Sometimes, especially when we're young, it's hard to understand how our actions can affect others. We all have regrets.
Here are thirteen times people ruined someone else's life, accidentally or otherwise.
Many thanks to the Reddit user who posed this question and to those who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/13. I met my sister's future fiancee when we were 13. He goes, "Hi I'm Alan.". I go "Anal?". Nickname stuck for the rest of his life.
2/13. I used to work in the tech support/computer repair department at a large electronics store. A laptop came in with child pornography on it. I was the one to report it. When I got to court to testify about it I found out that the boy who owned the laptop had just turned 18. I keep telling myself that it didn't matter how young he was.
3/13. There was this kid I went to grade school with... we'll call him Raymond. Raymond was the "big kid" in school. He was taller than most kids our age - possibly because he failed a grade, which wouldn't surprise me - he was "husky" as parents would put it, and he had a mullet to boot.
One of my earliest memories of Raymond was in first grade. When our teacher left the room for a few minutes, which would inevitably always be the trigger for "Lord of the Flies" mode throughout the rest of my education life, Raymond got up from his desk and started beating up one of my friends.
I've always had this inclination to lose my temper when somebody hurts my friends, so the first of what would be many times in my life, I suppose, I stood up for one of my friends in their time of need. I stood up from my desk, fists clenched. I marched over to Raymond and began pounding on his back.
Why did I pound on his back? I'm not too sure. I was 6, and I didn't know the first thing about how to kick somebody's butt. Raymond winced and cried out... more than he should have. I kicked his butt! But what I didn't realize, was that I had forgotten to put down my pencil when I stood up to avenge my friend. I had stabbed Raymond in the back with my pencil. Thank whatever pantheon of gods or order to the universe there may be, but I held the pencil close to the lead, and the wound was very shallow.
Still, if this went down now-a-days, and not 1994, things would've hit the fan.
In September of 1994, second grade, Raymond was nowhere to be seen. He moved away and changed schools. Kids being kids, we all made up stories about why he moved away. The most popular idea was that he was sent to a school for only mean kids.
A few years later, while talking to an older cousin of mine, we were joking about the "losers" at our respective schools. He lived 45 minutes away and went to a different school. I told him about this kid with a mullet named Raymond. My cousin busted out laughing.
Apparently Raymond had transferred to my cousins school because he was being harassed so badly at my school... a misfortune that apparently followed him to this new school.
A year later, I would also transfer schools. I was the new kid, and felt really alienated from the rest of the kids. I basically kept to myself the whole school year and didn't make any friends.
The next year, while waiting in line for roll call to determine whose class I would be placed in, I heard several names called out. "Smith, Johnny! Jones, Sally! McFly, Hey!" I quickly hurried over to my new teacher and stood in line.
Next, she called out, "_____, Raymond!" I almost choked. What were the odds?
The same pattern repeated here. He got picked on again, except now we were all starting to hit puberty and the really awkward years were beginning. I remember, yet again, I kicked Raymond's butt because he was harassing a girl I liked. By harassing, I mean, he was trying to grab her. I guess he kind of brought this on himself.
One day, Raymond got in trouble by one of the student lunch monitors. He was being sent to the office. For the first time, I saw Raymond start to cry. Some of the kids laughed at him for this. For some reason, I didn't. What he said next has haunted me ever since. Between his sobs, Raymond cried, "...my dad's really gonna beat me this time... he said if I get in trouble again, he's gonna beat me with a horse whip."
This didn't persuade the 13 year old lunch monitor, however, and he was still sent to the principal's office. Whatever happened that night when he got home, I'm not sure. Raymond, as always, disappeared and transferred schools again before eighth grade. I haven't seen him since.
A few years back, some friends and I were hanging out, drinking some beers and thought it would be funny to creep Facebook and try to track down some of the "losers" from school to see what ever happened to them. After tracking down a few names, I blurted out Raymond's name.
"Who is Raymond?" One of my friends asked.
"Holy moly, is that the kid we beat up in the snow that one time?" My other friend said.
It's true. The only time we ever let Raymond play with us was when we played WWF at school. We always made him be Mick Foley, because Mick Foley always got the mess kicked out of him. And Raymond put up with it, because he was included for once in his life.
And then he would go home and get his butt kicked by his father. The highlight of his childhood was when the little jerks at school let him play with them, only to get the mess kicked out of him again...
With the use of Facebook, and Raymond's lack of privacy settings, we found out he's been in-and-out of jail a few times, has at least one kid we know of, is unemployed, and appears to be an alcoholic and possibly a drug addict.
Part of me can't help but think that if I was a little nicer to him, or if perhaps I stood up for him, the way I did for my friend, when he was being treated unfairly by others, maybe his life wouldn't have been so messed up in the end.
It's kind of sick pleasure, I guess, but I still read his Facebook from time-to-time to see what he's up to. I've thought about messaging him and apologizing for being a horrible little person to him when we were kids. I imagine it'd be a lot like that scene in Billy Madison when Adam Sandler calls and apologizes to Steve Buscemi. Maybe I will avoid being on his hitlist.
4/13. Working for DirecTV doing sales at their inbound call center. Guy calls up saying he wants service at his house. Says his girlfriend just moved in and he didn't have cable before, but she wants it. He passes the credit check. He selects a package and DVR. I am reading legal disclosures when call cuts off.
I ask a manager for permission to call him back at the number he provided. I call and a woman answers. I ask if he is there, she said no. I told her I was just talking about getting his directv hooked up and needed his go ahead to complete the order.
She was suspicous- call center calling her asking for info- so she asked me to verify name address and credit card number. As soon as I read off the address she stops me. "Who's house is that?", I said "His. He is getting this for his girlfriend who just moved in". I am his now about to be ex wife. That man is dead." And she hangs up.
5/13. I accidentally threw away my kids Pokemon cards.. He still hasn't forgiven me..
6/13. This one time when I was about 9-10 yo. Me and my friend were running around the house like kids do. We ran towards my room and I slammed the door (with a metal lock) right behind him. He fell down to the ground whilst holding his fingers. Opened the door again to see the top of his middle finger sliding down the door frame. You could see the guys bone! The doctors managed to stitch it back on, but today it still looks bent. Gave him a electric motorcycle toy and I've never spoken to him again. Guess I didn't ruin his life, but I messed up his chances of ever learning an instrument?
7/13. My extended family likes to blame me for ruining my uncle's life.
APPARENTLY his systematic sexual abuse of me from 9-13 was my fault and I shouldn't have reported it. He lost his job. They had to move. He had to go to jail and it's all your fault! Thank goodness my parents helped pay for his defense so he only got 3 months in jail. I'd hate to think what they'd blame me for if he was in jail longer.
8/13. Dated a girl who was basically homeless.. Let her live with me, got her a job, back on her feet. She was doing great. Then I didn't like her anymore. Broke up with her in a pretty brutal way, kicked her out, she lost her job, moved to another province, and now she's a sex worker to make money.
9/13. Yeah, there was this kid in middle school who used to carry around a small filing cabinet system everywhere with him instead of a backpack, which brought on plenty of flak from kids.
One time he dropped it down the stairs, papers flying everywhere. Not only did I and several other kids not help, we all stood there pointing and laughing at him.
He once brought a stick of butter to school and ate it for attention, which ended up being mostly negative, again...lots of pointing and laughing.
Three to four years later (can't remember exactly), he hangs himself in his room, his parents and younger sister finding him.
Still feel horrible, especially as I know his little sister.
10/13. Back in fourth grade there was this one girl that always got picked on by everyone. I wasn't exactly a bully or a prick, but I went along with all of it.
One day, after a field trip, my friends and I were talking about her (not sure why) and a parent asked who she is. I blurted out "a girl no one likes" and the lady just said "oh" and left. Turns out that lady was the girl's mom.
The girl found out and spent the entire day bawling and missed school for a couple days and I got a month's worth of detention. I apologized, but still feel terrible for it. Probably the only regret of my life. I haven't seen her since, but I heard she's doing fine.
11/13. I've gotten 5 people fired for viewing and/or storing porn on the company network. Keep that stuff on your phone or at home people.
12/13. When I was in primary school I used to steal or beg for money around my school, due to the fact that I never had any money for school.
I was quite good at stealing. I could pull wallets out from peoples pockets without them even noticing, and put them back in. When I 'begged' I basically would walk up to high school students and ask if they had any money (I was very cute I daresay, and I could collect up to RM5 from asking people).
Sometimes I would creep into peoples class tables and eat their food, drink their water, etc, but there was one table in my class that was almost a 100% jackpot for money.
I was 11 around this time when I would constantly steal money from this table in my class. The table belong to a boy, Elton, and it wasn't just coins that I would find, I would come across RM10 notes (which is a lot for lunch money).
Whenever the class was empty, I would sneak in and jut grab whatever money there was. I did this everyday for a half a year, until that day...
It was during class when Elton burst into tears and everyone gathered around to see what was wrong. He told the class about the money, how he had been saving up to buy something nice for his mother's birthday. But the money would always disappear. I felt horrible for doing it and so I stopped. I never confronted Elton about it, and a few months later, his mother passed away.
I was a quite mean to a lot people in high school, but I never bothered Elton, because of what I did to him. Ever since then, I stopped stealing and would rather leave myself to starve if I never got any food.
13/13. I slept with a guy's five-month pregnant wife. She and I worked together and I didn't know the husband. I was 20, lonely, and horny, and she was 35.
She approached me with the proposition of hooking up. She said her husband ignored her and I treated her like a human being, and all I could think about was "can't get pregnant, disease-free, no condom, no problems."
She told her husband like 3 hours after we did it and he got on Facebook and harassed my parents and sister about it, but didn't say anything to me. I found out later that he had even created a fake profile to try spy on me well before the affair happened (he friended all of my friends, but not me because I didn't know the person, and then used said profile to tell my friends what had happened.) It turns out she would go home after work and talk about me all the time. I never even knew. I just worked with her is all, wasn't even attracted to her. Well...up until she wanted to have sex, that is.