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A life worth living is hard to build; how long does it take to break it all apart? That’s the question on our minds after these Redditors shared their most jaw-dropping stories of the lives, families, careers, and entire futures that were destroyed in an instant. One drink, one wrong turn, or one misplaced knife—in some cases—can spoil everything. Be careful with these eyebrow-raising stories of lives that were ruined in seconds.


1. All It Takes Is One Drink to Break The Bank

I watched a kid get an underage alcohol violation. Wouldn’t normally be a life-ruiner, but he and I were both college students at a university that had been on the news a lot for the drinking/party culture. The culture has been the same since the 70s, but they didn’t like the bad press, so they cracked down. Like two months before this happened, they instituted a new policy.

It used to be that you would deal with the legal implications, then they would make you go to an alcohol education program, and you wouldn’t be able to study abroad. Those were the only consequences. Now, they suspend you for the rest of the semester, make you move out if you live on campus, and they cancel any financial aid the school is providing.

I didn’t know him well, but I do know that he (like me) had student loans ON TOP of a generous financial aid package, and because of the aid program we were in, it’s unlikely he could afford to come back without the financial aid package from the school.

Steelerfan345

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2. Game Over for This Family

One of my friends was playing online with me when I hear a knock on his door through the mic. His parents walk in and decide to tell them that he is adopted and that they are getting a divorce. All in one go. No emotional breaks or anything and my friend just breaks down over the mic as his parents walk out.

Thatisslightlysad

3. Not Suitable for Anybody

My friend’s husband produced and consumed some really vile adult material. She only found out when DHS raided their apartment. It tore her life apart. She’s doing well now, though. Divorced (obviously), and he no longer has any parental rights. She’s still struggling to help her kids process the whole thing.

melindseyme

4. All By Himself

I know a man whose car was sandwiched between two semis, killing his wife and all three of their children instantly. Somehow, he walked away with only a broken arm, but I’m pretty sure he wishes he hadn’t.

jmurphy42

5. No Jokes When It Comes to Cheddar (and Firearms)

This kid I know, his cousin gave him a gun over the holidays as a present. So, this dumbass ordered pizza with his friends and instead of paying, they robbed the delivery guy. Again, this is after they gave the address and name for the order. So now because he just turned 18, he’s being tried as an adult and faces like 10 years or more for being stupid.

Goldielonglocs

6. Not All Heights Should Be Reached

We were about 17, and me and my friends went to a beach house for summer. Well, there was a cliff, not so big one, should be around five meters high, and one of my friends decided to run and jump without check how deep the sea was. Long story short, it had a lot of rocks and he broke his back. He didn’t screw his life, but lost both his legs.

otabcjr

7. Think Before You Hang-Ten

When I was in college, I had a job at a local supermarket. One of my colleagues left at the beginning of summer as she was headed to university in the autumn. Next thing I know, she’s in the papers because she was driving a car whilst someone was “car surfing” on it and the guy died. Saw her in the shop a couple of weeks after it happened, and she looked a mess. I believe she went to prison, but not sure how long for.

__Severus__Snape__

8. When a Late-in-Life Romance Becomes a Nightmare

My elderly father unwittingly married a woman who would abuse him for four and a half years before we found out. We met her on the day of the wedding. That day sealed his fate. She isolated him from us, coerced him to sell his assets, stripped his bank accounts, heavily drugged him and almost, almost killed him, but we rescued him, and he lived with us until he died.

iechyd_da

9. This Plan Was Sunk from the Beginning

Watched a mom and her kid on a boat escorted by law enforcement back to the dock. Her boyfriend had gone swimming off the boat. The wind pushed the vessel away from him. She didn’t know anything about how to turn it on to move it closer. It kept getting farther, he kept swimming harder. He eventually slipped under and was recovered 80 feet down a few days later.

I’ll never forget the look on her face. Never. He was a 28-year-old airman. Peak health. Wear a life jacket, people. You are not stronger than mother nature. And don’t leave a boat without someone who can drive it safely.

lvhockeytrish

10. Up in Flames

When I was a kid, I lived in an apartment complex. One of the families had three young kids. One day, the parents needed to run some errands, so they hired a babysitter to watch the kids. The babysitter fell asleep, and one of the kids started playing with some matches. The parents came home to huge billowing clouds of smoke and fire coming from all the windows. All three kids and the babysitter died. They were only gone for about an hour.

EmeraldGlimmer

11. The Best Laid Investments…

My dad used to work at Prudential Financial, and he told me that in the days after Enron’s stock suddenly dropped to nothing, some of his coworkers just walked around like zombies. Apparently, they’d put a ton of money into Enron, and were now completely screwed.

LotusPrince

12. Dishonorable Conduct Off the Battlefield

Like seven-ish years ago, a bunch of the crew chiefs at my guard base were out celebrating one of their own who got his associate’s degree. They were all drinking, not a ton, and eventually went home. Except for one guy. He stayed and drank until last call. He decided to drive home. He hit a 20-year-old who was on his way to work at about 2am and turned him into a paraplegic.

Our wing commander basically told him, plead guilty (to the county) and go to jail with an administrative discharge (his family would have been able to keep some of his benefits, like the VA loan and GI Bill), or fight it, lose, cost his family tons of money, and get a dishonorable (dishonorable basically is like you never even served). He pled guilty.

“Dishonorable” means like you never served in regard to benefits, any bonuses you received you have to pay back, medals are rescinded. It is also listed on job applications, and people will deny you because of it. I know a Dishonorable is like a felony, but to do it is a long process, regardless if he got convicted in civilian criminal court.

His discharge was a “Hey, you still have two years left in your contract before re-enlistment, so you’re just going to resign that right now instead”. Also, to the people who think that he got away scot-free, he didn’t. He went to jail. Felony DUI and assault with a deadly weapon or something like that. The wing commander only allowed him to do at least one selfless thing and still be able to transfer his GI bill and VA loan to his family.

He also had to pay medical expenses for the kid he hit, and probably other damages as well, so it’s not like he got a free pass on that.

powerlesshero111

13. Remember to Use (and Protect) Your Head

When I was about 13, I was talking with my best friend at a playground on a hill. Suddenly this lady comes racing down on her bike, she’s not wearing a helmet which was unfortunate because her bike slipped from underneath her and she goes flying, smacks her head into a corner. I was too young to know this at the time, but I’m almost certain she died instantly. Wear a helmet.

Night-Sky-Rebel

14. Miss(ed Responsibilities)

My ex-wife. Had four beautiful kids (two girls, twin boys), a decent job, and an MBA with way more earning potential than she was at. Had bariatric surgery, got obsessed with the attention she received from losing weight (Instagram, etc.), met some guy on this game she played, cheated, and tried to make it work (my fault for not ending it).

Then she went on a trip for work, met some other guy, “fell in love” (meth and heroin), landed a surprisingly great job, got fired two months later for not performing and being late/”sick” all the time, and double deposited her paychecks at least twice. Now she’s awaiting trial for four felonies, presumably still using drugs, and has no right to see the kids because I refuse to let them see her around that trash.

She makes no effort to see them and blames everyone else for her problems. Don’t do drugs, kids. Or be a self-obsessed ever-victim.

supermaik

15. The Steve Rogers That Never Was

I was a surgical intern, and there was a fourth-year med student (just one year behind me) on our general surgery team as an acting “intern.” Dude was an “All American” in every sense—extremely bright, tall and good-looking, charming to talk to, class president, etc. He was literally like “Captain America” Steve Rogers incarnate.

Wanted to be a general surgeon at my hospital, and all of my attending physicians were extremely fond of him. They already were talking about how great of a resident he would make and what to do when he was an intern. It was nearing the end of his rotation, and he was scheduled to do a routine surgery with the chair of the department—specifically, so the chair could evaluate him and give him a letter of recommendation afterward.

The evening before his big day, he and I went over the steps of the procedure, and the little quirks that the chair liked, so he could impress the chair for a good letter. He left and we texted about some additional tiny details about the surgery later. Next morning, my chief tells me I need to scrub in for the surgery that the student was supposed to do, because he hadn’t shown up yet.

I told a third year medical student who was also on our team to go look for him, because it wasn’t like him to be late (this guy was militantly punctual, it was odd he’d be late on a day like this). About an hour into the surgery, my chief resident comes in and asks me to scrub out and informs me that the student I had sent earlier had found him in his apartment, in a pool of his own blood.

Shot through the neck. None of his possessions were missing, and he had no clear enemies or reasons that someone might want him dead. Someone just broke in and shot him. I had trouble believing it, it was very bizarre and surreal. I was later questioned by a detective because I was technically the last person to communicate with him (via text).

A few months later they eventually caught the kids responsible a few states away (apparently it was some sort of gang initiation to kill a random person), and they got their due. But the whole ordeal left me in a funk for a while, because it was so completely random and senseless, and that kid had literally EVERYTHING going for him—he was one of the really good ones.

superwillis

16. One Monster Can Change a Family Forever

I grew up best friends with my sister, and one day she didn’t come home from work. I was 16 at the time, she was 22. I heard my parents start to rumble around the house turning the lights on and I could hear more commotion and panic. The cops had called our house because they found my sisters car damaged on a street in the middle of a neighborhood with the driver side door still open and they found one of her shoes was in the middle of the street.

The next morning, still no sister. She worked as a bartender. She left work that night and, some guy followed her, and sideswiped her car. When she got out to swap insurance, he kidnapped her and put her in his truck and drove off. That night, he continued to assault and abuse her and held her captive through the night and into the next day.

My sister managed to escape that next day and run to the nearest house, banging on the doors, the homeowners let my sister in and called 9-1-1. They could tell she had been beaten and attacked. She was taken to the hospital which is when we got the phone call where she was. She had two broken ribs, her face was nearly black and blue, both black eyes, and scratches all over her body.

After that, I’ve never had my sister back. She survived the attack, but she suffers horrible, horrible anxiety and panic attacks. She can’t go out in public alone. She drinks heavily and is terrified to move out of my moms and live alone. I don’t know, I just used to look up to her. We would laugh and watch movies and bounce on the trampoline, and she would drive me to try local food chains.

We would listen to music and ever since I’ve never had my big sister back…I’ll always love her, but it breaks my heart. In one day, her life changed for the worst.

rocket_man_33

17. No Time for Love or Play in War

A really nice man who owned a gaming cafe here. “A place with many computers connected on LAN where people go to play games together.” Age 33. Has a wife and two kids. I know him. I used to frequent his place a lot. And one early morning I was going to his place to just play and stuff. The place was not open that morning.

And his business partner was walking around asking where his partner was. I told him that I hadn’t seen him that day. Turns out that his house was hit by a freaking missile. I live in Syria, so this is more common to me than most other people on this earth but damn. His home was burned, and he and his children were killed.

The worst part? His wife. A college professor, from what I was told, went to work that day, before the missile hit. She was at the university when she lost her husband. Her children and her home. Everything she had, gone in just one lovely Mediterranean morning. I don’t know much about her. I just hope she’s alright these days…

dasyriansteve

18. It’s Tougher When They Do It To Themselves

My neighbor (a female in her late teens) died by suicide one morning. We found out when we saw the police and ambulance arrive in front of our houses. I was watching by the window because I was kind of curious, and I was feeling so sad I just couldn’t stop watching. When the mother arrived, I saw her fall on her knees and break down crying when the officers told her daughter was dead.

It was truly heartbreaking. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the face she made. She was destroyed. It was so incredibly sad. It’s almost been four years. I can’t imagine how much pain that mother has been through.

fredeallard

19. Say the Magic Word? “You’re Fired.”

I was working in a bank. One day, the director fired one of his executives, the whole “empty your desk, you’re fired” speech in front of everyone. The director was furious, and the guy seemed entirely destroyed. Then he explains to all that this guy gave his login and password to a friend in another branch. The friend used that login (and others) while doing some kind of credit card fraud, police arrested her, but lacked evidence against the fired guy.

So, they just fired him on the spot. And obviously, beside losing his job, he was also blacklisted from working in banks or finance.

Hastur082

20. A Solider Should Know That No Treason Goes Unpunished

Soldier married to a friend of mine. She was sweet as an angel, had even saved $40,000 to buy him his favorite truck as a surprise when he came back from Afghanistan. Two weeks out from shipping home, and he gets busted nailing a subordinate. They arrest him. He calls from jail. She calmly hangs up, takes the kids, spends the $40,000 on college tuition and never looked back. His career, his marriage, all over for a quick piece of tail.

Ushouldknowthat

21. A Most Addicted Reunion

My friend from high school messaged me on Facebook my junior year of college. She said she wanted to catch up, so I showed up to her place and was ready to chill, catch up, maybe get some food. She then said we were going to a party at her friend’s place, which I found odd because she hadn’t mentioned that. I shrugged it off and we went.

It was some other girl’s place and nobody else was there. She pulled out a meth pipe and started smoking. My friend ended up buying some off her and we left. She just needed a ride to make her pickup.

hotmaleathotmailcom

22. Face the Consequences of Your Actions

My friend’s girlfriend decided to break a girl’s nose in a bar. Attack was totally unprovoked and came down to “I didn’t like her face.” Although she never got jail time, she did get a criminal record. Which for her was a big deal because she was in final year law with an internship lined up. Law firm dropped her immediately because of the criminal record, and no other firm would take her either. She went from a promising law career to having to do any minimum wage jobs she can find.

hmfiddlesworth

23. A Most Unwelcoming Surprise

Story from my father. He knew a friend who had a very sweet girlfriend. The friend was out of town and returning home. It was his birthday. So, she decided to decorate their home. Looks good. The last touch is switching the broken lightbulb. Grabs it, gets shocked, dead. Her boyfriend comes home to a decorated home, turns around the corner and sees his girlfriend lying dead on the floor.

VeryWeirdPerson

24. Doing It Alone Can Be Dangerous

A former neighbor of mine: gay kid and deeply closeted (which I found out by encountering him out in the wild some 4 years ago much to both our surprise). He used to get blackout drunk and wake up in stranger’s beds with no recollection of what had happened the night before. He ended up testing HIV positive at the ripe old age of just 23.

His parents don’t yet know he’s gay, let alone living with HIV.

flyboy_za

25. That Escalated Quickly

I had a buddy walk in on his wife sleeping with someone. Smoke was thick in the room. He’s standing there slack-jawed, stunned beyond reaction for a few seconds. Then he notices their baby just staring at him from the floor by the foot of the bed, laying on top of the crumpled clothes, which his wife and the guy had stripped off.

Both his wife and the guy jump out of bed, my friend goes to get to the baby. He later told me his only thought was to get her out of the weed smoke… but his wife starts blocking him as apparently, she thinks he is trying to go after her lover. Then the guy snatches his clothes from the floor, causing the baby to go tumbling.

Baby starts screaming and then my friend snaps and loses his mind. He gets into a physical altercation with his wife as she’s fighting him from going across the room and he ends up tossing her to the side. Unfortunately, her lover had a knife in his pants which he then pulls. A struggle ensues, and my friend gets the knife away from the guy and stabs him.

He is screaming at the guy that he is going to kill him. Wife jumps on my friend’s back to protect her lover and in his rage, she gets stabbed too. My friend grabs the baby and calls 9-1-1. Neighbors also have called 9-1-1 and relay the “I’m going to freaking kill you” shouts to the police and sounds of a fight. Cops show up, he gets arrested.

Turns into two counts of attempted murder which got him sentenced to “only” 10 years in prison, given the extenuating circumstances.

Debaser626

26. The School of Hard Knocks

I was with my friend the first time she snorted a pill. She was 14. Within a month, she’d run away and was “dating” a 50-year-old man that worked at McDonald’s and hooking up with his friends for money/drugs. Police found her; no charges for the guy or his friends, but she was forced to live in a group home and go to addiction treatment.

The next few years, she seemed good sometimes and worse other times. I know she had a kid that was taken away. I know her drug addiction got to the point of heroin use. I know she was in a lot of relationships with men that should have been in jail. Around 18, she seemed to smarten up. She got her GED and went to college.

Now she’s a single mom, but she’s been clean for a few years. She’s seeking out stable relationships with men her own age or close to it, and she seems happy, so it kind of has a happy ending.

Permalink

27. When Prince Charming Turns Out to Be The Dragon

“I met this lady. I’m finally going to settle down and marry her.” That was about two weeks into the relationship, and they married the next weekend. About four weeks in, she was pregnant. Then about six weeks in, we got a phone call saying we’d better check the news. He’d been arrested for assaulting his 12-year-old stepdaughter.

We’d known the guy for years and never had any indication he would do something like that, it was a really jarring time. Anyway, he served two years after getting a really good plea deal, and is now a sex offender. We haven’t spoken to him since the day he was arrested, and have absolutely no intention of ever doing so.

His wife divorced him but kept the baby, no idea what happened afterward.

zerbey

28. You Can’t Learn Emotional Maturity in School

Both of my roommates during freshman year of college. We had a triple dorm, and we were all engineering majors. They both had their addictions and flunked out the first year. The first one was more or less addicted to weed. Smoked all day every day, skipped classes to stay in and smoke, kept coming up with new bongs both homemade and bought.

After he failed out, I didn’t hear much from him. The second was addicted to StarCraft. Pretty much the same story, spent all day in the room playing and skipped out on classes to keep playing. Failed both semesters and was on probation for the next one. Came back for the spring semester in second year and failed again, getting him permanently expelled.

They were both fairly smart and could’ve done fine, but I guess they weren’t ready for college. Also, it’s amazing that I passed considering my room constantly stank of weed and was filled with the constant clicking of a mouse playing StarCraft.

DVeagle74

29. So Much for Family Secrets

There was this crazy old rich guy who, no matter what ANYONE said, would just not shut the freak up, ever. He and his family had everything they ever wanted, and they were all pretty much all-around bad people. So, the crazy old guy keeps going on and on about how great he is; he could do this, that, and everything better than anyone, but the family really just wishes he would just shut up and retire or die already.

Eventually, he’s running his mouth to the wrong people and ends up being blackmailed. Now he’s president, his entire family is under investigation, and they are going to lose everything they had and possibly go to jail. They could have just kept on being horrible people with pretty much no consequences, but the old man had to ruin it for all of them.

Nice-GuyJon

Ruined Life FactsShutterstock

30. When Push Comes to Shove, a Mother’s Love Has Consequences

So not so much bad as it was sad. This happened around 2006 or 2008. Can’t remember exactly when, because I was about 11 at the time. I had a friend in elementary school and middle school that lived within two miles from me and a CVS between our houses. Her (12 years old), her little brother (9 years old), and her mother (~40ish) were at CVS picking up a few things, and were walking to their car in the parking lot.

Apparently, as they were walking, the mother pushed both my friend and her brother away from her. My friend hit her head on the sidewalk and woke up to her brother screaming and crying. What happened was that as they were walking, the mother noticed a car that was slamming on the gas while trying to back out of a parking spot.

The car was heading straight towards them, and the mother pushed the kids out of the way. Car pinned the mother to the wall of the CVS, and she died within minutes. The little brother saw the whole thing happen and has been struggling with depression and PTSD since, and my friend got a concussion from the incident, lost her mother, and has never been the same.

The sad thing is that the driver wasn’t drunk or high or anything. It was a tiny little 80-year-old lady that wasn’t used to driving the car and pressed too hard on the gas pedal. Don’t exactly know what happened when the police got involved, but my friend has been messed up ever since. This forum has had a lot of comments about terrible people that have done terrible things. Not all bad things happen because of bad people. Sometimes they just happen.

AppliedAesthetics

31. The Kindest People Need the Most Support

I had the pleasure of meeting the kindest person I’ve ever met. He came from a really snobby and popular family, but he was friends with literally everyone. He would hang out with the outcasts, he would actually come over if you posted online about how you were lonely, and he didn’t care at all about high school politics.

I met him once, and he made a significant impact on my life. He was just genuine about being fair and nice to everyone he met. He had every chance to be a jerk given that he was smart, good-looking, came from a wealthy family, but nope. He gave off this huge sense of peace when you were around him. If I had to describe the second coming of Jesus, it was him.

A year after meeting him, he ends up missing for three days. Eventually, the story unfolds that he was at a party the night he went missing, but he was the designated driver for everyone, so it was odd that he just suddenly left before anyone else did. Three days later, my brother finds him on an old logging road in his pickup, head blasted off with a shotgun.

He had apparently taken shrooms and wanted to meet God. His family found his Bible and it was filled with highlighted passages about heaven and the soul finding peace with Jesus. I’m guessing that the church he went to had a lot to do with it. It was the kind where everyone affluent and popular goes to, but given that they were disgusting people, they didn’t seem to practice what they preached.

“The evil go to hell, but not us because we are here on Sunday!” At his funeral, the pastor had the gall to say he went to hell since he committed a sin by killing himself. That kind of church. I really miss you, Stevie. Thank you for showing me the single bit of kindness I ever found in that town.

Permalink

32. Literally Dying for the Joke

Not me but a friend was in AP Chem, and they were working with some sodium-something. His classmate snorted it as a cocaine joke. He was rushed to the ER, and now his risk for nasal and lung cancer is through the roof. His predicted lifespan is like mid-30s, maybe early 40s now, and it was all for a cheesy drug reference.

DaSkrubKing

33. The Law Doesn’t Always Know Best

My college roommate hit a patch of wet leaves on his motorcycle and hit the curb. The bike flipped and hit him in the chest. When the cops arrived, he was disoriented and bruised but otherwise okay. The cops thought he was drunk and took him in. In the drunk tank, he complained that he couldn’t breathe. The nurse looked him over and said he was fine.

Later, he collapsed in his cell. The cops woke him up, handcuffed him and drove him to the hospital. When they got there, he was dead. Punctured lung. Suffocated. He was 23 and a senior at a very good college. He worked full-time and paid his own way. He was funny and kind and empathetic. He was supposed to be someone important.

You’d think over time I would miss him less, but as I get older, I just think of who he would be as an older person. As a parent I think of the wonderful kids denied a chance to exist because of the stupidity of multiple officers, and it surprises me the visceral, primal sadness I still feel about his loss.

BrotherofAllfather

34. Bad at Self-Management

This happened in a two-week period. A friend of mine lost his kitchen job due to layoffs. Looked in the paper for a job he could get quick so he can make his bills, rent, etc. Finds a listing for a company looking for a driver/delivery person ASAP, he has a car so he figures it would be a good quick fix. Calls and gets the job over the phone and is told he starts the next evening.

Gets a “company” cellphone and does his first pick-up. Turns out it’s an escort agency and he’s picking up and dropping off the talent. Does this for a few nights and starts getting to know the girls. Turns out they’re all suffering from substance addictions. They get the idea in his head that he’s doing all the groundwork, so he might as well post the ads himself and get his own phone and they’ll work for him.

So, we’re about a week into this adventure and he’s gone from line cook to pimp.  Fast forward a couple of days into pimping, and he comes to the conclusion that all these girls spend their money on is drugs so why not cut out the middleman and start paying them in what they want? He doesn’t know where to get it, but his kitchen buddies can hook him up with coke.

Gets a bag of coke and googles how to make crack (yes really). Whips up a batch of kitchen crack and then is concerned that maybe he didn’t make it correctly—so logically he should try it first before giving it to his ladies. 36-hour binge later, he’s hooked and proceeds to sell off everything including the car and phone in the next few days.

I dropped by his place to hang out around day 10 (I had no idea any of this was going on), he meets me at the door explains what he’s been up to for the past few days and says he doesn’t want me there unless I’d like to pay. Last time I saw him he was cracked out yelling at people for change on a downtown street. 14 days and his entire life turned to garbage.

crndwg

35. A Man Has Needs (to Ruin His Own Love Life)

At a bachelor party in Vegas doing a strip club tour. We would always set a time to meet back at the limo before going to the next one. One dude fell in love and went into the VIP room with a dancer. Told him we were leaving after staying an extra 30 minutes. He waved us on, and we left. Next morning, we went back after he didn’t show at the hotel room.

He was being “detained” by dancers for owing them $9,000 in lap dances, but had maxed out all his cards and withdrew all his cash…ON DANCES. That money was supposed to pay for his upcoming honeymoon. Not the groom, but still…

TofurkyBacon

36. The Money Went Right Up His Arm (and Nose)

I was the catcher for a kid in my town who was a nasty pitcher from an early age. At 16 or 17, he could throw 90 mph fastballs, breaking balls, whatever. It was a pain to catch and I had to keep a wet sponge inside my mitt in case I caught one directly in the palm. He was drafted 12th overall by the Marlins and received a $1.8 million signing bonus that he got before he even went to spring training.

Ended up blowing over a million and a half on drugs and partying, developed a coke habit that turned into an oxy habit that turned into heroin. Lost his ability to play, lost his spot on the team and his shot at many millions of dollars. It wasn’t exactly overnight, but the dude wasted a mil and half plus everything he would have gotten had he continued his upward trajectory, and it all happened in about eight months.

okaycitizen

37. The Bitter Taste of Tragedy

We were standing on a downtown corner, watching the 4th of July parade, when we saw the parents of one of the players on a soccer team that I coached talk to someone. They began running like hell through the crowd with panic-stricken faces. Someone came to our door later and told us the Matt, their 10-year-old son, had jumped off a float to get some candy thrown by someone on another float and had tripped.

The float he was on ran over his head, killing him. Our son was on the same float and hadn’t gotten home yet. One of the most depressing moments in my life. The parents were never the same. The people on floats in our town never threw candy again. I think of Matt every Fourth of July.

EdwardWarren

38. Every Son Reaches His Limit

One day, during my junior year in high school (way back in the 1980s), I came downstairs on a Saturday morning and my mom asked me, “Do you know Bob Johnson?” (not his real name). I said to her, “Yeah, I sit next to him in English.” She turned the local newspaper around and there was Bob on the front page in handcuffs.

He had killed his dad and tried to cover it up. Apparently, his dad had been messing with him for years, and Bob finally had enough. He shot his dad in the head with a .22 while he slept. Fortunately, the courts were lenient. They gave him a new identity, moved him out to somewhere in the Midwest, and gave him counseling.

I guess this one day ruined his dad’s life and saved his own. I saw him on Facebook a couple of years ago. He’s using his real name, is married with kids, and working as a driver for one of the big parcel delivery services. I’m so glad his life turned out pretty normal.

HellHathNoFlurry

39. Can He Clean the Spot on His Memory?

I used to work at the front desk of HR for a big hospital. There was a cute elderly gentleman who had been hired for the janitorial staff. I on-boarded him and remembered how sweet, kind, and appreciative he was all the time. One day, a few months into his job, he came to the front desk and looked completely different.

His light spirit was gone and had been replaced by something much, much darker. He had come in to set up counseling appointments and proceeded to tell me why. He was on the job when he received a call that a patient had fallen, and he needed to go to X spot to help clean it up. That was it. Of course, he didn’t realize until he arrived at the scene that the patient had jumped to her death from the top of a five-story building.

He was the first person there, totally unprepared for the gruesome scene.  No one had warned him of what he would find. No one thought that the poor janitor could’ve been spared from seeing that. My heart still goes out to him (this was about eight years ago). I hope he got lots of counseling and was somehow able to move on with his life. He didn’t have to say much for me to understand how deeply traumatized he was. Poor soul.

SecretarialWobbly

40. Some Things Can’t Be Put Back

When I was in EMT school, we were told about a paramedic student (the instructor was a paramedic as well) who observed a stabbing call. They arrive at the bar and see a dude with a knife in his abdomen. Medic student takes lead and pulls the knife out, something you never do, as I’m sure you know. Senior medic loses his freaking mind at this dumbass, asking him what the heck he was thinking.

Student freaks out and, you guessed it, puts the freaking knife back in. The patient died as a result, student lost any chance of having a good job (not even just in EMS) and was charged with the death of the patient (might’ve been manslaughter I don’t remember). His entire life was ruined because he freaked out and made a mistake on a call, not a rookie mistake or a common slip-up, but in about half a minute, he ruined his life.

Sal4Sale

41. So Much for Serve and Protect

A girl in my class got caught with a thermos full of vodka and when the teacher caught her, she got sent to the principal’s office. Well when the principal asked her why she was drinking, the girl told him that she had been sleeping with the school resource officer. Dude was a cop stationed at the school, hooking up with a 10th grader.

He got dragged out of the school by officers that worked alongside him. At the court hearing, they found out he had been with two more girls at the school. His wife and two kids were in the courtroom to support him because he told them he was innocent. That kind of caved when one of the girls had a video of the two of them.

FullMetal785

42. Leave the Love Drama at Home…Oh, Wait…

The first one that pops to mind is one of my coworkers arriving at work sobbing hysterically. It took a while to calm her down to the point where we could understand anything she was saying. I thought she must have been robbed or something, but it turned out she’d just found love letters in her car, from her mother to her husband.

All I could think was that a) if that were me, the last thing I’d do is show up to work and tell everybody, and b) I’d probably drive off a cliff. Or, I don’t know, murder my husband? How do you ever recover from that? I mean, if my husband was just having an affair with a chick or another man, I’d just divorce him…but MY MOTHER???

I could not even. I still think about that. Poor girl. She was such a nice person and did not deserve that. I found out later they were actually having an affair. It wasn’t just that the mom was infatuated and writing to him.

aquay

Sources: 1, 2, 3


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