Whether you like it or not, you're likely going to deal with incidents that scare you, even traumatize you, and impact you in significant ways. None of us are immune.
After Redditor DrDisappointment asked the online community, "What has been the scariest moment of your life?" people shared their stories. Whether they are parents describing incidents regarding their children or others describing different experiences that affected them significantly, there's plenty here to be chilled by.
"90 seconds later..."
A few years ago we were expecting our second baby in two weeks. Wife got contractions but on call doctor said they were Braxton Hicks or whatever, aka false contractions or something. She said to call back in a few hours if they didn't get better.
They didn't get better.
Wife said to me "we need to go in now" and went to the bathroom real quick. Well, her water broke in our bathroom. I called 911 and explained frantically. The fire station is 5 minutes from my house so he told me they were en route and to hang up and comfort her.
90 seconds later my wife screams "ITS COMING" in a super demonic voice. She's standing up and I see a head coming out. We both reach down and she catches the baby. I call back 911, this time screaming. Actually got the same dispatcher and he said "OH S***" on the line (I can laugh about this now of course).
Paramedics arrived within two minutes of me being on the line. They take my wife and baby away swiftly because the baby was very cold.
I couldn't leave the house because it was 3am and my other son was sleeping. Had to call family to rush over, as I cleaned up.... What looked like a murder scene in my bathroom.
Rushed to the hospital and they were both ok.
Scariest night of my life. Dude turned 3 two months ago.
I was at a swimming pool party as a kid where there were a bunch of pool toys and floaties. There was this one floatie that all the kids swarmed to since it was the biggest and coolest. It was like this hollow cube with 4 Styrofoam bars on each corner. I was chilling on it when it flipped and a few kids landed on me as my head was stuck in the water. I panicked and spluttered in the water as my body was pinned on the base platform of the cube, my head was so close to the surface but not close enough to breathe. After what felt like an eternity, it finally flipped and I was able to wriggle to the surface. I'll never forget the sheer horror and panic I felt.
"I've never felt so much adrenaline..."
I was a post-divorce single dad with shared custody of my kids on an alternating-week schedule. One of the very first weeks when they lived with me I put my 5 year old son in the tub and after getting him all washed up, sat and chatted with him as he played with his toys. I went to check on my 8 year old for a minute then came back to find him laying motionless face down in the water.
I've never felt so much adrenaline rush through me in my life and I quickly grabbed him by the arm and yanked him out trying to figure out if I even knew how to do CPR. It was then that he started yealling "What are you doing, Dad?".
Turns out he was just practicing how long he could hold his breath underwater. And taking a couple of years off his old man's life, apparently.
Huddled in the darkness in my family's storm shelter gripping my dog so tightly I thought I may accidentally suffocate her as a deafening, nearly EF5 tornado ripped the house apart above me and spewed debris into the shelter. That was the longest and worst minute or so of my life.
Last year my 2 year old son knocked his head lightly on the coffee table and started to cry. Seemed relatively minor but on picking him up for a cuddle, I felt his body stiffen and saw his eyes roll back as he fell silent. Started having a seizure and frantically tried to recall paediatrics training from medical school. Two ambulances and sedation later we went to the kids hospital, all the while I feared bleeding/ tumours and a million other reasons why we could lose him. Longest thirty minutes of my life... Thankfully informed that post traumatic seizures were surprisingly common in kids.
"The pain was so bad..."
Bitten by a rattlesnake on the ankle.
I was praying it was a dry bite...30 minutes later I could feel the burning in my lower leg. The pain was so bad I threw up and thought I might pass out on the way to the hospital.
"I legit thought I was falling slow enough..."
Had a hole in my parachute while static line jumping. With a partial malfunction in static line, you don't release the main chute.
When this happens, you're supposed to start a rocking/ swinging motion, open the spare, hit it with one hand ( because the spring jams ) while catching the pilot chute as it comes out. At this point you should be rocking side to side far enough that you throw the pilot chute off to the side so that it won't get tangled by the main chute as it deploys.
I instantly had the thought that if I attempted this, my spare, it would get tangled in my main.
I just landed with the hole in my chute. Was a bit of a rough landing but I've had worse on future jumps, it was fine.
Still though, was pretty scary as it happened, static line jumps are close to the ground so not much time to react. I legit thought I was falling slow enough that I'll probably break both legs but if my spare got tangled, might actually die.
"I live in Dallas..."
Okay this one is kind of sad. I live in Dallas Texas which is commonly know for violence. My brother and I were going to a club downtown for a concert we came to a stop in traffic and three men got out of the car behind us and opened fire on us. My brother was shot in the neck and head, while I was shot in the chest and leg. He died I did not. I can no longer hear gunfire or I just start panicking. Not looking for attention just sharing my story.
"Watching my husband..."
Watching my husband almost drown, and there was nothing I could do to help.
"Walking to the bus stop..."
Walking to the bus stop in the city one night, I pick up a five dollar note I find on the ground. A bunch of drunk lads a block or two behind me take notice and start calling out to me. They're drunk and sound jokey, so I call something back and move on. Suddenly they pick up their pace and are pretty close to me, saying I took their money. I joke that it didn't have their name on it, since of course a random five bucks on the ground ain't theirs.
Then they surround me, start demanding the money I picked up. I keep walking and tell them to f*** off. They're walking in a circle around me, nobody's joking anymore. One of the pricks gives me a shove, another threatens to take my bag. In a split-second I realised I was in a tight spot, felt a massive adrenaline spike, shoved one of the f***ers out of the way and just bolted to the bus stop. Disappeared into the waiting crowd and slipped onto the back of my bus. Heart was beating like crazy the whole time.
"When my wife..."
When my wife gave birth to our kid, he wasn't breathing so the nurse took him away to help him. At the same time, my wife's IV had been empty for awhile or disconnected or something and her body was completely drained of fluid. She was as white as a piece of paper and her lips were solid blue/purple. She closes her eyes and the doctor yelled "stay awake stay awake!" I just sat there pleading with God and letting him know that if my wife and kid were to die i front of me, that I was going to kill myself when I got home. Luckily, after the worse 45 minutes of my life, both baby and my wife were fine.
"She came running into the kitchen..."
My five year old almost choked on a piece of candy this summer. She came running into the kitchen unable to speak with tears streaming down her face. She was clawing at her throat. I was terrified and immediately grabbed her and started to hit her between the shoulder blades with the flat of my palm. I was about to start the Heimlich when it came flying out of her mouth. I was shaking so hard and we were both crying.
"My middle child..."
My middle child got RSV as a baby. I had no idea it wasn't a regular cold. She was six months and no fever. I put her down to sleep and went to take care of my other kids. My husband decided to go check on her since she had been coughing earlier. She was struggling to breath and was turning blue—just in a matter of ten minutes! We rushed her to the ER and she was fine but it terrified us.
"Being in a fight."
Being in a fight. I did jujitsu, but I swear it was unfair. They attacked me and I didn't know what to do so I kneed them once in the gut and they got off yet I didn't know if I had done the right thing. That wasn't the scariest part. That was being in the principle's and getting told off although they started it.
"My aunt had picked up my brother..."
My aunt had picked my brother and me up at 9 am to drive us to see Wicked when I was 8. She was an alcoholic and as we were on the freeway, she was swerving a lot and almost hit a few people. I thought I was going to die but we made it out fine.
"It was a good day."
A few years ago I went with my Mom to New York. When we were riding that double-decker bus thing somebody threw a huge rock (the size of a fist) at my head. It barely missed me. So that was traumatic. To be honest, I think this scared my mom more than me. I was like twelve so all I said was "Yeah, that was scary. Can we get popsicles?" We did. It was a good day.
"It was early spring..."
My family and I were hiking up somewhere with a group of other people. It was early spring, so there was still a good amount of ice and snow on and around the trail. At one point, on the way back, we were walking along a narrow path at the top of a steep incline. Below, we could hear the icy river cracking and flowing down the mountain beside us. I slipped and fell down the slope several feet until I heard voice in my head call me to grab a bush I was about to fly past. So I did. I looked behind me and there was the river rushing past my toes. I could have died that day. At only eight or nine years of age.
Freshman year, I was told I had a 75% chance of dying from a heart attack due to a condition I had been born with. This was just a few months after my father had died of, you guessed it, a heart attack. I had to have open heart surgery to fix it and was terrified every day up to surgery.
"She left me with a bunch of trauma..."
The moment my brother snapped while arguing with my mother and flipped the table over and started yelling 20 cm away from her face.
I hated his girlfriend at the time who was there too, but I still flew into her arms because I was terrified of my brother and thought he would hurt our mother. The only thing I could do was cry and hold his girlfriend. I was 15.
Note that violence has never occured in our family so I wasn't used to seeing that at all. It was a real shock and I have never seen my brother the same way since, even though I understand how he felt back then because our mother is an afwul person to live with. She left me with a bunch of trauma because of her bad life choices and I broke contact not so long ago. I'm 24 now.
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