Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.
All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?
Redditor u/nthn_thmswanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:
What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
I am claustrophobic. It paralyzes my life. I can't ride elevators. I freak out at amusement parks. And don't get me started on trains in New York that get stuck in the tunnel. Why am I like this?
"I was about 7 or 8 when I heard some noise coming from the garage. My mom was at work and I was being babysat by one of my uncles. I went to open the garage to find my other uncle strangling his girlfriend up against the car. She had blood coming out of her nose and mouth. I just froze and stood there staring and my uncle didn't even notice and continued choking and strangling her."
"My other uncle came to the door where I was standing saw what was happening and grabbed me. He called my mom and then the police who later came and arrested my uncle. There's more to this story I wasn't privy to at such a young age. But yeah my other uncle is crazy. He's been to jail a few times, has anger and control issues."
"Going to another person's house and realizing that living in filth and decay and having breathing problems isn't the norm. Having dinner every night and a clean room was just a regular day in their household. Grass is always greener right? Especially when yours is dead and everyone from school thinks your house is haunted. Smh good riddance."
"Watching my grandpa slowly waste away on our living room couch. He had a paraganglioma on his pancreas, and there was nothing (especially in 1980) that could be done for him. I was four, and he was my favorite person, and I couldn't sit with him, or hug him, or anything. I miss him even after 40 years. Either that or my best friend dying over Christmas break in 1988. I miss her too. I pretty much hated everything after that."
"I saw my Dad get swept away and drowned when I was 11. It's really something I've never recovered from. It's been 16 years and not a day goes by I don't remember it. I live with it. I think we have to for those who we've lost. I always kind of imagine it as a sort of like an emotional loss of a limb. I haven't lost a limb, but I imagine you adapt to not having it. You learn. But you never forget you are missing an arm or a leg."
It's taken me years to confront my struggle. Finally a little while ago, I tried hypnotherapy and I was able to recover a childhood memory that manifested into my phobia. I was trapped in handcuffs as a joke by my babysitter's brother. Six hours.
"The older I got through my teens, the more my step-father's alcoholism spiralled out of control, and the more I was biding my time until I was 18 and would head off to college. Education was my only escape in my mind. Every instance of physical and emotional abuse had to be met with, "just shut up and take it, it'll be over someday." Really wish I could give that kid who slept on the floor of a three-bedroom trailer a hug and say that he'd make it out and get a master's degree. I feel like I just won a decade-long war."
"I had a dog that I absolutely loved. I begged for this dog in a Walmart parking lot a week before my 3rd birthday, my mom said I could have the dog but that meant no birthday presents or cake just the dog (she lied, I got presents, cake, and dog.) This dog went everywhere with me and did everything with me. Despite being a tiny mutt he would do his best to protect me from our Doberman who did not like me."
"In fairness to the doberman, as a 2 yr old I did stomp on his nuts for some unbeknownst reason so no hard feelings on not liking me. When I was 5 my mom became a truck driver so we moved in with my grandparents on their farm. While I was at school one day Bouncy had gotten into the fence with the donkeys and was kicked in the head."
"When I got off the bus I couldn't figure out why he wasn't waiting on me. My grandparents met me outside and told me what happened, then walked me in to where he was. He died 30 minutes after I got home like he was waiting to see me. I haven't been able to bond with a pet since."
911 Operators Break Down The Strangest Call They've Ever Received | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"I saw our neighbor's collie killed by a driver speeding through the neighborhood. As a young boy, it had real impact because I loved her, and it hurt when he stuck his head out the driver's door window, grinned, and just sped off - leaving the dog dead in the road and me - a kid - in tears. As I once commented, how anyone could be so callous and cruel was beyond my imagination."
"I actually don't remember the event much, but when I was really young (~6years old) I was playing outside and I heard a woman screaming. I was curious so I went across the street to see a bunch of smoke coming out of the cracks in the front door. Didn't see any flames initially so I didn't put two and two together right away. My Dad saw me across the street in the driveway just staring at the house and when he investigated what I was doing he realized the house was on fire. Whole house burnt down."
"Older woman fell asleep on her couch with a lit cigarette. I was traumatized by fire as a kid and I was petrified about burning alive in my sleep for quite some time. Dad had to install a fire escape ladder in my room, fire extinguishers, etc. I was obsessed with what to do in case of fires as a kid. No longer an issue, but my parents still tell me stories about how they knew that messed me up."
"I was 12 and sat down at the edge of a sidewalk to pet a cat crossing the road. I lived on a very quiet, but wide street. Even if a car drove by, there would've been a lot of room, as I was in an area reserved for parallel parking. (No cars were parked though). All of a sudden a big red car sped up and swerved to hit the cat. It missed me by inches, and instantly killed the cat. It was decades ago, and I still think about it often."
"Oh, hands down, my mother alcoholism. It really messes you up in ways that you cannot imagine. And you don't even realize that until years after. I still can't drink alcohol because of it, it terrifies me to even entertain the possibility to become something close to her."
"My mom was helping me with my homework in kindergarten. I needed to identify letters. Eventually we got to a lower case 'a' which I couldn't identify, because in that typeface lower case 'a' is different from how I had been taught to write that letter. My mother must have had a bad day or maybe she really didn't like helping me."
"Rather than correcting me, she just repeated told me to identify the letter and she got more and more frustrated as I failed to answer correctly. She began screaming at me, saying that I was being stupid on purpose and that she wouldn't accept that one of her children could be this dumb."
"Eventually she grabbed me by the neck and lifted/choked me as she slammed me into the wall and continued screaming at me. Things started going black, but she released me before I lost consciousness and I collapsed to the ground. She yelled at me more and pinched my ear hard, pulling me up by the ear and forcing me back into the chair. She told me to finish my homework by myself and left."
"I didn't ask her for help on my homework again. Unfortunately the work my school gave me in elementary school pretty much required adult supervision, so I just do as much as I could and lie if my mom asked. This of course made my grades suffer. My grades recovered around grade 7, because I had taught myself to study and didn't need adult help."
"She choked me like that on several occasions, because she really didn't need a reason to be violent. At some point I realized that she never touched my brothers. She stopped once I had grown to be taller than her at around the age of thirteen. Then if she was angry she'd scream at me, and threaten to call the police and tell them that I attacked her."
"I woke up during surgery when I had cancer, the vein they were using for the anesthetic collapsed and I wasn't being dosed. I woke up, punched a nurse in the head, yanked out my intubation equipment, aspirated, then proceeded to fight 11 doctors nurses and guards while they fuzzy cuffed my cancer riddled self to the bed. Stayed in a 6 day induced coma after that."
The Bad Guy
"Mine wasn't as traumatising as others I'm reading in this thread but here we go: my dad knows some dodgy people. That's because when he was younger he dropped out of school to play guitar and do drugs etc, until he hit 30 and changed completely lifestyle, when he met my mother and started getting into religion etc. My town is fairly small, so when you went around the centre you'd often meet these people, and although my dad wasn't friend with these people anymore, he'd still stop and say hi."
"One time, I was about 6-7 yo, we meet one of them, and after he take my hands and compliments me, he grabs me and start running. My dad runs after him and eventually stop him by grabbing him by an arm and almost getting him on the floor. My dad told me he just wanted to play with me, like a game. Thinking about it now, it gives me chills."
"Mild for most people, but trauma is trauma. My third grade teacher slammed the lid of the piano down on my little hands and screamed in my face "nobody wants to hear you play!" I am still struggling with that as a 61 year old musician. The crap sticks in your head."
"When I was 7 my dad, sister, and I got into a motorcycle crash. We were passing by a curve and there was a dog crossing the road, my dad didn't want to hit the dog so he swerved right. For some reason the dog decided to run back to the other side of the road, and it hit the back wheel of the motorcycle. My dad lost control and the motorcycle ended up falling. We were going a bit fast and I was in front, so when the motorcycle fell it kind of just kept drifting for 6 more feet with my face being dragged."
"I ended up with so much wounds on my face and arms, most of the scars remained years. I'm 17 now and I only have one scar left on my face. I've thankfully gotten the courage to ride motorcycles again, but whenever we pass by the place we crashed, I get really anxious."
"Well, when I was 11 a fellow boy scout playing with fire panicked threw burning camp fuel around which landed on me and lit me on fire. I was in the burn ward for a month before they peeled skin from one side of my leg to graft onto the buns. That was pretty traumatic."
"Probably my parents divorce. It was messy. There were several months where my mom won custody of my brother and I (except on weekends) but our dad won the house so we were homeless and living at my nan's place (grandmother on my mom's side, we called her Nan or Nanny)."
"It certainly effected us, mom worked full time to buy a new house, which wasn't paid off till like last year (I was 10-12 at the time, I'm 29 now) and that time alone really caused my brother and I to develop as completely different people. My dad, while never physically abusive, was very verbally abusive, regularly screaming at both my brother and I that we're stupid, worthless, lazy idiots."
"He didn't really realise that he'd completely alienated his only children till a few years after my brother cut off all contact with him, when I too snapped at him and cut off contact. Since then he's tried to change to get back into our good graces and while we're willing to forgive, both of our tolerances for his old rage BS is at an absolute ZERO. He yells at us one more time, that's it, he's done. Permanently."
I survived. But, I'm still haunted. I think I always will be. But I have learned to manage. We all struggle with the past. We were too young to process. But now we have to try. You're not alone.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.