1. Woke up to the gunshot of my mother being killed by my father.
“Woke up to the gunshot of my mother being killed by my father. After maybe ten minutes (can’t really remember the timeline) of regretful yelling by my father, I hear the gunshot of him committing suicide.”
2. My mom sent me to go get the mail and our dead (missing) cat was stuffed in the mailbox.
“My mom sent me to go get the mail and our dead (missing) cat was stuffed in the mailbox. I was six.”
3. The wife would make us all sit down in a room and the husband would pick two and molest them in front of us all.
“One of the foster homes I was placed in was home to a very sick family. The wife would make us all sit down in a room and the husband would pick two and molest them in front of us all.
Shortly afterwards was my first time seeing a dead body as the oldest biological daughter hung herself in the room shared with the other girls. It was just before her twelfth birthday.
Another ‘home’ had one of the adults showing us pictures they had taken of other foster children. Some just naked, others being attacked or beaten, and I saw a picture of a girl the same age as me I knew mounted by a dog.
I can ramble on for hours with stories of several types of abuse but instead, if you’ve ever considered opening up your home to a child without one, do it. Not all homes are bad and not all foster parents are evil, but there aren’t many and they fill up fast. Don’t be upset for me, just don’t let it happen anymore.”
4. She was trying to cry and reach out but no one could touch her because of the severity of her burns.
“My cousin’s house caught fire after an uncapped gas line filled the house with gas and was ignited by the heater’s pilot light. Her two-year-old daughter was sleeping on the couch and was burned over most of her body. They allowed the family in to see her at the hospital that night and the image of her burned little body still haunts me 20 years later. She was trying to cry and reach out but no one could touch her because of the severity of her burns. Her eyes were burned shut, almost her entire body was just blackened. She lived for two weeks after and died of kidney failure due to the medications they were giving her. I am a pretty dark person with an almost disturbing fascination for morbid things but seeing that baby like that right there in real life almost destroyed me. Now that I have a daughter of my own I think of the baby often and it breaks my heart to imagine seeing my own child like that.”
5. All I remember is seeing her head pop like a balloon underneath the front wheel of a bus.
“I was a little girl, about six years old. I was waiting to cross the street. I’m not sure what happened, but I saw a little girl, even younger and smaller than me, run into the road. I don’t know if she was chasing her toy or what, I really don’t know. All I remember is seeing her head pop like a balloon underneath the front wheel of a bus. It’s one of most salient memories from my childhood, really been burnt into my memory. I can still close my eyes and see it.”
6. He was screaming because the boiling beans stuck to his face.
“My stepfather would always verbally and physically abuse my mother. But one day she smacked him with a boiling spoonful of smashed beans on his face. He was screaming because the boiling beans stuck to his face.”
7. He smacked me in the face with a flailing arm, at which point my mom yelled at me for being too close.
“I was about 12, visiting my mom and her heroin-addicted boyfriend. I got to not only see him overdosing, but had to help my mom put him into the shower to turn on the cold water. The shower woke him up, in his panic, he smacked me in the face with a flailing arm, at which point my mom yelled at me for being too close. She wouldn’t take me home and made me stay there for two more days before putting me on an Amtrak back to my dad’s house.”
8. Just the sound of limp, wet flesh with every press.
“When I was 13 or so I got to watch paramedics try to revive a toddler that had drowned. I was on my way back from the pool when I saw fire trucks and an ambulance rush past me into the street, so I ran back to see what was going on. Watching a full-grown man push that kid’s chest over and over and over with CPR from the fence surrounding the pool I kept waiting for the kid to suddenly wake up like in the movies. Five minutes go by and still nothing. Not even a whimper. Just the sound of limp, wet flesh with every press. I walked back to my house in a daze, leaving the paramedic behind me, still trying to pump life into that tiny body. I found out later from my mother he died.”
9. I stopped the lawn mower just in time to hear her screaming as he threw her over the balcony. Four stories onto concrete.
“I was about nine years old and cutting the front lawn. We lived across the street from a low-income housing project in the Chicago suburbs. Guy was fighting in Spanish with his wife, very heated. I stopped the lawn mower just in time to hear her screaming as he threw her over the balcony. Four stories onto concrete. One thing that sticks in my head is that nobody went to help; everyone just scattered.”
10. I saw a man bleed out and die after getting stabbed trying to break up a domestic altercation.
“When I was 13, I saw a man bleed out and die after getting stabbed trying to break up a domestic altercation. Some dude was beating the shit out of his lady in the street, dude went out to try and break it up and got stabbed by the dude. He died ~ 3 minutes later.”
11. My mom explained to me later in life that the ‘sleeping man’ was lying down because he was stabbed to death.
“When I was younger my mom took my brother and I to the park with our bicycles. We were really excited. When we approached the entrance, I remember seeing a guy sleeping in the entryway. I also remember my mom panicking and telling us we needed to go home right now. At the time I had no idea what was going on, but my mom explained to me later in life that the ‘sleeping man’ was lying down because he was stabbed to death.”
12. I walked in to see my father had my mother pinned against the chest of drawers with a knife to her throat.
“I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my baby sister crying in her crib. I walked in to see my father had my mother pinned against the chest of drawers with a knife to her throat. I began crying, although I don’t believe either of them saw me. Not knowing what to do, I walked down the short hallway; sobbing as I climbed into bed. I cried myself to sleep not knowing if I’d have a mother when I woke up. I know it seems odd that I didn’t do anything or try to get help, but I was probably four or younger and they fought a lot. I guess I was used to it.”
13. I saw my dad beat the ever-loving shit out of my mother to protect my sister and I.
“I saw my dad beat the ever-loving shit out of my mother to protect my sister and I. I’m talking knocked her out and heavy bleeding from her facial wounds.
It was frightening for a nine and seven year-old, but she was drunk and beating us. It was one of the few times he was home to witness it. We were frantic, not because of the violence, but because we didn’t want him to go to jail and leave us with her. We ended up at a hotel for a couple of days.
It got easier to stand up to her as we got older—eventually we’d just lock her out on the porch until she sobered up. Cops never took her because she was drunk on ‘her’ property.
It’s weird now. As we were near the end of high school, it tapered off and was swept under the rug. Sometimes I feel like I went crazy and it was just some fucked-up long nightmare.”
14. Bits of her brain were scattered all over the road.
“When I was in primary school (elementary school in US English) a woman died in a car crash next to our playing field and a lot of us saw it. It was a pretty nasty way to go. I was in the playing field at the time as it was lunchtime. I remember being on the climbing frame, hearing a loud crash, and running over to the boundary fence to see what’d happened. A woman driving an old 1970s Mini had crashed into a 2000s Range Rover. The force of the crash had thrown her through the windscreen/windshield. She was lying on the pavement about 20 feet from her vehicle, and bits of her brain were scattered all over the road, the bonnet/hood of her car, and her windscreen/windshield. All the girls were freaking out about it, and all the boys thought it was the coolest thing we’d ever seen at the time. The autopsy examiners thought she’d had a heart attack whilst driving, causing her to lose control and accelerate into the parked car. Lucky she didn’t crash through the school fence, I suppose.”
15. Saw my mom being led out of the house in handcuffs after she tried to shoot her girlfriend.
“Coming home to find my mom being led out of the house in handcuffs after she tried to shoot her girlfriend during a bender and having my sister show me where the bullet lodged in the wall.”
16. I witnessed, in the middle of the night, my dad drunkenly swinging a dining-room chair at my mom.
“At 14 I witnessed, in the middle of the night, my dad drunkenly swinging a dining-room chair at my mom. She finally got away and locked herself in the bedroom (we were in a vacation rental on holiday). He started throwing plates and appliances at the door and then started swinging the chair at it until he broke all four chairs. I got to the kitchen, grabbed a large ceramic pan and hit him in the back of the head with it and knocked him out. Pretty risky move, but before I did it I had my sister call 911 and I knew he’d break the door down before they got there…”
17. People had to physically hold the pieces in place so the skull fragments wouldn’t cut his brain.
“Someone got hit by a car rushing to cross the road about a meter in front of eight-year-old me and his whole body span around from the impact so that his head took the full impact of the fall. His skull split open against the hard tarmac and several people had to physically hold the pieces in place so the skull fragments wouldn’t cut his brain. There were maybe a few pints worth of blood pooled in the gutter within a few seconds of the aftermath and one the people holding the fragments together almost threw up on him so swapped for someone else. Someone went through his wallet for identification and he had a picture of him with a wife and two kids which made a few over watchers start crying. He probably didn’t make it.”