I broke something at a hotel and noticed how differently I was treated.

I broke something at a hotel and noticed how differently I was treated.


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I’m a 30 year old man. 3 kids. Married. I FREAK when I do something wrong. Even with 10 years of my wife telling me to calm down and it’s ok, that she’s not upset, I can’t help it. My stomach gets into so many knots the Boy Scouts would have issues. My heart races and I just embrace for the tongue lashing that will come. I feel for you. We were never allowed to make mistakes. Never allowed to step out of line in the slightest, bc we knew what would come. If you ever just need someone to talk to or to vent to, hmu


It's a horrible feeling, isn't it? It'll make me physically ill until I'm 100% assured that everything is okay and resolved. I'm really sorry you feel it, too. Nobody deserves to feel that way over an accident. I'll make the slightest blunder and freeze like a deer in the headlights waiting for the yelling. Thank you so much, man.


I’m constantly wondering if I’m in trouble, if my boss sends a text to see him at the end of the day. My entire day is just thrown off and I’m anxious to be yelled at and fired. Worked there almost 6 years and have gotten in “trouble” once but it still happens. It gets better, but it takes constantly telling yourself it’s not going to be the same. And that’s just hard to do


I totally understand that. I can't stand when people tell me they need to talk to me later. It makes me sick, and the rest of my day will be ruined and I won't be able to focus on anything else except what they're probably angry at me for, even if I don't remember anything wrong I could've done.


I'm like that too. If certain ones of my bosses do it the ones who trigger me, or who have bullied me), I'm convinced that they are going to put me on disciplinary measures, which (if they deemed that I'd failed) would result in them sacking me.


I got anxiety just reading this. My parents would pull that and then come to my house with a notepad of all my “documented problems and insults”. Half the time I wouldn’t even know what they were talking about. The amount of stress before visits was awful. I’ve been no contact for years and I still get anxiety if one of my friends asks if we can talk.


When someone moves I instinctively cover my face to block a hit, which is a reason I suck at volleyball


10 years with a kind partner?? Do you think it'll ever go away?


Nah. That’s why I married her. Even when I freak out and think we need to divorce bc I can’t be the right guy for her, she always pushes back and says I’m over thinking and I need to breath and chill. She’s always there. I don’t deserve it, but I was lucky enough to find it.


She sounds amazing.


She is Edit: spelling


You DO deserve it


Same here - except I’m a single-by-choice 34F cat owner. I still remember when I met my best friend and learned for the first time how normal families acted. It was straight up trippy and even now I deal with the effects of the Ns I was stuck being around most of my life. **You are far from alone and if you’re 18+ and aren’t No Contact I strongly urge it.**


I'm sorry that you experience that same feeling when making a mistake. Nobody deserves that, and I'm glad you've found people who have let you feel how you deserve to be treated. I unfortunately don't have the money to move out on my own, but I plan on it after gaining a stable income. Thank you so much.


I wish you only the best in that challenge! 🙏 🍀 🤞


Yeah, I struggle with this sort of thing. Especially with my kids. I try to make sure they get told off only if they are being silly or reckless and something got broken. If they genuinely just dropped it, shit happens. It does remind me of something with a friend who has serious FLEAs, dunno if he's from an nFamily but something like it. We were at a big party at his house with lots of friends, it did descend into a raucous drunken affair, but in a nice way. At some point one of his friends accidentally knocked a framed photo off a wall as he stumbled to the bathroom, don't think he realised he'd done it until he came out. Anyway, the frame and glass were broken but the picture undamaged, so he scooped it all up and carefully put it on a small table nearby ... it was sort of obvious he was being careful so no-one cut themselves, and at the same time knew he was too drunk to deal with it properly without perhaps damaging the thing more. We found him a bit later wiped out snoring on a sofa near the crime scene. Anyway, my FLEA friend went totally mental, a complete extinction reaction, in his mind his mate had done this deliberately to upset him and placed the evidence on the table to taunt him, this ended in a fist fight. I always remember it as a bit bizarre and put it down to drink, the lateness of the hour, maybe some other emotional things. But then your post made me think of this in the context of what would happen to me for silly things getting broken, or spilled, or whatever, nFather would go mental and come out with the most ridiculous stuff usually ending up ranting about how I had done it on purpose just to get at him. And his mother was even worse. On some occasions they were actually blaming me for something they themselves had done. I also got extremely good at repairing things!


This is a great post because I love seeing everyone normalize this shit. I PANICKED when a mirror cracked in the house I was renting. No idea why, just the house settling or something. I freaked out at the cleaning lady because I was deathly afraid of getting in trouble, wanted to make sure it wasn't my fault... When I told my landlord she shrugged and said "glass breaks." WTF is wrong with me? A few months later I was watching "Crazy Stupid Love" and the kid breaks a picture frame early on. The babysitter says "no problem, I'll say it was me." Nothing else happens. No one cries, yells or has to pay to replace it. What? Is that how normal families react? 2 seconds and that small accident basically never happened. I probably would have been grounded for a week. Blah. Thanks for sharing OP.


When I was 8, my dad berated me to tears for not doing a good enough job painting a dollhouse. That’s just one example, but 20y later it still bothers me to not do everything more or less perfectly. I have OCD like he did and if things aren’t executed really well it feels like converging bad will happen. Hard to know where OCD ends and CPTSD and personality begin. When I break something I still cringe expecting to get yelled at even if it’s my thing and the only other person present is my mellow-yellow best friend who’s never once even snapped at me on a bad day. Healthy families don’t use abuse as a punishment, no. It’s not our fault we grew up in unhealthy families


I have learned to somehow cope with this feeling since I've been alone most my adult life, but my SO experiences this almost every single time her klutziness acts up. I swear sometimes I see her physically tremble and freeze up when she spills something/breaks something/does something awkward whatever. It's a sad sight to see tbh, and it's heartbreaking knowing that the only thing I could do for her is constant reassurance that nobody is going to yell/scream/embarrass her anymore, and that she's no longer in that kind of environment. I'm sorry your family dynamic was awful and has traumatized you until now. I'm glad your friend has shown you something better than what you grew up with. Virtual hugs!


I work in a hotel. For staff, this is a thing that happens--a minor annoyance, *maybe* gets one mention when griping with coworkers because we have to dig out the replacement part or put the room OOO, but part of the job. Similar to griping about not being able to park anywhere close or drink our coffee while it's hot. (Actually, those are both worse!) You didn't break the mirrors, stain the towels and bathroom with hair dye, shit on the bed, put holes in the walls, hit on the staff, bother other guests, or demand a discount because the toilet was "so fragile it broke when you set a towel on it." You actually *revealed the damage* and even *tried to fix it.* That's like, a gold star to us. Guests who admit their accidents and mistakes instead of trying to make it our fault are great! I. . .think this is how normal families act? Haven't been part of one, though, so I can't say for sure. It's how normal roommates act, for sure.


I know this isn't the point, but I hope it's ok to say anyway. I grew up in a really sexist (understatement) community. My dad and brother seemed fine while my mom, sisters, and I were a wreck. I have this belief so deep within me that only women and girls have these kinds of problems. It still causes cognitive dissonance any time I hear a man or boy tell painful stories and experiences — and for me to be able to relate on a deep level. My dad was a hurt child and so I can empathize. But he was also extremely abusive... and I often believe most men are abusive too, because of my experiences with my community and my dad. So I guess just thanks for telling your story. And helping me on my journey to realize men and boys can be affected by narcissistic abuse too and have trauma responses too. Again, I know how silly this sounds so I don't really need people to point it out. I'm just feeling grateful and more empathetic.


the sad thing is that, the grass always seems greener on the other side


Omg. Thank you for sharing this. I feel less alone in my reactions after reading this. (Plus, that bit you mentioned in the comments about messages and anxiety.) This happened to me last year. I was staying at a friend's place. And I offered to host a cocktail / tapas party for her and her family and a few guests. During prep, I accidentally cracked their crystal jug as I poured hot water into it (duh). But the anxiety was ridiculous. The (slow mo) moment I realised what I had done, as the hot water left the kettle until I heard the glass crack. I started crying and spiralling (not in front of them but I was panicking and was texting a friend about the incident). I searched frantically online for a replacement. Placed an order (wasn't cheap, so I felt even worse). I felt sick before fessing up. Then when I told me friend what had happened, she told me to cancel the replacement order and get a refund! Because: "It's just a jug!! Don't be silly." It was then I realised how horrible my nDad had been all these years, and for me to think his response was "normal". When I was around 11, I had some friends over, and one of my friends broke something (non sentimental). My dad lectured me all evening and the for the MONTHS after that. I went to bed crying and apologising and wishing I was "better". Another time, when my sibling's friend accidentally broke a light while playing football, my dad berated that CHILD behind his back and to my brother's face and labeled the kid as a bad influence.


I get similar feelings when I make mistakes, but it's slowly getting better now since I don't spend very much time with my parents.


I’m not sure how normal families resolve broken items but I do know that my plan with my future kids is gonna be “Ok who spilled the milk?” “Ok go get a paper towel and wipe it up and try to use both hands when picking up the jug or ask me or your dad to pour you a glass until you are strong enough to hold a gallon jug”. And that would be it. Mess cleaned up as if it never happened. Once my brother and I broke something and super glued it back together carefully and put it back on the shelf. She never noticed until a few weeks later when she was dusting, grabbed the item and it broke again in her hand. Even then, she thought she just grabbed it hard and didn’t see the glue on the shards. We never told her. Because why bother if she’s gonna scream and berate us? That’s why you just be chill and teach the child how to fix their mistake and move on. They’re more likely to come to you if they do make a mistake and need your advice instead of trying to stupidly cover it up.


this happened to be i remember being about 15. was out to eat with some friends and spilled my drink. i started freaking out, apologizing etc and then when they giggle and wiped it up a bit, i started crying. the realization that they werent going to call me a dumb fuck, clumsy or hit me, yell or berate me for hours hit me so hard i just cried in the restaurant. that was that start of me realizing all families didn’t function this way


Feeling this so much.. When I accidentally spilled a drink, I started crying. My bf thought it was because this was the last bit of the drink and said he would clean it and grab some more at the kiosk down the street. I thought he made fun of me and it was the calm before the storm but no he was serious. And then shocked what I expected. It's still a first fast reaction to mistakes like this but meanwhile I am stable thanks to therapy. It's not your fault you reacted like this. And also men are allowed to feel like this. You seem like a really nice guy and I am happy for you that you're surrounded by healthy people :)


My partner is like this. Being really understanding when I freak out about the smallest things. People really aren’t as hateful as nparents make them out to be. It’s just that narcissists are weak opportunists who need to put others down to feel powerful.


This reminds me of the time when I was 11 or 12 and n-sperm-donor had some friends over for dinner (really nice married couple in their 60s). I was washing the dishes after we ate and accidentally broke one of the pasta bowls, I froze with terror, hoping no one had noticed. The wife asked me what was wrong, and before I could stop myself I broke down into tears and started apologizing profusely, to the couple's utter bewilderment. N-sperm-donor pretended like it was no big deal, but after they went home he unleashed his full blown rage upon me. To this day I still break into a cold sweat fight-or-flight panic if I think I've screwed the pooch, and it's at it's absolute worst if I accidentally break something that shatters like glass or ceramic. Just the sound of something shattering sets my hairs standing on end.


Yeah, one of the biggest clue is to the fact that something was amiss in my home growing up was that on the morning of my husband and I's second anniversary, for the first time in our marriage, I dropped and shattered a glass and I immediately had the exact same reaction as you described above. Heart pounding, dry mouth, cold sweat, etc. But my husband comes rushing in and I immediately start apologizing but he says, "It's ok. What can I do to help you?" and I just stood there for a moment, mouth agape before stammering that I needed shoes. He went and got me some and we worked together to clean it up. I was absolutely astonished by the fact that he wasn't angry, didn't yell at me, he didn't tell me that I was clumsy or careless. He just got me shoes and then helped me clean up the mess... 🥲 It was later that year that I started therapy because it began to settle in for me that my life with my husband wasn't ever going to turn into what my life growing up was because my home and family growing up were abusive and neglectful. I had just been waiting for the other shoe to fall and it began to dawn on me that there wasn't another shoe. This was really how things were supposed to be. Honestly, I think that the front desk clerk was probably more surprised by your honesty and willingness to fix the problem than by the fact that you broke the toilet because when you think about how some people stay in hotels to party, there's no telling what kind of damage they have seen!


Love you mentioned the other shoe dropping. Been trying to dispel that feeling for some time, makes me feel less alone.


Yeah, if we find the right partner, it can go a long way in the healing direction. They don't heal us but rather give us a stable ground in which to heal. It takes work and communication and you both have to be on the same page as far as your healing goes but it's incredibly helpful when you have that.


This thread is a nugget of pure gold. Thank you OP and all those who replied. The only thing to add is how the incident will continue to be brought up for years. So, for all their preaching of “forgive and forget” and “get over it,” they never do.


Yeah last night I told my parents that I got into a car accident when someone rear ended me on Saturday. I'd been dreading telling them but it's their car so my responsibility. There was a lot of yelling and getting me to do the claims. I didn't know how to manage getting hit. What do you ask for in a car accident? I forgot to get the license plate number. Police? Should I call insurance or will that raise rates? My dad says maybe one day they'll give the car to me anyways. I'd like that tbh. Mom says if they buy a house for me (by which I'm sure they mean down payment and lease in their name) that they'll only hand it to me when I have my second kid. Shit about me getting in another car accident again where I got hit in the leg when getting off public transit, and how I'll get no money from the case. Shit about how I'll die alone at 80/90. Now I'm scared to go downstairs because I'll get yelled at. Grown ass man afraid of getting yelled at is right. People think drill instructors are bad. Fucking drill instructors would turn into crying messes if they had to hear my mom yell at them. But I have to take a picture of the damage (there's a plastic bump on the bumper that almost came off). 2 straight hours of yelling. That's going to set me back. My girlfriend was there to listen. She says parents just can't control their emotions. Partly I just want to leave, get my own apartment, say fuck it and pay $1k extra a month on rent, and move back to my friends. But if I stay with them I get to use the car, and I get to see my gf. I think if we break up I'm leaving though. I'll get my green card renewed and get the eff out. Or fuck it I'll leave and have the new green card arrive in the mail.


Drill instructors would be scared of my mother banshee screaming at them too!


I once got terrible food poisoning of my life in a hotel in Laos (the day before a five day cycling trip!) and made an incredible mess of the bathroom. I was so incredibly scared, apologetic and embarassed. The lovely hotel staff just shrugged and said it happens. We just get hardwired to be scared that we're going to be yelled at.


Even with a husband who couldn’t care less I freak out for no reason over all kinds of little things.


Today I had driving lessons, I hit a sidewalk and the cone thingies because I couldn’t focus, and the instructor didn’t get mad at me. I cried once I got home because she was so nice, I said sorry she said that’s how I’m gonna learn.