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Children of Polygamist Parents Reveal What Their Childhoods Were Like

It's a lurking question.

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It's something that's coming up more and more in modern relationships. How does Polygamy affect kids? Does it, at all? In theory there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it unless there's a lack of consent or communication.

u/Jaizoo asked Reddit:

Children of polyamorous/polygamist parents, how was your childhood and when did you understand? Did it affect your idea of love?

Here were some of the answers.


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My parents were in an open relationship until around the time I was 17. I didn't know what an "open" relationship was until I was 8, but people in my life would keep making jokes about it that I suddenly understood once I got it.

To be honest, it was really rough. Not only did my parents pursue people that I had already known (such as my classmates' parents), but from time to time they would get very serious with one of their other partners. My mom in particular was in a secondary relationship with another woman from the time I was 3 until I was 14 years old. She was basically like a second mother to me, and when it finally all "blew up", I never saw her again and began to feel like it was a problem with me and not my parents.

I also felt insanely jealous of the other partners when I was younger. I felt like my parents cared about them more than me and that they would leave me to go and start a new family with them.

I didn't mean to paint the whole experience as negative! There were a few positives, and I feel like because of how open my parents were about their situation dating was a lot easier for me than other people. Plus the extra Christmas presents were always a bonus.


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My observations are that a lot of kids who grow up in what the adults considered to be poly households just thought of it as "dad is banging the babysitter" "mom has a special friend." Not everybody, obviously, but I think a lot of what goes on in sex positive circles, and has gone on since the 70s, is fundamentally about adults. Children are an afterthought. Not everyone, not always, but the Heinleinian fantasy of sexually liberated emotionally stable adults raising children together? I've never seen it and I have seen a LOT of poly.

I've also seen a lot of het poly situations break up over paternity concerns.

Generally, the kids I know who grew up with any kind of poly around them overwhelmingly decline to repeat the experiment themselves. There are very prominent exceptions, like Sugar Baranco, but generally speaking I observe children of any kind of poly situation, no matter how stable, grow up to seek monogamous partnering.

Moira Greyland's book is the really the only book I've read that gives a sense of what growing up around this all was like, although it's politically problematic for a lot of people and badly needed better editing.

A Whole Different Issue

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I found out a few months ago that my parents apparently had an open relationship when I was a kid.

It didn't affect me at all. They had an adult life which I didn't know about. They were very open about sexuality, but they also recognized the line between healthy discussions of sex and oversharing.

My childhood was sh-t, but that had nothing to do with their polyamorous life choices.

A New Perspective

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I grew up with lesbian parents who were not polyamorous, but my biological father (sperm donor) has always played a big role in my life and he's been happily in a three person relationship with two other guys for the past 25(?) years. I grew up in New Zealand and they lived on the other island to mine, so as a kid/teenager I regularly (once or twice a year) went up to stay with them as a mini holiday. Think of my dad and his partners as uncle-type figures in my life, which was super important for me as a growing boy given that I come from a family of mostly women.

I honestly respect their relationship so much more than anyone else I can think of. Its open, and entirely based on the love they have for each other (and others). In my dad's view, if you really love somebody then you want what's best for them, you don't want to put restrictions on their freedom to do things in their life. If someone does feel the need to put restrictions on the freedom of their partner, he thinks that it may be rooted in the insecurities they have about themselves, which is their own problem to be fixed within themselves. Mostly, he just believes in love; sexual, romantic, familial, or anything in between - which I totally respect and am open to.

There are so many other things about their relationship that I value, but that's the gist of it. One of my siblings doesn't get on that well with my dad due to personality clashes but I like to look for the best in people, and I think that he has a lot going on for him in his ability to live his life the way HE wants to. Growing up in a relatively conservative family I feel very proud of him to be at this point in his life where he's able to truly express himself.


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I grew up with a dad who had 3 wives. My mum was the second wife before divorcing him. He replaced her about two years later. This may have contributed to how 'meh' I am about relationships, I have never felt the need to be in one because mainly, I never saw the benefit of being in one as a woman. Every woman was just... 'one of' as opposed to having her own identity.


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Do swingers count? My parents do freaky things, that is their bag. It's still them the two of them at the end for nearly 40 years.

I had a lovely childhood with loving parents, who behind closed doors did big ol freaky.

Edit: my parents had a really open and liberal attitude to sex and relationships. They never minded about my clothes or boy friends. They were more concerned about underage drinking and unsupervised underage parties. (18 is the drinking age)

In early uni I was friends with some diverse people. One of them saw an ad in a swingers magazine that sounded like them, showed me, I asked them. Mum and Dad responded by doing their embarrassment lies. I mean I would do the clothes washing twice a week, I knew they had some odd night clothes.

It was a bit of a meh response from me. I can't really judge them. They never judge me.

Now I'm in my 30s I just give them light hearted shit about their retiree swinger parties and hip replacements whenever they ask me about grandkids.

Don't Be Selfish

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I grew up in an "extended family"

It wasn't until I was about 15 that I learned what that meant.

I had several half-siblings, and several "aunts and uncles" that were just around and part of our life. (In a good way)

When my younger siblings and I learned the truth, it was all at the same time. I count myself lucky that I was 'old enough' to rationalize it; by my two younger siblings were not. (11 and 13 respectively when we learned)

My next youngest sibling has only just held down his first serious relationship and they're getting on 30 yrs old. Everything up to that was casual encounters and pushing away anyone who got too close.

My youngest sibling was 11 when they found out; and it wrecked them as well. They developed an "ultra cling, then ultra dump" cycle - fall madly in love for 4 weeks, then distance.

I think that as long as parents' choices on their personal life are kept away from the children, and that _most importantly _the primary parents / care givers of the children are able to role model a healthy and loving relationship; then it doesn't matter.

But the warning I'd give, is that if that blows up and become an issue while the children are still maturing and creating their own identities, it can have a big impact.


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I grew up in a Mormon family that practiced polygamy. My father had three wives, my mom being the last and youngest. Things were pretty okay as a child - it was pretty neat having three moms. If I couldn't get something from one of them I'd ask another. Seriously. Having lots of brothers and sisters was pretty chill, too. Although, in retrospect I probably didn't get the individualized attention I may have needed as a child. My dad and I both agree on this point nowadays.

Anyway, my blissful existence changed around the time I was 14/15. We woke up to find that wife #2 had moved herself and her children out in the middle of the night. These were my sisters and brothers, we were devestated. My parents tried to protect us from a lot of the fallout, but it was pretty inevitable.

I'm 30 now, and don't really have any relationships with my half brothers and sisters from either wife. My mom and dad remain happily married in a mongoamus relationship, and I have my two full siblings to love on. As I've gotten older though, i've learned that the houshold was not as happy as I may have thought it was. There was a lot of resentment to go around but no one was forced into anything either. Everyone went into it as consenting adults.

I don't know if it's effected my view of love. Polygamy would never be for me, I'm far too selfish for that. So long as there is consent among ALL parties, and open communication if someone wants to do it I really don't care. A lot of my extended family is still FLDS and I love them.

Love Don't Cost A Thing

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Well this is something I can actually answer. My childhood was mostly normal with the exception of more parental figures. It is hard to get away with childish hijinks when you have 8 or so parents, and I suppose you react to that situation in two ways. Like my sister, in which you get really good at hiding your really bad stuff behind a smoke screen of constant misbehavior, or like me in which is mostly don't do anything. I understood that my family was different pretty late in life. I didn't even really figure out that god parents were much closely involved with my actual parents, or that the "friends" that stayed over sometimes were actually their boyfriend/girlfriends until probably middle school. I didn't really care though, they were as much family to me after I figured it out as before.

As for if it affected my idea of love is hard to say because my ideas about love are non-standard, both to societies and my parents. I'm much more open to open relationships that most people and find monogamy stifling even though I don't date much. But unlike my parents I find the very concept of marriage to be abhorrent. The idea that people need a contract to show someone that they love that they love them is so ridiculous to me that I can't fathom why anyone would bother outside of tax benefits. But my parents were married, and my god parents were legally married, and they were all handfasted. I honestly thing all things being the same if my parents were monogamous, I think my ideas would still be similar to what they are now but it is impossible to test.

The Lies

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I'm a teenager but not living with my polyamorous dad but this is still happening.

My father impregnated a woman, and she gave birth to a girl. They weren't married and my half sister grew up relatively estranged with her mother. Then he met my mother, got her pregnant (with me) and married her right after. He then had three more kids with her, two girls and another son. Then they broke up (messily) and my dad ran away to be with his best friend who is a lesbian. I don't understand all of it since I mostly grew up with my mom but my dad now has three wives including the lesbian woman. He also has 7 children with those three women.

I hate my father. He's evil and manipulated all of us to believe everything he says. He's really good at making friends, and he has this reputation of being 'Jesus like.' He even plays into the image by having long hair and a really long beard. My dad calls himself a Christian but he's a cheat. He claimed to be a contractor (he's not) and cheated his church into paying for really bad construction work. He's the definition of a narcissist, he has claimed all of these crazy things. He said he broke his hand but his wives (by the way, he's in his late 30's, two of his wives are in their early 20's) healed it by praying. He said that he has synesthesia (a form of autism according to him) which allows him to detect personality types. He lies so much, he told all of us that he has a liver condition that is treatable by some expensive drug or some bacteria in hops. In normal people language, that means he's an alcoholic.

I know that turned into a rant about hating my dad but there's little to like about him. And it's sad knowing that almost 10 of my other siblings have been conditioned into seeing him as some great man other than the crazy hack he really is. My eldest half sister and my full siblings are the only ones who are old enough to understand this. And we have the advantage of growing up somewhat detached from him. Although I admit I used to be underneath his spell, he used to tell us to report our mother to the police for being abusive and stuff like that.

I've anonymously tipped off CPS a few times about my young half siblings' living situation to no avail. They live in a really cramped house with no heating, a barely functional kitchen and not enough hot water to clean everyone. My dad doesn't use protection, if the 12 kids wasn't evidence of it enough already.

Oh also, I really like how I'm named after him, and the other 11 of us have names that start with the same initial as him. I'm changing my name as soon as I turn 18.

My mother's family has always been against my dad's living situation. But my dad always said that it's because they were ignorant and didn't understand love. My dad and his three wives are God's will according to him. I always ignored my family. I had cancer when I was a kid and I didn't have a lot of time to develop mentally. So I think that's why it took a long time for me to understand how messed up things were. I always felt a connection to my dad since we share the same name and he made me feel special by saying stuff like it's God's will for me to have cancer. And how it inspired him to start a charity to help kids like me who have cancer. The charity hasn't done anything in several years by the way, but someone who said they worked for him messaged me saying he uses his charity to write off things as tax free.


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So I'm seeing quite a few negative experiences on here. I feel bad for the people who did because as a child you don't have control over your upbringing or how you feel/process what's going on. As for me it was a very neutral/positive upbringing.

For starters, I grew up with a dad and two mom's. Myself and my friends growing up all thought it was different but cool. There's always someone home when I got home from school. Always someone to talk when I had problems. It was nice.

First time I realized my parents were swingers was when we'd visit other families for major holidays like Halloween parties and things like that. It was a yearly tradition and it was great to see all the other kids around my brother and I age. Wed hang out and do kid stuff while the adults talked and sh-t.

As we got a bit older we started noticing little things. Like why is "Mr. Smith giving Mrs. Johnson a foot massage? Mr. Johnson might get mad..oh wait he doesn't care?? They're just chatting it up like its all good. Whelp okay then."

But to be fair to my family and their friends they were always great to us kids. Never felt neglected or like we were weird or anything. My family was always very sex positive but also taught me that sex is a private thing. So we were never exposed to anything other seeing adult humans being a bit more affectionate to each other then you'd expect. But I always thought that was kind of sweet, even as a kid. Like why aren't more people like that? I was always told growing up that whatever your preferences are, however you swing, as long as it's safe and consensual it's okay. Nobody needs to know your business though and it's nobody's fucking business either. Be yourself and be happy.

Though reading through these posts again I feel like I mightve gotten a lucky draw being born into a swinger "community" of sorts (I guess?) and living in a very liberal area.

Mormon Or Polygamy Is The Issue?

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Obligatory not me, but my wife. Her dad was a polygamist and it gets weird. He was with a woman, J, and had about 5 kids with her. While with J he got with L, and L convinced her sister S to get with him. He had 5 kids with S of which my wife is one of them. The entire relationship ended because he legally married L which was a deal breaker for J & S. My wife and her siblings are pretty open about their dad being an idiot, and I dont think it effected her idea of love nearly as much as being Mormon did.

Baby Sitter

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My childhood was okay as far as a loving family is concerned. All of the bad things didn't have to do with my parent's choice of relationship style, just life happening to people.

Anyway, I was thoroughly loved and raised around many people that cared about me. I had many "babysitters" that were more likely my parent's girlfriends. I was always around an open attitude towards sex, relationships, and towards the "outsiders" of society. My parents spoke about minorities (racial, sex, gender, class, etc) as if there was nothing different from them, so in my eyes, there never has been any differences.

I didn't really understand that my parents lived "differently" until I was an adult, maybe 23-25yo. Everything just kind of made sense all of a sudden.

I've become that which I never understood. I'm happily married and I've been with my wife for 14.5 years now. We have dated women together for about 7 years. We have a girlfriend right now and she's very lovely. I hope that she's in my life for a very long time and my wife feels the same towards her. I'm a very lucky man. They're both so amazing.

Social Safety Net

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I'm a little late to this but my parents are polygamous. My dad has 3 wives. I'd say my childhood was pretty good. I especially loved growing up with lots of siblings. They've always been like a social safety net. To this day my siblings are my best friends. We all grew up together in one house as a family so I always knew the other two wives as my mom's. It wasn't until I started school that I realized it wasn't normal. As far as my idea of love? I think it gave me a more liberal view. I grew up seeing people attack or judge my parents for loving each other and their kids while hurting nobody. It made me think everybody should just mind their own business about who somebody loves as long as all parties are consenting adults. And on a more personal level, seeing my parents interact with each other and overcome their jealousies taught me that love is more than just an emotion. It's a commitment. That being said, I don't think I could ever commit to more than one person. I'm not that selfless????.

Mental Health

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Reading this post over my wife's shoulder encouraged me to finally join reddit. So you could say this is an important topic to me.

My parents were monogamous until I was about 13 and my older siblings had moved out. They were pretty much done with parenting and decided to develop their relationship "to its next stage". The process wasn't always mutual, and there were a lot of power plays. That meant an open marriage for a few years, a second wife for about a year, and then a marriage with another couple. It was all happening as I was a young teenager, and it was pretty F'ing intense. Try to imagine the emotional brinkmanship that goes into changing a relationship that drastically in just a few years. The second husband couldn't handle it, tried to take his insecurities out on me and then left. They were very honest and open, we had emotional processing discussions all together in the living room, and no one wore clothes in the jacuzzi, but I sure as hell didn't share any of this with my friends. I lied my way through high school.

Many of you have said not to bring kids up in this environment. I'm not certain that's a hard and fast rule IF the relationship is polygamous BEFORE they're born, because some people here have been fine with that when that's how life started. But I definitely agree that you should not turn a kid's world upside down while they're in the house. If my parents would have listened, I would have told them to wait until after I moved out.

Also, side effect, it pisses me off that when occasionally I have gone to a counselor ('cause mental health is a thing, you know) like when my parents got sick, then passed away, combined with career change or parenting stress, the counselors always want to talk about this for like 3 sessions. It's just too titillating for them to ignore. Moths to the flame. I'm like, "I came to you with a problem about grief. Don't get off on how my parents hopped from bed to bed while you're billing me." I'm serious, but it's also funny.

How has it affected my relationships? I went on exactly one date during all of high school, and was invited to one party that wasn't a friend's birthday party. As soon as I moved out and went away to college, I found a girl within a week and dated her happily for a few years. Never had a problem finding a good woman to be with, and never wanted to be with more than one. It has probably also made me much more aware of emotional communication and how important it is to avoid playing games with other people's feelings. I've been married for 20 years now and have no intention of opening my marriage.

Reading about some of the kids currently in this situation, especially where there is dishonesty or games being played, is very upsetting to me. I wish them all strength, and the clarity to know that their parents' crap belongs to their parents and not them. Don't let anyone else judge you based on what your parents do.

Need A Functioning Unit

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My story is essentially biology becoming destiny. My dad was profoundly catholic, he later became a theologian. I was raised in mostly traditional values with the exception of birth-control, they were all for it. I went on to become fairly traditionally minded myself, peaking at around 21 years old. Just a catholic boy from catholic parents.

Then I had a terrible crisis of faith and started questioning everything. I came to realize that I didn't relate to monogamy and exclusivity at all, and that the only reason I was "faithful" even to my f-ckbuddies, was because I wanted to protect their feelings even if it was a pain. I wasn't jealous at all myself, so I started to pursue a serious open relationship because I honestly thought it was the perfect match for my temperament and my emotional style.

The time came when I disclosed to my mother that I wasn't monogamous, and she replied "You are just like your father". I thought she joked for a second. Apparently he had persuaded her to try swinging in the early years of their relationship, but she was never really into it. Most of the tension in their relationship came from that. It completely shattered the image I had of my parents.

I had been watching some lectures about sexual behaviour in humans and other animal species, and how the tendency towards promiscuity it was highly inheritable. It also came associated with a lot of other psychological and physical traits, and my father happened to tick most of the boxes. Surprise, surprise, so did I.

So I was raised to be exclusively monogamous, rebelled against it, embraced polyamory, realized I had been following in my father's footsteps the whole time. It's like he had built this traditional framework around me to guide me away from his own slutty lifestyle, but couldn't fight the slut within me.

That said, most of the poly people I've met are quite weird in some way, and I wonder if I really want to date people like them. I'm really starving for a healthy, functional, well-adjusted example of an open couple in my social circle.


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My parents were swingers. I didn't know until I was older. I got to hangout with some of my friends more than others because their parents would swing with mine, lol. It made for a lot of sleepovers which I thought was rad at the time.

Ultimately, I found out that my mom did not want to swing so she closed the relationship back up. My dad just kept cheating. They got divorced when I was 12.

Hospital Employees Share The Workplace Secrets No One Should Know

Reddit user SingLikeTinaTurner asked: 'Hospital workers of Reddit, what happens there that's hidden but that we should know about?

It goes without saying, that when we pay a visit to a hospital, either as a guest or as a patient, we only see a very small portion of all the working parts of a hospital.

While countless doctors, nurses and orderlies will be seen roaming the halls, their hands more than full, there are also lab technicians and administrators who are every bit as busy, just not as visible.

Knowing this does rather make one wonder what goes on in a hospital that we don't see, or don't realize.

Or, for that matter, what we patients are actually entitled to, that they may not realize.

A question possibly best left unanswered.

Even so, Redditor SingLikeTinaTurner was eager to find out, leading them to ask:

"Hospital workers of Reddit, what happens there that's hidden but that we should know about?"

If You Know, You Know...

"Not really hidden and kinda minor but I’ll say it anyways."

"I deliver food to patients and it’s not hard to tell when someone is on their way out."

"Could be simply not being hungry, or could be the inability to eat."

"Had one patient who hadn’t eaten anything off their tray for 3 days straight."

"The last time I delivered to them, they smiled and gave me a wink."

"Next day, they were gone."

"It’s rough seeing these things happen in real-time."

"I’m a grown @ss man who doesn’t cry often, but it always leaves me feeling extra empty picking up the untouched trays and replacing them with another tray that I know will stay untouched as well."- jgss2018

Hidden In Plain Sight

"Sometimes when people die we just put an oxygen mask on them and wheel them through the corridors."

"Less distressing for other patients and visitors to think they are asleep rather than see a body with a sheet over it."- dont-believe-me-·

Know Your Rights

"You, as a patient, have every right to refuse any test or treatment or even leave."

"At any time."

"For any reason."

"Unless a harm to self or others- that's different, at least in the US."

"Added bonus you should know: leaving against medical advice DOES NOT mean insurance will not pay for the care you've received."

"Your insurance will still be billed the same as anyone else who stayed the whole time till discharge."

"But if you leave with an IV in your arm we will call the police to find you and bring you back to remove it, because of drug abuse."- Suitable_Sorbet_8718

Peeking Not Recommended

"The hospital I work at has these big square covers."

"When I first started, I would see transport staff pushing these things around the halls."

"I thought they were food trays, or large boxes of hospital equipment."

"Turns out it’s a structured bed cover, so when they are transporting a deceased patient to the morgue, it doesn’t look like a person under a sheet."- rajortoa9

The Flashing Lights Only Get You So Far

"An ambulance ride is not a one way ticket to the front of the line."

"You still get triaged and could be rolled right to the waiting room if you’re non-emergent."- dozerdude1995

emergency ambulance GIFGiphy

Whatever Gets Them In The Zone...

"Surgeon here."

"We listen to music in the OR."

"Most people seem surprised when they hear that."- johnnyscans

Hide And Seek...

"I got a fast bleep (ie. drop everything you’re doing and attend this emergency please) one night to a side room on the ward to find no patient in the bed."

"Was just about to leave the room and go back out to the nurses station, where there had been a bit of a hubbub when I’d dashed past the first time, when something caught my eye."

"Looked up to see a face with wide, slightly wild 'psych eyes' peering down at me from a gap in the ceiling tiles."

"She was a lady waiting for a bed in the psych hospital who’d clearly thought the ceiling was the best place to hide from the people trying to poison her."

"Honestly can’t think of another occasion that I’ve been quite so terrified."

"Worst thing was that I had to walk (well, dash) back out underneath her to get help from the nurses and security to get her down."- Leas-Pe·

Speaking In Code...

"If you register in the ER and tell the triage nurse that your problem is 'personal' we know you’re here because of something genital or anal related."

"A lot of we healthcare workers have seen a lot."

"If you’re not truthful at triage, your care might be less prompt when it’s a true medical emergency."

"It is possible to die of embarrassment."- DocWednesday

Hide Reaction GIF by florGiphy

Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Them

"If you come into the ER drunk there is guaranteed a pool of bets on your blood alcohol level, possibly with odds if there's a pharmacist available to do the math for us."- K-Tanz

Ensuring They're Surrounded By Love

"In the ICU you spend a lot of time keeping corpses alive until their family comes around or their body gives out."

“'Oh Jesus ain’t ready for her yet!'”

"Yes, Jesus is ready for her; we’re just actively delaying it."- gamerdudeNYC

Maybe Not Just At Hosptials... Just A Thought...

"Not hidden, per se, but for the love of all that is holy, if you insist on bringing your kid into the hospital, do NOT let them crawl or play on the floor."

"The amount of literal blood, urine, poop, and vomit that has been on it and hastily (not thoroughly) cleaned up is, well, a lot."

"The hospital, especially the floors, is NOT a clean environment."

"Added to that, think of all the rooms nurses, doctors, housekeeping staff, etc. have walked into."

"Rooms that have COVID or Norovirus or group A Strep."

"We walked into those rooms and those same shoes walked into other rooms."

"Tl;dr hospital floors are disgusting as f*ck."- duckface08

Baby Crawls Face First Across The Floor GIF by ViralHogGiphy

Not An Exact Science...

"Hospital lab worker here."

"Not particularly scandalous, but most people don't realiZe their lab tests are just very accurate guesses, and have an error range."

"When we say your 'X' is 10g/L, we might actually mean it's 10g/L ± 10-20%."

"I see too many people get extremely worked up about small fluctuations in blood test values that aren't actually in excess of the reference change value, and so technically aren't genuinely different from a previous value."- Hayred

A Decision No One Wants To Make...

"You are doing your 90 year old grandmother a great disservice by making her a full code, she will not survive CPR and her death will be significantly more traumatic because of it."- singlenutwonder


"I help patients to the bathroom nonstop all day."

"The amount of patients that just leave the bathroom without washing their hands is disgusting."

"If I didn’t hear the sink or soap dispenser your a** is getting led right to an alcohol hand station."- Madamiamadam

Wash Hands Water GIF by Jared D. WeissGiphy

More goes on in a hospital than we're ever likely to know.

If you check out from a hospital healthier than you were when you checked in, that's probably all you need to know.

Even if it's understandable to ask what song the doctor was listening to when you were open on the operating table.

red throw pillow on white couch
Photo by reisetopia on Unsplash

My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.

At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.

During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.

Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.

I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:

"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"

​Preparing For Sights

"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."

– hoffarmy

"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."

– sewahyelah

Show Me The Truth

"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."

– Fatguy73

Temperature Check

"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."

"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."

– Sp4ceh0rse

"I do this in every hotel."

– jubilee__

Sweet Relief

"Set bags down."

"Look at room for cleanliness."

"Take a dump."

– PuzzledCitron8728

"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."

"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."

"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."

– coreylahe

"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."

– scarfknitter

Disney Magic

"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."

– TyWiggly

"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."

– weisblattsnut

Always Check

"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."

– triceraquake

"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."

– Chatterbxer


"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."

– Gubble_Buppie

"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."

– oppernaR

"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."

– Vacation_Kinkycouple

The Things We Find

"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"

– Deathbot-420

"We found an axe under the bed once."

– Punkstarbabe


"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."

– whatever32657

"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."

– DuchessofSquee

"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."

– ModestMeeshka

It's A Process

"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."

– dontknowafunnyname2

"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."

– Pheobe0228

Check For Monsters...People Monsters

"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"

– HeadInTheClouds916

"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"

– pdxmikaela

Today I Learned

"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."

"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."

– slappymasterson

"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."

– CatsInTrenchCoat

And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.

Two young girls walk away with their arms around one another
Photo by Andrea Tummons

Small acts of kindness that only a few know about can change the world.

You never know.

One smile can change one person's day.

And that person could carry it on.

So doing it ourselves may be the only answer.Redditor sashayingthru wanted to discuss the ways we know the world is still good, so they asked:

"What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?"

As someone who has waited on many tables, just tip properly.

You'll go to Heaven.


Robin Williams Dancing GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy

"I once walked to a store to buy bags for my vacuum cleaner and I forgot to take my wallet. The shop owner gave me the bags, shook my hand, and told me to bring him to money tomorrow. He put his trust in a total stranger to do the right thing and I did."


In the Rain

"A man in a full business suit with a briefcase handed me an umbrella in a torrential rain storm and wouldn't take no for an answer. I still had to walk through Times Square to get to the train and I'm sure he got soaked going wherever he was going. A couple of weeks later, I gave the umbrella to a lost girl in my neighborhood when it started to rain and she didn't have one. Felt like the universe wanted it to happen."

"I'll never forget that man though."


Leggo my Lego

"When I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I made friends with another kid in an airport, and he was playing with a couple glued glued-together Lego cars. Me and that kid played for like an hour with those things and when it was time to go our separate ways and board the plane, the kid insisted I keep one of the cars, and while I insisted he should keep them, he said it was proof that we were friends, and to this day roughly 20 years later, I still have that car packed up with my childhood mementos box."

"That friend of mine was a good kid. Hope he’s doin' well."


Don't Cry Tammy

"My husband and I were sitting on our porch holding hands and crying, just feeling overwhelmed because we were waiting to find out whether or not my tumor was cancerous. Our neighbor saw it when he was coming home. About half an hour later he came over with some freshly baked cookies. He didn't even say anything, just smiled, handed them to us, and then went back home."

"Just thinking about that moment has me crying again. From his kindness, not the fear. Tammy the Ti**y Tumor turned out benign!"



Fail Will Ferrell GIF by Paramount PicturesGiphy

"I literally coasted into a gas station out of gas on my motorcycle, then realized I didn't have my wallet. Some lady saw me patting all my pockets and I was upset and offered to fill up my tank. I only let her put $5 in, which on a bike is a lot. But it meant so much to me."


Give people gas as often as possible..

Pay it forward.


happy silent film GIF by Charlie ChaplinGiphy

"My realtor took less commission so that I could get my dream home. It was a rare find in a great neighborhood."


Egged Away

"Years ago my car got egged real badly overnight while parked on the driveway of our duplex. We had to go somewhere the next morning so took the wife’s car. Came back hours later and my car was shining like new on the driveway. The neighbor whose name I didn’t even know at that point had washed it for me while we were away."


Are those still a thing?

"I was in maybe 4th grade and my parents just had my younger sister, so newborn focused. I went to my school lunch, opened my paper bag (are those still a thing?), and unwrapped the foil holding my sandwich. There was nothing inside. It was actually just 2 slices of dry white slice bread and I was sad."

"Literally, my table mates all chipped in various components and made me the most amazing ham and cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’ve been chasing that dragon of ham sandwich since but I’m sure it was the response and not the ingredients that I loved."


Thanks guys...

"19 years old, first apartment, first winter, first winter utility bill. I smiled and told my coworker I'd just pay it, skip lunch, and eat cheap Mac and cheese for dinner. It'll be ok. All that month co-workers accidentally got extra chips from the vending machine. A wife packed an extra sandwich. A box of my favorite crackers would be on my desk when I came in. It was still hard but I didn't starve. Thanks, you guys."


Just Tears

Big Brother Omg GIF by Global TVGiphy

"I was on the subway, sitting there crying because I had just ended a relationship. I wasn't making any noise, just tears, but the guy sitting next to me gave me some tissues. I'll never forget that."


Some of the best people ride the subway.

Everyone has tissues.

Man holding onto partner's hand
Photo by Seth Reese on Unsplash

Content Warning: Toxic Behavior

As much as we might like to hope otherwise, not all relationships are meant to work out.

Not only are some couples not meant to be, but sometimes there are super valid reasons for a relationship to end beyond simply not being compatible, like toxic behaviors.

But a significant other being toxic will not be obvious upon first meeting them or going on a first date with them. Otherwise, we never would have dated them in the first place.

Redditor BlackenSphinx asked:

"What did your partner say or do that made you realize that they were a toxic person?"

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

"When they kept apologizing for the same thing, then doing it anyway, never changing for the past 10 years."

- crunchy_soupp

"My wife got a quote from a teacher that we've tried to instill in our kids:"

"'Saying sorry means not doing it again.'"

"Obviously, accidents aren't included, but yeah when you hurt someone and apologize, don't do that thing again."

- JollySquatter

A New Kind of Arranged Marriage

"Lots of things, but I think probably the worst and most impactful was when she peed on a stick for her friend while she was pregnant."

"Her friend then convinced her boyfriend to marry her. They were divorced several years later, after what I can only assume was an absolutely awful marriage."

- conspirized

Emotional Abuse

"'Nobody as good looking as me will ever love your personality.'"

- MrNobody26501

"Ugh, that's the kind of s**t I'd think about and let eat me away for YEARS."

- SenorDangerw**k

In Sickness and In Health

"I was at a party with my ex-wife and someone brought out a newspaper with headlines about a local official being in an accident and being paralyzed."

"My ex-wife, without hesitation, said, 'If that happened to my husband, I would be out of here.'"

- nobody333254

"My biggest motivator of leaving an ex was that I couldn’t see him taking care of me if something were to happen to me."

- Puzzleheaded_Elk6243

Children Come First

"This one is minor, but I had an ex who wanted to buy her daughter some new shoes. We were at an outlet mall and they had a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) sale."

"She found a cute pair for herself but was having trouble finding a pair for her daughter."

"I love being helpful and found a pair that fit her daughter's personality to a T."

"But she wouldn't buy them because they were $5 more expensive than the pair she was getting for herself."

"Both were combined under $50, and she wasn't hurting for cash. She just refused to spend more on her daughter than on herself out of principle."

- Calm-and-worthy

"This one reallyyyyy irritates me. She sounds like the kind of 'parent' who wouldn't give up a meal to make sure their baby ate if it came down to it."

"As someone who has to make that decision nearly every day... my baby eats, even if I don't. Always."

- DakotaTheAtlas

The Silent Treatment

"We weren't living together, but he randomly cut me off for like a full week. He wouldn't answer my texts or anything. We were long-distance (different colleges halfway across the country) so I couldn't, like, go check on him."

"Anyway, he finally comes back and tells me it was a punishment for not being interesting enough. He liked me because I was an intellectual who would have Deep Conversations (tm) with him and I'd been talking too much about things he didn't find interesting."

"I dumped him shortly after and he acted like it came out of nowhere."

- baby_yaga

Overly Critical

"He criticized everybody. He was mean about his family, his friends, and his colleagues. It seemed very small at first, I knew he was depressed and so was naturally more cynical and had a low view of himself, but he'd laugh and joke with friends on the phone or in person for hours and then the minute they were gone... Awful."

"I rationalized it for too long and then realized it would be the same about me. Then convinced myself it wouldn't be because he always hyped me up... Until I heard it."

"He played the victim so, so well. Scary, really."

- Important_Sprinkles9

Ableism at Its Finest

"I had an ex say. 'What could you possibly be depressed about?'"

"I was an id**t and stayed with her for three more years after that."

- WhatIsAJahBone

Not Over Their Ex

"He slept with his ex frequently for six months... in the house that I bought us... in my childhood bed that I took with me from home... all whilst I was at work."

"He was changing over phones from an old school brick type to an iPhone. He went out to work and his old phone kept buzzing. I saw a very familiar name pop up…"

"He told me that she was crazy and they weren’t in contact as she was obsessed with him (Red flag, I know). There are some things I read that I wish I could erase from my memory."

"When everything was out in the open, she began bullying me online about it."

"We were engaged. as well. Lucky I found out before we got married!"

- MissQII

Different Definitions of "Cheating"

"She cheated on me with a Yankees player because I 'cheated on her first.'"

"How did I cheat? By going to her favorite burger spot without her while she was having sushi with her girlfriends."

"I found out she cheated with three other guys too."

- HawaiianSteak

"Somehow the most venom in this story came from 'a Yankee player,' lol (laughing out loud)."

- SoftcoverWand44

"I'm guessing he's either a Mets or Red Sox fan."

- ScorpionX-123

Gone with the Rose-Colored Glasses

"It wasn't so much what he was saying but the action he did about it."

"He used to tell me all the time that I should get contact lenses because he wanted to see what I looked like without glasses."

"I need glasses full time to see because I have an extremely bad prescription and astigmatism. They're both very high and it's impossible to see without glasses. If I take my glasses off, I can't even find them so I have to make sure I know exactly where I set them."

"One day out of town for a large event we had been planning to attend for over a year, he hid my glasses and acted like he couldn't find them."

"I had NEVER had glasses just disappear. It might take me a while to find them, but if I have someone else around me, it's usually somewhere obvious."

"I figured, 'Oh, that's okay, I have prescription sunglasses on me, as well; I'll just wear sunglasses for the event.' I asked him to pull them out of my bag as they were in a zip glass case, I know for a fact they are in there because I switched them out after arriving at the hotel."

"He pulled out the case and tried to tell me they weren't in there and that I must have dropped them somewhere."

"I begged him to help me search the hotel, I called downstairs, I had staff members helping me search, and I was in the lobby on my hands and knees feeling around trying to find them."

"He was busy getting ready upstairs and told me to just go to the event without them; I'll be fine."

"I absolutely refuse to leave without my glasses. I told him to go have a good time but I'm not leaving the hotel room and going into a crowded strange place in a strange city being unable to see."

"Well suddenly, right before we're about to leave, he pretended he found my glasses and they were just sitting on the bathroom counter the whole time. As if I didn't search every single inch and feel around every inch of that vanity."

"After some crying, he admitted that he hid both of my glasses because he just wanted me to see that it's not so bad and that if I just go without them for a little while my eyes will adjust and I'll be able to see fine."

- ConceptAggravating95

Silence to the Extreme

"I had a girlfriend who got mad at me, and I had no idea why. For three days, she would call, say nothing, and if I hung up, she would call back."

"I turned off my phone, and she'd call my parents or show up at my house (in high school still living with my parents). This went on for three days. I basically didn't sleep."

"I was a senior and still in school, and she had graduated the year before. On the third night, she yelled at me for keeping her up, and it was the end of the fight."

"The next day, I asked what I did. She said nothing she was just angry and wanted to fight."

"It took me going to college and her finding some other poor sap to torture to finally get away from her. I was young and naive, and now know I should have involved a court order and police."

"It was h**l. But from it, I ended up with my now wife, and without that h**l, I would not be where I am today, which is something I would never change."

- FineSL

The Most Controlling of the Controlling

"She yelled at me for wanting to talk to my family after she and my dad had a minor argument. She also blocked my old friends, family, and coworkers in my phone while I slept."

- Arcane_booty_Magic

"Throw the whole girl away."

- BlackenSphinx

"I did that a month ago, and this has been the best month I've had in three years."

- Arcane_booty_Magic

These accounts were terribly eye-opening, and they're a great reminder that a toxic relationship may not be identifiable until it's made glaringly obvious to us.

Fortunately, all of these Redditors were talking about exes, which means that they were able to move beyond these tough situations.