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This is a question Terrible Parenting

My parents used to lock my brother, sister and I in the car while they went to the pub for a "quick one" after work. This quick one might last several hours, during which they would send bottles of Indian Tonic Water to us by way of refreshment.

On one particularly cold evening, bored stupid, we lit a small bonfire on the back seat of the car using the cigarette lighter and the contents of the glove box. We owe our lives to passing winos. (BTW: Please no more Maddie or Jesus gags, they've been done.)

(, Thu 16 Aug 2007, 9:47)
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Not even comparable with some of the other stuff on here
My Mom is an absolute legend. She has issues, leading to some odd parenting decisions, but on the whole I had a fantastic childhood.

She was the oldest of 9 in rural Ireland, born in the 40s. She was immediately sent to be brought up by her grandparents, and never saw the rest of her family. Excepting her Mom, who would ride the few miles on her bike every Boxing Day to visit her. My Mom never really minded, as she had a happy childhood with her grandparents, aunts and uncles. Then, when she was 15, her Dad turned up at the house and told her that he'd found her a job in England. So off she went, and that was where things went wrong. She got pregnant at 19 by an absolute beast and had 6 children in 10 years, before doing a midnight bunk with the lot of them, against the popular opinion of the day that she should put up with the beatings that would put her in hospital.

Fast forward another 10 years and she's with a lovely man and had me :) I was able to enjoy a normal childhood, but it did leave her a little controlling, possessive and with a spine of steel.

My mother's highlights?

Giving my sister a black eye for saying she was a bad mother.

Screaming at me, demanding an explanation as to why I came back with wet socks but dry trainers. I had no explanation that she would have been able to understand - It'd been snowing and those with a rudimentary grasp of capillary action should be able to see why.

Made me beg for her love on my 13th birthday because she found out that my sister, who I hadn't seen for 3 years, had visited me at school and I hadn't told her. My mom and sister don't speak and I was banned from seeing her, so I was scared to tell my Mom that she had been there and I hadn't told her to go away.

Was insanely jealous of any relationship I had with another girl/woman - friends, sister-in-law, etc. She would demand to know why I could talk to them and not to her. I only have one female friend now, the rest are all male.

Told me at around 13 to have sons and not daughters as "they love you more", leaving me with a vague sense that I was doing something wrong to her.

Made me go on holiday every year at the time I had exam results due, no celebrating with friends for me!

Banning me from telling anyone in the family that I had moved out at the age of 20 in my last year of uni, due to the shame of it. You didn't leave Mom's house before the age of 30 unless you were thrown out.

Banned me from having a deaf boyfriend at 16, in case we got married and had deaf kids - he didn't have the hereditary kind.

Refused to let me go on the pill as a teenager to help with my crippling period pains - apparently it made "bad blood" go back into your system.

There's more craziness, but frankly it was a good childhood and there's nothing I can't get over as an adult. I still respect her more that anyone else, particularly for the manner in which she made good her escape from her violent husband and how she kept it together after that.
(, Sun 19 Aug 2007, 19:22, Reply)

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