People Break Down Which Punishments Might Not Sound That Bad But Are Actually Horrific

No one enjoys a punishment; however, there is a big red line that shouldn't be crossed. Sometimes it can seem relatively minor but when you really look at what the punishment fully entails a more gruesome side begins to show. “Old school" discipline has been shown to be damaging on many levels often causing lifelong damage whether physical or mental.

Even the current correction system in America still uses tactics as punishment of inmates that rather than leading to rehabilitation causes lasting damage to inmates in turn leading to higher rates of ricidivism. Yet, some parents will use similar degradation to punish their children. Someday perhaps, as a society, we will begin to discipline without causing lasting harm.

One Redditor by the screen name rivno2 was curious about what others knew of punishments both in real life or imaginary. They asked:

Which punishment (either real or imagined) sounds "light" or "not a big deal" at first, but is actually horrific to experience?"

Some of the responses were shocking.

after one hour you just want to hold your hands in ice water...”

“Peeling salted sunflower seeds with your bare hands. Had the choice between that and getting spanked. Chose the peeling and I regretted that immensely."

“It doesn't sound bad at first but let me tell you, after one hour you just want to hold your hands in icewater. Your fingertips get sore, sometimes you prick your skin and the salt dries out your fingers and makes them really sensitive."

“Not to mention that the salt creeps up your nailbed and hurts like sh*t, especially if you rip your skin near your finger nails. I never chose that punishment again." Mr_Gaster

Writing lines...

“As a kid, when I did something wrong I'd have to write a sentence 100-500 times as punishment. I remember having to sit in the car at a family reunion at probably 7 years old writing ‘I am a bad girl.’ 500 times because I'd taken a granola bar without asking.”

“Writing I am a bad girl that many times, repeated for minor infractions and sentences like ‘I am a liar and no one likes liars.’ Or ‘I ruined the day for my family.’ Just sticks with you and becomes internalized. I'm 31 now, it's been a good 15 years since I've had to write these, but I still think them about myself.” CuteNCaffinated

The crime? I'm allergic to the incense used in church...”

School made us do that as a punishment, copying pages and pages of quotes from the bible about bad people. Or lines of 'I'm not worth educating' 'my actions and life will amount to nothing' Yeah wonder why bunch's of students are anti Christian and struggling with depression and a career 10-15 years later."

“Got to the point I refused. Not wasting paper or my sanity, so an alternative was to go pull thistles and prickles and goatheads (sharp pronged thorny things) out of the grounds barehanded."

“The crime? I'm allergic to the incense used in church and my coughing disrupts service every Friday and Sunday." Snofall-Bird


“Having to play with chicken. My grandpa always told me, when the neighbors kid would missbehave (100 years+ since then) his parents would lock him into the chicken habitat and put some liquid and/or meat on his feet. The chickens would peck at his feet and he would have to flee constantly until he was too tired to. Then he would be released.” iwannaconsumepp


Outlaws GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy

​“Outlawry. To be declared an outlaw. Today, we think of an outlaw as just anybody who breaks the law regularly. Back in the day, though, it was a punishment.”

“If you were declared Outlaw, that meant that you were literally ‘outside of the law’ and could claim no protection from it. If someone didn't like you, they could freely beat you, rob you, torture you, or even kill you.”

When the stories refer to Robin Hood as an ‘outlaw’ that's what they're talking about. It's not a romantic, heroic, swashbuckling thing, it's the state of having no claim to any legal protection at all. The king (or whoever he appoints) takes your land, anybody who wants it can take your stuff, and anybody who doesn't like you can just beat you to death without consequences.”

They can also put a bounty on your head and have people hunting you to claim it. What do you think would happen if you lost all protection from the law, and anybody who brought your head to the courthouse could claim a year's salary as a reward?”Wadsworth_McStumpy

Kneeling on something painful...

Kneeling on grains of uncooked rice.” Andrezj1097

“It used to be a common punishment in Italy for children to be made to kneel on uncooked chickpeas.” c19isdeadly

The US prison system does need reform...

Time. People underestimate the impact of duration of a sentence. In the US, it's not uncommon to hear in the news that someone received a 1 year sentence for such and such crime and thinking ‘wow that's so short they'll be out in no time’.”

The numbers just seem so abstracted we forget just how vast even a single year is. Even for minor offenses, something like 30 days can be quite large. Imagine the impact on a person for having their life interrupted for an entire month, that will cost most people their jobs.”

“Sentence durations are pretty arbitrary and many of them are just the way they are because historically that is the duration that was expected, any changes are relatively minor. The truth is that modern sentences in the US are among the longest in the world and disproportionately large.” pm-me-gps-coords

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​“Standing on concrete. Nazis called them ‘stehbunker’, Stalin called them ‘kishka’, but it's all the same idea, a cell so small you are forced to stand because there isn't enough room to sit.”

“Standing barefoot on concrete, for days, is beyond brutal. It won't kill you, but it will (slowly and very painfully) cripple you, while keeping you awake for days straight.” MyNameIsRay

​Star Trek...

Screaming Internally Star Trek GIFGiphy

​“Since you said imaginary, there was a punishment shown on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, that Black Mirror copied a couple times, and science fiction has used as a concept, likely before DS9. The concept is time dilation - the idea that time takes place at a different rate in the real world than it does in some other.”

So for the punishment, the character Miles O'Brien was strapped in a chair for an hour and sedated, and he 'dreamed' he served a 10 year prison sentence. Or maybe it was longer, but in his mind, he was trapped in this cell for years and years.”

“In the dream, he may have been deprived of food, he was definitely deprived of social interaction, but at the end of it, he woke up, and only an hour had passed. (Actually, the best Next Generation episode, The Inner Light, played with time dilation as well. Same with the best Voyager episode, Blink of an Eye.)” experpernectu

Arms up...

​“Being forced to keep your arms up all the time.” Adventurous_Pipe7479

My dad did this to us with books. We had to hold them straight out in front of us and if our arms drooped, he'd add another books. I didn't realize how messed up this was until I started telling people about it. I'd beg him to spank us instead.” Lacebatty

Goat licking?

“Goat licking. In medieval times you would get your feet strapped between two wooden boards and theyd be sprinkled in salt (or similar) so animals (mainly goats) would lick them. Seems like it'd tickle at first but they won't stop licking. Apparently they'd lick flesh off until they hit bones.” BreadedPotatoMan

Bread and water...

Bread and water rations, it was there to cause weaponized constipation. 30 days of constant abdominal pain, specifically tailored to humiliate is a lot worse than ‘oh bland food boo hoo’.” noobie9000

School punishments...

“My dad told me about a punishment that was given in schools when he was growing up (born in 1954) which was you had to go to the side of the aisle of desks and squat down (into like the Asian/Russian squat stance) and hold it for the rest of class. He said it never sounded bad but after a while your muscles and knees would lock up and at the end of class in order to get out of the position you had to fall onto your side or back to the floor to let your legs relax enough to allow you to move and use them.”

“He told me when I was super young but its always stuck with me cause I was so surprised that something that seemingly small would cause so much pain and loss of control. You essentially got insane Charlie horses when you dropped out of the position.” whothefuckknowsdude


“Tickling. No joke, the Nazis used this as a form of torture in some cases. It doesn't leave a mark, so it's also used in environments like mental facilities where patients may be restrained and staff go on a power trip.”

“Extreme cases can result in incontinence, vomiting and a loss of consciousness due to the inability to breathe. It's also easier for the torturer to do it for a long time without it wearing away at their conscience because the victim is involuntarily laughing, so it's easy to pretend that it's not that bad.” Usidore_

“Wall sits (air chair) are very painful when done wrong.”

“Wall sits (air chair) are very painful when done wrong. Lining your heel with your knee is the wrong way to wall sit but this was how I was forced to do it. Arms out in front like chair arms so you can't support yourself. 90 degree angles and no sliding.” ​WeirdoIdiotSavant

"Standing at parade rest...”

“Standing at parade rest without being able to talk for 5 hours. In basic training, someone got caught stealing food from the DFAC no more than 20min after we had been yelled at for people doing that.”

“As a punishment, we stood at parade rest from 5pm to 10pm without being able to talk and with at least one DS watching us at all times. I don't know how to describe it, but your brain can only come up with so much to do for 5 hrs while not moving.” EnegmaticMango

“ can lead to frostbite injuries similar to 2nd and 3rd degree burns.”

​“Closing your hand around a chunk of salt water ice, and holding it there. Dubbed the ‘salt and ice challenge’, where people hold onto it for as long as they can stand, it can lead to frostbite injuries similar to 2nd and 3rd degree burns.”

“It also essentially fuses to your skin, so if you try to open your hand it will rip off skin (you need to use warm water to detach it). I did this about 20 years ago, before it was a thing on social media. It sucks. Edit: With the attention this is getting, I feel obligated to say...definitely do NOT try this!” Rebuttlah

Hot rock painting...

Painting rocks. A couple of guys in my AIT unit got in trouble, the sadistic drill sergeant tried being creative with an ‘approved’ punishment which was painting rocks.”

“As dumb as a punishment it is, the sadistic side was that this training unit was in southern Arizona during peak summer temperatures. The rocks were literally hot enough to fry an egg on and both privates' hands ended up being covered with 2nd degree burns.”

“The drill sergeant faced pretty heavy administrative action. I don't recall exactly what, but it probably one of he most severe I had ever heard a drill sergeant receive.” ​wonder-maker

​“Once he troubled my aunt so much that she punished him...”

My cousin, 10yo, quite agile never sits still. Once he troubled my aunt so much that she punished him. His punishment was to sit still on the bed and do nothing. No tv, no playing either on phone or with his toys, not even speaking, no one was allowed to come to his room so that he even can't watch others.”

“He asked her to read his textbook as he thought studying would lessen her anger but she denied even studying! He had to sit completely still. Initially that punishment seemed quite simple to me but what impact it had on a small child was huge. This punishment tortures you by boring you which a small child can't take. At last he broke down crying after which he was pardoned.” kvmedico

Sadly many of these are all too common. Remember to be kind even when it's time to discipline

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