People With Schizophrenia Reveal When They First Realized Something Was Wrong
Like most mental illnesses, people have misconceptions about schizophrenia based on what they've seen in movies or on TV.
To clear up some of the misinformation, Reddit user GrumpyYorke asked "People that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, what was the first time you noticed something wasn't quite right?"
Here are people's own stories of their experience with schizophrenia and related disorders.
I was in college and I recounted to a teammate about a person who visited me sometimes and they were trying to kill me - this person floated and looked half dead. It never occurred to me that this was a strange thing but the look of shock I was given was really curious to me. It made me think they must never experience something like that. That was the first time I thought maybe something was up. I was referred to a psychiatrist but I didnt talk about the visitations because I didnt think it was any different then talking about people on my sports team. I also started to notice people mentioning that I never talked. It actually took another five years, and an experience I had when I attempted suicide, for me to realize that my experiences and my emotional state were not experienced by most people and that I needed to get help.
I used to think I could see people that weren't there. The girl from the ring used to stand in the corner of my room and point at me while I tried to sleep. That and an old guy that would show up from time to time and wave. I also thought my mother was trying to poison me with her food, so I taught myself to cook (for other reasons as well) to make sure the food was safe.
I wasn't diagnosed as schizoaffective until I had my first psychotic break a couple years ago when I thought people were watching me through the television and following me everywhere I went. I still fight with the paranoia on a seemingly daily basis and as such I don't leave the house for usually more than an hour to go to the gym or twenty minutes to go to the store a few times a week. It doesn't help that my dad built spy software for the government when we first moved to the us. It makes for a shadowy group of people potentially working for the government following you around asking you very personal questions when you're sitting at a cafe almost plausible which is just f'ing terrible to deal with when you have to question reality all the time.
I was in the prodrome phase which was early signs. I was constantly going to doctors complaining about suicidal thoughts, anxiety, stomach problems.
I was always brushed off cause I have a degree and a good job, but I was psychotic. I knew things were off and there was something severely wrong with me but one second I believed in Mental health and the next second the delusions took over and meds were a sham perpetrated by "the man"
Cool fact. I actually predicted my hospitalization here on Reddit. I made a post asking when I should go and sure enough later within the week I was hospitalized for my first time ever.
I'm not sure what the first time was, but there are certainly some things that stand out in my mind.
When I was 12-ish, I was terrified of the spiders in my room. My mom thought it was because I was afraid of spiders, but individually, I didn't mind them. However, I strongly believed that the spiders on my ceiling and walls coordinated to do me harm. I pretended to be sick in bed one day because there was a spider directly over my door frame, and one beside my light switch, and I could smell an ambush.
Another time, I was in the shower, and something told me that I was dead, very convincingly. I checked the mirror immediately, because TV has conditioned me to think that dead people don't have reflections, I guess. So I finished up in the shower, and got out, and went out into the living room where my family was. Of course, I wasn't dead, but they didn't really acknowledge me when I walked in the room, so I just kind of accepted that I was dead. I went to bed, and for the whole night I thought that I had died, until morning came around.
Those two anecdotes are kind-of lite-mode, I think. The one thing that has really always been present, is music. I hear music almost 24/7. I didn't even realize it was a weird thing, until I started questioning why other people wore headphones.
Finally, when I was around 17, I really started to get paranoid. Like, ludicrously paranoid. I had a small apartment on the second floor of a building, and I kept the blinds and windows closed 100% of the time. I expected, at any moment, for a grenade to be chucked in. I hated leaving my apartment, because there were so many people. I devised strategies for passing them when meeting on a sidewalk. I checked windows and rooftops for snipers. One time, there were too many people on a bus I was supposed to take, so I ended up walking about 40km instead. At one point, I think I really started to break from reality, actually... because I vividly remember trying to work out where the stones on the path in front of me stopped, and the air began, and not really figuring it out.
Shortly thereafter, I completely broke down and went about rebuilding myself.
I spent 30 minutes hovering over my sleeping boyfriend with a pillow. He was a heavy sleeper. I could have killed him. I almost did. I woke him up, sent him home (much to his confusion), spent 10 minutes on hold with my psychiatrists' nurse (I was already being treated for depression), booked an appointment, hauled ass to the clinic, waited 3 hours to be seen, told him everything, got a script, went straight to pharmacy, got my pills, and took them immediately. I've done my absolute best to try and stay medicated properly ever since. Of course I grew up knowing my mother had mental illness, so I was a-typically very educated about the whole thing. Otherwise, he'd likely been dead since 2008.
This was not after a fight. I just was aware things were coming to an end. The relationship was not meant to be. In the heat of the moment, I had the idea that if I killed him he would die my boyfriend. It's not logical. I've always struggled with homicidal thoughts, but this was the first and so far only time I almost committed homicide. By and large I struggle more with suicidal thoughts, but because my schizophrenia often causes me to become catatonic, I've mostly avoided attempts on my life (i.e. my brain performs petrificas totalis when I think of killing myself).
The aliens I was able to see in patterns of furniture, flooring, walls directed me to decipher a code. So I wrote up a notebook of total nonsense and then tried to decipher it. At the back of my mind during this, I was able to see logically that it didn't make sense, but I still had psychosis.
I've had Voices All My Life. And at times in my life have been absolutely terrifying. I wake up many many many times in my life thinking that events have happened when they haven't at all and only sometimes even years later I realize that something that I thought had happened never happened. I'm a songwriter and will wake up with songs fully formed not only versus but choruses, rhythms Melodies and everything complete and for a long time I thought my brain was just running a song that I had heard at some point on the radio or whatever but I only after time that I realized that these were originals and I just started catching them. Remember waking up one time thinking that I had nervously pulled out all the hair of half of one of my eyebrows and I walked around for a week waiting for the hair to grow back and being just self-conscious about it.. Then only realize that at the end of the week when I took a look in the mirror I hadn't pulled any out and I must have dreamt it and thought it was real.
Always Had This Feeling That There Was Something Off
I'm schizotypal. When I was 12, I stopped going to school. I can't really pinpoint what exactly made me stop going other than perhaps an instinct that something wasn't right. I felt uncomfortable all the time, it felt like too much effort to keep up with the social things of school (even though nothing out of the ordinary had happened) and I didn't want to be part of it anymore and became depressed. I think the great discomfort and this really deep feeling of not being like everyone else were the first signs. I was a totally normal kid but I just always had this feeling that there was something off about who I was. I remember having paranoid thoughts that I was actually two years older than my parents told me I was, sometimes other people seemed cartoonish and one-dimensional to me, even sometimes questioned if other people were real, and I was genuinely convinced that nobody actually liked me (I had plenty of friends). Sometimes my tongue would feel huge in my mouth, or I would feel like my feet were miles apart even though I could clearly see they were right next to each other. But of course as a kid I didn't know that any of these things were abnormal and you don't really tell people either, so it wasn't until I stopped going to school that my parents had any idea that something was wrong.
I went through psychoeducation (not sure if that's the english term though) in the psychiatry a few years back and it was really helpful for me to learn about the typical early signs of psychosis, so I know what to pay attention to and when to slow down.
Time was passing strangely and my memories are fuzzy about the worst of it. I remember realizing I couldn't function at work. I asked my boss if I could leave and walked home ( I didn't live far). I called either my boyfriend at the time or my mom on the way and said something was wrong and I needed help.
I had been prescribed some anti-anxiety medication shortly before that but it put me into a downward spiral. I was trying to save the world. I wanted to solve major problems like world hunger. Problems I had no business trying to figure out.
Something had happened with my vision. I have NEVER experienced this before and it was so bizarre. I don't know if it had anything to do with schizophrenia or if it was a side effect of the medication but lights...just regular lights in an office or the sun outside...they were so BRIGHT. I remember when I finally went into a treatment center to speak with someone I had to squint everywhere I went. It was painful. Also I remember being asked why I couldn't look at the person who was giving me a questionnaire (it was so bright) so I'm pretty sure that I really did go through that.
No one ever explained to me why I went through this. If anyone knows anything about this or has experienced something similar, I'm all ears.
Anyway...the main parts. Feeling watched. And for some reason I "knew" where the cameras were. In vents, cracks in walls, old punctures from thumb tacs. Radio, movies and television was tough. I remember being in my car and hearing a voice coming out of my radio talking TO me. Some voice explaining that they were just checking up on me and that they'd be back later. It was hard to watch TV and enjoy my shows.
I did get hospitalized when this happened. On the way when I was in the ambulance I thought that I was on my way to become part of a team that was going to save the world. Obama was leading it and picked me. :/ Yeah i know...
What else... I didn't think my mother was really my mother. She was chosen to take care of me. And my father (parents had seperated when I was very young) had really only left because he was testing my character and once I was proven a "good person" he would come back into my life with plenty of money I could live off of. That delusion is pretty embarrassing.
I'm glad there was at least some part of me that said "help" while it was all happening and I was able to get some medication to help. It's the most frightening thing I've ever been through and I feel fortunate that I've been able to gain stability and work and be happy since all that.
Im not your typical case i was 30 years old when i started to hear voices. I was getting ready for a camping trip with the family when i herd someone say "You are doing it wrong". I was in my garage by myself getting my boat ready, it made my blood run cold. I looked everywhere thinking someone was playing a trick on me but found nobody.
The next 4 months where a living hell at my house. I started seeing people in my house at work even outside. They would just stand in corners or walk by a doorway i was literally freaking out non-stop. I thought it would go away but it didnt.
I finally told my wife when the voices started telling me to kill my wife and daughter. She was very supportive even went to the doctor appointments with me. After a brief stay in the hospital they got my meds worked out and the voices and people stopped manifesting. From time to time I will hear something or see something and i know its not real i just ignore them and move on with what ever im doing
I noticed something wasn't right probably around 19 years old. Because schizophrenia makes you think your hallucinations are normal, the first time I heard a random voice talking to me I didn't realize it shouldn't be happening or that it wasn't real, I thought there was really a woman talking to me despite the fact there wasn't anyone there, eh. Anyway I still am not sure how much of my major depression and serious unhappiness was due to the abusive relationship I was in, and how much of it was from the schizophrenia but around 19 years old everything hit the fan. I couldn't put up with everything that was happening. I had this disconnected from reality feeling happening and was starting to act strangely like sending cryptic messages to my ex's friends. I was slowly starting to go downhill. There were signs that I didn't realize, like people were telling me I was blacking out and doing strange things like staring out windows for an hour just standing there while a group of people outside look at me like what is she doing...or putting cigarettes out on my bare foot...didn't realize it was happening AT ALL...like when I black out my mind creates an alternate reality that seems totally normal...like when I put the cigarette out on my foot I was thinking about it but I didn't realize I was doing it, I thought I was just walking down the sidewalk. Little stuff like this just kept building and building until I felt I was losing my mind and I had to go see a doctor. He diagnosed me depression and mild psychosis, that diagnosis has changed to schizoaffective with depression which is basically schizophrenia combined with a mood disorder. It really stinks to this type of sick...even medicated I'm not fully normal.
Started With Depression
I am schizo-affective. It all started with depression, which in hindsight might be the deficit, that people who are schizo develop prior to positive symptoms or hearing things. I ve always been the quiet boy. I don't know if my quiet personality let me develop depression or if my depression caused my quietness.
I realized something was wrong early in my childhood, cause I always saw people do things all the time, that I wouldn't have done or said in my wildest dreams. I to this day can not figure out how to live a life you want to live or how to "dream". It's not that I don't want a happy life with a wife, kids etc. It's just, that I can not ever imagine asking girls out, saying what I think about that selfish, self-centered co-worker I have to sit next to or generally doing anything, that is meaningful to someone else or myself. But enough with the bragging.
First time I heard voices was in my apartment and it was always whispers of neighbors I heard. At first I wasn't able to understand them. Then I thought I did. They sounded real, because by the loudness of their voices, they could in fact have been my neighbors talking about me.
But one day I drove alone in the car and still heard voices. I turned off the radio to hear the voices and realized, that there can in fact be no people whispering outside my car, since I was driving all the time.
That's when I realized, I'm not only depressed and a siciophobic, but am completely nuts.
It starts making me even more depressed thinking about, that I have no chance of ever escaping that disease and having to deal with it the rest of my life.
I'm diagnosed schizoaffective. It started with a bipolar diagnosis when I was a teenager, so I knew I wasn't all there to begin with. I went off my meds for a few years and had pretty mild symptoms. I was going to school and doing well.
In my junior year of college I started getting paranoia pretty badly. It started off mild enough, I think I've always been a little paranoid. It got progressively worse over the course of a couple months and got to the point where I constantly thought I was being followed or on the verge of being physically attacked.
Then I started seeing things. Just little things at first. Bugs crawling on the wall or flying around in the corner of my eye. I would think I saw people and then I'd focus on them and there would be nothing there. Mostly standing on sidewalks while I was driving, which was fun.
It crept up on me to where I didn't think a whole lot about it at first. Maybe a little "that's odd" or thinking something was unusual. Then I kinda took a step back and realized, "Hey. That's not right. I'm freaked out all the time and constantly feel like I'm being hunted down. Maybe I should go back to the doctor."
And now I've been medicated for a couple years. It keeps creeping back up little by little and we just kinda throw more meds at it. I'm pretty functional and as far as I know only a select few know about it
I've been diagnosed as Schizoaffective (Bi-Polar type). Basically means that symptoms of the two disorder present themselves.
Something wasn't quite right when my memory started to decline. Then my cognition got worse, if that makes sense. I'd start walking somewhere, and halfway there, I'd forget how I'd arrived at my location, or why I was even there. I thought I had stumbled out of a dream.
Then I started giving too much weight to ridiculous thoughts and ideas. Normally humans can dismiss stupid ideas like their thoughts are conspiring with the universe to give people cancer, or that everyone is conspiring against you, but...sometimes it went a little too far.
I didn't see anything explicitly wrong because I was still functioning well enough. I just chalked it up to my over-active imagination. I should have gotten help when I started seeing and hearing things. Shadow people lunging at me, following me...Bugs on my skin. Took a certain episode until I did.
Meds were tremendous help, and now in my life, I am doing very well.
I'm on medication for schizoaffective disorder and it's helped tremendously. However.
Before I was diagnosed I spent most days in fear of being alone in my home (even though I would isolate myself to my bedroom) because of the visual hallucinations. Some of them were in my peripheral vision, but I used to see hands snaking over the backs of furniture, like couches or beds. It would terrify me. Also, as soon as I would begin to relax, especially before bed, I would hear voices and deep, loud growls. Once I had a friend staying with me and she didn't respond to it and I realized that maybe something was wrong. It took 3 years after that for me to seek medical attention. I would think I was getting better because it would stop, just to return a few days or weeks later.
My mom has this and constantly talks to the FBI and Obama. She also talks to her doctor who tells her not to take her meds. We have had her committed a few times because she would get very angry and disappear for a day in her car and get lost. She a!so doesn't believe my dad is her husband. I have a recording of her talking about it and it's chilling.
It's a really unfortunate and life stealing disease. I could go on for years talking about the different things she has seen and people she talks to.
Just know for anyone reading this that has a friend or relative with this disorder, they believe everything they see and hear. It is as real to them as the air you breathe. Don't get mad at them; try and help them. Thanks.
My first symptoms were visual and auditory illusions, specifically speech, I didn't hear anything else at the start. I found out something is up when during a conversation with my friends, a person just randomly joined in the conversation, and since no one acted I thought I was the only one who didn't know the person and rolled with it. A bit later my friends asked me who I am speaking to, concerned. I pointed to the newcomer, and he gave a little wave back. Of course, I was the only one who "saw" him. Ironically at the time I thought everyone but me was crazy. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia the guy accepted himself as a part of my imagination. Or technically I imagined a guy who accepted himself as my imagination. Psychologically dealing with schizophrenia is mind boggling.
Monster Under the Bed
The space under my bed began talking to me in my dreams, then not in my dreams. The first thing I ever remember it saying was "don't worry I'm not going to kill your mom". I was 8 or 9 years old.
I had an early onset of symptoms, at the age of 12. I was stressed out for different reasons and lived with only my mum, who also has schizophrenia. It skewed my baseline a bit.
I don't remember the exact first thing that changed, but there were milder early signs. If I stepped on the pavement in this particular pattern, my mum would get better. I walked very strangely as a result, turned around one afternoon and a group of boys from school were laughing at me. I could sense that someone was in the room with me, sometimes. I'd turn on the television, and somebody would say something on the sitcom that matched up exactly with what I was thinking, like we were having a conversation. I'd open a book and there would be a very specific message that seemed like too much of a coincidence. Hallucinations in schizophrenia are usually auditory, but all of mine have tactile and visual. I found lots of tiny pieces of paper stuck on my bedroom wall and when I drew closer to read them, they'd divide by 2. When I went even closer, they'd divide by 2 again. So I could never read what was written on them. I ended up as an involuntary inpatient at a children's psychiatric ward when I was 14, which exacerbated the symptoms further.
I read a paper in my psychology minor where a group of researchers asked for childhood home videos of people who would later be diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was a blinded study, and researchers found that they could pick which child would grow up to be diagnosed with psychosis based on their motor patterns. The children tended to be clumsier and walk in a stereotypical fashion. Not surprising since the motor system is neurological. The gut system (enteric nervous system) is also neurological, and has been implicated in schizophrenia and more commonly developmental disorders like autism. It's kind of interesting, because it's believed that the first signs of schizophrenia aren't positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), but negative symptoms like withdrawal, anhedonia (feeling flat), social interaction issues. So perhaps there's a step even before that.
I'm in med school now and a bit nervous about my psychiatry rotation actually, because I know patients in the public system aren't always treated with dignity. Fortunately my cohort of students and the staff in my hospital placement are absolutely wonderful people who I trust will treat patients with respect.
I wasn't social because voices told me people were plotting against me. After being in enough situations where I was forced to be social I noticed that a lot of people were actually pretty nice and the ones who weren't didn't care enough about me to do anything. Once I realized that was a lie I started looking for other things to be suspicious about.
The voices are not internal. They're an audible voice.
The voices are not my own voice or the voice of anyone I know. They're unique.
Not all the voices are bad. Now that I'm in a place where the bad ones don't affect me as much there are some nice ones, too.
The voices don't have a set volume. I don't hear voices as often now and when I do it tends to be muffled, like when you butt dial someone and they're trying to get your attention from your pocket. But they can range anywhere from a whisper to a shout.
I'm in a much better place now.
When you go on a job interview, the last thing you probably never think about is asking a question.
But we should also be prepared and ready to ask the right questions to have a leg up on the competition.
"What is THE best question to ask on a job interview?"
A company's history or information about a past employee were suggested subjects appropriate for questioning.
"When you were interviewing here, what would you have liked to know before you joined?"
"This worked for me. I asked my interviewer a question about how she had personally dealt with a company policy she had just explained. She bragged about her stellar adherence to the policy. I nodded my approval. I got the job."
A Previous Employee
"One that has always gone over well for me:"
"What were some qualities that the previous employee in this role brought to the job that you would like to see carried forward?"
"Another good thing to do is research the company you are interviewing with and you can ask things about what they may be involved in or you could drop that while reading about the company, you wondered this."
Hypothetical questions were suggested as helpful examples of inquiry.
Indicators Of How Companies Treat Employees
"A question that landed me a job once was: 'If I asked your direct reports about your management style, what do you think they'd tell me?' Stumped a hiring manager and he emailed me personally to tell me about it, no one ever asked him that question but got the job.
"In my current interviews I'm asking 'what did your company do for its employees during [the virus] to improve their day to day, work life balance, etc.' and I ask 'Is there anything your company adopted during [the virus] that they plan to keep post [the virus]?"
"These questions give a lot of insight into whether a company treated their employees well."
Past Performance & Adjustments
"If we were currently sitting in my 1 year review, what would I have done in this year for you to say I excelled in my role?"
"If I could snap my finger right now and change anything about your job or the company, what would it be and why?"
The following questions about a prospective company may not be answered from initial digging on their website.
Measure Of Success & Career Trajectories
"How is success measured in this role?"
"What are some possible career trajectories within the company that could stem from this position?"
Being A Solution
"Ask them what is the biggest problem you can solve for them in your first six months with the company. Similar to 'don't think of a purple hippo,' this forces them to imagine you succeeding in the position."
"What do you like best about working here?"
Simply The Best
"Who is your best employee and why is he/she the best?"
"You will then face 2 situations mostly:"
"panicking CEO who can't answer you 'Bob who works 17 hours a day for a slice of bread' so the fear in their faces must be a big nono for you"
"entusiast CEO who actually follow their business and can tell you who is an added value for the company and why."
My experiences with job interviews are different than others seeking work in office environments.
Having had a years-long career as a dancer, my "interview" was the dance audition, where hopefuls dance in small groups of people at a time after learning a routine and then awaiting their fate after the panel evaluates their performances.
The question I may or may not have asked in such a scenario earlier in my career was: "Did I make the cut?"
I did not make the cut. And I learned never to ask that again.
I have a few wealthy friends and I've seen a thing or two that has made my eyes pop out of my head. Let's just say that the priorities of a wealthy person and a dude who has never broken six figures are entirely different. But that doesn't compare to working for the fabulously rich. A friend of mine was a nanny for a super rich family for several years and described the lavish trips she took with them (and how picky and out of touch they were, too).
People told us their own stories after Redditor NeighborhoodTrolley asked the online community,
"People who cater to the super rich: What things have you seen?"
"It is so wide..."
"My dad's client bought a whole block of houses to build theirs. It is so wide that they installed a moving walkway like the ones at airports."
"A friend did some work..."
"A friend did some work on Sylvester Stallone's home. Apparently, there's a ton of statues and art of himself, some of which are naked and very well endowed."
Guess what, guys? It's not a joke! Those statues are weird.
Here you go: You're welcome.
"A friend from high school..."
"A friend from high school worked a few years as a deckhand on yachts in the Mediterranean and he said he once jumped in to get a customer's bag and got tipped €4000.
"Was a boyfriend of a girl from an obscenely rich family. The sister used to have the nanny (who was sleeping with the husband, but that's another story) fly to Paris in their G550 to buy the newest Hermès bag so she could show it off a few days before it went on sale in the U.S."
I did know a rich girl who would do something similar: She would fly to Paris for Fashion Week to get cute new outfits before they ever ended up in the United States.
"I used to work for a company that modified aircraft for really rich people. I'm talking 747s, not Gulfstreams.
This company had made several aircraft for this one customer, who I was told had purchased a new one solely because his spiritual advisor had told him that one of his current planes was bad luck. He still let his wife use it for her personal travel.
To me, one of the most exquisite features of these planes wasn't the gold-plated everything, or rare wood veneers, it was the silk carpet. That stuff costs over $1,000 per square foot and feels like walking on a bed of angel feathers harvested in the most inhumane way possible. Granted, these guys don't deck out the whole plane, just their personal areas (the aft third is usually reserved for staff and such and is more like a fancy economy class), but yeah… silk carpet."
"A woman who owned..."
"A woman who owned a small private jet business told me one time someone paid them to fly their dog (by itself) to NY for about $45,000 for some training. No other passengers."
The service that dog received must have been stupendous... but that's also so wasteful, I just can't get over it!
"I became personal friends..."
"I became personal friends with my boss and his wife; super nice people. The wife turned out to be an heiress and would buy me whatever I mentioned, like in passing during a conversation. I learned gifts were how she was raised to show love.
I've trained myself to only talk about things I already own unless I find something useful she might like and suggest it for her."
"Have the money to support their eccentricity.
One guy I cook for wanted his house built so that his bedroom was right above the cow barn, with a retractable spot in the floor so he could fall asleep listening to (and smelling, I presume) the cows."
Smelling the cows?
Are we certain he ever smelled a cow? Because I've been on a farm and I have and it's a terrible smell.
Would not recommend.
"I am an art student..."
"I am an art student working as a gardener. We work in one of the wealthiest areas in my country. Some customers are really eager to show me their collection of artworks that they have hanging on their walls once they find out that I study it.
I remember one time standing in a bathroom, with my dirty gardening clothes and there was a Picasso above the toilet."
"Once saw him..."
"I used to 'work' for an Arab billionaire's son, a Daddy's money guy, terrible garbage human being.
Once saw him spend $16 000 on a wallet, was a fancy one with little gold spikes on it and stuff. He had shoes with gold on them.
I remember one year for his birthday he received like 30+ cakes, big fancy cakes and he told us to leave them on the floor in the hallway outside his room.
We walked by those cakes every day for two weeks waiting for instruction, after the two weeks we were told to throw them away."
Anyway... might as well ask: Any of you rich people out there looking for a poor friend?
Need a houseboy?
Or just someone whose bills you can pay?
I'm totes available.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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Oh the matters of the heart are just never going to be easy. Love seems to be a never ending mess. I've dated a lot and can attest that the percentage of bad to good is 70/30. And that may be generous math.
I've heard about people fighting on dates, setting fire to the restaurant, discovering hidden identities and dramas I thought only ever occurred on daytime television.
I use to believe the biggest fear about dating was that the other person may turn out to be a serial killer, but they at least tend to show you a respectable time before they strike.
Oof. Let's see who has been left scarred by the hunt.
Redditor u/givemeyourfreefood wanted everyone to share the stories that almost made them re-think searching for love, by asking:
What's the worst date you ever had?
I remember the worst date I ever had. My biggest regret is that I stayed for the entire thing. I should've left as soon as I realized this was not going well, which was basically at hello. But he was paying so I drank, a lot. I'll keep names and dates to myself to protect the innocent.
0/10Big Brother Reaction GIF by Big Brother After DarkGiphy
"Went to brewery, date said I had hairy arms and that meant I was horny, said "you look really awful in this light" and then tried to dig out of that hole by saying in his native language that was a term of endearment long term couples said to each other. 0/10 did not date again."
"My wife wanted to plan our 13th wedding anniversary. I was excited because usually, I plan it. She bought us some new disc golf discs and after a quick supper, we went to play. We hadn't played in forever. We were laughing and I had a great time. She served me with divorce papers and told me that the date was a test to see if she still had feelings for me. I also learned that she was having an affair that started well before our anniversary."
Two Hours from Home
"Not necessarily a date but a person I was dating invited me to his parent's house for the afternoon. He wanted to introduce me to them and show me the house he grew up in. I thought it was super sweet and had no problems going. He was also in the middle of moving and needed to pick up a few things, so it really didn't seem that unusual."
"Yeah, we got there and it was awful. His entire family was there. They traveled from hours away too. This was not just meeting the parents, it was meeting the ENTIRE family. Even worse? At some point, this idiot told his parents that he had proposed. We had been dating TWO months. I spent the entire afternoon dumbfounded and just playing along."
"We were two hours from home and I had no cell service, no way to leave at all. We ended up spending the afternoon brainstorming wedding ideas and planning an Alaskan honeymoon that his parents planned to gift us. His brother even called to say congratulations! We drove back to his apartment in silence. When we got there, I got in my car and left, didn't even bother grabbing my stuff. Weirdest experience ever. I have no idea how he broke it to his parents that we weren't getting married."
You're Cut Off!
"Got set up on a blind date once between mutual friends. She shows up to the restaurant already a little tipsy, orders multiple appetizers and only takes like one or two bites from each one. Then she proceeds to order 3 or 4 more drinks and is visibly drunk at this point. She gets up and says she's going to the bathroom and staggers off. About 15-20 minutes go by so I try to call her several times but no answer."
"Finally I decide to pay the check and just leave. About 2 hours later I'm sitting at home and I get a call from an unknown number. It's the police department. She was picked up on a DUI on her way home after she ditched me and gave the cops my number to see if I could go bail her out!"
Sorry?Bbc Three Idk GIF by BBCGiphy
"Well, I gave this answer on a different topic, but it ties in with this. We were out on a date, we had been seeing each other for a while, close to a year maybe. She gets a phone call. Suddenly she looks destroyed. Her fiancé had just died in a motorcycle accident."
What in the world? I mean how can we ever expect to pair off with the dating pool being inundated with liars and nut jobs? I'm going to delete my apps.
Girl, Bye.Sassy Beyonce GIFGiphy
"Had a girl openly flirt with the bartender in front of me. She says she wasn't. But handing him her own phone and asking for his contact info in front of her date seems like it to me."
"Came out from a movie, late at night, and date's Camaro was stolen. Apparently, he called his WIFE (that I did not know he had) and let her know where he was and what happened. She showed up and realized he was on a date! She started chasing ME around the parking lot telling me she was going to kill me. Saved by the cops who showed up just in time to take the auto theft report."
"Met a girl at a country bar one night in my 20s. We were both pretty drunk but hit it off pretty good. Ended up getting her number and we agreed we'd go on a real date. Fast forward to the date, she gets in my vehicle and... she looks almost identical to my mom. I was mortified. I was polite and we went for lunch where I found out she also had a boyfriend she "wasn't sure if she was into". Never talked to her again."
"When I was in college many years ago, before the advancement of cell phones and social media, I was chatting with a girl I met on a BBS who lived on Long Island, NY. I was 18 at the time, but lied and said I was 22 because she said she was 25. We spent a few weeks emailing each other, as well as calling each other."
"We even exchanged pics. When we finally met up, things blew up. Turns out we both lied about our ages: She was really 33, and lied because she thought she looked younger. She admitted she sent a college photo to me. We still had dinner together, but it was awkward as hell. We never spoke again."
DoublesKill Me Now Season 1 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"It was a double date. She was more interested talking to the other girl throughout the whole thing. Found out later from the other guy that his girl cheated on him with my date."
Ummm... I think I'm just going to stay single. That is a handful of crazy. Why can't people just be honest? I swear the search for love warps people's brains. Be careful out there people.
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As much as we'd like to assume spirits, ghosts, and paranormal happenings are relegated to movies and books, plenty of real-life stories abound.
Inexplicable sightings, things heard, and cold pockets of air are encountered by plenty of people all the time.
It's up to you if you want to believe them. But it's hard to argue with the conviction of the contributors to a recent Reddit thread.
Redditor ihadanightmarewithu asked:
"What is the scariest / paranormal story you have ever experienced?"
Many people talked about the things that caught their eye once upon a time.
Two Places At Once
"I was staying with a group of friends rock climbing in Spain. Really creepy air bnb, lots of strange things happened while we were staying there. The creepiest was one morning we were getting ready for the day, packing food and generally getting our things together, and I went upstairs to grab something."
"As I was heading back downstairs I walked past my friend's boyfriend on the landing and saw him turn and go into his and my friend's room; I think I asked him something but he didn't reply. I thought 'rude' and headed downstairs."
"Walked into the kitchen and he was there sorting food out with my friend."
"Everyone swore he'd been downstairs the whole time, plus there was only one staircase and it would have been impossible for him to overtake me and get to the kitchen before me without me noticing. I went back upstairs and checked their room and there was no one up there but me."
"I've never experienced anything creepy or inexplicable before we stayed in that air bnb and I'd say I'm v. sceptical about supernatural/paranormal stuff but multiple things happened on that trip that spooked me."
"A floating head."
"I was putting beef in the slow cooker because I wanted it done for morning, it was late at night. I reached up to grab some seasonings, and heard creaking. I told my kids to get in bed."
"I see something out of my peripheral vision and there was no body but a head of a bald, pale man floating 3 1/2 maybe 4 feet off the ground in the middle of the floor. It's face kept looking as if it was sad, or like it was begging. It locked eyes with me....I froze."
"I had a darker wall, with a coat rack with my husbands work jackets so it stood out like a store thumb. I looked away thinking it was my imagination but when I looked back it was still there so I ran out the back door because I'd have to pass it to get upstairs with my husband and kids."
"I ended up calling him on my phone to come walk me in. I was wide awake, not sleepy, not out of it, on no medication. I have no reason to see that ever."
Presences, Seen and Felt
"When I was a kid my mom took my sister and I on vacation. I only remember this happening one night while we were there but the hotel we stayed at was pretty much all flats with one bedroom. I slept in the bed with my mom and my sister was on the pull out sofa. I can't remember if I was trying to go to sleep or woke up in the night to this but I just know everyone else was asleep."
"It was really dark with just a little light from the street outside coming in on the sides of the curtains. On each side of the bed stood a black silhouette and it felt like they were all staring right at me acknowledging their presence. I didn't feel threatened or afraid of them at all and turned on the bedside light and not surprisingly nobody was there."
"I turned the light back off and there they were still in the same positions. I just looked at them for a while but must have eventually fell asleep. The only other detail of that experience I remember is waking up the next day and mentioning it at breakfast and my sister saying she felt like she was being watched the whole night. I have no explanation for it but it's a memory that has stuck with me over many years now."
"One time I was going home in my car and saw a guy that appeared to have no arms no hair and a longa** neck in a JUST a hoodie no pants no underwear trying to climb a tree in the woods with their legs and idk know if that's paranormal but it was such a fu**ing weird experience that I think it qualifies"
For others, it was all about the things they heard.
"This is something I've never been able to rationalize."
"For months after my dad died, we were getting landline calls where no one would answer on the other end. This was in 2002, so, while robo callers were a thing, it definitely wasn't as prevalent as it is today, but we did assume they were probably wrong numbers or something. (We didn't have any phones that displayed caller id at the time.)"
"Well, one time, after getting yet another call with only silence on the other end, I jokingly said, 'Dad, if that's you, call my cell phone.' "
"I want to preface this by saying I rarely ever got calls on my cell phone, and never spam calls in those days. I was 18 with an unlisted number that only my family and a few friends had."
"Just a few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I'd never seen before. With what I'd just said fresh in my mind, I kind of freaked out and didn't answer. I was on my way out to go somewhere with my mom, so when we got in the car, I told her what happened. We made the decision to call the number back."
"It never rang, but there was activity at the other end: muffled static and the sound of numbers being dialed slowly. It was the weirdest thing. Both my mom and I said hello, but no one ever answered."
"Has anyone ever had something like that happen to them when dialing a number? I've never had it happen before or since."
And the Crying Stopped
"About 10 years ago (I'd have been 24) I was still living with my parents. My bedroom was in the basement. One night, around 3am I was woken up to the sounds of a young child crying. It sounded like it was coming from just outside my window. I couldn't just look out the window because it was covered in ivy, so I quickly hopped out of bed to go help the kid."
"As I got closer to my bedroom door I could hear the crying was actually on the other side of the door. I opened the door. No one is there and the crying stopped. Spooked, I immediately jumped back in bed and the crying started again."
"Later that day at dinner, my family was sitting around the table and I brought up my experience I had. One of my sisters told a story about how when she was a kid she'd always leave her room at night to go sleep with my parents because she'd see a little girl walking out of her closet."
"As she left her room and got to my parents' door waiting to be let in because the door was locked she'd see the little girl walking up the stairs that were right there. After her telling this story my youngest sister looked scared and asked, 'the little girl, is she wearing a pink nightgown with shoulder-length brunette hair?' "
"Now my other sister was scared because that is exactly who she saw. My youngest sister told how she had similar experiences with that little girl coming out of the closet at night or walking up the stairs at night."
"I'm convinced that something happened either in that house before we moved in or on that land that my parents' house was built on."
Crying From Afar
"Not my story but my moms, apparently when I was just a baby I was always a calm sleeper and once when my mom was having a friend over downstairs they could hear a baby crying so they naturally went to check on me and I was still calmly asleep..."
"...but every time they went back downstairs they could hear some more crying, but apparently the crying was somehow off in a different way as well, one day when mom and dad were downstairs watching tv while I was sleeping upstairs, they heard crying and finally pinpointed the thing that was off..."
"...apparently it came from the opposite side of the house compared to my room and that room had the latch to the attic. Creepy stuff, but I'm not that surprised. This place is totally haunted in my book, I once heard my mom call me downstairs while I was home alone."
Finally, some people interacted directly with the spirits.
Advice From Beyond
"So once while I was home alone, my neighbor knocked on my door. This was when we still lived in Oklahoma, and I was homeschooled. He was bit younger then me but we still played Halo together. I was thirteen at the time."
"I let him in and we had a conversation about what I thought the afterlife would be like, and this was really odd for him. We talked for a few minutes before he decided to leave. When my parents got home they told me he had a heart attack at school and died."
One Time Only
"I once felt a hand on my face when I was sleeping. I had the covers covering my entire face and felt something push down lightly and then a bit harder."
"I was absolutely terrified and when I finally mustered up the courage to look, nothing was there. It never happened again but there have been a few times where something similar has happened."
A Very Helpful Ghost
"I was staying in the Banff Springs Hotel in 95 for a snowboard trip and I was leaving the room and forgot my jacket."
"When I remembered right at the door, I turned around to grab it from the bed where I left it and it was being held 2' above the bed like it was being being pinched by fingers."
"The moment I turned around it dropped to the bed."
"That blew my mind!"
"My GF's sister at the time was working concierge and she said there was a bell hop ghost and gave the paper story...lol It wasn't threating at all, but was crazy to see!"
Here's hoping you manage to sleep well despite all these spooky stories!
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