Trauma - some of it can't be fixed, and the people on the front lines of therapy confront the worst of the worst. Brace yourself, these are some harrowing stories.
LetsArgueAboutNothin asked mental health professionals of Reddit: What is the saddest case of "wow this person really fucked up because of how they were treated during their childhood" you have ever come across?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
One of my first cases when I first started in the mental health field and I'll never forget. I was providing therapy to a young girl who was pooping on herself after holding it in for as long as she could. Mom originally thought it was some kind of anxiety or fear of the toilet but after a couple more sessions I found out that the girl was being abused by her step father... it was heartbreaking to find that out and a hell of an introduction to the field.
Edit: Not sure if this is ok to do here but as a way to help people that don't have access to mental health services I started providing free mental health advice/ answering psychology related questions a few months ago through the form of social media and videos. If anyone is in need of assistance feel free to inbox me and I will provide you with my information. Thank you!
He is in jail for a long time, the investigation discovered several other things that sealed the deal for him. He won't be bothering the family for a good long while.
Money is not love.
Looked after a 14 year old, she was in hospital for her 15th birthday. Multiple suicide attempts (I'm talking 20+). On her birthday she wanted to call her mum, I let her but had to listen in (standard procedure). Her mum didn't say happy birthday but asked what she wanted, telling her she'd buy anything she wanted. Daughter said she just wanted to see her. Mum said she couldn't do that but she'd send presents. This girl was the daughter of two 'successful,' very wealthy lawyers. All she wanted was to see/spend time with them but they thought they could just throw money at her until she was 'better.' Money can't buy happiness. It's been a few years now and I wouldn't be surprised if she's had a completed attempt by now.
It's so sad how resigned your last sentence is.
There's this twisted thing.
I worked in corrections and on Sundays there would be coffee with breakfast. One of my female inmates always vomited and basically it turned out that as a teen her dad would assault her then buy her coffee to make himself feel less guilty about it. The sight or smell of coffee made her projectile vomit even a decade later.
What kind of sh*tty gesture is that ? How is coffee supposed to make any of this better ?
This is called "love bombing." The abuser gives gifts or attention to their victim as a way to alleviate their guilt about the abusive episode. We were poor, so my dad got me ceramic cat figures from the dollar store the day after he abused me. It gave me quite a bit of satisfaction to smash them as an adult.
When you've simply had enough.
Had a kid show up in my office saying he had not eaten all day. He missed his bus and just seemed to not want to leave. I call home and mom was not answering. The parents were divorced, so I called Dad. It was about 8:00 PM by this point. Dad answers and is obviously drunk off of his @ss at a bar (I heard the noise and music). I explain the situation and the dad says he will get someone to drive him to come pick him up. He never showed up.
About 10:00pm on a Tuesday or some sh*t now, so I call the police and they assist. Learned that the mother had overdosed on heroin and was found dead in the house. The father never showed up, and I was told he never tried to be a part of the kids life.
This kid had some terrible facial disfiguration from birth due to the mother using drugs and drinking during pregnancy. I have no idea how the kid was never removed from custody. I spent a lot of time with him because he didn't like people looking at him throughout the school day. I didn't give a f*ck about his grades, I just wanted him to enjoy something in life. We would watch old WWF clips because he loved wrestling.
He's dead now. Killed himself.
I switched careers after I heard that. F*cked me up. I tried to help.
Edit: thanks y'all.. I hate thinking about it sometimes, but I love thinking about some stupid little moments with em.
You tried and he probably remembered you for that. It's not your fault that he was in that situation or that no one else did their job to get him out. Something that you have to remember is that you can't control anything beyond the classroom, you gave him something safe and good while he was with you that's what matters.
"Fun time cuddles."
Working in group care, I had a client whose parents would sell her body, from to 'regular' travellers through town in exchange for drugs and money. Her family and extended family would tell her these people were friends and needed 'fun time cuddles' and that she was the best daughter that anyone could have because she was special for doing this.
When I was working with her in her teens she didn't trust anyone that ever gave her compliments, and would often have panic attacks when people said she did a good job at something or was skilled at something. Was the saddest fallout of abuse I think I've ever seen. She had several suicide attempts and a lot selfharm.
Last I heard (years ago), she's doing a lot better now after finding a good match for a therapist. I sincerely hope her family never sees the light of day again, and that some bad things happen to them in prison.
When one of my best pals was little, his parents used to inject him with heroin and crack cocaine... He said his social workers think it was because they wanted to test the drugs to be sure it wouldn't kill them before they used. He can't even see needles now almost 20 years later because they upset him so much and it crushes me as a friend.
That being said? He's now the most proud and protective father I've ever met. He'd do anything for that little girl of his and is one of the most loving parents I've ever seen. It's really amazing to see all the good that he's brought into the world as a person when dealing with so much f*cking pain.
Humans are depraved creatures.
While doing my psych clinical's over 20 years ago, we had this poor patient that was so abused as child. This took place in the 70s. Her father had a casket at his house. I can't remember if he worked at a funeral home or how he ended up with a casket. He drilled a hole just big enough so a straw could go through it. He would put his daughter in there and close the lid and gave her a straw to put through the hole so she can breath through the straw. He left her in there for extended of time. The poor girl was destroyed. As the psychotherapist was telling our group the story, our group were in tears. How can someone be this f*cked up to do this to their own child. The poor girl is so messed up and cannot live a normal life due to all the trauma this has caused her.
Edit: Many asked how she was destroyed. This abuse took place over her childhood till adulthood. In the 70's, child abuse was overlooked and often not believed by the child. Who would believe that a person would have a casket in their home. She was placed in a lock down facility and as students, we never had her as a patient. The psychotherapist explained that she did not meet her milestones and acted as if she was in the wild in away. She was probably oxygen deprived that also affected her brain. The poor girl basically grew up throughout the years being put in that dark airtight casket with a straw to breath through. It was so long ago and cannot remember the details how she turned out other than she is in this locked facility and has trigger points that sets her off. Our clinical group was crying all day after hearing this case. This broke me and realized that I cannot ever be a psych nurse. I am sure she suffered other abuse. Most of the patients in the psych facility were from an abusive parents. The next population was drugs, alcohol and chemical imbalance. To be honest, I felt in my own mechanism, I shut down after hearing the casket and straw bit. I could not handle it and felt sick all day.
Yeah this would mess me up too.
I worked at a psychiatric hospital for guys who had successfully argued Not Guilty for Reasons of Insanity pleas. One guy had murdered his neighbor after they had some kind of normal neighbory dispute. He told me, in detail, how he grew up on a farm and his dad would kill one of his dogs in front of him every time he acted out as a child.
The state psych hospitals are the worst of the worst. We keep shrinking the size and displacing people, pretty much anyone crazy enough to warrant a bed will have a backstory that gives you nightmares.
I'm a security guard on a psych unit. I once had a patient refuse her medicine, which is a fairly common occurrence. Normally, that's fine. The doctor will convince them to take their meds the next day. However, this girl was extremely psychotic. In some cases, we have to hold patients down for a shot. As soon as we walked in the room, this girl started screaming "Daddy please don't! I promise I'll stop! No! I'll be good!" She got the shot and just curled up and started bawling. This was the saddest forced shot we've ever had to give and all of us left the room completely silent.
Remember when people actually met in public spontaneously and ignited a romantic spark after catching each other's eyes?
Yeah, I don't either.
But there was a time when people did just that. Meet in person. Young romantic hopefuls looking to make a connection would gather at bars or clubs and spend a fair amount of time preparing themselves to look good in the hopes of getting noticed.
Nowadays, people meet online, where how you present yourself in photos and bios is your one-shot deal in getting someone's attention long enough before they swipe left.
Not everyone is good at describing themselves on dating apps.
Redditor Breme_42069 was curious to hear bad but oh-so-good examples of this and asked:
"Online daters, what are some of the most unattractive stuff people put in their bios?"
Arrogance and a higher-than-thou disposition is not for everyone.
Is That A Threat?
"If you don't speak, I'll unmatch"
"whilst they literally make zero effort to talk to anybody"
"edit: I am ghey and was referring to male + male tinder, but it's news to me that this is a similar thing straight men experience too."
"Don't waste my time"
"This long laundry list of requirements in a partner with no mention of what they’re going to be bringing to the relationship."
Bad Is Still Bad
"When they announce how bad they are and get away with doing bad stuff as if it's meant to impress us."
People can be more amusing than sexy.
“I don’t even know why I’m here”
"Bro you made this account."
Everyone Everywhere All At Once
"My personal favourite is when you come across multiple profiles with the same profile pic but they are all in different locations. F'ken wizards."
"Their only photo is a group photo, with no indication of which one they are."
When The Hiatus Is Over
"This isn't the worst thing in the world but something I'm always bewildered by some variation of."
"hi, I'm back again, hopefully this time it will work out!"
"This isn't conventional social media with followers."
Some people just require more effort in getting to know–which indicates, they lack personality.
“Don’t be boring”
"'Just ask' was always an instant no from me. Plenty of other people provide some kind of info to go on, so why would I choose the low effort profile?"
“What do you do for work?”
“I don’t like talking about work.”
“Where did you grow up?”
“Are you implying I’m not from here?”
“What’s your favorite food?”
“Ok, I’m trying here and you’re giving me nothing.”
"Edit: talking about 'just ask' profiles here. If someone has more details I will gladly ask them more in depth questions about them."
The art of conversation still applies, even with dating online.
Single people seriously looking to meet someone should take the time to creatively express themselves in their bio. That might increase your chances of attracting more interesting users.
Also let your photos speak for themselves. Just make sure it's you in the uploaded pics.
Because no one has time for catfishing.
Most people are asked what they do for a living upon meeting someone for the first time.
It's definitely a good conversation starter. But while some people's professions are generally understood by the majority, there are other professions that entail more than what is outlined in a job description.
Hoping to be enlightened, Redditor memereda_vanwolf asked:
"What are facts about your job that general public has no idea about?"
There are simple solutions to seemingly complicated issues.
A Quick Fix
"I work in IT support. Legit about 80% of all problems are solved by rebooting the computer/terminal/phone."
"If not, 20 percent is pure detective work."
"Radioactive contamination can often just be cleaned with Windex or even water."
Facts about these specific professions are truly eye-opening.
The Finest Detail
"I work at a large biotech/pharmaceutical manufacturing company. The drugs you take or buy from your local pharmacy are so insanely and meticulously regulated & inspected at every step of the journey - from petri dish to pharmacy shelf, that you could take a pill from a bottle and it can be traced back to the exact room it was made in, the exact equipment that was used, who was responsible for each step, and the time it was made down to the very second. Seriously, there is no misteps when it comes to GxP."
Corporate Allocation Of Funds
"Working for giant companies, it’s comical how many systems are raggedy messes of bare-bones functionality. All available money gets thrown at certain projects, leaving everything else to work on complete shoe-strings."
Legalities Of Being An Organ Donor
"I work in organ donation."
"The general public doesn’t understand literally any of it."
"One notable thing is that when you register to be an organ donor, it’s a legally binding declaration about your wishes after death. It is akin to a will under gift law."
"Anaesthetics- we only ask about your illicit drug use so we don’t kill you when we give you a general anaesthetic and that you have appropriate pain relief."
"You’ll have a tolerance that we need to counter by giving you a variety of drugs and more of them."
"No judgement from us on your choices - just want to actually take care of your properly."
Dealing With The Deceased
"I was a licensed Cremationist for 8 years. Regardless how hard we tried, that wasn’t just grandma or grandpa in the urn…."
Never Assume You're Always Safe
"Ex-security guard here."
"We're not there to protect you. We're there to observe and report. Don't assume that just because whatever building you're working in has security that you're safe. Especially if security is of the unarmed variety."
"That as a trucker, that space I left in front of me is so I don’t kill anybody, NOT your personal invitation to jump in front of my bumper because you forgot your exit or whatever reason. So many want to get in front of us and slow down and park in front my bumper."
"YSK: Don’t believe the billboards those ambulance chasing lawyers put up about big truck accidents mean big bucks. Only survivors get money, most likely not you. If you do survive, more than likely your quality of life is going to be miserable."
"Also YSK: these trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 34,000 pounds empty and around 20,000 pounds without the trailer. How does that compare to your SUV or even your lifted pickup. Do us all a favor and give us some space, leave us room so that you can live and go home to your family"
"One final thought, NEVER assume the other driver sees you."
Some jobs have great perks.
These are sorely lacking in company benefits.
"Crisis hotline. Sometimes we get really disturbing prank calls. I always encourage people to call back if they are ever in crisis. A lot of times, they (the prank callers) do."
First Things First
"When you call 911, please say your address before anything else. It doesn’t matter if someone is actively dying, say your address first. (I’m from a rural area so this might just be a problem where I’m from) but if you’re calling on a cell phone sometimes it can ping in a completely different spot then you are. If you call and don’t say where you are and we get disconnected, I might not have any clue where to send rescue/police/fire and therefore I cannot help you. Say your address (if you don’t know then please give like a cross street or notable location) first, then preferably your name, THEN tell me what’s going on."
"A lot of people assume that we automatically have a precise location where they’re at, and the systems can be pretty accurate but you can’t always rely on them. If you say the address and we get disconnected I can at least send someone to the area to figure out what needs to be done."
"(Source: I am a 911 dispatcher and I have so many people scream at me for not automatically knowing their location)"
Respect Your Masseuse
"I'm a massage therapist. I don't care if you didn't shave. But please wash your feet."
I usually have interesting conversations with Uber or Lyft drivers as a passenger.
They've disclosed the questionable policies of the companies they respectively work for and divulged traffic tips and what routes are best to take to get to certain destinations.
But what captivated me most were the stories about the passengers they've picked up.
Without going into detail, riders can be absolutely deplorable and inconsiderate.
One anecdote made me very anxious about sitting in the back seat and made me checking for stains.
Some on-the-job facts are better left a mystery. So, you're welcome for me sparing you the disgusting details.
Rules are rules.
And they're made to be broken.
Unless you have strict parents that don't play those games.
I was pretty lucky, I had a freedom growing up.
But I had a few friends who had it rough.
Redditorcallierkapwanted to hear from everyone whose parents caused more stress than necessary when growing up. They asked:
"Redditors who grew up with strict parents, what was the most absurd rule you had to follow?"
I wasn't allowed to cross the street without my. other's permission. It was weird. But now that I drive... I get it.
AloneLonely Bucks Bango GIF by Milwaukee BucksGiphy
"I was only allow to go to school and come back home, my parents never allowed me to hangout with friends after school or on the weekends."
"I could totally see my friends, but effectively wasn't allowed to make any. I was homeschooled so I didn’t have any, and church wasn’t really anyone under 50, so I just never had any communication with anyone who wasn’t an adult until college. This vastly set me back along with my siblings and I didn’t go on my first date until 23."
Make it Quick
"My parents expected me to call them and ask for permission to go out at night (which in their minds was after dinner and included movies) throughout college. And furthermore I had to use a calling card with limited minutes because my college was long-distance from them."
"My goal was to end the call quickly which usually meant acquiescing to their rigid rules and staying in. Took me entirely too long to realize that they were in fact half a day's drive away, so I could do what I wished without always checking in."
I am Meek
"Not being allowed up in my room during the day. (It was okay to go up there once it got close to bedtime, but it was hit or miss... I could never quite figure out the exact time it became acceptable.) My mom would always yell for me to come back downstairs if I disappeared up to my room for more than five or ten minutes at a time. And a related rule: not being allowed to shut my bedroom door, except briefly when dressing."
"For context, I was an introverted girl who loved to read, and I just preferred the peace and quiet of my room. Also, I was a very meek child who never got into trouble, so those rules weren't made because of any misbehaviour on my part. It seemed absurd to me then, and still seems absurd to me now."
Who?he's cute tv land GIF by YoungerTVGiphy
"It wasn’t a rule but, when I was 13, my mom overheard me telling some friends a guy on TV was cute. She made me feel so ashamed that, to this day, I’m reluctant to actually point out a cute guy to friends or voice my appreciation when they do it. It’s awkward."
Wow and I thought I had it bad because I wanted more allowance.
Less WordsArgue Donald Trump GIF by Wave.videoGiphy
"I do high level debate in high school, so in every argument we had, I wasn't allowed to use it because it was too insulting to them or something. Very many arguments were had in form of screaming and cussing at each other."
In the Middle...
"As the middle kid, I had a lot more rules compared to my siblings. My older brother moved out of my dads house so it was me and my little brother, who was spoiled rotten. I wasn't allowed to go to bed until my little brother said I could. He was allowed to hit me as much as he wanted. Keep in mind, I'm a female, now 18. He is four years younger."
"I moved out when I was 17. Also, he was allowed to do whatever he wanted and I had to do his chores and mine in under an hour. My chores were the dishes, taking the dog out, sweeping, mopping, steam mopping, vacuuming, laundry, and bathrooms. We lived in a 4 bed, 3.5 bathroom house. It also had a basement that my dad used for his man cave. My brothers chores were to clean his room, and take the trash out."
"I did all of his chores everyday and mine and it took me from 6 AM (I also wasn't allowed to sleep in but he could) until 3 or 4 PM. And I was doing online school. I failed school and was told I was only good as a servant. I was also getting abused but I moved out and now my fiancé helps me get over the trauma."
2 years later...
"When I went to boarding school, if I gained even 0.1kg of weight, I would have all electronics, which included my phone, tablet and laptop, taken away from me until 2 years later when my parents said I could have them back. I wasn't allowed to leave the school grounds unless I had their permission. I didn't give a f**k what they said and still left the school on weekends, but the farthest I went was the little co op 50 meters from the school because that's all I ever wanted to go to."
I Feel for Her
"I’d say I have some of the least strict parents and it’s made me realize the insane things my friend’s parents do. I have a friend from a hispanic household, she’s not allowed to wear makeup, and must get permission to go out. This wouldn’t be weird if she wasn’t literally 20, with a driver’s license, car, and 2 sources of income including the military. They don’t let her move out. She’s being deployed to Kuwait indefinitely and I haven’t gotten to see her once before she leaves."
HydrateJohnny Depp Drinking GIFGiphy
"My siblings and I couldn't drink anything during our meal. If we wanted anything to drink, we had to have it before we ate, and couldn't touch it again until our plate was clear."
In a Small Town
"cracks knuckles... my time to shine. I had a 7:00 curfew until I was 18 (then it only moved to 10). I live in a very small town, the kind that Walmart is considered a date, and my parents were mad I went across city lines for the movies when I was 18. I could only go out (meaning anytime I left the house including family events) twice a month. I had to turn my phone in at 9 until I was 16."
"I have the male equivalent of 'resting *itch face.' So I was forced to smile and s**t, otherwise I got in trouble for 'making a look."
It's amazing some people still grow up sane.
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Moviegoers are passionate about the genres they seek in theaters. One genre many people tend to avoid is the horror genre.
Zombies, blood-suckers, knife-wielding maniacs, anyone? That's a hard "nope" from many audiences who prefer laughing at Will Ferrell movies or shedding a tear from triumphant classics like Rudy rather than shrinking in their seats and bracing themselves for the next jump-scare.
But sometimes, movies that aren't marketed as horror films should really get a re-evaluation because there are moments in the film that may unintentionally creep the bejesus out of certain audiences.
Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor bellathehellgirl asked:
"What movie scares the hell outta you that isn’t a horror movie at all?"
These Redditors were not prepared for what was in store for them.
It Starts Off As Fun & Games
"Jumanji. As a kid I used to have nightmares about those monkeys chasing me."
"The Dark Crystal"
"WHAT THE F'K IS THAT THING"
Not The Oz We Remember
"Return to Oz. Saw it when I was 5. Had nightmares about the wheelers for years."
Everyone loves a Disney classic.
However, these Redditors found certain parts of the films every kid grew up loving to be absolutely terrifying.
The Wooden Boy's Trauma
"Ever watched Pinocchio as an adult?"
"That is effed up."
"The scene with the boy turning into a donkey and losing his s*t over it is downright traumatic and not the kind of body horror one expects from a kids film!"
The Lost Girl
"The original Alice in wonderland. It terrified me as a kid that she couldn’t find her way home, nobody was really helping her, she was just stuck."
"Definitely this. Not only that she's lost but that she's in a world so alien yet familiar. The kind of place where if you were stuck there your whole life you might go mad if you manage to acclimate at all. Lost forever in an alternate world with inhabitants that are so outlandish you can't tell if there really is some structure to what they do and how they think or if they really are all just mad in the head."
Well, It Is A Roald Dahl Book
"James and the Giant Peach. F'k that whole movie."
Even dramatic films involve conflicts that may be too intense for some viewers.
Too Much Stinging
"My Girl when Macaulay Culkin gets stung to death by bees. Childhood me was scared of bees for quite a while."
Blurring The Lines Of Reality
"There's a movie I remember seeing with Britney Murphy where she dropped off her husband for a medical procedure and came back to pick him up only to find out he never existed or something and was made to believe she was hallucinating the entire relationship etc.."
"The thought of learning that anything in my life is a hallucination, is terrifying to me."
"Another one I can remember was Premonition with Sandra bullock. The movie itself wasn't the greatest, but the plotline is terrifying."
These were marketed as comedy. Yet, who was laughing the entire time?
Who You Gonna Call?
"I was very young when I first saw the original Ghostbusters."
"I was NOT expecting the library ghost to do that!!!"
"I know it was meant to be a comedy and all, but Mars Attacks. Call it deep-seated child trauma from seeing it when I was too young. Watching people get disintegrated into piles of bones gave me nightmares for weeks."
I remember seeing David Lynch's Elephant Man as a kid and being traumatized after seeing the disfigured face of John Merrick.
It's supposed to be a drama that should elicit sympathy and compassion after seeing the main character being exploited and paraded around by a Victorian freak show.
But for this young viewer, the critically-acclaimed film was nothing but a traumatic moviegoing event.
What movie forever unintentionally traumatized you?