Warning: what you are about to read is highly upsetting.[rebelmouse-image 18350209 is_animated_gif=
If you've grown up as a gay person in the USA, you are probably well aware of the various issues that face our community. One of which being a completely legal practice called "conversion therapy," which is rumored to turn the user straight. Studies show it doesn't work, however, desperate and homophobic family members will turn to any solution they can find to hide who their children are.
[Serious] Gay people of Reddit , who had to attend gay conversion camp for some reason. What is your story?
Here were some of the hair-raising stories.
Ineffective[rebelmouse-image 18350210 is_animated_gif=
My story isn't that bad, but this specific camp made us list our hobbies and likes and such. they'd put up pictures of conventionally attractive dudes in the middle of an activity (my favourite thing i listed was 'drawing') and ask us how we felt about them. gradually they'd take away one small thing that we liked (for example theyd take my pen, then pencil, then notebook) and asked how we felt about the dudes again. eventually we sat in an empty room as they asked us how we felt. i think this was an attempt to make us associate seeing hot guys with losing everything we loved, but it was so horribly done that i cant imagine whoever thought of that was over the age of 10.
Unforeseen Consequences[rebelmouse-image 18350212 is_animated_gif=
Man I don't even know anymore. Went through a year and change of conversion therapy because my parents are just homophobic as can be. Conservative Christianity accepted blindly with little critical thought will do that I suppose. I don't blame them too much, they only got it from their parents to begin with. Sessions ranged from horrible to "meh, not awful" based on who I was seeing at the time, cause I was passed around between a few therapists whenever the previous one "didn't cure me".
Lots of dumb attempts at fixing me by creating silly associations, similar to some other commenters. I remember specifically there was strong attempt to try and connect gay thoughts to jail time in my head, that messed with me for a little.
This all happened as I was turning 14 and continued till 18 when I could refuse to attend any more. It sure didn't turn me straight, but it did make me somewhat homophobic too. Basically I just hate myself, other people can do what they'd like, I don't really mind. I just never got to grow up and develop sexually, never got to experience my teenage years without being berated, and I'm going on 12 years of depression now because of it.
Tone[rebelmouse-image 18350214 is_animated_gif=
It wasn't a camp, but I was raised by Scientologists and they have a sort of conversion therapy they use to cure all "aberrations" like asthma and homosexuality. It's funny since L. Ron Hubbard doesn't actually say much about homosexuality. The only thing my seniors could show me said that homosexuals are constantly stuck in the same "tone" on the "tone scale," which is basically a chart of human emotions that places failure, apathy, and body death as low emotions, and happiness, creativity, and total knowingness (his word not mine) as high emotions. He believed all homosexuals were stuck at 1.1 on the tone scale, the number for covert hostility, which means that all gay people are supposedly full of secret, evil intentions. That was a bad place to be on the tone scale, and he believed that it was based on false purposes that you were holding onto. I won't go too off-topic with all the Scientology background, but L Ron Hubbard made up a lot of words and it's always hard to talk about without some translating.
So there's this process called the False Purpose Rundown that is very expensive to receive, but you are also required to do it if they find out you have this abberant behavior. I worked as an auditor in training at a local org (what they call churches) from the age of 11 up until I was 15 and performed two of these rundowns for two different gay men. The process is a mix of forced confessionals/interrogations, a lot of repetitive, hypnotic questions, and some other nonsense. It was heartbreaking both times, because these men genuinely wanted to change. They would sit in my office, crying, begging for the realization that would finally make them straight. Eventually a realization would come, but nobody was cured, just more repressed. Both men got in trouble later for their aberrant behavior, and I got in trouble for not actually curing them.
So being a gay teen at the time, I did not have a lot of faith in the process, but still felt like I was a disgusting pervert. I spent my nights doing the Scientology version of praying the gay away. Scientology states that if you believe something with total certainty, you will just believe it into existence. Scientologists also believe that they are the reason the Berlin wall fell, so if we can make a wall fall, surely we can change our orientation, right? It didn't work.
Because of a medical condition and some anonymous abuse concerns from neighbors, I was allowed to leave staff and I got to be a normal 15 year old with a 2nd grade education and no connection to anyone in the real world. So I decided to come out to my dad like a complete idiot, and he tried to take me to the org so they could fix me. I ran away and lived at our library for a few weeks, but I was worried about my mom and my survival skills were terrible. I went back home and he took me to the org.
I was usually a very, very obedient kid, but not being wholly in the church gave me a little confidence that there was a world outside, and I did a lot of secret reading about sexuality at the library, which wasn't allowed. The attempt to convert me wasn't successful, and I tried to stop engaging with them. They are tenacious to say the least, so it wasn't actually my decision, and the process was pretty devastating. On one hand, my feelings felt valid, but I had been so thoroughly indoctrinated that it was hard to understand what was right. They were trying to groom me to get me back on staff since I'd already done so much training, and they thought this little aberration would be an easy fix. My dad's church was also being much kinder than my old one since I wasn't on staff there, and that was very confusing to me. But one day three men showed up to my house, angry that I was taking too long and bogging down the process. They yelled at me on my lawn for a while. At one point I got into a yelling match, my first in my life. Looking back, I'm amazed I talked back to them. The one man did most of the talking and asked me why I didn't just decide to be straight. I asked him if he could just decide to be gay if he wanted, and he said he could. All of my learning at the library taught me that this man was probably bi, and that gave me an indescribable feeling: for the first time, I realized I knew something that the church didn't. And I probably knew even more things, and there was even more to learn in the world outside the church! I ran away from the three men and hid at a park like some kind of lizard.
Shortly after all this, my dad was forced to excommunicate my mom who was relatively bedridden and suffered from a lot of undiagnosed physical and mental disorders. Sometimes she would walk outside naked or hit her head against the wall repeatedly. She had 30 days to leave the house. This was great timing, so I bought an old car with some money I saved and drove her to a new city in a different state. We started life again, homeless in a strange place, but free.
This was all 11 years ago. I live with my partner now and have a happy, boring life. We have a dog and friends, and so many books! My mom is now mentally and physically healthy and completely self sufficient. I forget about the journey it took to get here, but I'm so grateful for the life I have.
The Ghost Of A Building[rebelmouse-image 18345368 is_animated_gif=
I'm a guy. So when I was 14, I was 100% a virgin and hadn't even kissed anyone. I'd been looking at and printing pictures of nude men (because I'm gay). My mother found them and asked my relatives what to do. I ended up at a church-sponsored conversion "camp" for six weeks. I wasn't fully aware of what the place was at the time other than that I was in trouble coz of the pictures and it was church-related.
It wasn't what you're probably imagining. It was basically an old mall that was empty and it was being converted into a weird church. There were maybe twelve kids there that I knew of, but TONS of adults (like 80ish). To this day, I don't know why they were there... if they were looking for conversion or maybe they were church employees. It was a bit like being at church with mostly all adults. Kids were kept apart. You didn't go outside. The food was like concession food (nacho bar was about all I ate). And lots of Kool-Aid. There was worship every evening in a space with a glass ceiling and it was very awkward. I would mostly stare up out the ceiling.
The practice there did involve a lot of things that I believe are now illegal: shock therapy, using heterosexual images, and isolation. I was a polite kid and was really compliant to what they wanted, so I actually think I was let off easy for the most part. The weirdest thing about this place was communal showers (there was nowhere to shower alone). Going and showering was my favorite thing because... I would shower as frequently as I could and take my time.
A few years after that, I broke down and told my mom all about what had happened. I don't think I could have broken her heart more. She was so apologetic and... she's a great mom now. She changed her mind on a lot of it and didn't know how to handle homosexuality. The only thing that bothers both of us is that I was afraid to talk to her about it then... and that if I'd spoken up maybe things would be better for some other kids who ended up at that awful place.
Probably the weirdest thing in all of this: I ended up buying a house a mile from that awful horrible place. I drive by it once or twice a week. It's abandoned now. It has no power over me. It is just weird that I ended up so near that place.
Disgusting Practices[rebelmouse-image 18350216 is_animated_gif=
I was outted to my parents by a friend of theirs that saw me hanging out with my girlfriend at the time. They didn't tell me they knew and instead set up an ambush for me - since I was still going to their church to try and keep up appearances I went to what was supposed to be a youth group meeting on a Friday night.
Well, it wasn't a youth group meeting - the senior pastor and the youth pastor and their wives along with some of the deacons at the church were there and no one else. I turned around to leave - since I was already living in my car and hung out at college most of the time I just figured I could do that until I graduated a few months later. But I was forcibly restrained while they tried to perform some kind of exorcism on me - we weren't even Catholic, my family went to some Jesus Camp evangelical cultish church.
They spent hours praying over me while I was tied to a chair, they then made me watch lesbian erotica after they gave me water mixed with an emetic agent that made me vomit and have really bad abdominal pain. It didn't make me not like women - I just ended up being humiliated at finding the women attractive while vomiting on myself until I passed out from dehydration.
I don't know what they had planned for me long-term - there was mention of a christian in-patient program for "same sex attraction" - but when they let me go to the bathroom to clean up I overpowered the woman sent with me to supervise and ran away. I didn't go home and I found out that my girlfriends parents made her withdraw from school and sent her to live with family a few states away. I ended up homeless for a while until one of my faculty mentors helped me figure out some living arrangements.
This kidnapping and abuse happened in the United States and yet I couldn't go to the police - I knew that they'd only harass me further and nothing would come of trying to press charges. Gay conversion is legal in my state - and quietly supported by the conservative masses including the police. I've steered clear of churches, religion, and my family ever since.
Curry Therapy[rebelmouse-image 18350217 is_animated_gif=
I remember all too well the moment I realized that this was going to be a long difficult summer for me. On arrival we were given extensive forms to fill out. Questions about hobbies/ likes/ dislikes and all that kind of thing. Least favorite smell was an interesting question on the form, my 17 year old self thought. On the 2nd or 3rd day in I was given some, in hindsight, incredibly laughable gay erotica (probably a strong word) and allowed to return to my room. Or at least what you would expect a particularly naive grandparent in the 1990's to give you, anyway. As soon as I returned to my room I heard some commotion outside the door and then the pungent smell of curry slowly seeped into my room. Waves of the smell came through periodically over about 3 hours. This was the smell I had listed on the form and this was their attempt at making me straight by associating attractive men with the smell of curry.
This Is All Legal[rebelmouse-image 18350220 is_animated_gif=
When I was 12 I made the big mistake of telling my mom about a crush I had on another boy (we were having a normal conversation about how my school day was and I just said it without even thinking for a moment about the consequences).
That led to my mom and dad basically interrogating me and getting me to admit that I'm gay. They then told me that as christians they couldn't accept me and that they would disown me and kick me out unless I "changed". I cried and told them that I had already prayed for that but it didn't work.
A few days after that at night they had some men basically kidnap me (completely legal) and take me to a church-run conversion therapy camp (completely legal). I was locked up in a small room most of the time I was there. The methods they used for the "conversion" were pretty much torture, either psychological torture (by telling you how broken you are) or actual physical torture (too upsetting to describe). I was forced to go to this camp every school break from when I was 12 till I was 15.
Obviously none of it worked and all that happened was that I fell into depression and my grades suffered (I was an all A student before that). It pretty much ruined my childhood and my education. I never really recovered from it. When I grew up I cut off my parents from my life and I haven't heard from them since.
Ridiculous Homophobia[rebelmouse-image 18349166 is_animated_gif=
I'm not sure this qualifies but my stepmonster kept forcing me to go to a church camp every summer that she picked out. The counselors went out of their way to tell me how 'bad' gay people were, how they were going to hell, how they were terrible people who touched small children, standard 'anyone different is a monster' BS.
The adults liked to follow me around to make sure I wasn't, ah, too friendly with the other girls. I couldn't even go change to get into the pool without an adult present. They seemed to be convinced that I was one of them there evil gays and would force myself on another girl. So instead all the grown ups spied on me, at age 12, while I was alone- even changing, going to the bathroom, swimming, etc.
I actually used to like to sing, so they'd force me to sing religious hymns over and over and over until my voice gave out, and even wrote a special "gays are going to hell" song just for me that they forced me to sing to them whenever they wanted. If I refused, they'd lock me in the canoe storage while everyone did whatever. I started to hate music. I wasn't allowed to sit with boys (I honestly don't know why) at lunch, and counselors took it upon themselves to steal my food right off my tray and refuse to let me go get more because I'd "never get a husband if I was fat". I said I didn't want to get married anyways and they acted like I'd stripped naked and ran in front of the pope.
Even when I tried following their rules or playing their games it wasn't enough. I wasn't allowed to play kickball or baseball or anything with the other kids, and when I tried to sign some songs instead of singing, they taped my hands together so I couldn't because "we don't know what you're saying. You could be saying anything and pretending it's the song lyrics." I guess they thought I was sending out my gay signal? Who knows.
Anyways, I finally, finally aged out of the camp and my stepmonster was so pissed we couldn't afford to send me to the "adult" camp (ages 15+) out of state. So I didn't have to go anymore. My younger sister later told me she'd asked about the camp after I'd moved out and her mother- my stepmonster- said there was no way in hell she'd send her child there. Apparently there have been lots of accusations over the years from kids that were swept under the rug but eventually someone finally investigated and the camp was shut down.
So it might not have been a conversion camp, but I think that's what they were going for.
Futile[rebelmouse-image 18350221 is_animated_gif=
So, throw away account here. I wasn't forced to go to a camp, but I was forced to go to a conversion therapist for a year and a half after my parents found out I was a lesbian.
The experience wasn't horrible aside from being made to go to the therapy sessions, and I felt slightly bad that my parents were paying for something that I knew wouldn't work. My therapist was also fine, just biased. We talked a lot about the 'root of my problem' with 'not trusting men' which was bullshit and I basically just made things up to placate both them and my parents into feeling like I was making progress and 'getting better'. I'm not proud of it, but I faked my conversion just to not have to go through it any more. Granted, I was 15 at the time and wasn't the best at looking at things long term.
After the 'conversion' was finished, I pretended around my parents that everything was fine, but I was secretly still dating girls and looking for a long-term partner. I eventually came out again when I was in my 20s, to a lot of accusations and resistance. My family has since shunned me and I don't have much contact with them. I guess I'm considered the black sheep, and I'm not sure if most of my extended family even knows. I know my mother told me that my uncle was never to know because, in her words, "he would kill me if he found out". I do have a support group of friends, so I'm doing okay now in case anyone's worried.
Self Inflicted[rebelmouse-image 18350222 is_animated_gif=
I became religious in my teens and came out to my parents so that they could take me to a Christian counselor, in hopes that I could become straight or at least asexual. The Bible suggested this was possible in [1 Corinthians 6:9-11]. I was part of an online community of other gay people trying to convert, and some of the people in that community claimed to have successfully converted. I had also contacted Pastor Stephen Bennett who claimed to have converted, so it seemed possible to me based on all these thing, as wildly unlikely as it seemed.
My parents thought it was fine that I was gay (my mom moreso than my dad) and didn't want to take me to a Christian counselor, but I was adamant. By the time they caved and finally took me, I wasn't Christian anymore. So my time with the Christian counselor was half-hearted and I was dubious of most things he said.
His process was based on the idea that I was gay because my relationship with my dad was inadequate and because I hadn't been affirmed in my masculinity when I was younger. He wanted me to do more manly things and get closer to my dad. My relationship with my dad was fine and I didn't have any interest in sports, so I didn't follow his advice.
The counselor asked me what I liked about men. I said I wanted to be held. He said, well why don't you find an athletic, assertive girl? A well-muscled one. That will do the trick. I was skeptical then and it is laughable now how little he understood what gay people want.
When I stopped seeing him, he offered to give me a book about gay conversion. I had been playing along so far, pretty half-heartedly, so I thought why not. I accepted the book, and then he balked. He said that he only wanted to give it to me if I really wanted to convert. I realized I had to tell him the truth for the first time and told him I wasn't actually interested in converting, and left.
Withheld Food[rebelmouse-image 18348500 is_animated_gif=
Went to a catholic summer camp for that exact reason when i was 17. I remember being aquatinted with a yardstick if i was mildly disobedient (ignoring nuns and teachers and camp councilors). I remember i was also not allowed to eat if i didn't read verses from the bible out loud. Tried my best to muddle through all the stuff. But anxiety was getting me halfway through the two week, making me appear more problematic than usual. So they set me in a tent instead of a cabin for a week where it rained 5 days in a row. I also remember them calling my parents repeatedly to tell them how abhorrent i behaved, which obviously led to more trouble. However one clergyman i remember for being a good man. He would go out of his way daily during the two weeks to make sure i was actually okay.
You Don't Have A Mental Disorder[rebelmouse-image 18350223 is_animated_gif=
Didn't go to camp but I was put in Church of Christ conversion therapy by my parents. Basically was just told I had a mental disorder for an hour a week for like 6 months. Also told that as I grew up I would grow out of it, and that all I had to do was pray and trust God. A different kid at the same church as me came out and was completely rejected. Total disfellowship. After that I lost my respect for that congregation. I still respect real Christians but those are very rare in churches these days.
Camptown Practice[rebelmouse-image 18348507 is_animated_gif=
I am Bi-sexual, and in summer 2001 and 2002 I went to 2 different summer camps. A mormon one, and generic bible camp. While i hadn't come out at that point, and this wasnt a conversion camp, it was very...discouraging. And why I think the camps are as bad or worse then people realize, cause this wasnt even meant for it and it was suck.
2001 the mormon camp had 3 things stick to me. 8am prayer, that went out of its way to pray for personal purity and calling out 'unclean' urges. Now i get it, summer camp for 11-16. But I remember it saying 'towards those like you' a few times.
The other two are linked. They had a buddy system, and a buddy buddy thing. They paired you with someone, but also you and that someone werent allowed alone together and always had to be with another buddy group. Felt weird, why not do groups of 4 if you dont trust em
2002 was more...behind the scenes. I can sum it up with a simple example. Want to see yourself in a new cabin/group? hold hands with someone of the same sex
Decades Gone[rebelmouse-image 18348513 is_animated_gif=
I was sent to therapy. I knew as soon as I started fantasizing that I was bisexual. I knew long before that that I really enjoyed wearing girl's clothes more than boys and playing with my mom's makeup. By the time I was 12, I also knew, thanks to my upbringing, that I was going to burn in hell for eternity for being who I was, that the devil was in charge of my life and I had to rid (how??) his influence if I was going to be saved. So I became a very accomplished liar, almost totally emotionally closed off (if nobody sees my soul crushing depression, they'll never question why it is, and they'll never find out the truth until they get to Heaven and I'm just not there!). I also (this was in the early nineties) drew homophobia around me like a coat of armor, for which I still feel awful.
Anyway, cue being sixteen. I had an amazing girlfriend (real, not fake - I was/am bi). It just so happens that she and I were the same height and pretty similar build, and when one day she decided it would be fun to dress me up in her clothes and give me a makeover I pretty enthusiastically went along with it. Cue my dad unexpectedly coming home to find his oldest "son" dressed to the nines (and looking pretty good according to my girlfriend).
He got my stepmother to drive my girlfriend home while lecturing her on various sins, and he practically stood guard while lecturing and yelling. When my stepmother got home he ordered her to go through all my things, including my computer and my journal, where they found allllll about their little old son and his apparent desire to burn in hell. All the s* about my depression and serious, years long obsession with and flirting with suicide and active participation in self-harm? Yeah, that was to be expected with a deviant like myself. Only God and The Church could help.
Church "counseling" along with complete isolation from all things "worldly" ensued. I was lucky to have not been physically or sexually abused like many people here, but the psychological torture, there and at home, drove me to a real suicide attempt, which led to me being thrown out because "I was a danger to my younger siblings."
I lived with my mother after that, and eventually moved into a roommate situation with some really great people. This was all twenty+ years ago. What do I have to show for it? I've seen my four younger siblings from their marriage twice in the past twenty years. My youngest brother was one, and he's an adult that I just don't know now. Twenty years of being closeted and so emotionally repressed that I barely recognize myself. A string of broken relationships because I'm so emotionally fucked that I just can't trust a soul. Lying is as easy as breathing, and I can't ever show or admit a flaw, about anything to anyone. A broken marriage with the most amazing woman I've ever met, and a son I can't live with full time because we share custody.
I'm just, just starting to heal now. I started therapy again a few months ago. I finally came clean with my therapist about being transgender, which gave me the courage to reach out to my old high school girlfriend from earlier in the story (I'm good friends with her and her husband), and finally to come out to my ex-wife. These people that I never trusted? Yeah, they immediately expressed support. Even my ex-wife. Total, uncompromising support. I wasted decades of my life, literally, living in fear and self-hatred because of that experience. But I'm finally getting better.
What Kinds Of Games Are These?[rebelmouse-image 18348512 is_animated_gif=
Well I AM gay and I had to go to "Christian service camp" when I was in high school. But at the time no one knew I was gay (even me, really). They preached a bunch of "love the sinner, hate the sin" We did kumbaya bs around camp fires and all that camp-type stuff with a whole bunch of Jesus added. I have kind of blocked it out but I remember a few of the leaders organized these activities to challenge our beliefs. One of these activities included putting some of us in a makeshift "jail" because they were trying to make them renounce Jesus. They would taunt them and and mock them and crap like that. Another time we all had to walk around outside blindfolded asking the counselors questions in order to figure out how to get to heaven or hell while blindfolded. The "angel counselors" always told the truth and the "devil counselors" always lied no matter what they were asked. You had to figure out how to ask in such a manner that you knew who was trying to take you to hell with them. I went to hell. Shocker. Although the worst and probably weirdest thing was on the last night, they set up a cross laying flat on the ground and one just past it erect with a standing platform. We kind of formed a line and would lay down on the cross while the person after us would hit the cross next to our hands with a big rubber mallet. So we could feel the vibrations and hear the sound of the beating echoing through the woods. Then we would get up and stand on the next cross with our arms up and others would mock us and yell all kinds of slander. Then more crying and praying at the campfire.
There are roughly 7 billion people on earth so being the top 1% of anything sounds like it might be an incredible honor.
Maybe you've received an award or a certification that only a few people have gotten. Or maybe you have a rare disease, which doesn't sound as fun.
We went to Ask Reddit to find the people who are in a top 1% of people.
Redditor I_Love_Small_Breasts asked:
"What are you in the 1% of?"
Here's some of the rare groups people are apart of or things they experience.
Could be totally great or totally inconvenient.
"If I shake my head in a certain way, I can give myself an orgasm. Never met anyone who can do that."
"Wow that sounds incredibly inconvenient."
"'Shaking my head' has a whole new meaning now. Damn."
Survived a flesh eating bacteria.
"Survived flesh eating bacteria in the bloodstream after sepsis. Most people die within 3 days."
"Had MRSA and sepsis because of an open wound on my left foot. Thing is a nurse was treating the wound with Santyl and it was fully bandaged at all times. The nurse changed the dressings 3 times a week but I still ended up in the hospital with antibiotics IV'd into each arm plus oral antibiotics. Spent 15 days in ICU having all my organs sonogramed for signs of the infection spreading. X-rays and MRI's to check for bone infections and when they released me I had to wear a wound vac pump for 2 months to seal the wound on my foot."
"I can stop my hiccups on command."
"There’s a superpower for sure."
This is way less than 1%
"I am one of only 1300 board certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners for the adult and adolescent population. In the world."
"I'm unsettled by how small that number is."
"To be fair, there are more SANE nurses, meaning nurses who take care of these patients and are qualified to do so. Being board certified just means I took an extra step after I reached a qualifying time to take a test to prove it. I’m actually up for renewal. At the time I first tested, I was one of something like 1100."
"Still, even knowing that, there aren’t enough SANEs or FNEs overall."
"I’m naturally ambidextrous. Apparently that’s something only 1% of people naturally are. I can use both right and left hands ably for any task. For example, I often switch which hand I write with based on how I’m sitting."
"It’s worth noting natural ambidexterity is not the same as learned or acquired ambidexterity. For example, left handed people often have to use things designed for right handed people but otherwise are left handed."
"I’m of the .002% of people with osteopoikilosis. This freaked the sh*t out of me because when I was diagnosed the first thing the doctor said was 'wow I’ve never seen this in anything but textbooks before.'"
"Basically, I have bones growing inside my bones. It’s not anything I should be worried about, at least for a while, so that’s nice."
How many people can say this?
"I've represented my country in the Paralympic games."
"That’s a really nice one! Which specialty?"
"Volleyball for Great Britain in the 1996 games in Atlanta."
"Not me but my dad."
"He was born with a backwards heart and didn’t find out till his heart attack a few years ago and it actually saved his life."
"His doctor later told him that after being a doctor for over 30 years he’d never seen someone with a backwards heart and that apparently 1% of people on the planet have it."
"I am diagnosed with Visual snow syndrome. Basically seeing through static. It may not be rare as thought but I am one of very few people to be formally diagnosed."
"Same! I figured it out when people didn’t see the static and I heard it mentioned! Used to think I was seeing molecules when I was a little kid haha."
HIV resistant gene mutation.
"I have a double gene mutation that makes me highly resistant or even immune to the HIV virus."
"Can doctors use your blood to help those with HIV?"
"I have the same mutation and I've donated samples towards research. I got an email last year about vaccine hopes but I'm not sure where it went."
There are some incredible people out there in the world, and thankfully the internet is bringing them all together.
It's fascinating to see how diverse humans really are.
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How you approach life's many trials and tribulations can say a lot about who you are. However, many of us don't necessarily learn some lessons so easily.
Life is complicated. It's messy. Few, if any things, go according to plan. On top of that, sometimes the way we handle our relationships or our obligations might not be the most healthy one.
You live, you learn... or so the saying goes.
People shared their stories after Redditor ryanblumenow asked the online community,
"What did you learn at great personal cost?"
"I broke three..."
"Never trust a ladder set up by someone else. I broke three of my lumbar vertebrae. Thankfully I recovered fully, but damn was that scary. I also bit through my lower lip. I have a nice scar as a memento."
This is terrifying. Glad you're still alive–that you healed is miraculous!
"Even if you work your hardest..."
"Even if you work your hardest, do everything right, and are a great employee… you may still be seen as expendable."
This is true. Your company will never be loyal to you. Don't bend over backwards. Do your job–don't sell your soul.
"That you need to be careful..."
"That you need to be careful what you put up with as it teaches people how to treat you. I lost a lot of 'friends' once I started to set boundaries."
This is very true. I can relate: I definitely lost a few so-called "friends" the second I began standing up for myself.
"This goes for all relationships..."
"Don't listen to what people say, but what they do. This goes for all relationships, both professional and personal."
Amen to that. It's a cliche, but actions absolutely do speak louder than words.
"Family can be just as toxic..."
"Family can be just as toxic for you as anyone else. Sometimes it's best to cut them out."
Ain't that the truth.
Are we trading toxic family stories now?
"If someone gets upset..."
"If someone gets upset at you for trying to establish boundaries with them, it's not you being mean or unreasonable, it's them not caring about your happiness."
This is spot on. Don't trust people who violate your boundaries. Your gut won't lie to you, not about this.
"You can't convince them."
"You cannot, even subtly, force someone to love you. You can't convince them. They either do or they don't, and it's on you to decide what to do with that unchangeable position in mind."
I feel like many people go through their 20s without learning this.
Not that I know anything about this... or anything like that.
"Just because you try to be a good friend..."
"That people aren't always your friend. Gaslighting is real. Just because you try to be a good person doesn't mean good things will happen to you."
Very true. Be very careful about what you put out there. Not everyone has good intentions, though this is not in anyway meant to imply that the world is terrible.
It isn't. Just be judicious.
"You can accomplish..."
"You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Doesn't mean you should. Everything will cost more than you anticipate in ways you can't imagine."
That's a poetic way to put it! Spot on. Everything costs something, even your success.
"That you don't have to run off and get married. A marriage that only lasted one year cost me more than $10K. Life is not a race and you don't need to be married by a certain point or at all for that matter."
"Be patient, make yourself available, gravitate to those who understand you the most."
Awful. It sounds like you have peace of mind now, however, which is priceless.
Don't be so hard on yourself, by the way. We all learn at our own pace.
Here's a tip before we go: Your education is never complete. Life always something to teach you, so just accept it, be open to it, and go in grace.
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Is there anyone who loved high school?
High school is a disaster. That is true for like... 95% of us.
it's like being branded. "I survived high school because of this!!"
The past is never really past, is it? What did you see?
Redditor HelloProxima wanted to go back and visit the teenage years, by asking:
"What is the most f**ked up thing that happened in your high school?"
I'm on the fence about high school. I want to hate it, but nostalgia haunts me. I saw a lot of violence, there is that.
We were on CNN.don lemon nodding GIF by Red Table TalkGiphy
"They started charging us for ketchup in the cafeteria. Most of the school boycotted cafeteria lunch and brought all manner of condiments from home. We were on CNN. They eventually caved." ~ Ash3Monti
No one liked him.
"I was big into drama club and musical theatre when I was in high school. There was a girl in the drama club in her freshmen or sophomore year who was super nice and everyone loved her. Her older brother on the the other hand, was a complete and total douchebag. No one liked him."
"He always made inappropriate comments or jokes and no one liked to be around him. One night, he was driving him and his sister back from school when he took a steep curve going around 100 mph. He lost control and hit a telephone pole. His sister died instantly and he was in a coma for a few weeks but ultimately survived."
"Myself and my friends in the drama club were devastated. She was one of the sweetest girls you'll ever met and we all loved her. A year or two later, the brother messages my sister and tries to use his sister's death as leverage to get laid. F**k you, you piece of crap." ~ FearTheKeflex
"Guidance counselor was taking bribes to change grades (Both money and sexual favors). Invited one male student over to his house. Had the student tie him up and hang him by chains in his basement "dungeon." Student was homophobic and while the counselor was tied up, bludgeoned him to death." ~ monthos
"This is not that extreme, but it's still disgusting. We have drinking water taps instead of fountains. One parent was suspicious of whether they were cleaning the tanks or not. So they made an announcement that the tank was being cleaned every single day."
"A lot of us didn't believe it, so a group of boys decided to see for themselves if it was true or not. So they put a dead frog in the tank when there was no one around. I don't even know where they found the frog but they swear they didn't kill it. Anyway the frog was there for a few weeks. And obviously the water started tasting weird."
"After the teachers got multiple complaints, they opened the tank and found the frog. The boys were punished, but they fired back with the fact that they lied about cleaning the tanks. They were still punished, because they proved it in a disgusting way. They could've put literally anything in the tank, but they chose a dead frog." ~ R00mTemperature
The QuadAcds2 Look Away GIF by Anime Crimes DivisionGiphy
"A worker doing stuff on the roof. He fell off. Landed in the 'quad' at lunch. A large piece of machinery fell and squished his head. Like a cartoon, only funny. Like 150 Kids saw this." ~ LordInventus
"The Latin kings gang threatened my cousin and his friends and they had 10 squad cars guarding the whole school and dismissed us the same day early." ~ Terrykrinkle
“it’s gonna blow”
"I had just moved in from Egypt to the states in my senior year of high school. A teacher thought it would be funny to fold a bunch of papers and wrap them in duck tape to make it look like a bomb and threw it my direction and went under his desk saying 'it’s gonna blow.' Everybody started laughing and I was so clueless then I just laughed along. It infuriates me to this day that I didn’t call him out on it or report him." ~ ezzabousaif
"Someone somehow made a bomb threat on a Swedish fish candy. Like one single piece. I don’t know how it happened but he got arrested." ~ ts_13_
"A couple weeks before graduation, this kid hacked into the school system and put a Hitler quote and a Boston bomber reference in the senior quotes for the yearbook. One of the affected parties was a trans girl, and we're still not sure if it was a targeted act because of that."
"Administration didn't find out until the entire senior class had received their books. Some people turned theirs in to get their pages replaced, but some kept it because it was a 'limited edition item' or some stupid sh*t like that. Kid got arrested and charged with cybercrime, since he hacked everyone in our school system's school passwords."
"He was so close to graduating too, but got expelled like two weeks before he could. Looked like a rat too. It was all over the news, and everyone in the state of CT basically knows about this now. Got out on bail for $5000." ~ kocorpsie
Good God!Season 3 What GIF by On My BlockGiphy
"We had a huge fight happen in the girls bathroom."
"Apparently one student brought drugs to school and was selling it to her friends. A completely unrelated student caught on and stole the drugs while everyone else was in class. She was caught snorting the drugs in the bathroom by the group selling the drugs and got the crap beat out of her."
"We also had a recently graduated student murder his parents for insurance money . He hid the bodies in a chicken coop and told everybody they were on vacation. It wasn't until 7 months later the bodies were found by the landlord because the rent was late." ~ randomgenericcow
Enjoy high school, at least try too. Maybe if more kids do that, it wouldn't be so insane.
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You're hungry one night, so you order food. You select your items, go to place your order, and see that the order has an extra $15 in fees tacked on to it, and that's not even including tip!
Believe it or not, there was a time before delivery services. You can very easily just call the restaurant you want and place the order directly. It's pretty easy–and you and the restaurant get to avoid the middle man.
But delivery services have become so ubiquitous over the years that many of us just put up with it. They're legitimate services but honestly, when you see the final price tag, how could you not feel like you've been totally scammed?
People shared their thoughts after Redditor AnnFaulskabek asked the online community,
"What is a legitimate product / service that still feels like a scam?"
"At first I didn't mind..."
"YouTube Premium. At first I didn’t mind the single ad you could skip but now it’s up to two long ads you can’t skip with the mid-roll ads thrown in. They keep upping the ante to force you to subscribe to Premium."
Given the increasingly high number of ads on YouTube, it's pretty astounding that I haven't signed up for Premium yet.
"When you work out..."
"Overdraft fees. When you work out the effective interest rates on overdraft fees, you find there’s a lot of hurting people paying interest that would make a loan shark blush."
Yep, what's up with those?
They're actually a thing. Just try explaining to someone who doesn't know how you get punished for having no money so you have to pay more money and see how they react.
"Phones that no longer..."
"Phones that no longer come with Micro SD card slots so you have to pay for cloud storage if you need more."
One of the most frustrating things. It was so much easier before!
"In the U.S..."
"In the U.S. Having to do my own taxes or pay a company to do my taxes even though the IRS already has all the relevant information."
Well, let's be clear: They don't have everything. What happens if you have items you need to deduct? They definitely don't know how much you've donated to charity.
"There used to be restrictions..."
"Credit/interest rates. There used to be restrictions on who gets a loan and what the rates could be, but private enterprise I guess."
When it comes to having no credit or bad credit, I would choose no credit every single time.
"Insanely good prices..."
"Humble Bundle. Insanely good prices and I can select where my payment goes, so I could donate 100% to the charity. It feels like it's too good to be true. I'm still blown away by it."
Never heard of this before and now I will be on the prowl. Going to do some reading and see if it lives up to the hype.
"Enjoy your entry level job..."
"Oh, you graduated cum laude? Enjoy your entry level job that barely covers the interest on your monthly payment."
Hahahaha don't make me cry.
"THE ABSURDITY OF THE BATTERY LIFE."
"Dell laptops. THE ABSURDITY OF THE BATTERY LIFE."
"Like how the f**k are people are still buying them is beyond me but like, I have one for school and that motherf**ker dies an hour after taking it off the charger. And I don’t even keep background tabs running."
"The whole Dell company is literally a f**king scam."
I think I forget that Dell laptops exist until I see comments like these.
I'll go back to being ignorant, thanks.
"The 15 different streaming services..."
"The 15 different streaming services that you have to sign up for to watch the one good exclusive show on each one instead of just being able to watch them all in one place."
Streaming could have put an end to piracy but then they got so greedy.
"You can't really get away from them."
"My electric company also providing water, natural gas, landline phone and internet."
"You can't really get away from them. Even if you live in an area of town where you can get AT&T or Suddenlink, you still have to pay the electric company for everything else."
Say what! They really have a perfect monopoly going on, don't they?
Well, well, well... there are many things we could add to the list, to be fair.
Like health insurance in the United States. What's up with that? It would be comical if it wasn't so evil.
What do you think is missing from this list? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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