September 11, 2001
Almost everyone who has memories of 2001, knows where they were and what they were doing on September 11.
Many say it is the Pearl Harbor or JFK assassination of Generation X.
But what about those people in the air on that fateful day?
Reddit user n8th8n0101 asked "To the people on a plane on 9/11, what did your pilots tell you when they grounded all flights?"
Here are their stories.
London to Los Angeles
My wife and I were flying from London to Los Angeles - about three hours into the flight my wife asked why the flight map on her video screen showed the plane flying east instead of west (apparently the 747 had just completed a slow turn). At that exact moment the pilot came over the speaker and told us the plane would be going back to the UK because there had been an incident in New York and that US airspace had been closed down. All passengers were requested to remain in their seats and the air phones were turned off. We ended up landing in Cardiff, Wales -- there were several 747s at the runway by the time we arrived.
The minute the plane landed dozens of cell phones were ringing. All the events of the day came all at once -- towers hit, towers collapsed, Pentagon hit and another plane crashed in PA and worst of all thousands had died. People were just stunned learning all these details. The airport terminal was just overwhelmed -- there were thousands of people and the support staff were doing their best to assist us but they had little information or resources. First they said that flights would be departing the next day so we could be getting overnight accommodation. My wife said there was no way that anyone would be flying anywhere in the near future and our best bet would be to catch a train back to London. Fortunately there were several passengers that had the same thought and somehow they arranged to get a bus chartered to take us back to Heathrow. While waiting for the bus we found a television and were able to see the images of the day. People were watching in stunned silence and many were weeping. Upon boarding the bus my wife and I shared a set of earbuds which was plugged into a radio that had a US feed going through local UK stations -- the news just kept getting worse and it was clear that the world had changed while we had been in the air. At about 1am the bus arrived at Heathrow which was absolutely deserted. Eventually we made it back to our flat in Weybridge -- we stayed up watching CNN International for the next few hours and as the sun came up we finally got some sleep.
It was a day we have spoken of often since that time and one we will never forget. I still have the boarding passes in my desk.
Singapore to Seattle
A friend of mind was a pilot for Singapore Airlines flying Singapore to Seattle. He was diverted into Canada, but only told the passengers the bare minimum that they were being diverted to another airport. It wasn't until they got inside the airport terminal and saw the TV that they understood why they were diverted. (Even he was surprised at the scale compared to what ATC told him.)
He was also the pilot in command of the first commercial aircraft to enter US airspace when it was reopened, and he recalled being terrified of deviating from his planned track. He had an uneasy feeling in the back of his mind that there was likely an F-14 a few thousand feet above him ready to vaporise them if he moved unexpectedly.
Dallas to Boston
Not me but my mom, who was and still is a flight attendant. She was working a flight from DFW-BOS that morning, they were approaching the northeast when they were diverted to Akron, OH. I'm not sure what she was specifically told but I know they knew something was up. Their flight communications are even included in transcripts from that day.
By that time both towers had been hit and they were headed west over Pennsylvania to land. My mom said they were all on edge not really comprehending the severity of the situation and wondering whether they might be hijacked themselves. They were communicating with Cleveland on the ground when the hijacking of United 93 began over western PA, so there was communication between both flights and ground trying to confirm that the screaming etc they heard on the frequency was really a hijacking? Apparently United 93 was right behind them and my mom says the crew was back and forth up in the cockpit and in the galley looking out the windows trying to see the plane, while trying not to scare passengers.
She was stuck there for a few days until finally renting a car with some crew and driving back to TX. Was supposed to be a simple turn around run that day and she didn't bring any luggage. She always carries an overnight bag now just in case and was the first person in my family to get a cellphone immediately after this.
The airline gave crew optional 6 month leave in the months following. Where I grew up there were many airline families, some took leave and some didn't but my mom said she had to go back to work without interruption or else she'd never be able to get back on a plane afterwards.
Me and my brother were on our way to NYC this day. Our flight had barely left Paris (CDG) when we suddenly went into a descent. The Captain made an announcement that they had been ordered to return to Paris but couldn't comply due to the by then already crowded airport. So we landed in Dublin.
The airline told us that we were to be flown back the next day, but nobody really believed that, news to the why and how still being scarce.
We were free to leave the airport though, so me, my brother and a couple of guys from our flight shared a cab into town, going for a pub crawl. When in Ireland...
Where I met a girl whose flight got grounded too. Long story short:
Our kids are 6 & 9 and remind us every day: Nothing in this world is so bad that it doesn't have an upside to it.
Hong Kong to London
I was flying Hong Kong to London, so wasn't subject to the flight groundings, but the pilot told us there had 'been an incident' in New York and there would be increased security at the terminal.
Arrived at Heathrow and there were dozens of police walking around with sub-machine guns (English police might not be regularly armed but they do not mess around when they feel they need to be.) Still not sure what's up, but definitely something serious.
My parents grabbed a newspaper to try and figure out what happened and flipped through the very scanty initial reports with the big picture of the burning towers on the cover, while queuing for security . Person behind them asked if they could have a look and you could subsequently hear people gasping one by by one as the paper made its way down the queue.
Atlanta to Denver
I was flying from Atlanta to Denver. Our flight was forced to land in Tulsa, OK. We were told that there was a terrorist attack in NY and that our aircraft had been ordered to land. The pilot did not mention that ALL aircraft had been ordered to land. As the only brown person on board I thought: Great, they must think that I am a suspect and now we have to land.
Once we landed and I saw all the planes jamming the tarmac, I realized that it was something really big.
Newark and the Museum
My dad flew on 9/11 from Newark to Boston for work. He was on an earlier flight than any of this. Once he touched down in Boston and heard what happened, him and his coworker drove home (back to NJ) from Boston. Typically it's about a 4 hour drive. It took them almost 9. They didn't have to drive home but wanted to know we were okay. There was also barely any cell coverage on my home town end since we were so close to NYC.
I know this doesn't answer your question directly, but man this day hits home for me. It eats my dad alive to this day how he still believes he saw those guys in one of the airports and didn't know it.
I could see the smoke rising from my middle school like no tomorrow was in sight. No one went back to school for about 2 weeks. A lot of kids I went to school with had family members pass away. The anniversary always haunts me. I visited the 9/11 memorial and museum in NY a few years back with this girl I was seeing. She had never been to NY before and I felt crazy when I honestly started to cry inside (the museum). All the emotions got to me at once.
It's a day I'll never forget. And definitely a day that many more people other than myself will never forget for even worse reasons. I feel incredibly lucky to have a dad that's still alive today, when many of my friends do not have parents or relatives that are so lucky.
~ The 9/11 museum is very well done but I wish I was a little more mentally prepared before visiting it. I expected it to be more "cold statistics" and maybe lists of names but it's not that at all. For anyone who hasn't been, there are videos and pictures and stories of all the people who died that day, memories from their families, voicemail recordings of calls from the day. The last phone calls from people who were in the buildings and realized they weren't getting out. Stories from people who weren't in the office that day and in a blink of an eye lost every one of their coworkers. It's haunting and tragic.~
*We were told when we went in to expect it to take 2 hours to see everything. 7 hours later I walked out. I cried. A lot. I'm a 33 year old guy from the UK.
Nothing can prepare you for the room with the Pennsylvania crash calls. Nor the room with the jumpers from the WTC.
I was more emotionally exhausted than I have ever been after finishing.*
Orlando to Kansas City
I was 9 when 9/11 occurred and my family were returning home from a birthday trip to Disney, (my birthday is September 12th, 1991, so I was turning 10 that very next day) so Orlando to Kansas City. I don't remember the specifics but it didn't feel like we were in the air long at all (our flight had been at 8:20) before the captain had come onto the overhead speakers to tell us that there had been some pretty serious incidents occurring in New York City and that they were told to land as soon as possible and that we'd be diverted to Houston.
As soon as we landed, my dad had called my uncle (who lives in Hackensack, but worked in NYC) and my uncle had told him everything. My dad literally exclaimed into a kind of gasp-sob and that was the first and only time I've ever come close to seeing him cry. When we got off the plane, it was all over the televisions throughout the airport. My mom and dad practically clung to us the entire time from the airport to our hotel nearby.
The whole thing is something I cannot and will not ever forget.
My step dad was a pilot flying small private jets, and was in the air when it happened. He said they just told him to land immediately and he had to go into the airport to find out why, and what happened, and go back to the plane to tell the passengers.
I used to work with someone who owned a small plane. He was grounded for months, because his plane was parked in a no-fly zone. I don't recall what he was too close to -- whether it was a major city (Seattle), major airport, or military base.
Same thing happened with my dad, he was riding a chartered business flight from the Midwest toward the east coast. Had to land somewhere in the middle. Dad & coworkers got a rental car to keep going, but the pilot had to stay with the plane for weeks.
Air Traffic Control
It's so surreal to see the US airspace completely empty.
Here is a time lapse of the day.
Toronto to Montreal
(The pilot said) nothing...complete silence about it. I was flying from Toronto to Montreal. I noticed that the breakfast service ended abruptly and the stewards were acting funny, standing at the bulkheads and visually scanning the passengers. I listened to hear if the plane sounded funny or was behaving oddly...nothing was out of the ordinary so I went back to reading my paper.
Disembarked into a sea of people in Montreal, when I came down the escalator I didn't know where I was going to stand...that many people.
Many, many Americans that had no idea they would be visiting Canada that day. They were on the PA asking for people with extra rooms to lend, and Montreal'ers took them all into their homes...within an hour they were saying they had enough available rooms.
Not entirely plane related, but my Dad worked near the towers and got off the train to see the second plane crash. It really messed him up inside. We lived in the Bronx, and everyday he went to the Park Avenue Armory where people lined up to find out about their loved ones.
My Dad noticed that many didn't speak English and they were having a hard time communicating. He wrote Translation Services on a piece of paper and stapled it to his shirt and spoke Spanish, French, and Russian. He got the relief effort to spread the word to get translators. It was all over the radio and TV.
The Japanese government heard and sent their best translators by special permission on a direct flight to New York (one of the few planes that could come to New York.) A Japanese bank had work space in the towers, and the relatives of the workers also came.
By the end, hundreds of people came, even those of more obscure languages from Algeria and Azerbaijan, among others. There was a fleet of Punjabi, Afrikaans, Creole, Korean, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese. It's wondrous to see how something as simple as talking binds all of us. The City began implementing translation services everywhere since.
I was 12 years old at the time and didn't understand the impact. Today at age 28, I know my Dad was a hero.
Link to: an article translated from Spanish to English from El Diario about my father.
Link to: the original Spanish article
Washington DC to Miami
My dad was an armed high ranking federal agent. He was flying from DC to Miami. He usually sleeps on flights but was woken up somewhere over Southern Virginia, and asked to come to the cockpit. The pilots told him to guard the cockpit, and that he was authorized to shoot - he spoke to someone over the cockpit communication system confirming the authorization. He was given the jump seat next to the cockpit during landing, so he could see if anyone stood up. He told me later that the reason they were allowed to continue to Miami instead of putting down in the Carolinas was because he was on the plane.
When he died in 2010, my mom showed me the piece of paper he had kept, with his notes from that radio transmission. I think my older brother has them now.
When he landed, he was met by the three guys he was flying down to meet with, and they all drove back overnight, getting back just in time to help oversee the search at the Pentagon, where he worked.
I've never seen him as shaken as the day he brought home a piece of the desk from his office.
Los Angeles to Melbourne
I was on a plane from LA to Melbourne, with a stop-over via Auckland, and 9/11 happened while we were in the air.
Halfway through the flight, all the flight attendants got really nervous, and the pilot told us that due to a safety issue, the seatbelt sign was kept on throughout the flight, which we all found really confusing.
When we landed in New Zealand, there were armed guards with machine guns to greet us - which is very out of the ordinary for New Zealand. The first reports the flight attendants gave us was that it was the Empire State Building that had been attacked, that was how confused initial reports were. We were luckily allowed to fly on to Melbourne, but after that all international flights in Australia were grounded for a few days.
My parents were flying the morning of 9/11. I dropped them off at the airport and drove to work. First tower was hit as I pulled into the parking lot. Radio people thought it was just a fire at the tower. As I went into work and checked the news, it became clear a plane hit it. As I was on the phone with my buddy, the second plane hit on the live TV he was watching. That's when it was clear this was intentional.
Started to tell my boss I needed to pick up my parents, but he cut me off and said, "GO!". I called my parents as I ran to the car. The TVs at the gates had all been turned off and they announced no flights would be taking off. I raced to the airport, picked them up, and drove home to eerily empty roads and sky.
Also weird was suddenly seeing a lot of planes really low as they headed to the airport near us to get out of the air.
And what made it even more surreal was that it was such a gorgeous day. It was so clear and the blue of the sky was beautiful. It felt almost inappropriate or irreverent.
I remember when they let planes fly again, I was a little traumatized every time one would fly over. It took me months to break the habit of staring at each one, making sure it wasn't crashing.
My father worked for Delta at the time as a supervisor in the airport. He was working a flight that was about to push back when everything shut down. He had the final paperwork for the flight crew and ran down to let them know they weren't going anywhere. Air Traffic Control had just announced the shutdown to all aircraft on the ground.
No details were given over the radio, just that an incident had happened in NYC and all flights were grounded. He announced over the plane's PA that the flight was canceled due to an unknown incident and everyone could retrieve their luggage in a few minutes.
There were no TVs in the gate area back then, but a few of the shops and snack bars had TVs in the ticketing area. As people got near a TV the word spread. Everyone collected their bags and left the airport. From about 11:00 on, the airport was deserted except for airline employees.
New Jersey to Georgia
I was on a United flight from Newark to Atlanta that morning. We were in the air when everything happened and were supposed to land about 9:00. Just before landing they held us in a"holding pattern" in the air. At about 9:30 we landed. No announcements were made on the plane.
Just as we got to the gate and people started turning their phones on, I hear phones start ringing everywhere.
"What happened...." "A plane hit what..."
At that point my phone started to ring as well. It was my wife wanting to make sure I wasn't on one of the planes. And she filled me in on what was known then. The pilot and cabin crew did not say anything about what happened in the air.
There was an eerie silence in the terminal. I did not see any TV screens. I went directly to the car rental company, got a car and started driving north, back to NY. Listening to the radio as much as I could the whole way back...
Across the Atlantic
London to Chicago. Pilot told us there had been a major incident and US airspace was closed. Asked us not to talk or speculate with other passengers about the incident (to minimize panic).
We turned our phones on as we taxied on landing in Montreal. Both towers were already down and phones were going crazy, people who had managed to get a call through were sobbing and trying to explain to those whose phones wouldn't connect what they had just heard. Absolute sense of disbelief all round and it didn't really hit until I saw it on tv in the hotel.
One thing we were told at the time by the pilot was that the pilot was out of direct contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) in both London and the USA at the time, so they were talking to the plane behind them, who was talking to the plane behind them, who was talking to ATC somewhere. So they were getting garbled second or third hand information from multiple sources about planes crashing and hijackings and trying to inform their passengers while not being sure of the information they had received themselves.
When you fly over the Atlantic there is no regular direct contact with Air Traffic Control except through high frequency radio which is only used sparingly in absolute emergencies. On 9/11 they would have wanted to keep radio traffic to a minimum in case of another hijacking.
Logan International Airport
My father was the Air Traffic Control supervisor for Logan Airport on 9/11 which is where the hijacked planes originated from. Before they hit the World Trade Center (WTC) my dad knew they had been hijacked. They lost contact and then saw on the news that a plane had hit the WTC. He called Federal Aviation Administration headquarters and they thought it was a prank. By the time the second plane hit NORAD was telling him to ground every aircraft in their airspace.
He said the hardest part was not being able to watch the news. All of his controllers desperately wanted to watch, but they had to get all of those planes down. There were several times when they thought more planes had been hijacked. He told me it was the absolute worst day of his life.
Link to: Recordings of ATC communications from that day on YouTube - at the end of the recording you hear a controller warning incoming flights to increase their cockpit security, and the controller sounds so broken and exhausted.
Our Neighbors to the North
I was flying from London to Dallas and was diverted to Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. We estimate we must have been very close to Manhattan when the first plane hit. None of the crew would tell us what was going on, only that the USA had closed it's airspace due to an aviation incident and we would be redirected to somewhere in Canada. We landed at Gander, Newfoundland along with (eventually) 37 other jumbo jets; all 38 of those planes almost doubled the population of the town.
~This small Canadian town on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean took in nearly 6,700 people with no prior warning. Their hospitality to the unexpected house guests, from nearly 100 countries, drew worldwide accolades and inspired the Broadway musical: _Come From Away. _The airport there marks the closest point between Europe and the U.S. and is a preferred emergency landing spot for medical and other emergencies. The 38 planes came "fast and furious" into the airport. Officials spent the next 31 hours unloading luggage and people.~
After we had landed, the captain told everyone what had happened and there was of course utter shock on the plane, lots of tears (most poignantly from two middle eastern gentleman sitting across the aisle from me) and conversations. After several hours waiting on the plane eventually we were moved into the airport where we officially entered Canada as refugees(!) We were allowed our cabin bags but there was no access to the luggage in the hold.
There was hot food waiting for us in the airport and we were then moved onto school buses and driven to various places around the town, I think it was about 22:00 (10pm) by this time. Spent three nights sleeping on a church hall floor with mattresses, pillows and covers donated by locals, others slept on the fire station floor etc, wherever there was room, and were fed three meals a day by volunteers. There was just one hotel in town and the flight crews and those too infirm to sleep on the floor, were put into that. The local University opened it's computer rooms so people could email home and the local phone company put loads of phones out on the pavement to try and ease the massive queue to what we think was the only payphone in the town.
If anyone from Gander is reading this, you all have a heart of gold, the way we were all looked after.
After those three nights, we were woke up early by a British Airways member of staff about flying back to London. We were all moved onto a school bus where we sat for a long time before we were driven back to the airport. Went through the usual security procedures at the airport, reboarded the plane and took off for England.
Plane took off, everyone applauded once we were up in the air (first and last time I've ever seen that happen after take off instead of landing!) and we landed back at Heathrow. Declined British Airways' offer to book new flights to Dallas and instead accepted a refund. We decided we'd only have about two weeks of what would have been a three week holiday left and also we'd rather Americans trying to get home had the seats.
Link to: Operation Yellow Ribbon - Canada essentially became a giant aircraft car-park, 238 aircraft were diverted to 17 different Canadian airports, 33,000-40,000 people.
You know, I've seen countless "no texting while driving campaigns" and I agree with the premise. I think it is dangerous not to have your eyes on the road. That's how accidents happen. With that said, don't car manufacturers think it's counterintuitive to include touchscreens instead of knobs or dials in new cars these days? You have to take your eyes off the road to adjust anything. I think it's hazardous, especially if you happen to be driving in inclement weather.
After Redditor TheTenthDimension asked the online community, "What's your best example of 'Whoever designed this must not use their own product'?" people shared some suggestions.
"I've personally worked on projects..."<p>Here's a fun one. We just installed a bunch of new Kronos badge readers at work. The type you swipe your ID card to clock in and out. Everyone at work wears a lanyard that is attached at the top middle by a plastic strap, and your badge must always be displayed while at work.</p><p>Anyway when you go to swipe your badge in the new reader the card reader slot is too deep because the lanyard attachment on your badge hits the slot and prevents you from fully swiping your ID so you have to take your ID fully off the lanyard to get it to swipe now.</p><p>I've personally worked on projects at the Kronos headquarters, when I saw this design flaw I was not surprised one bit, between that and the usability of their web portals it seemed pretty par for the course for Kronos.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqn3t0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Brancher</a></p>
"I have a fan..."<p>I have a fan with a bright LED light that shows what setting it's on. Luckily, there's a 'sleep' mode that makes the light dimmer. Except another light comes on to let you know sleep mode is on, and that one is at full brightness. Just... why?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqpcsw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ArtemisJQ</a></p>
"Engineers must have forgotten..."<p>All TVs without at least the basic controls on the TV. Engineers must have forgotten the possibility of breaking or losing the remote.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqi1tq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">willbeach8890</a></p>
"Straps can stretch out..."<p>BRAS.</p><p>Straps can stretch out during a long day's wear. Whose brilliant idea was it to put the adjusters in the <span style="background-color: initial;">back</span> where you can't see or reach them?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqlzt3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aphid61</a></p>
"For someone who has a really hard time..."<p>The system to get help with mental health, like anxiety and depression. For someone who has a really hard time with making phone calls, it's tough to get help when every step requires more phone calls and appointments. Not to mention how expensive counseling is.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqsuv0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Ipomoeatricolor</a></p>
"To make matters worse..."<p><span>We got these new pin pads where I work and the slide part for the credit cards is at a 45-degree angle instead of completely sideways or completely up and down. To make matters worse a light illuminates the slide area, but when you're looking at it from the perspective of the customer it makes it look like there's nowhere to slide the card at all due to where the angle of the light hits. I've seen people struggle for thirty seconds trying to find where to slide their cards before I have to show them. Unfortunately, there are some functions where a customer has to slide their card and not insert the chip. The cherry on top is that these pin pads do not have tap to pay or Apple/Samsung pay functionality...</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqjbqf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Grand_Corgi</a></p>
"Bathrooms in brand new..."<p>Bathrooms in brand new (and fairly expensive) homes seem to be designed for women by men who have no idea what the majority of women (and some men) really need.</p><ol><li>nice vanities but no real storage.</li><li>walk-in closets that you access through the bathroom, so if one of you is using the toilet, you either walk in on them or wait until they're finished before you can get to the closet.</li><li>beautiful walk-in showers with completely inadequate space for shampoo and etc</li><li>beautiful walk-in showers with nowhere to put your foot when you shave.</li></ol><p><span>Not about the bathroom, but in those walk-in closets, nothing configured for dresses or long coats.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjrm865?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">product52403</a></p>
"The volume control..."<p>The volume control on a car radio should always be a twist knob, not a slider on a screen. There's no way to use a slider without taking your eyes off the road.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjrik9s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">picksandchooses</a></p>
"I can't think of anything more infurating..."<p>McGraw-Hill products.</p><p>I can't think of anything more infuriating and less educational. My teachers use them for absolutely everything.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqsj9w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SuckMyClock</a></p>
"I once stayed..."<p>I once stayed in a "trendy" "designer" hotel which was clearly designed by someone who had never stayed in a hotel. The only lights were dim as hell mood lighting, and the windows were floor-to-ceiling with blackout blinds but no net curtains, so if you needed to see anything clearly then your only option was to have zero privacy. Never staying there again!</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwoa5/whats_your_best_example_of_whoever_designed_this/gjqf041?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">inflatablefish</a></p>
If only all the things we excelled at were also the very things we loved to do most. But sadly, that is not the way it goes.
Instead, some horrible force of the universe made you way better at, say, sewing the holes of pants than playing guitar. The universe can be a spiteful, fickle jerk.
Art, Forced Upon<p>"Not me but - my friend has taken piano lessons since he was 6 years old and is f***ing amazing at it. But it was much more of a 'parents with high expectations forcing him to take lessons' sort of deal."</p><p>"He hates playing the piano, which is really sad...and his parents kind of suck"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6kydd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SnooMarzipans9028</a></p>
Conditions for Very Good Work Ethic<p>"Cleaning. I f***ing hate it, so when I do it, I make sure not even the smallest stain is left so I can postpone the next session as long as possible." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6mfa5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">avadakabi***</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I have a weird quirk where, when I get sick, I have a compulsion to clean. Its like my brain says 'you are already miserable, you may as well do stuff that you hate so you don't have to be made miserable later, when you are feeling better.'"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My wife has gotten to the point where she almost looks forward to me getting sick because she knows the house will be spotless by the end of the day." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6p160?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BranWafr</a></p>
The Introvert's Dilemma<p>"Being nice to people. I can be very pleasant if needed, but it's also very draining." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6ktfn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">nomadinlimbo</a><span></span></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"This is me as well! People are so surprised when I tell them that I identify as an introvert."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"People need to understand that being an introvert is not necessarily always about an inability to act naturally in groups, sometimes it's more about how hard that might be. When I've spent time in social situations I feel completely drained afterwards." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6yg6n?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DorneForPresident</a></p>
The Debate Goes On<p>"Coding. Never make your favorite hobby your job, kids!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6nv49?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mortambulist</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Too late. Turned my hobby into my college major and then into my job. Now I don't like doing it anymore lol." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7kqs5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SpecialChain</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Eh, or do. Often it works out. I held off going into tech precisely for that reason and did physics instead. Hated it and switched."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I enjoy my job, it happens." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7fs07?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ApprehensiveSand</a></p>
Can't Decide If Kafka Would Be Proud or Devastated<p>"Bureaucratic red tape type paper work. I guess I am just very good at filling out tons of forms and papers. Also sort of part of my job."</p><p>"I don't like it, but I am very good at it."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6m9x4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BigBearSD</a></p>
The Go-To Friend<p>"I am fantastic at moving furniture, either around the house, or from one home to another. I don't f*** up walls, and I can definitely get that bureau of yours through the doorway."</p><p>"But don't call me and ask me to help you move sh**, I'm busy that day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6ng58?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">InternetKidsAreMean</a></p>
Bad at Parties<p>"Being analytical. Life would be so much easier if I could turn my brain off and just have a knee jerk emotional reaction to everything like society expects right now."</p><p>"Pro tip: when asked about a current hot topic, 'I'm waiting for the whole story to come out' is not the correct answer."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj705jt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FuerGrisaOstDrauka</a></p>
Doomed to Phone Duty<p>"I'm good at customer service, helping people on the phone, etc. but those jobs are soul sucking black holes" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6r01i?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheRealOcsiban</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I so feel this. I've had a few customer service jobs, and I was very good at them but I f***ing HATE customers, entitled little sh**s, every last one of them, even the nice ones. Instead of picking up the phone or standing at the desk thinking 'how can I help?' I'd just be thinking 'WHAT do you want NOW?'"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"But I was good at it, and as I think it's due to me genuinely liking to listen to people's problems and help them (just not in a customer service setting) I decided to retrain as a Psychologist." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7pach?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Zhylia</a></p>
Hospitality Trumps Laziness, For a Night<p>"Cooking. I only cook for other people (I love throwing parties) but when I'm eating by myself it's takeout, ramen, and frozen meatballs all day. The idea of slaving over a stove for hours when I just want to grab a bowl of canned junk food and go back to watching youtube videos irritates me."</p><blockquote>Cook smarter, not harder<br></blockquote><p>"Still too much work."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6z7fl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ryeshoes</a></p>
The Logical End of the Game<p>"Monopoly, like freakishly good at it. I'll win every game. But people are going to hate me..." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj6ohmr?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sadpanda___</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"My oldest son is like that. No one in the family will play with him anymore." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj753qh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">momtimesthree</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"This is the way. The trick to monopoly is to grind the other players into dust. Slowly. Brutishly. Inevitably."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Then you never have to play the wretched game again and as a bonus you've ruined the game for others. You must do your part to break the cycle of familial abuse that is monopoly." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kwvdr2/whats_something_youre_really_good_at_but_dont/gj7fjh3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">nefariousinnature</a></p>
In a perfect world, family has your back harder than anyone else.
In the real world, it can sometimes be your family that cuts deeper than anyone else. Intentional or not, the people closest to you have the ability to seriously super suck.
No, you're not the only one who has dealt with a mom who just, for the life of themselves, can't NOT be critical. Or a dad who just always seemed chronically underwhelmed by you.
Too Young To Have Problems<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUzMjM3Mi9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzU4OTQ4Nn0.IS0f7DOIDbguteBysLtbbRK28ICbWY8p6Q7DuQ0H_Yk/img.gif?width=980" id="09640" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0b52e8847e8a71ba3bd6f885e7e10ac0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="270" />sad carry on GIF by MasterChef JuniorGiphy<p>As a child (13) i was diagnosed with kidney cancer. </p><p>The news hit me pretty hard because, as a kid that had lost family to cancer, I knew how serious it was. My diagnosis threw me into horrid depression.</p><p>The mother of my step father (so step grandma) laughed at me when the news got to her because "You're too young to have problems so just get over it."</p><p>My mother was flabbergasted. She already hated the woman. Probably a factor in us cutting her completely out of our life once my step father passed - he had already been in the hospital for 2 years at that point and he hated watching the two of them (my mother and his mother) fight. </p><p>My mother sparred telling him for the sake of peace. He died without ever knowing what his mom said. </p><p>I'm still in and out of remission, currently doing good. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhlwlc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">metalicoe</a></p>
"Like You Ruined Mine"<p>When I (a married adult) told my father I was expecting a baby he said: </p><p>"Get an abortion, a kid will ruin your life, like you ruined mine." </p><p>Broke my heart. My kids are the two best things that have ever happened to me and my husband. </p><p>They are adults now and I cannot for the life of me ever understand how a parent could feel the way my father feels, much less understand why he would say such a vile thing. </p><p>It says more about him than me. His loss.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhmzb3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Veganmon</a></p>
Not The Call OP Was Expecting<p>Toxic childhood, my mother had no parenting skills. </p><p>When I was 15 she assaulted me pretty terribly for asking if she would buy groceries because I hadn't eaten in a few days. I moved out the next day and couch surfed for a long time. </p><p>After putting myself through university and getting an advanced honors degree, she called me... to tell me that I'm stuck up and think I'm better than my family.</p><p> I'm doing well now. I have a lovely wife who loves me, a good job even through the pandemic, and I haven't spoken to my family in a long time, which is for the best. </p><p>Still struggling through that for sure (guilt, anger, etc.), but doing alright with it.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhojy7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AwkwardCranberry7</a></p>
Too Ugly, Too Dark<p>My mom wouldn't ever let me go to parties with her and my dad when I was a kid. She brings my sister and little brother though because they have light skin (we're from Asia).</p><p>One day I dressed up and got ready because everyone else did. And then she asked me "Why are you getting ready?" and I asked why "Aren't we going to a party?". She stared at me and told me "No... you're too ugly" in our language.</p><p>I'm 21 now and our relationship has never been the same since. I aged well though thankfully but it still stings whenever I remember it.</p><p>I also remember our most recent fight - I was mad that my sister who graduated college more than 5 years ago now still gets allowance while I, still in school, with full units, with a full scholarship, am working for my own bills and allowance.</p><p>None of my siblings had to work while they're studying. Now she even gets my savings and gets mad at me whenever I ask for it back. </p><p>I know my life's sucky right now but after I'm done with school, I'm planning on going no-contact with everyone and will build my own life and hopefully find people who truly love me.<br></p><p><span></span>Sorry for the rant. It's nice to let out a little sometimes when I can.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhkl3l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">artmxs</a></p>
Not Exactly Worried About A Rapist's Review<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUzMjM3MC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTM2ODk0NX0.NMwYKi-EBJ9bpQ0GUjxSNKu3y9KRzGNdk4qeHWrC8H4/img.gif?width=980" id="afb3c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="67bb89c5864aed944e8e133953536cf1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="444" />cat illustration GIFGiphy<p>I'm a pale woman with dark body hair. My mother saw that I hadn't shaved my legs in a while and said: <br>"You need to shave that hair off, what happen if you get attacked and they rush you to emergency and the doctors have to see that hair?<br>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhunb9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">grindelvvald</a></p>
Beat Me Stupid<p>My dad told me if I didn't change my attitude my future husband would beat me stupid. </p><p>I'm actually married to a very smart and kind man. My father is, and always has been, a piece of sh*t. </p><p>Me always being strong was what made my father hate me even more. He was abusive and would hit us. So this was a common thing he would say to break me down.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhaawj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">postylowkeyokey</a></p>
Too Stupid, Naïve and Immature<p>When I was in middle school I applied for a college training type program. They help you apply, gain knowledge etc while you're still in school. </p><p>On the way to the interview my dad told me he was wasting his money, gas and time on something so ridiculous, because I was too stupid, naïve and immature to ever be accepted into this program, let alone graduate hs or make it to college.</p><p>I spent that entire ride bawling my eyes out, aced that interview, and had my first two years of college paid for. F*ck you dad.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhf1sq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">GothSpite</a></p>
What Do You Even Contribute?<p>I (23f) got a notice in the mail saying that my insurance company was lowering my rates on car and rental policies. I told my mom (53) and she said, "rental? What do you even contribute to the house?"</p><p>I'm 23 years old, I'm a medical biller and make a decent salary for someone who has two years experience but not enough to move out yet. When my dad passed away at age 49 from cancer five years ago, I helped my mom a lot by helping her settle my dad's will, help her make financial decisions, cook, clean, signed us up for medical insurance, help my older brother (26) with his and her taxes I also helped him apply for school financial aid. I was a teenager. </p><p>I took time off of work take care of her after two major surgeries because my brother didn't feel "comfortable". I would drive him to places too. We use to share a car and I paid for over $100 a month for gas and he would only give me $20. </p><p>I snapped at my mom because I know if I didn't step up my older brother wouldn't even do anything. I told her everything I did and still do for this family. I don't mind that they rely on me to help them but I'm not going to set myself on fire to keep them warm anymore. </p><p>My mom did apologize and she didn't realize how much I did for her and my older brother. I accept the apology but those words still sting my heart.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhl6qx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Calypos_Luna</a></p>
I Left For A Reason<p>I tracked down my estranged mother a couple years ago after she had been gone from my life since I was 5. When she figured out who I was, her response was: <br>"I don't have a daughter. I left for a reason." </p><p>Then she hung up the phone and I just stood there in my living room trying not to cry. It hurt, but I made it 34 years without her and I have every intention of continuing to do so.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhizb4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">feralhippie</a></p>
She Took My Hand And Said...<p>When I was 9 I adored my older sister (8 years older than me). I just wanted to be like her in every way. </p><p>One day I did something (probably an annoying little sister thing) and she took my hand, led me to my room and told me, "you don't understand how powerful the word hate is yet but you one day will and you should know I hate you. 100% hate you." </p><p>She said it so matter of factly and just walked out. It broke my heart. Changed me from that day forward.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhx4d9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KaEcold</a></p>
After Mom Died<p>After my mother died, my first cousin's wife told me that I was no longer a member of the family because I was adopted (as an infant, FYI) and the death of my mother severed my membership in the family. I was 41 when she said this to me.</p><p>For an adopted child—at least for me, fear of rejection is an early childhood trauma you can't escape. I had WONDERFUL adoptive parents. </p><p>When she said that to me I half expected them to rise from the grave to defend me. They loved me, I am secure in that. But the knowledge that she felt that way and nobody else shut her down still hurts.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/l3pq4q/serious_what_is_the_most_cruel_thing_a_family/gkhtkyn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CartoonistSpecific75</a></p>
Society is an odd conundrum when you attempt to wrap your head around it. This phenomena typically occurs whenever you witness a new trend or share experience and everyone seems to go along with it. Only much later, when you think about it with a bit of critical thinking, do you notice something might be off.
Going against society can be strained, difficult, like pulling back a sticker that's been on way too long, however sometimes it's necessary to get rid of what we probably shouldn't be so welcoming of.