13 People Who Learned Too Early That Our World Can Be Complicated
The formative years of our lives play a pivotal role in molding our identity. The memories crafted during this period stay with us eternally, wielding the power to shape our future selves. Despite childhood typically being a joyous and carefree phase, unforeseen events occasionally occur that can alter us, even in our youth. Nevertheless, within every experience, no matter how challenging for a child, lies a silver lining — contributing to the cultivation of resilience and character as they journey into adulthood.
- We were very poor and went to spend Christmas with my grandma. When we returned, we realized our house was broken into. They stole our color TV. My mom broke into tears in front of me and my siblings, who were in shock. Nobody explained anything or comforted us. Instead, my parents got into a fight, blaming each other. Christmas day. © ferah11 / Reddit
- I remember learning about periods (I am female) in fourth grade Human Growth and Development, and it sounded so awful that I was like, “You mean there’s no cure? Does the president know?? Why isn’t anyone doing something about this?!” And then I was so upset. Welcome to the horrible world of female healthcare, baby me. © SinceWayLastMay / Reddit
- My father told me Santa wasn’t real. I said, “But you are my Santa!” He didn’t go away to get milk, but he told me there were also no dragons (I was a dragon super fan), and ever since that day, for the remainder of the evening, I wanted to talk about nothing else other than why and what absurdity he brought on to cause the world such misery — a world without dragons. © ArachnidFun8918 / Reddit
- As a little kid, I was under the impression that the garbage patches in the ocean came from regular people, folks on boats, etc., just throwing trash into it instead of in a garbage can. I didn’t comprehend how big these collections of garbage really were, and I remember feeling absolutely crushed when I found out that plastic doesn’t break down and go someplace safe for the environment. It sounds dramatic, but I’ve had no trust in governments and large corporations since. I was either 6 or 7 at the time. © FarOffLanding / Reddit
- At a Japanese restaurant, I had a salad and took a big bite of what I thought was a tomato — it was raw fish! I haven’t been able to stomach tomatoes or raw fish since! © Id10ts_everywhere / Reddit
- I remember when I was about 9, I was visiting with my grandma, who was a sweet and wonderful angel. She was going about her normal business, and all of a sudden, the wool unveiled. Nothing grand, nothing different, I just knew she wasn’t a good person. Now, my grandma isn’t a monster. She’s just a narcissist who is sweet as honey on the outside and rotten on the inside. But yeah, it’s one of those “core memories” I hear about. © Nobanob / Reddit
- My much older sister learned in school about the sun exploding millions of years into the future. She explained to me in great detail while on a camping trip how it was inevitable and that it wouldn’t matter because we’d all be dead anyway. I was 4. © NerdDesNordens / Reddit
- When I was in first grade, I had a friend that I hung out with a lot. He was cool, and his mom was super hot. I remember getting all nervous at how beautiful she was. In second grade, they moved out of town but returned a couple of years later. I remember going to his house for his birthday party and couldn’t wait to see his mom again. I still remember her opening the door, smiling, and saying my name. However, I got the shock of my life because I didn’t recognize her — she looked so different and unkempt. I couldn’t process how such a woman could change so much in a couple of years. On the way home, my mom could tell I was a little off and asked me what the issue was. I told her that Johnny’s mom didn’t look the same as she did before they left. My mom proceeded to tell me how Johnny’s parents went through a really rough divorce and how depressed his mom was because of it. My childhood crush was no more, but I learned a lot about the effects of depression. © CBus-Eagle / Reddit
- I had 2 friends who would just steal from me. I lost half my baseball cards because I wasn’t paying attention. I lost an important set of comic books. The specific moment... I found my empty wallet on the way to the friend’s house in the road. My dad helped me get my money back. I realized I was gullible shortly after this. And surprisingly, I stood up for myself eventually too. © S***D***ery / Reddit
- I was in the third grade, and a girl liked me. I was more into transformers and stuff. I was playing marbles under the stinkbug tree at lunch with my friends, and she came up and kissed me. On the lips. I ran away. © NSR077 / Reddit
- It was the first time I remember my parents arguing in front of me. My father threatened to call the police on my mother if we didn’t return at the exact time specified in the agreement — as in if we were not there by 6:01. It was the first realization that my parents cared nothing for me and just cared about hurting the other parent. © Unknown user / Reddit
- When I was a kid and staying over at a friend’s house, his mother said she needed to speak to me in private. She sat me down and explained that just because I had figured out that Santa wasn’t real, I couldn’t continue to go around school spoiling it for all the others. That wasn’t me. I hadn’t been doing that, and I still believed in Santa... © CodeExtra9664 / Reddit
- When I was in elementary school, a kid in class brought some homemade beef jerky to school. I asked him if I could have a piece, and he said, “No, just because you’ve shared with me doesn’t mean I have to share with you.” I had been sharing my food with him for a while. It was a valuable lesson to learn early. If I do something for someone, I shouldn’t expect anything in return. If they don’t reciprocate, I’m not upset. But if they do, it means that much more. © Gran_Centenario / Reddit
Unveiling a profound family secret has the potential to be one of the most enduring and impactful experiences in our lives. In this article, individuals courageously open up about their unexpected revelations, and we can’t help but commend their bravery.