What is your most unsettling childhood memory? Add the year, if you can.

I don't know the year this happened, because my parents actively tried to repress this memory for me. Eventually, they even convinced me that it was a dream. However, my father said something recently that makes me think otherwise. This happened during my early-ish childhood, so late 80's/early 90's.

Here's what I remember: I was at a chinese restaurant with my parents. An old man came up to talk to me while I was with my parents. He grabbed my arm and pulled me away and I started screaming. I remember my parents yelling at me, like they were even on the man's side, but I don't remember exactly what. Eventually I got away from the man, but I remember being terrified that somebody was trying to steal me. When I became a little older and learned what kidnapping was, I always associated that memory with being kidnapped, and my parents not really caring.

I remember asking my parents one time whether somebody had tried to kidnap me because the memory was vague, but I always remembered it. When I asked this, I was probably around 10 or 11 years old. My mom said no, and that that memory must have just been a dream, and that nothing like that ever happened in a restaurant.

So fast forward to 2013-ish. I'm a grown man and my father is relaying stories of seeing some distinguished members of society that he knew around town. Then he tells me how he used to always see this one older gentleman at a chinese restaurant that he used to take my family to. And that the old man thought I was just a wonderful kid and loved to come talk to my father and play with me.

So it instantly clicked. What probably happened was that as a child, I was terrified of strangers. We saw the old man at the restaurant, who knew my father, and the old man grabbed my arm just to play around or something--but to a child, that's terrifying. That's why my parents at the time didn't seem like they cared. They knew the man and knew it was harmless. But my mom, who always denies that anything has ever gone wrong, pretended this never happened and told me it was just a dream, which made it all the more creepy.

/r/creepy Thread