Life is long, and one is exposed to many unfortunate events in its run.
We can't predict how negative events will shape us for our lives to come. It brings a lot of anxiety and fear to just walk into the world, let alone with all that emotional baggage behind us.
But you are not alone, all humans have been shaped by trauma and tragedy in one way or another.
Here were some of the answers.
Trigger warnings: graphic images, blood, violence.
Found a dead cat in the backyard of the home I grew up in. The worst part about it was, it wasn't in one piece. No, it was in several, all scattered across the yard. Its eyes were wide open, its last look of panic frozen in time for the world to see. I somehow stomached putting all of the pieces in a cardboard box. What was left of the head and neck had a collar attached to it, with the cat's name and home address. I had to show up to that address, box in hand, and inform them of their cat's fate. Fisher cats, man. They're brutal.
I never thought I'd have to be in that position, and to this day I have a hard time handling dead animals because of it.
Years ago, thieves broke inside my house and tied up my mom and my brother, I was at gunpoint and "helping" them collect our valuables around our place to put in their bags. Seeing my mom and brother vulnerable like that scarred me for life. I'm glad nothing more serious happened, but man I'll never forget that scene.
Okay so I've seen a hearty handful of terrible things, but after watching A Serbian Film, I can't handle babies crying. If you know, you know.
I know that it wasn't real, but for some reason, I remember that scene and I get really really sad.
When I was little, I would play games on my dad's computer. I was playing one day and got bored, ended up clicking on a file on his desktop-- it was full of photos of him, his face bitten, scratched to hell, and bleeding. They were evidence of my biological mother's physical abuse to put before the judge during their divorce and custody battle. I knew she hurt my brother and I, but it was deeply disturbing to realize that she hurt him too.
A botched medical procedure pretty much scarred me for life. When I was a kid, I had a bladder disorder where I wouldn't empty the whole way and pee would back up into my kidneys. Well the way the urologist tested how my treatment was going was something called a cystogram. It involved getting a catheter shoved up my penis into my bladder and then having to pee on command after they inflated my bladder. I had to be fully conscious and alert for this and got it done every year from age 9 to about 14 with no sedation.
One time, I had really incompetent nurses who failed to get the catheter inserted into my bladder three times before a urologist at the hospital had to step in and finally managed to do it. It was the perfect mix of (pretty terrible) pain and humiliation at a formative age to be really traumatic. I've had serious issues peeing in public (or under any kind of pressure) ever since then, like I'll get anxious and my bladder will just shut off. Needless to say, I also developed some trust issues about contact down there.
I was in first or second grade waiting for the school bus with my brother about 6:00 in the morning way out in the country. A kitten was trying to cross the road to get to us, and as the bus was slowing to a stop, it crushed its head right in front of us. The kitten was still trying to pull its head off the road while we got on the bus. We never talked about it.
A car, speeding towards the car I was riding in with my family, right before it hit our car head on. I was only 5 at the time. That split second memory lives with me still 34 years later.
My 4th grade teacher had a reputation for making one boy in her class an unpopular scapegoat each year. Lucky me. In previous years I'd been just another kid in the playground, but within two months the other kids wouldn't play with me during recess. One day I refused to go outside for recess. She asked why, and I foolishly told her that the other kids didn't like me. When they came back in, she marched me to the front of the class, and asked for a show of hands, who didn't like me. Fourth grade kids (mostly) did what fourth grade kids do.
I broke down that night and told my Mom what had happened and what had been going on all along. She marched into school the next day, got a meeting that included the principal, and tore the teacher a new backside. I was still stuck in that class, but the teacher moved on to a new victim. Funny thing how self esteem influences academic performance. My school used to give us a Stanford Binet IQ Test every year. My score dropped ten points from third to fourth grade, then rose twenty points in fifth grade when I had a nurturing teacher.
Doesn't really mess with me too much now, but I remember when I was 7 I saw a really bad crash on an interstate happen. Ended up with a yellow truck with a smashed front end just balancing on its front end before falling over onto its top.
It seemed like time slowed down. I remember hearing the metal crunch and looked over to see these two people in the truck through the windshield. It was some of the most surreal stuff, but I could see the look of terror on their faces. It was a black man with a beard and sunglasses driving and a blonde girl with a 'karen' haircut in the passenger seat. Then I blinked and they were rolled over and they dropped out of sight.
No one else in the car with me saw it happen because we were going down an exit ramp, but they all heard the crash happen. I hope those people were alright . . .
Pet stores; Puppy mills; Birds in small cages; A turtle in a small tank. It's evil and unnatural. It's exploitation of sentient life for monetary profit. Goes against nature.
I also once saw a bee-- or a hornet-- that was missing its wings in my backyard. I felt so bad, it was basically gonna die a slow and sure death, by starvation or something (maybe even eaten alive by ants). It was just helplessly moving around in one spot. I stepped on it; Put it out of its misery. I hope someone does the same for me one day (if necessary).