People Who Suffer From Sleep Paralysis Describe Exactly What It's Like
Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During this time, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes. Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through sleep stages.
That doesn't make it any less frightening however.
Reddit users the_yarb and aleks_1999 asked those "who have experienced sleep paralysis, what is the feeling and what are your first thoughts when it occurs?"
Here are the chilling responses.
I woke up and couldn't move. I had never heard of sleep paralysis, so it was pretty scary.
It wasn't quite as terrifying as I've seen some descriptions of, but I guess results vary. It went through my head that I might be dying and I just kind-of told myself "oh well, eff it, doesn't look like I can do anything about it" so I went back to sleep.
Not sure if it means I have no will to live, or if I'm some sort of zen bad-ass. It was an interesting experience to say the least, wouldn't recommend.
I've had it happen enough times that I understand what's happening, but every time I still panic and try to wake myself up. I wish I had a zen attitude about it, but my heart starts racing (at least I feel like it does).
I'll wake myself up, open my eyes and think to myself, "whew, thank god that's over", then I'll notice something that's a little off in my room, like the lighting is wrong, or an object isn't where it usually is, and then the realization that I'm still stuck and can't move kicks in and I freak out, and try to wake myself up.
I've "woken myself up" about 6 or 7 times in one sleep paralysis session before, and everything looks so real and vivid, except for a few details, I fall for thinking I'm awake every time.
And when I finally do become awake for real, I spend at least half the morning questioning if I'm still asleep or not. It's kinda freaky
My experience seems to be different from most people. I woke up, could breathe fine, nothing hurt. It was just like waking up, except I couldn't move. It was like my muscles had suddenly grown very weak and I couldn't even lift my own arms.
It was scary my first time, especially because I started lucid dreaming soon after, but didn't know how to control it, which ended in probably the worst, most realistic nightmare I've ever had.
The second time, however, I actually managed to break out of sleep paralysis. I realized what was happening to me, and so I relaxed for a moment but made sure I didn't fall asleep again. Then, I just started thinking about other things. I started thinking about how thirsty I was, so I focused all of my energy into lifting my head so I could get some water. It took some concentration- It felt like I would be able to lift my head easily, but that power seemed... distant. It was like extreme laziness. I wanted to move, but just couldn't force myself to get up. However, I eventually managed to lift my head, and then my arms followed, and soon I was up. It took a long time though- it's a lot faster to just fall back asleep.
I get sleep paralysis a few times a month, and it tends to happen when I am stressed and overly tired.
The first time it happened, I knew what it was and so I was not scared. I did not experience any presences or fear, I just could not move. I have to concentrate very hard on moving one small part of my body - usually clenching and unclenching my toes is easiest, and then I can fully move again.
After a bout of sleep paralysis, I have to at least roll over in bed. If I stay in the same position and fall back asleep, it will happen again within the next half hour, and continue to happen every half hour until I roll over or get frustrated and just get up.
A weird thing I have noticed is I usually encounter the 'scarier' experiences when I have been sleeping for a longer time. It happens to me so often that every now and then it will happen to me when I doze off in class at school. I will do what I usually do and do the countdown and try to get up with all my strength and by the time it works instead of just waking up like a usual person would I would dramatically shoot up from my head down on the desk and people all get scared around me.
This happens to me a lot actually, usually about 3-4 times a month. I've learned to adjust to it. Now its more of a "F* not this again"
To describe it in my experience for other people who have never had it. Imagine a time in life where you were too scared to move, Or even had one of those dreams where you try to run but can't. It's that exact feeling, but it's real and you can't move or speak. You are stuck in place while the world around you is dark and strange noises creep into your ears. You start wondering if you are dreaming but you know in the back of your mind that you are awake and this isn't just another dream. You feel your entire body as if it were filled with lead and your blanket had turned to steel and encapsulated you. You are a prisoner in your own body, your only escape is hoping you can calm down enough to return to the safety of your dream, this waking nightmare is hopefully only temporary and fleeting fast. Once it's over you fear it's return, the haunting feeling of being so helpless and vulnerable with no obvious signs it could happen the next night, and then the next, and the next...
When it first started I was absolutely terrified every single time and would cry. I lost a lot of sleep in school due to fear of having another case of it. Eventually I learned tricks how to wake myself up.
Prelude to Night Terrors?
I go between hallucinations and being aware that I'm in sleep paralysis.
It gets really nightmarish when I go through a cycle of waking up from a dream into another and I tell my hands to move and they do but not in the real world.
It takes screaming and all my strength just to move the slightest bit or let out a groan to tell my girlfriend to shake me awake.
My dad has night terrors and screams in his sleep with constant nightmares, I'm hoping that doesn't start happening to me.
I actually woke up in sleep paralysis once, opened my eyes, realized what's happening (it happened numerous times before), saw a figure or entity on the chair near my bed and didn't think much of it. I kind of reacted like it was normal or like didn't want to do any harm, and went back to sleep...
Another time I felt like I started to float, and even something pulling me out. I guess I was close to an Out of Body Experience (OBE), but got scared and woke up when I felt I was dragged (or at least that was my impression/imagination).
These things happened a lot more frequently when I was meditating daily
I've been having sleep paralysis for years, several times a week, and personally, the first time it happened was extremely scary. Kicking, screaming, clawing for anyone to help me only to hear my muffled moans when I'd float out of the dream state and always finding myself in the same position I "fell asleep" in despite KNOWING that I moved to try to wake up or clawed someone for help.
Personally it happens so often that I know when it's coming. Usually just feels like I can't move my toes at first, and I begin feeling this dread come over me. I usually try to close my eyes, knowing that panicking will only push me further into it. I continuously wiggle my toes, knowing that I only THINK they're moving, until my blanket moves from the shaking then I usually get up out of bed and move around. Or go in my phone and completely change my state of mind. I've never had an experience less than terrifying so I'd have to say fear is my first reaction/thought.
So, I'll just go over one of the worst episodes I had when I was younger. I was falling asleep listening to a podcast out loud on my phone.
When I "woke up" I was looking at the bottom right corner of my room. There were 4 figures that appeared to be talking in a circle. I couldn't understand what they were saying. I honestly thought they were here to kill me. All the sudden I could make out what one of them was saying. "shhhh, he's awake" and they all looked at me.
I gained control of my body again and ran out of my room. Didn't go back for a few nights.
For me, it's quite like still being in a dream but being aware of it, not 100% conscious. I was told to just go back to sleep and my body would wake up naturally. I used this method for years, but "woke up" after falling asleep in the car with my brother and a couple of friends with my mom driving one night. I remember feeling safe, and just laying there, listening to everyone talk. I eventually woke up but was able to go back to sleep and repeat the process a couple of times.
It happened a couple of weeks ago, and my girlfriend was sitting next to me in the bed watching TV. She said I often kick my legs around, which I recall trying to do to wake up, but couldn't feel them moving. I remember trying to talk to her, but all she could hear is "whimpering".
I could be wrong, but I recall a doctor explaining that as your mind incorporates surrounding stimuli into your dreams to prevent you from waking up when you need the sleep, this seems to be related to when I am exhausted and not getting enough rest.
3rd Time Is No Charm
Happened three times in one night. BOY WAS IT A STRESSFUL DAY
First time I "woke up", I couldn't open my eyes. Or move. at first i was like "oh cool sleep paralysis, I've heard about it, might be fun".
But then I heard footsteps from the hall into my room. I'm not a very religious man, but have I ever prayed so much. Immediately after that, I woke up, extremely sweaty. Took a while to calm down, then fell asleep.
Then I "woke up" for the second time, nothing special, couldn't move at all, realized what was happening, then just decided to sleep.
Third time I "woke up" I heard a distant laughter in my bedroom. I just prayed some more and woke myself up crying. After that I just didn't sleep and pulled an all-nighter, while being very very scared.
Not Enough Air
I wake up feeling like my face is in the pillow. My hands are trapped underneath me. I am trying to move them, but they don't work.
Maybe I can rock my shoulders back and forth and the arms will come loose. But I can't. I'm starting to panic. I just can't get enough air.
I try feebly to call out to my wife next to me, just so she'll give me a little push. Please wake up just once. But what noise I can make, if any, is not going to be heard by sleeping beauty. I try to relax. I haven't died the other hundreds of times this has happened, but I sure would like a little more air.
I get this regularly, and how it happens can vary pretty significantly. I tend to suffer from pretty bad nightmares, so the worst cases are when I'm trapped in a really negative dream and it feels like my whole mind is trying to suck itself out of there but my body isn't responding.
Sometimes I have trouble breathing. From there, a lot of the times I manage to make one violent jerking movement of sitting or lurching up in bed (I sleep on my back).
There have been times though where I wasn't able to actually wake up and fell back into a nightmare.
There have been times where I thought that there was another person or at least...presence in the room with me. I am confused if these were very vivid dreams, hallucinations or actual encounters with spirits. I am not a firm believer in that stuff but I'm not ruling it out.
I once thought that a demon or something was sitting on my chest and guiding my dreams into bad places as I fought to wake up and push it off. That is one of the more surreal things I have ever encountered during sleep paralysis, and it is terrifying on different levels. My mind could've been creating the demon dream to rationalize my labored breathing, or maybe I'm just losing it slowly.
I was in bed, thankfully not alone. I heard the front door open and close, and could feel someone getting closer. I couldn't so much as hear the footsteps, but I could feel them and the presence.
I tried to speak to my spouse to wake him, because I was afraid, and couldn't. At this point I realized it was sleep paralysis, and after that is was just really cool, to experience my body do something that I shouldn't have experienced at all. I tried to move, and couldn't, and just found that to be so awesome.
It took a few moments after that to fully wake.
13 year old me woke up and couldn't move like how you'd expect. I had a TV that was at the end of my bed, and I just remember a black figure crawling out like the girl in the ring, except it started crawling on the ceiling. as it got above me, I blinked and it seemed to teleport over by my left side, then looked at me for five seconds or so.
It all ended right after that. I just remember going down stairs crying hard as I explained it to my mom. It was awful.
Only time it's ever happened. Scared to death that it'll happen again.
I had this for a few years while take some serious antipsychotic meds. It's hell. The first time it happened I couldn't move but I thought I was screaming and couldn't understand why my husband wasn't helping me. I ended up in a full blown, can't breathe panic attack before it ended.
Every time after that I'd panic but try to talk myself down from a full blown panic attack, sometimes it worked, other times not so much. It didn't help matters that I always experienced this immediately following night terrors that left me terrified and traumatized.
It hasn't happened in a few years but it's not a feeling I'll ever forget.
I'm startled awake by either a sound or a tactile sensation, like something bumping my bed, pulling my hair.
I think at first that I am frozen in fright from being startled until I try to move but can't. At that point I usually know what is happening but sometimes not.
I'm also then aware of a faceless shadowy man in my room. Sometimes he physically attacks me, other times he just stands ominously in the doorway. Even knowing it's a hallucination doesn't make it feel less real in the moment. I hate it so much.
I couldn't breathe any more than these tiny, unfulfilling breaths and as I panicked I felt like I needed more and more air but couldn't get it.
Like drowning out of water.
Also could not speak to call for help, even though my boyfriend was sleeping a foot away.
I've had sleep paralysis my whole life, but I didn't understand what it was until a few years ago when I googled it.
I usually get it either right before I'm going to fall asleep, or waking up from a nightmare. For me, the sensation is like being smothered while falling, and I'm uncomfortably warm. When I'm falling asleep, it isn't too bad. I'll get auditory hallucinations, like hearing someone laugh (not a creepy laugh, just regular laughter) or talk, or a crashing noise like something fell off my desk.
The episodes I get following nightmares are the worst. Usually it starts with that falling feeling as I'm coming out of the dream. When I open my eyes, I usually have a visual hallucination.
Shadows coming towards me, three figures with red eyes looming over my head, my door opening, things like that.
The worst I've ever had was when there was a hunched over impish figure with bulbous eyes and fangs just staring at me. I couldn't move. His mouth wasn't moving, but it was like I could hear him whispering really awful things in my head. I remember the feeling of panic was overwhelming and I wanted to scream but I just couldn't move.
After that I had really bad anxiety when it came to falling asleep, so I did a lot of research and learned that people who sleep on their back are more likely to experience sleep paralysis. Ever since I started sleeping on my side, I haven't had an episode. I literally can't fall asleep in any other position now because it makes me nervous. I also learned that apparently my father had it, but he doesn't like to speak about his experiences.
We aren't perfect. There's plenty of things in our pasts that we look back and cringe at.
That being said, sometimes those cringe moments go far past cringe. Sometimes they get to the point of no return awfulness because that's where our human nature took us in this moment.
He's Not Dead<p>When I was 17 my brother walked into a room where I was lying down on my back and stamped on my chest. </p><p>I saw red and stood up and punched him square in the face, unfortunately this was in a doorway in front of a staircase, which he fell down backwards and when he hit the wall at the bottom folded up in such a way I thought I'd killed him. </p><p>He didn't move for what seemed like forever and I was certain he was dead, the world just spinning out around me. </p><p>He wasn't dead, obviously, but knocked out briefly and he never laid a finger on me again, after being the kind of nasty bully who had spent much of my childhood just randomly beating on me for his own enjoyment.</p><p>Those were the longest seconds of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MrSpindles/" target="_blank">MrSpindles</a></p>
Complete And Total Taking Over<p>I don't know about "haunts" but it makes me cringe. In public school we had this thing in our school called 'Jumpstart for Kids' where you'd go around, often door to door, collecting money for this charity once a year. </p><p>Anyway I was 12 and I liked a boy in highschool and he convinced me to take the envelope and go door to door and collect money... to give to him so he could buy a drum set. </p><p>I walked around collecting from all these sweet people who told me I was so nice for collecting money for underprivileged kids. Fortunately I got caught and my parents made me donate it instead. So embarrassing.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heather-rch/" target="_blank">heather-rch</a></p>
Scene Of The Crime<p>Provincial Park, pay shower, 12 years old, line-up to get in. Towards the end of my turn in the shower, get the urge to poop. Cannot hold it. Using a sock to smoosh the last of it down the drain, water turns off. Out of quarters. Put a towel over my head, run out of there past the line-up.</p><p> Get back to the camp site, immediately change clothes, shoes, hairstyle, put on a ball cap. Work up the courage to go by the area later on, it is all cordoned off. Hear people angrily discussing how someone took a dump in the shower.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/eskerhobolo/" target="_blank">eskerhobolo</a></p>
When Bullying A Bully Isn't Worth It<p>We had a camper in this large campground at a lake when I was growing up. Tons of families with kids riding bicycles and golf carts up and down the gravel roads through the property. </p><p>There was this one kid that was a few years older than me (I was 10, he was probably 12 or so) who's dad was the security guard and they lived on site and he was the biggest punk in the park. He'd try and wrestle you in the pool, throw rocks at you as you were fishing, ride off on your bike if you left it laying around, bully and hit smaller kids, even girls. </p><p>I was driving the golf cart down a pretty steep, gravel hill one day when I came up on him on his bike, going the same way as me. He never turned around to acknowledge I was there so I got up just to the side of him and turned HARD right into him. We were both going probably 10-15 miles an hour down this hill. </p><p>He took a nasty spill and rolled off the side of the road and wasn't moving. I kept on going, acting like nothing happened. We were completely isolated so no one saw me. I remember him getting taken away in an ambulance and hearing that he'd been hurt pretty bad.</p><p> I immediately felt remorse for what I'd done but never said a word to anyone. He or anyone else never had any idea I did it either. I look back now and think about how much of a financial strain I put on that family, seeing as how they were already living in a camper. That was a really REALLY evil thing I did and it still crosses my mind quite often.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/harp9r/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">harp9r</a></p>
Not Hurting<p>So you know the carnival horses you can sit on outside of grocery stores (back in the 90's). Well I wanted to ride one and this sweet old woman tried to help me get on, slipped, and really really hurt herself falling into the ride. I just remember hearing her scream and I got scared and ran away.<br></p><p>I'm 31 years old and think about that day at least once a week.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/packhawk2689/" target="_blank">packhawk2689</a></p>
Gotta Get Up, Gotta Get Out<p>Easy. When I was 5, I burned my house down.</p><p>We were living in a small home, me, my sister, mom, dad. I was supposed to be in the bed, but I wanted a toy or <em>something</em> that was under my bed, and I didn't want to wake my parents by turning on my light... soooo I grabbed my dad's cigarette lighter and light the flame under my bed. Needless to say it went up like a match. </p><p>My dad tried to stomp the fire out after I started screaming fire, burning his leg horribly. My room and the source of the fire was blocking EVERY other bedroom from escape, so everyone had to jump out of a window. Funnily enough, I don't remember the world-class a** whipping I must have received for that. I just cringe at the thought that I almost killed all of us being a dumb kid.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Paradigm_Pizza/" target="_blank">Paradigm_Pizza</a></p>
Escape<p>I was married to an insanely abusive man. After two years I escaped and he killed himself shortly after. Not sure if it was him avoiding charges, or avoiding his deployment but his family decided it was 100% my fault. They told the police I gave him the gun and encouraged him. </p><p>That was investigated and unfounded. What they didn't know was he'd scanned and emailed me his suicide note the wee hours of the morning of. The police didn't find the note. Of course I handed it over when they asked. His family would not believe I wasn't involved or at fault and harassed me for a long time. </p><p>If I got a job and they found out about it they'd call and leave so many complaints I'd get let go. Found out what I drove and had their other kids and their friends follow me. </p><p>I ended up having to leave that town and disappearing to avoid them. But before I did, I printed a copy of his suicide note, found his moms car at her job, and left it on the window shield. That note detailed the abuse his father put him through, his rage at his mother for never leaving him and making himself and his siblings live with the SOB. </p><p>That he never wanted me to blame myself, that this was his way of getting the hell away from them and the damage he caused. I felt pretty bad for awhile. But at the same time.... they literally wouldn't leave me alone and stalked me for 5 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TinyTinasRabidOtter/" target="_blank">TinyTinasRabidOtter</a></p>
If You Give A Pup A Shower<p>Bored in the house one day alone when I was about 10, so decided to give my dog a shower, I genuinely loved my dog, he was my best friend growing up, but for some unknown reason I decided to turn the shower onto hot water only (extremely hot) and started showering him. There was a delay I guess in him reacting because his fur was so thick, which meant I kept it on him for a few seconds.</p><p>suddenly He started yelping like dogs do when in pain, his instincts were to not be aggressive or try to escape but just looked at me scared and confused.</p><p>I panicked smashed on the cold and cooled him down as quick as I could.</p><p>Fortunately he was not 'burnt' or had any ongoing issues, he never even lost trust in me.</p><p>I felt physically sick and ashamed in myself for days after, and obviously it still bothers me 20 years later.</p><p>The good thing to come from it is that I was so disturbed by my action that I have never knowingly inflicted pain on anyone or anything since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/ChrisLeeHD/" target="_blank">ChrisLeeHD</a></p>
Caught In The Act<p>I was at school and for no reason at all, I eavesdropped a very private and delicate conversation between one of my teachers and her husband. </p><p>Then she opened the door and saw me eavesdropping. It was beyond humiliating and I deserved the scolding afterwards. I was young and stupid obviously, but when I remember the look on her face, I still cringe hard, even if it's been almost 20 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/naydeilinsei/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">naydeilinsei</a></p>
Shunned<p>Second grade, I had a classmate (fake name Sasha) who was kinda awkward. Crooked teeth, quiet, not too bright. Didn't really have any friends within the class, though she did have some people she would hang out with at recess. </p><p>In any case, a boy in the grade above us, a friend of my brother's actually, for some reason decided to spread a rumor among all of us that Sasha had lice and to stay away from her. </p><p>I bought it without a second thought, and so did most of us; as far as I know, she wasn't particularly teased, but she was just shunned. No one talked to her. </p><p>She was around till the end of the year and didn't come back for third grade. No clue what happened to her, but I really hope we didn't mess her up too much.</p><p>Next summer, I got the worst case of head lice my pediatrician had ever seen. Karma, my dudes.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Isabel79540/" target="_blank">Isabel79540</a></p>
I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.
After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.
"I'm sure the mentality..."<p>Being too shy, I'm sure the mentality that everyone hated me wasn't very good for making friends.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpad84o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">aeflare</a></p>
"I'm not sure how it could have gone differently..."<p>Dropping out. I am not sure how it could have gone differently, but I do wish it had. It was expensive to upgrade all that education to get into post-secondary, and I also missed out on a lot of social things.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafhng?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DaughterEarth</a></p>
"I was already pretty cynical..."<p>I was told I had received a full-ride scholarship, so I stopped putting in any effort on other scholarships. When the time came, it wound up being awarded to someone who applied late, got it due to their family's income level, and then dropped out of college after one month. My first two years of college were a financial nightmare as I had to pay my own way on everything (except rent, as I lived at home and commuted across state lines for work and college). If I had $50 at the end of the month, that was a damn good month. I couldn't get student loans and my parents refused to help, so I had worked out a deal with the financial office at college to pay something like $550 a month, which was about 90% of my income.</p><p>I regret not confronting whoever made that decision about the scholarship. I somewhat regret not putting in the effort to get other scholarships at the same time, but I can't blame myself for it either.</p><p>I was already pretty cynical at that point, but that was when I realized just how quickly your back becomes a knife block for someone else's optics.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpalo5m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">A_Garbage_Account</a></p>
"I used to daydream..."<p>I used to daydream about going back one day and burning it to the ground, but it's just been demolished by land developers. So I guess that dream's dead.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafcpx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">EducationTangle06</a></p>
I suppose the phrase, "Always follow your dreams"...<p>...doesn't apply in this case.</p>
"Acting like a clown..."<p>Acting like a clown, annoying everyone to the point where no one really stayed in contact with me after, and taking my precious little charter school for granted.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpae5ak?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalFunction12</a></p>
I have a friend who has expressed similar concerns about his time in high school.<p>He ended up spending his college years going to therapy and maturing. His clownish antics were a coping mechanism for a lot of crap going on in his life at the time. He's happier and healthier now and that's what matters.</p>
"To be fair..."<p><span>Dating my best friend. To be fair that's how I found out a lot of people weren't really my friends but getting ghosted afterward really hurt.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpasudw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kannacantplay</a></p>
"She got tired..."<p>I took my crush to Daft Punk Alive 2007 instead of my best friend. She wasn't responding all day, and I was with my friend. We were about to leave when she called. She'd been with her boyfriend all day and had forgotten about the concert. I took her. My buddy was disappointed but cool about it.</p><p>She got tired of being on the floor halfway through so we sat in the bleachers. We started walking out before the encore because she wanted to get home sooner.</p><p>Always wanted to take my buddy to a Daft Punk show after that, and was going to, no matter where or how much it cost. But I'll never get the chance.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpbd6so?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">spanishgrapelaw</a></p>
"Looking back now..."<p>I regret not telling my crushes how I felt about them. Looking back now, I know that those puppy love relationships probably wouldn't have developed into anything long term and I no doubt would've had my heart broken when they inevitably ended but, I can't help but wonder: What if?</p><p>Having cultivated a host of insecurities by the time I got to high school, I was really good at hiding my inner thoughts and feelings - I also probably didn't see myself very clearly. So, I just assumed that there was zero chance of my crushes reciprocating my feelings and never said anything to them about it. I also probably sub-consciously ignored any signs that they were interested in me (again, didn't see myself clearly, was very insecure).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpazwl2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Vegoceraptor</a></p>
"The world is wider..."<p>Not engaging with opportunities available to me and just looking at it like a holding pen just before adulthood.</p><p>It may seem hokey, but join clubs, try out lots of sports, pursue interests, pay attention in class and engage with your peers.</p><p>The world is wider for adolescents than I allowed myself to believe it was at the time.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpaxnsf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Big_Requirement_3540</a></p>
"I already knew I was quitting..."<p>Senior year I had the option of a guaranteed internship and doing half days at school. Turned it down because my parents wanted me to be in band (and I enjoyed it so didn't put up a fight).</p><p>I already knew I was quitting when I went to college. The internship would have been great experience to propel my studies/career.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpatszd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ClubbsMcLubbs</a></p>
High school isn't easy.<p>Nor is it particularly fun for a lot of people. Remember how awful being a teenager was? Remember what it was like to feel like you were at the whim of your hormones all the time? It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's no wonder so many people would rather close the book on high school once it's over (or have some regrets related to their time there).</p><p>Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
Enough Was Enough<p>"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."</p><p>"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."</p><p>"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."</p><p>"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpal6ip?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">damekl</a></p>
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love<p>"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."</p><p>"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."</p><p>"Years wasted though."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpab7fm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">corazon_im_hurt</a></p>
A Bare Bones Story<p>"Short version: domestic violence."</p><p>"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."</p><p>"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaizjk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AliceMorgon</a></p>
Tipping Over the Edge<p>"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."</p><p>"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."</p><p>"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpb5z6l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Theging96666</a></p>
Optics<p>"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."</p><p>"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbm18j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boise_State_2020</a></p>
Always a Reason to Stay<p>"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."</p><p>"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."</p><p>"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."</p><p>"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."</p><p>"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."</p><p>"Neither of us had good childhoods."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa47ed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Lapidot-Wav</a></p>
For the In-Laws<p>"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."</p><p>"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbz7av?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mayfl21</a></p>
A Sudden Shift<p>"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."</p><p>"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."</p><p>"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."</p><p>"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."</p><p>"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaadi2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">knucklehead923</a></p>
Slow Fade<p>"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."</p><p>"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa6h2s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">collin3000</a></p>
Wise, But a Little Sad<p>"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."</p><p>"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa41jl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aizpunr</a></p>
Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.
Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.
After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.