Social Question

longgone's avatar

Think of your childhood...what was missing?

Asked by longgone (13840points) December 12th, 2013

Any big, unfulfilled wishes, like that pink unicorn you never received? Or did your childhood lack something more substantial? Maybe there was just nothing missing?

* Bonus question: Is what was missing in your life now?

I spent most of my childhood longing for a dog (which I got) and more friends (whom I found, too).

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47 Answers

ibstubro's avatar

Affection. I have no doubt that we all loved each other of a fashion, but there was virtually no affection. Almost all the nuclear families in my family grow up and splinter.

Oh, and no, my life is still largely devoid of affection.

YARNLADY's avatar

being popular

livelaughlove21's avatar

Then: confidence
Now: a job

rojo's avatar

a father figure.

marinelife's avatar

Stability. We moved almost every couple of years throughout my childhood. Yes, I have it as an adult—at least I stay longer in each place that I live,.

Judi's avatar

I didn’t have much of a childhood at all. My dad was very sick and when my parents had time and energy for me the first ten years were spent preparing me for my fathers death.

DWW25921's avatar

Video Games! Now, all that’s missing is a cappuccino machine.

kritiper's avatar

Not a matter of what was missing. There were too many kids and not any love to go around. Mom was a good Catholic and Dad was horny as hell with music playing in his head that he wanted to spend WAY too many hours listening to!

stanleybmanly's avatar

ambition, motivation and a Ferrari

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Not being born rich.

Pachy's avatar

I didn’t think about it then, but I wish now that my folks had encouraged me to learn how to play piano, an instrument I’m sure I would have good at. It’s odd that they didn’t because they loved and taught me about all kinds of music.

drhat77's avatar

Belonging. I was always the odd one out. I have many strengths for it now, but my mind and body crave the free-floating sense of mindless belonging.

hug_of_war's avatar

Friends. I have had them, but they were never deep enough, I was always forgotten, they have always moved on. Then I went to college and found making friends impossible. 7 years later, nothing has changed. I really miss having someone to talk about my day with even if I couldn’t tell them anything serious.

josie's avatar

Except for money, nothing at all was missing.

ibstubro's avatar

@kritiper I think yours might have been more like mine. Love of a sorts, but little affection.

Count your blessings, @Pachyderm_In_The_Room. I had piano crammed down my throat. Chicken or egg? – I love horns/brass in music.

Coloma's avatar

A pony.
I had it all planned out when I was 8, how to build a little stable in the backyard.
It was a great, innovative design, the little barn, a stall, plenty of room IMO, but my parents had no sense of adventure. Pffft!

browneyes's avatar

I never had a father figure. He is more involved in my life now, because I have a nine year old half sister that I make an effort to see often, so I am in touch with him a lot. Occasionally, him and I will go to lunch or something, but I am afraid I will never have the relationship with him that I always wished I could have.

hearkat's avatar

Unconditional love.

dxs's avatar

One thing that I can think of is that I wish I were more popular, but I didn’t have the looks or ability I guess to fit in…I never did anything with anyone but myself when I was younger. Plus I’m kind of my own support system. I take pride in my independence yet at times I wish I didn’t have to deal with myself the whole time. But now I don’t know how to deal with relationships and it’s kind of a problem.

Aethelwine's avatar

Lack of discipline. I was the youngest of six children with the oldest being 14 years older than me. My parents were exhausted by the time they had me. I was often left on my own to entertain myself and my parents let me get away with quite a bit. A little more discipline may have kept me out of the trouble I often found myself in.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

Normalcy. Happiness. Affection. From the time I was about 7 until I broke free to go to college, I was “raised” (if you can call it that) in a super-fundamentalist Christian (?) sect where the operational rule to living was “Praise the Lord and Abuse The Child.” (I’m finishing – in my spare time – a book about my experiences and that’s the working title.) There’s nothing like being an abused child and living in a so-called “God-filled” environment where you would get beaten if you committed sinful acts such as chewing gum in church. That would be good for 30–40 lashes with the heavy belt once you got home, then confinement in your bedroom for the rest of the day, only being allowed out when it was time to once again head to church for the Sunday evening festivities where you would be told time and time again you were going to hell because you were such a vile sinner. The adult me says, “what a load of bullshit.”

How ridiculous and strict was this outfit – which I refuse to name because there might be an adherent to that group on here, although I can’t imagine they would be but stranger things have happened? You could not cook on a Sunday. Meals were cooked on a Saturday and served on a Sunday afternoon once you returned home from the Sunday morning “worship services” where their peculiar form of “love” was preached. There’s nothing so unappetizing as cold meatloaf, cold mashed potatoes and congealed gravy. To this day, I won’t eat cold meats etc. – the one exception being ham (take that all you Muslims!!). You couldn’t read the Sunday paper on Sunday – only the Bible. You weren’t allowed to wear jewelry with the exception of a watch – those were for some reason allowed – maybe so you could count down the hours until you died and went to heaven or hell. If your car ran out of gas on the way to church, you pushed it to the curb, walked to church, and went back to get it on Monday since you weren’t permitted to buy anything on a Sunday – even medicine – and definitely not gas.

There’s a helluva lot more – buy the book when I get it finished and published!!! This was definitely not a normal, happy, or affectionate childhood. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall my parents ever showing affection towards each other and certainly not towards me. Had I not become a strong-willed person early on, I would definitely have lost it years ago, but I learned to fight back and while I definitely never said it vocally, it was “fuck off and take your fundamentalist bullshit with you.”

Judi's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie, there’s a Facebook page (probably more than one) just for people like you who were abused by fundamentalism. The one I’m thinking of is Stuff Christian Culture Likes. They tend to mock some of the weirdest stuff out there but it seems to be a healing place where people like you can find a safe place to process that crap with others who get it.
Another one is Kissing Fish Christianity for People Who Don’t Like Christianity. I think there’s a book by the same name.
Both pages embrace atheists and believers alike who have been abused. All opinions (except abusive ones) are respected. If you’re writing a book it could be a good place to find like minded people to bounce ideas off of.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

thanks for the input. I’m still revising, so other ideas and thoughts might come in handy!! Wonder if I’ll run into anyone on there I know???

ucme's avatar

Pubic hair

Smitha's avatar


KNOWITALL's avatar

Money, father. Being raised by hippies had it’s own drawbacks but I was loved. I wanted the Cleavers & structure.

Nimis's avatar

Money was missing, but it wasn’t missed.

As messed up and crazy as my family is now, our childhood was actually pretty great. Things have gone downhill since then.

It’s weird looking at old pictures of us. It seems like another time, another family. How did we go from that to this?

We did move around a lot. It would have been nice to stay in one place.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Extended family. I’m slowly creating one here now.

Blackberry's avatar

A father.

Prepare your tear ducts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Let me stop weeping for @TheRealOldHippie first, @Blackberry…...

Blackberry's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh, I just saw his respone. Now I feel bad…

I’m sorry you had to deal with that @TheRealOldHippie. I knew a woman in a similar situation and you can still tell her “programming” is still a part of her. It’s sad that children are sometimes blank slates for bad parents to paint all over.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@TheRealOldHippie Out of curiousity, what sect was that? I’ve been to fundamental Baptists who are pretty hardcore, but not to the point of eating cold meat.

Judi's avatar

While we’re guessing, I’ll guess United Pentecostals. He did say he didn’t want to publicize it so maybe he’ll private message us.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Judi Oops, didn’t see that.

rojo's avatar

Medical Marijuana

I checked first, this is not General

BTW this also answers the bonus question.

dougiedawg's avatar

Only had one toy and that was a stick-ARF!

talljasperman's avatar

Peace, and comfort. good breakfast.

Valerie111's avatar

A closer relationship with my sister.

longgone's avatar

Great answers, thanks. Hugs to make up for all those sad stories.

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

@KNOWITALL and Judi – I’d just as soon not say. I will say this – they’re growing and have apparently relaxed their rules a bit from an article I read a couple of years ago. I’d hope so! They were inhumane!

bethanygfair's avatar

Running without any inhibitions, falling without embarrassment, eating anything I wanted, digging grass and hunting for bugs and worms, collecting marbles and shells by the shore all these i was missing in my childhood.

ibstubro's avatar

Well, there’s still plenty of time, @bethanygfair!
Get moving.


talljasperman's avatar

Dating. My first date was high school prom.

rojo's avatar

Well, even though we practiced for it by getting under our desks, putting our heads between our legs and kissing our asses goodbye – nuclear annihilation.

Can’t say that I am sorry though.

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