Secrets and silence tend to be wonderful places for pain to fester - but sometimes you just don't have anyone in your life who you feel like you can tell without burdening them, causing a whole big thing, or being forced to defend your stance as valid.

Honestly - sometimes the best thing you can do is turn to strangers on the internet. One Reddit user asked:

What do you need to get off your chest right now?

and WOW. Multiple people thanked the poster because they hadn't realized just how much they needed to vent some heavy stuff. And things get heavy indeed.

Alone With My Memories

My wife passed away recently and today is our anniversary. I've told people not to bother me today because I want to look at pictures, listen to music we both enjoyed, and get drunk.

One of her friends has called me 7 times today and I got really short with her at call #2. I turned my phone off. Some people just don't get it. I'm not depressed, I just want to have a private day with the memories of my beautiful lady.

- Zerquetch


eliminate round table GIF by DiscipleGiphy

I'm finally starting to recall various traumatic incidents from my childhood, which I had repressed for years apparently, and am TERRIFIED to start EMDR therapy because I don't want to relive those moments.

- ImDyxlesic-

Without going into too many details, I had a similar experience. I'm 22 and about a year and a half ago I had repressed memories of childhood abuse from as far back as 9 years old dredged up. It's incredibly scary to actually dig through them in therapy, but I will say it gets better and it has to hurt a little worse before you can start to let go. Sending hugs, and please reach out if you need a listening ear!

- maggieh327

Mom's Threat

My estranged mother has sent me emails that she is going to harm herself on my birthday and that I don't love her. I can't keep contact with her because I don't have the capacity to handle her mental illness and don't want to fear if she will try to strangle me again. It still hurts to read those emails because I gave up so much to take care of her and my little sister.

I haven't talked to my mom in a little over a year now. The emails are the only thing she can send me, but I never respond to them. I will continue not responding to them. My birthday is in 5 days so will know soon enough.

But on the bright side my sister is actually doing really well. A lot happier now that our mom is out of the picture. She's finishing high school and working to save money for her future!

- Mrgageryan

Pop Star

Ever since my early teens I've been in an imaginary relationship with a famous popstar. It's not a continuous one, I make up several different stories. When I have real life crushes he moves to the background but I've been unlucky in love so he always comes back. And I'm kind of afraid I'm a bit crazy.

I'm in my mid 30s, you'd think I know better. I'm just lonely and want to be loved but my real life crushes always end in misery and this imaginary man who could do so much better gives me imaginary time and attention. Made a throwaway to share this cause I'm really ashamed of it. I do function normally in day to day life, apart from this I'm really normal.

- ok-art-7437

This sounds a lot like Maladaptive Daydreaming to me. It's something I do too, and it's frustrating; I've read that it's not uncommon for people who had early life trauma, as a coping mechanism.

You're not crazy. We are social creatures- loneliness can be crippling. I would talk to a professional, who can help you learn new, healthier ways to cope as well as deal with the underlying issues.

- stormyhearted

A Crush

There is this woman I met over an app, we've been talking for two months now, everyday. We have pleasant conversations, we slowly get to know each other, we take our time, we don't rush. From day one, I settled my mind on NOT expecting anything out of this, just in case it goes south.

Thing is, I ended up developing affection for her, whether I like it or not. I want to meet her, we're only two hours apart, so it ain't that far. I want to know her more. While our conversations are fun, interesting and lovely, we didn't share personal information (and I'm glad) so I have no clue where she's at.

I don't know how she feels about me, us, is she expecting anything? Does she want to meet me as well? Is she waiting for me to propose anything or is she just not that interested? I ask myself these questions more and more often.

Anyway, I keep cool and just enjoy our messages. I don't want her to feel uncomfortable in any way, so I take things slowly and I'll see. I really like her, and I'm happy we talk this much!

I don't need any advice (I'll figure things out on my own), this is just something I've been thinking about these past few days. First time ever telling it. It feels nice! Thanks pal for this post 😌

- ThatMidget

A Risk For Dad

My dad is slowly dying of calciphylaxis and I'm supposed to fly down late October to visit him and my family but I am so scared to travel in an airplane and be anywhere near him. I'm afraid of getting sick, I'm even more afraid that I'll somehow get him sick. I haven't physically seen my parents in over 8 years and I do want to see them but I feel the risk isn't worth it. I don't know what to do.

- MissWestSeattle

Go Me!

we did it yes GIFGiphy

Hi, introverted don't-give-me-all-the-attention person here. Today I'm gonna scream and shout and make everyone pay attention to this: I AM PROUD OF ME!

I quit my retail job of 10+ years about 1.5 months ago because the work environment was increasingly toxic and unsafe; because I had to hold fast to my work ethic. I have multiple mental health diagnoses, most significant of which is adjustment disorder (I don't publicly disclose these in professional environments) which make it difficult for me to stand up for myself and question authority. It was the scariest thing I've ever done for myself, handing over a letter of notice to that current particular boss and to end such a long tenure at my "first job" since I was 16 years old.

Two days after my resignation, I was offered a better job than I could have ever anticipated. It'll help me get to where I want to go with school and I can hopefully transition into a career as a HR professional soon.

In a week, I start that new job - a contracted government job with partial benefits that gives me a stable income without direct "customer service" type interaction (a historical trigger point). I'll gain a GS rating, which means I can move up in the ranks of civil service if I so choose, and can be eligible for higher pay.

Today I'm taking a moment to be proud of me, for me. I don't usually do that. I don't usually feel proud of myself. I was scared of this change for a whole month; there's trauma attached to change for me. But, today, I'm going to breathe deeply and rejoice that I stood by my ethics and took a leap of faith by walking away from a decent income in a dead-end job that I had no doubts about doing. Today I am going to breathe deeply and treat myself with kindness and love and pride for finally putting myself, my body, my needs first. Today, I am going to begin counting down to my first day at my new job.

- littlecanoes

Selfish Laziness Meant She Couldn't Say Goodbye

My father-in-law passed away on Tuesday the 8th. His autopsy says it was a heart attack. He was 54.

Over Labor Day weekend, my wife, toddler-aged son, and I were supposed to go visit my father-in-law. He has- I guess had is more appropriate- muscular dystrophy and so because my son had a pretty bad cough (had gone to the doctor and had him checked out and it was just a little cold. Wasn't COVID.) we decided to stay home.

My wife was saddened by this decision even though we came to it together. Her father was her best friend and she has been having a tough time at work (we're both teachers) and so she really just wanted to see her dad and talk to him.

As a way to make it up to her, I told her that if she wanted to still see him, I would be willing to get our son a babysitter for a night and I would be willing to make that turnaround trip (10 hours round trip) if it meant that she got to see him. She accepted.

Sunday the 6th came and she said that she wanted to see her dad and that she wanted to take me up on my offer to make that drive. I hesitated and told her that I didn't think that that would be the best thing to do because our son's cough hadn't gotten much better and I felt like we should stay with him.

I think, though, that if I'm being honest, I think that at least on some level, I just really didn't want to make a 10-ish hour drive. And the fact that i may have let my selfish laziness stop my wife from seeing her father for one last time before he passed away is eating me up inside. Absolutely killing me. My actions potentially are what deprived her from having one last memory with him and I don't know how to handle this guilt that I feel.

She had agreed with me at that time that staying home with our son was for the best, but I have to think that she's regrettting staying home last weekend, even though she hasn't expressed this to me in any way. I am worried, though, that she blames me for not getting to see him one last time.

We just got back home from seeing my mother-in-law and on the drive home, we talked about this and she assured me that she isn't mad at me, which is relieving, but I can't help but feel this guilt in the pit of my stomach.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for from posting this, I just needed to get this out there. Thanks for reading.

- jd46149

How To Tell Her

I'm about to fail out of my language course and get put God knows where (military), and I dont know how to tell my wife that we most likely will spend the next 2 years apart. I could have been doing well here, but with corona online classes have killed me. I take my final in 4 weeks and I need another 4 months just to pass it.

- Djunga


I am stuck in a marriage with a super nice guy who has no backbone but loves me. We don't have sex anymore and I can't leave because I have no income. I am doing my very best to stay positive and work it out, but I feel absolutely trapped in this situation for a multitude of reasons.

I do love him, and he is seeing a therapist, but I also feel completely drained and exhausted from trying to make this work and enduring the same circumstances and problems that have been there from the beginning. I didn't realize how much he rode on the wings of my excitement, curiosity and interest in life. Slowly, over time, I got drained and exhausted by me being the only one providing those things.

He is a functioning alcoholic... 5-8 shots of tequila and a couple of beers every night. I say something (rarely) when it gets bad... He slows down but it creeps back. His defensiveness makes any issue all about him and I never got comfort from him - ever. I would have an issue (not even about him or us.... A death in the family, or scary health issue) and want emotional support, to which he would be cold, defensive, like if it was expected of him he wouldn't give it. Then I would have to spend hours talking him down and explaining and never got what I needed.

Bad sex. He would not do what I asked, couldn't absorb basic information about what I like or how I like to be touched, etc. He needs approval for everything he does (from cutting the grass, to making a good pot of coffee, to any little thing he does around the house, to everything, to the point if I do not say something, he will praise himself out loud over and over) and it's become a total turn off.

And I'm so scared! This is my life! I can't leave!

Because of certain health issues, I can't hold down a job. I am stuck. And I'm scared. I am 55. I want some happiness in this life! I feel like time is running out in many ways! I am doing my best, I promise! It is so hard! I want to make this work! I am trying! There. Off my chest. Thank you for this question. I really, really needed it.

- menotme

Human's Best Friend

happy dog GIFGiphy

The death of our dog hit me the hardest despite how I tried to stay the calm one. It tore a hole in my heart and soul that's still healing. I realized I'm the kind of person who needs a companion be it human or animal. I do better with someone who I can support and in turn be supported by.

It has been about five years now and I am longing for a pet more then a man by my side. My dog was more supportive to me at times vs any human being was.

- twin-shadows

Changing The Certificate

The woman who lied for 3 years to our partner about the child being his has still not changed the birth certificate - 12 months after we confirmed the child is not. She wants him to pay the fees for it.

All her lies, deceit and manipulation and she STILL refuses to be accountable for the damage she has caused.

- Confession-Sessions

Internal Rollercoaster

I'm a very happy and funny person on the outside but a lot of the times on the inside I'm a Rollercoaster of emotions, mostly kind of sad or just empty in general.

I started talking to a guy who really made me feel like it's okay to show him the real me. 99% sure I scared him away and now I have MORE anxiety that I'll be single forever.

Good news, I finally realized this is a real issue and I'm seeing a psychiatrist next week :) I also started telling my friends that things aren't always peachy for me

- lil_tex_1453

COVID  and Contracts

Back in August, my contract at work was going to be extended because my team wanted me to stay on. Due to COVID, my organization recently went on a hiring freeze and contracts were no longer allowed to be extended. So here I am, looking for a new job. I've applied to maybe 10-15 so far this month and haven't heard anything back yet. I genuinely think that I am extremely good at what I do (I still have a lot to learn, but I'm pretty damn good for being new to my industry) and believe I'd be an incredible asset to any organization but I'm starting to feel a little defeated. My portfolio should speak for itself, but why haven't I heard back from anyone? Trying to remain positive, but sometimes it's really hard.

- itskinkykat

Tech, Tired, Trapped

I don't even know where to start.

I feel like a failure all of the time.

I feel like I don't deserve to be loved, or even liked for that matter.

I'm about to be 39 and I hate every aspect of my life.

I hate my job. I hate my career. I'm an IT engineer.

I'm self taught for the most part. I got a bullsh!t degree from a tech school that is no longer around. I've never really been able to afford to sit for certifications. Everyone says I'm damn good at what I do. Most of my senior engineers tell me that I'm better than they are and don't understand why I'm just an Ops Eng 1. The company treats Ops like helpdesk level 3 and its maddening.

Every time I've gotten a new job I've had to start over. The last place I was at I was a Sr. Systems Engineer, but after the merger I "... didn't fit with the companies dynamic anymore..." whatever that means. So a buddy got me in the door where I am now, but I had to start at Help Desk level 1. 4 years later I'm still doing helpdesk, but as an Ops Eng 1

I get in trouble at work for finding repetitive manual tasks, repetitive manual tasks, repetitive manual tasks, and either automating them completely or building a tool that requires a user to set up the "job" and then execute it. They have written me up 3 times now and its a final warning. 1 more and I'm gone.

I get paid way under market value.

I drive more then 100 miles a day just to get there and back.

I'm terrified of having to start over YET AGAIN somewhere else.

I just hate tech anymore.

Tech has been my love since I was 6 years old... and now I hate, loath, abhor it.

"get a job doing something else" is what people tell me. I have 20 years experience in tech. what other job could I do that would allow me to maintain even this shitty level of existence? I don't have enough experience or skills to do anything else that would require me to start at minimum wage.

I just got into a fender bender that resulted in mainly cosmetic damage to my car,, but the insurance company is saying its totaled.

Right now its OK because we have to work from home, but as soon as that ends...

I have nothing saved

I had to move back in with my mom because I cant find something I can afford. I pay her rent, but I feel like a burden.

I've lost touch with all of my "friends"

Any time I've talked to one of them recently it almost seems like its a chore for them. Like they don't want to be talking to me or dealing with me at all.

I feel this crushing weight pressing down on me ALL THE TIME

I feel guilty all time even though I have done nothing wrong.

I feel guilty that I feel so bad, and down when there are people out there with real problems.

I look at the example that was set for me of success, and I'm an absolute failure by comparison.

I see a Dr. and I'm on anti depressants. It used to work. I feel like even more of a failure because even the meds cant help me. I grew up medicated, I don't want to go back to THAT. Medicated to the point of just being a numb robot. I want to feel, but not like this.

I feel like a fraud because I keep on going like nothings wrong. I hide how I feel because I know if my mom knew she would be a nervous wreck. If other people knew how I felt Id never have any peace. The "Fake saints" would come out of the wood work pretending to give a sh!t so they can tell people they "were there for me, and look at how awesome they are for being there when noone else was". You know those people? the one that are "there for you" but somehow they make it all about them somehow?

I'm alone. All my relationships have ended with me being cheated on. I don't have any real friends. I hate my job. I cant get a job doing anything other then what I do now and hate. I'm broke. I want to be loved. I want to be happy but don't know how. I'm barely keeping my head above water. I'm so tired.

I'm just so tired.

- technomancing_monkey

Doesn't Feel Like Fighting

In the last two months I have been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and undergone one round of aggressive chemo. It has been a nightmare on a new level that resulted in a long stay in the hospital, a diagnosis of PTSD, and basically having my life ripped from me, turned inside out, and held at arms length away. I'm scared of the second round of chemo, know that I can't survive it if it's the same again, and just want my life back. It's a long, long battle and despite the psychological help I am getting now, I am still living in terror of this next cycle.

Things will be better, I know that they will, but this does not feel like living, or fighting. This feels like being beaten to death slowly without the means, or energy, to survive.

- lost-vulpecula

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