Everybody wants to be thought of as special. Every parent believes their child is special and gifted beyond measure and the rest of the world needs to bask in the glory of their offspring. That can be a lot of pressure for children to battle. Their is no ONE definition that makes anyone special. What is special? Or gifted? Having the I.Q. of Einstein doesn't make you accomplished or define your humanity. So when we discover our brain power is just as good as anybody's we learn that other things can be far more important to survival.
Redditor u/JayTheFearless wanted to hear the truth from those who have discovered they aren't quite as brilliant as they were lead to believe by wondering.... People who were told they were "gifted" growing up, how did you deal with realizing that you were pretty average?
Bless the Mediocrity!Giphy
To be honest, it was a massive relief. I'd gone through school as The Clever One and when I went to Uni, finding out that I was solidly mediocre was a blessing. All of a sudden, I could be myself - I didn't need to worry about doing the best in exams or getting a first. I enjoyed my time, got a very average 2:1 and now have a fun job where there's no pressure to be 'gifted.' With_Difficulty
It doesn't matter how smart you are; you always hit the level where you meet people who are equally smart. Or good looking, or athletic, or savvy. And when you measure up the competition and see that they're as good as you or better, you'll come to realize: being smart just gets you a seat at the table.
Raw talent, no matter how little or how much, can only accomplish so much. At some point, you will be forced to ask the question 'what can I do, and what do I want to do with that?' The answers can lead you to a fulfilling life, at pushing your capabilities and achieving things you've fought for - but you have to find the answers first. ReplicatedPenguin
The Truth will out!
Haha I didn't deal with it very well at all. I went to a private school, I was in the gifted class all through high school. Always told I was smart and creative.
I was shocked when just showing up and winging it wasn't good enough anymore. I had a breakdown at University, dropped out and was depressed doing as little as possible with my life for years.
Instead of realizing that everyone needs to make mistakes and work hard on things to grow I was like "Oh I guess I was wrong and I'm actually stupid, guess I'll figure out how to live life as a dumb idiot."
I think telling someone their value is their intelligence is a really unhealthy mindset to encourage, especially in a kid. It's not how I choose friends, it's not what makes someone good to work with, it's not gonna mean someone is well adjusted or happy. Bitter-root
I Got This!
I didn't try at all in high school and I was 3rd in my grade. The few times I studied I would always get the top mark.
I didn't study for most of my finals and got into engineering at the best uni in my country.
I was told that it's difficult but my dumb @ss was like, "I got this." Didn't go to class, didn't do homework, didn't study for tests. Barely passed the first tests, still didn't study. Completely failed the 2nd test (I got 9% for my one test).
I was like, "well I guess I'm stupid." Didn't study for exams, because I'm too dumb, failed 2 courses. Got really suicidal.
Continued with my same stuff. Was sure I'd get kicked out. Idk how I've made it this far.
I have zero work ethic, I just failed a maths test because I started "studying" the day of the test. Accepting you're stupid is so much easier than actually trying. AwkwardSpacePotato
Deal with it Snowflake!Giphy
It was kind of an "I told you so" moment too.
"Wow you learned how to divide! So talented"
"Well that was the assignment so.."
"You read Shakespeare! Gifted child!"
"Again I'm just doing what you tell me and doing it in the timeframe you ask.."
"You're reading for fun! You're not like other kids your age!"
"I'm just re-reading Hatchet for the seventh time. Most of my friends read too."
Then I'm in college and it's like "Ha! You're average! Bet nobody ever told you that huh?? Well tough crap snowflake! You have to deal with it!" TimerForOldest
Keep the motivation!
Posting thing because honestly, coming to terms that I wasn't some super intelligent genius sucked. I always thought I'd be able to do complex computer stuff or maybe build a spaceship, but I'm nowhere near that level. I've found my own strengths now, and I'm actually much happier now that my ego isn't super inflated by adults commenting on how "mature" and "gifted" I was. That kind of praise killed my motivation to study, because I thought I would just know things automatically. I'm in Uni now, but it's because I worked really hard for it, and learning those study habits I didn't develop as a kid really kicked my butt for a while. JayTheFearless
It keeps going down hill ever since elementary school. I haven't been able to deal with it. It's my depression and lack of motivation that's been stopping me from being my best. It's a hard spiral to get out of. XMED
Forget smart... don't be lazy!
This is what I struggle with. I was never identified as gifted, but I was always smart enough that being ahead of the group didn't require any studying. As a result, I didn't develop a work ethic at a young age and, if I'm not careful, I have a tendency to slip into laziness.
What I told my niece years ago rings true. Dumb people who don't work hard will be failures. Smart people who don't work hard will do OK. Dumb people who work hard will do OK, too, and maybe even get farther than the lazy smart people. But the people who really go places are smart people who know how to work hard. Brains and a work ethic are an important combination.
But, even though I know that, it's pretty darn hard not to fall back into old habits... Sean_Ornery
Honestly telling a kid that they're gifted/mature is one the worst things you can do, I didn't like hanging out with people my age when I was young because they were into "kid stuff" but now all I feel like is that I wasted my childhood and didn't develop proper social skills, I'm at university now and I still get compliments from my peers for being "well read" but I'm envious of every single one of the other people, I'd much rather struggle academically and have a group of people to have lunch with and go out, the only reason I still am reading so much is because it is the only thing that makes spending so much time alone not utterly humiliating. C_T_Robinson
Nothing special IS special....Giphy
Since childhood my parents encouraged me to exercise, so I tried a lot of sports and in most of the places I went to, I'd hear that I was talented or that I was an "easy-learner." Turns out, I'm nothing special, the thing that I noticed was that when I started something, I would dive heads deep in it. I would go to practice, come back home and watch videos about whatever I was doing. My world and total attention would become that one thing. furiouspride
Do you 'Get It?'
Absolutely, I've always been told that I was a genius for understanding things so fast and being cultivated (relatively and that has nothing to do with being smart either but eh) despite not working/listening.
But when I started studying at higher levels and I realized I wasn't able to get good grades anymore because people around me were way better and expectations were much higher. I tried to start studying but despite trying a good number of working environments and getting better habits I could never manage to 'get it' and focus.
It felt really bad because I thought that I only had my intellect and I was put with several at least as 'smart' as me and way better working.
After failing I went studying in another school where the level is much lower and people are calling me a genius again which kinda feels bad now that I've experienced that being smart is relative and that understand fast doesn't make you competent. Sensonin
Everyone was First place!
I gradated from high school as valedictorian and got into a great college. I got to college and turns out, my new peers were valedictorians too! All of the sudden I was average, and the material only got more difficult. I was always a hard worker, but this hammered home that being smart does not negate the need to push yourself. sullyonthemove
Just being YOU is a success....Giphy
Although it sucks being that guy, it depends on your personality; I took it well because it helped me realize that I don't need 3 PhD's to prove my potential. golden-sauce
It's just a label...
Looking back, I'm not sure how I made it into the group. I always knew I was the least gifted out of the group of us who were in the "gifted and talented" program. When we got into high school, I had the lowest grades in the group. Yea, low 90s were my thing, but that's not anything special, especially in a school renowned for its academic program. I never made it into the top 10 for grades. However, I'd always score in the 97th to 99th percentile for the standardized testing.
Unlike others in the group, I didn't possess any natural talents or any drive for extra knowledge. I liked extracurricular activities and being a leader, but that's also because I was a big fish in a small pond. I suppose I demonstrated analytical and leadership skills.
I've done well in life in terms of get degrees and professional job(s). I don't earn as much money as I could since I don't like enjoy the stress that comes with the money.
My life is consistently above average. I do pretty well at things I try but never amazing. I cannot say I've ever excelled at anything. While I'm happy where I am, I do wonder if it's because I don't apply myself enough or if it's because I just never found my "thing." flabbergastedpanda
Reality hit me like a ton of bricks when I finished college. All through school, I was top of the class, valedictorian, summa cum laude, etc. Turns out I wasn't really 'gifted' at all, I was just really good at jumping through all the hoops of the education system. Give me an assignment, and exam, I will ace it. When it came to forging my own path out in the real world, where there is no syllabus and no one cares about your GPA I got overwhelmed with how clueless I actually was about everything. Struggled with that "imposter syndrome" for many years and stayed pretty stagnant (although a still a classic "good employee") while I watched my peers move way ahead of me in their careers. I eventually figured out my workplace was pretty toxic and things have improved with a new job, and setting career goals for myself. But yeah, I'm average. snarkbitten
Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room?" I think for me, when I was in K-12, it's hard to find the right room. But when you get to college or choose a career, there are suddenly a lot more options for rooms to choose from. One of my goals in life is to always be moving forward, constantly improving in some way; frequently, this means increasing my knowledge or technical skill level, especially since I'm in my mid-20's. So although it's been difficult to find "the right room," it's much more gratifying, since that means that I'm surrounded by people I can learn from and with.
I guess what it comes down to in the end is your attitude. Sure, it sucks not being handed things because you're viewed as some sort of elite. But I enjoy feeling like I earned something through effort and determination, so it's worth those occasional moments of doubt. Lucky_Asian
I eventually grew out of that too and realized I'm not just average. I got through high school and college without ever learning to study or focus, so once I started my first real job and had to deal with failing for the first time, it made me feel like I was stupid and everyone had been lying to me my whole life to make me feel better. Eventually though, I realized that wasn't true either. If you're identified as gifted as a kid, you probably are, but rather than having to overcome difficulty learning things, you have to overcome difficulty with actually doing things instead of skating by despite being a lazy fuck.
He said, while on reddit at work... ElToberino
The Dumb Guy....
I knew from the start. I've always been a gifted speaker and fairly logical so people thought I was intelligent. It's actually really annoying because I have never gotten the help I needed in life. People always assume I have motivational issues or distractions because I'm a "smart guy." My intelligence and ability has NEVER been questioned.
I didn't deal with this well at all. I gave up in school because I got too far behind without getting help. So I straight up quit after 9th grade and started working. I wasn't going to waste my time anymore. But I sometimes wonder if I had gotten the help I needed then perhaps I would have been able to make a better life for myself. Jauxerous
The Dream will come....
I had a teacher-parent growing up. I was frequently told that I had an above average IQ and I should go study and stuff. I was a lazy person and didn't study a lot. I dropped out of no less than three higher education courses/schools that would have been my ticket to studying at an university.
Why didn't I study? Because I was sure I wouldn't need any degrees in my dream job. Guess what? I was right. wildfoxtattoo
It's odd honestly.
I was told I was gifted because I pick things up really quickly, and I still do. But I've always lacked the motivation to stick with one thing long enough to be excellent at it.
I typically change jobs every 18 months, and I'll stick with a hobby for 6 months or so before getting bored. I'm average-above average at a whole lot of different things, but I'm not truly exceptional at anything. TheRealGunn
- How bad should we feel for burnt-out gifted kids? | The Outline ›
- Not All Children Are Gifted ›
- Is Your Child Gifted? What to Look for, Why You Should Know ... ›
- Signs your child is gifted ›
- The Trouble With Bright Kids ›
- Do children need to know they're gifted? - Chicago Tribune ›
- Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform : Shots ... ›
- Pros and Cons of Telling Children They Are Gifted ›
- Should we tell them they're gifted? Should we tell them how gifted? ›
As the years go by, it's harder to imagine what life was like before the invention of the things we take for granted today. Things like cell phones that boast professional camera functions, ordering food online, and of course, social media.
Ask any 18-year-old what the world was like before social media came along, and they won't be able to answer. I barely remember that world!
Some people are worried about the way social media has overtaken the lives of children and wonder if we should place age restrictions on social media. Currently, most social media sites stipulate that users must be at least 13 years of age to register for an account.
Wondering if we should Redditor aussieredditooor asked:
"Would the world be a better place if we put a minimum age of 18 on social media, why/why not?"
The responses were quite mixed. Some people definitely thought the idea of placing an age restriction on social media was a winner.
"Facebook should go back to being just for college students. Once they opened up to everyone the world collectively became more dumb than it already was. There's that tweet that talks about parents warning children about the dangers of the internet, only to be the ones who should have taken heed of those words."
"Yes I’ve been suggesting this for a while. Social media is damaging for children. They should have a right to be kids and not worry about sh*tty insta posts. They also deserve to have some solitude after school and not be bullied through social media at home."
"There’s more than just one problem and some of them absolutely involve kids. Cyberbullying, for example, is absolutely a kids problem just as much as an adult problem."
"It's ridiculously hard enough for adults to navigate the complexities of online communication, let alone children, adolescents, and teens... Whose BRAINS are still developing."
"Studies have shown for years that a rise in online communication is detrimental to interpersonal skills."
"Yes 10 year olds don't need to see all the garbage people be posting. Kids don't need to know all the drama and hate. They need to learn to be nice and respectful before coming to social media. Social media made me see thing that I will never forget."
Others think the age restriction should go the other way. Instead of having a minimum age requirement, social media sites should institute a maximum age requirement.
"I think a maximum age would have a better effect honestly"
"Kids aren't the problem, they just laugh at memes and make dumb jokes the same as the rest of us."
"Put a maximum age like 65. Kick all the senior citizens off. They're the ones who promote violence, hate, etc."
"It would be a better place if we put a maximum age of 40 on social media."
"Only if we do a maximum age limit too. Both extremes of the age spectrum seem to make it a habit of posting the first vile thing that comes to their mind without a second thought as to whether it is factual or will cause hurt to others."
Some people think social media should be done away with altogether.
"Getting rid of social media will make the world a better place."
– Deleted User
"Just get rid of social media all together and things would be a lot better in this world"
"No. I think we should get rid of social media entirely, at least in its current forms. We need to get rid of all kinds of internet points, infinite scrolling, suggested content algorithms, targeted ads, and everything else that makes social media as addictive and divisive as it is. We need international laws about misinformation, hate speech, and encouraging violence, and if we can't make that happen then we should segregate it by country to lessen the chances of the real world being influenced by foreign trolls and the kind of memey BS that got Trump elected."
"We're better off interacting with the people in our local communities, and trying to change things in real life instead of complaining about them online and drawing validation from echo chambers on the internet. We can't live in a fantasy world forever, and we'll only dig ourselves into deeper holes if we try."
Most people agree that implementing an age restriction won't stop kids from using social media.
"Is that going to stop teens from going on their adults account? Not really. So it won’t help"
"People won't magically understand how to use the internet safely once they become of age. Blocking children won't work. We need to be educating children on how to engage with the internet safely, how to set boundaries and how to follow them."
"I signed up for MySpace at 11 or 12 when I think you had to be 13, most of my friends did the same. Same with Facebook when it had age limits back in the day. Hard to actually verify unless you have to put in your social security number or whatever equivalent other countries use for background checks which is a kinda dangerous slope."
"I mean, adult-only sites say "You can only view this content if youre 18+", do kids just be like "Oh ok I'll come back when Im 18"?"
However, it seems most people think an age restriction is a bad idea.
"I have only been over 18 for less than a year, so I’ll have to say no. I think that sheltering is one of the worst ways to teach safety. Also, I have learned about so many topics that I never would have without the internet."
A World Of Knowledge
"Blocking kids from social media would negatively impact minorities, disproportionately to non minorities. Many queer youth rely on the internet for support and advice to navigate the world safely."
"As I used internet as a form of escapism as well, and it also helped me learn about my bisexuality and my ADHD."
"I definitely found a lot of good help from online subgroups when I was younger. It’s tough bc there definitely is a lot of bad out there and it’s important we teach good Internet guidelines as a precautionary to avoid issues. I know my family was quite spoken on how I shouldn’t ever share any private info"
And that's the answer. Social media in and of itself isn't evil. In fact, sometimes, it's necessary. Between helping kids deal with their loneliness and depression, passing along important and truthful information, and just allowing ease of communication and teamwork, social media is a very good thing.
While the public's concerns are valid, getting rid of social media, or restricting who can and can't use it isn't the answer. Educating people on internet safety and what counts as helpful on social media, and what only causes harm, is the way to go.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below
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It's all our deepest fear to fall flat on our faces when there's a bunch of people around. No one wants to look the fool, and no one wants to look the fool especially when it happens before a group of people you're going to see every day for the forseeable future.
Embarrassing moments can come out of nowhere, but how you handle yourself in the aftermath is what matters. Laugh it off, shake it off, go with the chuckles, and let the people know you can't be hurt by it.
Well, unless you're any of the people in the stories below. Then I'd consider getting a new address and name.
Reddit user, Konke420xd, wanted to know when the shame was too much to handle when they asked:
"What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever witnessed?"
School seems like a good place to slip up and make a fool of yourself. Surely, everyone will treat it with care and kindness right?
"Oral," Not "Oral"
"I was a sophomore in HS (so around 16) taking the last leg of my county's sex ed class. It was a co-ed day, so our full gym class of about 30 kids was in the room. Topic was STD's. The teacher mentioned oral sex a few times and I guess which diseases can be spread through it. One guy who was always pretty quiet and shy raised his hand and said "I just don't really understand how you can get an STD from talking about sex..."
"It took everyone, including the teacher, a few seconds to understand, but some quiet laughter came from a few students. the teacher then of course had to explain as simply as she could that oral sex did not in fact mean talking about sex (I think the stupid bylaws of the program in our county didn't allow her to fully disclose what it was)."
"Anyway, we thought he was joking but as he heard the laughter from everyone after getting this explained to him, he slowly put his head down and covered his face for the next few minutes. Poor guy. I felt bad, but it was hard not to laugh. At least no one directly gave him sh-t for it afterward"
Keep Your Preferences At Home
"Community college in Tampa, 2009. Spanish class. Shy goth girl walks to the front of the class and plugs in her USB drive to boot up her PPT and begin her presentation like the rest of us did. Except when she pluged it in, a file opened up and the most vile anime porn started playing. Everyone was mortified for her. It took her maybe 3-4 seconds to turn it off but the moment felt like forever. She said, "THIS IS MY BOYFRIEND'S DRIVE!" and ran out of the room crying. The teacher just moved on. The girl didn't show her face for a week. Just an absolutely insane moment."
Triumph, Glory, Embarrassment
"At a pep rally to celebrate a sporting victory, a student insisted that he carry the school flag and run laps around the team. He tripped and fell onto the newly displayed trophy, immediately breaking it. This was on the front page of Reddit for a bit and I’m glad I witnessed it as my school’s claim to fame."
When You Want To Stand Up To A Bully But Fail
"There was this kid in my high school that was taking karate classes. He decided he wanted to fight a kid that was bullying him after school in the town park. A sh-t ton of people went. He got all pumped up before the fight. Instantly, once the fight started, he began doing karate moves at the air. Once he reached the bully, the first thing he decided to do was a very flashy "spinning backhand"(?). He missed by a mile and was knocked out immediately. I felt really bad for him. He was always known for not being able to read situations very well and that, being his first normal fight, was just the absolute worst time to try that move out. Bullies suck. It was embarrassing for both of them."
Public places seem like the perfect spot to get into all sorts of chicanery. After all, nobody is going to judge you for it on the internet.
Except, of course, that's exactly what we'll do.
To Be Fair, He Made The Right Call About His Idiocy
"Alright, so my husband and I were driving around the city and it was pouring outside. Absolutely pouring. We were about to pass the lightrail train tracks (going in both directions) when the crossing gates came down because the lightrail was approaching."
"One idiot in a van decided he could make it across before the gates came all the way down. He kept on driving, but he did not make it. Instead, his vehicle was now trapped between the gates."
"We could see from our car that this person was PANICKING. His life was flashing before his eyes. In his movie mind, the lightrail was about to crash into the van and drag it for dozens of yards before finally stopping... so he did what anyone would do. He violently pushed the door open and RAN in the pouring rain for his life."
"He was halfway down the street before he stopped, turned around, and noticed that the lightrail was patiently waiting for him to move the vehicle. The door was still open. My husband and I just about pissed ourselves laughing."
Keep Your Passions At Home
"I was watching a symphony orchestra concert at the Sydney Opera House one evening. The concert hall foyer has these huge glass windows beneath the sails that overlook the harbourside. The sun hadn't quite set yet, and every audience member that was exiting the hall could see this incredibly drunk middle aged couple having sex on a bench outside the hall."
When It's Not Just A Towel
"Was in a pool at a Euro beach resort. We’d been chatting with an old brit tourist, he got out of the pool and went to get changed poolside, using his towel to do the discrete swimming tog shuffle."
"Suddenly up steps an angry Frenchmam wanting HIS towel back..."
"Turns out our poor retired gent had grabbed the wrong towel. There ensued a desperate tug-of-towel as a very stroppy Frenchman attempted to rip his towel from this poor old guy who was butt naked and frantically trying to save his modesty."
"The old guy’s grandson saved the day, with an emergency towel transfer, but not before the whole pool complex had seen way too much hairy old British grandpa scrote."
We're Not As Cool As We Think
"I was at a food court and I got the brilliant idea to jump over a row of those plastic chairs and tables.. You know, the ones that are fixed to the floor."
"Foot got caught and I fell flat on my face. I stood up to 30 people clapping. One guy yelled asking for my autograph."
Perhaps the lesson best learned from these following stories is to make sure you use the bathroom before you leave the house.
Take It To The Dance Floor?
"I was on a high end cruise line at dinner. An older lady got up to go to the bathroom but missed and pooped herself in the dining room entrance. She left her panties there and continued on to the bathroom."
Maybe We Should All Only Poop At Home...
"I used to work in nightclubs. I once witnessed a girl leaning against a wall, casually flirting with a guy and as she laughed she actually sh-t herself. She was wearing a white dress and there was no hiding what had happened. The smell actually cleared the whole level of the club. She ran out crying. We had to clean poo off the floor where she had been standing. I often wonder what she is doing now..."
I think the lesson we can take from all of these is anything you would normally do in private that, in the moment, feels right to do in public, don't. Just, don't.
Have you ever seen something so embarrassing you felt bad from the person? Tell us about it in the comments.
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Not everyone is capable of mastering the art of conversation.
It takes skill to perpetuate a lively discussion while also being a respectful listener.
Some people are naturals at this.
Others, however, make up for their self-aware verbal shortcomings by overcompensating. Unfortunately, the ruse ends up exposing their insecurity, much to the delight of their amused audience.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor TheArchitect_7 asked:
"What’s a thing dumb people say that makes them think they sound smart?"
Some people just want reactions more than a back-and-forth interaction.
"'You wouldn't understand.' Yeah, that's why I asked you for an explanation."
"I sometimes use big words that I don't really understand to make myself sound more ambidextrous."
Looking At The Score
"The more someone emphasizes their IQ, the less smart I think they actually are."
"Everything happens for a reason, nothing is actually 'free' as someone has to pay for it, both parties are the same, you may have book smarts, but I have street smarts, common sense isn't so common anymore, but that's how we've always done it!"
"An addition to the previous: 'We will send 40 billion to Ukraine, but we won't spend 40 billion to secure our schools!'"
Things can get wacky when dealing with someone who is cantankerous.
"Something along the lines of 'You can’t prove it didn’t happen.'"
"A guy at work tried to pull this one on me. He believed one of those Animal Planet mockumentaries about a giant killer shark was real. When I told him it was all fiction and that there was no real proof of this kind of stuff, he tried to argue back about while he couldn’t prove it, I couldn’t disprove it either."
"There’s a saying about getting into an argument with a stupid person. This was my real world experience with it."
"Do you know who I am?"
The Equivalent Of Winning
"Thinking that getting a reaction out of someone is the same thing as winning an argument."
"My friend once used the phrase 'By its very definition' while we were arguing about something...so I asked him what the definition actually was, while he fumbled with that a bit I told him to stop using weasel words."
"'it all depends on how you look at it.' yeah thats f'king obvious."
We all love a good malaprop.
"For all intensive purposes"
It's Moot, Really
"Cracks me up every time."
Sometimes, editing yourself a bit in discourse with those who are intellectually out of your league is better than trying to keep up with them in an attempt to win their favor by articulating something you know nothing about.
I would explain better, but you wouldn't understand.
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*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
Positive memories stay with us forever that we can always revisit with a smile.
Witnessing a loved one receiving their diploma after years of dedicated studying, celebrating a sports victory with other teammates, or traveling to a dream destination with your significant other after months–even years–of careful planning.
But in addition to reveling in nostalgia, there are other life experiences we'd like to soon forget but have a difficult time shaking off.
Curious to hear about some of the more ominous events experienced by strangers online, Redditor IM_Not_A_Robot_10110 asked:
"What have you witnessed that will haunt you forever?"
What happens inside hospitals are full of trauma and heartache, even medical professionals have a hard time processing what they encounter.
The Pediatric Patient
"X-ray tech here, but I was a student at the time. Called to ER for trauma code. Only know it's a pediatric patient. The terror as I walk around the corner and see it's a little boy, same size as my son. We go to take an x-ray and he's making this high pitched shrill wheezing noise. They couldn't intubate enroute so we were doing a chest/neck to see what was going on. His neck was full of air."
"Come to find out the story later, he had tripped and fallen in school and his neck went square on a desk and he had broken his trachea. Believe he was stabilized & flown out. Never found out what happened after."
Calling Time Of Death
"ER nurse. This won’t haunt me in a bad way, but it’ll stick with me for sure. We were coding a middle aged lady we knew was going to die. We were pulling out the last ditch stuff hoping we’d get lucky, but everyone knew which way it was going."
"Family was there and in the room. When it was clear we had run through all the Hail Marys and it was time to call it, the husband spoke up for the first time. He had apparently been an EMT for a long time so he knew what he was looking at. He said he was going to do the final round of compressions."
"It was very respectfully done. He got up to do his 2 minutes, the nurses quietly started turning things off so there wouldn’t be continuous alarms, we called for a pulse check which the husband did, then we called time of death. He was thankful we let him do that and I was thankful to be a part of it."
"Not me, but my roommates fiancé is a flight nurse. She told me this story around Easter."
"They showed up to a scene being told beforehand that there was a patient with a gun shot wound and bleeding bad but that’s all they were told. When they got there they found a woman who was sitting on the ambulance gurney completely lucid and looking around, completely missing her lower jaw. She said you could see down her throat and she looked like a zombie. Her lower jaw was hanging to the side by some tissue and when she looked about it swung around and dangled. She said the woman seemed relatively calm and when she tried to speak what was left of her tongue kinda moved but nothing but gurgles came out."
"It was not a suicide, her boyfriend accidentally discharged his firearm while they were in his car."
AIDS Epidemic Era
"Retired RN. I was working in the PACU and helped another nurse take her patient to his room. As I was adjusting something by his head, he grabbed my hand and started crying. He kept saying I don’t want to die. He was barely 20. In an isolation room. I looked into his eyes and tried to comfort him as he sobbed. This was in the early days of the 'AIDS epidemic.' He died within a week. To this day I still see his eyes and hear him sobbing."
Traffic accidents can be some of the most gruesome scenes no one should ever have to witness.
"I live next to a busy street, inbetween lanes is a tram station. Teenager wanted to cross and got run over by a tram. Well, partly run over, he ended up with his body squeezed in between the tram and the tram station wall, with his legs stuck under the tram. It took about 1,5 hours until they had the equipment to lift the tram to get him out of there. They managed to reanimate what was left of him but he died in the hospital."
"It was Easter Sunday about 5 in the afternoon. I was driving home from the lake with a friend of mine on a country highway that’s pretty well traveled. It’s one of those single lane coming and single lane going where the speed limit is 70 roads. The intersections are far and few between so instead of an overpass it’s just a blinking yellow caution light. In what literally felt like the blink of an eye the car driving in front of me is struck on the drivers side door."
"The impact pushes both cars off to the road and onto the shoulder. I hit my brakes and was able to stop to help render aid. My friend and I get out of the car and run over to help. The drivers side door is crushed inward, driver has been pushed into the passenger side. It was a younger lady, maybe mid 30s. The impact pushed her out of her seat and into her daughter."
"You ever see movies where a dead body jump scares someone and it just stares at the with wide eyes and mouth agape….. yeah. The girl is ok but very confused. She has no visible injuries and is freely looking around so we unbuckled her and pulled her out of the car so she didn’t realize her mom was laying on her. As we do it I look at the mom and I can see a little life is left in her, so I said the only thing we could say. 'She’s alright.'”
"You could see the light in her eyes fade and she passes away. More cars stop and help out. As more people are here to help I start to realize that someone has been screaming, at me. In the back seat is her son. He must have been knocked unconscious and he’s now yelling, not out in pain but asking 'Is mom okay, is she okay?' I had no words for him, he was maybe 6. His sister was about 9. Thankfully about 4 of the cars that stopped were off duty first responders so they quickly took over for me. This was about 20 years ago, I was 17 at the time and I just saw a mom die in front of her 2 kids. I’m crying now thinking back on it and to this day I still refuse to ever take that road again."
"They finally build an actual stop light a couple years back. The area isn’t more crowded so I can only imagine what the motivation to improve that intersection was."
"I was designated driver at my friend's 30th birthday party. Had just dropped off my last friend and I was heading home. Little blue car zipped by me going maybe 10 over. Maybe a block ahead of me I see the speeding car hit two 20 yr olds who were running across the street. They were running to McDonald's across from the nightclub they were partying at and didn't wait for a red light. I'll never forget the girls blond hair in the bright headlights as she got hit. One thing that isn't ever correct in tv shows when people get hit by cars is how much damage it does to a human body. I distinctly remember his legs laying like 2m from his body. Both died right when paramedics got there."
"Getting hit by a car really is ugly. My girlfriend accidentally stepped on the street while we were having a minor disagreement and bam she was gone in a moment. I have ptsd, I can still see all the blood, her trying to breathe and the moment she gave up."
You never know when a friend or acquaintance is going through an extremely rough time–even though they present themselves differently in public.
All we could ever be as fellow humans is to always be compassionate.
"I found my roommates body in our apartment when I was in college. He had suffocated himself with a helium tank and a plastic bag over his head. That fucked me up pretty good, especially because I knew he was struggling with his mental health. He was cutting himself too, he tried to hide it but I noticed. And I didn’t say a word, i didn’t offer a helping hand. I could have done something to help him, but I didn’t. That guilt is still there, 10 years down the line."
What The Taxi Driver Witnessed
"I was driving Taxi once and I picked up someone who said he thinks he just saw a dead body. Said someone had jumped from the top of the parking garage. There was already an ambulance and what not on the scene. I remember briefly thinking of my friend Willzo, but dismissed it, I didn’t even think he was depressed like that. I found it odd that I would even consider such a thing out of nowhere. But I dismissed the thought and went about my work night. Couple days later I got a call from a mutual friend. 'Hey buddy, did you hear about Will? He jumped off the parking garage a few days ago.'”
These Redditors' stories are a lot to take in.
However, they are good reminders about the brevity of life and how we should always strive towards being the best versions of ourselves while we're still alive.
Because you never know when you or someone close to you will have their last breath.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
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