had a friend who was maybe 10 at the time whose favorite game was 'house.'
But being 7 years old I had no idea about families and intercourse or anything like that, but she did.
So, we would act like we were a newly married couple. I would go home, and she would kiss me and ask me how my day was. This may sound normal but wait it gets weird.
She eventually got to the point where she was telling me how she thought I needed a better job (I was a Superhero Astronaut - I thought it was pretty good) and how she was tired of me working late.
It also went a little bit farther when we would be playing, and she would say it is night time, we should go to bed and do the deed. No, we didn't have to do it, but she said 'it' was laying in bed and giving two kisses instead of one or something like that. The details are a bit fuzzy, sorry.
Anyway, it got to the point where what we were doing was discovered, and her dad got mad at me, my only response was 'but all we were doing was sleeping together.'
After that, I didn't see her again till I was 14. But that's another story.
My friend had moved away to another state, but my parents had kept in touch. A few years later my parents decided to go out for a visit.
So I went, and I was wondering how it was going to go. Luckily no one mentioned it, but I think she remembered it. She would talk to me but would avoid touching me or looking straight into my eyes like she was embarrassed about it.
There was a point where me, her, my brother, and her brother were all watching a movie. At some point, maybe halfway through her little brother mentioned some toy he had and my brother begged him to see it.
So they went away, and it was just me and her watching this movie. It got to the point where I didn't want to watch anymore, so I paused it and asked her if she wanted to watch something else.
She looked away and said, 'Sure, why not?'
It was about this time that I got sick of her avoiding me. So I replied, and I'm paraphrasing; 'Why are you acting so weird? You haven't said a complete sentence to me since I got here!'
'I think you know very well what happened and why I'm embarrassed. I forced myself on you.'
'It was never that serious; I liked it. Also, it was seven years ago; it was all in the past.'
'It's kind of hard to forget, you were my first crush. I don't forget things like that. It's like physical tension or something.'
'Really? Then why don't you kiss me and get it over with!' I may have just blurted this out. I think I regretted it pretty quickly until she replied.
She thought about it for a while and then grabbed me and pulled me in to kiss her. We ended up making out right there in the living room. I thank god her or my brother didn't walk in on us.
Eventually, she let go of me, and I asked if she was okay now. She replied 'Yes.' Things got normal after that, my family and I left, and I haven't seen her since. Though I think I'm friends with her on Facebook."
"When I was in junior high, I would prank phone call, and they would frequently end up with me getting my poor friend involved, leaving his number with weird companies, having people call him back about weird offers, random stuff just to mess with him. It was always better to have someone else screw with people for you as a sort of surrogate offender. I had the idea (at 13 I don't know why I was so good at being sinister) to call a phone number that is just one digit different than my friend's phone number to get some innocent bystanders involved. Also for context, my friend's older brother was away for a couple of weeks in Australia, as he was in the high school band and they were playing at the 2000 Olympics. So the phone call went something like this:
Us: 'Hi, can I talk to mom?'
Them [some random guy]: 'uhhhh...I think you have the wrong number.'
Us: 'wait wait wait, I'm in jail.'
Them: 'uhhhh...hold on.'
Them [now this guy's very concerned mom]: 'okay, okay, so what's going on?'
Us: 'My home phone number is XXX-XXX-XXX7, and I'm in jail right now, and I dialed the number wrong. I only get one call.'
Them: 'oh my gosh...'
Us: 'Just call my brother Daniel, he'll know what to do.'
Them: 'Where are you? What is he going to do?'
Us: 'He'll know what to do, just call Daniel. My family number is the same as yours just with a 7 at the end."
It turned out, unbeknownst to me at the time, that some of the high school kids at the Olympics did get rolled by authorities for some substance related stuff and parents at home were already really concerned, not knowing who was involved and who wasn't. Later in the day, I talked to my poor friend, and he tells me, 'my brother is in jail in Australia dude. My mom is freaking out. Some lady called to tell us that, but she had no other information'. His mom was hosting a baby shower at their house and her day was entirely ruined because her older son was 'in jail' and 'Daniel will know what to do' when Daniel didn't know anything because he was just 13 at the time. His mom looked exactly like the mom from 'Life with Louie,' so it made it extra funny.
I thought this situation was the funniest thing in the world, but I didn't expect it to go any further than just messing with my friend's head. I apologized and then stopped doing prank calls after this."
"I recall sitting on my grandpa's lap when I was 6 or 7 years old and him sticking his hand down the front of my pants. It happened regularly, and I just likened it to cuddling or a hug. It never registered in my mind that he would stop doing it when my grandma came into the room. I realized it as a teenager, and I resented him for many years, but I have never told anyone in my family.
He's dead now. Good riddance."
"Where I went to a school there were about 80% African American. As one of the only white kids at the school and is a bizarre kid, I was picked on a ton there. The teachers tried to make me feel better by saying that one day I would own the factory where all the other kids worked. At the time it made me feel like I was inherently better than most of the kids at the school. Now when I think about it, it just sounds like blatant racism."
"As a little kid, 4 or 5 at the time, I was at my babysitter's house, and a little girl decided to have us play a game where she had a baby. My buddy and I were told to get the baby out, so we used Star Wars action figures to open her labia and then we'd pretended to pull out a baby, and the girl would tell us it wasn't a good one and to get another.
It all seemed like childish stupidity until I grew up and realized that little girl kept telling us to do it more. She could have just told us the baby was good enough. I now realize I was some weird puppet in her game. Life is messed up."
"Whenever I visited my grandparents, their gardener would always do this 'dance' for me, and I always giggled because I thought he looked funny. One day someone caught him doing the 'dance,' and he was promptly fired. There were tons of yelling, my grandfather and father wanted to end his life, police got called, and he disappeared.
I then went to my first dance and saw a couple grinding. I finally realized what the 'dance' was. He constantly humped walls/floors/trees while looking at me. He had been working with them for a long time, so I can't remember when it started, but when he got caught, I was still in kindergarten."
"My friend and I used to play 'Tomb Raider' as little 7-year-olds.
We found this knocked over garbage bin, filled it with bricks (don't even know where we got them from) and pushed it down a ditch while 'Lara' ran away from it, pretending it was a giant boulder.
Thank God nobody died. I think I'd directly be responsible for the first ever 'BAN VIDEO GAMES THEY KILL' bandwagon."
"When I was around 9 years old, a few of my friends and I were playing football at the park when a van pulled up. A man and woman got out and asked if we wanted to come join their club and play video games in the van. We were all 'heck yeah' so we got in and signed up to join their club and in their van, they had bean bags and stuff. They said they were from the local council.
Later my friend's mom phoned mine to tell her she had called the council about this and they'd never heard of them.
I can't help but think if my older friend (14) wasn't there they would have driven off with us in the back.
It seems a lot more serious now than it did at the time."
"The expiration date on our milk jugs growing up were often WAY out of date. The milk seemed watery as well. You had to shake it up or stir it to get it to be anything close to a milk consistency.
I asked my parents about it a few times, but they always changed the subject. I later found an empty box of powdered milk while looking through the trash for a G.I Joe toy I dropped. I quickly realized my parents were refilling real milk jugs with powdered milk so we would think it was real milk.
We were poor, and the town had a food pantry that my parents used. I never knew until years later, and now feel a bit guilty for even mentioning it to them."
"At summer camp one year our counselors told us we were selected for a 'secret camp mission.' The two of them told us the game was to break into the kitchen in the middle of the night without getting caught and that there would be prizes waiting for us if we were successful.
Anyways, our counselors woke us up at what must have been around 3 a.m. We dressed in all black and canoed across the lake towards the kitchen like secret spies. We entered the kitchen through the back door and were told we could eat anything out of the fridge and drink anything from the soda fountains. (I remember putting my mouth over the Orange Crush nozzle and drinking till I almost puked).
Looking back at this experience, it seems less like a game and more like stealing."
"When I was in the fourth or fifth grade, the neighbor's 20-something-year-old son would come over to play with me when I was in the side yard (we lived on a little over an acre, and our side lot was unfenced and ran into his mother's property). We would play catch, or he'd teach me dance moves. I thought nothing of this, because in my little kid brain I was awesome and who wouldn't want to play with me? He never stayed very long, and I'm not sure my mom ever knew that he came over.
However, one day he started talking to me about kissing and asking me to kiss him. I wouldn't, just because I wasn't a very affectionate child. After that, he'd try various ways to get me to give him 'a kiss on the cheek,' always tapping a spot close to his mouth. He stopped showing up after awhile and I never really thought much about it. A few years ago, I thought back on it and realized 'Oh, a strange adult man was trying to get a nine-year-old to kiss him. HUH?'
I knew about stranger danger and all that, but since he never tried to force me to do anything it didn't register. Also, being nine I didn't associate kissing with inappropriate stuff. At nine grownups are telling you, 'Oh, give Aunt or Uncle So-and-So a kiss, even if you don't want to' all the time.
I later found out that when he disappeared from his mother's home, it was because he went to jail, but the neighborhood gossip grapevine was never clear on the reason."
"When I was young, I had a friend who I met in school, and his mom became good friends with my mom, and they would set up these play-dates. One day we were playing, and he asked me what the deed was. I said I thought it was when you put your private in someone else behind, and he asked me if I wanted to do it. I said 'sure,' and we went to my bedroom and pulled down or pants and laid on top of each other. My brother, who had either heard or seen us do it, ran downstairs and told our parents.
I'm still haunted by what I did, and I have no idea what I was doing. However, I turned out ok. I have a house, career, fiancee and second kid on the way. I didn't turn out to gay... at least I don't think I did."
"My next-door neighbor and I were playing in the backyard when we heard an extremely loud 'BANG' in the alleyway next to his house (his house was on the end of the block).
Naturally, we went to have a look, and we saw that a tire on his brother's van had blown out. We thought it was pretty neat, and went and told his brother, to which he replied 'No crap' very angrily. We were in elementary school, so an adult was talking to us like this was kind of shocking.
We still thought it was cool and went out to look at how the tire had burst, poking sticks in it. It wasn't until I was in the mid-20s that I thought about it, and realized that a popped tire isn't going to have a perfectly round hole in the sidewall. Someone had shot a hole in his tire (something to do with gangs, if I had to guess).
Where we were playing was probably 30 feet away, more or less in a straight line from where someone shooting would have to have been positioned."
"When I was 4 or 5 years old, my mom would have a babysitter come over once a week to watch me. She was super old. Like 70 or something. She, like my mom, was an immigrant and so my mom liked and trusted her since they both spoke the same language.
The babysitter was nice, but she never closed the door when she went to the bathroom, nor did she turn on the light. She'd sit there in the dark, with the door open, taking a dump. When I saw her, she'd beckon me to sit on her lap while she did her business. I thought it was fun because she'd make me honey tea after each time."
"When I was a kid, I had this uncle that I thought was the coolest. He always brought my older brother new and me expensive toys, and I spent quite a bit of time at his house.
Years later my parents told me that he was a known child abuser and had regular intercourse with his stepdaughter and made his stepson 'disappear' when he walked in on it. We still don't know where he is. It's almost as if he walked off the face of the planet. Anyways, it annoys me that my parents would just dump their young daughter off on a guy they know has done such to kids, even if nothing ever happened to us.
Also, when my brother and I were younger (I was 5, and he was 9) we licked each other's tongues for some reason. Ugh."