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.
Learning about a juicy family secret can typically go one of two ways.
Sometimes it's purely fascinating and fills us with the same excited interest as faraway gossip. Other times, however, it involves us personally, and the truth is hard to bear.
People all over the internet are loaded with stories of both varieties, and a recent Reddit thread asked folks to come forward with theirs.
Redditor skadarski asked:
"Did your parents reveal a secret to you once you reached adulthood? If so, what was it?"
For many, the deep secrets involved the hidden, true relationships between family members. Soap operas are not as fictional as we may have hoped.
A Holiday Reveal
"That I had a much older half-sister. Apparently my father had got some girl knocked up in high school, her parents didn't like him and thought they were too young to raise a kid, so they just packed up and moved. He knew she existed, but never tried to locate her and just moved on with his life."
"After I was in college, the sister had contacted him and they got together. Well nobody bothered to mention this fact to me until I come home from college for Thanksgiving and this strange women is sitting at the table and my dad says, 'Meet your sister.' "
Kept Far Away
"When I turned 18 I got a letter from a distant Aunt and Uncle wishing me a happy birthday."
"I hadn't seen them since I was a a baby, but there's hundreds of pictures of them and me together when I was a baby. They used to babysit me a lot and take me on vacations with them."
"My Mom told me they used me to smuggle things. I guess they said it was super easy to smuggle just about anything with a baby. At one point literally hiding cocaine in my diaper."
"When I was 18 my mom told me how my dad cheated on her with this woman named Kathy. I actually remembered Kathy when I was kid because my dad would take my brother and I to her house. She would buy us computer games and stuff so we loved her at the time. I never understood why my mom hated her until I was older."
"Kathy ended up marrying my dad's best friend. As an adult I was never nice to her and my dad would give me sh** about it. I finally told him that I knew about her and that mom had told me everything. He just said "Oh, alright then." He never gave me sh** again."
An Italian Coverup
"Kind of. My sister decided to take a DNA test to get some insight into her ancestry. She got her results back and had zero percent Italian, while our dad is 100% Italian. She didn't confront them right away and instead decided to wait until I took the test and get my results."
"Four weeks later I got my results back and sure enough, I also had zero percent Italian, and it actually identified my biological father, who isn't my dad. They revealed the secret when my sister intentionally let it slip that she was and I were waiting for our DNA results."
"I'm 38 and it never once came up. It wasn't even really for a bad reason, they had fertility issues and went to a sperm bank. I'm honestly not sure they ever would have said anything"
For others, the secret was all about the source--or absence--of cold hard cash.
A Deep, Deep Hole
"Most of my college was paid by someone named Tony (random dude to me). I know you're all thinking that it was some sort of lovechild thing, but it turns out my grandfather was a bookie and Tony was always just a bad gambler."
"So instead of My grandpa having his knees capped, he made a deal Tony would pay for college."
"My great-uncle (dad's uncle) left me a large sum of money in trust that I was to receive at either age 25, graduated from college, or was honorably discharged from military service (he retired from military), whichever came first. I had no idea and I'm glad I didn't."
"I joined the military right out of high school and when I had my DD-214 in hand, my parents took me to a lawyer who laid it all out. Wow. Because of the enhanced GI Bill, I didn't have to touch a cent of it for tuition. I did use it to buy a house though."
"I miss my great-uncle as much for his wisdom as his company."
More Generous Than Any Knew
"My grandfather was a small business owner who everyone always thought of as extremely frugal due to growing up poor. Later we found out he spent a significant amount of money on charitable causes and helped a lot of his employees with financial and in one case legal trouble."
"Positive secret, but it was definitely a secret."
And some shared truly bizarre stories from the years they were too young to know what the heck was actually going on.
A Secret Prolonged
"Not yet, but when I was in college and my parents got divorced, my dad gave me all the information on what to do if he passes. Told me where things are, and had me go to his bank to sign a document for access to his account after he dies."
"When we were leaving the bank, he told me, 'your mother is not who you think she is. Everything you need to know is in my deposit box.' "
"I have no clue what he could be talking about—he never elaborated, and my mom laughed it off when I told her about it."
"Guess I'll find out one day."
Not Just A Saying
"When I was a kid, my dad accidentally killed a raccoon with his car. It had a young one with it that wasn't hit, so we adopted the baby raccoon."
"We adored it, but we were not at all equipped to care for it. There was no lock or cage that could stop this thing. It was very clever, strong and curious. It got into cupboards and ate food and trash, and we'd find its sh** in the most random places."
"One day my dad sat me down and told me that my raccoon had 'gone to live on a farm.' I was old enough to know what that meant, and I was heartbroken."
"Just a few years ago I was telling this story to my husband and my dad interrupted me and said that he literally, actually gave my raccoon away to a work acquaintance of his that had a farm and a lot of wooded property. It had become so accustomed to humans it constantly broke into the man's house and ate his food, and got enormously fat and lived a long ornery raccoon life."
"There was story growing up about how a local prince wanted to marry me and offered things like cows for my hand in marriage."
"When my father passed away I went to my home country and met cousins I had not met before."
"Turned out the prince was the president's son and it wasn't an offer, it was a demand. We snuck out of the country because he was going to make me his wife - bear in mind, I was a toddler."
"My mom filled in the back story. The company my dad worked for had to smuggle us out of the country. My life was so exciting when I was 6."
Perhaps these stories have you feeling like your life could be more exciting. But before you start thinking that way, perhaps there are secrets you simply haven't heard yet.
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Try as we might to control our impulses, it's not always possible. Sometimes something happens to us or in front of us that really engages something in us that we were not expecting.
We are animals first and foremost and sometimes the actions of others trigger a response in our animal brains. We really can't control it, but we can tell when it's happening to us and we can control our response.
"What is something a friend did that accidentally turned you on?"
Here were some of those answers.
Reding Is FUNdamental
"A friend was reading a brochure out loud to me, nothing salacious, but the feeling of being read to felt very intense and intimate."
"I fell in love for about 30 seconds. Haven't gotten anyone to read to me since :)"-squindy9
Parka De Car
"My friend was driving and he had to take out the card to tap into a carpark. He started to reverse into a lot and had the card between his pursed lips."
"He also placed his arm around the headrest of the seat next to him. When I looked at him... damn it looked kinda hot... I don't know how or why that aroused something in me."-aglioolio-burrito
"It was the reversing with the arm on the headrest thing. I have zero idea why, but that theme has popped up (hurrrr) is numerous threads like this."-Nihilator68
Just Basic Human Goodness
"Comforted me. I was crying about how I was struggling in life and in college. I was thinking about withdrawing for a semester to get things together."
"My mom had just been diagnosed with MS. I went to a female friend for help. She started rubbing my head and hugging me, and saying I'll be okay."
"I was so deprived of human touch it was amazing and made me feel so much better. Then I got hard which made me feel extremely guilty."-LordBungholeSurfer
What is it about the sly touches, the pursed lips, and the little sideways glances that really get us going?
"This happened to me in 7th grade. I was seated behind my friend who turned around so he could copy something off my paper."
"I was hunched over it with my hair hanging in my face so he swiped my hair back from my face behind my ear and grazed my cheekbone when he did. Pretty much ignited my puberty in that moment."
"Come to think about it we had a very platonic relationship with a lot of playful fondling."-Camp_Express
This Is NOT The Start Of A Porn
"I went over to his friends house (where he was staying. He was working on his car and I was like yo, I'm here loser and he pushes himself out from under the car."
"And he was all greasy and the first thing he asked was if I'd help work on the car with him and when I said yes he just had the biggest smile on his face."
"He looked like an idiot and I dunno man, the greasy look with the beautiful white smile was just… ugh"-oh_the_struggle
"Girl I knew in college for four years and we were strictly platonic."
"We came out of a bar one night and a guy who frequently asked people for money was walking up so without missing a beat she grabs me and starts making out with me."
"Guy walks away and she pulls back staring up at me for a second before patting me on the chest and saying 'works every time.'"
"We left and never spoke about it again. Nice improvisation, Kristin but now my pants don't fit right."-RevSnakebite
Pro Tip: Don't Date Co-Stars
"I was a theater kid in high school. One of my costars had this odd habit when she'd need to focus on a difficult part or queue we were working on. She'd bite her lower lip and get this really angry look on her face."
"I don't know why, but that stupid look on her face drove me up the goddamned wall."
"We were in Sweeney Todd my senior year. I was Sweeney, she was Mrs. Lovett. There's a section of the play where we danced together and sang a song called 'A Little Priest.'"
"We were both great singers but god awful dancers, so it took a long time to master it. The whole time rehearsing, she'd stare at me angrily, biting her lower lip."
"That was like... 16 years ago and I still get a little flustered when I think about it lol."-Chingparr
But now you're starting to remember the little moments too, aren't you?
"Night out. Me (M[ale]) and few friends just chilling and drinking. Then one of my friends (F[emale]) who had drunk a couple of drinks too much tried to stand up from the sofa we were sitting on. "
"But then she fell back and at the same time she grabbed me by my thigh for support, in which point the little guy woke up. And now I'm scared if someone touches my thighs..."-MrZere
This Is A True Dream
"We would go on walks every night for a few months, just talking about our days. Her laugh was so interesting to me."
"I could feel a lot of conflict in it somehow, and I always wanted to know what was going on but didn't want to ask too many questions."
"Eventually she told me about life at home which was awful to hear, but while she was telling me she grabbed my hand."
"It lasted maybe two weeks just holding hands and walking, chatting and just strictly friendship then she moved to the opposite coast."
"She was sweet and beautiful outwardly and in her soul. She winked at me one time, when punking her young sibling. It left me breathless."
"We were 16 at the time, but I still wonder where she ended up. Ms. T. Haas.. if you're reading this let's go for a walk!"-RagingConfluence
Happy End, Happy Ending
"She was meant to be going out with her friends one night, so she was all dressed up, but agreed to help me get headshots for my art project at the last minute (needed reference pictures)."
"We took a little longer than expected so she ended up staying home and we hung out and chatted for a while."
"From the way she was sitting, her dress kept slowly sliding up revealing her thigh so she'd fix it. I was across the room from her so I could see what was going on."
"After this happened a couple of times she kinda stopped fixing it (it wasn't revealing too much), but I couldn't help but notice. That was the moment when I realised I had a thing for legs."
"We have a happy ending though, she's now my girlfriend and things are going really well."-Cyanide_Revolver
So it is a big thing and it happens all the time. That's not to say it's not notable when it does--but as humans, we are almost completely beholden to our feelings.
Sometimes those feelings even lead to happy endings. Literally.
We've all heard of toxic masculinity. You know, that thing where men don't want to do anything remotely feminine, like wear pink, or wash their a**holes in the shower because they think it's “gay"? Yeah, that thing. It sucks, but sometimes it's important to remember that people of all genders can be toxic AF too.
Let's talk about toxic femininity, shall we? VysX_ asked:
There's toxic masculinity but what are examples of toxic femininity?
For some reason, toxic femininity gets really, REALLY prevalent when they become moms. It’s weird and kinda creepy, if you ask me.
Why does Little League bring out the worst in people?
“Mothers who treat other people like crap and then justify it by saying they're a mama bear."
“A few years ago my son's team was playing a little league game against another team. We had a very good team that year and the other team was really struggling. Despite this, it was a close game going into the 5th (i.e. next-to-last) inning.
Well, we're batting and the wheels finally come off for the opposition. A kid on our team gets a simple hit to the outfield and the other team proceeds to go full tee-ball and throw it all over creation. What should have been a single turns into a 3-run HR.
As the batter crosses home plate, fans are going nuts, players are going nuts, everyone is going nuts, and the star player on the losing team just melts down. He picks up the ball and throws it as hard as he can right at our dug out. There's a safety fence of course, so no one gets hurt, but it was still very much an "Oh, snap" moment for everyone.
At this point, the ump turns to the losing coach and says, "Coach, you need to get a hold of your player." That's it. That's all he said. He didn't say anything to the player; he didn't kick him out of the game; he just gave the coach a direct warning.
Next thing I hear is "DONT YOU TALK TO MY BABY THAT WAY" as the dug-out mom comes firing out of the other dug-out, heading straight for the ump. Fortunately for everyone, the head coach comes out of nowhere to intercept her. He proceeds to restrain her and walk her (and the player) away. The whole game stops for ~5 minutes while those three basically have a group hug in the middle of the infield.
Fortunately, that was the end of the drama. I still give major props to that other coach for somehow diffusing that situation without getting the police involved. But I will never understand what was going through that lady's mind."
We can all do “womaning” differently.Wendy Conrad GIF by Your Happy WorkplaceGiphy
“To me it would mean women who bag on other women for womaning differently than they do.
This becomes really toxic after childbirth. Some women will feel nothing about letting you know how you are parenting wrong by using this product or letting you child do this particular thing.
Women who are able to stay at home will be made to feel guilty for not helping to provide; and women who work are made to feel guilty for abandoning their child.
I wish women were more understanding about dealing with differences and letting things slide a bit more. You should never feel higher after putting someone else down.
That being said, I don't know how we did it, but I found the world's greatest group of moms when my son was a year and a half old. We came from all walks of life and supported the ever-loving hell out of each other. This was in Phoenix late 90's and we were completely tight until I moved away when my son was 5. I miss all of em."
They should know better than to tear down other women.
“It's very common for mothers or female relatives to be some of the first ones to comment on a woman's weight, appearance, or personal style/fashion choices, as well as reinforcing a sense of self-hatred (i.e. "I look so fat in this outfit, and you look so ugly in that color"), all while tearing other women down ("I can't believe she's wearing that, doesn't she know how she looks??").
When you have that reinforcement that it's normal to say things like that, because if your mom does it then it's okay to do it too, then you just treat it as normal. And because it's so common, you find other women to do it with and it just becomes a cycle. If you try to break it, then you're labeled as sensitive, a bore, and "Oh my god we're just having fun, chill out, it's not that serious."
I still remember the first time I called my mom on talking sh*t about a woman wearing something she didn't like, and she got so f*cking mad at me."
Let’s dive into the tearing down other women thing some more. We as a society need a wake-up call.
It’s like high school all over again.
"Some women are so judgemental about other women, particularly when it comes to looks or fashion.
Also the women who seem to enjoy forming cliques and cutting out anyone they deem to be an outsider.
Worked with an office full of them once. It really sucked!"
“When I first got out of grad school, my first (and as it turns out, only) teaching job was long-term substituting for a friend while she went on maternity leave. The kids/classroom were mine for the first half of the school year, but we coordinated so that things would be pretty smooth transitioning back to my friend teaching at the end of her leave.
My friend was part of a two-teacher team who ran the 8th grade Student Council. I told the other teacher that I would be happy to help her with the club in my friend's absence, but she insisted she didn't need my help. She then proceeded to 100% ignore me and treat me as if I was invisible during all future interactions. 8th-grade team meetings, if I said even a single word, she shot me side eye, even though what I had said was not at all related to her; just a kind of "you're not a real teacher, how dare you speak?" vibe she was giving off.
My last day, my friend came in after school to put her classroom stuff up as I took my own down. The other teacher and two other women (the PE coach who I'd never talked to and another teacher, I don't remember) came in to help her, but none of the three of them offered to help me take any of my own things down or pack any of it up. They also said things like, "Is this yours or hers?" to my friend, even though I was standing right f*cking there. They also gushed about how excited they were that she was back; again, right in front of me.
After I was finally done putting away all my things--again, by myself--I just left without a word. I texted my friend about it later, and she apologized for her other friends' behavior but just excused it as, "Yeah, they're definitely the 'Mean Girls' types".
I was just floored. These were TEACHERS. You know, the people who are supposed to teach children NOT to bully other people? And I had never been anything but nice to everyone I met during my time there, but they didn't care. I wasn't part of their group, so I wasn't worth their time.
It became one of a laundry list of reasons I decided I didn't actually want to be a teacher for a living, after all.
tl;dr - personally experienced cliquey adult women in the education field, of all places. It sucked.”
“My ex-husband and I separated when our child was 2. Went to a birthday party for daughter's friend and was having a casual conversation with one of the husbands. The group of women stood in a corner staring at me, and the wife came up and grabbed him by the arm and started doing that strange possessive peacock dance.
What were we talking about? Real estate prices."
“No joke, I had a professor I was close with because we were both single moms and she gave me the advice to wear a wedding band even without a man and that the other moms would chill out a bit. It worked and my daughter started getting more opportunities for playdates. It's really demoralizing."
I think we all need to learn how to be more forgiving.
Toxic office culture is the literal worst.come together love and hip hop GIF by VH1Giphy
“The sheer terrifying glee they have at tearing down someone who's made a mistake or is somehow lacking in their eyes. I worked at a doctor's office with a fifty person staff, forty five of which were women. Like they were so fake and catty and just outright hateful to each other. It was a toxic office culture."
“Did they also have a compulsive, competitive need to please the male figures in the department? I go weekly to a fairly small medical department where the head doctor is male and the majority of nurses and admin are female. They treat him like an absolute God and defer to him with everything. He's a huge d*ck and of course, has a big ego by now."
This girl isn't just toxic--she's a monster.
“A girl in the grade below me (I'm a senior in high school at this point) passed away unexpectedly due to sepsis. Our whole city was in shock as the girl was in the school just days before her passing.
I remember I met up with my gf at the time and she asked, "Why do so many people care about her dying? It's not like she was pretty anyways."
This was the type of girl that says, "What??!! I am SOOO nice."
Safe to say, the lord blessed me with a brain and I GTFO of that relationship.
To this day, she is still in contact with me & recently she complained that guys use her & she can't figure out why nobody will be with her.
Well, honey, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
Edit: Some of you have said that I should tell her and I did. Apparently, she would "literally never say that about her" and also apparently "I know nothing about her." (My ex. Dated for 4 years. Know nothing)"
This is how eating disorders start.
“Probably the culture around eating.
When I was 17-18, a few friends kept saying how much more attractive I'd be if I lost weight, how that's why most guys weren't into me, how I'd regret not being skinny in college, etc. My BMI was slightly under 25, so I wasn't overweight, but I was close to it, especially compared to them.
So I basically became anorexic from 18-20 just because the feedback was like a high. I recovered, but not enough to make my mom and others happy, even though my BMI was 22-23. This continued for years between friends and family, and it was exhausting cycling between being too skinny or not average enough.
That's really the only strong example I can think of. No matter the trendy body shape, the criticism from others will always continue. I've only had one guy ever comment on my weight compared to the many, many women, even strangers.”
As a woman myself, I’ve encountered plenty of toxic femininity in my life. It’s almost as terrible as the objectifying sh*t I hear men saying about women all the time. We have to be rid of cattiness and tearing other women down.
Remember what we actually need to be working against. So much sexism exists in the world, and we have to stick together.
We all know we don't have endless time on this earth, so we prioritize things that we want to do while we are around. We create bucket lists and dream boards and imagine all the endless possibilities for adventure. Often, those bucket lists include dangerous acts like sky diving or deep sea exploration.
But what about things you would never do in your lifetime. Not for any other reason other than it being too fear inducing or too dangerous. We went to Ask Reddit to find out what those wild adventures are that just aren't worth the risk.
Some folks also shared that they made some serious life decisions that were important to their health and well being. Trying dangerous substances or staying on top of their weight loss was important and they never wanted to take that risk again.
Redditor machine1892 asked:
"You all know what a bucket list is, what is on your 'f*ck no, not ever list'?
Let's find out what people are just not willing to do.
Exploring the depths of the unknown is just too unknown.
"Cave diving or underground not fully explored dark tight tunnels. The movie 'As Above So Below' and the real life tragedy of 'Nutty Putty Cave' was enough for me to add that to my f*ck no list."
"A real caver once told me that for every 1 hour you travel into a cave, it will take them 4 hours to drag your busted up @ss out of there if something goes wrong."
"I'm a caver and one black humor mantra I've heard before is 'Don't worry, help is just 3 days away!' due to the difficult nature of cave rescues."
"That said, there are incredible teams of cavers who will do everything possible to rescue people and animals from cave-related incidents. I have a whole book covering the past few decades of cave rescues."
"Dunno if you will have seen this, but there's an old American emergency/911/sh*t happened kind of show in which 4 open water divers on air go 30ft down, and the instructor tells them to avoid entering the cave around that level both in briefing, and signs to surface, and 3 of them don't and go into the cave."
"Instructor alerts people at surface, seconds away, there is a trained cave rescue diver on scene by chance, he is in within 2 minutes, and saved one of them."
"Literally, they are less than 35 ft from surface, less than a minutes travel into the cave, and only one survives, despite having a guy right there, with lights, trimix and the right training."
"Dive talk covered it at one point."
If you're claustrophobic, this is definitely off your bucket list.
"A submarine or anything else bad for a claustrophobe."
"lol I worked on subs for 4 years….it's cool once, then it's just cramped, tiny and annoying."
"Son was a Navy Nuc on a ballistic missal sub. Said he was too busy working, eating or sleeping to be claustrophobic. I got to tour the sub once. I am extremely proud of him but thought he was crazy."
The ocean can destroy you.
"I absolutely fear the ocean and I won't go out farther than 6ft lmao. So I'd never go on things such as cruises or boat trips. It also doesn't help that I can't swim."
"I'm VERY comfortable in the water, but even I still fear the ocean. I live in Hawaii and swim, board, fish, kayak treasure hunt, etc., all things ocean-related and love every second of it but man the ocean will destroy you. People die here all the time. An experienced surfer died here a couple weeks ago in an area considered a calmer area. A couple of days ago another girl fell off the rocks and drowned. If you do not respect the ocean, you will die."
"There were 3 rescues today at a popular bodyboarding beach in my town. Only 2 survived."
That early 2000s game show is nightmare worthy.
"Those Fear Factor games where they put a sh*t ton of spiders or other scary creatures on top of you while you lay there. Yeah, that's a huge f*ck no from me."
"The ones where they make you eat a whole lot of stuff that's not just weird or another culture's food (i.e. crickets/tripe) but is actually seriously unhealthy ... like drink a litre of rancid oil... are far worse, to my mind."
"I always said the prize money from that show was to cover medical bills because there's no way people were 100% okay afterwards."
"That's actually why the show got cancelled. They made a girl drink donkey semen and the network finally said 'enough.'"
"Not even kidding, one of the most popular shows in the UK is where we send celebrities to live in the jungle for three weeks and do exactly this to them! And the celebs who go on it LOVE IT!"
Keeping off the weight.
"Become obese again."
"I was obese for almost 10 years of my life, but I decided to lose the weight in my early 20s. Feels great to be active and healthy."
"I'm here with you. Was 250 at my largest, I've since lost over 70 pounds and am in my mid-twenties. It feels great to look great, which I expected, but it feels better to just feel healthy. I wanted to lose weight more for vanity reasons, now I care way less about those and just love being healthy. I'm not at my goal weight but I feel amazing and it's such a huge contrast. So congrats, I'm really happy for you!"
"That's how I feel. At my heaviest, I was at 235 and I'm down to 202, but it's not even the weight loss that keeps me going. For the first time ever I actually craved working out when I went on vacation for a week and couldn't. The vacation was fun, but damn my body went back to aching at the end of it. If I don't stretch I get really bad pain from sitting down for work."
This cheese is called Casu Martzu. It's a sheep's milk cheese that has living larva inside.
"Those who do not wish to eat them place the cheese in a sealed paper bag. The maggots, starved for oxygen, writhe and jump in the bag, creating a "pitter-patter" sound. When the sounds subside, the maggots are dead and the cheese can be eaten."
"Somehow, there is a hint of sadism behind this paragraph."
Though there are plenty of people who have done these things, there are good reasons to avoid them. Especially for those choices that were life threatening or deadly.
What's most important in your life is finding what is meaningful for you and doing what makes your life worth living.
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