1. Watching as a nice nurse tried more and more desperately (and in vain) to find my unborn son’s heartbeat at 32 weeks.
“Watching as a nice nurse tried more and more desperately (and in vain) to find my unborn son’s heartbeat at 32 weeks.”
2. Two days ago I saw my little brother try (and succeed) in hanging himself.
“Two days ago I saw my little brother try (and succeed) in hanging himself. Luckily I got there in time and my mom was able to bring him back to life. See it play out every time I close my eyes.”
3. Listening to someone’s last breaths is the most horrific sound I’ve ever heard.
“Witnessing my grandparents dying. People always say ‘I heard their last breath’ as if it were some gentle sigh or something. Not even fucking close. Listening to someone’s last breaths is the most horrific sound I’ve ever heard. Just thinking of it again gives me shivers.”
4. They poured gasoline over themselves and set themselves on fire.
“I work in mental health, particularly with people who have extensive suicidal ideation and multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. Despite working with this population for close to 10 years, I have only had one client successfully commit suicide.
They poured gasoline over themselves and set themselves on fire.
There are no words for how extremely terrifying that is to see. The worst part was they didn’t immediately die. I will hear them say ‘that wasn’t what I wanted’ for the rest of my life.”
5. Bits of eye, brain, and teeth went flying out in a pinkish cloud.
“My roommate and I were playing Battlefield 2 when his brother walked into the room, pulled out a handgun, and shot himself in the face. It went in his mouth and slid up along his jawline and out his eye. Bits of eye, brain, and teeth went flying out in a pinkish cloud and he fell back against the wall, still very much alive.
We secured the weapon and applied pressure on his face until the paramedics showed up.
The worst part is he lived. I no longer live in the city that happened, so I don’t ever see him, but I’ve been told he’s permanently retarded now.”
6. It was one of the many times my mother tried to kill my father.
“I think one of the worst was when father came downstairs one morning with his face covered in blood. My mother was a tad…off. She placed sewing needles into the bottom of his pillow so while he slept he slowly compressed onto them without waking. When confronted my mother just laughed and said, ‘oh so that is where all my needles went!’ It was one of the many times she tried to kill my father.”
7. The chainsaw went straight up into his head.
“I was watching this as an interested neighbor.
Tree fell in my neighbor’s yard down a steep hill. It was a huge tree 5 ft wide x 70 feet tall;
Crane was pulling up on a piece of it while a grunt worker was chainsawing the piece being pulled by the crane to separate it.
The crane cable tension was tight on the piece he was cutting so when the worker cut through enough of it the cable ripped half of it up the hill and the worker’s chainsaw went straight up into his head.
I’ll never forget him trying to walk a few steps and pull it out before he fell over dead with the saw still humming away.”
8. There was…a lot of blood pretty much everywhere.
“School shooting at my high school. I was fine but when the police evacuated us out of the school they kinda walked us right through the area where it started. There was…a lot of blood pretty much everywhere. They hadn’t moved one of the bodies out either and had covered him up with a blanket but we knew. Man, that shit sucked. That image of the school sticks with me and it’s been almost 20 years now.”
9. My mother grabs her by the throat and picks her up and presses her against my window.
“So my mother sister and I lived in a small apartment. An important thing to note is that my mother was a psychiatrist (she lost her license for attempting to kill a patient) so she had a very large collection of pain killers, psychedelics and more. So it was my sister’s 13th birthday party and my mother decided to down an entire bottle of cough syrup, enough vodka to kill most people, and probably something else. It gets to be about 11 at night and my sister started making plans for her and her friends to sleep in the living room. At this point my mother starts trying to hit on some of her friends and demands to sleep right next to them. My sister says no and gets slapped across the face so hard I could hear it clear through my bedroom door. Next thing I know my sister has grabbed the phone telling me to call the cops and my father while she starts barricading my door with her body. ‘I will burn this whole house down if I have to’ gets screamed at us as my mother breaks my door with a large knife in her hand. All I had time to do was tell the cops we needed police at our address before she points the knife at me all tells me to give her the phone. My sister then grabs the phone screaming for help as my mother grabs her by the throat and picks her up and presses her against my window. Lucky for us the police station was about a 5 min walk from our home so the cops were there after about 10 min of our little bedroom standoff, as soon as we saw the cops lights out the window my mom dropped my sister and sealed herself off in her room. I have never been able to forget the look in her eyes as she pointed the knife at me, it still gives me nightmares years later.
I would say we got a happy ending but my dad was about the same as my mom so my sister and I got split up and we both ended up homeless. I found some very good friends I now call family to take me in, but my sister was not so lucky. I have not seen her in about a year now because her husband is abusing her even though she says he is perfect.
TLDR: Drugs are bad, and don’t try to kill or even threaten your kids. Thank you for taking the time to read all this.”
10. I opened my eyes to see nothing but darkness and could hear nothing. At least dying didn’t hurt, I thought.
“1996, aged 19, I went on an Inter-Rail trip round Europe with my then boyfriend. Best trip ever, and cost peanuts compared to what I spend on holidays now with my two rugrats.
Anyway, we were on the Greek Island of Corfu (some ferry routes fell under the Inter-Rail system) and hired little 50cc mopeds for a couple of days so we could see the island. It was nighttime – about 11.30pm, the sky was very dark due to clouds and we were heading back to our hostel via a very steep, very bendy mountain road which had cliff drops at the side. Scary enough, but then a truck comes tearing up around a blind bend at us, on the wrong side of the road – his lights were on full beam and dazzled me totally. I tried to pull over so he didn’t hit me, but skidded and went straight off the cliff edge at about 30mph.
I have a very strong memory of the sensation of flying and falling, whilst my heart beat so loudly in my ears it was deafening. I remember I held my breath the entire time this was happening, but my bf said I was actually screaming at that point. Then it’s as if I blacked out of fell asleep because what seemed like centuries or eons later, I opened my eyes to see nothing but darkness and could hear nothing. At least dying didn’t hurt, I thought. Then, instantly, Oh, I’m still thinking! That’s not what I expected, I thought everything would just stop. Maybe it will in a minute. Maybe this is it and I’m about to go. So I waited… and waited… That was the scariest moment ever for me in my whole life. Just waiting to see what came next, knowing it was inevitable and I could do nothing to change it.
Just then I heard distant yelling in another language and also noticed tiny specks of white light in the ceiling/sky above me.And then I realise I can see stars and streetlights by the shore, and the truck driver plus some other guys are yelling in Greek. My boyfriend is screaming my name. I’m alive, and I am hanging almost upside down, caught by my backpack straps in a tree which is growing out of the cliff side.
it took a long time for them to get down and rescue me and the moped shop was very pissed off about the loss of their moped. I have been on one since but only briefly! my family have never been told this story as they’d probably lock my now 40 year old self up in the cellar, even now, just so I could never do anything as stupid again.”
11. I could smell the smoke from the fire. I could smell the metal. I could smell the blood.
“Driving across the country on government travel. In the panhandle of Florida heading west on the interstate. It’s been raining off and on so I’m taking my time and trying to be safe.
Eventually I see traffic starting to slow ahead. As I get closer I see bodies and cars scattered on the east bound lanes.
First I see a big dude without a shirt laying in the middle of the road. Someone is doing CPR on him. He’s clearly dead.
Then I see a vehicle fully engulfed in flames.
Then I see another vehicle upside down. There’s people trying to flip it. Someone is stuck inside.
I pull over and get out. An ambulance rolls up. I identify myself and jump in the back to grab some gloves.
I go to the first person I can find. It’s a guy. He’s in and out of consciousness. His foot and leg are wayyyy broken. He has large knots on his head. I just hold c spine and make sure he doesn’t get up every time he comes to.
I see a kid in the grass in front of me who seems fine. A lady tells me the kids mother is on the other side of the interstate and seems in bad shape. There’s nothing I can do. I just stay with my guy until I’m relieved by paramedics.
It was raining. I could smell the smoke from the fire. I could smell the metal. I could smell the blood. Multiple people died.
I’ve dealt with some bad stuff with work… but the fact that I was traveling across country and not expecting or thinking of it…it got to me.”
12. The way he was breathing was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen.
“I once witnessed the aftermath of a bar fight. One small drunk guy kept pushing a large sober guy for no apparent reason. Large guy knocked him out with one punch but from what I heard it was a vicious punch. I found the man laying between two pool tables, he had hit his head pretty bad when he fell back, it was bleeding. He was completely out, wouldn’t respond to any of my attempts to wake him up as we waited on the ambulance. The way he was breathing was the most disturbing thing I had ever seen. His body was on survival mode to keep his lungs pumping air. It was hard forceful breathing. Blood pouring from his mouth because several of his teeth had been knocked out. When EMS finally came and took him away I couldn’t even look at him any longer, just to see someone in such a helpless state. The poor man even pissed himself. I found out later he had to be life-flighted to a larger hospital because he had bleeding on the brain. But he has apparently recovered and still up to his old ways. I never want to see someone like that ever again.”
13. I had to come face to face with the scene where my brother committed suicide.
“Scariest moment is when I had to come face to face with the scene where my brother committed suicide.
Growing up I have always had trust issues so whenever a relative passed away I was like ‘meh’ because I never allowed myself to become attached. However this doesn’t apply to my immediate family. They have my absolute trust and love.
My brother committed suicide by drowning himself in the local lake and when my family was notified it has already been 4-5 hours. Yet when I arrive there I was so scared and shaken up that I had to confirm several times that it wasn’t a nightmare. Logic flew out the window as I proceeded to ask an officer ‘what are the chances of my brother being alive?’ Knowing that it’s been hours since he jumped. I was 25 at the time too. I had to suck everything up and comfort my parents with false hope by saying this is probably BS.
I will never forget that moment, where all logic just flew out the window.”
14. The thoughts you have when you think you are going to get shot are quite odd.
“I was in a bank robbery six years ago. I still remember the horrible feeling of realizing that it was not a joke and was actually happening. Two men with guns inside, shouting ‘Don’t look! Don’t move!’ I remember feeling completely panicked and helpless. I have never felt so helpless actually. I felt like time completely stopped while it was going on. It felt like I was standing there forever hoping no one got hurt. I remember I could taste a metallic taste in my mouth. And the thoughts you have when you think you are going to get shot are quite odd. I still occasionally will have terrible nightmares about being trapped somewhere with someone with a gun.”
15. I have never in my life been so scared. Never have I ever thought I was about to be murdered.
“Victim of a severe road rage incident. I am a small 26 years old woman in a Mazda 3.
At roughly 7am in the winter on mountain county back roads, a giant ford 350 decides I’m going to slow. He starts accelerating, first like he’s going to ram me, then at the last moment passes me illegally on a turn. He gets in front of me, and then slams on his breaks. I slam on mine and narrowly miss hitting him. We are sitting there for a minute, when he starts revving his engine. He goes into reverse and tries hitting my car. I’m screaming and go into reverse. We are now both driving down the mountain in reverse. I use my Bluetooth to call 911. They can’t make anything out I’m saying because I’m screaming. After about 100 yards of driving backwards he stops. I stop. (Idk why) I start talking to the 911 operator. The man gets out of his car with a weapon and starts running towards me. I scream again. In the distance a car is coming and the man runs back into his truck and flees.
I have never in my life been so scared. Never have I ever thought I was about to be murdered. It is not a feeling you can forget, but it’s hard to explain. I was crying and shaking uncontrollably for the next six hours. I do not drive that road anymore.”
16. I witnessed the Boston Marathon bombing.
“Was volunteering at a race and was in the middle of handing cups of Gatorade to thousands of exhausted runners who have just finished and are all shuffling past me. I’m facing them, to give them the little cups, so I’m looking back down the race course at the finish line about 50 ft from me. Massive BOOM suddenly and I see this huge poof of smoke. Everybody jumps, it was LOUD, everybody turns and looks—all the hundreds of faces that a second ago had been facing me are all now swiveled the other way. The puff of smoke goes rolling up the side of a church. Very eerie second of silence as everyone’s watching the puff of smoke and there’s this weird distant high-pitched sound (everyone’s thinking ‘could that possibly have been… a …’), then suddenly BOOM, 2nd one (‘….bomb?’) and then the weird distant sound resolves into a wave of distant screams, like, bloodcurdling, desperate screams. The screams take this couple seconds to sort of… hit peak volume, like, they sorta ramp up, and there is this tone to those screams, this pitch and raggedness of sheer terror that like—tripped some seriously weird alarm bells in my head, and every single one of those thousands of exhausted runners, who had all been barely able to walk seconds before, just all launch forward, almost levitating, and go SPRINTING past me. The look of that entire crowd just launching into motion in synchrony, all the 100’s of faces whipping toward me again and every single person pushing off into this sprint—I will never forget that. The volunteers around me run too, everybody runs (except me & another volunteer), except the cops. These cops who had been standing nearby chitchatting are like instinctively instantly running TOWARD the booms. I have never seen a huge crowd flee in panic before, let alone a crowd that had been so exhausted before. And I have never seen cops in the moment of crisis run toward danger before.
A second later a wheelchair comes bolting toward us, this cluster of people around it and this white-faced volunteer pushing it and there’s a guy in it who I think is sitting with his legs folded under him, and he’s holding these 2 red sticks out in front of him for some reason. He goes all the way past me before I realize the 2 red sticks are his tibias; he is not sitting with his legs folded under him; his legs have been blasted off. He was the 1st of 26 people w legs blasted off, & then 100s of others with chunks of flesh gouged out, eyes missing etc. This was 4 yrs ago in Boston.”
17. I walk out of my bedroom to see what is going on only to see mom collapse on the floor holding my infant brother.
“This fucked me up so badly that I can’t even remember how old I was. I know I was in elementary school and it was before Grade 4. I have more memories from pre-k than I do from between k-4. This is the most vivid one.
Waking up to my mother screaming hysterically. I walk out of my bedroom to see what is going on only to see her collapse on the floor holding my infant brother. He had passed of SIDS sometime during the night. Dad got the other brother up, tossed us both into the car, mom got in alternating between sobbing and attempting CPR as dad raced us to the nearest fire station.”
18. The night before, a homeless man had been shot and then burned to death underneath that bridge.
“The most bone-chilling moment I’ve ever had was when I was pretty young. I was with a youth group on a mission trip. Each day we would do different tasks around the city we were in. This year’s trip was to San Antonio.
We were cleaning up a street and bridge area when we found some very disturbing things. It started with a bag full of used needles. That seemed relativity normal for the location. It stepped up when we found a dead dog with a pentagram carved into its side. Under the bridge tucked at the top we found some burned sandals. That’s when the cops came by.
Turns out the night before, a homeless man had been shot and then burned to death underneath that bridge.”
19. Before raping me the first time, he choked me until I was on the verge of passing out.
“My rape. My rapist was someone I trusted, a former professor of mine. Before raping me the first time, he choked me until I was on the verge of passing out. As I was taking what I thought might be my last breaths and trying to stay calm, tears involuntarily started falling out of my eyes. When he saw that, he started cackling evilly, let go of my neck, and got this totally inhuman look in his eyes. He told me he’d killed someone once, and went on to describe the details. He also told me, ‘I like it when you’re scared. I could’ve killed you.’ He went on to brutally beat and rape me that night, and two other times before I got the courage to report it to the police and the legal system. That was three years ago, and although my PTSD has become much, MUCH more manageable, that is the moment that I still have nightmares about. Just that look in his eyes, and the cackle. I’ll never forget that.”
20. I remember thinking I don’t want to die, looking up at the ceiling and everything turning white.
“I had emergency brain surgery when I was 8, I was born with an abnormally large arachnoid cyst on my left temporal lobe that no one knew about until.. I was playing basketball in my driveway and the ball rebounded hard and was moving away from me. I tried decided to try and reenact a Dennis Rodman dive to try save it from going off the driveway. I ended up diving head-first into my dad’s truck bumper. Over the course of two weeks I was slowly dying. My dad noticed something was amiss and took me to the doctor. They did an MRI and found the cyst for the first time. It was inactive until I had hit my head very hard on the bumper, then it started wrapping around my brain stem and pulling it out. I get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance with my dad in the passenger’s seat on the way there. The EMT couldn’t find my veins so he ended up piercing my arms on both sides repeatedly, attempting to find them (creating my fear of needles). The hospital says I am going to go into surgery on later in the week on Friday (it was Monday when I arrived). That same night, I get woken up at 1 a.m. and I am already in the middle of a hallway being rushed down to surgery. I ask what’s going on and the nurse tells me (at 8 years old) that I am going to die if I don’t go into surgery now. I start freaking out and calling for my dad. He responds with ‘don’t worry son, you’re going to be fine,’ but the tone in his voice was wrong and obviously holding down tears. I look up at the ceiling and someone puts the gas mask over my mouth and nose. I remember thinking I don’t want to die, looking up at the ceiling and everything turning white. Then, almost seamlessly, I am being propelled out into space at a speed I can’t comprehend. Everything around me looked like I was out in the middle of the universe without being on a planet. Stars and light everywhere with a noticeable amount of deep purple cascading through it all. I notice I am approaching a rock. This rock had a triangle bottom and a flat surface with stone steps on it. Then I noticed someone at the bottom of the steps and something at the top. Then I WAS the person at the bottom of the steps. I started looking around and freaking out. I hear some sort of vibration and then try and focus on it. I realize that the something at the top of the stairs was trying to talk to me. I looked up and couldn’t even see it, it was so bright white that I had to look away from the pain of trying to see it. Then it asks me ‘do you want to go back?’ After that question I got overwhelmed with intense images of my dad back at the hospital breaking down and losing his shit because I died. Of him trying to move forward in life after losing me. I felt all the pain I was going to incur on my dad if I died. I started begging this thing to send me back. It replied with ‘okay but this is your last shot,’ and then I woke up in the hospital. I was surrounded by my family. No one could ever explain to me what happened. I was forced to realize we all, including my parents and grandparents whom I idolized, have no idea what is going on in the world or why we are here. Nothing has come close, in terms of fear, to being alone with an entity that very clearly had power over me. I have a wide variety of issues that stemmed both from the cyst and that experience but that is for another time. That was almost 20 years ago now and I am grateful to just be alive and spend time with my dad and family.”