Veterans of Reddit were asked: "What is the scariest thing you saw in your service?" These are some of the best answers.
1/21 For me it was sitting in a windowless basement office helping to plan death and destruction 12-14 hours at a time for months on end.
Apparently, despite never being shot at or actually having my life in danger (unless you count the possibility of dying from sleep deprivation) that was still enough to give me PTSD. I'm still not completely convinced that this is possible, but several psychiatrists and therapists disagree, so I'm doing my best to deal with it.
2/21 Round flew right by my head and hit the ANA guy who was standing next to me in the face. While that might sound scary just on its own, let me give you a bit of background on this guy. His name was Ahmad Durrani, he was 22 years old (same as me at the time), and was born in Kunduz.
He had joined up because he wanted to protect his family while saving up to afford visas and passports for his sisters and mother. This guy was sharp. His English was great. And he was a hell of a soldier. I remember this one time we were on patrol when we came under fire: his ANA buddies all started doing that pose where they fire from behind cover without aiming (see Liveleak if you have no idea what I'm talking about) and he ran up to them yelling "Aim like they taught you! Aim like they taught you!"
He had dreams of going to America and getting into law school, he wanted to "fight injustice across the world". He had this little 'catchphrase' I guess... "For the good of all" For the good of all...
All that potential. All that promise. Gone. Just gone. That beautiful soul wiped away in a split second. And I watched it happen. After the dust settled I made my way back to him.
This was the first time I had ever lost a friend. I mean a few guys in my unit had gotten hit before, but up until that point I had never seen a comrade laying in the dirt. It's a haunting feeling. Just a few seconds ago, you were talking about some [stuff, messing] around and making jokes that were often lost in translation.
And then they're gone. Reduced to corpse lying in the dirt with your once beautiful mind beginning to clump in the blood-soaked mud.
3/21 I wasn't a line troop, but I supported an Infantry Battalion directly through two different tours in Iraq (06-07, 08-09) and we got some pretty gnarly AOs. While I never had any I'm Gonna Die moments, everybody sees messed up things...things that just make you think. I remember the first time I saw a HMMWV melted down - an automatic transmission liquefies like the T-1000. Seeing some poor [guy] who got smeared all over the inside of a truck by explosives is pretty gruesome. Same thing for VBIEDs (car bombs) - an Opel loaded with 155mm howitzer rounds shakes foundations for miles.
The scariest thing I think I can answer for...is human transformation. We had one guy who was an awesome guy - funny, joking, helpful...until he finally just saw the wrong damn thing. Our awesome guy received and scrubbed an MRAP (truck) after it got hit by an Explosively Formed Penetrator, which is downright scary in every possible way it can be. The EFP slug ended up going right through the driver of the vehicle and splattering him all around the truck.
Very few individuals are prepared to handle that situation with aplomb, some just don't have the coping mechanism to handle it at all. Our Awesome Guy was in the latter group - he was a changed man immediately after that incident: quiet, bottled up, slept little, etc. After that tour he got into drugs really bad and trashed his career...but he was done anyways.
So ya...human transformation. It shows just how vulnerable our personalities and psyches are.
4/21 I worked on a sling-load team in Afghanistan in '10-'11. When the order came in for 50+ bodybags to be shipped immediately, got a little sick to my stomach. Then they called for more while we were flying back from dropping them off, because they ran out not putting more than one identifiable man's parts in each bag, I cried. Still do.
Baddest dudes in the world got scattered, all at once. Still catches me some days, chokes me up.... and I was barely associated with it.
5/21 I was deployed in Iraq in 2007, and ever since I haven't been able to bring myself to relieve myself on a squat toilet. I think this all began when I was taking a dump and the building I was in got hit by a mortar. So yeah, literally scared the [crap] out of me.
6/21 It's an entirely different universe. You spend so much time preparing to go to war and go through so many drills to really make sure you know how to react to anything, from a lone sniper to a complex ambush with IEDs, secondary explosives and an enemy squad.
When I actually had to use the things we'd practice, it was second nature. I wasn't thinking that the person I'm shooting at may have had a family or they were firing a pot shot just to earn money. I wasn't thinking about whether or not I was dying, to me it was just shoot back.
But they never trained you on the downtime. You had down time, you were always prepared for something. Hyper vigilant, is an appropriate term for it. It's been years since I came back, but I feel like I'm still ready to fight at a moment's notice. Relaxing is hard. They didn't teach us about how to readjust to a non combat environment.
7/21 I miss the war. Honestly, it's such a heightened experience. You know how you wonder if your friends are fake or not? They're not during war. They're as close as ever. You fall into such a daily habit of things you kind of overlook it. I remember just loading up the humvee everyday, we all knew our jobs, we all knew what was outside the wire and it just became a daily process. To be honest, it's just so simple. Everyone wants to do their portion because everyone knows someone could die if they don't.
It's weird for me to be around civilians (I am still in) because people are just so damn selfish. No one wants to do things to make others lives easier. Over there, everyone will do their best to take care of their task daily.
Everything is increased to a level you won't experience again. Friendship. Love. Hate. Suffering. Happiness. I've never had such friends as the ones I've had on my deployments. I never really cared for any men as much. I have suffered greatly due to my deployments. I have never experienced such happiness than knowing some [jerk] tried to kill me and completely failed.
Yeah, it was a rough couple of years. Those years was my youth though. Now that I'm a Drill Sergeant, I just try to pass on to my men that war is a heightened and truly different experience for everyone. It can be brutal but some things in it you'll always remember.
8/21 I'm a combat veteran with PTSD. War is extremely boring. Several months of preparing, sleeping, playing golf in the sand, writing letters, drinking water, singing songs with guitars people brought along, pooping out in the open, playing football, freezing at night, burning up during the day, wishing you were home, and
.... several hours of pure terror, your heart pounding so hard you think it might leap out of your chest, your best friend on fire, running as fast as humanly possible, pure luck, sleeping with one eye open and your hand on your weapon, laser focused on the task before you, the world melting away as the only thing you observe is a heart beating and breath being taken in, then silence.
You walk along with the rest of the group. Everyone celebrating that we're going home, but you just give a fake smile. All you can think about is not having been there 5 minutes earlier, or why didn't he duck, or why him...
And the sound still stays muted even through the great yell being given by everyone as the plane lifts off the ground and heading home, the high fives given are half hearted and unenthusiastic as we stop at several airports on the way to the states. Everything quiet and just as dead as your best friend. Then you finally see your beautiful wife...and it hits you. That you were lucky enough to be here, now. That incredible moment when you finally hold her and kiss her deeply and forget everyone else there to meet you. Then remember that other beautiful woman not kissing her hero. Not making love to her prince - and the guilt starts again.
Then the real war starts. The yelling and screaming - you left the door open! What is wrong with you! Don't you know anything about security??? The feeling of fury over a burned sandwich-that smells like death. The anger over someone being sweet to you. The murderous rage over being woken up in the middle of the night by that sweet someone wanting to make love. The anguish of having experienced a break in and beating that person only to find out it was an elderly man with Alzheimers having accidentally walked into the wrong home and the blind fury over her having not locked the front door - again.
War itself is hard, sure. But the training and the adrenalin and the focus makes it all a blur. It's After war where we aren't trained and don't have an outlet for the adrenalin and the only focus is the pain and fear and guilt and sleeplessness that makes it last decades. Decades.
9/21 It's very surreal at times. It's boring and we know an idle mind doesn't help any. Every now and then you have bullets whipping by your head, pieces of concrete smacking you in the face, and dead bodies laying on the floor. How would I describe war? It's a different world, nothing like the movies, highly morbid and boring.
10/21 I was in the USAF as a 2T2. Essentially I was the guy that helped get people and supplies flown into and out of the AOR. I mostly stayed on the passenger side booking people into flights and making sure they get on the right aircraft.
For us it's mostly a fight against boredom. It was 12-14 hour shifts 6-7 days a week. When off work there was essentially nothing to do besides go to the gym. I spent a lot of my free time reading my kindle at the smoke pit. We did get attacked damn near everyday but after the first month or so it didn't really phase us anymore. You'd hear the siren. Then sometimes walk over to a bunker and wait it out then go back to what you were doing.
That was my experience being in a war zone. Logistical support is necessary but it can be boring. There were a few occasions that were fun. When musicians or comedians came through on USO tours id get to meet and talk with them since I was going out to meet their plane and get them off the flight line. But for the most part it was an exercise in dealing with boredom.
11/21 Watched, via ISR footage while deployed in Iraq, a kidnapping of a man by Al Quaeda and then the eventual execution in a rural field. It stuck with me how they tossed him in the car trunk, drove miles out to the rural area outside Baghdad, dragged him out of trunk like a sack of potatoes, then stood him up in the field and executed him with their Ak-47's.
And there was nothing we could do about it.
12/21 I was a Navy Sailor who went out to sea many times for weeks at a time. One of my jobs was being a lookout to spot boats, planes, things in the water or air pretty much and report it back to the ship. My Lookout rotation could have me standing watch during the day or night sometimes both and it was during the nights where I was pretty afraid especially if you were at the back of the ship alone. For anyone who hasn't been out in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night should realize you see many more lights in the sky than you would ever in a city. And on Navy ships they like to have very little lights on at night so standing watch around 1am feels very alien sometimes. And during the nights without a bright moon to help with your vision, you may as well be on a different planet.
There was this one time I saw bright green color moving in the water slowly and I didn't know what it was. My mind told me maybe it's a USO or something else. Eventually I was told it was just plankton but it sure looked freaky to someone who wasn't aware of the glowing plankton produces. Another time me and another guy were standing watch together and I decided just to look up during 2am and see what things I would come across the midnight sky. I would see meteors streak across the sky but a couple of times there were bright lights moving slowly way out there. Perhaps a satellite, maybe who knows. But I stared for a good 20 minutes in the sky and encountered approximately 15 of those slow moving lights in different areas of the sky perhaps many millions of miles apart. Either way those were the few times I saw for myself how vast space really is and that there was so much unknowns out there that humans have yet to discover or explain.
13/21 Yeah Iraq sucked for many reasons but that wasn't the scariest thing I saw. It's what we did to each other when we got back. Each month it got worse and worse. Sexual assaults, rapes, vicious fights, bureaucratic backstabs, mental breakdowns, and medical discharges.
My boss, I'll call her lieutenant M. was one of our battalion's SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention) reps. This wasn't her only responsibility, just an additional one. Every week she had to face hell all the while showing a brave face and signing paperwork like it was just any other job. I saw and helped with only a fraction of the work and it disturbed me. This went on for a year but I saw in her eyes she had aged a decade.
I finished my contract and got out before she did, but not long after I left she was out on medical grounds, in rehab fighting severe alcoholism. Watching colleagues, friends, and family breaking all the while breaking myself was the real nightmare.
14/21 Incoming was always scary, but it was also scary to watch a B-52 strike. The ground shook for miles around. Napalm was also scary to watch, especially when it was close; and it usually was close.
15/21 I was part of Desert Fox/Nobil Anvil. I have a hard time putting it into words. I'm sad for those that had to die because someone on their side put them on a path that took them against our side. I spent a fair bit of time contemplating my existence and what I would do once I was out of that situation. Then I went and did my job.
I didn't have to worry about bullets because I was on a submarine. I had to rely on the actions of the ~100 other guys to keep me alive. It wasn't so much Band of Brothers, but I really do look back on those guys with a lot of respect. I don't put myself in the same class as the infantry guys though. It's an entirely different experience.
16/21 Marine vet with 100% PTSD here. War was 99% boring as hell with some sporadic excitement thrown in whenever some Iraqis felt froggy. It is tons of driving and doing [stupid] work while being shot at. Then if you're lucky you go back to your base at night and get a shower and some hot food. Back on base you get to [defecate] in a luxurious porta-potty while listening to another man abuse his [penis] next door. Then you get attacked with mortars. Part of your building was destroyed but go ahead and try to sleep. You eventually get so tired that you're able to ignore the sound of a generator operating directly outside your window. Imagine sleeping with a lawn mower next to your bed.
As [crappy] as baselife was, raiding was much worse. At 2 in the morning we would drive or fly into towns and then raid them. We would stay for about a week and raid houses and shops during the night and hide out during the day. It is so damn hot that you can't sleep during the day. You end up going for days without sleep while being shot at with rifles, rockets, bombs, grenades and mines and then standing gun watch all night. War is incredibly stressful. Having to take another human's life is awful. I think the majority of veterans would oppose most military involvement.
17/21 It's kind of scary when the indirect fire (mortars, rockets, etc.) alarms go off and you run to a bunker.
While you're sitting in the bunker, which is really just a few slabs of concrete, there's this feeling of complete impotence. In all the war movies you've ever seen, an enemy attacks and the soldiers rush forward with their weapons to meet the attack head on. In reality, when the Taliban is firing mortars at you, there's nothing you can do except sit there and wait.
So you sit down in the bunker, with a loud alarm screaming at you, and you know you're completely powerless to do anything. You sit there and you listen for small arms fire, you listen for people screaming (if they got hit), and you listen to the explosions coming closer and closer to you as the Taliban adjusts their aim and tries to land rockets on your head.
The worst part is that when you come back home, everything sounds like that IDF alarm. Somebody scoots their chair back on a tiled floor, and your heart rate shots up to 120 and you reach for a weapon that you're no longer carrying.
18/21 Former Army infantry here so I'll chime in. Losing friends is hard but actually having to carry their bodies after they've been hit by an IED is the worst. Those things are scary in themselves, but when you can't recognize someone because their entire face is missing, that will [mess] anybody up.
19/21 It varies from boring and mundane to heart racing adrenaline filled moments. Depending on your job, unit, and pure dumb luck the amount of time you spend on one side of the scale changes. It eventually becomes very routine and blends together, we worked 7 days a week with every day being the same thing. For me it went like this. You wake up, get chow, go to daily briefs, plan the mission, do the mission, come back and try to eat something, go to the gym, eat again, and try to occupy yourself until you get tired and start all over again the next day. The only variance in the schedule is what time you go on target, and if anything happens while there. If the mission gets cancelled for whatever reason that time is filled with classes of different topics. Everyday for months and months you see and live with the same people, eat the exact same food, go to the same places at the same time and watch the same movies, tv shows, or play the same games. All while 100% sober and celibate.
This monotony is dotted by your daily mission involving multiple hour long firefights, clearing buildings, S vests, various forms of IEDs, and sprinting through the mountains at several thousand feet above sea level, wearing 100lbs of [stuff] chasing people that are wearing normal clothes. Friends die, innocent people die, enemies die and the only distinction between them is where they happened to be standing on the planet when supersonic chunks of metal happened to also be there. Training, equipment, and planning all tilt the odds in your favor, but anyone that has seen real combat will tell you a bunch of it is pure dumb luck. You happened to be on the drivers side of the vehicle, you didn't step on the ppied the person ahead of you did, the rpg that hit the wall 2 feet from you was a dud, etc.
The worst part of all of that is coming and going from the states. Most units deploy and sit in Kuwait for a month waiting for their stuff, or have a 2 week layover in manas on the way out, not mine. I said goodbye to my wife, got on a bus to the airfield 10 minutes away, loaded up had a 3 hour layover in Germany and then touched down where ever we were going. With the expectation we were mission capable in 24 hours after landing. With all the time zone changing and flights the average time from kissing my wife to loading a helicopter to hit a target was ~48 hours, with 72 being the latest. For the trip to go home you stand down 24-48 hours before you leave to pack, clean, and do customs. Load the plane, fly to Germany for a 3 hour layover, then fly straight back to the base, turn in sensitive items break the pallet down and get released for a 48 hour pass. Average time from the last mission to kissing my wife was right around 4 days. That's the real [problem], going from being a normal citizen to a war zone in 2 days and then going from a war zone to citizen again in 4.
20/21 Going to shower, hearing the incoming fire siren go off. You continue to shower as the 122mm Russian made BM-21 GRAD rockets start hitting the area around you - because there's nothing you can do and nowhere within range is safe. A piece of shrapnel hits the outside of the field-shower, and you still do nothing.
Just lather and rinse.
21/21 I saw two mid-level Taliban leaders get shredded by the 30mm cannon off of an A-10. Body parts just scattered everywhere. About 10 minutes later, a pack of wild dogs showed up and ate what was left of them.
We aren't perfect. There's plenty of things in our pasts that we look back and cringe at.
That being said, sometimes those cringe moments go far past cringe. Sometimes they get to the point of no return awfulness because that's where our human nature took us in this moment.
He's Not Dead<p>When I was 17 my brother walked into a room where I was lying down on my back and stamped on my chest. </p><p>I saw red and stood up and punched him square in the face, unfortunately this was in a doorway in front of a staircase, which he fell down backwards and when he hit the wall at the bottom folded up in such a way I thought I'd killed him. </p><p>He didn't move for what seemed like forever and I was certain he was dead, the world just spinning out around me. </p><p>He wasn't dead, obviously, but knocked out briefly and he never laid a finger on me again, after being the kind of nasty bully who had spent much of my childhood just randomly beating on me for his own enjoyment.</p><p>Those were the longest seconds of my life.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MrSpindles/" target="_blank">MrSpindles</a></p>
Complete And Total Taking Over<p>I don't know about "haunts" but it makes me cringe. In public school we had this thing in our school called 'Jumpstart for Kids' where you'd go around, often door to door, collecting money for this charity once a year. </p><p>Anyway I was 12 and I liked a boy in highschool and he convinced me to take the envelope and go door to door and collect money... to give to him so he could buy a drum set. </p><p>I walked around collecting from all these sweet people who told me I was so nice for collecting money for underprivileged kids. Fortunately I got caught and my parents made me donate it instead. So embarrassing.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heather-rch/" target="_blank">heather-rch</a></p>
Scene Of The Crime<p>Provincial Park, pay shower, 12 years old, line-up to get in. Towards the end of my turn in the shower, get the urge to poop. Cannot hold it. Using a sock to smoosh the last of it down the drain, water turns off. Out of quarters. Put a towel over my head, run out of there past the line-up.</p><p> Get back to the camp site, immediately change clothes, shoes, hairstyle, put on a ball cap. Work up the courage to go by the area later on, it is all cordoned off. Hear people angrily discussing how someone took a dump in the shower.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/eskerhobolo/" target="_blank">eskerhobolo</a></p>
When Bullying A Bully Isn't Worth It<p>We had a camper in this large campground at a lake when I was growing up. Tons of families with kids riding bicycles and golf carts up and down the gravel roads through the property. </p><p>There was this one kid that was a few years older than me (I was 10, he was probably 12 or so) who's dad was the security guard and they lived on site and he was the biggest punk in the park. He'd try and wrestle you in the pool, throw rocks at you as you were fishing, ride off on your bike if you left it laying around, bully and hit smaller kids, even girls. </p><p>I was driving the golf cart down a pretty steep, gravel hill one day when I came up on him on his bike, going the same way as me. He never turned around to acknowledge I was there so I got up just to the side of him and turned HARD right into him. We were both going probably 10-15 miles an hour down this hill. </p><p>He took a nasty spill and rolled off the side of the road and wasn't moving. I kept on going, acting like nothing happened. We were completely isolated so no one saw me. I remember him getting taken away in an ambulance and hearing that he'd been hurt pretty bad.</p><p> I immediately felt remorse for what I'd done but never said a word to anyone. He or anyone else never had any idea I did it either. I look back now and think about how much of a financial strain I put on that family, seeing as how they were already living in a camper. That was a really REALLY evil thing I did and it still crosses my mind quite often.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/harp9r/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">harp9r</a></p>
Not Hurting<p>So you know the carnival horses you can sit on outside of grocery stores (back in the 90's). Well I wanted to ride one and this sweet old woman tried to help me get on, slipped, and really really hurt herself falling into the ride. I just remember hearing her scream and I got scared and ran away.<br></p><p>I'm 31 years old and think about that day at least once a week.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/packhawk2689/" target="_blank">packhawk2689</a></p>
Gotta Get Up, Gotta Get Out<p>Easy. When I was 5, I burned my house down.</p><p>We were living in a small home, me, my sister, mom, dad. I was supposed to be in the bed, but I wanted a toy or <em>something</em> that was under my bed, and I didn't want to wake my parents by turning on my light... soooo I grabbed my dad's cigarette lighter and light the flame under my bed. Needless to say it went up like a match. </p><p>My dad tried to stomp the fire out after I started screaming fire, burning his leg horribly. My room and the source of the fire was blocking EVERY other bedroom from escape, so everyone had to jump out of a window. Funnily enough, I don't remember the world-class a** whipping I must have received for that. I just cringe at the thought that I almost killed all of us being a dumb kid.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Paradigm_Pizza/" target="_blank">Paradigm_Pizza</a></p>
Escape<p>I was married to an insanely abusive man. After two years I escaped and he killed himself shortly after. Not sure if it was him avoiding charges, or avoiding his deployment but his family decided it was 100% my fault. They told the police I gave him the gun and encouraged him. </p><p>That was investigated and unfounded. What they didn't know was he'd scanned and emailed me his suicide note the wee hours of the morning of. The police didn't find the note. Of course I handed it over when they asked. His family would not believe I wasn't involved or at fault and harassed me for a long time. </p><p>If I got a job and they found out about it they'd call and leave so many complaints I'd get let go. Found out what I drove and had their other kids and their friends follow me. </p><p>I ended up having to leave that town and disappearing to avoid them. But before I did, I printed a copy of his suicide note, found his moms car at her job, and left it on the window shield. That note detailed the abuse his father put him through, his rage at his mother for never leaving him and making himself and his siblings live with the SOB. </p><p>That he never wanted me to blame myself, that this was his way of getting the hell away from them and the damage he caused. I felt pretty bad for awhile. But at the same time.... they literally wouldn't leave me alone and stalked me for 5 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/TinyTinasRabidOtter/" target="_blank">TinyTinasRabidOtter</a></p>
If You Give A Pup A Shower<p>Bored in the house one day alone when I was about 10, so decided to give my dog a shower, I genuinely loved my dog, he was my best friend growing up, but for some unknown reason I decided to turn the shower onto hot water only (extremely hot) and started showering him. There was a delay I guess in him reacting because his fur was so thick, which meant I kept it on him for a few seconds.</p><p>suddenly He started yelping like dogs do when in pain, his instincts were to not be aggressive or try to escape but just looked at me scared and confused.</p><p>I panicked smashed on the cold and cooled him down as quick as I could.</p><p>Fortunately he was not 'burnt' or had any ongoing issues, he never even lost trust in me.</p><p>I felt physically sick and ashamed in myself for days after, and obviously it still bothers me 20 years later.</p><p>The good thing to come from it is that I was so disturbed by my action that I have never knowingly inflicted pain on anyone or anything since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/ChrisLeeHD/" target="_blank">ChrisLeeHD</a></p>
Caught In The Act<p>I was at school and for no reason at all, I eavesdropped a very private and delicate conversation between one of my teachers and her husband. </p><p>Then she opened the door and saw me eavesdropping. It was beyond humiliating and I deserved the scolding afterwards. I was young and stupid obviously, but when I remember the look on her face, I still cringe hard, even if it's been almost 20 years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/naydeilinsei/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">naydeilinsei</a></p>
Shunned<p>Second grade, I had a classmate (fake name Sasha) who was kinda awkward. Crooked teeth, quiet, not too bright. Didn't really have any friends within the class, though she did have some people she would hang out with at recess. </p><p>In any case, a boy in the grade above us, a friend of my brother's actually, for some reason decided to spread a rumor among all of us that Sasha had lice and to stay away from her. </p><p>I bought it without a second thought, and so did most of us; as far as I know, she wasn't particularly teased, but she was just shunned. No one talked to her. </p><p>She was around till the end of the year and didn't come back for third grade. No clue what happened to her, but I really hope we didn't mess her up too much.</p><p>Next summer, I got the worst case of head lice my pediatrician had ever seen. Karma, my dudes.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Isabel79540/" target="_blank">Isabel79540</a></p>
I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.
After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.
"I'm sure the mentality..."<p>Being too shy, I'm sure the mentality that everyone hated me wasn't very good for making friends.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpad84o?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">aeflare</a></p>
"I'm not sure how it could have gone differently..."<p>Dropping out. I am not sure how it could have gone differently, but I do wish it had. It was expensive to upgrade all that education to get into post-secondary, and I also missed out on a lot of social things.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafhng?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DaughterEarth</a></p>
"I was already pretty cynical..."<p>I was told I had received a full-ride scholarship, so I stopped putting in any effort on other scholarships. When the time came, it wound up being awarded to someone who applied late, got it due to their family's income level, and then dropped out of college after one month. My first two years of college were a financial nightmare as I had to pay my own way on everything (except rent, as I lived at home and commuted across state lines for work and college). If I had $50 at the end of the month, that was a damn good month. I couldn't get student loans and my parents refused to help, so I had worked out a deal with the financial office at college to pay something like $550 a month, which was about 90% of my income.</p><p>I regret not confronting whoever made that decision about the scholarship. I somewhat regret not putting in the effort to get other scholarships at the same time, but I can't blame myself for it either.</p><p>I was already pretty cynical at that point, but that was when I realized just how quickly your back becomes a knife block for someone else's optics.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpalo5m?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">A_Garbage_Account</a></p>
"I used to daydream..."<p>I used to daydream about going back one day and burning it to the ground, but it's just been demolished by land developers. So I guess that dream's dead.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpafcpx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">EducationTangle06</a></p>
I suppose the phrase, "Always follow your dreams"...<p>...doesn't apply in this case.</p>
"Acting like a clown..."<p>Acting like a clown, annoying everyone to the point where no one really stayed in contact with me after, and taking my precious little charter school for granted.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpae5ak?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalFunction12</a></p>
I have a friend who has expressed similar concerns about his time in high school.<p>He ended up spending his college years going to therapy and maturing. His clownish antics were a coping mechanism for a lot of crap going on in his life at the time. He's happier and healthier now and that's what matters.</p>
"To be fair..."<p><span>Dating my best friend. To be fair that's how I found out a lot of people weren't really my friends but getting ghosted afterward really hurt.</span></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpasudw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">kannacantplay</a></p>
"She got tired..."<p>I took my crush to Daft Punk Alive 2007 instead of my best friend. She wasn't responding all day, and I was with my friend. We were about to leave when she called. She'd been with her boyfriend all day and had forgotten about the concert. I took her. My buddy was disappointed but cool about it.</p><p>She got tired of being on the floor halfway through so we sat in the bleachers. We started walking out before the encore because she wanted to get home sooner.</p><p>Always wanted to take my buddy to a Daft Punk show after that, and was going to, no matter where or how much it cost. But I'll never get the chance.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpbd6so?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">spanishgrapelaw</a></p>
"Looking back now..."<p>I regret not telling my crushes how I felt about them. Looking back now, I know that those puppy love relationships probably wouldn't have developed into anything long term and I no doubt would've had my heart broken when they inevitably ended but, I can't help but wonder: What if?</p><p>Having cultivated a host of insecurities by the time I got to high school, I was really good at hiding my inner thoughts and feelings - I also probably didn't see myself very clearly. So, I just assumed that there was zero chance of my crushes reciprocating my feelings and never said anything to them about it. I also probably sub-consciously ignored any signs that they were interested in me (again, didn't see myself clearly, was very insecure).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpazwl2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Vegoceraptor</a></p>
"The world is wider..."<p>Not engaging with opportunities available to me and just looking at it like a holding pen just before adulthood.</p><p>It may seem hokey, but join clubs, try out lots of sports, pursue interests, pay attention in class and engage with your peers.</p><p>The world is wider for adolescents than I allowed myself to believe it was at the time.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpaxnsf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Big_Requirement_3540</a></p>
"I already knew I was quitting..."<p>Senior year I had the option of a guaranteed internship and doing half days at school. Turned it down because my parents wanted me to be in band (and I enjoyed it so didn't put up a fight).</p><p>I already knew I was quitting when I went to college. The internship would have been great experience to propel my studies/career.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv5ytu/what_is_your_biggest_regret_from_high_school/gpatszd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ClubbsMcLubbs</a></p>
High school isn't easy.<p>Nor is it particularly fun for a lot of people. Remember how awful being a teenager was? Remember what it was like to feel like you were at the whim of your hormones all the time? It's an emotional rollercoaster. It's no wonder so many people would rather close the book on high school once it's over (or have some regrets related to their time there).</p><p>Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.</p>
When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.
When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.
Enough Was Enough<p>"He was mentally ill, possibly with Paranoid Personality Disorder, definitely delusional, maybe schizophrenic. I was accused of all types of things, affairs, being part of plots to 'get' him, even urinating on his toothbrush."</p><p>"I stayed for 3 years after I knew I no longer loved him because I knew he would spiral without someone to look after him. He had destroyed every relationship with his friends and family because they were all also out to 'get' him."</p><p>"I finally told him I would only stay if he got help, which he refused. So I left."</p><p>"I was right about him spiralling. He went from sharehouse to sharehouse as all the other tenants were 'out to get him'. He eventually ended up homeless for a while is now facing 18 different charges so will probably end up in jail."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpal6ip?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">damekl</a></p>
An Unfortunately Common Response to Fading Love<p>"She threatened to kill herself and even though I wanted out of the relationship, i didnt want her to be hurt or die. I remember us arguing about something very trivial but she was getting very upset. She walked out mid conversation and came back with cuts all over her legs and thighs."</p><p>"I tried getting help from parents, school counselors, doctors. None helped. So i just tried to manage as much as I can. Eventually she joined the military & moved away and that was the moment I was finally free."</p><p>"Years wasted though."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpab7fm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">corazon_im_hurt</a></p>
A Bare Bones Story<p>"Short version: domestic violence."</p><p>"Long version: I was afraid to leave because I believed he would find me and kill me."</p><p>"Conclusion: He pushed me too far and I ran."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaizjk?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AliceMorgon</a></p>
Tipping Over the Edge<p>"He was a violent drug addict and I was scared of what he may do if I left. I never truly loved him but our relationship became very codependent very quickly."</p><p>"He cheated on me, took advantage of the fact that I had a car and money, but I still stayed because he was always threatening to kill himself or to kill my cats."</p><p>"Then one night he literally backed me into a corner and tried to punch me in the head so that finally made me open my eyes and realize I had to get out."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpb5z6l?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Theging96666</a></p>
Optics<p>"She's terminally ill, and dying of Cancer, even though she is abusive now, and was before, I can't really leave, the social pressure to be a *good man* plus the cost of divorce and everything else is just too much, at this point it's just easier to wait it out."</p><p>"Plus I really like her family, and if I left her when she was sick...it would pretty much kill that relationship."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbm18j?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Boise_State_2020</a></p>
Always a Reason to Stay<p>"We were living together at 16, she cheated on me and I told her I wanted her to leave, she begged me not to send her back to her moms house because they have like 8 people in a 2 bedroom house and because she would've had nowhere else to go."</p><p>"I was 16 I didn't know how to handle a girl literally begging me so I let her stay against my better judgement and it created a hurtful cycle of falling in and out of love."</p><p>"Feeling like things could get better and then having my world come crashing down every time I look at her because I think of reading the message of the guy saying he loved watching her get on top of him."</p><p>"A couple of years go by and we're not in love, just tolerating each other at this point and then we got pregnant, stayed together through the pregnancy but the stress was too much for both of us and caused fighting, sleeping apart, more cheating."</p><p>"When the baby was born she had finally turned 18 and we moved away our relationship got much better with each other, we're best friends now and are just trying our best to raise our daughter to be healthy and happy and know she's loved."</p><p>"Neither of us had good childhoods."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa47ed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Lapidot-Wav</a></p>
For the In-Laws<p>"I lived with a man I never loved. His mum was also living with us and I loved her more than my own biological mum."</p><p>"She was the nicest, kindest and the most caring soul I have ever met in my life. I left that man when he told me that he knew I was only with him because of his mum. That was 20 years ago but I still miss her every single day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpbz7av?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mayfl21</a></p>
A Sudden Shift<p>"I was with my wife for 14 years. For at least half of that, I wasn't happy with the relationship. But I had decided I was ok with it because everything about our life together was acceptable, for lack of a better word."</p><p>"We owned a house, made good money, got along well, shared hobbies, etc. We were basically roommates/best friends who just didn't love each other the way you would normally expect from a married couple."</p><p>"When the pandemic hit, and we were forced to stay home more and spend time with each other EVERY DAY, we started to get a better sense of how well we actually tolerated each other. It didn't go well."</p><p>"She ended up getting really into online gaming and met some other guys and basically cheated on me. In retrospect, it was obvious it would reach that point."</p><p>"But I was content to stay there as long as I could because it was a comfortable life with very little stress and obligation."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpaadi2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">knucklehead923</a></p>
Slow Fade<p>"I was no longer as 'in love' with her. But I still loved her. After years together it could become tricky to figure out exactly what It's just a lull and what is it really going away."</p><p>"I was still living with my best friend. But ended it because once we really realized that I wasn't feeling the same way anymore. I was just hurting her for me to stay since she was still in love."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa6h2s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">collin3000</a></p>
Wise, But a Little Sad<p>"We have good chemistry and built a life together. After a lot of years, love comes and goes. It is like the seasons."</p><p>"As cold as it can be in the winter, if you put the effort in, the spring will always come back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lv3k1j/seriouspeople_who_have_stayed_with_someone_they/gpa41jl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aizpunr</a></p>
Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.
Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.
After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.