What is it that makes people confess their deepest, darkest sins to millions of strangers on Reddit? While we may not know the answer, we do know that the following confessions run the gamut from funny to salacious to nasty nightmare fuel. In fact, you might want an Ouija board to send some of these skeletons back to the closets from whence they came.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
On one autumn day when I was 11, I was told to take out the trash. As I was doing this, I noticed the box of matches next to our grill. Since it was fall, I burned a small pile of old leaves for a couple of minutes and then stomped on them to put out the fire. Unbeknownst to me, all that did was push the embers right next to our house.
The next thing I knew, the house went up the flames. It was terrifying—but that wasn’t the worst of it. The firefighters put out the fire and the house insurance covered the damages, but the authorities were very curious about how it started. They suspected someone jumped to the fence and lit up the leaves to burn our house down.
Unfortunately, this caused my parents to think someone was out to get us. Scared for our lives, they decided to move elsewhere. They lost their well-paying jobs and they lost a lot of money on the sale of the house. For the next solid seven years, we lived in stress and poverty. My parents still do not know that I’m the reason they had to live like that.
I got busted with a lot of computers from my work—about $25,000 worth—and pleaded guilty to grand theft. The authorities spelled my name wrong and put down the wrong birthday. I also never gave them my license or social security number. I just kept saying, “I don’t remember it” over and over during my 90-day incarceration.
That was 34 years ago. Every few years, I still do background checks on my name and I’d be lying if I said that my heart doesn’t race each and every time I do it. Nope. Still not there.
You Do You
I recently quit my job to become a stripper—and it’s had a surprising side effect. First, the only person who knows this is my husband. I have more quality time with my family, I am more financially stable, I’ve gotten into better shape, and I don’t have to worry about budgets or bills as much. If we need something in the house, it can go on the monthly or the weekly lists depending on severity.
If my husband wants a new project, I can give him his guy time. If my kid is sick, I can afford the medicine. I don’t have to worry about money, and neither does my family. During my own childhood, I would agonize over whether we had food, electricity, heat, or tampons. It feels good to be able to provide for my family.
Hate The Game, Not The Player, Right?
I have managed to create a facade that makes it appear as if I have worked full-time on the project I was assigned to but it actually takes only me half of the time. It was tricky but I have managed to organize things in a way that allows me to do anything except my work at the office. On home office days I mostly play video games.
Whenever I get asked how my work is going, I lie to make it look like I am fully swamped with my work and the schedules and deadlines, etc. A side effect of this was that I got really good at lying and could deceive anyone about nearly anything and most people would actually believe it. I’ve been doing this for two years now.
If my coworkers or boss ever found out that I get paid for a full-time job while only working roughly 20 hours a week, I’d get fired immediately. Additionally, I live in a small town, and getting caught would totally ruin my reputation and any chances at a potential new job. I also just want to say that I don’t feel bad about my behavior at all.
The Sweet Smell Of Revengeperson walking beside Golden retriever on the streetPhoto by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash
When I was around age 10, I was walking home with my dog when he cut the corner and walked diagonally through the yard of this super-mean old lady who lived at the end of our street. She was in her yard at the time tending to some really fancy-looking rosebushes. All of a sudden she sprayed my dog all over with some kind of insecticide or fertilizer.
I should mention that my dog was a very friendly golden retriever who didn’t even go near her and certainly didn’t do anything threatening. I couldn’t believe that she sprayed him with whatever chemical she was using on her roses. I ran back home with the dog and immediately hosed him off. He coughed a bunch but seemed OK.
I didn’t tell my parents because I somehow thought that I was going to get into trouble for letting the dog walk in her yard. I’m glad I didn’t tell them, though, because I decided to get revenge. That night I snuck downstairs, out the half-bath window, and down the street to her yard. Once there, I cut down every single rose bush I could get my hands on.
Putting In The Work
I’ve kept this on the down low, but I used to have a drinking problem. I went to detox, rehab, and an aftercare program. Then I went into a halfway house and finally my own apartment in another state, which made things easier. I’m 31 and, honestly, it sucks. I want to break free from lying and hiding, but things always get uncomfortable if I let anyone know about my journey.
It’s really tough because I believe that anyone I tell will judge me and not want to talk to me. This just makes it easier to lie. Not to mention, lying has worked pretty well so far, so why fix what’s not broken? Unfortunately, I also understand how all of this not only hangs over my head but can also eventually catch up to me. I’m just stuck in the middle, I guess.
What Happens On Vacation Stays On Vacation
I was on a holiday in China, visiting some cousins, and was out riding my bike. It was about 9:30 pm. I turned left, crashed into a stack of trash cans, and got my leg stuck in some hole. I looked down into the alley that I had been about to enter and could see a guy wearing about five face masks, all adjusted so that they covered his identity completely.
It was actually quite comical, and I almost laughed out loud, but by that point, my leg was really starting to hurt. The masked man had a giant, ruler-sized blade and was pointing it at another person’s neck. He was an older man with what I swear was the longest scarf I have ever seen in my life. I just sat there staring as they yelled at each other in Chinese.
Apparently, the old scarf guy owed the masked man a ton of money. I must have made some sort of noise at that moment because they both suddenly turned toward me in a bit of a panic. The masked man shoved the scarf guy to the ground, glared at me, gave me the finger, and bolted into the night.
Just What The Doctor Ordered
After weeks of unbearable cramping and bleeding, I found out at the gyno that my ex gave me chlamydia. I was tested prior to us getting together and I didn’t sleep with anyone in between then so I knew it was him. I also found out that a few people he had slept with prior to me had it. He kept blaming me and saying some messed up stuff and we ended up breaking up.
I had known that the relationship had almost run its course anyway, so that didn’t really hit me hard, but a lot of the things he said to me toward the end did. Anyway, I picked up the antibiotics for the both of us. My best friend had taken them before and told me that they give you a horrid stomachache and the worst diarrhea imaginable.
And they definitely did. I decided to wait a couple of days until I was off work and could stay home to take them. I was pooping every five minutes all day long. When I gave the antibiotics to my ex, I was feeling extra petty that day and told him that he should take the antibiotics before work in the morning because I had taken them at night and they had me so wired I was up all night. I genuinely hope he pooped himself at work.
Road Trip Gone Wrong
When I was in my 20s, I went on a cross-country road trip in an RV just for fun. I would just drive from town to town eating food and checking out cool stores and places. Livin’ the dream, right? It was a fun way to spend the summer. Well, it would have been—if I hadn’t done something stupid in one of the towns I visited.
I don’t know why, but when I was in one of the stores, I took something that was worth a lot of money. I was caught, cuffed, and jammed in the back of a squad car. On my way to wherever it is they take you, the cop got called to something urgent. He left me locked in the back of the car (with the AC on, what a guy) and went into a business.
I tested the door handle for kicks and it wasn’t locked. I got out of the car and ran a couple of streets over to my RV. I got into it and was able to pull one of my hands out of the cuffs. I started up the RV and drove out of town. I had never given them my name and, luckily, I had left my wallet and cell phone in my RV.
They recovered the item I took but had no way of identifying me. Thankfully, I have never heard anything else about it since.
A Very Difficult Decisiontoddler's walking on the seashore with adultPhoto by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash
When I was 17 and pregnant for the second time, I decided to give the second child up for adoption. I was so scared and I already had a child who was a little over a year old. I didn’t even get to see my son after he was born. I spent the next two weeks bawling. That’s when I made a devastating realization. I had to take him back.
I had to go to this poor woman’s house and get him. Seeing her heartbroken face was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In my heart, my heartbreak was worse. Maybe that makes me selfish but he came from my body and I couldn’t imagine a world without him. When I got home, my mom kicked me out and had my stuff on the lawn.
I ended up getting my act together and working 80 hours a week to support myself and my babies. It felt got to figure out my life. My son is now 23 and amazing. I don’t regret my choice at all, but I live in fear of my kids somehow finding this out. I don’t want them to ever know, especially my son. I’m afraid he will think I didn’t want him.
Hot For Teacher
I make good money writing adult short stories—but that’s not the shocking part of my secret. One of my recurring characters is based on one of my professors at university. He recently came across one of my stories and recognized my writing. I couldn’t believe it when he actually sent it to me, offering corrections and tips. He knew it was based on him. He knew I have a thing for him. We ended up hooking up.
Catch Me If You Can
After a semester of community college, I ended up working as a summer intern at a job where even the most junior positions require a minimum of two university degrees. I was given this unpaid position for six weeks as a favor to a friend of mine. And let me just say, I was super-grateful at the time, even though I didn’t know what the future would hold.
I’ve now been at the company for more than 30 years. I’ve risen up the ranks to increasingly complex positions with additional responsibilities. I now supervise people with multiple university degrees and each of them with a wealth and breadth of knowledge in complex subjects where any mistakes will have dire personal, professional, and corporate consequences.
I’ve won multiple regional and national awards for achievements in my field and I’m often called on to mentor younger employees who have more letters and abbreviations after their names than my doctor has. But there’s something that none of them know.
I don’t even have my high school diploma. Nobody has ever asked me about my education.
Time To Face The Music
In my first year of high school, we had a music competition. I think this was an attempt to get kids to not drop the subject when they got to choose which subjects they’d take. I entered the composition category and fully intended to make my own song. I was into techno at the time and was trying to learn tracker-style music sequencing software.
I procrastinated and didn’t have anything worthwhile, so I ended up submitting one of the demo tracks that came with the software. The night of the contest, I discovered that the only other entry was from a couple of special-needs students who just played the same two chords over and over. I was too scared to drop out because it would mean owning up to my plagiarism.
Needless to say, I won the category, but I felt pretty awful about it. To make things worse, the music teacher played the whole song for the class and tried really hard to get me to take music as one of my exam subjects.
Blood Is Not Thicker Than Money
I found out about a year ago that after my dad perished, the will named me as the primary heir to his small accumulation of wealth. I was 15 at the time. My parents were divorced at the time and my mom arranged to have all of his life savings put away until I was 18. The problem was I never received any of that money—and the reason why was twisted.
I found out that my mom secretly hid the money from the family and lied and said he barely left us anything. She ended up buying our family house outright with the cash that was meant to go to me and my brother. She also bought herself some nice jewelry and went on a couple of holidays. For a while, I considered getting a lawyer, but I decided to play dumb about everything.
If it got out that she had done this, it would totally tear the family apart again. So now I’m a broke 23-year-old saving up for my own house penny by penny all while knowing for a fact that there’s about $450,000 that should have been mine. My close friend is married to a lawyer and he reviewed my case and my evidence.
The lawyer said that if I took this to court it would be a slam dunk and over and done within a couple of months. I won’t do that to my brother and I won’t do that to my family. But I still have a plan. When I’m 30 and starting a family, I will sit her down and tell her she can quietly work out a plan with me to give me what is rightfully mine.
For now, she actually thinks she’s fooled me. She even goes so far as to lie and complain about mortgage payments. I don’t hate her, I just feel sorry for her. You have to be twisted up inside to do that to your own son and daughter, but here we are. I sincerely hope the lie eats her up at night.
The Truth Is Out Thereman sitting on sofaPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
When I was a teenager, I had a horrible compulsive lying problem. My “stories” controlled my whole life and I completely ruined most relationships before they even got started. Not to mention, my lying made me worse in the head because I bottled up my feelings for many years. Thankfully, I have recently been getting therapy and meds—but there’s been a dark side to my progress.
As part of the healing process, I chose to upend my life by admitting the truth to those I lied to. Some don’t talk to me anymore, which I can understand. It felt good and also horrible, to tell the truth. If you have a similar issue, please talk to someone. Sometimes I still get the urge to lie, but now after I lie, I throw my shame on the table and correct myself.
Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
A couple of my old roommates decided it would be funny to trash my room while I was on holiday in Vegas. I came home to find pizza stuck on the walls, stained sheets, wet toilet paper stuck to the ceiling, and about four unflushed bowel movements in my en suite toilet. It was definitely not the homecoming I had expected.
Being a rather quiet and non-confrontational man, I laughed all of this off, but on the inside, I began planning. I decided to get them where it hurt. So, when they were out one night, I peed into their orange juice. The next morning at breakfast, I happily watched them dig into it. To this day, no one knows about this.
Kids Are Cruel
I used to get bullied because of severe eczema on my face. I had no eyebrows and my skin was very flaky and red, which earned me the nickname “Alligator Girl”. I am now on medication, which has made me totally unrecognizable. My glow-up has given me a bit of imposter syndrome and I have experienced some pretty privilege. I live in fear of people finding out about my unattractive past.
I was an addict in my 20s. I’ve been clean for nine years, and no one I work with, or associate with at this point in my life (besides my wife, kids, and immediate family), knows that 10 years ago I was an unrecognizable shell of who I am now. It definitely wasn’t easy, and I still have a lot of baggage from that time of my life.
The hardest part was cutting out all the people that I had been “friends” with (AKA using buddies) for almost a decade. As soon as I stopped using, they quit hanging around.
Take The Money And Run?
I’m a trauma surgery nurse and I found a devious loophole in my job. I’m now making almost as much as some of the doctors. I basically work smarter, not harder. My coworkers, and even my boss, don’t know. My boss just adds up the hours but never sees the amount I’m paid—only the payroll department knows what I’m actually making.
What I’m doing is kind of hard to explain, but nothing I’m doing is against the law. We have about 3,000 employees at my hospital and I’m a casual call employee. I pick up trauma shifts from traveling nurses, but I’ll charge them $100 to 200 a shift for picking it up. They get paid so much that they are happy to pay me that.
As permanent employees, they get paid double to work a trauma shift, plus a bonus and multiple differentials. Since I’m casual call, I get a 15% differential that other employees don’t get. Then I get extra because of my master’s (even though I’m doing a regular RN’s job and not a master’s level job). All of that then doubles when I work a trauma shift.
In 2022, I only worked for about 25 hours per week. My other coworkers, in the same position, working 40 hours per week, make a quarter of what I make for four times the work. If the other nurses find out, no one will want to work full time and the administration will reconfigure how I’m paid. I’m going to quietly ride this out for as long as possible.
Small Slip, Big Consequenceswhite ceramic mug filled with coffeePhoto by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
I’ve never told anyone this, not even my therapist, and it’s my biggest regret. This happened over five years ago and it still haunts me that I was even capable of this. My girlfriend was talking about breaking up with me after we had been together for five years. The next day, she said she was just in a mood and told me she loves me and that I should forget about that conversation.
We had makeup nookie. But I had an intrusive thought: “If you get her pregnant, she’ll stay”. I quickly realized I’d made a horrible mistake.
The next morning, I slipped the morning-after pill into her coffee. I didn’t feel like too much of a terrible person because she had always been adamant that under no circumstances did she want a child until she had finished law school. But I was in for a surprise. She still got pregnant. It was a nightmare.
She wanted an abortion. I paid for everything, held her hand the whole way through, and helped her however I could. We broke up a few years later, but it was unrelated to the unwanted pregnancy. I still feel like an absolute jerk whenever I think about what I did to her, and what it ultimately resulted in. I want to say I was a naive young adult, but I had already graduated college by then, and I was fully aware that what I did was against the law.
I’m aware that what I did was monstrous, and I have to live with that every day. I want to say that I had no clue what I was thinking, but I absolutely do, and that terrifies me. If I could take it back I would. While she was emotionally, verbally, and even sometimes physically abusive to me, she 100% didn’t deserve that trauma.
The Heart Wants What It Wants
During COVID, I got so bored during lockdown that I made a Selena Gomez stan account on Twitter. I had a cute anime profile pic and everything. All my mutuals thought I was their babygirl. The funny part is that I’m also a truck driver who looks like a lumberjack and an oil rig worker. In other words, I’ve held my masculinity to high standards, so if this ever gets out…
Putting In The (Self) Work
I am not actually in therapy. Not because I don’t believe it doesn’t work or help me. I am 25 and have spent more than 16 of those years with different therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists dissecting and analyzing my thoughts and feelings. The problem is that my parents don’t accept any form of self-discovery unless they think it comes from a professional.
I have grown more in the past two years from being 8,000 km (5,000 miles) away from them and just writing down and processing my feelings than I have from any doctor they’ve sent me to. So I came up with a plan to fool them.
My parents never acknowledged my growth until I started falsely using the phrase “my therapist told me to”…
Ever since I started doing that they have had nothing but praise for how hard I’ve been working on myself and how much better I’m doing. They have finally understood things I’ve been trying to explain for almost a decade just because I told them that my therapist said it instead of me.
It isn’t costing any of us any money but if they found out they would definitely freak out.
Snitches Get Stitches
I shared a physics class with twin brothers who were disruptive, nasty, and sociopathic. When they finished school, they were often in and out of prison. One of them even served time for trying to bump off some guy. One time, these brothers burned all of the trees on a sacred plot of land near where I lived.
I knew it was them. One of them took a reel of phosphorus from the school lab. They’d been fascinated with it since we had done an experiment earlier in the week. The authorities knew that the fire had been started with a reel of phosphorus tape. I told the principal. If the twins ever found out that I did this, I hate to think what they’d do to me—even 25 years later.
Thankfully, they’ll never know and I spend the majority of my time in two different countries anyway. so even if they did find out somehow—oh, let’s face it, they wouldn’t be smart enough to find me. Law enforcement was able to prove that it was them and they confessed. Their excuse? They wanted to see how fast it would all burn.
By The Seat Of Their Pants
This happened to me on the job when I was working as a paramedic. We were on the way to a chest pain patient and I suddenly had an intense need to pass gas. There was no way I could hold it in. That’s when disaster struck. Unfortunately, my bottom burp added some weight and color to my white trousers. Since we were on the way to a job, though, there was nothing I could do.
So, during the whole job, I made sure to keep myself turned in a way that ensured no one was ever behind me, including my colleagues, the patient, his wife and son, and later on the hospital personnel. I wore my jacket tied around my hips like an idiot as well. It all worked quite well, but, wow, was that a tough moment.
Cheating Heartsshallow photography of man hugging woman outdoorsPhoto by freestocks on Unsplash
I had a very romantic affair with an older married man. It was awesome. I had known this man for a few years and he was very handsome for his age. He was in his 50s and I was 32. He took care of himself and was exceptional in the bedroom. He would whisk me away to different countries and was always a complete gentleman.
I do not condone sleeping with married men or women, and would never do it again. In my defense, he was a good stress release from the abusive on-again-off-again relationship I had with my ex. His wife was an annoying and emotionally abusive Karen, but I believe they’re trying marriage counseling at the moment. Did I mention that he is a politician?
From Side Hustle To Main Gig
I was recently fired from one of my jobs because they found out I share naughty content on an online subscription service. I told my husband that I was let go because I stood up for myself in front of the wrong people, which was an incident I had been reprimanded for the day before. I paid for my kids' Christmas with that money and I plan to continue so that I can make up for the lost income stream.
Take To The Grave
My father caught my grandfather cheating on my grandmother in the 1990s. For reasons unknown, the lady in question revealed their 40-year affair and gave my father picture proof that she had been dating my grandfather since the 1950s. My grandfather was violent when he was younger, so my father decided to keep the affair a secret to protect my grandmother—but he still used it to his advantage.
My father threatened to show the picture to my grandmother if his father ever became aggressive again. Unfortunately, my father passed before he had the chance to tell her the truth. My grandparents are still married, and this secret would do some crazy damage to our family today—especially since my grandfather now has dementia, and would ironically be blissfully unaware of it all.
Almost 20 years ago, when I was about nine years old, I used my mom’s credit card information to buy some toys from a random website. The site was obviously 100% fake but I was a kid and didn’t know much about anything at the time. The next day, my mom freaked out when she found out that there was a $500 transaction she didn’t make.
The people at her bank wanted to look at my computer, but, thankfully, she told them that I couldn’t have done it because I didn’t know anything about credit cards or online shopping. Just a few days before my little mistake, she had been traveling, so to this day, she believes that someone in Perú had taken her credit card information.
I had food intolerance until I hit puberty. For the first 13 years of my life, I could only eat chicken, potatoes, rice, beans, and bread. I was not allowed to eat anything else—and no spices either. So every time there was an event or a party, I would bring my own chips and that was all that I was allowed to eat.
Eventually, though, I would eat what the other kids were eating. From there it developed to taking banned foods from the supermarket so that I could them out myself. I did this for many years until the doctor told me I no longer have food allergies. If I had been caught back then it would have backfired pretty hard on me.
Prom Crasherswoman in blue sleeveless dress wearing blue and white floral tiaraPhoto by Todd Cravens on Unsplash
When I was a senior in high school, I went to prom with a group of friends. I had bought a single ticket, not a couple’s ticket. One of my friends knew a guy who wanted to go to our prom but couldn’t because he went to a different high school, so I let him walk in next to me and pretended he was my date. Thankfully, nobody looked closely enough at my ticket to realize it wasn’t for two people.
You Can’t Pray A Lie
In my junior year of high school, I had to write a six-page paper on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ugh. During Spring Break, I found out that my sister had the same assignment two years prior. I asked if I could use her paper, which she had got a 91% on, and she told me it was fine as long as I denied that she had anything to do with it if I got caught.
So I changed about 30 words to better fit my writing style, updated the MLA format to the present (it had changed slightly in those two years), and copied it into a new document (in case the metadata was ever looked into). I ended up getting a 99% on it and aced the course. My sister, to this day, still claims I owe her one.
A year ago, my secret would have been “people finding out that I’m bi”. I lived 36 years of my life as a hetero man with a wife and two kids. Denying that part of my identity did me no favors. In March, I came out to my partner of 16 years. It did not go well. My already fragile marriage was ruined. I may have lost my wife but I didn’t lose anyone else.
My daughters, father, mother—everyone that mattered understood and accepted me. I now have a new partner who loves and accepts me for who I am. I was able to keep the house and I get to co-parent our beautiful girls. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. This won’t work for everyone, but sometimes it’s healthier, to be honest.
I used to get along with most of my coworkers, but not this one particular person. To say I hated her would be an understatement. This one time, she took her wedding ring off and left it on her desk at work. What I did next was absolutely heinous.
I found it and sold it for gold at the pawn shop. Unfortunately, I only got like $60 bucks for it.
Which Witch Is Which
My mother-in-law is hyper-Christian and very anti-LGBTQ+. She is very proud of her relation to a Salem witch trials judge. I am married to her amazing son and his parents have no idea that I’m bi, agnostic-ish, and a witch. My husband knows this and totally supports me but she has no clue. I occasionally attend Bible study with her for the gossip and connections.
All In The Familywomen's black shirtPhoto by Ignat Kushanrev on Unsplash
Last Christmas I learned that my older sister and I are technically only half-sisters. My sister’s biological father tried to start a relationship with my mom that resulted in a pregnancy and ultimately didn’t work out. That biological father is in heaven now and I didn’t probe into his identity or his demise in case it was painful for my mom.
My mom raised my sister as a widow at my grandmother’s house during the 80s. When she met my father in the 90s, they really clicked. Shortly after, they got married, moved into a new house, and had me. My mom told me to never call my sister my half-sister and just pretend that all of this doesn’t matter. If anyone asks about the 10-year age gap, I just tell them that it’s a long story.
I feel like I’m pretending to be an adult every day. I do not, whatsoever, feel like an adult. I work 40 to 50 hours a week for a multinational manufacturer in a very fast-paced environment, people come to me for answers all day, I own a vehicle and have my own place, and people say things like “You always have your act together” and “You’re so responsible”. But there’s something that they don’t know.
I have bills and responsibilities like every other functioning adult out there, but it feels like I’m pretending. The absolute truth? Ninety percent of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I Google everything. I am incredibly awkward when I talk to people. I feel like I’m just this kid running around playing dress-up with a bunch of real adults.
An Unbreakable Bond
In 2013, it was my first semester of college. I had an anthropology class at 8:30 am and I’m not exactly a morning person. Apparently, this girl I sat next to wasn’t either. It was one of those things where we just saw each other and knew because we were both absolute zombies. We had an unspoken bond: “No one else will understand how much we want to sleep, so let’s just hang with each other”.
We stayed pretty true to that, too. We’d often go for food after class, so, understandably, we got close. But we were both super-religious and thought every form of attraction was some kind of sin. So, as close as we got, we were always kind of awkward with each other. When we got an assignment to go do interviews, it felt natural to go with each other and just help out.
So, we got mine done pretty early in the semester but hers took a bit more planning. We had to drive about two hours to this mountain city where her grandfather lived to talk to him. I didn’t drive at the time, so we took her car. There was about three months’ worth of romantic tension built up between us by then, so the drive was slightly uncomfortable.
Once the interview was completed, we had dinner in a small pub. It was about dusk, and both of us said that we wanted to wander into the forest for a bit before heading back. Just to take in the atmosphere for a while, you know? So we parked by the side of the road and went down into the trees. It was extremely beautiful.
We lived in the desert, where most of the vegetation we were used to was a few palm trees here and there but this was amazing. No sound from the city, no smog from the cars, just people, trees, and silence. She ended up brushing up against me to get past some roots, but in a way that felt almost deliberate. I tested it back by brushing up against her at times when I didn't necessarily need to.
We finally decided to say “screw it” to all our pious fears and just decided to have fun.
I wasn't a virgin at that point, but I had made a lot of really dumb decisions up to that moment, which was why I was as religious as I was. She was a virgin, despite being a few years older than me. There was that feeling that it would last forever and that we would always belong to each other.
Afterward, during our walk of shame to her car, things were obviously awkward. Now, the drive back home was uncomfortable for pretty much the opposite reason as when we were headed up there. The silence gave me a lot of time to think, though. I decided that I was just gonna tell her exactly how much I loved her. Except I chickened out and didn’t say anything.
I don't know why I didn't tell her. I guess because I was freshly 18 and have always been kinda bad with people. It was Friday and I knew I’d see her again on Monday—that would be my moment. Monday came, and I was excited and nervous. I even dressed better than I normally do. She didn't show. We usually didn't question when the other person didn't show, so I didn't think much of it.
When she missed the whole week, I started getting concerned. I tried texting and calling her, but no replies. She missed a second week. That Friday I asked the professor. Turns out, he had just got the news and was going to tell the class before he began the lecture. On the Sunday after our forest escapade, she’d been in a car accident and didn’t make it.
For a while, I didn’t react. I didn’t believe it.
I didn't know anything about her family outside of her grandfather, so I used what I could to find her family. I showed up at her brother’s work. He could see that I was pretty shaken as I spoke, and I could see that he was getting kind of agitated, so we decided to wait until his shift was over to talk. He told me about how happy she was in the days before the accident.
He said that she’d been pretty depressed, but had just started to get out of her room more, was getting along with her parents, and was generally more fun to be around. Then he told me that someone had been driving while inebriated and hit her from behind, wrapping her car around a tree. That was what did it. That was the moment that I really felt the impact.
For days I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t WANT to do anything. I failed all but one class that semester. My entire life was basically falling apart. Through all of it, I never really told my parents, friends, or anyone. All they knew was that I was in a pretty bad place.
I’ve had a few attempts at relationships since, but it was hard for me to not feel guilty whenever I got close to someone because I was still in love with her.
I got rid of my belief in God and His “plan”, because how could I justify her senseless demise at the hands of some irresponsible jerk? Since then, I’ve met someone else who has helped me get over my grief. I’ve been pretty open about my baggage, as she was about hers. I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with my existential awareness too, I guess. So I’m in a much healthier place overall.
Sometimes They Start Young
I accidentally took a bag of shredded cheese from the store. I was seven or eight months pregnant and I had my two-year-old with me. He was sitting in the seat part of the shopping cart. I gave him the bag of cheese to play with and didn’t realize that he somehow ended up sitting on it. As I was loading my groceries and putting him into his car seat, I saw the contraband.
For about two seconds I considered going back into the store to pay for it. I then realized that I was completely OK with being an outlaw. I was also way too tired to walk back into the store at that point. Sixteen years later I’m still sleeping well at night. I now realize why my mom NEVER took us to the store. I’m one of seven kids, so it was her only alone time.
Nightmare Come True
This happened when I was in the 8th grade. We were taking standardized tests (STAAR, I think) and, as someone who’s both shy and has selective mutism, I’ve never been able to raise my hand in class. Anyway, I had to pee. Badly. There were still about 20 minutes left before the bell would ring, so I figured I could make it. Big mistake.
The pee just started and I could NOT stop it. I just sat there in the classroom, sitting in my own pee, which was also running down my legs. I didn’t move until the bell rang, and everyone left. This one girl I didn’t know stood at the door and really tried to get me to leave. I think she knew what I did and was trying to make fun of me.
Once everyone was out, my teacher asked what was wrong. I started to cry and told her that I had an accident. She told me to wait there, and then she went and got two other teachers. The three of them literally guarded me in the hallway so no one would see my wet jeans as I went to the office.
They gave me a change of pants and I went home. I would just like to give a shout-out to those teachers because, honestly, I’m sure there are teachers out there who have just sent me to the office and not guarded me to save me from the immense embarrassment and ridicule that would have come from getting caught with wet pants.
Potluck Hackbrown wooden spoonPhoto by Jason Tuinstra on Unsplash
Whenever I’m cooking for people or bringing something to a potluck, I put a little more than double the amount of salt called for in the recipes. This means I never have to bring home leftovers because the dishes are scraped clean. Yes, my super-secret confession is salt. I don’t want to get the stink eye from my health-conscious friends.
Well, That Was Unexpected
When my sister was going through a mental health crisis she decided to spill all of my secrets to our family and friends. She resented the fact that I was trying to convince her to get help and she felt that exposing me would take the heat off of her. She was trying to deflect attention from herself and if she was going down, she was going to take me with her.
She exposed a lifetime’s worth of sins and regrets that I would change if I could go back in time. Nothing I did was against the law, but some people would consider it immoral. It was very personal stuff that I never wanted to share. Well, everybody knows now! It opened up conversations that I never intended to have with our family.
I offered to have an open dialogue with our family and answer any questions but no one cared. Well, my sister’s plan completely backfired on her.
In fact, I received love and support while she’s been completely ostracized by most of our family. They found her behavior to be self-righteous and deplorable. Being found out didn’t ruin me, it freed me.
Time To Embrace Neurodiversity
I am autistic with hyper emotionalism and near-savant level “hobbies”, which I never tell anyone I am good at. I hate the way my brain is because it has driven so many people away from me. All my life, my mom has told me that she is thankful that she and my dad had me because I’m so difficult that anyone else would have bumped me off.
She says that they love me for my issues and difficulties and cried with me when I couldn’t handle the feelings or sensory stimulation I had. I hate it. I just wish I was normal. I don’t want the IQ or the “Oh wow, you must be a genius”! No, I just have a brain malformation that makes it seem like I’m a genius on an IQ test.
When I have been put in a social situation without my medication, I’ve been called crazy, weird, a bad friend, and egotistical because I can’t stop talking about my specific “hobbies”. My secret is that sometimes I tell people I have Borderline Personality Disorder because I’d rather have people think that I have something that can be fixed.
It sucks that this is actually who I am and I’m just a screwed-up person. The only people who have ever loved me for all my weirdness and craziness, other than my mom, are my spouse and her daughter. Somehow, they just think my weirdness is endearing. They’re amazing actually. I just don’t like to embarrass them and stuff.
The Bad Old Days
Back in the 90s, when I was about six or seven years old, I was abruptly woken up by my mom saying that two kids from my class were at our front door with their mothers. They had told their moms that our teacher had inappropriately touched them and they wanted to speak to everyone in the class before going to the authorities.
That night, my mom asked me if our teacher had ever done anything to me and I told her no. She was so relieved. I will never forget how terrified she was right up until I said no. My dad was with me when I gave my statement to the authorities and I again said nothing happened. I lied. I was just so terrified of getting into trouble and upsetting my parents.
The case went to court and the teacher was found not guilty as there was no evidence. Mind you, this was a long time ago when kids were not believed as easily as they are now. I have spent the past 27 years of my life keeping this secret and trying to block out most of the memories.
Before the accusations, this teacher had wanted to take me and two other girls on a weekend trip to a nature reserve. Thank God my mom refused. I have vague memories, but I always wondered if my testimony would have made a difference. Am I the reason he never went to prison? I am terrified he went after more victims because I stayed silent.
My husband and I were kept apart for two years during the mess that was the pandemic. During this time I was also waiting for my Green Card which meant that I couldn’t visit him. He came over to visit me once during the two years, and I noticed that he had a dating app on his phone. I decided to sneak a peek into his phone.
I checked his messages and I could see that he had been talking to a woman on there. It was obvious from the messages that they had met up and done the deed. From what I could tell, they only did it once and there weren’t a whole lot of messages after that. I’ve never confronted him about it and I don’t really want to.
Since I’ve been in the US, he’s been super attentive and loving. As far as I can tell there are no dating apps on his phone or computer. I feel that if I told him I know, or told any friends or family, they would push for me to leave him and think I was an idiot if I didn’t. We have a baby boy now and I would never want to disrupt our lives over a meaningless one-night stand.
Get Thee To Therapya person in a hospital bed with an ivPhoto by Olga Kononenko on Unsplash
There’s a big gap on my resume—and the reason why is seriously twisted. My wife and I tried to end our lives together and wound up in the hospital for a couple of weeks. I don’t know if it would ruin our lives if it became public, but it would complicate things. After the first month of caring about our mental health, our close family went back to the mindset of “If I can't see your mental illness, it’s not a true illness”.
The Cat’s Out Of The Bag
When I was five, I would regularly get the family cat to attack my little sister when she was in her baby walker device. I hated her and I wanted to get rid of her, so I tried to get the cat to get rid of her.
Ultimately, the cat just ended up scratching at her feet and my parents got rid of the cat. They gave it to one of their friends.
Misplacing The Blame
Once, in high school, I got really sloshed and secretly took a dump in a friend’s car. The consequences were disturbing.
He ended up being so convinced that his girlfriend did the dirty deed that he ended up breaking up with her over it.
Reddit user b-secret asked: 'what is the most embarrassing thing you have ever Googled?'
I freely admit I'm of a certain age where my primary education occurred before the age of the internet—when our questions were answered with conversations with experts, encyclopedias or knowing how to use card catalogs.
My knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System is largely useless today.
Research is drastically different now—sorry Melvil Dewey. Internet search engines quickly became the difference between occasionally finding an outdated version of the information we were looking for and rarely not finding current information on the most obscure of topics.
Unless your Google game is super weak, you're likely to find what you're looking for or something close to it unlike the good old days when our chances were hit or mis—with lots of misses.
So what do we use this amazing, life-changing tool for?
Reddit user b-secret asked:
"What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever Googled?"
"what's the alcohol percentage in 70% rubbing alcohol?"
"55% alcohol, 15% rubbing"
"I Googled my work because I couldn’t remember my boss’ name after working there for 8 months."
"I just blanked and couldn’t think of it."
"I Google how to spell restaurant all the time."
"I'm like that but with Febuary."
"I go into incognito mode to check spellings of words I should know how to spell."
"I was trying to find the name of those signs where a word is written down the side and each letter is used for a descriptive word."
"Confusing I know."
"So here’s an example: False Evidence Appearing Real"
"I know it has to have a name. So I googled 'Sign where every word starts with a letter' and Goggle responded with 'Did you mean a sentence?'.”
"Googled green beans once, was super high and forgot what they looked like."
"I did the same thing with beets."
Gaby Yerden on Unsplash
That Movie, With the Guy and the Stuff...
"I'll forget the name of a movie and just type in random sh*t I think I remember. Usually it works."
"Like 'that movie where the kid sleeps and has weird dreams and flies on a bed'."
"Works like a charm."
Did They Have Blue Feet?
"I was only 10."
"I was surprised to find some."
"I’m 39 and I Google this every day."
"They're nice birds but are they really worth Googling everyday?"
"I used to search something like 'no clothes' or 'without clothes' or something like that when I was a kid."
"Then I learnt the word NAKED because of the TV show Naked and Afraid."
"Then searched it so many times that my autocorrect started to show that word first when I wanted to type something."
"I like to Google Bing or Duckduckgo when I need to use them."
"My favorite band growing up was 'The Barenaked Ladies'."
"When I was at school, I once Googled them and clicked on a link that said 'free shows!'."
"I forgot what a 'gondola' was called so I typed in 'Thing that carries you through the mountains in a basket'."
"I once forgot the word for 'door' so my brain reached for adjacent concepts, smashed them together and threw them out my mouth: 'house portal'."
It Just Doesn't Translate
"I have to search a random word 'auf Englisch' or a random word 'auf Deutsch'."
"Every damn day."
"It took me a minute to realize that there was no way to translate Schadenfreude into English."
"I found out that as long as you're logged into Google, all your searches are saved to your Google account (I'm not talking about browser history)."
"So I looked back, and the 1st thing I ever googled after getting a Google account was 'Can ducks fly'."
"I've no idea why I googled this. I know ducks can fly."
You Ate What‽‽
"Once I was with some friends and I was telling them about how when I was a kid we only got to eat nuts as a special treat around Christmas."
"Then I mentioned how much I liked squirrel nuts and no one knew what they were. So I Googled 'squirrel nuts' with image search."
"Not at all what we ate at Christmas time."
"Finally found out what my family called 'squirrel nuts' were actually called hazelnuts."
"A few years ago my coworker and I were looking at the calendar at work. It had pictures of birds and we were trying to figure out what kind of bird was pictured for that month."
"I can’t remember what she thought it was, but I darned sure it was a Great Tit."
"We have a great relationship and have been working together for a long time but we tend to argue like an old married couple. So we went to Mr Google for the answer."
"Let me tell you that Googling Great Tit at work isn’t something I will ever do again."
"For the record, I was right. The bird was a Great Tit."
Great Tit holds an insect in its beak
A Perry on Unsplash
Hope some of these folks remembered to clear their browser and search histories.
So, what's your hilarious—or embarrassing—little Google secret search?
Life is all about learning new things, including learning new things about the people in your life. Sometimes, the things you learn are shocking, disgusting, or even scary.
I was the new kid in town when I was in fifth grade and my first friend was this quiet (and cute) boy in my class. He and I remained friends through middle school, and even though we drifted apart in high school, our interactions when we ran into each other in the halls or the cafeteria were really nice.
All throughout school and even beyond, he remained quiet, polite, and reserved. Just a few years ago, I read a news article written about him. He had apparently fatally wounded his father after an argument.
I had to reread the article several times to make sure it was really about my old friend. I think about it a lot, and still can't believe it!
I'm not the only one that has a shocking story like that. A lot of Redditors learned shocking or scary things about people from their childhood, and are ready to share.
It all started when Redditor ValuableHovercraft90 asked:
"What's the scariest thing you have found out about someone from your childhood (old friends, teachers, etc)?"
"That the boy who lived across the street and moved when I was 6 is still obsessed with me and my sister 30+ years later and posts ramblings on Facebook with our names and that he's going to be with us. Pretty terrifying honestly."
The Worst List
"A neighbour died when he was 30. Police searched a trailer he owned and found weapons, bombs and a list of people he wanted to kill. My uncle was on that list."
"I'm glad this ended the way it did."
"One of my best friends (and locker partner) from high school was kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. After a nightmare of 6+ months, all went silent. We buried an empty casket in his memory 10 years later."
"This is horrifying. How incredibly sad for family to never get any closure. Very sad to read this. :("
"About 15 years ago my dad received a very good offer for work in Iraq, as a construction specialist. He was considering going, since at the same time the financial crisis started in Europe, but then one of his friends, a civil engineer, was kidnapped. Never returned back either."
"Same thing for my dad old coworker told him how great the money was. Dude got sniped working on a radio tower or something. My dad luckily was like, "I got a wife and family that would kill me for doing something so dangerous.""
End Of The Friendship
"One of my dad's good friends, and my "uncle", just stopped coming around one day. I was told he was always busy with work, away, etc."
"Turns out, he killed 3 people in a drug deal gone bad and got life in prison."
"What's scary, is that we were over at his house for a weekend BBQ with a bunch of people earlier in the day of the night he did it, and it happened at his house."
"Don't know if it was scary, but I grew up with a kid whose birthday was the day before mine so we almost always shared birthdays in elementary school. We were friends, even spent the night at his house growing up. Later on in our teens, he started getting into some really dark stuff. I recognize that now as his being a sociopath, but like most everybody else at the time, figured it was just him going through some kind of emo phase. Over the years, we lost touch but I would occasionally run into him around town and our meetings were cordial, if not friendly."
"Last year, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing a man back in 1993, roughly 3 years after we got out of High School. Apparently he, his sister and another man lured this guy out to the boonies and killed him to steal money he had gotten in an insurance settlement."
"The only reason they were caught is the other guy got religion, felt remorse and went on the local TV station and aired a confession before turning himself in (He got 25 to life)."
"A girl I went to school with did the same thing. She was the nicest girl, got good grades & was kind of a dork. Mixed with the wrong people after graduation. She and two others lured an old man into an abandoned building, stabbed him and robbed him. He later died from his wounds."
The Worst Afternoon
"I had a friend in grade school who was being raised by her single dad. She had a unique name and pretty face. She never talked about her mom, and she was super outgoing, so all us kids just made friends with her quickly. It was weird her dad never brought her to our birthday parties, even though she was always invited, but we didn’t think much of it. A couple times, she was allowed to ride the bus home with me after school, and we played and had fun until her dad came to pick her up. Later in the school year, she invited me to ride the bus to her house, and my mom agreed. I was 10. It was the scariest afternoon of my young life. I cannot articulate the extreme tension in her home. We weren’t allowed to make any noise, and we mostly stayed outside, me desperate for my mom to arrive."
"Her dad screamed at us for opening the door, and I was too nervous to go into the house to use the restroom. I knew she was embarrassed that there were no snacks or comforting interactions, like at my house. I didn’t really tell anyone how uncomfortable the experience was. After that day, I didn’t hang out with her a lot. We were in different classes, drifted apart, and decades later, when my own daughter asked to go to a friend’s house, I thought about that girl."
"As an adult, I figured out her dad probably worked a night shift and tried to sleep during the day…or he was an alcoholic who was really angry. Maybe both? I looked her up on social media, and thanks to her unique name and face, I recognized her immediately. She’s a perfectly well-adjusted woman with a beautiful family. She even had pictures of her kids with her dad and tributes to him as the greatest father and grandpa. Her whole page made me wonder what the hell I experienced that afternoon in the 4th grade?"
School Is Supposed To Be Safe!
"In our school, we had something called "de halte." In English, it means "the halt" literally translated. Basically time out. BIf you had a meltdown in class or you were just a little sh*thead, you were sent there for 15 minutes or so to cool off.
The de hatle teacher got fired and jailed for breaking 4 different wrists of 4 different students by bending them the wrong way..."
"There was this classmate a grade below me but all grades shared the same drama class. She was weird and kind of "off." I tried to befriend her at one point and was rebuffed. It later came out that she was actually an almost 30-year-old woman who would show up in a new area claiming to be a 15-year-old runaway. Kind of freaked me out."
It turns out it was a good thing that the friendship didn't work out!
When we think of the term "red flags," we're quick to think of red flags that might appear in a problematic or abusive relationship.
But red flags can appear in any place in our life, especially the workplace or places that consumers frequent, like big box stores and restaurants.
When it comes to restaurant red flags, these are important to note, as they could have a negative impact on a consumer's health.
Redditor FlintTheDad asked:
"What's an immediate red flag at a restaurant?"
"When you see the owner breaking apart frozen chicken on the curb outback."
"High humidity inside."
"Yes! The small that causes is unmistakable."
"All of the furniture and menus are weirdly sticky..."
"I know what *some* of that is. Some furniture and cleaning solutions aren't compatible. The cleaning spray reacts with the finish on the table tops, and softens, it, which makes it feel a bit sticky, and dulls it super fast... but it's the sanitizer cleaner they use for *everything*, and they don't want to have to deal with a separate cleaner for certain surfaces."
"I used to sell commercial office furniture, and we'd run into this issue sometimes. The worst was when a company asked us to source some tables they found from a local craftsman (since we were already an approved vendor in their system, they often had us buy and deliver stuff for them). Beautiful, hand-made stuff."
"So we bought them and arranged for the delivery and placement. When we got to the site and saw where they wanted them, I cringed... I knew the tables were finished in shellac, and they were having us put them in their lounge area, where I knew they often had events with drinks."
"Shellac dissolves in alcohol. Spilling a drink on it can ruin the finish. Before we left, I left a note on the tables about being careful and emailed the client some care tips. The NEXT DAY they sent us pictures of the ruined finish, asking, 'What is wrong with our tables?!'"
"A seafood restaurant should NOT smell fishy."
"And conversely, a seafood MARKET that does not smell fishy is indeed fishy."
A Specific Smell
"You know the one. floors feel a little slippery/slimy underfoot and it smells like they've been mopping the place with the same dirty mop and bucket water for weeks."
"This isn't something you're likely to see in a nice place but I've encountered it in more fast-casual dining places than I care to remember."
"THAT smell. It always reminds me of yeast rolls. I guess it's bacteria in the mop water that has been setting in that bucket for three days."
"This is a dead giveaway. If they can't keep part of the restaurant that the public DOES see clean, you can imagine how the non-public facing parts look."
"Health inspector here. The key is to look for build-up that looks like it's been there more than a day. Most places don't have bathroom attendants and it's unrealistic to expect public bathrooms to be spotless every minute of the day."
The Right Audience
"Whenever I have friends come to visit me in Osaka and they're dying to try some authentic ramen. My goto line is:"
"'Look for the most run-down looking, back ally shack you can, the more run-down looking; the better. Guaranteed It'll be the best ramen you'll ever have!'"
"And to anyone who happens to read this, no, Ichiran is NOT the best reman joint. It's nice don't get me wrong but please ask around, research ramen in the area you're visiting, I guarantee you there's SO much better out there!"
"I look for people of that ethnicity eating there. Mexican restaurant with only white people? It might be good. Mexican restaurant with Mexicans wearing high-vis shirts? S**t's going be fire. Bonus points if there’s a grocery store attached."
"The same thing goes for Asian restaurants sans the high-vis shirts."
Too Many Variables
"A huge menu."
"A huge VARIED menu."
"Places like Chinese, Mexican, and Indian restaurants generally have large menus, but most items use the same base ingredients."
"It's the places that try to incorporate lots of wildly different dishes that you want to avoid."
Unexpected Restaurant Guests
"A raccoon falling through the ceiling tiles. 1:00 AM, drunk as h**l, looking for something to eat, and I found a dive that was still open. I ordered my food, and while waiting for my order, a raccoon fell from the ceiling."
"The waitress ran to the back screaming. The cook came out armed with a cleaver and chased it into the kitchen. The look on his face was like it had happened before. Other people eating there were in shock and got up and left."
"Mystery meat: the new special. Get me the f**k out of there."
That Wait Time
"I immediately look to see if there is anyone actually eating. If there are a half dozen tables with no food on them, and people looking anxiously to the kitchen, I'm out."
Cleaning Response Time
"Multiple dirty tables that haven’t been cleared. If the restaurant isn’t crowded, staff should have time to clean them. If it is crowded, staff should be trying to turn tables over quickly."
"Dirty tables mean they are either severely understaffed or the staff just doesn’t care. Either way, you will be waiting a long time."
"Once went into a restaurant that boasted the biggest Cinnamon Rolls in the city/state... Only for there to be a pervasive smell of absolutely raw stagnate sewage throughout the dining room. Needless to say, did not return."
Construction Said It Best
"A green flag for a restaurant is when you see a lot of construction workers going there for lunch. You'll know it's cheap and good, hearty food."
"In my old city, there was this tiny little family-owned Chinese restaurant with delicious and cheap lunch specials. Every construction worker downtown sat at the counter at the front for lunch."
"Meanwhile, the waiters would be in this little back room watching TV and the chef must have been at least 70 years old. The food was genuinely so delicious and filling. Probably not good for your cholesterol but so tasty!"
"Not a red flag about the food but if a place has their music up so loud I can’t hear the person I’m with, then I won’t eat there."
"Conversely, if it's TOO quiet; as in, not only is the sound system way too low, but if the customers are also weirdly quiet (barely having conversations, just sort of sitting there) and the atmosphere seems almost stifling."
"A couple of years ago we walked into a gastropub in Scotland just like this - very low music, the room was half full (and this was at peak lunch time), and everyone who was there were just sitting, looking sullen, barely speaking, waiting for their food. Just really... odd... vibes."
"After five minutes of sitting at the bar trying to get the attention of staff (who were all standing around looking at their phones), we left and went to a definitely *not fancy* cafe down the block that was the absolutely opposite: people just seemed happy to be there, staff were attentive, and the vibe was really welcoming."
The Ultimate Red Flag
"Gordon Ramsey walking in with a camera crew."
"One of the local restaurants we like was recently closed for a bit due to filming for 'Kitchen Nightmares.'"
"My husband still likes to get their food, but I'm waiting until the episode airs!"
No restaurant is going to be perfect 100 percent of the time. They're going to have a slow night or poor response time or get some orders wrong from time to time.
But there are far more problematic behaviors and characteristics to find in a restaurant that are perfectly good reasons to never go back there again, no matter how good they may have been in the past.
Teachers are not only educators, they're also inspiring leaders.
The most memorable teachers are those who genuinely encourage young students to do their best so they can be empowered to pursue their dreams.
However, we tend to revere them to such a degree, we forget that they're people too with real emotions.
Curious to hear from strangers who witnessed a vulnerable moment from someone they were inspired by at an early age, Redditor throwthrowwthrowwww asked:
"Students who've witnessed their teacher cry during class, what happened?"
There's no bigger heartbreak than people who are struggling with illnesses or know of someone facing medical challenges.
"One of our music instructors 7th-12th grade. She had a long ongoing battle with stage three/four cancer. She always did her best to try to have fun during our classes, like it was an escape for her because she loved music so much. Over 85% of the entire high school joined choir because of her. Her chemo and radiation treatments left her exhausted some days, though, and she would occasionally break down. In 2012, when her condition worsened, she would have to take more days off because the cancer had become so debilitating."
"We continued to practice our songs while she was gone, and I swear we would sometimes spend an hour on one small section of a song, ripping every note apart, and repeating the same words over and over until we couldn't mess it up. One of the final days in class with her, I remember we were rehearsing for our upcoming state competition, and we sounded damn good. Mid-song, she stopped conducting, closed her eyes, folded her hands, and listened as we continued singing for her. The energy and sound was so profound throughout the room, I can't find the words to describe it."
"After the song finished, we stood in a long, complete silence before she opened her eyes with tears streaming down her face. She wasn't able to go to our state competition with us, but we ended up placing that year. It wasn't first like we were hoping, but it was the highest the school had ever placed. She later passed away that same year. She was one of the strongest women I had ever met in my life."
Losing A Student
"My high school Spanish teacher also taught some homebound students with medical issues."
"One day the vice principal came into our class and told Ms J that one of her homebound students had passed away from his cancer. She couldn't hold back the tears."
"I’m a teacher, I cried in front of my toddlers when I got a call from the hospital telling me it was time to make the call as to whether to pull my dads life support. One of my toddlers came up to me while I was crying, put her hand on my cheek and said 'it’s ok to feel sad, it’s ok to cry,' then gave me a hug. I love my job."
Students witnessed the following teachers get emotional.
"The class surprised him on teacher appreciation day. Someone brought pop, snacks etc. He was surprised. 6th grade teacher."
"Had a philosophy course in uni during covid. So the class was held on zoom. It wasn't teacher appreciation day, but it was the second to last lecture of the term and we all really enjoyed this prof (and because of him most of the class became friends). So we organized an appreciation thing for him."
"We all started class without our cameras on, which was unusual and made him question (he got sad actually). So one girl said 'before we start, we just really wanted to do something for YOU because you've done so much for us. I hope this is okay.' He gave us a confused look, and before he could say anything in response we all turned our cameras on and held up signs saying 'thank you professor [name]' and our green screen backgrounds were of his face lol. He laughed so hard but started crying. Told us how he wished we could do this in person and that he genuinely cared about all of us."
"He had a lot of health issues, the most prominent one being MS. Whenever he didn't start class on time we all got worried, and there were a few times where he cancelled altogether because he fell or something. He also had a cat, and we asked to see him just enough times that his cat learned what time our class was at and would climb up to see us and stay the whole class. It was cute. During the breaks he would email a link to play chess since he lived far from his family and couldn't visit and wanted the company. We organized a Christmas movie day with him over the Christmas break and he loved it. He retired after the following year because of his health, and I still wonder what he's doing now and if he's doing okay. I've been in uni for 5 years now and he is the only prof I've actually spoken to consistently and genuinely liked."
"5th grade teacher reading Where the Red Fern Grows out loud to the class. He shed some tears. He did every year."
"Our teacher read that book to us in 5th grade also. But when it got to that part, she elected me to read it and she left the room. Luckily I had read it before and knew what was coming, but it was still rough."
The Private Life Of An English Teacher
"I forgot his name, but he was one of my favored teachers in high school. He taught English."
"During class, he was called out to talk to some members of the school administration and a few proctors. It took several minutes. But he returned, taught as much of the class as he could, and then just walked over to his desk and started crying. Whimpering. He then left."
"He just found out his wife, who had also been a teacher, was having an affair with one of the female students. We didn't find out that specific fact until later on though."
Some students, however, can force a teacher to realize they're in the wrong profession.
"Student that had behavior issues and a hard time maintaining emotional regulation threw his recorder (the instrument) at the music teacher and it snapped in half. He then threw his desk in her direction and walked out. This was 3rd grade, and all she had asked him to do was listen to the song we were learning. She quit the next week after almost 30 years of teaching."
Bullying The Substitute
"Ms. Hanlon... Substitute teacher, I still think about her and hope she's doing well. She was posted as the teacher when the usual teachers were off sick. Absolutely zero respect was given to her and the class knew if we had Ms. Hanlon it was just an extended lunch, we could just mess around and act like animals for the whole lesson."
"She had physical conditions like a dent in her forehead and a gravvely voice which prevented her from being able to raise her voice to tell us to be quiet. So the kids would all do Hunchback of Notre Dame impressions, spitballs through straws and do the 'coughing game' where they would just cough through whatever she was trying to say."
"Even as a kid I felt kinda awful after we'd essentially broken her and she'd just come in not even say hello and pull open a book for the hour and sometimes cry into it. I weirdly still think about her randomly once or twice a month, I hope she moved on to way better things. School children really have no filter at all."
Absolutely Zero Respect
"Substitute teacher in Jr High must be among the world's worse jobs. 8th grade we had a sub that demanded and got no respect. Kids would throw stuff at her etc. She left the classroom crying then the vice principal, who was not to be messed with, came in and took over."
"I had a substitute teacher named Mr. Crane who looked exactly like Ichabod Crane from the old cartoon. Some kids in the class bullied him relentlessly for this and he just kind of broke down one day. Poor guy."
In seventh grade, I witnessed a classmate talk back to our homeroom teacher and saying very inappropriate, bullish things to her in front of the whole class.
But that didn't make her cry.
What made her tear up was when another student defended her and yelled at the bullying student for being out of line.