June 6, 2024 | Byron Fast

Entire Lives Ruined In An Instant

You make thousands of decisions every day. Most of them, you'll never think about again. Some will haunt you for the rest of your life. All it took was a single moment and these people's lives were never the same.

1. He Didn’t Use His Head

One of my high school classmates (a kicker on the football team) was at a party at a friend's house on the very last day of school in his senior year. The house was on a lake, and he decided to run off the end of the pier and jump head-first into the lake. Unfortunately, the water was a foot deep. He never walked again.

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2. Not The Brightest Light

So a friend of mine’s kid was really excited because he just got his license. He’d even saved up enough money for a new car and bought it right away. The thing is, he forgot to save enough money to buy insurance as well. So he bought the car anyway and decided to drive without insurance. On his first trip out he hit an electrical infrastructure box. Without insurance, he was up for $120,000 and went bankrupt.

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3. Burnt And Fired In One Night

Bartending in Atlanta, had a group come in that was in town from Minneapolis for a work conference. We got them a round then realized how hammered most of them were and cut off the group. The head honcho was everybody's boss (I believe he owned the company, he was the only one in his right mind because he was leading the conference the next day, cool guy actually).

Anyway the group decided to get a ride to a dancer club to keep the party going, and I got them some chips and queso to munch on in lieu of drinks. The queso comes out and the drunkest guy thought it was soup. He wanted to test this hypothesis by putting the skillet to his lips and burning his mouth on it, it was ugly.

The head honcho jokingly said, "I never should have hired you, you dummy." That's when the night took a turn. His inebriated employee immediately punches him in the teeth—harder than you'd expect a dude who can barely stand to be able to hit. The head honcho goes to the bathroom with a bloody mouth and a tooth in his hand, and the rest of the group got buddy outta there.

So in a matter of seconds this guy turned a fun night into 2nd degree burns and a trip to unemployment. I would imagine he was hard pressed to find another job in that field. I miss bartending.

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4. She Was Defeated By A Bull

My ex-girlfriend used to dream of being a flight attendant. A few years later—long after we'd parted ways—she finally saw that dream come true and got herself an assignment based out of another city. I hit her up to congratulate her and give her some advice for moving to that city cause I'd spent a fair amount of time there.

Included in my advice was a specific warning to stay out of a certain bar. Well, after a couple months of training she was a week into the job when she decided to go to the bar I had warned her about. It was the biggest mistake of her life. You see they have a mechanical bull there that is out of control. She hopped on the mechanical bull, made it for about a half of a second before she got tossed off.

Her neck hit a table, leaving her a quadriplegic. She did eventually regain limited use of her legs, and fairly good use of her arms, but she will never work again, and lives in her aging parents' spare bedroom. It's really sad, but she had a pretty long history of impulsively making poor choices (which probably included dating me, lol).

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5. Life Ruined In A Gust Of Wind

I used to work at a Subway Restaurant, one of our regular customers was this really chill dude who just always looked tired, I found out he worked for a steel mill. He used to come in about 1-2 times a week and he was a really cool guy. He moved to Hawaii for a few years, lived in Spain and then Italy too. Had a pretty good life right?

Eventually he came back to our small hometown to work his super hard blue collar job, but he said he really liked his job and his work buddies. All of a sudden he stopped coming in for like 4 weeks, I didn't think too much of it, people get sick of Subway sandwiches, it's not great food. But he finally came in and his arm was covered like he broke it. I asked him what happened—but I was NOT prepared for the answer.

He tells me he was carrying a sheet of steel improperly (don't ask me the proper way to carry it, that's just what he told me), when a gust of wind hit it and blew it out of his hands. The corner of the sheet cut him bone deep from his elbow to his wrist. He is so lucky he didn't bleed out. He lost 70% of the function in his arm and couldn't work another day as a blue collar worker.

To say he was mentally devastated is an understatement. He was in a deep depression for a long time but he went to his physical therapy and then got a job as a site manager for the same company that he worked for during his accident. This man has forever earned my respect for his tenacity to do what he loves.

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6. It’s A Slippery Slope

This happened to a buddy of mine a while back. We were both super into skiing, but sometimes we’d mix skiing with drinking. One day I watched my buddy drunkenly show off on the ski mountain. Hit a tree and broke his back. He wasn’t paralyzed but the pain and complications stayed with him forever and to this day can’t participate in any hard physical activity.

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7. Dangerous Obsession

A mate of mine was offered crack by a fairly famous musician that he was obsessed with. He wanted to hang out with him so badly that he accepted the offer. He got in the musician’s car and I didn't see him until the next week. He seemed fine at first but then over the course of the next few months he deteriorated quickly.

He started hanging out with local crackheads. Crack turned to some even harder stuff. I lost touch with him for a few years then ran into him in a park locally and he looked terrible. He even hid from me. I found out a few weeks later that he had a kid with another druggie and they had the kid taken away from them, which sent my friend off the edge and he completely lost his marbles.

Every so often I would run into him in bizarre places but he would look away and pretend he didn't know me. Then one day he disappeared completely.

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8. Beware Of The Rando

A family friend who was the coolest, nicest guy you’d ever meet. He had his whole life together and things just seemed good for him. While partying one night a rando offered him something. Fast forward ten years later and his wife has divorced him, took his kids. He lost everything he possibly owned. Sold all his stuff he had left to buy more.

Now he is a bitter shell of his old self living on the street. He’s probably dead by now.

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9. Dangerous Pics

I knew a guy once and he and his friends were into that trend of going to really high places and taking pictures of them hanging from them. The guy I knew climbed to the top of one of those massive crane things and got ready to take a picture. Well he took it, but while he was doing it he fell. His life ended upon impact with the ground.

Now whenever I see pictures like that on social media I want to cry and beg these people to stop before they lose their lives.

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10. Two-Wheeled Disaster

A bunch of us were sitting on our crotch rockets and waiting for a friend to come down. We were goofing off, doing burnouts and wheelies in the parking lot. Dumb. Well my best buddy at the time slipped up, lost control, and bashed into the side of my other friend’s building. People from two apartments over came out to see what happened.

He was doing about 40 mph when he hit the building. He totaled his bike. Messed up his shoulder. Got hooked on pain pills. We intervened, tried to help him. He robbed a few friends' houses over the years. Burned a lot of bridges. Last I knew he was homeless.

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11. Life Destroyed By Virus

There was this guy my mom worked with who came down with Covid. Before he got the coronavirus he was handsome, intelligent, engaged to a beautiful woman and much more. At the workplace he was poised to easily move up the ranks and make good money fast. He was out with the virus for almost eight weeks and never got over it.

The guy couldn't respond to emails, would disappear for hours/days at a time, broke up with his fiance. He eventually got fired because they lost him for two weeks straight, no emails or phone calls answered, and he came back like it was nothing. My mom took over his inbox to figure out what was going on with his clients and he had over a thousand emails. What she found was heartbreaking.

The responses he'd managed to type were incomprehensible. He had to move back in with his parents. Basically the only good part of the whole thing was that he didn't end up hospitalized I guess.

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12. Get Me Out Of Here

A woman failed her drug test at a courthouse and I watched her run across a parking lot with two drug court employees on her heels. She hopped in someone's SUV and shoved the driver out of the vehicle. The drug court employees stood in front of the SUV with their hands on the hood to stop her, and she revved the engine and then knocked them with the car before reversing and driving away over a sidewalk.

All this just because she failed a drug test.

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13. Jack Not So Nimble

I had a friend that used to always do a lot of dumb stuff. Once he thought he could jump over a bonfire. He almost made it—but fell back into the fire. His arm went right into the embers. He ended up with 3rd degree burns on over a fourth of his body. I think he’s doing pretty okay now but that one dumb decision will affect the rest of his life.

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14. From Famous To Infamous

A friend of mine is a musician who had a few top-ten hits and videos on MTV. Everybody who knew him had a lot of respect for the way he handled his money. He was aware that his career wasn't likely to last long, so he had saved his money and invested it and had bought a nice, sensible house rather than some rock-star mansion.

By the time I knew him, he wasn't doing big tours any more and had settled down in town with his family and playing in a band at a club every week just for fun. One time I ran into him in a music store and he was there with his kids. As a joke, I played the opening lick from his biggest hit and he laughed and turned to his kids and said, "That song paid for your college, guys."

A few years later, I was back in town and I asked a few friends about how he was doing. They got uncomfortable, then told me the sad truth. They said that he had gotten really weird and unpleasant. One story they told me was that he had borrowed a friend's guitar for a night. Apparently he took the borrowed guitar on stage and smashed it to pieces on stage for no reason. That didn't sound like the guy I knew.

A few years later, I heard that he was taken into custody after a high-speed chase involving several officers. He was finally caught in the parking lot of the lousy apartment where he was living in a very bad part of town. His mug shot looked terrible, like a dead person. It’s probably no surprise that he had stuff on him when the officers caught up with him.

It turns out he’d gotten addicted and had lost his house and his family and all of his money. He's clean now. (For good, I hope, but the relapse rate for that stuff is bad.) Later, he said that once he was addicted, he would try to quit, but his dealer would drive by his house and leave the stuff on his front porch and in his car.

So he would get clean for a few days and then relapse because the temptation was just too great. I find it hard to blame him. But I hope there's a special punishment waiting for that dealer.

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15. Running Away From The Runway

I was a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan at the time and we were on a runway as a working party. This was an old runway that was made up of metal mats connected to each other and we were dismantling it. These kinds of temporary runways have been used by the army since before WWII. The new runaway, a massive concrete one, had recently become active.

While we were taking down the old runway we saw a C-17 preparing to land on the very runway we were working on. The pilot was supposed to land on the new runway but she was heading directly toward where we were working. Sure enough she landed right on the old runway. We scattered like roaches as the cargo plane landed.

We then watched as she sheepishly exited her aircraft. Within minutes a general ripped a patch off of her flight suit and she put her face in her palms. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I heard she never flew again. I think she may have landed on the old runway once before and she had never landed on the new runway which had been under construction for at least 2 years.

I had heard that her defense was that her co-pilot and the tower were having a miscommunication about where to land.

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16. Coke’s No Joke

I had a boss who was terminated for doing coke in his office. He was the president of a hospital no less. He just threw it all away for coke. I was so bummed because we really clicked and it completely messed up my Fellowship at the hospital. Last I heard, he got a job in early 2020 (over two years after it happened) as a director of a hospital department three states away, so while it's a good job, the pay reduction must have been massive.

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17. His Job Went Out the Window

This situation very nearly ruined my own life. I was working in a hotel in a foreign country and the staff quarters were on like 5th-7th floors. We were treated terribly and barely paid, and one day I had a breakdown and threw a dinner plate out the window because it was covered in bugs and pigeon droppings, both of which had infested our living quarters after a window broke and the hotel refused to replace it.

I immediately realized what I had done. Yikes! Then I heard loud screaming and a commotion outside. About 20 minutes later a large number of cop cars arrived and started searching rooms on the upper floors. I shared a room with several other staff and there was a LOT of stuff in our room so everyone was scared out of their minds.

I immediately went to the lobby and handed myself in to prevent a search, the authorities only had a few questions before dropping the issue but they told me I was in deep trouble with my employer. Apparently an executive from the parent company that owned the hotel was on a routine visit and the plate just happened to crash to the ground right next to him as he walked outside.

No one was hurt, and I wasn't charged with anything, but I volunteered my resignation with a couple of weeks notice so I could arrange transportation back to my own country as I was on a work visa. It's really incredible I didn't seriously injure anyone or get my life totally ruined. I always wondered why the hotel never charged me with anything.

It was probably because I was only 18 and I think the hotel was afraid the authorities would realize they were employing undocumented staff and housing them in awful conditions. They even asked if I really wanted to quit as they would be short-handed until they could get some people in from abroad.

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18. Idiotic Interstate Injury

A guy I knew thought it would be funny to run across the interstate. Well it wasn’t. He literally got hit by a truck and he's now paralyzed and uses a bag for a toilet. Prior to this he had a scholarship to college for basketball. Now he can't even do basic arithmetic. I’ve gotta say: I have more pity for the poor truck driver than I do him.

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19. Dad Gets A Failing Grade

My dad was a kind of normal dad for a long time. He made us do chores, complained about lights being on, had the occasional cookout, whatever. Nowhere near a good parent, but he got a solid D+ in parenting, sometimes even a C-. He was a pot guy my entire life, dealt in it, and made a moderate amount of money doing it.

After the major growers in our city got busted, though, it got too expensive for him to make any profit. He had dealt with this kind of thing before (got banned from driving in the state of Georgia for it), but this city is pretty small and money was tight to begin with. So he started dealing in amphetamines shipped in from nearby cities.

I noticed when I was 12 and found box after box of sterilized needles hidden in my parent’s closet. My mom lied to me at the time and told me that it was for a diabetic family friend. I believed it for a while. Anyway, after his mom (my grandmother) passed on, things took a turn for the worse and he became a full-on addict.

He had just gotten into college to get a degree so he could go back to work, too. He got divorced, and he lives on the streets. None of us kids talk to him. He's now looking at multiple charges of drug trafficking, illicit drug use, maybe grand theft auto (etc).

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20. He Didn’t Bounce Back From His Injuries

About 10 years ago I met someone who ruined his life by making one decision. He was around 20 (maybe his early thirties?) when we first met, and he shared this heartbreaking story. He was at a friend's birthday party and the kid had a trampoline in his backyard. Of course, this guy decided to join all the kids on the trampoline.

They were all jumping on it when all of a sudden he landed wrong and got sent to the hospital. Turns out he was now paralyzed from the neck down. All because of a stupid trampoline injury.

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21. She Saved Her Kids

Well, I don’t know about ruining her life, but this certainly changed it. A woman I worked with came home to find her house on fire. And her kids were in it. Of course she didn't really have to decide. She just ran into the burning house to save her kids. Well, the part that ruined her life was the injuries she suffered.

Since the fire her body has been almost entirely covered in disfiguring burn scars. She didn’t even have fingernails right after it happened. She once showed me a picture of what she looked like before and wow she was very pretty. Honestly though, she rocked it though and was probably one of the coolest people I ever met.

One time she and some co-workers went to a racy club and the dancer was trying to get people in the crowd to flash her, and no one did except her. Hahaha! Bet that was a shock.

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22. Blown To Smithereens

This guy I know lived on his boat and because he was always broke he lost his place to moor it because he didn’t pay the bills. So this guy decided to anchor off the shore—against the advice of almost everybody around. It was dangerous because the seafloor was soft and there were high winds. He said he was just going to the store for a short time.

Well, when he came back to his wooden boat—which was also his housing—it was in a million pieces. The guy was an idiot, and I often wonder if it was some hail mary attempt at getting his ex back in some messed up way.

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23. Life In The Friend Zone

I finally confessed to my crush who was a really close friend of mine: bad decision. I got put in the friend zone, but it wasn’t the end of the world. But then she started talking a lot less to me than she used to, and every time I talked to her she would have the shortest reply ever, like she wouldn’t want to talk to me anymore, that hurt.

We talk on Snapchat, and she used to have a golden heart icon next to her name, meaning we both talk to each other the most out of any other ppl on Snapchat, After the confession, I already lost that golden heart title. She talks to other people and only sends one-word answers to me. THAT HURTS. Ever since I confessed to her, she’s been acting like this.

I know for a fact she doesn’t like me, because she straight up said she didn’t like me that way before and after I confessed to her. I wonder how I can resolve this situation. If I can I still win her over from the friendzone. Did this one decision ruin our friendship forever?

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24. Exit, Stage Left

I had a friend in university, a student of vocal jazz, who had an incredibly bright future ahead of her. Midway into her first year, she was out with some friends in a theatre on stage and they were just fooling around. She was sitting on a stage and got pulled from her ankles by her friends which led to her head hitting the edge of the stage and hyperextending her neck.

She ended up getting a bad concussion and had to drop out of school. She now has chronic head pain, and is living back at home. She tried to return back to school, but could barely last through two classes, if even, before her pain would get too bad. I've lost touch with her so I'm not entirely sure what she's doing now.

But, my gosh, just her life entirely derailed because of that one silly accident.

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25. Don’t Drink And FaceTime

A cheating husband was FaceTiming with his wife while drinking with the boys. A friend of his looked in the camera and said: “Who’s that!? Gracy!?” Gracy was his girlfriend’s name. Whoops!

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26. Helmet? Mandatory!

Growing up I lived across from a large hill. When I was like 14 some older kid decided to try to go down the hill on his skateboard without a helmet. There was a 90-degree turn at the bottom of the hill. His board slid out mid-turn and he hit his head harder than I could imagine. He was unconscious until about 10 minutes after the ambulance pulled up.

He ended up having pretty much no memory, was fully paralyzed, and his brain reverted back to the IQ of a three-year-old. He didn’t even know his name or recognize his parents. I always felt bad for him as he was just trying to show off to his friends (who were rooting him on), although yes I know it was a horrible decision on his part. Always wear a helmet!

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27. The Power Of Tools

This guy my dad knew was at a friend’s house once. It was very cold, so he was going to cut a tree branch with the table saw into smaller pieces to make some fuel to build a fire. He didn't use any eye protection because they probably didn't even have any considering how things were in that time. So he started to cut the small branch on the power saw.

The branch was probably uneven internally so it recoiled back towards him really fast. Two of the smaller branches flew up at this guy’s face. By sheer chance they hit and destroyed both of his eyes. It was such a huge amount of bad luck, but the results were horrifying. It could have hit him literally ANYWHERE else but it had to hit both of his eyes and permanently blind him on both.

I beg you guys: Please use protection while using power tools. Respect the power tools. If it can cut a tree in five seconds your arm will be gone before you can blink. If it can melt metal just a single touch will destroy your skin. If it can press steel your hand is like playdough. If it shines brighter than the sun it will blind you. If the sound makes you feel a ringing you’ll end up deaf.

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28. Life’s Not Fair

A friend of mine is black and he had a college scholarship and did really well. He was hanging with some other guys—mostly white. He wasn't breaking the law but his friends had a bag of weed. When some officer started harassing them they all ran. My friend is lucky he didn’t get shot. But guess who got blamed for the bag of weed? The black kid.

He spent several days in lockup for a misdemeanor he didn't even do, and then he lost his scholarship and had to drop out of college. It's getting close to 20 years later, and he's still working in fast food. He's not bitter about it, but I am bitter for him. The kid who had the weed got a slap on the wrist and owns his own film company now because life's not fair.

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29. The Fast And The Futile

A friend of mine had an old restored Jeep from like the 70s. Antique plates and everything. Ended up driving on the freeway really fast, the Jeep went crazy and flipped. Broke his arm, now has neurological problems and had to leave his six-figure job to live at home with his parents. He was engaged and that ended as well after his accident.

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30. He Lacked Swedish Common Sense

I had an online friend who lived in Sweden. He seemed like a decent dude, a bit weird but I vibed with him pretty well. One day, though, he just went all ghost and I had no contact for a few weeks. He eventually came back and told me something crazy. He said that he had run over someone with his car and was going to prison.

I have no idea if it was even legit—if he was telling the truth—but honestly, he seemed pretty troubled by it. Since then I have never heard from him again and his account is offline. Only thing I could really think of. A part of me will always question the legitimacy of it, but a piece of me also really thinks it would be a pretty trash thing to lie about.

He had no reason to lie anyways. I don't remember if he gave more details and if the person he hit was okay, but I don't know. I don't think I even knew his real name.

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31. Millions Lost In Two Seconds

It was in 2013, on the Chinese stock market. A trader found 24 stocks he intended to buy did not come through, so he asked an IT pal to press the retry button. The IT pressed retry and put in the amount 24. Unknown to everyone, the system was bugged. Instead of buying 24 stocks, it sent out a signal to buy 24 Bundles of ETF 108, which was about 20 thousand stocks, in two seconds.

The market noticed the unusual purchase and immediately notified the company. The purchase was called off, but some damage had already taken place. The company lost up to $30 million USD within five hours. You would think the guys in trouble would be the unlucky IT guy and the programmer who designed the faulty system.

No, the misfortune did not hit them but their supervisors. They were tried on "serious negligence and lack of responsibility" and were banned forever from practicing in stock trading. The supervisor was truly unlucky, he was attending a conference and giving a speech when the purchase happened, and knew nothing about it until two hours later. There was nothing he could do.

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32. At Least There Were No Fingerprints

At work someone nicked a bottle of hand sanitizer because “it looked cool.” The problem was it was a special order of hand sanitizer. It was specially made for abused pregnant women. The reason the bottles looked cool is that you can attach them to a belt while taking care of a baby. Homeboy lost a $35 an hour job over a $2 bottle of hand sanitizer.

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33. Olympic Flame Fail

My older brother (12) younger brother (7) and I (10) found a gallon jug half full of gasoline. We were behind the garage where we would pour some in a metal trash can lid and light it so it burned like the Olympic torch. As I was pouring gas, I noticed too late that the previous flame had not quite gone out and I was holding a jug with burning vapors.

I threw it away from me, but then we had to figure out how to put it out. After throwing dirt on it didn't work, I did the only thing left in my brain, I threw a rock on it to smother it. Well, when you throw a large rock onto a burning jug of gasoline, you have just created a flamethrower. My younger brother got hit on his left ear and right leg, but drop-rolled instantly.

My older brother, however, got hit full-on with the gas and panicked and ran. He didn't drop-roll until the skin was hanging off his arms. Picture the exposed skin of someone wearing t-shirt, shorts, and socks/shoes. All of the exposed skin (minus the face, thank goodness) was 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Don't play with fire, kids.

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34. Supervisor But Not A Super Father

We had a guy at my old job get fired for dealing at the workplace. The funny thing was his stepfather was a supervisor there so he thought he was protected from getting in trouble. It was actually the stepfather who ratted him out and got him fired. The stepfather wasn't going to risk his job over his lousy stepson.

I don't think most people who work on a production floor understand how low on the totem pole a supervisor is.

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35. Deal On Your Own Time

A friend of mine was dealing weed to a random person while at work. It was so obvious and right in front of my boss. My friend was fired on the spot. His life isn't ruined, but it took him a long time to find a job again.

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36. Car Crash In Slo-Mo

A friend of mine who lives in another city suffered two miscarriages a few years ago while actively trying to get pregnant. She described herself as desperate for a child, feeling that motherhood was the thing that would fulfill her life. She is a person of faith and prayed to God for a successful pregnancy—and God delivered! She now has a nearly six-year-old son. So great, right?

Here’s the thing: She has been frank with me that motherhood has not been nearly as fulfilling as she expected it to be. I’m not talking about what I would call the normal let-down that motherhood isn’t as great as others claim it is either. I’m talking about not bonding with her child. I’m talking about actively disliking her own child. I tried to not look horrified as she told me this.

I think some of it might be that he seems to genuinely be a difficult child, but the majority of it seems to be my friend and her husband are just not good at parenting. They provide everything a child needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) but they are both completely clueless as to how to manage any child, let alone their own child.

The husband bumbles along in pretty much everything he does. My friend has a lot of childhood traumas that she believes have affected her ability to bond with a child. Her husband doesn’t even attempt to understand why parenthood doesn’t come as naturally to her as he thinks it does to him. He has a lot of outdated ideas about gender roles.

My friend has openly shared that had she known how rewarding dog ownership could be (they adopted when the kid was three or four) she never would have had a child. So all this sounds like just a cautionary tale, right? Well, it would be...except my friend is convinced that it would be a good idea to have a second child.

Why? Well, a few reasons: First and foremost, God is telling her it is. Secondly, she believes having a playmate would mellow her badly-behaved son. Lastly, because of her childhood traumas, she has very little family, and she believes by having more children, it increases her odds of having a larger family because there are more opportunities for spouses and children. Let’s take a look at these a little bit closer, shall we?

Number one: God. Now, I am a person of faith myself, and I also believe we can get messages from the Divine. However, to paraphrase the old joke, “If God tells me something, I want to see credentials.” If the Divine told me something, I would research that thing to see if my interpretation was correct before pulling the trigger.

Number two: her Instant playmate idea. Her existing kid is already almost six years old. Why would he want to play with a newborn? I mean, how would he even play with a newborn? Not only this, but being related doesn’t necessarily ensure they’ll get along, as my friend knows because she knows I am estranged from my only sibling.

Number three: Bigger family. What if the kids are childfree or aromantic or just disinterested in partnering or having children? I have repeatedly pointed these things out to her, both gently and not so gently, but she is insistent that having a second child is on her table for her. She hasn’t decided for sure yet, but she continues to insist that she feels this is the best idea for her future.

She sees a counselor, but from all she tells me this counselor is a yahoo. My friend is seeming to finally realize this, but it may be too little, too late. I swear, it is like watching a car crash in slow motion and being powerless to stop it. I know people will advise me to cut her off, but truly this is just a rant.

I am letting off steam seeing my friend potentially ruin her life more than she already has. I know it’s not my circus, etc. but it is difficult watching people you care for make bad decisions.

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37. One Bad Decision After The Other

So my friend (23M) and I (24M) go way back to 2nd grade. He’s always been overly competitive, trying to one-up his peers, but I think he’s actually going to screw himself over with the last eight months of poor financial decisions in his latest efforts to impress his friends. To start, he went to college and got a 4-y degree that he used for about five months, then realized that career was not what he wanted to do. Cue $60k or more in student loans.

Right now he’s currently renting a duplex/condo thing with his girlfriend. She doesn’t have a job because she’s in school full time, so he’s pretty much paying for it all. I’m not sure how he manages to pay the rent all by himself. He started working at a gym mid-Covid and his pay was about half of what he made at his last job.

At this point, he decided it was time to finance a brand new motorcycle for $7k plus about $120/month plus insurance. First big red flag there, as he could’ve saved a ton of money by getting a used bike for much cheaper. Now he has stable job in the logistics industry, but he isn’t happy and he is looking for something better yet.

Him making more money definitely helps with the payments. But at this point, he decided to finance a 1-y old Toyota RAV4 for about $23k. Second red flag there, considering he had a Nissan Altima that was completely paid off and insurance was cheap, and the vehicle was running well at the time. His payments are around $400/month payment plus insurance. Yet he STILL wasn't done making bad decisions.

Fast forward a few months. In the middle of February, he convinced his dad to buy his motorcycle from him...Why? Because he’s convinced he can afford his dream bike. Which somehow they gave to him...he bought a Ducati Panigale V2, which is nearly $18,000. Double the original bike payment, double the insurance (3rd red flag in case it wasn’t clear).

I feel like I can’t say anything to him, without him getting defensive and angry that I’m overstepping. I know people don’t all have the same financial values or education, but if he’s spending all of his money right now and not saving for retirement, he’s going to seriously regret it later. I’m not sure how to say this, since it’s really not my place to say it.

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38. She Made A Run For It

A girl I knew tried to run from the bar we were in to the right bar across the street. She waited for the car to pass and then ran for it...directly in front of the motorcycle following the car that she didn’t see. The motorcycle rider tried to swerve and lay it down but still caught her with it. Last I heard they both survived.

Unfortunately, both are likely to have permanent mobility/mental faculty issues. Two lives radically altered because she didn’t want to wait another 1-5 minutes for traffic to clear.

Lives destroyedUnsplash

39. Pics Lasts Forever

I don’t know if this counts since I didn’t technically see it happen, but in eighth grade an acquaintance of mine sent a picture of herself with no clothes to this really shady guy she was friends with at the time. Of course he leaked it to the entire school. Just about everyone, including me, saw this poor girl’s racy photos.

She was subjected to tons of ridicule and body-shaming for weeks. A lot of her then-friends abandoned her, and to this day people still remember it. When people do things like that, they tend to like to imagine everyone will forget about it, but they unfortunately don’t. Just a few weeks ago I mentioned her in an unrelated conversation to one of my friends

The guy replied with, “Oh yeah, wasn’t that the girl who sent the bare pics to so-and-so in eighth grade?” So yeah. It’s very hard to come back from things like that even after all the craze dies down. There’s also the potential troubles with the law. Remember she was a minor when she shared the pics. Be careful out there y’all.

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40. Sick Tricks Trick Kids

Where I grew up there was an abandoned dam on a river that you could dive off of, but if you picked the wrong spot it was only a foot deep and several people paralyzed themselves there. My school brought in one of them as a "Don't do the dumb thing I did" speaker, to warn us kids about the dangers of swimming near the dam.

The speaker was good, unfortunately he ended his presentation by showing all the sick tricks his tricked-out wheelchair could do. More than one kid left saying to themselves "Maybe I should jump off that dam..."

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41. Painful Posts

I’m gonna be honest, I see it every day on social media. People post so much absolutely awful and dumb stuff that will probably follow them when they try to get a job and other things. Maybe not as “life-ruining” as the other things on here, but still would leave a mark.

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42. Look First, Punch Second

Last night, I witnessed an intoxicated guy punch another intoxicated guy outside of a bar. A third person ran over and grabbed guy #2 from behind, to which guy #2 started punching the person behind him (in oblivious self-defense). Unfortunately, guy number three was a cop. He had no idea the guy was a cop because he couldn’t see.

Guy #1 ran away as to not get in trouble, and now guy #2, who was the victim of the assault, has a record.

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43. Random And Senseless Accident

I’m a 16-year-old female with a quadriplegic dad. He got in an accident four years ago (which I witnessed on sight) and my soul started depleting since then. My family used to be rich, and we all loved each other. It was the dream. These years slowly started coming by and things got worse. I quit sports, I dropped out of school.

I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. My family is becoming broke from all of my father's medical bills, and they are soon getting divorced. My life was ruined by just some freak accident. People quote things happen for a reason all the time, but his accident feels like a random and senseless occurrence.

Family Secrets FactsShutterstock

44. Tatted Trouble

So this friend, who is a single mom of three, dates a guy covered in tattoos from head to toe. All her female friends support her about this guy. However...eight months later, she is asking for help to change her locks to keep him out of the house. She totally did not see that coming. And now all her friends and family are lining up to help her deal with her bad decisions.

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45. Foot Flirting Became Too Much

I moved to this small town eight years ago. I met Ray then and seven years ago we began dating. We started off with some ups and downs, but after drawing some hard boundary lines during our first year together, we have had an amazing relationship. When people say communication is key, those people know what they are talking about.

Six years ago I met Julie. She didn’t have any kids—just like me—and we had so freaking much in common. Things like gardening and painting, playing musical instruments that were complementary to each other. To be honest, she became better of a best friend than both of my best friends back home. We were as thick as thieves.

Julie was the kind of girl who didn’t want a big commitment to a guy. But the thing is she had a very strong libido. So she did her thing, if you know what I mean. This was, of course, absolutely okay with me. I was pleased to be in my solid relationship. I’ve been in her shoes before, so it’s not like I can judge her or anything like that.

Ray ended up proposing to me about three years ago. We were solid, so I was ecstatic for this day to come. I made Julie my maid of honor and right away she was on it. She had met a guy and was living with him, but they had a weird, borderline abusive relationship. She was always cheating on him, and he was always possessive over her because she was cheating on him which turned her off and made her cheat more.

They would break up, I would move Julie out, then a few days later they were back living together. Doing my due diligence, although exhausting, I let her know I would be there for her no matter what, but suggested that her relationship was kinda toxic and she should consider different avenues. During her last breakup with the guy, I moved her to a camper out in the country.

Julie declined my offer to just move in with me and Ray. She still spent 80% of her time at our home though, because, well the country is boring. It was more like a field than a farm. She swore she was never going back to him. One day we had all just come back from the public pool, Ray and I had rode bikes there and Julie had driven there.

The plan was to meet up at our house and grill some steaks. Between the bike ride home and waiting for Julie to arrive, Ray and I had the most awkward, random conversation. Looking back, I think it had to do with seeing Julie mostly undressed, we both have typically appealing body types. He tells me that he had a confession. For the past 6 months, him and Julie had been doing this kinda footsie thing with each other.

Ray was not sure who started it, but he took the blame that it may have been him. It was kind of their “thing” they had been doing to show affection towards each other. He said that with Julie having been around so much, there were some awkward feelings developing and he didn’t know how to deal with them, as they were unexpected. He said he was sure that she was feeling the same way.

Him telling me this really shattered me! Julie showed up, and I was still in shock, and I am not confrontational, so I didn’t mention it. I played everything off till after she left, I guess I was just trying to absorb what Ray had just told me. I told Ray I needed to think, and we would come back to it tomorrow. I slept on it, it was an early night for me.

The next morning I was furious. I was seeing red. I broke off my engagement and considered alternative living conditions. Ray was so hurt, he begged me to calm myself and please just communicate with him, and not move out immediately. He said we needed to talk this through first and not just move out and be homeless and make a rash decision that could cause me so much more harm.

I was a mess. We had never raised our voices to each other, and here I was yelling at him at the top of my lungs trying to make sense of this situation of betrayal. Later that day Julie called, not knowing what was happening, and wanted to hang out. I couldn’t take her call, but still seeing red, I sent her a text telling her about me knowing the situation, and that she was basically dead to me.

She tried to deny it at first, and I called her out on that. Then she decided to come clean, claimed she was in love with both of us and had a problem with boundaries (something I was aware of) and please let her explain herself to me. I retorted with her that she was not playing “footsie” with both of us, and therefore they were both cheating on me, and I wanted nothing more to do with her.

I guess I should note here, that I am very heterosexual, and if she had bi tendencies, I never knew. She was very knowledgeable of my own orientation, and also my loyalty to Ray. She came across as heterosexual to me, in our discussions and in her mannerisms towards men. I’m still confused about the “I’m in love with both of you” comment.

This was the last conversation I ever had with Julie, but Ray was a different story. We had built a family with pets, and property together over all of these years, so there would be much to sort out and I could not just ghost him. To keep a longer story shorter, Ray and I ended up working things out, and stayed together.

Ray was genuine in his conversations that took place over the time I was still seeing red. I fought hard to destroy our relationship, but he fought harder to keep us together. I had mixed feelings about dumping one and keeping the other. On one hand she lied and he came out honest, but on the other hand, they both lied until he came out honest.

Julie has a reputation for getting her way with any man she wanted and he has a reputation for being ignorant when getting hit on. He said he told me because he was confused and because we always talked about everything, even the hard things and he didn’t want to feel the way he felt about her, which is why he came to me. It wasn’t his intention to cheat, but he wanted to stop it before it did become intentional.

Regardless, I stayed with Ray and dumped Julie. That was two years ago. One year ago, I married Ray. Because of Covid-19, and because our state is self-isolating, we had a private wedding with just the two of us. Essentially we just eloped. Because this is such a small town, it’s hard to miss Julie if I am out in public.

Every time I see her, I miss her and I have this huge hole where my best friend used to be. On the same note that huge hole where my best friend used to be is suddenly filled with instant rage on how she betrayed me. I am holding in so much anger towards her, that I no longer am with my husband. I think it is because I ghosted her.

But with Ray, I couldn’t ghost him because we lived together. So we had closure. With Julie, there was no real closure. I wonder if our friendship can be saved or if I am better off without her in my life. My husband’s best friend misses that I don’t have a best friend anymore, as we all used to do fun things and I seem to him to be afraid of making a girlfriend again. He may be right about that too.

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46. He’s Working Under The Table

This past fall, an attorney I know attended a Zoom meeting with video. In the video her colleagues could see her sitting nicely at her desk and dressed appropriately for work. But then they saw something strange. They could see someone not entirely out of frame crawl under her desk and spend the duration of the meeting there.

It was very obvious by her facial expressions and movements what was going on under the desk. She lost her job, and from what I understand, the guy was not her husband, so her marriage may be lost as well.

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47. He Took “Burning Man” A Little Too Literally

My friends took a coworker to Burning Man once. The coworker was like a 50-something blue-collar dude who thought it was just about chugging beers and looking at women. He got real intoxicated and got into some whippets and some molly and some research chemicals, and tried to do a party trick where he spit gas into a fire.

Long story short he wound up soaking his clothes in gas, catching on fire, and getting choppered out of there. They had to give him skin grafts from like a tilapia or something? If you're gonna do substances, don't take a bunch of new stuff at once without telling anyone you're new to it. And don't worry, the irony of a man burning at Burning Man was not lost on anyone.

Lives destroyedPexels

48. Keep You Eyes On The Road

We were a group of US Marines traveling from LAX to Camp Pendleton in a school-type bus. We were looking out the window because we were bored. It was the I-5 and a woman in a Jeep CJ-5 pulled up next to us. The woman then unhooked her seatbelt, and began flashing skin at us. Of course, we cheered her on. After two minutes, she got bored and drove off.

Ten minutes later, we encountered a traffic jam. As we passed the blocked area, we saw the Jeep on it's side and the woman laying on the ground nearby. What a tragedy.

Lives destroyedPexels


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