Years ago a young woman told me about her grandmother, who had survived a home invasion in South Africa. It was a very unsettling story.
Her grandmother was never the same afterward and became consumed by paranoia. There is something so horrible about having your home violated like that, of feeling like you'll never be safe again, even in a space that's supposed to be your sanctuary from the outside world.
The young woman confessed that the thought of going through something similar continues to scare the hell out of her and honestly, I can't blame her. It's a frightening thought.
Redditor Kingofthelosers asked the online community:
"What are you terribly afraid of?"
"Being randomly killed..."
Being randomly killed or abducted and tortured.
Basically, I'm most afraid of people, because while most people are inherently good, there are a few who aren't - and all it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This is a sobering thought. We hate that you're right.
"People look at me..."
Losing my mind. People look at me like I'm crazy, but I'm legitimately afraid of losing myself and becoming crazy.
That's a common fear among people who live with mental illness.
"I've never been in such an accident..."
Driving off-road into a body of water and being stuck in the car as the water level inside rises. I've never been in such an accident, I've never known anyone who has been in such an accident, but somehow this fear has been with me for a very long time. And this has only gotten worse since having kids because now I picture them strapped into their car seats behind me as the water level rises.
Terrifying. Utterly terrifying.
Anytime I see this in a film, it unsettles me.
Then I see movies like I Care a Lot, which somehow managed to take something very scary and make it ridiculous.
"There's no way..."
Being falsely accused of a crime. The power of the State against little broke me. There's no way I don't lose in this situation.
This is very true. If the state wants to mess with you, it can and it will.
"Rather than risk failing..."
Failure. My fear of failure can be crippling. Rather than risk failing, I all out avoid situations where I might fail. I hate it but self-doubt really kills my ability to accomplish anything in life.
This is all too relatable.
I remember feeling this way when I was younger. It was paralyzing. Thankfully, time and age has been kind to me. I'm so different now. Hopefully things improve for this person.
"If I ever go back..."
Dying in a plane crash. I can picture it so perfectly - the way the air would be pulled out of your lungs as you scream, the feeling of weightlessness warring with extreme gravity depending on the way you're falling, and the certain knowledge that you are about to die horribly.
I moved to Europe and haven't visited anyone in the states in about 5 years. If I ever go back, I'm looking into finding some sort of passenger ship if it exists.
Well, there's bound to be one – and it'll likely be more expensive than a plane ride, but you do you.
"I don't know why."
Fire drills. I don't know why. I have always had an irrational fear of them. Once the alarm goes off, it's fine, but it's like the anticipation that freaks me out. School was genuinely hard because of it and I know I can never be a teacher. That's okay though because I never wanted to be one.
Fire drills––any drills, really––have a way of amplifying your nerves.
Growing up in the Columbine and post-Columbine world, fire drills and shooting drills were a way of life. And yes, they sucked.
"I've had sleep paralysis..."
Losing control of my body. I've had sleep paralysis and I've been physically restrained/drugged in a dangerous situation, that kind of helplessness is just the most awful feeling in the world. My worst nightmare would be living in that state permanently.
Thankfully you are not! Take comfort in that!
"I just can't do it."
Sleep facing a mirror. I just can't do it. I will cover the mirror with a blanket if it is facing the bed. It just freaks me out.
There's a reason there have been a few especially creepy horror films about mirrors!
Oculus, anyone? Or the aptly titled Mirrors?
Most people would want to die in their sleep when they're super old. But imagine being 95 or so, and night after night having to go to sleep and not knowing if you'll wake up the next morning.
How do we face our fears?
That's not an easy question to answer. Thankfully, time and experience can teach you a lot about yourself and what you can handle. It's a big world and there's so much we still don't know about it. The least we can do is take care of ourselves and try to live in it.
Have some of your stories to share? Feel free to write about them in the comments below.
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Your home should be sanctuary, which is to say that we hope that nothing bad ever happens once we move in. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out that way, and sometimes things happen that unnerve the hell out of us.
Is there anything more creepy than being alone at home... only to get the feeling that you're not alone at all? What if you were being watched?! It's the stuff of nightmares, isn't it? And I haven't even touched on the possibility of paranormal activity yet...
People shared their stories with us after Redditor Savings_Actuator asked the online community,
"What is the creepiest thing you've ever experienced in your home?"
"At that point..."
"An intense thunder-and-lightning storm developed. During a loud clap of thunder and brilliant lightning flash (it illuminated the entire 2-story house), I heard a spooky sound simultaneous with the thunder."
"Seems that one of the chains that holds the heavy weights on the "grandfather" clock in the foyer broke, allowing the weight to whack the dong and bang the pendulum as it crashed into the bottom of the clock case."
"At that point, I was convinced that something evil was lurking in the house. So, I stayed in my room - cowering with the door locked - until my parents finally returned home."
"Whack the dong" adds some much needed humor to this story.
"One time I was in my room trying to go to sleep when my closed laptop randomly blasted screams of what sounded like a woman in pain. I still have NO IDEA how that happened, but it scared the sh*t out of me."
Move. Your house is haunted.
"I was at home alone..."
"I was at home alone with my dogs and one of them wouldn't stop barking. She had a shrill piercing bark. Suddenly a man's voice yells 'SHUT UP.' I was on the phone with my mom at the time and she asked 'who's there with you?' I said no one I don't know what that was."
"She told me to gtfo immediately. I didn't, I figure the only person who died while living in the house was my grandpa and I can't blame his ghost. That dog was being super annoying."
Truly an experience a person would never forget.
"When I was about 10..."
"When I was about 10 I was lying in my bed when a pair of hands came up from behind my headboard and started choking me. I remember trying to move or scream but I was completely paralyzed and silent. Then all of a sudden I 'woke up' but I was sitting bolt upright in my bed. Had no idea what sleep paralysis was at the time so it's safe to say it scared the absolute sh*t out of me!"
The brain can play tricks on us, that's for sure!
"I was at my mother's house..."
"I was at my mother's house and the doorbell rang. A young kid (around 8 years old) was at the door. I was opening the door and my brother was behind me being curious who it was, the kid froze up like he wasn't expecting me and my brother there and there were two men (in their mid to late 20s) hiding on each side of the door."
"They booked it immediately after we opened the door. Luckily my brother and I were there to open the door instead of my mom. I figured they wanted to rob her. I moved back in after that."
Yikes. I almost don’t want to know where this was. I'll steer clear.
"My husband is a sleepwalker/talker and he has a recurring dream that there is a portal to another dimension in the corner of our bedroom. He will wake me up saying “look it’s right there!” all the while being asleep. While I believe 100% there is no portal it’s still creepy."
Plot twist: There is a portal and you're in for a treat come your next anniversary.
"My brother and I were home from school..."
"My brother and I were home from school because we were sick. We had a craftroom in the mostly unfinished basement and we were down there playing with miniatures. Around noon we heard, VERY CLEARLY, the front door unlock, open, close, and someone walk in shoes across the foyer tile to the kitchen and turn on the sink."
"They then turned off the sink and went up the stairs to the second floor. I figured it was my step dad and called my mum to let her know he came home for lunch."
"She had just got off the phone with my step dad and he was in his office at work. She called him back and he came ripping home while we hid in the basement. Although we never heard the person come back down the stairs we didn't find anyone in the house."
It definitely wasn't your stepfather, sorry to disappoint you, kiddo.
"Someone started trying to force the door of my small garage apartment open, while I was laying in bed inches from the door, at around 2 am."
More proof that no one should be living in a garage, just saying.
"Being woken up..."
"Being woken up by my daughter whispering “mom” and then hearing her footsteps softly on the carpet as she walked away from my bed. She was not at home at the time, she was at her dad’s."
She wanted a glass of water and astral protected herself to you.
"I'm pretty sure..."
"My sister, our friend and I had just moved into an apartment and one morning found a knife stuck in our door. I'm pretty sure now that it was the woman who lived below us cause it turned out she was a total nutcase, but we had only been living there a few days at that point so it was pretty creepy."
Ummm... no thank you. Nothing worse than learning that you have a crazy neighbor!
Think again before you choose to stay home alone again! This piece is definitely an advertisement for communal living.
Have some stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
It can be very embarrassing when you pronounce words wrong. Let's face it, the English language is super complicated, especially if you're learning it for the first time. You can't always trust yourself to pronounce things phonetically either because of all the different rules!
Recently, a relative pronounced the word "epitome" like "epi-tome." They were embarrassed when I corrected them. I told them that it wasn't a big deal, though they did note that they love that word, have used it for a long time, and that no one corrected them until that moment...
People told their stories after Redditor adeptwarrior asked the online community,
"What's an 'oh sh*t' moment where you realised you've been doing something the wrong way for years?"
"When I was five..."
"When I was five a Pizza Hut employee told me that the powder on the breadsticks was called fairy dust. Ordered extra fairy dust on my breadsticks until I was around 14 when an employee said ‘do you mean garlic salt?’ It still devastates me to realize how obtuse I was."
Believe it or not, Pizza Hut does refer to the mixture—made of of italian seasoning oregano, basil, garlic, marjoram, and parmesan—as fairy dust.
"When he caught me..."
"It wasn’t very long, but when I was learning to drive my dad was explaining the rule of thumb regarding a safe distance to be behind the car in front of you. I thought it meant to hold your thumb up and if your thumb didn’t cover the entire car you were too close to it."
"When he caught me doing that he asked me what I was doing. When I explained he burst out laughing, then considered it, and concluded it wasn’t a bad idea but perhaps a bit distracting."
Also every other driver thinks youre a super friendly guy or a bit passive agressive.
"We got it delivered..."
"We bought a nice liquor cabinet. We got it delivered and noticed it was a bit shorter than we thought. No biggie. Three years later, we’re moving. Lift up cabinet and these beautiful, ornate, screw on legs wrapped in tape and bubble wrap fall off the bottom. Looks so much better now!"
This is cute—it's like you discovered an entirely brand new piece of furniture!
"When he mentioned..."
"Until last week, when my father in law would made a phone call on his very basic non-touch-screen flip phone he would open the menu, scroll to the phone icon, open it, hit the soft key for contacts, scroll to the person he wanted to call, press ok, then press the soft key to call."
"When he mentioned how he preferred his landline because he could just dial the number, I said "Humour me. Just dial the number and hit the talk button." I've never seen a man so simultaneously grateful and embarrassed."
Aww, this is sweet. It's important to help older folks feel up to speed with technology. He was definitely more grateful than embarrassed.
"Since the dawn of time..."
"Since the dawn of time, I would pick up the silverware and utensils out of their tray in the dishwasher and put them away in their drawers then go back and pick up more out of the dishwasher. Then one day I saw my wife lift the tray out of the dishwasher and I legit stood there with my mouth open."
I did not ask to be attacked like this. Leave me alone!
"I always thought..."
"I always thought eggplant tasted "itchy" like itchy was a flavor, like sour or salty. Fed some to my baby and his face turned red wherever the eggplant touched, and I realized we're both just allergic to eggplant. And itchy isn't a flavor."
This is rather sweet but glad to hear that neither you nor your baby had a more serious reaction!
"Apparently the red ring around the bologna is not supposed to be eaten."
Tell that to just about everyone I grew up with.
"My mom has been pronouncing Massachusetts "Massa Two Sh*ts" for years and no one corrected her because they thought she just had strong feelings about Massachusetts."
I mean, have you heard of "Massholes"? They're a thing.
"Well the name I recorded..."
"Well... This was a few years ago. I was the director of IT for a very large company. I was given a new cellphone and told to setup my voicemail. I don’t know that when I recorded my name it would be played to whomever I leave a voice mail for."
"Well the name I recorded was, “Dooder84 Corporate IT Godddd!!!”
I worked there for 4 years until someone in the hallway referred to me as the “corporate IT GoD!” I was so embarrassed."
Wear it confidently because this type of stuff makes people like you more. They don't feel the need to be fake around you.
"My mom used to..."
"My mom used to refer to me as a “bull in a china shop." Always heard it as “bowl in a china shop." Thinking it was a compliment. At about 22 I hear someone else use the phrase and realized she meant “bull,” not “bowl."
Aww, there goes your mom telling you how dainty and priceless you are again!
Don't be too embarrassed. We all fumble, it's what makes us human. Laugh at yourself because chances are that no one else cares as much as you do.
Have some stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
There are many TV shows with compelling themes and interesting character developments that impressed both critics and audiences alike back in the day.
But some of the shows that once captivated audiences have not aged well, and there are many elements in them that are outdated by today's standards.
Curious to hear examples of these, Redditor lilac_cup asked:
"Which tv series has aged like milk?"
The handling of these controversial TV story lines seem so careless in retrospect.
Addressing Child Abuse
"The very first episode of Hill Street Blues has two cops breaking up a domestic disturbance caused by a woman finding her man f'king her 15yo daughter. The man is told not to be sh**ty, the woman is told to put out more and the child is told not to be so tempting. Then the cops leave, patting themselves on the back for a job well done."
The Teacher's Secret Relationship
"Pretty Little Liars. I think even at the time, the teacher dating his 16 year old student storyline was considered creepy, but in 2022 it’s honestly unbelievable that was ever portrayed in any kind of positive light. Also that her parents didn’t immediately just report him to the police."
"Not the whole series but Ally McBeal. In one episode Ally found out her bf is bi and her reason breaking up with him was she afraid that one day her bf would be attracted to their son."
These reality shows would never fly in a "woke" world.
"There was a reality show on Fox called 'Black. White.' Where they put a white family in blackface and a black family in whiteface."
"Just reading about it, it turns out the white family wasn't even a real family. They were unrelated actors."
"Extreme makeover. I remember watching this show as a kid and being like oh wow they’re fixing all these ugly people with plastic surgery and making them happy. I just think that caused a whole generation to think they could change their body with money. Show lasted like 4 seasons. Couldn’t imagine that show today."
"Secret life of an American teenager."
"My god this show was terrible. My wife’s sister was into it and we ended up watching a lot of it when we were dating. I think they tried to make the banter like Gilmore Girls, but it ended up being the characters repeating their current plots and arcs over and over. I don’t remember the characters at all, but the main character was such a horrible person, and the audience is supposed to root for her."
"The main things I remember about it were the religious girl claiming she killed her dad by having sex with her boyfriend, and apparently you go to Bologna to get bjs."
"You Are What You Eat."
"Host Gillian McKeith (or to use her full medical title, Gillian McKeith) was an absolute quack with an online medical qualification from a Mickey Mouse university. She pretended to be a scientist by being recorded standing around in a lab wearing a white coat, spouted unscientific nonsense that anyone who had done a GCSE in science could see through, and was obsessed with getting people to shit in Tupperware boxes."
"It got cancelled after the final series when you had to have her move in with you. In the last few years she popped up again as a prominent anti-vaxxer once COVID vaccines became available."
These pageant shows glorifying good looks and talent would never be greenlit today.
"Dance moms- used to be entertaining, now all I can see is the psychological effects it must’ve had on those girls."
"Americas Next Top Model has to be #1."
"From all the behind the scenes sh*t that went on in production to what the show actually shows. It’s all just horrendous."
From Ugly To Beautiful
"The Swan, was 2 women who are considered 'ugly ducklings' participating in a pageant against each other after undergoing a three-month transformative process aka having heaps of plastic surgery."
"Right?! How were they allowed to do so many procedures in such a short time while completely isolating these women from their families? Making them diet and exercise while healing from a tummy tuck, breast implants, and veneers?! The 'therapy' sessions were a joke and were just for show while these poor women with low self esteem were preyed upon for entertainment. Just out of a safety and medical prospective…wow."
Judging The Reflection
"Didn't they also not allow the contestants/patients to have mirrors the whole time so they were surprised when they saw themselves? Psychologically having massive changes like that and it being sudden is extremely bad for your brain, you can end up rejecting the reflection because it's not 'you.'"
As audiences evolve, so does the writing and development of all forms of entertainment.
But because the changes are gradual, it is jarring when looking back and noticing how offensive and isolating some of these shows can be.
Times sure have changed in the world of entertainment–mostly for the better.
After having grown up inside the protective environment that was your childhood home, the inevitable time to leave and carve out your own path without a safety net can be terrifying.
Emotions can vary–with some people itching to leave their trappings while others terrified of adulting in the real world.
Curious to hear experiences from strangers online, Redditor WallStreetDoesntBet asked:
"People who moved out of the parent’s house before 30, how?"
Most people can't afford to live on their own.
Roommate Is Key
"yeah this exactly. I've never lived by myself, was roommates until I got a serious girlfriend and now fiance. There's exactly 0% chance of me being in the same position I'm in financially if I had been paying full rent all those years."
Not A Care In The World
"I was 17, we had 4 of us in a ghetto 2bd apt (bunkbeds) we had a beer bong on a lanyard screwed to the ceiling. We'd have keggers, party's every weekend and always had randoms crashing on the floor. Could barely afford to feed myself and pay bills but still not a worry in the world and it was the best time of my life."
One inconvenience shared by many was the sacrifice of a good, home-cooked meal.
Change Of Scenery
"Just needed a little R&R."
"Roommates and Ramen."
The "Wild" Years
"This, lol. I was kicked out at 16 and after couch-surfing for a few months I moved into a studio apartment with 4 other people."
"When I say we were poor, I mean poor - most of us didn’t have jobs. I lived off the worst of the worst food. Knockoff ramen. Dollar store canned veg. Rice and terrible year old pasta."
"It was a wild few years."
Rice For Life
"Or rice. I lived off rice for a full year. Fancied it up by adding some salsa, and then extra fancy by also adding ranch dressing."
"Those were hard times."
Having work definitely makes things easier.
Saving Up To Leave
"Started working while I was in school. Got out as soon as I could."
Not Much Fanfare
"Yep, moved out for college in 2006. Came back for the summer in 2007, but thereafter I got an internship so I just stayed in the city. Got a job at the same place after I graduated."
"It was never some big moment for me (my parents are fine, just annoying), just a natural progression for me."
Building A Life
"At 18. Worked in construction. Lived on a couch with 6 buddies in one house paying for college. Bought cheap land during the recession. Then built my own house."
Not moving out by choice seemed to be a common shared experience.
High Turnover Rate
"Got kicked out at 14. Finished high school sleeping on friends couches while serving tables. Had a ton of roommates for the next 10 years. At any given time I was living with like 3 or 4 people, it was never boring haha"
"I am hearing that so many people are actually kicked out in the really young age is well."
"But i am not getting that why parents are so tough because in my country they try to keep them under their wings."
"My friends parents were going to kick him out immediately after he graduated high school simply because 'That's what their parents did when they were his age.' His Dad fully expected him to go out at 18 and buy a house because 'he was able to.'"
"Then his Dad got pissed when my friend did not buy a house and went to live with his uncle instead. Even after his uncle broke down the whole 'Your mortgage is $2200/month with taxes and you expect your son, who works part time at $7.25 an hour to afford a mortgage? With no credit history?'"
"Some parents do it out of tough love. Some parents do it because they shouldn't have had children. Some parents still think the world is the same as it was in the 70s-80s and think minimum wage part time employees can thrive."
"My parents didn't kick me out, but there was definitely an expectation for me to be moved out and financially independent at 18. My mother walked into a job as a radio DJ at the age of 18 and then became a journalist with only a high school education a few years later (early 1970s), so she had this expectation that I could do the same. The thought of me being able to do anything like that in the 2000s was laughable."
I moved out of my parents' house because I booked my first professional gig on a cruise ship.
It couldn't have worked out better. I was paid to perform on board in the shows while my rent was already taken care of since I lived and worked on the ship.
I packed one suitcase and traveled the world doing what I loved for about two years. It was the best way to transition into an exciting new chapter in my adolescent life.
What's your moving out story?