Author Redefines Their Gender Identity After Reading Marie Kondo's Book
Marie Kondo has been in the news quite a bit recently, with many people debating the usefulness of her method for decreasing clutter.
Kondo's method, KonMari, has resulted in some other unintended side effects, but the effect it had for author Sandy Allen had surprisingly little to do with excess "stuff."
The KonMari Method, according to Marie Kondo's website, is:
"A state of mind – and a way of life – that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in one's life. Belongings are acknowledged for their service – and thanked before being let go, should they no longer spark joy."
Sandy recently wrote an essay, which was published by them., in which they describe the slow process of how removing the clutter from their life brought about a realization of who they really were.
Allen originally picked up a copy of Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in an attempt to help their boyfriend, Rob.
While he wasn't an overly untidy person, Sandy was very organized and there was one spot that needed tending.
"Our courtship had been a steady reclamation of his less-tidy space by my relentless wave of tidiness. (Whatever's going on in Marie Kondo's brain that makes her say "I love mess!", I have it, too.) His nightstand, though, was The Place He Put Things. A place I ached to clean."
After unsuccessful attempts to get Rob to read the book, Sandy decided to lead by example.
They started with the closet; as they went through all of their clothes and determined whether they brought joy, there was a clear pattern that emerged.
"I didn't take me long to see it, what the discard pile was. It was only the skirts, only the dresses, only the flowers and lace and sparkles. It was everything I'd bought hoping that some colleague might say: Isn't that cute?"
"I burst into tears, shame filling me entirely, and then I laughed about the fact that this book had made me cry, this silly, stupid cleaning book."
Allen described having an internal list of moments that hinted that they weren't satisfied with playing the ultra-feminine role, moments that they couldn't let themself fully acknowledge for fear of what that would mean.
One of these moments was from a work Halloween party.
"One Halloween, I'd come as Ace Ventura."
"After lunch they were giving prizes to those who'd really gone above and beyond costume-wise, myself not included. I stood in the crowd next to a colleague who'd come dressed as her boss."
"Earlier her costume had gotten a big reaction, though, because it was her dressing as him: sneakers, jeans, glasses, of course the hoodie. Everyone laughed. Now we were standing around, drinking booze, eating sugar. I told her I liked her costume and she looked embarrassed."
"'I feel so awkward. Don't you feel awkward?' she asked."
"I didn't get what she meant."
"'Dressing like a guy!' she said."
"'Oh,' I said, and without thinking added: 'I always dress like a guy for Halloween, or at least a lot of the time.'"
"'That's funny,' I said to my colleague, 'I haven't noticed that before.'"
Here's a photo they shared of their favorite Halloween costume ever. Sandy is on the left.
It wasn't until they started working from home that things started to become clearer.
"Now with no office to go to, I rarely dressed, and if I did I wore sweatpants. The days I did go out, for an appointment or a meeting, I might force myself to dress up. Tripping down a cobblestone street one afternoon in heels, I wondered who the hell I was trying to fool."
After running into someone they knew while donating the last of their dresses and heels, Allen had a realization.
"I didn't say to him, nor could I have articulated, that I was throwing out the last of me pretending to be a woman."
"Walking away, I felt joy, an almost ridiculous joy. I also felt terror, like when a cartoon has walked off a cliff and is standing blissfully on air."
Rob was supportive of Sandy through their journey to self-discovery, acknowledging their struggles and providing loving support.
After a clothes shopping trip that was an ordeal in and of itself, the two went on a date.
"That evening, we went on a date. I wore a new button down, trousers, Oxfords. We moved down the street, his hand in mine, which was shaking, so terrified by the question of what we must look like to others."
"Before that night, I realized, I had never before been both 'dressed up' and comfortable."
Allen goes on to describe the various ways that this paradigm shift, which started with the simple act of sorting their wardrobe, has changed their life.
The way others react to them has changed significantly as they present in a more gender neutral fashion.
"Sometimes people think I'm male at first and then realize I'm not, usually when I talk, and sometimes I then see a wild anger in them."
"In those moments, I feel my vulnerability. Though in other senses I feel safer; I am no longer constantly catcalled, as I was before — that drumbeat of male violence, muffled. All the time I feel how arbitrary these categories are. All the time, I know this is all just about power."
"Some who see me now are excited about my apparent difference. In a restaurant, a waitress ran over, grinning, nearly shouting, "'What are you?'"
"The best feelings are the converse of this cisgender othering: the moments of communion, however brief, I share with other queer and trans people out there in the world."
The essay's reception on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive.
This article sparked so much joy: https://t.co/BWgdOg8eIR— zo (@zo) 1551216381
This made my day. https://t.co/7VFGMiP2mb— Dr. Nour Halabi (@Dr. Nour Halabi) 1551212054
I finally read this essay from @sealln and it's just so very, very good https://t.co/ZACfpGJznT— Hayes Brown (@Hayes Brown) 1551383073
Never has an article made me so emotional. As someone still understanding their gender identity, I often feel alon… https://t.co/T9oskQ7nLw— Beet (@Beet) 1551298408
Quite a few people have expressed having had a similar experience to Allen's.
@HayesBrown @sealln I have had a very similar experience. I don't have much else to say other than "oh yeah this ha… https://t.co/QPYDfnRz6H— Everett (@Everett) 1551384050
A few Instagram users commented that Allen's essay helped them to articulate their own "gender stuff."
Clothes are an integral part of how people express themselves.
Maybe taking a hard look at what you actually wear and and enjoy and what you hold on to because you think you should, could give excellent insight into who you are as a person.
If you want to learn more about KonMari, Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is available here.
Kondo's follow-up, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) is also available here.
Who among us hasn't seen things that made us think we were still asleep?
Sometimes those scary movie moments are a reality.
Once in a while, Michael Myers IS in the shadows.
There are so many unexplainable happenings that leave our nerves wrecked.
As I type this, I swear I can hear moving in the bushes outside.
I'm not in the mood to be terrorized before bed.
Redditor TractorLoving wanted to hear about the things many of us have seen that left us shaken and a bit scared, so they asked:
"What's the most creepy thing you've ever witnessed?"
I've lost track of the number of things that have creeped me out in life.
I barely leave the house.
From the bushes...the lion king disney GIFGiphy
"When I was about 12 I was sleeping on my trampoline with a friend and we heard the bushes move behind us, we flashed our flashlight to the bushes and a mountain lion was laying there stalking us, I have never run so fast in my life."
"Finding my dad dead in his recliner. I swear I heard his voice when the coroner came for his body."
"My granddad knocked over my great-grandma's ashes in his car accidentally, and to this day swears he heard her laugh, loud and clear as if she was standing next to him. She had a hugely wicked sense of humor and would have found this (and my very stressed granddad carefully collecting her ashes back into the container before my grandma saw) very funny."
From the Sea
"When I was serving my time as an engineer in the merchant navy we used to have to clean out what is called 'sea chests;' they're basically big filters for seawater that we would pump in to use as coolant and if the pumps were on when we were dockside we'd find all sorts of things like bottles, fish, crabs etc."
"One day we opened up the chest, pulled out the filter, and immediately saw this gold shiny thing which turned out to be a Rolex watch. Usually, we'd just dump out the filter but with the mitigating circumstances, we went through it thoroughly and found a piece of a shirt with cufflink still attached and last but not least a nicely rotted finger."
"The police ended up closing off the dock and dredging it but never found anything on the end." ~ MarkyBhoy101
TerrifiedWatching I See You GIF by TravisGiphy
"This guy followed me home. Said he saw me there often and named a few local spots I go to sometimes as places he sees me. It’s been about a year. Never saw him again. I was terrified for a little while for sure."
Stay vigilant out there kids.
People are watching and some of us don't notice.
Back Up CreepScared Homer Simpson GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I was in a restaurant years ago on lunch break. At the time I was a very thin 25-year-old woman. There was this big creepy guy sitting there who would NOT stop staring at me from the moment I walked in the door."
"I mean just open face staring without blinking for the entire 15 minutes I was eating several seats away. I asked for a box and left early to get away from him. As I walked out he said, 'You shouldn't be out alone. Someone's going to grab you and steal you away." 100% convinced creepazoid had someone locked up in his basement."
'Youth in need'
"Was working in a restaurant. Nice place. That night we held a charity dinner for a 'youth in need' type of house. The guy representing the house, a worker there, was such a nice and kind man. Every teen there was only saying nice things about him. A good soul, that was giving everything he could for these teens."
"At one point they gave a big check to the charity. I must guess an amount they rarely received. Well under the excitement, that poor man had a cardiac arrest. Dropped there on the stage, cheque in hand. He couldn't be brought back. He died. Seeing this was already bad enough, but the kids everywhere in the restaurant screaming and crying for hours after... haunting."
Inside the House
"One random night in middle school I woke up and had the odd feeling that something or someone was present in the house and coming towards my room. I was scared so I closed my eyes to pretend to be asleep. I could faintly hear something come into my room and it felt like someone was standing over me, looking to make sure I was asleep. I laid on my back, eyes shut, until the feeling passed, and ended up falling asleep. I woke up in the morning to find out that our house was robbed."
There in lies the rub...
"Well dressed 50 something business dude on a quiet Chicago L train reading a Wall Street Journal. Pretty woman with long curly hair dozing in the seat in front of him, her hair dangling behind the seat. The guy is rubbing and playing with her hair while reading his paper so I figure she's his wife or girlfriend who just wanted some space to nap."
"He is now intently rubbing and fondling her hair and not reading anymore. Suddenly she snaps awake and pulls in her hair like a bug was in it or something. She gets off at the next stop, he continues reading. They didn't know each other at all."
Why do people feel the need to overshare?
People really need to discuss boundaries.
If someone were to ask us which book we either hated or could not finish, we all have an answer to that question.
There are some books that simply do not work for us, while others stick with us forever.
Redditor Fair_Swing_6461 asked:
"What is the most challenging book you've ever read and why?"
"I have been an avid reader for many years. Thick and difficult books usually don't daunt me. 'Ulysses' by James Joyce has me beat, though. I just can't take the rambling about nothing at all and gave up 200 pages in."
"'Finnegans Wake' by James Joyce: hold my pftjschute."
"'Finnegans Wake' is very similar to this for me. I tried to read both 'Ulysses' and 'Finnegans Wake' and never got too far with either, even though they fascinated me."
"'Finnegans Wake' is so much more difficult to understand than 'Ulysses,' in my opinion. 'Ulysses' is like a waking man’s stream of consciousness while 'Finnegans' is almost in a weird dream-like stream of consciousness that hits different readers in different ways. 'Ulysses' is Joyce playing with style/prose while 'FW' is him playing with language."
"'Infinite Jest' by David Foster Wallace."
"Every page has footnotes that are required to understand the story. All 1,000 of them."
House of Leaves
"I'm reminded of 'House of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski, where the footnotes are the story."
"'The Silmarillion' by J. R. R. Tolkien."
"It's like the Old Testament of Middle Earth. I couldn't do it."
"'Being Mortal' by Atul Gawande."
"My Dad read it to prepare himself for his death from cancer. He gave it to me and said he hopes it brings me the comfort of his demise as it brought him."
"I can't get past chapter three. I cry each time I try to finish it. Ugly uncontrollable despair cry."
"It is a great book, it has helped me a lot. The author has some important insights into mortality. But six years on, I am still not there yet."
"'Les Miserables' by Victor Hugo, in French. I was a second-year French language student."
"I came here to say 'Les Miserables' in English. The plot, more plot, 50+ pages of the history of Paris's sewers, more plot, more plot, more extremely long history."
"I enjoy history but don't interject an extensive detailing of it in the middle of a story."
"'Blood Meridian' by Cormac McCarthy. Judge Holden is one of the most disgusting yet intriguing characters in fiction I have ever read."
Reading Comprehension Who?
"I've read a bunch of Thomas Pynchon and Dostoevsky cover to cover and forget everything that happened in them."
"I find it very hard to reconstruct the words on the page into a movie in my brain. I might as well be reading a bunch of numbers. Pretty much all fictional books are challenging for me."
"'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov. It's an infamous book that has been historically misinterpreted, romanticized, and weaponized as a love story, when it's really the account of the sexual abuse and manipulation of a 12-year-old girl, written from the perspective of the abuser trying to convince the reader of his innocence."
"Some scenes are gut-wrenching when you actually read between the lines and keep in mind who is telling the story. It's the ultimate 'unreliable narrator.'"
Intruder in the Dust
"Anything by William Faulkner. Specifically 'Intruder in the Dust,' because that is the one I actually read. It was a requirement for one of my college classes. It was awful."
"He doesn’t use punctuation. Sometimes a 'sentence' can go on for pages at a time."
"'The Sound and the Fury' did me in. I had to read it for my last year of high school at a time when you couldn’t look up summaries and whatnot."
"It was just an uninterrupted stream of consciousness with barely any punctuation or flow. The definition of word vomit. I felt the mental equivalent of motion sick when I read it, and thinking back on it I can vividly recall these feelings, even several years later."
"'Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics' by Peter J. Lewis."
"The book focuses on the three dominant interpretations of Quantum mechanics from a viewpoint of metaphysical ontology (the philosophy of what exists and what is real)."
"I have read many popular books on Quantum physics both in English and in Dutch. I can say I understand 70% of what is written in those books. This book sparked my interest very much when I came across it."
"I did not understand any of it. I could not finish the second chapter as I had no idea what the h**l this guy was talking about. It grounded my smug a** for a while."
"'Moby Dick' by Herman Melville. Just chapter after chapter describing whales and the whaling process. This might have captured the imagination in the 1850s, but when you’ve been watching Attenborough documentaries since childhood, explaining how big a whale is becomes tedious."
"I think people approach it wrong. It’s not a book about an exciting adventure, although it does have that, it’s a book about being bored at sea and reminiscing on life. I hate when people say you should only read the plot chapters. The point of the book is finding meaning in the dull things around you, and the writing is beautiful."
"This is a strange choice because it's a classic, but I struggled with 'David Copperfield,' because of the writing style, by the author, Charles Dickens, who wrote these long, drawn-out sentences, and it got to the point, as I was reading, where I would just start to count, in my mind, how many punctuation marks there were, in each sentence."
While we could take this conversation as sad, seeing as how there are books out there that some people do not like, it's better to take it as a reminder that not every book is going to be for us, and we have every right to put that book down and pick one up that we'll love instead.
People Reveal How The Troubled Kid From School Ended Up Making It Big
If we think back to our childhood and school years, we likely can remember someone who was always getting into trouble.
The assumption at the time might have been that this child was going nowhere, but as some will point out, these troubled kids can wind up being just as successful as everyone else, if not even more so.
Redditor bluewhalebluejay asked:
"Teachers of Reddit: Do you have a former student who you thought was doomed but ended up making it big? What's their story?"
Being Someone's Beacon
"I've had a few kids stand out."
"One of my first ones was a kid who was in my grade 10 drama class. Nice kid to me, with no major issues. Funny, not super academically inclined, but started to really like drama and we got along."
"He missed class somewhat frequently for excused absences that were noted as 'court.' I assume mostly weed related... just because of reasons. But I never asked."
"Anyway, halfway through the semester, he came in and announced it was his last day because he was being sent to juvie and he was upset he wouldn't be able to continue in drama (his other courses they could manage through distance education type things)."
"Was subbing back at the school the following year and ran into him. He'd caught up on all his missing credits while in juvie because he 'had nothing better to do so why not get some s**t done.' He was going to now graduate on time and was super proud of himself. Not sure where he's ended up now ten years later, but weed is legal now so as long as he's not dealing, so hopefully he's doing okay."
"Different school and where I ended up getting a permanent position so I stayed in the same place for a while, had this girl show up in grade nine and had her for Arts and English. She was... a lot. She would fully shut down and just not do anything. Or talk. Or she'd have a full-blown tantrum. She was exhausting."
"I drug her along through the Arts class and got her participating some days, which was apparently huge because in elementary, she was just left to do nothing all day because she wasn't disruptive. I jokingly suggested she take Drama with me the following year, but she hated speaking in public so figured that was a no-go."
"Did get her to do the lighting for the school show, though. She took drama every year. By the end of grade 12, she engaged with people, she could speak in front of the class, and she was completing credits (slowly and with a lot of support), but you could get work out of her. Apparently, I became her favorite teacher and I was one of the only ones she would do work for initially. But my god was she a lot of work some days. Glad I stuck it out because we got there eventually."
Imposed Limiting Beliefs
"I had a teacher tell me I'd probably end up managing a Borders, but they went under in 2011, so the joke's on her."
"My math teacher in high school moved me to the back of the room and told me to sit there and just look out the window. She said I’d be working at McDonald’s one day. I made $300k last year. She’s dead now."
"Not a teacher, but I knew a kid who was your stereotypical couldn't give a f**k student."
"He never did his work, p**sed off teachers, cut class, did all kinds of drugs, and always had detention. I remember the highlight of his work was writing an essay on why he was Black, despite being white. About mid-senior year, he dropped out, and he kinda just disappeared. I honestly thought he'd end up in jail at some point."
"In 2019, my job sent me over to a site to do a survey for a company installing our AV equipment. Lo and behold, the guy leading the project was the same wild and crazy kid from high school."
"We chatted and caught up on things, but the guy really turned his life around. He got his GED, quit drugs, took up trade jobs, and worked his way up to a senior position in that AV installation company. It's interesting to see how people change like that when they enter the real world."
Lack of Interests
"I had a student who was supposed to be a high school dropout but ended up graduating law school with honors."
"That sounds like that was a case where the kid was smart but bored and needed a passion to find."
"This sounds like my father and his brother. They were the same, screwing around in high school with bad grades, smoking weed and drinking and pulling pranks and playing poker all lunch, until college when they found what interested them. Now my uncle is a surgeon and my father is a scientist."
Such a Small World
"I taught geography to a very talented (and now famous) footballer. He wasn't particularly academic but is now a multi-millionaire. The tabloids loved his scandals, but I dare say he's loving his retirement now."
Mental Health Assistance
"I did some volunteer work in mental health services for teens, specifically with music."
"Probably obviously, teens with mental health problems can be incredibly self-conscious and reserved. This one girl, in particular, was quite timid most of the time when there was anyone with her who wasn't a close friend."
"Over the course of a few years, I managed to coax her into singing in front of me, then to the group, then at a fundraising event for the group."
"The last thing I heard about her was a post on Facebook that a friend showed me. She was complaining about there only being about 50 people at a gig that she was playing! I still remember having to talk her into that first performance with just one or two people there!"
"Son of two teachers, not a teacher. Our class criminal was acting out in grade school. He was a bully. He'd push kids down the stairs. He grabbed the boobs of the first girl in our class to have them."
"When he'd get in trouble, he'd run away from school, and the principal would get in his VW Bug and chase the kid down."
"In Junior high, he was suspended as often as he was in class it seemed. The same was true in high school. He didn't so much as graduate, as was passed on a plea bargain."
"Many years later, I saw him on Facebook. He's an oil man in Texas. His house is bigger than my yard, by a lot. He has a beautiful wife and daughter. On the surface, he made it and is living the dream."
"Now, he may still be a criminal. Financial success doesn't make one a good person. I don't know who he is these days. All I can say is growing up, I pictured him in jail or maybe in a trailer park as an adult. I never pictured him in a mansion living the high life."
"The money may be nice but I'd rather have a small house than work on an oil rig, that's a dangerous life."
"I bet he started on a rig or in a field, but he looks like a suit and tie guy these days. I agree 100%, though. My job gets me by (barely), but I'm safe and have a good work-life balance. I'd rather barely scrape by than be financially well off and either in danger or stuck at work all the time not enjoying the fruits of my labor! 40 hours a week is as much as I care to put in (I'd prefer less to be honest)."
"I taught a first-year university course. It was the fall semester, so for many students, it was their first semester at university ever, and I had one student who struggled. She was young, it was her first time living away from home, and she seemed perpetually overwhelmed."
"I think she was just naive and inexperienced. About a month into the semester and her grandmother passed and they were very close. She came to my office to tell me she had to go home for the funeral and would miss a couple of classes."
"She was sobbing and I comforted her and told her not to worry about class. When she left my office, I honestly thought that I would never see her again and that she was going home permanently."
"I was wrong. She came back a week later and she was laser focused. She started speaking out in class and asking questions, she came to all of my office hours and study groups, and she began to make connections with other students in the class."
"She absolutely blew it out of the water, aced the final exam, and finished the course with the highest grade. We stayed in contact and I was actually her reference for an intensive internship that she was very excited about (and she got it)."
"I will never forget her and she truly humbled me. Was really a lesson for me not to underestimate people."
"I worked administration in an elementary school. But I did take kids with low reading scores to the side to give them tutoring whenever I could."
"One kid stuck out. 15 words read per minute despite being eight years old. She had no confidence in herself, was too terrified to talk to anyone, and burst into tears at any mistake she made."
"Let's just say her family was... unsupportive and difficult. I did not see progress for MONTHS. I was worried about her future in school if she continued to lag behind and be too anxious to make it in the world."
"But eventually, she started talking to me. She stopped crying at mistakes, repeating my mantra ('It's okay to make mistakes, mistakes mean you're learning'). The words per minute score went up little by little as she began to show interest in different reading materials."
"By the end of the school year, she was looking forward to seeing me and her teacher said she was excited when the class took library trips. That teacher and I convinced the school to let me continue monitoring the student into the next school year. They agreed."
"One more year of tutoring passed. That shy, terrified girl became confident and happy. She talked to everyone, helped out in class, and demonstrated a fascination with learning new things. The new teacher told me how this kid was always trying to sneak books in-between classwork. In second grade, when we began, this student was one of the lowest-scored readers in her grade but by mid-year of third grade, she was the highest score. She was even helping out other kids!"
"I worked for a couple of years after she 'graduated' from my tutoring so I got to see her in the hallways. She always liked to tell me what she read in class, what she read in her personal time, and see what I'd recommend for her to read next. By the time I left my job, she was going to middle school and I knew she'd be just fine."
The End of the Bullying Era
"I had this classmate in high school who was the biggest d**k I saw in my entire life."
"He would beat people up if he didn't like the way they walked or whatever, would make teachers so angry in class that one of our teachers was rushed into the hospital due to hypertension."
"One day in our senior year, his mom and dad were tragically killed in a car crash, leaving him responsible for his three younger siblings."
"I didn't see him for a few weeks then one day came back and the principal was kind enough to accept him again back to school, but was informed that he may not graduate due to his very low grades."
"I have never seen such a sudden change of personality in my life. The dude became so focused and determined on graduating high school, it was scary."
"Fast forward 20 years to the year 2022, I had some legal issues to deal with, and one of my friends recommended me to a lawyer, and I was surprised when I saw him. All changed, turned his life around, saw the graduation pictures of his siblings displayed on his office wall, and has a beautiful wife and a daughter."
Talk About Leveling Up
"A stoner kid I knew who did nothing but doodle on everything ended up being some big shot at Lucasfilms and then Disney."
"I am a coach and through a coincidence, two kids who used to be my neighbors came through my team. When we were neighbors, their house was known as the crack house. It ran off a generator for a while and the dad was siphoning gas out of neighborhood cars to run the generator."
"Their dog was left outside barking for two nights in a row (another neighbor and I decided if it went to night three, we were taking the dog, the weather was fair). Finally, the house was foreclosed and the pics of the inside lived up to the crack house name."
"Fast-forward some years and I took one of the kids on my team home. We happened to go past my house and he pointed and said he used to live down there. I put it together and asked if he used to have a dog named Oscar, and he did!"
"So it turns out his dad eventually went to jail for stealing cars and his mom was in recovery for addiction to pills. They had to move in with his grandfather in the local trailer park who was an alcoholic."
"So the older brother did well. He's in college in the next state and is gonna be okay. The younger brother, though, is about to graduate high school as the valedictorian and has a full ride to Cal Tech."
A Different Perspective
"My husband had a teacher tell him with his efforts he would always be a B student, a B husband, and a B father. Another teacher, when learning of us getting married a few years later, said of me, 'Bless her heart.' He was a difficult, under-challenged student."
"I consider him an A+ husband and father, who runs his own 35-person company, a company that puts employees over profit. I'm just sorry those teachers didn’t see what has always been clear to me."
An Irreplaceable Teacher
"For my primary school teachers, I was probably that kid. Never spoke and could never finish a worksheet to save my life. Had all the tutoring in the world and I just couldn’t understand numbers. Didn’t understand punctuation for a while, either. Luckily, English just clicked for me one day and I went from an F to an A in a week."
"Turns out I had undiagnosed Autism and the way they were teaching these fundamentals didn’t slot into my head right. God bless my extra help teachers because they sat me down and gave everything the most arbitrary rules so that it would make sense."
"I can’t remember them properly now but I just remember explaining my young self's logic of the world to her and she made all the punctuation and math symbols slot into those rules so I could use full stops and multiply things without going crazy."
"Now I’m in university studying STEM, probably still applying a lot of Mrs. Brown's logic without realizing it. Bless that women’s patience because I wouldn’t have been able to get into top classes in secondary school without her."
The Perfect 'Thank You'
"I was the special ed kid who was regular all along."
"I was semi-nonverbal as a kid, and wouldn't really do school work in Kindergarten through third grade. I didn't really have a support system at home and had no interest in learning to read or do schoolwork, really. I just wanted to go home and play Nintendo."
"Towards the end of second grade, they started actively monitoring me and another young child. They would sit in on my school day, take notes about my behavior, and leave. They wouldn't talk to me at all, and I didn't realize their presence had anything to do with me until much later."
"Based on those reports, they moved me to Special Ed. I'm not sure if they thought I was just slow or on the spectrum, but every day, I would leave class for half the day and go to direct one-on-one class with an aide. She taught me all kinds of fundamentals I should have had before then. I was in the third grade before I learned how to tie my shoes, for example. She taught me how to read. She taught me how to communicate."
"By the fourth grade, I didn't have to go to Special Ed anymore. I was vaguely normal. It would take until the eighth grade before I finally made friends, but it would have never happened with her."
"Unfortunately, much of my childhood is kind of a vague blur. I can't even remember which of the elementary schools I went to where she was. I wish I knew how to unlock this memory and find her if just to write a heartfelt letter of appreciation."
"Wherever you are, whoever you are, thank you for saving me."
These stories were both surprising and heart-warming, and they are a great reminder that no two lives look exactly alike, but also, a tough start does not necessarily mean a dark and terrible life.
People Break Down The Most F**ked Up Thing A Stranger Has Ever Done To Them
CW: violence, fighting, and assault.
We'd like to believe humanity exists with plenty of examples around us of people doing good things for others.
Sadly, the harsh reality is that there are just as many individuals who have no respect for others and wish to cause harm.
People who've had bad encounters with someone they've never met shared their experiences when Redditor Jemuzu8304 asked:
"Whats the most f'ked up thing a complete stranger has done to you?"
Drivers and passengers recall their rude interactions.
"One time I was in south Philly and a car pulled up with two guys in it. They called out to me asking for directions so I walked over. As I was explaining where to go the dude in the passenger seat spit in my face and they sped off."
"You just reminded me of a similarly gross interaction:"
"Years ago after a doctor's appointment, I got into my car and turned it on, at which point a small child started leaning/sitting on the hood. His heavily pregnant mother stood by doing nothing, apparently distracted by her phone. I rolled down my window, and asked if she would mind getting her child off of my car, as I needed to leave, and was concerned he could get hurt."
"She asked if I had insurance. Confused, I answered '...yes?', to which she said 'Well I hope you DO hit him so I can get some MONEY!' She proceeded to lean in through my passenger window, and started spitting on me. The kid was no longer on my car, and I desperately wanted to get away from her, so I put my car in reverse. She then hurled her pregnant belly into my sideview mirror, and shrieked in such an exaggerated way, as if I had hit her."
"I eventually found a new doctor."
Unwanted Car Wash
"Stopped at a red light one time. Someone from a building adjacent to the light threw a bag of ice and water on my car, from a few stories up. Dented the roof and shattered the windshield."
"Wasn't even a nice car, I was driving a Dodge neon sh*tbox."
You never know the capabilities of strangers you encounter.
The Violent Thief
"I got held up at gun point 2 weeks ago in philly 10 feet from the door to my friends apartment. They stole both our watches. My watch was given to me by my dead uncle. https://imgur.com/a/V59aebW"
Hit By A Hard Object
"Reminds me of something. Some a**hole tossed a lock, like the combination type out of a car at me and hit me in the knee. I had trouble walking correctly for damn near a month."
"I always thought if they'd have stopped at a light I'd have hurled that b*tch right back."
"Good thing they didn't. I wasn't in any condition for a fight."
"I also have a drive-by experience but it was with a f'king paintball gun. My friend and I were in freshmen year, just walking to the park to play some ball and with no warning he suddenly recoils and shouts in pain. I had no clue what happened. He reaches at his back and when he turns around I see a bright red paint splat on his white shirt. I look up and see the car that just passed us turns around, pulls up next to us with the kid in the passenger seat hanging the gun out window saying 'Sorry bro, I’m just so surgical with this thing,' and speeds off. Pretty hilarious story in hindsight within our friend group now, but at the time we were pissed. Luckily we got their plates and the cops showed up at their house and they got in trouble. F'kers."
"I was about 11 and me and some friends were standing on a small bridge over a lake. All of a sudden I was picked up and thrown over the railing into the lake below. I tried to grab onto anything I could as I fell and scrapped my arms up pretty good. I still have scars 30 years later. So I swim to the side and some older kid comes up to me and just say - sorry, I thought you were someone else."
Attacks happen when you least expect it.
"Punched me, for no reason. I was standing. Waiting for the community bus. A stranger got out of the car and punched me. I filed the Police report but nothing happen."
Hitting The Elderly
"My grandmother was at the movies and a guy walking up the aisle punched her in the side of the head. He told the cops he was mad because he was on a bad blind date."
"Like...great excuse to wallop a 75-year-old woman minding her own business."
The Ferrari Guys
"Had a similar thing happen when I was in Downtown Los Angeles. I was crossing the street and just came up onto the sidewalk. Some dude in a Ferrari steps out of the car, walks up to me and tries to swing on me in broad daylight. I sidestepped this dude, and he then spun to try to hit me again, calling me a motherf**ker and not to dodge. I caught him with a nut shot with my foot and doubled him over."
"His buddy hops out of the car, and another of his buddies (I assume) gets up from the side of the sidewalk and both are yelling at me, and I'm like, 'ah, f'k, I'm not ready for this.'"
"These absolute legends who had been watching all this sh*t go down just appear out of nowhere and jump these guys for me. Like, six different people from out of the woodwork. Nutshot and Scrub (Ferrari guys) hop in the car and just take off, scraping the car and taking the right side view mirror off. Their (assumedly) other homeboy gets left behind, but he tries to stumblef'k his a** away after having taken a couple of hits to the head. One of the guys who helped me jogs up and punts this dude in the side right after he falls over, doubling him up. Meanwhile, everybody else is checking on me and making sure I'm good."
"Cops show up, detain us, figure out what's going on, let us go, and arrest homie that couldn't get away. Come to find out, these guys have been doing this for weeks, and the people who helped me were local residents who had been on the lookout for Nutshot. Arrested homie later squealed, and all the guys involved got a couple of years for aggravated assault."
My bad interactions with strangers were all random but definitely premeditated assaults.
I was mugged twice in New York City while I was typically minding my own business.
Also, while I was in Barcelona, I had a team of youths pick-pocket me and run off with my wallet containing my passport and credit cards. Fortunately, the friend I was with saw what happened and ran off after them. She sucker-punched the young lady who had my wallet, causing her to drop it.
Be careful out there, folks!