Every family is different, and as anyone who has ever married into a new family can tell you, it’s impossible to really learn what it’s like to live behind those closed doors until you’re, well…behind them.

We all do things a bit off from the next, we have our own truths and our own traditions and mythologies, and the only way we start to learn not everyone believes the same is when we’re old enough to venture into someone else’s house on our own.

Here are 13 people who thought the way things were done at home were “normal,” and were shocked to learn that not everyone (or hardly anyone) agreed.

13. Time together.

Used to go dumpster diving for aluminum cans with my dad.

I was just happy to be spending time with him.

He was not the greatest of persons to be honest.

12. This is funny!

Burger Roulette: every time there was a barbecue or we made burgers one of the burgers would be stuffed with hot sauce and peppers. So hilarious and definitely made dinners more exciting, but not a normal thing lol

If you’re going to do this, just remember that everyone should know that they’re playing so that you don’t get into legal trouble.

11. It’s all fun and games until you have to pay.

Going out shopping every night of the week. My mom was, and still is, a serious shopping addict and I thought it was normal to go out and shop around almost every night after dinner.

10. Road rage definitely shouldn’t be normal.

Getting honked at, flipped off, and yelled at while driving. I just thought driving was this extremely aggressive and negative experience that made everyone angry.

Turns out my dad was a serial tailgater who used to ride right up on people’s asses in front of us, regardless of the speed we were traveling. Highways, subdivisions, country roads, didn’t matter.

It wasn’t until I began to learn to drive myself that it all made sense.

9. Not everyone’s so lucky.

Getting along great with my parents and being proud of my family members.

And randomly bringing people home to meet the family and hang out.

I found out my coworker hadn’t had a home cooked meal in a while (lived rural in employee dorm-like housing) and brought him home to meet my family and eat good food. It took a good bit of convincing him that meeting my parents wasn’t a big deal.

They’re cool folk and fun to be around and we’re always inviting people over. Then we started dating and I married him. He finally understands why bringing random folk home for a good home cooked meal is totally normal to me.

He still thinks it’s a little odd how inviting we are to everyone, but he at least gets it.

8. This is a whole lot to digest.

My mom and my brother liked eachother a lot. Once I walked in on them “hugging in bed”. My brother died at fifteen and she called him the love of her life at his funeral. No one batted an eye at this so I didn’t either.

My mom later ‘told my dad a secret about her’ and he filed for divorce and custody of me the next day. They asked me all sorts of questions about being touched (by either of them) in the custody hearing and my mom just told me it was my dad’s way of taking me from her. I was 13 by then.

That same year I came out to my mom as gay. She was super upset but not in the usual mom way, although I didn’t know that at the time. It was more like the “Someone who just got broken up with” way. Also she had a teenaged cousin who everyone said was a really good looking fellow and she kept his photo on the fridge and when it disappeared (it had fallen off and was under the fridge) she had a nervous breakdown. Not an exaggeration.

She had to see a therapist after and was very distant after that. She was totally a shit mother before all of that is factored in but I never put any of the pieces together until I was about thirty I guess. Now a lot of the things she did make much more sense. She didn’t see me as her kid so she didn’t treat me like one.

Luckily for me it never got to the point where she physically abused me, but my brother basically beat the s*%t out of me on a regular basis and would do some really f**ked up stuff to me like shoot me repeatedly with a BB gun or stab me with a steak knife.

My mom didn’t care. Now I know why.

7. Ohhhh no that’s a twist.

My mom and her gf would make my sister and I regularly pee in a cup (I was about 13, she was around 11) and tell us it’s to make sure we weren’t doing drugs (Very strict household)

10 years later my mom’s gf got pretty drunk and finally confessed to us they were both using our urine to pass their own drugs tests.

6. It was just normal.

Apparently most families don’t have three children born with only a 1 year age gap between them.

Before university I was convinced that our family was the standard and that siblings born more than 3 years apart were the outliers.

But since coming to college, every time I tell people my siblings are all a year apart I get something to the effect of “Oh my God, your poor mother”

5. No roots for you.

I can say most of my childhood was like this due to being in an abusive home, but one of the things that were straight up weird was the constant hopping from home, to home to home to home. We wouldn’t stay in one place more than a year and apparently that’s not normal.

I only found out later that my step-grandfather was wanted for something, and now I wonder if we were ever actually living in those places via rent or if we were squatting.

4. Denial is a strong motivator.

Never ever talking about issues as a family.

Issues? What issues? We don’t have issues. Only you have issues and you shouldn’t have them. If you do have them, it’s because you’re spoiled and ungrateful and not because of anything that we did.

3. No one ever mentioned it.

Eating walnut makes your mouth burn. Every time i eat anything with walnut, was burning my palate, gums and tongue for a while after. It was like that from day one of my life, and i thought its normal.

You eat cake – your mouth burn, its a package deal. Never questioned or mentioned that to anyone, i just assumed thats normal.

I was in mid 30’s and my brother mentioned that he had alergic rection to walnut, and that his mouth were burning so he had to go to doctor asap… I took me 30+ years to find out that i have walnut alergy to some degree.

I still eat it.

2. Disinterested parents.

Same. I played 3 or 4 different sports at high school, no one ever came to one of my games. I didn’t ask. Parents never knew what i was studying in school. They saw my grades but those were always A or Bs so no discussion.

Not surprisingly, I left home at 18 and didn’t reconnect with them in a real way until my 30s. As they aged, i rearranged my life to move them to be closer to me so i could help them. They both passed in the last 18 months and i feel glad knowing that in the end I was there for them despite their absence in my life.

My mom hated me for it. She was a narcissist. Daddy was an alcoholic. My life is a country song… or a pat Conroy novel.

1. Actually a pro-tip.

I always wanted candy from the grocery store when we were checking out. My mom told me it was illegal for the cashier to sell children candy if it wasn’t their birthday.

I was in third grade before I realized it was untrue.

I remember being totally devastated when I got married and found out their family didn’t have cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Blasphemy!

What was your moment like this? Share with us in the comments!