Teachers Reveal The Worst Helicopter Parents They've Met
The parent/teacher relationship used to be one of the most influential bonds in a child's life. Parents rely on teachers to educate and prepare their children for a career and success. And teachers rely on parents to back their children's educators and assist them in the journey. Some where along the way that message has gotten skewed. Now everybody wants to believe that their little Tommy and Mary are angels but let's get real. Tommy and Mary have issues and hovering parents who believe they're children are perfect are only a detriment.
Redditor Secret_Life_Shh reached out to the educators of the world needing to know... Teachers/child care workers of Reddit: What is worst case of helicopter parenting/"my child can do no wrong" you've ever seen? In the end, parents need to find a hobby besides their kids. It helps with perspective. **
LET HIM BE...
Music teacher here. I had a HeliMom of one of my guitar students sit in on him during his first lesson. She was sitting right by him, shoulder to shoulder. As I was talking about various things like how to hold the guitar and how to shape your hands and fingers around the neck she would grab his hand and do it for him. Every single time. For everything. Time to strum some chords? Mom did that for him too. Can't get the fret hand to squeeze hard enough to make the strings ring? She pressed his fingers for him. He cried out at that and that's when I stopped and told her she had to let him do it on his own. All I got for that was a sharp look and a"Fine then."
He tried on his own and the string just made kind of a thud noise and she said "See he needs me to help him." I told her that the only way he was going to be able to do it was to try and do it, on his own. He was the one who had to build up the strength. Things didn't really progress much after that and I ended the lesson.
With all of that I wasn't thinking they'd be sticking around for a second week but back they came. Second lesson started off the same and I politely told her she'd have to give him space in order to try. Still she wasn't thrilled but relented and got up in a huff and went out into the hall to watch from there. After she left this kid took a deep breath and was visibly more relaxed. After she stepped out he was able to have his own space and he actually try on his own; he started to do better. It was awesome. At the end of the lesson he said he couldn't wait to come back and his mom came in and grilled him with something like "why can't you do that when I'm helping you? You don't want my help? You don't need my help?"
I could understand stuff like this if he was a young kid, 7 or younger, but dude's 14 years old. He's going to be a freshman in the fall.
This poor kid has ended up being one of my best students. His mom still hovers and he's still a super weird and socially awkward dude from living in a bubble but he's finally found something he can be good at independently from his mom. It's really rewarding to see him gaining more and more confidence even if it is slowly, he'll get there someday.
HOW WILL SHE LEARN?
An incredibly quiet student just flat out refused to engage in any discussion in class. She was an extremely pleasant girl, she just wouldn't speak. I brought it up with her mother during an interview and she told me she'd forbidden her daughter to express her opinion and to just listen to the teacher out of fear they wouldn't agree with her opinion and mark her down out of bias. I assured her that expressing an opinion wouldn't get a student marked down in my class and that developing one is important to her learning but she just said "I'd rather she didn't."
DON'T TOUCH MY FIRE!
While studying I work in an after school care.
One day a 9yr old was showing everyone his lighter by trying to set the shirt he was wearing on fire, I obviously took the lighter off him. When his mother came to pick him up I handed it to her and told her about him trying to set his shirt on fire.
Turns out it was her lighter, so I had "no right" to confiscate it and her son just wouldn't try to set his clothes in fire because "He's not an idiot," so I must be making that up.
Criminal defense lawyer here. I was talking to my 23 year year old client in the hallway before court. His mom walked up to me and said forcefully, "He is a CHILD, do you understand me? A CHILD!" Because she was upset that he was in trouble with the law.
NOT MY CHILD!
I taught middle school for 1 year. We had a student who was being disruptive in all the classes. He was refusing to turn in work, or even do it. He was constantly causing trouble.
We had each tried several strategies to deal with the behavior in our own time. We had each talked to the parents numerous times, but they never did anything nor believed that the student was doing anything inappropriate. No one was having any success.
Eventually one of the teachers had enough so he suggested we do a meeting between all of the students teachers, the guidance counselor, a vice principal, the student, and his parents.
There are 6 teachers plus the vice principal and the guidance counselor all saying the same basic version of, student needs to pay attention, needs to do the work, needs to stop distracting other students, needs to be respectful, etc. etc. The mother disbelieves us; its not the students fault. We all have it in for the student. Nothing changed. Teaching sucks
I'M NOT AFRAID OF YOU!
While I was student teaching I had a student and his mom was the art teacher. The student was a straight up douche. Would cheat on any assignment, belittle classmates, etc... Any time the student got in trouble or called out he would run to his mom (the art teacher) and she would fight for him. All the teachers in the schools were afraid of her since she has been in the district for a long time and was thought to do no wrong by the administration.
The student ended up plagiarizing an essay in class. I gave the student a zero (as it was stated in the assignment sheet that all plagiarism would be an automatic zero) and all hell broke loose. Meetings with the principal were set up, mom would come in during my plan period and rip my a** for failing her kid, and the student would come fake crying to class the work. The essay was a large portion of the grade and would mean he would fail the class. After about two weeks of the mom coming in I finally told her if he turned a new essay into me by the end of week he could get 50% credit on it (would move his grade to a "D" if he got a 100%).
The student comes waltzing in to class on Friday and hands me his essay. After quickly scanning the essay it just seemed off. After a quick google search, the student took the entire Wikipedia page and copied it for his essay. After school, I went down to the art room to talk to the mom. I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday.
Me: _M* did a great job on his essay! _
Mom: Great! He was locked up in his room all week working on it.
Me: _When I looked at his paper I did notice there was an odd section though. _
Mom: _What do you mean? _
Me: _This section has a superscript number on it and I don't see where he citied it. _
Mom: _That is odd, I'll ask him about it. _
Me (pulls out the printed Wikipedia page over his topic that is word for word): _Here is the Wikipedia page over his topic if you want to look at. _
Mom (scanning over both and her face turns ghost white): _Will he be able to make this up? _
Me (with a look of disbelief on my face): Hell no!
The student ended up getting suspended and mom tried to fight the suspension. She even went as far to look into the legitimacy of the grade since a student teacher taught the course. All in all, the mom is no longer a teacher in the district and the kid is in jail for selling drugs. The rest of the staff loved me for standing up to her and her so.
MAYBE HEAD TO THERAPY...
Okay 2 great stories...
1. Happened in 2006. A parent who volunteered in her child's classroom just to video tape her child all day, everyday. She threatened to sue if we did not allow her to. She did this all through elementary. It ended in middle school when they told her no. She stood outside the fence and video taped him at PE. Some one saw this and called the police. She pulled her kid and home schooled him.
2. Happened to a brother and sister I went to high school with. The son was socially awkward, tall and a little round. He was in high school for only a year by himself but his mom was present at every band function we had. She even tried to come to every practice, even the ones from 9am-9pm. But then she decided that her 7th grade daughter was going to skip the 8th grade so she could enter high school early. Now she had 2 kids, she was always at school, even stopping by to lunch with them, it was so sad. The kids were miserable. Then she had her daughter slip the 11th grade, literally appealing to the school board. Threatening legal action if they "held back" her child from her _"destiny." So now she has both kids in the same grade, they graduate together. Mom enrolls them in community college together, in the same classes...with her. So she is now going to classes with them. She never actually passes the classes but she wants to be with them so that the professors know she is watching. Since she is a student there are no grounds for having her removed. The kids get ready to transfer to the local university. They are done with mom, she tries to _"sit in" on classes but that is a big NO from day one. They diverge in interests so they get their own majors. Then they go nuts with classes, appealing to admin to take a huge load of credits. They are in school all day everyday they can. How I met up with them again was weird. I was working on campus and closed the library one night. I found them bedding down for the night in their old station wagon in the parking lot. I offered to let them stay overnight with me. They came to my house and told the tale. Last I heard the daughter dropped out and went into the medical field.
YOU REALIZE YOU'RE NOT IN CHARGE?!
I work in a kindy in China. We have about 35 kids in each class, seated in 4 rows of 8 (with a split down the middle) facing the teacher.
We move the children about once a month; each child moves back one row, and the back row gets to sit in the front row.
One parent came in and told us that her child must always be seated in the front row. There's nothing wrong with the child's eyesight; she's just too special to be seated anywhere but the front row I guess. The parent did not request this; she ordered us.
Another time in primary the headmaster came to talk to me, aghast. We had one special group of children that was taught all in English for every subject. This is very expensive and all the parents are pretty rich (One guy has three porsches; a red yellow and blue one and drives whatever colour he feels like to school. He also has several Harley Davidsons.)
Anyway this VERY rich mother was upset because the other rich kids didn't want to play with her daughter. Her daughter, having servants at home, tried to order the other kids around and you can imagine how popular that made her.
THAT AIN'T NO ANGEL HONEY!
I had a boy who kept acting out in class; things like talking to classmates while I was giving directions, giving strange answers, hitting the boys sitting next to him in the arm. I kept notes and informed our academy director about what was happening and he was pulled aside after school a few times to talk about his behavior.
One day, at the end of class, he reached across the table and forcefully flicked a girl in the forehead. She complained and he cocked back his arm like he was going to punch her in response. I had him sit while I let everyone else leave and told him to stay seated while I discussed his behavior with the academy director. (If nothing else, being the last one to go would be a sort of punishment.)
The director chewed him out and apparently he told his mom about it because his mom came to the academy to say that her son was an angel and I should be reprimanded for exaggerating or lying about the situation. Cue the director listing off all the crap her son had done over the past few weeks and telling her that her son was no longer welcome at the academy. Never saw him again after that.
GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!
Less helicopter parent, more "my child is innocent" and a scam. My mom was kicked out of work (temporarily) from her underprivileged school until this case was settled. A kindergartener had just gotten her ears pierced and she took the earrings out in class because they hurt. The teacher sent her to the health secretary (my mom) and the little girl lost an earring somewhere along the way. Cleaned the ears and sent her back to class. Mother of the child sued my mom and filed a case with the school because I guess the earrings were solid gold and diamond. I guess that's what Claire's pierced with, seems legit. Tried to accuse my mom of stealing the earring, no chance that a 6 year old lost a tiny object. Of course the woman did not win in this situation and my mom got back to work but it was a whole bunch of baloney, accusing the teachers and office employees at the school for a lost earring and injured earlobe.
HANDS OFF MOTHER!
My mom owned a daycare center, and I worked there when I wasn't in school. There were some very unique kids and some crazy parents. The one that comes mind though had a 6 year old son. This kid was an incredible brat, but as soon as you met his parents you understood why. He had just started school and was coming home upset because kids were making fun of him, because of his pacifier that he kept with him and used throughout the day.
So his mom decided to wait with him at the school bus stop and pick him up from there. One day they were waiting and he mentioned he had a wedgie. So right there at the bus stop, in front of all the kids in his class, and the crossing guard, his mom picked it for him. Just stuck her hand down his pants and took care of it for him.
She wouldn't even let him handle his own wedgie. Needless to say, that did not help with his teasing.
STEP IT MOM!
I taught a 5 year old whose very eccentric and wealthy mother came in to meet with us before he started to tell us that he had some developmental and social issues and needed a little extra attention and help understanding things (note that at this age a lot of kids aren't officially tested yet for anything) . He comes in and we discover after a week or two that he is absolutely one hundred percent fine developmentally, he's just HORRIBLY behaved and has never been disciplined in his entire life. He was a NIGHTMARE who was rude, entitled, and bratty, but he was perfectly smart and once we got through to him about what behavior was expected of him, he could easily do it. She was a lazy parent who instead of admitting that he was a brat chalked it up to disabilities. To sum it up: "There's no way that my child can be wrong something must be wrong WITH him."
MOMS CAN BE NUTS!
I had a third grade student whose mother felt that I favored other students over her son. She would call me and yell at me about not treating him fairly and lying. She snuck past the office a few times to come into the classroom to watch me teach (which of course is illegal and I'd have to call the office). She'd tell me and the principal that she was trying to "catch me in the act [of being dishonest]." (Of course my principal always defended me and dealt with the parent.)
As a final straw, the mother bought a watch with a voice recorder in it and the boy wore it to school. He yelled out in the middle of class suddenly, "I'm secretly recording you and you won't teach here for much longer!" (An 8-yr-old!) Of course the watch was confiscated and the child was moved into a different classroom, though the school district could have legally moved him into another. But the mother still never backed down and the next teacher had similar issues.
OH MICKEY THAT'S NOT FINE!
I did have a brief stint as a cheerleading coach. Kid gives an attitude about doing literally anything. Won't follow any instruction and usually either sasses me or sits on her phone. Ok. I told her that if she wasn't interested in participating, she can sit in the stands Friday night instead. Kid proceeds to go to bathroom and calls mother (it's not like I can actually take away their phones---try dealing with parents on THAT). Mother drives from work 30 minutes to scream at me for almost an hour. Apparently it is my fault. Her child is the best on the team and I am clearly targeting her. She says I have destroyed her confidence and am jealous of her talent. She can do whatever she wants if she's the best on the squad. Oookay lady. I stopped coaching after that year
WAY TO TEACH MANNERS...
I had a student who was failing pretty badly, he had a pretty bad attitude and was extremely disrespectful. When I called his father, the response was "You're a woman, he doesn't need to respect you." I handed the phone to a male mentor teacher pretty dumbfounded and explained the situation. The male teacher proceeded to ream the dad out and then had the kid transferred from my class to his class. The kid still failed and was still a disrespectful kid. Not sure what the dad had to say about that but at least he couldn't blame it on me being a woman.
I LIKE YOUR PUPPET MA'AM.
Before Uni started we used to hold activities for first year students (frosh week for Canadians reading this). Nothing educational, but always good fun.
Had a student show up with his mother, and she questioned everything we were doing and how it will relate to her son's studies. It didn't. We were very clear that it was all for building relationships and a bit of pre-study enjoyment. It was also a chance to meet older students and get an idea of uni life.
She was having none of it. She wanted to speak with the head of department and file an official complaint about these activities. Clearly having fun was not part of an education.
The second day she came again, and triumphantly said the dean is coming to talk to us. The dean did come, gave us a pep talk and said how much he enjoyed this time of the year, chugged a beer and told us to join him in the local pub later on. She was speechless and left in a huff dragging her son by the hand. Neither showed up for the rest of the week.
STAY CALM DEAR...
In Kindergarten we have testing twice a year, one in winter and again in the spring. A parent called in a conference because her daughter had received 2% under the cut-off that suggested her child may, by THIRD grade, need additional help meeting reading goals. Now, that isn't why I consider her a helicopter parent. Those test scores can be confusing and I could see why she might have been worried upon seeing that if she didn't really understand the way it worked. However, myself and my mentor teacher spent about 45 minutes (with her kid in the room hearing everything) trying to console her that her daughter was doing fine and that we weren't concerned about her progress at all. We told her she interacts well with her peers, feels confident and comfortable reading, and that these tests aren't a good way to showcase understanding, especially for a five year old. The mother revealed that she makes her daughter do over thirty minutes of homework every night and won't even let her walk downstairs without reciting all of her weekly spelling words. Other stuff too, but basically the mom was putting unreasonable pressure on this 5 year old girl. Like planning college and thinking years ahead.
Just relax, your kid is five. If we have any concerns, trust me, you would know. Don't burn your kid out this early in their education.
LET'S GET DENTAL RECORDS...
Had a kid bite another kid, had pictures of the bite mark where teeth were clearly visible and the kid admitted to biting the other kid because he got in his way. Parents said he would never bite anyone and that the picture could be of any type of injury...
YOU CAN'T SAVE THEM...
I'm a high school counselor. Last year I had this student who was a total sweetheart but really needed intervention. This girl was a sophomore and had a grand total of 20 credits towards graduation under her belt. She should have had 90 by that point and was on track to fail 25 more that spring. She was failing miserably. Not only that but she would be constantly ditching class and often end up in my office because there was no where else to go. The school has only one way in or out. I did everything in my power to help this girl and eventually was able to get a parent meeting with myself, teachers, the school psych and school administrators involved. I explained to her parents in great detail how at this point it was mathematically impossible for her to graduate from high school at that school at the rate she was failing classes. I offered continuation school that has a much higher rate of graduation for students in her situation. I desperately wanted her to get tested for special education because it was obvious she had deficiencies and could have at least gotten some legal accommodations put in place for her in order to help her. Parents just said no to everything. No to continuation school because that's where the _"bad" kids went. No to testing because special ed had a _"bad stigma." _No to after school tutoring cuz _"she's capable of doing all of this work." No to working one on one with the school psych to sort out her emotional issues. No to everything. I'd never felt so defeated and knew then that I couldn't save every kid no matter how much I wanted to.
THE SCHOOL DEMOGRAPHIC DOESN'T MATTER!!
I'll give two examples. One suburban, one inner city.
Suburban: Kid asked where dogs came from. Not sure why, I was an English teacher. I said they were bred from wolves, and gave two common explanations for how human interaction may have started. Mom called the school, then called me, freaking out that I mentioned evolution. Turned into a whole thing.
Inner city: Teen sucker punched some poor girl, then punched me in the face when I broke them up. Ended up getting escorted off by campus cop. Dad showed up to the school and started threatening to kick everyone's butt.
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.
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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!
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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