Native Americans Explain What It’s Really Like Living On A Reservation[rebelmouse-image 18352898 is_animated_gif=
American Indians, Native Americans, Indigenous Americans, Aboriginal Americans, or First Nations are some of the evolving terms used to describe the people who made their home in the United States for tens of thousands of years before contact with European explorers like the Vikings.
To say life changed after the second wave of contact in the late 15th century is an understatement. Resettlement and forced removal reshaped Native cultures. They were altered again by the federal Assimilation Acts of the 19th century, including the establishment of Native American reservations.
Not all Natives live on reservations and life on a reservation for a Native is very different than off. There are both advantages, like community and cultural knowledge, and disadvantages, like geographic isolation and lack of jobs, to reservation life.
A Reddit user asked: "Native Americans/Indigenous Peoples of Reddit, what's it like to grow up on a Reservation in the USA?"
Here is some insight into Native American reservation life.
Resources[rebelmouse-image 18352899 is_animated_gif=
I'm Navajo, and from the Navajo Nation. The people were wonderful, for the most part. Being part of two of the tightest clans on the rez was pretty awesome. A lot of Navajo culture is basically just about enjoying life, and helping others do the same. That being said, the best part about being off the rez is having all the clean water I can drink. Seriously. Sometimes I just stand at the sink and run the tap to marvel at the clean water coming out of it. In large parts of the Navajo Nation, you can't dig wells because of the uranium in the top layer of the water table. So some people just have to drive out really far to deliver or pickup water in big barrels from areas that aren't contaminated. It took 40+ years for the US government to do anything about it. And just recently, the EPA agreed to cover half the cost of cleaning 94 (about 20% of the total) abandoned uranium mines on the reservation. The water table is still f'd, but it's a start, if nothing else. And people wonder why we don't trust the government.
Poverty[rebelmouse-image 18352900 is_animated_gif=
When I was a kid I often visited my grandparents on the res in Montana. I was too young at the time to realize the crushing poverty and hopelessness. My grandpa was one of those self-sufficient mountain men who didn't ever complain so I didn't "know" they were super poor. He taught me survival skills and outback engineering. We ate venison and rabbit all the time which was a treat to me but a staple to them. Poverty and alcoholism/drug abuse was rampant but I was sort of blind to that (Uncle Bert is sort of crazy I guess).
They eventually moved to a small town and ended up dying in poverty. My dad joined the Army and that was his ticket out of there and into the lower middle class.
Family[rebelmouse-image 18352901 is_animated_gif=
I loved it. My family was all within a 15-29 minute drive. I could run around in the woods and never felt like I was in danger. I could ride on the roads with my bike and felt safe. If I went to the store I was sure to see someone I knew. I was able to go to courts with my mother and watch our little courts do their stuff. I was able to call into out radio station and request a song and sometimes hear my voice on the radio. I was able to volunteer as a DJ and call out bingo numbers in my native language. I was able to become fluent in my native language. And that's something I could never do anywhere else. Growing up if I had a car issue someone I knew would stop and help me out. My grandfather was able to make a living off of the land. In the end we couldnt eat the food because of pollution from the manufacturing plants up river.
My family is here and that is the reason I love my reservation.
Culture[rebelmouse-image 18352902 is_animated_gif=
Growing up, my grandmother and her side of the family all lived in Cherokee, NC. My dad ended up down there too after my parents divorced. As a kiddo, I thought it was amazing, but as I got older, I realized most of what I saw was a tourist trap to try to bring in desperately needed income. Once Harrah's went in and the residents got stipends, I think some things improved but others got worse. Sudden cash doesn't look good on most people, on or off the res.
The best part of every visit was going to see the dramatization about the trail of tears...I haven't been to Cherokee in years, so I hope it's still going!! My grandmother always spoke of it with such reverence, and how lucky they were to still remain in NC. The loss of culture is the worst part of all of our native tribes. The language and traditions are slipping away.
Leadership[rebelmouse-image 18352903 is_animated_gif=
I'm Cree First Nations. I never lived in the rez because my mom wanted my sister and I to get an education and you can't really get that in our rez. Actually, most of my family doesn't live on the rez just because living conditions used to be really bad. Luckily I am so thankful we elected a new chief! He's building better schools, distributing scholarship and college funds to the youth... I met him and was able to talk to him and I'm glad he's committed to make our rez a better place!
Gangs[rebelmouse-image 18352904 is_animated_gif=
Native American here from Wolf Point, Montana. The unemployment, drug use, and sexually transmitted diseases percentage are above 80 percent on the Fort Peck Reservation. Wolf Point itself has a very bad meth problem, and currently the school system is being sued for racism.
The town is rampant with racism but there's a few good eggs here and there.
I was called an apple in high school (red on the outside, white on the inside) by all of the really cool guy gang members. Most of my graduating class still live in Wolf Point and are unemployed. Our high school had about 250 students total.
Education[rebelmouse-image 18352905 is_animated_gif=
Currently typing this at my parents house on the Carson Colony in NV. It's pretty rough here. It used to be worse. Lots of drugs and lots of booze. There's lots of illiteracy and just poor quality of life.
Basic Utilities[rebelmouse-image 18352906 is_animated_gif=
We don't even have electricity. Running water or proper housing. We heat our homes with a wood stove.
Lots of youth from here don't graduate. Have kids at 14-18 years old.
It's a hard place to grow up. I left 3 years ago. Living in the city now going to college.
Life is better, don't really plan on going back. Only for special occasions or family gatherings.
Changes[rebelmouse-image 18352907 is_animated_gif=
I would spend entire summers at my paternal grandparents place (Navajo/Diné Reservation) during school break.
My grandparents place is very secluded and the nearest neighbor was 10 to 15 miles away. Nestled in a small valley of Juniper and Cedar trees; there was a simple creek about a quarter mile away. When I was younger they didn't have electricity hooked up (power lines); we used oil lamps for light. But they had a double wide trailer with lights, a TV, and faucets built in. To power lights and the TV (to watch movies on a VCR) we would run a gas powered generator (sometimes the electricity would cut out mid way through a movie when the generator ran out of gas).
Then my grandfather got a hold of two large tanks. One buried in the ground to hold and pump water into the house. Then the water heater would kick on to hold hot water for sink and showers. But showering was discouraged as it would mean more trips to get more water. The other tank was strapped to a truck to haul water from Peabody built water stations. As I got older other amenities were added; electricity, microwaves, satellite TV, etc (still had to haul water though). I would say the day to day life there was one of non-boredom. There was always something that needed to be done to ensure your survival for later. Usually my job was to herd the sheep, check on the cattle, chop woods, haul water to the crop lands, maintain and harvest the crops, and other farm stuff. If not that then it was cooking and cleaning at the house.
But as more amenities were added some jobs just became obsolete. For example, my family would take time to shear the sheep and process the wool; either to sell or use as thread in rug making. But as advancements in the rez happened the availability of wool thread became abundant. So the processing of wool was not needed.
So as more advancements made their way into our lives, complacency became a part of the routine. My days became take out the sheep from the corral, move them to a good location to graze. Watch some TV. Cook. Clean. Check on sheep. Move them back into the corral. Cook. Clean. Watch TV. Sleep. Repeat.
Progress is a Double Edged Sword[rebelmouse-image 18352908 is_animated_gif=
I have family that live on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, north of Seattle. Alcohol is a huge problem, as is drunk driving. They sell fireworks around the 4th, though they go off all the time and there is no noise ordinance. Marijuana is legal in Washington, but not on the rez because it's federal land.
They opened a casino resort and outlet mall several years ago. It brings in a lot of money. The casino is really nice, really fancy, though I don't gamble. Our family goes to seafood night at the buffet. It's like $25 a person and all you can eat crab/shrimp/mussels/salmon.
My Grandma lived by the beach. My cousins and I were always going down there when we were younger. She's in a nursing home now and they tore down her house and put up condos.
North of the Border[rebelmouse-image 18352909 is_animated_gif=
You asked about reservations in the US, but I'll answer anyway. I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, but my parents had roots in the north and we visited my grandma in a small northern community often. It's true that colonialism has left a legacy of addictions, abuse and other serious issues, but there's lots of great stuff in our communities too. My fondest childhood memories are of grandma making bannock with bear fat and the blueberries we picked. Most Indigenous people in Canada do not live on reserves. Many of us have never lived on reserves. I have raised my kids in the city, but we spend as much time as possible hunting, fishing, playing lacrosse, and other traditional pastimes.
Identity[rebelmouse-image 18352910 is_animated_gif=
Fort Hall Rez, Idaho. Rez life. It's alright. I mean it's prolly really bad on some other reservations. I can't attest to that. I've only been to a few different ones. But I can say this is kinda like a "ghetto" if you live in a nearby nicer suburb. But that's cliched since there's always a nicer neighborhood, and there's always a worse "bad part of town" everywhere, right?
Yes, and there are bad things out here. But we've done really well I think. A humorous outlook on all the bullshit is just something you can see people have learned. It's odd to me that only just recently has "Gangsta" attitude begun to disappear here. And even then it was just a handful of kids doin dumb s*. But going to school off rez there was often a palpable stigma that you might not be able to get beyond with some people. You can still feel it when you walk into some rooms with older folks.
Anyway growing up here was...hard for me. I guess. See I had a good family. There were the crazy uncles doin' the fast living, and it's been hard to accept that yes. But my family is mostly Traditional in lifestyle. This word Traditional is what has troubled me for years. In my opinion much of the Traditional mindset is just too xenophobic. It's awful sometimes to hear some of these elders talk trash on "daibos" the white people just down the road. Because those aren't bad people, they're my friends even. I figured out the lashing out at white folk is just a reaction to decades of negative influence.
I am not traditional, so I often see myself as a "bad" Indian. It's an identification issue that authors like Sherman Alexie capture really well for me. That's been the hardest part for me. I'm actually a musician, but not a Native Musician. I'm a sax player. I like jazz, and I'm sorry, but I can only stand powow songs for so long. I know a handful of "Indian" words, no I don't live in a tipi, but yes, yes I do know how to put one up. It's a dichotomous life I live, or something.
I think the worst thing about growin' up rez and then trying to succeed anywhere is the first time a colleague sees me show up late, or sees me after a few beers. I just lost that person's respect. And I can only hope that it isn't attached to race. Like, come on. Why can't I just be a shitty person for being late, and also separately be a useless drunk alcoholic?? Why I gotta be a Drunk Injun that shows up on Injun Time?? It's like I'd almost prefer to show up late and drunk in regalia just so it's THE issue, or not an issue at all.
Just let me fail in my own way, you know?
Artists[rebelmouse-image 18352911 is_animated_gif=
I'm from Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico and the biggest problem we've had here is alcoholism although it's been receding with the new programs and health classes that have been getting funded.
Overall there is nothing extraordinary here. It would be equivalent to a rural community. There's no stores aside from the local gas station and we don't have any internet providers in the area. We have a lot of new building and homes but all of our roads are dirt. There's a lot of farm land and open area. We have a middle plaza that's reserved for traditional dances and gatherings that aren't open to the public. The closest town is called Bernalillo about 30-40 miles away and there's 2 other reservations along the way.
We have a population of about 3,500 and 80% of us are fluent in the language with about a 60% participation rate in dances and traditions. The culture is strong here and we have a small (rate of) waning of language in younger children due to the advances in technology.
There's a high employment rate here and the pueblo has a main export of traditional foods and pottery. There are a bunch of different types of art but pottery is the main one.
Overall, reservation life isn't terrible here, culture and tradition is strong as well as the alcoholism rate going down with the top notch healthcare and programs that we get here. We're really remote as far as location goes and we have a high employment rate. Been here my whole life and wouldn't change a thing.
Dance[rebelmouse-image 18352912 is_animated_gif=
Hopi tribe here. My rez is in the Southwest and the sand gets everywhere. Even though I've moved to a big city I visit family Every time there is a dance. There's still a huge presence of kachina's which I take a lot of pride in.
Children being forced to boarding schools and forced to practice Christianity is still within living memory with my great uncles having been shipped to big cities.
There is a lot of poverty. Many people burn coal for heat in the winter and have to travel to the springs for clean water. But my So'oh (grandmother) tells me things are a lot better now than when she was young.
Even with the drugs and poverty everyone can still laugh at anything. And you barely walk through the door before being told to "sit down and eat".
Hard Work[rebelmouse-image 18352913 is_animated_gif=
I am a Navajo who grew up on the Navajo nation my entire life. My mom is a kind hearted women who works at a school and my dad is a strong very upfront man. He spent 30 years working industrial construction being a ironworker, pipefitter, welder and he says he was a journeyman and a foreman on many of his jobs but now he works at the hospital in the town I grew up because he says the work he did in those years really took its toll on his body. I consider myself very fortunate that my parents don't drink. Growing up my father was very rough on me and my older brother. As a 6 year old we would learn to ride horses and the purpose was for work like rounding up cattle or heading sheep. We worked on the fence lines as children and we would haul wood and coal because we used a stove. My dad used to tell me men don't cry and that if I'm ever going to be somebody that I needed to learn everything he knows so I did not play much as a kid. I spent weekends helping him change fuel pumps or he would be working with the horses. We were always doing something productive and it was hard.
Today I am 22 and live alone in Phoenix, Arizona. I am a full time student at the local community college and I am looking for a full time job now. I just got here last night and I am scared but I am ready. It wasn't until I was around 19 that I started to appreciate the way I grew up but I constantly think about the lack of friends I have and the lack of memories of being with the ones I had and it's always difficult because there are just not many of them. The Navajo nation is simple in that you either grow up like how I did or you grew up wishing you grew up like how I did because mom and dad were constantly drunk and leaving on the weekends to go spend the weekends at a casino.
There is really no middle ground, with a understanding soft spoken father and mother who understand that children need to be children and aggression is not the way to teach, but it's there and it's rare, I envy these parents.
Rez Culture[rebelmouse-image 18352914 is_animated_gif=
I grew up on a reservation in Minnesota. I left when I became an adult.
Basically has the same stuff as rural towns. No good paying work, lots of drug abuse, except the benefit of a Super Fund site next to the town (that's a huge chemical leak that no one can afford to clean up). It leads to a lot of cancers. My father died of a cancer associated with it.
The good is there's a strong sense of family in the community. My fiance grew up there as well, but has a much bigger family. They are all there for each other and it's amazing what people can do in groups like that.
The "Rez culture" is something I didn't even realize existed until I left. I said slang words no one understood and had an accent. Both me and my fiance have lost those accents (Don't tell her, but she gets it back if she is mad.)
False Assumptions[rebelmouse-image 18352916 is_animated_gif=
I'm from one in South Dakota. It's a sad place. I'll always love it because it's where I'm from, but it's hard to go back. The meth addiction there is terrible. That and the assumptions I deal with living in the city nowadays is annoying. They assume because I'm from the rez that I get everything free in life. Not the case.
Off Rez is Hard Too[rebelmouse-image 18352917 is_animated_gif=
I'm Cree First Nations and my parents moved from the rez before I was born because of how bad our education was and the living conditions (at the time, it's getting better now). I moved a lot, but when I was in high school I moved to a 90% white town and it was surreal how my sister and I were treated. We were both the "Native Girls" and were the only ones in our school and we received the dumbest stereotypes and worst questions. I had a 18 year old ask me if I could speak to animals and he was completely serious. Another guy asked my sister what it was like to grow up in a teepee. Our principal tried to exploit me and do a "traditional American Indian ceremony" and make me dance in front of the school because I'm a jingle dress dancer. He even hosted a "Indian drum lesson" and brought in a group of white ladies to teach the school how to drum. My sister and I refused to touch anything we were so mortified. I tried my best to educate people but it got so tiring hearing the same questions over and over again.
Isolation[rebelmouse-image 18352918 is_animated_gif=
Alaska native Inupiaq here. Born and lived 8 years in Barrow, then 20 years in Fairbanks. Now living in Anchorage. We don't have reservations but we do have villages that are mainly Native.
The biggest difference is economic. We didn't have much money, weren't raised with money and as a result have poor spending habits coupled with half-assed schooling by newbie bush teachers. Financial stability is something that we struggle with no matter if your Inuit or Athabaskan or Yupik. This of course can lead to everything else mentioned in this thread, alcoholism, drugs, suicide, etc. you get the picture.
It's getting better though, with each generation we're learning more.
Just Normal Folks[rebelmouse-image 18352920 is_animated_gif=
I was born and grew up on the Bad River Reservation on Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. I lived in a house my mom's grandpa built in the 40s for the first couple years of my life, then my grandpa and family friends built a new house in the 80s, so that is my childhood home. My grandpa and uncle lived down the road in my childhood and they would harvest wild rice, and trap muskrat and beavers. The boat launch was under a mile from my house, and even closer to my grandpas land so I would go out with them a lot. He would sell the quilts, and wild rice at his smoke shop he had on the highway. We had a casino built on the Rez when I was about 10, and that was a big deal. There was a trailer park in the Rez and that is where most of my friends lived, but it was on the other side of the river and you'd have to either drive or get wet to get there. I worked at my grandpas smoke shop until it closed in 1996. We participate in pow wow weekends, selling quilts and wild rice. Pow wows are a good time, family comes who don't live on the Rez, mainly scattered around Wisconsin/ Minnesota. I lived in Milwaukee for a couple years as I attended community college and lived with a friend from the Rez. We brought some friends we met in the city up north and they said it was not how they imagined it. It's pretty normal, we're just all really poor, haha. Bad River Reservation, just outside of Ashland, Wisconsin, come check out the casino, I'll be at the bar.
Perspective[rebelmouse-image 18352921 is_animated_gif=
I grew up on the Navajo Nation; the largest reserve in the U.S. All my family still reside in the area, but I got to leave for college. For the most part, you are isolated from everything civilized. We did not have running water or electricity until I was about 10. My father and uncles had jobs 10 hours away and would make frequent weekend trips home, and the nearest town is probably a good hour drive. I did not realize how difficult our lives were until I moved away for college.
As children, we had the vast open landscape as our playground. We hiked, camped, played tag, all without boundaries or worries that strangers were lurking. It was a close knit community, and families were clustered across the reservation. For example, if you were to visit a family friend, then you could pretty much walk on over to visit their grandparents, siblings, etc.
I would make frequent trips home during college, and suddenly there is a disconnect between you and your home. You leave home again impressed with this overwhelming grief. Not only is alcohol rampant on the reservation, but the quality of life is just unbelievable (compared to the rest of the USA).
Mitakuye Oyasin[rebelmouse-image 18352922 is_animated_gif=
I've lived on Standing Rock in North and South Dakota for almost my entire life (and I'm sure some of you are aware of it now because of our anti-pipeline movement). These are just my experiences:
I lived with my grandmother (who I called iná, mom) and several cousins as a young child, and our house had no running water, electricity, or anything else like that. We had to drive sometimes up to 3 hours away to fill up water tanks, but we usually just used water from the river to wash/bathe/eat/drink/etc. We had a woodstove for cooking, and we used candles, gas lamps, and flashlights at night. When I became school-aged I would try to finish all of my homework at a community center before it got dark. There were hardly any stores and my grandmother was a residential school survivor and was always very reluctant and fearful of leaving the reservation, so we mainly supplied our own food by hunting/gathering/gardening. I definitely have a lot of wild childhood stories, but I wouldn't trade any of those experiences for the world.
After my grandmother passed, I moved in with my aunt. We had about a dozen people living in one of those crappy firetrap HUD trailers so it was constantly chaos. It was pretty much the norm though, and most of the kids only came home to sleep. We got commods (gov't food) but it was never enough so I ended up getting sent to live with a hunka (non-blood/ceremonial) relative after a few years. The schooling was pretty average, but I was considered "advanced" so I took several online courses in addition to my normal classes, and I attended a lot of summer programs too. Those summers were the first time I realized that some people looked down on how we lived, and how different it was for some of them. It was a little hard to accept and a lot of things that other kids said bothered me, but I guess I just got used to ignoring it. I was aware of a lot of the problems in my community, like alcoholism and drug abuse, but I was also aware of how complex those issues are when you throw in a lot of the generational trauma people are dealing with. I saw it in my own family, with how traumatized my older relatives were by their residential school experiences, and how it trickled down and really affected younger people even though it wasn't actually their trauma. It can be really difficult to deal with, and I feel like a lot of people just brush it off or deny that it's an issue altogether.
I went away for university and then I came back and got another degree at our tribal college. I've pretty much dedicated myself to working in the revitalization of our language, and right now I work in a full immersion program for younger children. I also tutor at a few local schools, and work several after-school programs when I can, but my main focus is definitely the language. The main problem is that our biggest resource is managed by Europeans who won't fully commit to community involvement and also aren't too keen on passing the reins onto actual Lakota/Dakota people who are already involved.
Overall, I definitely don't blame people (especially kids) for wanting to leave, and I actually try to encourage young people to leave and have some life experiences away from here. It's so easy to get stuck in this vacuum and fall into some of the vicious cycles that exist around here.
But honestly, I could never see myself permanently leaving. When I'm off-rez, I feel like I sometimes become "The Native Girl" to everyone. In college I felt like I became the spokesperson for every Native person ever to some people, and it was really hard to express myself as an individual around them. And I often felt very uncomfortable hearing some of the things my peers had been taught about us. One guy told me that his dad warned him to never stop on a reservation, and if anyone approached him to just run them over. I had a classmate who wanted to pick my brain all the time because she spent a week on a reservation for a service project once and it was just exhausting. There were a lot of misconceptions (I don't get free anything unless we count a few Pell Grants and a scholarship that covered two semesters of my second degree) and flat out lies they expected me to be an expert spokesperson on.
At home on the rez, I feel like I'm seen as more of a complete person, with interests separate from my Lakota identity. We definitely have a lot of problems and a long way to go in some aspects, but I love being able to visit with elders and hear their stories, and being able to understand them when they speak our language. I love playing handgames with my friends, I love dancing during wacipi season, I love digging prairie turnips with my little cousins, I really just love my community as a whole.
There is nothing more frustrating than the things we cannot say, but desperately want to.
Sometimes, we might find ourselves in situations where we are positively desperate to speak up, but for whatever reason can't.
Even though we know deep down, that people will be better off, or things might run more smoothly if we said something.
Redditor MCKlassik was curious to hear the things that people would benefit from hearing, but will likely never be told, leading them to ask:
"What is something most people need to hear but no one has the guts to tell people?"
Think twice before having children
"Some people aren't fit to be parents."- Busy_Quail1725
"A baby will not save your failing relationship."
"Some parents do not love their children."- Optimal-Green9561
When they blame their ex for the break up.
"Sometimes, it is you and not them."- Ok_String_6735
Don't let the smile fool you
"Just because someone is smiling does not mean that they are happy."
"Smiling is also a sign of nervousness or discomfort."- redge9987not feeling it nicki minaj GIFGiphy
Don't always let you feelings guide you
"Your feelings are important, but they can also lead you astray."
"Listen to them, but question them as well to see where you might be wrong."- PapiSurane
No one likes a know it all
"Not everyone needs to hear your opinion on everything."
"It's ok to have an unexpressed thought."
"Yes, I am aware of the irony expressing this thought."- FuturenazgulKnow It All Nbc GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
Enough with the self pity
"Who you are is not who you are doomed to be."- Smart_Walk8237
When they're one egg short of a dozen
"You need to develop critical thinking and reasoning skills."- balaclavaloungepartylogic andykassier GIFGiphy
When their scent precedes them.
"You should take a shower."- SatanOnLSD
In some cases, it might be worse not to say something, especially if it might actually help their situation.
But when that isn't the case, it's probably best to suck up our pride, and keep our big mouths shut.
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Films can be challenging in what they're trying to say, and if that challenge is too much to answer, don't feel bad for having to turn something off.*The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.
"What’s film is so brutal to watch you had to stop watching it?"
What reason would you have for stopping a movie before it finishes? The cinematography making you dizzy? The subject matter is too much for your to consider?
It'll vary, that's for sure.
"Animals Don't Behave Like Men"
"Hey, it's a cartoon, and it has bunnies!"
"Oh dear god..."
Let's Climb High
"Not brutal, but I had to stop watching the doc Free Solo bc my blood pressure couldn’t handle the stress. This was early on when I had no knowledge of the climber and outcome."
"The Alpinist is the spiritual successor to this because it takes all the danger and pushes the envelope a bit more. However you felt about Free Solo, you’ll feel the same way about The Alpinist, except the guy is a bit more charismatic."
Don't Listen To The Internet. It's Bad.
"Batman and Robin(1997)"
"Batsuit nipples and sh-t zippers."
Perhaps it's the gore that forces you to turn it off, because watching someone being disemboweled for the umpteenth time in a film is not what you consider "entertainment."
Seems Like A Breach Of The Hippocratic Oath...
"I saw some French horror film about a nurse who went to some pregnant ladies house, tormented her, tortured her, then proceeded to cut open her belly with scissors to get the baby out."
"I think that was called Inside. Not really bothered by gore in movies on the whole but that one definitely left me freaked out on the walk home."
You Need To Pick Better "Family" Movies
"The Last House On The Left. The rape scene in that movie was way too brutal for me to get through it. I can still picture scenes of it for some reason, that's how real and violent it felt. Didn't help that it was a movie that my family decided to watch together either. That said, we still tease my mom for picking that movie out as some weird shared trauma bonding experience all these years later. So maybe it wasn't a bad family movie after all????"
You Should See His Joker...
"Requiem for a dream"
"Watched it on a date."
"There was not a second."
Sound Makes Everything
"While I didn't stop watching, Bone Tomahawk was just..... jaezus"
"I stopped but then shortly after gathering myself watched that scene. I think the worst of it is the sound. Whoever did the sound engineering for that scene, from the dude letting out this last gasp of pain he has to the splitting part all of it leaves a lasting impression"
Romantic Revenge With Pretty Dresses
"Midsommar - I think its a psychological horror, I didn't stop watching but it was the most uncomfortable I have ever felt while watching a movie."
"The movie itself is very trippy and honestly disturbing."
Whatever your reason for turning it off, trust your gut. If it's not giving you a good feeling, then maybe it's not the film for you.
There's A Message Buried Under All The Blegh
"a serbian film. awful sh-t"
"I finished it when I was a rebellious 21 year old solely out of spite and wanting to see "the most banned movie" and boy do I wish I'd turned it off."
"It was awful to watch. But (if I remember correctly) the film was made as a statement on the Serbian government. To tell the story of people born into a sh*tty system which they cannot escape."
"In that respect it was an incredible film. However I have to say that, I don't necessarily agree with the visual imagery, it was brutal and perhaps could have been toned down abit."
"Though arguably had to be done to get the point across to an audience who otherwise would have ignored it."
A Movie About Kids. What Could Go Wrong?
"Grave of the Fireflies. One of the only movies I've ever stopped watching partway through."
"Brilliant but one of the darkest movies I've ever seen."
A Grim View Of Our World
"Threads. The most terrifying movie I've ever seen about nuclear disaster. tl;dr it's not something you want to survive"
"It's not even a horror movie, it's a docudrama. That's just how horrific the subject matter is."
"A lot of apocalypse movies offer a very romantic view of what things would be like. Threads (and The Road) show a much more realistic view of it. Just humans slowly becoming feral as they struggle to survive in nightmarish hellscape."
"I made it as far as the hospital scene, stopped watching, and decided that if the nukes are ever flying, the best thing to do is to pray to whatever deity you believe in (or not), then step outside and watch the fireworks."
The Good Guys Will Never Win
"My husband turned it on and started watching it not knowing it. I’m like “oh this is interesting…He’s so annoying! Just leave her alone…Wait what…I can’t watch, but I can’t turn away…”
Summaries are there for a reason, people. Let's start reading them before we press play, especially when our families are in the room.
Was there a movie you turned off partway through? Tell us about it in the comments!
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Being a law-abiding citizen shouldn't be that difficult.
As long as people obey the rules, maintain their morals, and avoid making extremely bad decisions, they will never see the walls inside a prison cell.
Unfortunately, people do often break the law and find themselves in the slammer where their contemplations on life choices come a little too late.
But now that they have nowhere to go, what is the wisdom inmates acquire?
Curious to hear what some of those might be, Redditor Max_Fenig asked:
"Former inmates of Reddit, what are some things about prison that people outside wouldn't understand?"
Many speculations about life behind bars are confirmed here.
"how boring it is. you spend your entire time just waiting. waiting for court. waiting for a sentence. waiting to get out. it’s a level of boredom i never want to experience again."
Misery Loves Company
"Starchy food and a lack of dental care."
Waiting In Lines
"Seriously. Between regular prison stuff, it's all just waiting in lines. Picking up commissary? Go wait in line. Doctors appointment? We'll wake you up at 4am so you can go wait in line. (Also, why did the doctors always have to check me out at 4am? One time, they woke me up for medical and for a split sec I didn't know where I was so I just put my hands down my pants and went back to sleep. Guards just laughed and told me to wake my a** up...lol)"
Like A Psych Ward
"No kidding. Your feeling of helplessness is so intense. I sat there thinking I was just a bit down and sad. So now you lock me up and treat me like child and expect me to suddenly be happy? I didn't gain anything from it except learning to keep my sadness to myself and not reach out for help."
"Left the place barely being able to function from my depression to being so drugged up I could barely function. No change in my status to society etc. Just a change in the cause."
Some former inmates miss the established sense of order and the mundanity of life in prison.
Weird Kind Of Freedom
"Sometimes you miss it once you're out."
"There are some days where I just feel defeated by the daily stresses of life, and I remember being able to wake up every day and not really have to worry about a lot of things: I don't have rent or utilities to pay, I don't have to go grocery shopping, I don't have to do yard work, I don't have to keep a schedule of places to be and worry about making sure I have enough time to get from place to place or anything. It was a weird kind of freedom while being extremely un-free."
The School Analogy
"I think this is part of what I miss about being a kid. School was like an optimistic 'prison' in that we were told what to do and when. But that in itself was freeing, because I didn’t have to worry about planning the day, or my life. I didn’t miss out on things bc we all went to the same things. It felt like the guidance we had would make everything turn out okay."
"This is part of what’s difficult about being an adult, that you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know if youre making the best choices, you constantly fear missing out on other things while doing anything, you got no guarantee of social interaction with others. People aren’t trusting of you by default, and every first interaction is an attempt to convince people that you’re a good enough person to engage with."
"Someone’s always there to catch you from falling and help you out in school as a kid. As an adult, there’s no safety net, no one’s coming to save you, because you’re on your own."
Going Through The Motions
"Yeah, its so easy once you get used to it. Everything is figured out for you, you got a stable rutine and there are clear rules and bounderies. Also you usually have a tight group of friends that you share everything with."
"I spend a year in the army as a conscript and I was pretty down after it ended, because I had to return to a life of a young man where everything was still so unclear and difficult."
Finding A Community
"Honestly, it's not always so bad. These days there are so many drug addicts in low sec prisons that they sometimes group them together in the same blocks. I was one of them, and everyone was respectful and friendly. When I got there I was in full opiate withdrawal and my cell mates gave me food and comfort to help me get through it. This is not always the case, for sure, but I've dealt with worse people on the outside than when I was locked up."
For the most part, ex-cons believed the reality of life in prison didn't closely reflect Hollywood depictions.
Don't Rock The Boat
"Ex-Con here. One thing about Prison I feel like people don’t understand when I tell them my story is that Prison (at least for me) isn’t entirely like what it is in the media. Yeah sure there is Riots, Yard fights, people get shanked, and there scary dudes who look like they want to kill you but in reality they just look mean and scary as a way to protect themselves. For instance there was this big tough dude who was actually a chill dude and got cigs and stuff for others guys if you treated him right. So in reality if you treat other inmates right and don’t bad mouth anyone then you’ll be fine. Just don’t do the what the 'skinny idiot' did, and that is act all SUPER tough and get in peoples faces because that is what will get you beaten up."
"Prison society is exceptionally polite 99% of the time. Inmates have some of the best manners of anyone you will ever interact with. They hold doors for the next person even if they are far away and have to wait. They say please and thank you. They do not insult each other or show disrespect."
"If you are ever in prison and see inmates acting impolite towards each other, get the f'k out of there. That 1% when it's not polite is extraordinarily violent and dangerous."
"I'll take a different angle on this instead of the usual horror stories, as violent and crazy as it was, there were a lot of good parts too. As someone that has had a pretty chaotic life, having a secure day to day life, employment and lots of trusted friends around me for a few years was really nice."
"There's a certain level of comfort that comes with being surrounded by murderers that you're actually friends with, new inmates come and go but you're tucked away in the long term unit where there's a 3 month waiting list to even apply to transfer in, it really was a very peaceful experience for me."
Based on the majority of what was shared here, it may seem those of us who have never served a sentence have wrongful impressions of life behind bars.
We just have to take their word for it.
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I know we're a culture full of over the top whiners.
We love to go on and on about all the things that bother us.
And all of the life impediments that stand in the way of our happiness.
But we need to dial it down a notch.
There is a difference between actual bodily harm and an inconvenience.
Redditorseesnawsnappywanted to mull over what aspects of life make us feel like actual pain but maybe we're exaggerating. They asked:
"What isn't torture but feels like it?"
I hated waiting tables. You have no idea the actual torture, ok not actual, but misery one must endure.
Dial UpSpongebob Squarepants Internet GIFGiphy
"Slow internet : pretty salty"
"Connected but no internet : a n g r y"
Out of the Way!
"Traffic when you’re already late."
"Being stuck in traffic, and having a poop locked and loaded in the chamber. Stupid drivers wrecking all the time and having me prairie doggin' for an extra hour."
"Worst part for me is I don't have to poop until Im stuck in the car i get the urge before I leave and I try to go and it doesn't happen but when I'm the car without a bathroom within 50 miles it's like I've taken a laxative it's so terrible."
"Food delivery being over the estimated time."
"Or when the time keeps getting extended further and further and further and you have a 6 AM flight the next morning and then you check and it turns out the restaurant closed 2.5 hours ago but Doordash still says that a Dasher was waiting for an order and you have to give up and have sleep for dinner."
"Having a 230 appointment the whole day is ruined."
"I had one of those today! It was the only appt available this week, and fell right in the middle of an 8 hour shift. So I left and took my cat to the vet, brought her home, and went back to work. Honestly, not nearly as bad as if it was scheduled on an off day. Lucky to have a boss that understands pet needs, too."
JawsKids Running GIF by PinkfongGiphy
"Baby Shark… Never mind that is torture."
If I hear that song again... I can't even think about it.
Swollen GlandsSore Throat Radang GIF by K Health | Digital Primary CareGiphy
"I caught strep for the first time in my early twenties when working at a daycare/preschool, and it actually was torture. My throat was so swollen it felt like I was swallowing glass and every time I tried to swallow I couldn't really get all my saliva to go down so I was pretty sure I was just going to drown in my own spit."
"When you lose 5g and it kicks you back down to 4 and it won’t load a webpage even though 2 years ago it would’ve had it up in 2 seconds."
"Long story short with physics, it’s frequency vs power. Then providers think they need to upgrade some parts but not others. There’s a reason, but it’s a stupid reason."
"This makes me furious. How in the hell is having only 4g as slow as when we didn't have 4g at all years ago? Ridiculous."
"Being on one of those slow-moving people movers and stuck behind someone who is just standing there instead of walking."
"I yelled 'get out of the way' this morning to a guy that was walking slow when a car was behind him and I need to get to where the car was coming from."
"Waiting at the doctor's office. (USA). They have the audacity to charge you a fee for being late and calling it a 'no-show' but damned if I've ever been to a 2pm appointment that actually began earlier than 2:30-2:45."
"45 minutes is ok, in France we don't pay for doctors but it's possible to wait 2 or 3h after the original time of appointment."
"I remember having regular appointments for physical therapy that never started on time. The magazines in the waiting room were crap, so I started bringing a really long novel with me."
ForeverComedy Central Advertising GIF by South ParkGiphy
"Watching 2 unskippable 30 second ads, it's only a minute but it feels like an eternity."
Well there are worse things in life. We do whine a lot.
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