When Remembering Mean Adults from Your Childhood...

…does it comfort you to think, “Ah well, they’re probably dead by now.”?

My first doctor was a general practitioner, not a pediatrician. He had no sense at all about how to deal with children as patients.

Yes, I admit it. When I was a kid, and I got shots, I cried. This jackass acted like this sort of behavior was totally out of line. He kept nagging me about it for years as I grew up, and was no longer crying about getting a shot. He had me convinced that I was some kind of weak insufferable brat because my vaccinations made me cry. He convinced my parents of that too.

It wasn’t until years later, when I was watching a news show about kids getting vaccinations which had footage of kids getting shots that I realized I wasn’t a wussy freak. Guess what? Every single one of those kids on the show started crying!! I still get indignant when I think about it.

It wasn’t just shots either. Once, he was doing office surgery on my dad’s ingrown toenail, and I was there. My dad yelped, and I put my hands up to my mouth. That no good bastard turned to me, when I was all of maybe seven years old, and said, “You shouldn’t be laughing at this. There is nothing funny about it.”

I wasn’t laughing. I was filled with horror. That stupid idiot couldn’t tell the difference, and just assumed the worst of me no matter how I acted.

Anyway, whenever I am reminded of him, usually during doctor’s appointments, I comfort myself with the thought that he is no doubt dead by now, since he was already elderly back then. What a jerk.

Any similar tales to tell?

Now that I’ve posted this, it seems to me that this might be better suited for the Pit. Mods, please move this thread if you agree.

It’s no comfort to me to think that the sadistic dentist that my sibs and I had to go to is probably dead. No comfort to my sibs, either. This guy either didn’t use a real anesthetic, or he didn’t use enough of it, or he wasn’t willing to wait for it to take effect, because ALL of us remember very painful sessions with him.

And I kind of wish that the people who poisoned my dog when I was a teen were still alive.

My husband was in the care of a friend of the family for a few years. He says that when she dies, he and his brother and sister are going to make a road trip specifically to piss on her grave. She had the care of the three of them, or rather was SUPPOSED to care for them. From what he tells me, there was very little care involved.

No satisfaction from knowing they are dead. Not all are dead yet, people live a long time now. I think I might get a little satisfaction from an apology, but I’m not expecting any.

Not really. I do feel less sympathy for their death tho. When our Elementary School principal, who once pulled my hair until I was kneeling, died of cancer, I couldn’t bring myself to feel all that bad about it. But neither did I become gleeful. I did feel a slight glow when Bin Laden died.

I suppose I do harbor some ill will towards adults that were mean to me, but I’ve long ago made peace with and even FB friended bullies who were my peers.

No. It doesn’t undo what happened.

No. :dubious:

It kind of makes me feel better. And I kind of hope they didn’t go pleasantly.

I don’t think about it one way or the other, because outside of some deeply fucked-up individuals, I don’t think being cruel is a one-off, individual thing. It’s people acting as products of their upbringing, training, or beliefs. And we all used to be brought up and trained to believe that any adult ought to have authority over any child.

I can think of one, she was my second-grade teacher. I was a “good kid” to whom classroom assignments came easily, so I was always done by recess. She insisted everyone be done by recess, even the slower kids who clearly had harder times with some concepts. She would keep those kids in class after everyone else went outside, and whack them with a slim dowel (the size/kind used for those small classroom flags in the 70’s). She was a piece of work. I ended up staying after only once, and she broke the dowel on the butt of the kid ahead of me.

My mom, reflecting back on that particular teacher (my mom was active within the school as a non-teacher, library volunteer), told me years later she was pretty sure that old nun was having a really tough perimenopause problem. Not that it’s an excuse, but these days she would have been able to get more help/medication/therapy/diagnosis to keep her job.

Of course at that time, all she had to do to keep her job was hit people.

No. Most aren’t, and knowing that those who are, are, doesn’t bring any comfort.

On the other hand, knowing that the daughters of one of them are as mean to their mother as the mother was to us brings a certain schadenfreude. I understand that’s the reason she went through a bout of trying to wave away her old behavior, followed by occasional ones of trying to ask for people’s forgiveness; pity she didn’t learn that particular lesson before I met her. It’s the Phys Ed teacher to whom I spoke for the last time during her waving-away period and when she tried to get all cozy-cozy I told her “maybe you already have Alzheimer’s but I don’t; I remember very clearly that if you’d been able to get away with it I wouldn’t have been able to star HS on time because of your subject. By the way, give my regards to your sister.” (The sister had replaced her for a couple of months and was a good teacher)

“They’re dead now” is no consolation, since by that same token we all will be someday too. But I like kids, and anyone who doesn’t is missing out on something.

As for those who are cruel to children: think about something you did accidentally to harm your child: the zipper biting into their fat little neck, the discovery that even if you poke a hole in the shell a microwave egg will explode in your child’s face, etc. That kind of “oh shit!” gets smeared all over their psyche until it’s caked on.

If I think about them being dead it just pisses me off because now I can never make them take it back.

Mostly this. Not that I could really do anything about it anyway. I had a teacher who would call me stupid, make the class laugh at mistakes, told me I was too stupid and bad at languages to go the school I wanted to go to. I ran into her years later and though I would have liked to have said “actually, I have and IQ of 140 and I speak 7 languages, you worthless piece of shit”, how do you say that?

I know she had lung cancer (heavy smoker), dunno if she died. I wouldn’t feel better.

Mostly, the memories of how adults don’t take children seriously had really helped me to relate to children. I know how important it is to listen and be serious about things children say.

More than being happy they died, I can think “ha, I am way more successful, intelligent, kind, loving and loved than you ever were!”

No. I don’t see how someone else’s misfortune makes my life any better. :confused:

Oh well, I guess I’m in the minority on this one. Just to clarify, I wouldn’t say that I’m gleeful about my first doctor being dead, and I don’t fantasize about his death being long and painful.
I just feel very anxious during doctor visits, and a lot of that anxiety stems from how that jackass treated me. So, when the thought of him comes up in the waiting room or wherever, I just think, “Well, he’s dead by now,” and it sort of calms me down.

I do sometimes think about the adults from my childhood that are no doubt dead by now, and just sort of do some musing about mortality in general, including my own. Morbidity of thought sometimes gives me a sort of meditative peace. That’s clinical depression for you.

Not that I’m in a hurry to be dead. It’s just how I think.

My grade nine music teacher singled me in a particularly nasty way on the first day of class in highschool. No idea why me in particular, but he seemed especially contemptuous of students from the school I had come from - a school in a posh neighbourhood, that I had only been at for a year. And no, I wasn’t from a wealthy family, I was just in that school’s catchment area. In that class he clearly had favourites. I was never one of them.

He was a much beloved teacher, perhaps he was good to those students he liked, but I always thought that what he had done to me was mean and undeserved. So when I read his glowing obituary in the newspaper a decade later, all I could think was good. I was not happy that he had died, but I felt no sadness either.

No, because then I’ll think about all the adults who were nice to me and wonder if they are also dead.

I’d rather much run into them and make them feel bad. One of the first grown-up villains of my life wasn’t actually mean to me, but to my twin. She was the teacher’s aide for the first grade. My sister’s class was right next to mine, and during this time she was going through some strange math phobia that hadn’t infected me. One day she comes busting into my classroom in tears. Ms. Pickens had commanded her to bring me back with her so that I could “teach” her how to do the math assignment. The whole time I was there, Ms. Pickens kept calling my sister stupid, while she just cried and cried. I wanted to cry too but for once in my life, I had to be the “strong” one.

Ten years later, I was working at a concession stand at Six Flags and this lady comes to my register. She recognizes me before I recognized her. It’s Ms. Pickens. Of course she was all nice and friendly and all. And like a wuss, I reciprocated. But the whole day I kept replaying what I had wanted to say to her, in addition to all the neck-wringing and head-bashing. I’d love for my twin and I to bump into her the next time we’re in Atlanta. But alas, she’s probably dead.*

*Actually, she probably is still alive. But as a kid, she reminded me of June from the Pointer Sisters. And June is dead, so why wouldn’t Ms. Pickens be?

No. None are dead, that I know of. That said when they do kick off, I doubt I’ll be shedding any tears.

I don’t remember any adults being that nasty. What I remember are the sadistic little shits who made my years in school so miserable. Yes, if I heard that one of the major offenders died horribly, it would cheer me up some. To tell the truth, I’ve occasionally thought that some of them might have grown up to be decent citizens, even pillars of their community, and that thought sickens me somewhat. Relentlessly tormenting little kids should mark you for life.