We've all had a fleeting moment where a shadow passes through the corner of our eye.
But by the time we turn around to look, it's gone. Vanished. We tell ourselves we were just imagining things.
But Reddit user KaikesPokeCards wanted to know who else has shared that experience:
Here are some of the answers.
When I was 10 we had a 14 year old German Shepard who was getting very sick. I was home alone momentarily as my mom went to the neighbors to pick up a book or something. Our German Shepard came over, convinced me to walk outside with him and started licking my hands, looked at me, and ran away jumping the fence and he never came back. He was so loyal and good that to this day noone believes me and thinks he was stolen because he would never leave.
I'm almost certain he did that because he didn't want us to see him die and he wanted to go to the massive forest area and do his thing. I miss you buddy. 04NeverForget
Blind Sight Is 20/20
I've had glasses since the third grade. I was playing tackle football with friends after school (I wasn't wearing glasses), tackled one of my friends, really big collision, for a second I regained full eyesight...then I blinked and it was gone again. klitchell
Special Guest Star
Sometime in the early 2000s my wife and I went to an Eminem concert at the House of Blues on Sunset in LA (yes I know they are tearing it down and it sucks, I saw a lot of great shows there, including his royal purple badness). Anyway the entire show, maybe 90 minutes, there was a guy dancing on stage in a full mummy suit and he is doing really awkward and funny dances that you wouldn't expect from a background dancer at a rap concert but hey he's in a mummy suit so whatever. The show ends and Eminem screams into the mic "Do y'all wanna know who the mutha f***in mummy is?" and the crowd cheers and he screams "Dustin mutha f***in Hoffman!" He pulls a zipper in the back of the costume and out comes an extremely sweaty 60something year old Dustin Hoffman and the crowd goes into a stunned silence for a few seconds and then erupts in cheers. My wife and I just kinda looked at each other in disbelief and when I tell people they always say something like oh it must have just been someone found that looked like him but that guy was Dustin mutha f***in Hoffman and no I have no proof. steelear
Not my story, but my brothers.
He lost his wallet and was retracing his steps looking for it. A homeless man approached him at a coffee shop and said to him
"Don't worry. It's in the bathroom sink. Your wallet is in your bathroom sink"
Later that night he did indeed find his wallet at home in the bathroom sink.
A few days later, he saw the same homeless man and thanked him for his help. The guy became really irritated and told my brother he had never seen him before.
Could have been a lucky guess, but I think Magical Bum makes for a better story. mgncapri
Let Go And Crow
When I was about 10 years old I saw my old dog catch a crow out of the air then just gently release it. Hof354
Have You Seen This Boy?
When I was about 10 they started putting missing children on milk cartons. Every morning for a while I was looking at this boy's face on the side of the milk while I would eat my cereal. Then one day a car went down my street while I was playing outside, and there was a boy in the back seat with his face up close to the window looking out. I'm 99% sure it was the boy from the milk carton. I told my parents but they didn't believe me. fafa_flunky
I was at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. I walked up to the cuttlefish tank, and for some reason all 20 or so of the cuttlefish rushed over to me. It was a big tank, maybe 10 feet long. I walked the length of it, and they followed me. I walked back, and they followed. A few other people saw and tried it themselves.
But alas, the cuttlefish only had eyes for me.
My best guess as to the cause was that the guy who feeds them is my doppelganger. Drumlin
Ball lightning. It was right after a thunderstorm passed by. I could see floating orbs in the sky. There were a couple of cars parked by an open field and people were watching this happen, so I parked and got out to join them.
We all sorta just looked on in silence until they winked out one by one. There was at least ten of them and they seemed to fly together in patterns. Sometimes they were fast, other times they slowed down or reversed direction. They seemed small, but I could tell this wasn't because they were far up in the sky. If I were to guess, they'd be about the size of a basketball, maybe a little larger.
The whole ordeal only lasted thirty minutes. We then all got in our cars and left. I tried taking pictures but it was dark and the lights were too faint to make out. I should recorded a video instead. I noticed someone was recording them at the scene so I had kinda hoped I'd see it online at some point. But it's been two years now so I guess not. Vadavim
A chameleon escaped from a bag when my friend was giving it to me and it leapt into a big pile of snow. I looked around for it for a while but couldn't find it so I gave up. Several weeks later the snow all melted and I was out there and found the lizard partially frozen to the ground. I peeled him off and put it in one of those little plastic tanks and sat it by the radiator in my house. Within an hour or two the lizard was hopping around the cage like nothing ever happened. It lived for several years after that, and was known to my friend and I as Jesus the resurrection lizard. enslavedbyvegetables
Shelving Be Gone
My bathroom had a towel holder thing, which was a fastened bar parallel to the wall. It had started coming out of one of the holders and one day I accidentally pulled too hard on it. It came flying off and landed in a clatter, but I couldn't find it.
Mind you, this was a small bathroom, maybe fifteen feet by six feet in area and the counter and cabinets are seamlessly fastened to the wall. I checked in the bath, behind the toilet, under the towers -- nowhere.
To this day, I have no idea what the f**k happened to it. [deleted]
Before my sister was born, my parents found a kitten. They decided to keep it, because they could find no owner. Named her Princess.
Anyway, my sister is 4 years older than I am. We both grew up with this cat. She'd sometimes follow us and watch over us. My parents used to make jokes about how she thought of us as her kittens.
Now, my sister wasn't very nice to me. It took a lot of people a lot of time to realise she wasn't just nasty; it was full on abuse and bullying. My sister is a narcissist, but that's not what you need to know. When I was too young to understand what was happening, I used to talk to Princess. She was like my version of a diary; I'd sit with this creature that was older than I was and tell her all my problems.
One day at a store, my mum told us she'd buy us each a lolly. My sister wanted a different one to me, and grabbed my arm and clawed her nails down it so hard it drew blood. Hurt a lot and I was really upset. When we got home I went and cried to Princess about how scared I'd felt. After a while I calmed down and went and played with my toys. Princess ambled out of the room. A few minutes later I heard a shriek and she ambled back in. Turns out she'd walked up and scratched my sisters hand, then hissed at her before coming back to sit with me, and watch over me playing with my toys.
My parents assume that my sister provoked her, but I know. She walked out of the room right after I'd been talking to her, and walked in right after the shriek. I can't prove it, but I think Princess saw how scared I was and showed me that she'd protect me. I've never told anybody about my white and grey guardian apart from my currant cat.
I haven't thought about Princess in a while. She lived to be between 19 and 21, depending on how old she was when my parents got her (she lived with them for 19 years; was around two when they found her). I loved that cat. Funnily enough, my new cat was originally my sisters. She got him, then left him with my parents, and he slowly became mine. He likes to sit with me more than he likes her. bolter_to_the_face
I was out for a walk late one night. This was in rural Illinois, so there was nobody else out. I noticed from a distance that there where these squirrels just standing in the middle of the road. Thought to myself that this is strange. When I got closer I noticed there where three squirrels standing around a cat that was lying down. I thought for a minute the cat was dead, but when I got closer and walked passed them, the squirrels and cat followed me with their eyes, none of them moving a muscle. It was a look like, "Move it along nothing to see here." Still to this day I think of how bizarre that was. wdnsho
My dog spent the first couple of years of its life on the street. I'm sure he's eaten his fair share or squirrels. And he constantly barks at them/stalks them when he sees them in the yard or on walks.
One night I was working in my garage and my dog was in the backyard and I heard this ruckus, like he was fighting or chasing something, but then it turned into this "chit chit chit chit chit" sound so I walked out of the garage to see what was up.
My dog was hunched down really low, like he gets when he gets disciplined at for being bad, he had his head hung low and his tail between his legs, and there was a squirrel standing in front of him yelling at him. I swear to god, it was wagging its finger at him and everything. "Chit chit chit" reading him the riot act. When it saw me walking out of the garage, I swear it crossed its arms and scowled at me too like it new I was responsible for the dog's behavior. karmavorous
I once saw a man in an Abraham Lincoln costume complete with top hat running for what seemed like his life along the street. I slowed down and when he turned to look at me he was missing an eye. I drove off and of course no one believes me. InvisibleDogLeash
As a child I touched some weird pest plant in our garden, I think it stung me. Then I saw everything in inverted colors for short time. And then back to normal. I was in such a shock, I couldn't explain it to my mom. I just went to her crying. Novacryy
When I was about 6, my entire family was helping to build my grandparents a new house. I was helping my dad move some really long 2x4s from the lumber pile when a mouse ran out from under the board I had moved (out in the middle of the woods, mice were no big deal to any of us.) I did a double take though because THE MOUSE WAS FREAKING BLUE. I don't mean the sun reflected off its fur and it had a blue sheen to it, I mean a brilliant, royal blue. He was running fast but I got my dad to notice it too and he agreed that the mouse really was royal freaking blue. We've told multiple people, my mom included, and no one believes us. But we know what we saw. Totally_Not_Anna
A Cry In The Dark
When I was about 10 or 11 we were having a get together at gma's house for the holidays. All of us cousins played all day, and when night fell we played hide and seek. While the adults smoked and drank up by the house, we stayed on the back of the property just having a good time. I was hiding in between a bush and the property fence when I heard the strangest sound. It was almost a scream, both happy and miserable at the same time. I jumped up and kinda shouted. All my cousins heard it, and we all saw it, too. It was an animal on two legs, and it ran off with really jerky motions. Being the oldest by about three years, I calmed down the crying little ones and explained as best I could that it was just someone trying to scare us. I've had nightmares about that sound; in my mind it seems a grotesque mimicry of our joyous screams and laughter as we played. None of my cousins today will admit to even remembering the incident, although the adults remembered the commotion it caused. texasshorthorn
Across The Universe
When I was 5 I woke up from my sleep and saw a man sitting on the stairs watching me. I wasn't scared though. There was something tranquil about it. I just watched him and he watched me for what seemed like 10 minutes. Then all of a sudden he was gone. A few days later I found out my dad was killed in Europe. I live in Canada and my parents were seperated. There's pictures of me with him when I was just born but he left shortly after that. To this day, that is the only memory that I have of my dad. A ghost watching over me. I don't believe in ghosts but I know what I saw. I've never told anyone before except my mom. hotdogwehaveaweiner
My friend and I were watching basketball in the early days that Charles Barkley was a panelist. He was apologizing for calling a team "midgets" and saying that he now knew it was offensive. But as they were going to commercial, we both heard him say over a hot mic "Besides, they shouldn't hate me, they should hate God."
My friend and I were amazed, and convinced he would be fired. But not only did we never hear about it again, the clip doesn't even exist online anywhere. It's as though we had a double delusion. phdcandidate
Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
My mom, dad and I were driving through rural Alabama late one night headed to see family for Christmas over 10 years ago. We were in a Ford Explorer. Mom was driving and Dad and I were sleeping. I woke up for a moment in the backseat just in time to see what looked like a buffalo dead in the road and then the Explorer went up and over as the dead buffalo and it scraped the undercarriage of the car. I asked my mom in my sleepy daze "was that a buffalo?" To which she replied "I don't know...I closed my eyes." 1234sc27
Cold Cut Welding
One time when I was really young, maybe like 10 years old, I came home after school and was making myself a salami sandwich. I pulled the bag of salami out and took out two slices. I smacked the two slices together, and suddenly they became one. I tried my hardest to separate them, but there was no seam or anything that I could split them up with. I even showed it to my mom but not a single person believed me when I told them. I had fused two pieces of salami together. bike_rack
A monkey jumping from car to car on a busy street. I could probably draw a sketch of it even though this happened about 5 years ago. Definitely one of the most odd things I saw. Unfortunately everyone thinks I am telling a bad joke when I explain what I saw, or they just nod it off and continue not giving a fuck. NotSoOldSchool
I'm in line at a cafeteria. The guy in front of me is holding a pudding cup. Someone walking by stumbles and falls into pudding cup guy, knocking his pudding cup out of his hand. While everyone is looking at stumbling guy, the pudding cup goes a good two feet straight up in the air. Pudding cup guy is totally focused and at the last second turns and catches the pudding cup behind his back. He looks at me, smiles and that was that. No one else saw it. shardcommondale
Dances With Wolves
In 1994, on a farm in the southern Midwest US, five year old me had this huge yellow lab, sweetest dog in the world, who one day suddenly lost her shit barking and ran outside. Being 5, I followed her and watched her run out into the cow pasture (where the cows were suspiciously nowhere in sight) and went toe to toe with a fucking grey wolf.
That area at that time was definitely not wolf country. Coyote sure, but there is no way it was a coyote. Thing towered over my lab, and I'd seen plenty enough coyotes before to know that this thing was not that. My lab barked her damn head off right in his face, and after about a minute he tilted his head and then just turned around and disappeared into the woods. Found all the cows at the opposite end of the pasture circled around the two calves we had. They were never that terrified of coyotes, and they had no fear of domestic dogs (my lab literally climbed over them when they laid down and would tug on their tails - cows gave no fucks).
I will go to my damn grave saying it was a wolf I saw, but nobody believes me of course. I've spent years researching wolves and wolf hybrids but every picture I've seen of both the animal and the paw prints he left behind says it was very very very much more wolf than coyote or dog or even a mix. WolfGirl94
I saw a bunch of crows, around 20+, gather around in a circle. I was like wtf and took a closer look to see 3 other crows in the middle of the circle, all on their backs. And some crows from the circle would hop in and try to peck at the 3 crows, while they cawed and tried to defend themselves with their feet. I know crows are smart and all but didn't expect this level of social behavior. It went on for a while before a kid ran in and scattered them all. poopellar
In the 1990s, I was such an exercise freak. At least 4 hours a day walking and hillclimbing. I was getting cut off from current events, tv news etc.
One day I'm on my way home, around 3pm.I'm crossing the street in front of our local grocery store and there's this guy on the other side of the street. His hair is a mess, standing on end. His clothes are all over the place, not ripped, but disarranged. Like he walked out of a bomb blast but he cleaner. He's looking around, silently, clearly confused. Homeless people were really uncommon in my area then and tended to be couchsurfers rather than streetsleepers. He looked too well to be a street sleeper plus he didn't seem to have a clue where he was but he turned left and wander off the my left before I crossed the road.
That night, local news comes on. That afternoon a school teacher a couple of towns away had drowned. They flashed his picture up. It was the dude I saw. I'd swear to it. vrosej10
A Royal Coincidence
While I was playing poker with a few friends, I was dealing and somehow managed to deal a royal flush on the board, giving every person a royal flush. This was well into our game and the cards were definitely well shuffled, and don't forget I'd also placed the burn cards down. The odds of this are so astronomical that, apart from the friends I was playing with, no one would believe it happened and would assume I'm just a liar. Dotman_95
I was at the airport and saw a businessman with a carry on wheely bag get off the escalator.
He turned the corner, broke into a sprint carrying the bag by it's small strap handle on top.
He swung the bag forward and let go of the strap handle. While it was in mid-air he grabbed the currently unextended extending handle, pressed the button and on the back swing extended the handle and landed it on its wheels and continued sprinting, all without breaking stride. WildxYak
I was out, stargazing by myself. I remember a thunderstorm was off in the distance, and it was a moonless night so there was quite a show.
I noticed a satellite hauling across the sky...then it turned 90 degrees. Not gradually, like turned on a f*****g dime. Did it 3 more times before dashing completely across the horizon in about 6 seconds.
I have no logical explanation of what I saw. I had been sober and drug free for about 7 years when I saw this, and to my knowledge nothing man made had that kind of maneuverability or sudden. Heat of speed. k0uch
Late to the party, but I'll post my story. When I was about 7 or 8, I was at my grandmother's house in WV to spend the night, along with my brother and sister. It was Friday night and we were watching old school TGIF. There was a knock on the door and I jumped up to answer it (my grandma was in her bedroom and didn't hear it. I wasn't supposed to answer the door by myself, but I really liked to do it).
I opened the door and no one was there. I stepped out and looked to the left and right. To the right, beside the door, my grandma kept a small table. Sitting on that table was a Mandrill. One of those primates like Rafiki from the Lion King. I don't remember it moving, I just saw it sitting there staring at me.
I freaked out and slammed the door. My grandma came running out and I told her there was a monkey outside. She ran out my brother and sister ran to the door to see the monkey. I'll never forget when I ran out and that table was empty. My grandma told me I shouldn't tell tall tales and not to open the door when she wasn't around.
That's been over 20 years ago and my brother and sister still make fun of my for "seeing a monkey." I've done google searches about Mandrills escaped from the zoo in rural West Virginia, but no such luck. It is still so clear in my mind I am sure it was there, though. Brenvol
How many people do you know battling addictions?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is "a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual's life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences."
Hearing from those who have battled addictions––and come out the other side––can be remarkably eye-opening, as we were reminded once Redditor YoshBotArmy asked the online community,
"People who have beaten an addiction... what's your secret?"
"I'd then check off..."
"Alcohol. The "one day at a time" approach was too much. I made a chart with a 24 hour day broken up into 15 minutes. For example: 8:00-8:15. [ ]
8:15-8:30. [ ]
8:30-8:45. [ ]
I'd then check off a box for every fifteen minutes I didn't drink. This really boosted my confidence because although I may have only gone two hours without drinking, my brain focused on the 8 boxes I checked off.
Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, etc.
It's now been 8 years."
"You need to want to quit..."
"You need to want to quit, otherwise, it will be a fight against yourself. I quit smoking about 15 years ago after being a smoker for like 18 years. I decided to quit several times but never stuck, always found a reason to fall back into the habit. One day my 4yo daughter told me that she was going to find a way to save me from cancer because smokers are bound to get it. After that, I couldn't stand cigarettes anymore and quit within the week. Never again. I wanted to be there for my girl more than anything else."
"The lesson to take away from this..."
"I realised my binge eating was due to a general lack of self-control. I developed bulimia (exercise is my poison) trying to counteract it, and I still struggle with that.
I struggled with it for years and tried everything under the sun to stop it. It wasn't until I started practicing Stoicism that I started seeing life differently. Then a couple of years into that, I overheard a colleague say "it's all about finding balance" in a conversation about the challenges life throws at you. That quote stuck with me for about a year until I realised I have no sense of balance because I used to be an extremely black and white/all or nothing character.
It's now been 2 years since I completely stopped binge eating, and it was all due to having that epiphany. Took practice to get into good eating habits and a routine with meals but I'm all good now.
The lesson to take away from this - teach your children self-control and the ability to say no to themselves. My parents gave me everything I wanted so I had to teach myself this throughout my early 20s."
"That does not mean..."
"You have to learn to give yourself grace.
Relapses happen. I self-mutilate. I will do incredible for months. Then one negative thought can send me into a spiral and I harm myself.
That does not mean that I undid any of the hard work I had done up to this point. I acknowledge that I made a mistake, identify my triggers, and make an effort to start clear of them. Take a deep breath and try again."
A valuable observation.
"I kicked the habit..."
"I wasn't physically addicted to marijuana, but I had such a mental dependency on it that it was pretty much like being addicted. I couldn't function without it.
I kicked the habit by pursuing a girl. I really wanted to date her, and I didn't want her to know that I was actively smoking weed. I stopped smoking weed because I'd fallen in love with a girl. I'm now married to her, and I haven't smoked weed in over 4 years."
"The most important thing..."
"The most important thing I ever learned was not to fight cravings. I don't mean to give in and use when a craving strikes but for a long time simply feeling the craving was awful. I tried so much to avoid the feeling because I was scared of it.
I saw the suggestion to actually indulge the feeling and just let it wash over you. When I tried it, it was still uncomfortable to want to use but by letting myself feel the craving fully I was able to let it go and move on with my day more easily. Fighting the craving just made me suffer."
"I wore a rubber band..."
"I wore a rubber band around my arm and anytime I thought about my addiction, I would snap it and hurt myself. That way, I associated my addiction with pain and eventually broke my body's natural desire for it."
It turns out this has merit.
"I have no idea..."
"Coffee. I was a serious caffeine addict (like 12 cups a day), and one day for no reason I just woke up and ... didn't feel like having coffee. I've had maybe 5 cups of coffee in the 10 years since then.
I have no idea why it happened, but I haven't felt a craving for it in years. I wish that would happen for my other bad habits."
"I don't think..."
"I don't think it's a secret. Understanding the addiction. Knowing that it takes time for the chemicals in your brain to reset. Knowing it's gonna suck. Being prepared as best you can. Knowing it's going to be a battle."
"I'm not very far..."
"It was really taking a toll on my overall health and one day I woke up and said never again. I'm not very far into recovery and I've never been to a meeting or anything. I know I can't have it around me or I'll relapse."
We are proud of anyone who manages to beat an addiction and who can speak about their experience so candidly. And if any of you out there are struggling, we're rooting for you.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
I'm just spitballing here, but it seems to me that pretty much that weapons of war are among humanity's worst creations. Sure: We live in an anarchic world. States can never be certain of another state's intentions. Conflicts are bound to break out. But in a perfect world––and a man can dream––none of this would be necessary.
It seems I'm not alone in this, either. People had opinions of their own after Redditor Questwarrior asked the online community,
"What was the worst human invention ever made?"
"Cheap and easy to make..."
"Landmines. Cheap and easy to make, but they remain active and people forget where they put them."
"Styrofoam. It's toxic, can't be recycled, and there are better alternatives."
It also sounds horrible when rubbed against another piece of Styrofoam. Torturous.
"Now idiots can connect to each other..."
"Social Media - It gave people the ability to find others and create echo chambers. Before, idiots were isolated to dealing with just a few in their immediate radius of existence. Now idiots can connect to each other across the world and validate their thoughts/feelings."
This is very true. We're seeing the consequences, aren't we?
Ain't built like they used to - because they can't sell you a newer model if the old one is still performing like new.
If companies didn't have this in mind we wouldn't be running out of resources and messing up the planet in search of more. This would create less conflict and way less pollution. Imagine companies actually making insanely good, long-lasting products instead of cheap ones that needs replacing more often than it should."
"Heroin destroys people's lives every day."
"As a medical student..."
"As a medical student, I basically see people every day whose lives have been wrecked by smoking. Kids and unborn babies get messed over by tobacco smoke. Stupid and plain evil."
A great film about the tobacco industry: The Insider (1999). Really makes you think about the cost we all pay for Big Tobacco.
"I can't believe..."
"The concept of Flat Earth. I can't believe people are still stuck in the seventeenth century and still believe in that crap and try to defend it with their misunderstandings of science and physics, as well as pure ignorance."
People believe the most ridiculous things.
"They exist solely..."
"Torture devices. They exist solely to cause harm."
"How am I going to pay you..."
"Overdraft fees. How am I going to pay you EXTRA money when I don't have money?!"
Human beings are capable of so much innovation, beauty, and joy, but threads like these remind us of all the horrors in the world. There's a lot of darkness in humans, too.
Have some of your own contributions to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Homelessness is an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence in the world, particularly in the United States. Homelessness has grown to a huge degree, and while most countries have the resources to help their homeless, many choose not to.
It is also difficult to break the cycle of homelessness once you have entered it. It creates a never-ending loop of failed job searching, lost or stolen goods/items/things of value, and stigmatization by society. More often than not, homelessness is begotten by another condition wherein the state or country fails to provide resources--such as mental health.
"Ex homeless people, what are some things people don't know about the streets?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Sad Reality
"My stint on the streets was about six months and due to some bad decisions I made. But what sticks with me the most was the crushing boredom."
"No intellectual stimulus at all because it's safer to keep your distance from other homeless, and you're not going to have a chat with civilian out of the blue."
"So you're completely alone all the time. And to avoid putting yourself in risky situations you stay on the move as much as possible."
"Most cities you can get some day labor work for quick cash but then you have to be careful about people knowing you have cash. You're always on the lookout."
"The only sound nights sleep I ever got was when I could manage to scrounge up enough cash to get a room in a transient hotel for a night and basically pass out from exhaustion."
"Other than that you're sleep deprived most of the time. And of course all this is made worse if on the streets in winter."-HardALee99
The Worst Side Of A Woman's Life (TW: Rape)
"I'm a psychiatric RN who works with mostly homeless people."
"I have heard SO MANY TIMES where women who tested positive for meth have said they use it to stay awake 24/7 to avoid being assaulted by other homeless."
Lucky To Be Alive
"People can and often do develop PTSD from being homeless, especially in rough areas. BF was kicked out at 14 in what was, at the time, the heroin capital of the Northeast, and he very quickly realized that selling drugs was the easiest way to make sure he had food/water/shelter as someone under legal age to work."
"But bouncing from crackhouse to crackhouse— especially as a kid— creates this state of constant hyper-vigilance, possessiveness over your belongings, a lot of hoarding behaviors, etc."
"Basically you wind up living in survival mode the entire time so you don't get assaulted/arrested/kidnapped/shanked."
"To this day if you touch him while he's sleeping he freaks the f**k out. Loud noises at night freak him out, car engines outside, lights in the window, etc."
"He still sleeps better on a couch in the corner of the room than a bed, because 'at least then you have something at your back, makes it harder for people to surprise you.'"
"Nightmares, too. Just... a whole bunch of sh*t, some of which I won't get into because he's embarrassed by it. Here are a few of the choice events he went through, though, just in the first two years or so:"
"He's almost had his throat slit with a half a DVD, woke up with a fork in his chest from some crazy chick, had all his food stolen, even had somebody inject him with heroin against his will while he was sleeping. Sad to think about."
"He's off the streets now, kicked a drug addiction, found a good-paying job, and is about to go to college. But the damage being homeless for his adolesence/early adulthood did..."
"It's going to be a while before he really feels safe. Not to mention he feels like a failure going to college at 30, but... I mean, how many people could have gone through all the horrific sh*t he went through, lived to tell the tale, AND somehow managed to keep going and eventually recover?"-vishuual
Homelessness is even expensive for the country because it leads to more and more problems that resources have to be expended upon in order to deal with the mental health and physical trauma it causes.
Over And Over
"One thing that f**ked me up was my concept of time. Often I'd be up late as f**k trying to sleep and before I knew it, the sun's back up."
"You gotta plan your day differently to use the restroom and it's hard to even find anything 'normal' to do because there are so little resources."
"People don't realize that being homeless is a situation in which no one is really looking to help you to find a sustainable life. It's truly being otherized and ostracized until you die or miraculously get back on the work grind."-SuperDuperChuck
Not An Addict
"I guess the worst part for me was the lasting trauma."
"Sure walking around in sandals because it's all you have when it's raining sucks. Sure sleeping in public is terrifying. Yeah homeless shelters are packed out. Borderline impossible to get a job."
"But the worst part was realising I'd lost some fundamental part of myself and I wasn't getting it back. Innocence maybe?"
"But it's more than that, it's like that Lily Allen music video where she's walking around with rose coloured glasses but the audience sees what's real. Yeah well, you lose the glasses and you never get them back."
"There's nothing that fixes the trauma of knowing people who you thought were your friends or family were fully aware you had nowhere to go and didn't do anything about it."
"You can't fix that feeling of your best friend not returning your texts until you're back on your feet. Or the stares you get in the street when thousands of people walk past and don't stop."
"I'm physically ok now but I'll never see people the same way again. I don't know how to. I used to be a really sociable person and now I steer clear of most people. I don't trust anyone."
"Also as an aside, the people who were kindest to me were always working class. A construction worker who bought me lunch. A taxi driver who got me a blanket. Rich people treat you like utter filth and disappear ASAP."
"I was homeless due to domestic violence as well, but people just assume it must be drugs. I literally barely drink let alone use drugs, but in people's minds homeless = addict."-SunnydaleHigh1999
Stop Stigmatizing Homelessness
"The amount of 'ordinary' people there are that are homeless. I was homeless for about 6 months but you would have never known."
"I had job where I could make just enough to stay fed and get a gym membership. I kept all my clothes in the gym/ back room of the restaurant I worked at."
"I'd hide and sleep in the back office of the restaurant. A lot of homeless people have cars and can sleep in them."
"Gym memberships are the easiest ways to stay clean/ not look homeless. Once my boss found out I was homeless, he let me move into a room at a hotel he managed for free. That man saved my life."-SeamanTheSailor
Food Or Money?
"People seem to have this perception that food is the only thing a homeless person would need to use money on and so they will give food in place of money."
"While giving food is nice, it isn't some one-to-one replacement for money. Food can't help you get cleaned up for job interviews, for example."-CattyPlatty
And homelessness is caused by a number of things--most of which are failures of the government. There are enough vacant homes in the United States for every homeless person to have 6.
Policing Your Own Cleanliness
"What's really important is staying clean. But not so clean people won't give you money if you have to panhandle."
"Don't let people know where you sleep if you can help it."
"Don't take work offers alone, you never know what kind of sicko's there are out there, especially once they have you alone in their environment."-Tired_of_yer_ish
Read That Part Again About How Close You Are To Homelessness
"Former homeless person here (as a child and an adult) and someone who used to work helping folks who were unhoused due to violence get housing:"
"-You are more likely to become homeless than win the lottery. Most Americans (around 60%, that number has probably changed in the pandemic) are one missed paycheck away from homelessness."
"-As shared above, lack of quality jobs, affordable inventory (meaning not enough affordable housing), and integrative and trauma-informed heath care services are the leading causes that keep people unhoused."
"All this to say, you have far more in common with people on the street than you think you do. Please see them as people. I will never forget what it felt like to have someone's eyes slide right past me like I was invisible. "
"No one is expecting you alone to end homelessness, but you can give someone $10 for a laundromat or shower, or say hello."-AbolitionistCapybara
Why Is It Illegal To Have The System Fail You?
"I was homeless with my single mom at the age of 9. In the US it is basically illegal to be homeless but it is definitely illegal to be homeless and have a homeless kid."
"My mom was a great mom. We just hit a really rough patch in the 2008 financial crisis in the US causing my mom to lose her job."
"She could not get another one and we ended up living in her mini van. However she was always able to get me food and get me to school. I am not sure how she was able to keep our situation a secret but I was so ashamed of living in a car that I wasn't about to tell anyone about it."
"I think it is twisted that the government would rather place kids with strangers and give those strangers money to take care of the kid than to help that kids family find stability."
"Furthermore my boyfriend was in the foster system for a number of years and has a few horror stories from it. I feel lucky that I was homeless with my mother and that we were able to get out of that situation in comparison to what my boyfriend went through in his childhood living with abusive foster parents."-psychologicalfuntime
The bottom line is that homelessness is not the fault of the homeless. It is the fault of a system that criminalizes a lack of resources and support, especially in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world.
What would we gain by continuing to criticize and stigmatize homeless people across the country?
It's amazing what the legalities are from place to place. I live in New England, and in Connecticut, passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in the car, as long as they aren't driving. Weed isn't legal there, but open containers in the car? Totally fine. At least we have something to look forward to as we cross the border.
There are some truly strange laws depending on where you go. Here is a list of the weirdest ones.
Did you know that murder is allowed in certain instances, depending on where you go? Talk about scary.
I’m sure no one will test these laws.
Not sure how much of it is true. But apparently if the Swedes cross the border by walking over the ice given its frozen over, (which it hasn't in like more than 100 years) we are allowed to kill them.
The exact gates they have to be within are defined but I don't remember what they are.
Dying is illegal in France.Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Oh boy. France has some history and a love of regulation. Perfect mix for absurd laws. Quick examples:
It's still technically mandatory to have hay at home in case the king's horse is nearby and needs some... Horses have been a pretty rare sight, let alone kings.
A mayor made it illegal to die in his town. The initial problem was an overcrowded cemetery, but he kinda reached the wrong solution.
This probably isn’t enforced anymore.
There is a medieval law here that has never been repealed: all males over the age of 14 are required by law to practice longbow for at least two hours per week.
Some of these laws are so silly, they make you wonder what event happened that put them in place.
I think everyone has done this.
"Forbidden to pee in the ocean". I live in Portugal.
'Like a piss in the ocean' is literally a euphemism for something not mattering. What's the problem?
Tigers are fine, though.film history GIF by DiggGiphy
It's illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Somebody better have a conversation with MGM.
You can't carry a salmon suspiciously.
"No officer, I was going to eat it later"
"Seems suspicious you were carrying it around in public. I'm gonna have to take you in for questioning."
What is the backstory here?
It's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors here.
I know this is Pennsylvania, but I forget the exact reasoning, but I think it has something to do with homeless people.
These next few laws will definitely make you question these towns’ legitimacy when it comes to lawmaking.
Poor raccoons.raccoon stealing GIFGiphy
In Virginia, it's illegal to "hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species" on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.
How the heck is this enforced?
I don't know if this is still a thing anymore, but in Texas it used to be illegal to own more than six dildos.
It's illegal to own any at all in Alabama unless the owner has a letter from a doctor claiming a legitimate medical need.
Granted, most of these laws were written a very long time ago. But it makes you wonder, what the heck were these original lawmakers doing? And what event happened that needed these laws to be enforced at all?
If some of these laws don't make you want to be a criminal, then I don't know what will