Adopting a child isn't an easy choice. It can be prohibitively expensive. It can also be quite taxing both mentally and emotionally. There's also the matter of which type of child to adopt. Do you go with a baby or toddler? How about one significantly older than that? Each child comes with their own unique parenting challenges.
After Redditor ComplexPick asked the online community, "Parents who have adopted a older child (5 and up), how has it gone for you? Do you regret it or would you recommend other parents considering adoption look into a older child?" people explained how their lives have gone since they made the fated decision.
I adopted a 15 year old, he was hell on wheels and made a lot of really poor choices. He's now 20, and I am so proud of the man he became. It was a horrible time trying to get him to understand that abuse isn't love and that we wanted the best for him, but he's doing great now and is working really hard to create a loving family of his own.
Do I suggest adopting older kids? Hell yes! The biggest reason is because I grew up in foster care, all I wanted was my own family, its hard, its taxing, and you have a lot of rewiring to treat their hurts and make them better so they know you're not going to do the same to them but every minute is worth it! TYRwargod
I adopted an older child and the only part I regret was agreeing to an open adoption with the birthparents, separate bi-annual visits with bio mom and bio dad. Each and every visit was sheer hell on earth, from the build up to the fall out after. I regret nothing about adopting an older child and would do it again in a heartbeat, but I would do a closed adoption. DavisSquared
27 years later......
I'm asking because I adopted my daughter when she was age 10. It was pure hell to begin with as it was not shared with us she had serious psychological issues. After 7 years of therapy and many many tears, we had a breakthrough. Now 27 years later, I was asked if I recommended doing it. I was at a lost if I should have been honest or just say yes because once you get past the issues that will surely arise, it's a wonderful thing to do. ComplexPick
My experience adopting is one of the greatest experiences I could describe to you, and if you want kids, I strongly recommend you look into it.
My kids were siblings aged 7, 4, and 6 months, so it was never unknown to them. The bio parents abused them and things were a bit tough at first, but other than matters of faith, it is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.
My oldest is a student at Purdue and is studying abroad in Ireland right now. My middle daughter will be attending Purdue in the fall. My youngest is learning Japanese in middle school right now, and I suspect she'll go to either IU or Purdue when she graduates high school.Proud Dad. waiform
She's now 12.
We adopted a five year old girl. She's now 12. Don't regret it at all. But it has been extremely hard.
She has been diagnosed with PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder and most recently bipolar disorder. She has been in therapy since we adopted her. Much has improved, but she still has extreme anger issues. She has run away from home three times. She has been inpatient psych twice. Her school has reported us to DHR.
(When she gets out of control we have to restrain her to prevent her from hurting herself or us. She told her teacher about an incident when we had to restrain her so they reported it and a social worker showed up at our door that night).
I wouldn't recommend adopting an older child to someone unless I know they are willing to put in the work. Love doesn't cure all. Brandysheanix
You'll be better off...
I don't regret it and I do recommend other parents look into older children. There are an abundance of children who need loving parents.
We adopted two siblings and we also have two biological children. Our biological children were 9 and 7 when we adopted our 5 & 4-year-old children. That was 11 years ago.
Best advice: embrace an open adoption BUT adopted parents fully control any contact.
Our kid's biological mother has been a huge help in counseling our kids. They misremembered so many details about how and why we adopted them that lead to blame against us and challenges in our relationship. They have a fierce loyalty to their biological mom that's decreased over time as she's openly reminded them how unfit she was.
It wasn't a cake walk, but we are all much better-off than we were when we stumbled into this. roonerspize
My wife and I adopted a 16 year old boy over a year ago. We originally went in thinking we are going to adopt much younger, but when we started reviewing profiles there were a large number of teenagers in the mix. Most people adopting children are looking for the full parental experience. For some, adoption is their only chance at raising a child, so I can kind of understand the desire to adopt a young child.
The result is that the older children are skipped over. It's heartbreaking, as many unadopted kids 'exit the system' at 18 and almost all of their supports disappear. We kept running into these profiles and it was impossible to ignore them. We were adopting to expand our family, already having kids of our own, so parenting wasn't new to us. He's been a great addition and has blended really well. bfarrgaynor
It has gone mostly well.
I have adopted six kids four were between 7 and 13 (a sibling set) and then two that were younger. 3 and 5 (a different sibling set).
It has gone mostly well. There has been a lot of therapy and issues due to past abuse.
The hardest part has been earning how to redefine what it means to be a successful parent. It is also challenging discovering deficiencies in their upbringing
I did learn how to do creative parenting. YeahIprobablydidit
We adopted a sibling group of 5. They were 12, 10, 9, 8 & 3. We are only 2.5 years in and the first 2 years were just pure chaos. It's like a cycle of trial and error as well as them testing us. Each child is growing at their own rate and making great progress and healing. 5giantsandaweenie
Never too Late...
My husband and I unexpectedly adopted a 17 year old. She was on drugs and a downhill spiral. So we gave her a place full of love, therapy, help, therapy, rehab, and more therapy with love.
She healed and became a part of our family.
It is kinda odd being only nine and ten years older than your kid but she is still our kid.
Also we are a gay couple and knew basically next to nothing about females and their "monthly needs". She never had a loving and stable household with men that didn't hurt her in emotionally and physical ways.
So it was one big old learn process for the three of us.
But we made it work and now we are like any other family. SurpriseThere1
Worth the Pennies....
My wife and I took in a 17 year old 4 months after we got married at 24 and 27. 2 years in, we are very happy with our decision. We walked her through everything: learning to drive, getting her first bank account, getting enrolled in college, the death of her father and mother, getting counseling, estate planning, taxes, and numerous health issues. It has been worth every minute and dollar we have spent to know we have gained a daughter and changed what life will look like for her and generations to follow. ThisIsNowAUsername
He was 9...
I feel I got lucky. He was 9 when we adopted him, but he was just grateful to have a home and people who loved him. My wife and I love him dearly as he does us. TyrannoDragon
"My son has complex trauma..."
My pre-adoptive son just moved in 6 weeks ago. He's almost 10. Him getting here has been a bit of a long and wild story but he's been in care since he was 6. It hasn't been easy but there's SO many older kids who need families. My biggest thing is just to make DAMN sure you're committed. Know your limits. Be honest with yourself and your adoption coordinator. And demand honesty from the social worker as well. Ask for psych evals and treatment histories. Because if you convince yourself "Oh I can handle this" and you change your mind? You are re-traumatizing that child.
My son has complex trauma from years of abuse but the thing he talks about most after his meltdowns? Having to leave his first pre-adoptive home because he kept losing his temper and throwing things. He's been in 4-5 placements and a PRTF since then.
I work with girls involved in juvenile justice so I felt uniquely prepared for this situation and even for me, it's been physically and emotionally exhausting. I'm a single parent and we're in the middle of a global pandemic so I'm sure that's a factor. But if you choose to adopt there shouldn't be any "changing your mind" or "this just isn't working out". That kiddo is part of your family. My son and I have a little mantra "together forever. Even when things get hard, even when things get sad."
"I took guardianship..."
I took guardianship of my sons half sister when she was 14. Her mother was a pushover who didn't know how to handle her so she was put into the system.
I knew she wasn't a bad kid, so I stepped in and said I'd take her. It was rough that first year. She tested the boundaries a lot until she realized that I wasn't going to give up on her. I think it also helped that her baby brother adored her and my parents welcomed her with open arms. We found her a good therapist that she clicked with and that really helped her work through her issues. She finished school with good grades, met her boyfriend who is wonderful with her. She has kids of her own now and is a fantastic mother. Best decision I ever made was taking her in.
We adopted a 15 year old girl, after raising three bio kids to adulthood. It has been good but quite different from what we expected. 15 year olds are not " fully formed" but almost. She is a nice smart kid. But also got pregnant, hid it for 4 months. Had a beautiful baby. We expected to finish high school and hold down a part time job, save some money which she would need to become independent after graduation ( her goal) She moved 1000 miles away. Took up with kind of a rough crowd. Was immersed in a druggy thiefy homeless group that made her fear that her son would end up removed and back in the foster care system.
For now the baby is with us. Almost 2 Babies are a lot of work but also a lot of joy and laughter. We are about 60. Occasionally I think " this is not what we signed up for" but in reality it is exactly what we signed up for. Most folks when they have a kid or multiple kids have a bunch of expectations. Part of what makes it interesting is that the kids come with their own personalities, software, journeys, whatever you want to call it. Can make for a wild interesting 20 years.
"She was challenging to raise..."
We adopted our eldest daughter at 10. We actually adopted her baby half sister first. After the mom met us (since we were doing this via foster care) she asked if we'd adopt her other daughter too. She had been in and out of foster care most of her life, and her bio mom selflessly made the decision to let her go for stability and safety. We definitely weren't planning to adopt an older child, we already had a 6 year old biological child, but after meeting the 10 year old, we knew we'd want her to be a part of our family. It's been 16 years and it definitely hasn't always been easy, but we have no regrets. We love our daughter like our "own."
She was challenging to raise the first few years, definitely had some trust issues with us and some deep seeded abandonment issues. Family therapy helped. Every once in awhile (like once every few years or so), these issues resurface. She still struggles with depression and anxiety. Id be lying if I said this doesn't worry me, it does, but she seems to have a handle on it. She's always been incredibly smart and talented. She just finished her masters degree, has had a successful career thus far, and she's engaged to a wonderful man (they were supposed to get married this summer, now we aren't sure. Thanks covid!) It's almost odd that she has really excelled in everything she's ever tried (she thinks it's mostly due to good luck). We call her (half jokingly) "our achiever". Some of her success was due to our parenting I'm sure , but most of it is just her and how she's wired. I'm proud to be her mom.
"We chose to adopt..."
My wife and I are a little older, so when we decided to adopt we opted for an older child for a host of reasons, one being it made more sense for us financially (healthy infant adoptions are crazy expensive for average people like us, plus the long waits, etc) and also because our hearts went out for older children whom society generally wants to look over and forget. These kids need a home too.
We chose to adopt from the foster care system. This meant taking the same set of classes as standard aspiring foster parents, so even though we had no intention of becoming actual foster parents we learned what they learn and became legitimate foster parents.
We took in a troubled 13 year old girl. I won't tell her personal story of how she got into the system, except to say it was not as one might expect. We stuck through it with her. There were lots of twists and turns in her story and we found out the hard way that she was not, in fact, clear for adoption months into the process; so we became what we wanted to avoid, foster parents instead of adoptive parents. I'll never forget during one of the regularly scheduled court appearances we were obligated to go to, of having the court workers review her story to the court and later having random people sob in the back from listening to it, and tell us "We will pray for you."
She was angry at the world for her situation. Angry at her bio mom for abandoning her. Angry at the system for 'forgetting' her for so many years. She lashed out at us many times as well, thinking we would just give up on her. I'll never forget her slamming the door to her room and screaming at my wife "I HATE YOU!" over and over, and my wife barely holding it together and saying "I love you anyway" each time.
My wife and I had moments of despair. When one of us would grow weak and say we couldn't do this anymore and maybe we should consider giving up, the other would remind us well what would we do in this situation if she were our child? and we would nod, and press on.
One day, about a year and a half in, this child turned to me while I was driving her somewhere and said, "I don't want to go back to my bio mom. I want you. I want you to be my dad" and I, a grow man, broke down and wept.
The adoption went final when she was 15 (yes, it was that long of a process, but the actual adoption took all of 5 minutes in a judges chamber, for which this girl quipped, "That's it? Just the stroke of a pen? Hell I'd have lent you a pen years ago!") People who didn't know us back then honestly are surprised to learn she was adopted. She's an honor graduate from high school now, and is planning to attend college in the fall for nursing. We couldn't be more proud of this child, our daughter.
"Even with the struggle..."
Teen years were rough. It's hard to be a kid again after having to parent yourself and younger siblings. But now that she is an adult, things are better and calmer for us all.
I would 100% recommend it. Even with the struggle, my child is a huge blessing and I can't imagine life without her in it. She is one of the strongest people I know.
I've been a foster parent for four years (have fostered birth to 15, about 20 kids total) and I've worked as an advocate for foster/adoptive parents for two.
I adopted my son last year after he had been with me for almost a year in foster care. He was 5, so still pretty young. He is autistic and nonverbal. His mom has severe mental health issues and he had been homeless his whole life before coming into care. He was wandering the street in a diaper and nothing else in November when he was found by police.
I've never regretted adopting him for a second. He's wonderful. He's ridiculously bright and funny and sweet. I love him more than I knew I could love anyone. We have many difficult days (or weeks). I gave up a lot of things to be his dad (I'm only 27) - it's hard to find a sitter for him, his daycare keeps him in the baby room, he can't always go out to the store or anywhere loud/crowded, etc. But I adjusted and I don't regret it.
From my work side, I can say I have encountered many adoptive parents who regret adopting. Usually these are folks who adopted little ones, like birth to two, and when those kids start exhibiting "big behaviors," having trouble in school, needing psych hospitalization, getting involved with juvenile justice - that's when they call me and ask how to give them back. (Jsyk, there are no givebacks unless you're willing to accept criminal charges.) [Edit: This is not true for all places. Some places have civil charges and some have nothing.]
I often see people say they want to foster teens, which is amazing and I will never get in the way of that because it is so needed. I want those people to talk to people who foster teens before they do it. It's very hard. Not just "hard" like remodeling your bathroom or getting a work project done. There's no finish line. It's always a struggle.
There are lots of good days and happy times and it is worth it. But people who talk about their kids going on to law school or even college, in my experience, are the minority. Kids with trauma often need lifelong support. That means when they're 20, 25, you're still lending them money or driving them to rehab or dispensing medication. And if they have kids, they may not be able to parent appropriately without a lot of help. I know lots of adoptive parents now raising their grandkids as well.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
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!
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.
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"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!"
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"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.
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!