They make us cringe. They make us cry. Sometimes they make us wish we had never been born! They are moments in our lives when everything changed; nightmare scenarios seared into our memories that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. These Redditors share some of their darkest (and sometimes funniest) moments that they will never forget. Read on and you may feel better about your own experiences.
1. Mistress Malaise
The day I’ll never forget is when I had to call the authorities on my dad’s mistress—and the reason why was utterly jaw-dropping. See, she tried to kill him because he decided to stay with another mistress. She was the one he left my mom and my five siblings for. Talk about a hot mess!
2. Taking A Knee
This kid kneed me in the nuts as hard as he could in high school and as an adult, I’ve had constant pain for over a decade from various inguinal hernias.
3. Long In The Tooth
The only dentist that accepted my family’s insurance at the time was rated 2.3/5 stars. My dentist screwed up the anesthetic four times. During the procedure, she scraped my gums with the needle, slipped on one of them, and jabbed my cheek. The kicker? She didn’t even numb the right spot. She starts drilling and her tool that sprays water is broken. So about a third of the water goes into my mouth, the rest sprays me.
She slipped at one point and skated the drill across another tooth and caught my cheek. She let out an audible grunt and went back to work. The dental assistant proceeded to ask the dentist a question about her personal life. They then had a 15-20 minute conversation while she just held the spinning drill, hovering over my tongue. After she was done she said “I hope you enjoyed our service, please give us a good review!”
So then I go to a new dentist, and I found out the reason why my tooth was still in pain days later. It turns out she didn’t fill the tooth properly and left a huge gap between the filling and the wall of my tooth.
4. Scout’s Honor
I was on a Boy Scout campout when I was 13, and we slept under the stars one night. I thought everyone was sleeping in the same area, so I crept away to pee in the middle of the night. It was pretty much pitch black. I started going behind a tree and then I look down and make a gruesome discovery. I’m accidentally urinating on a friend of mine—mostly his sleeping bag, but a little on his head. I stopped and prayed he wouldn't wake up.
The next morning he complained and the other guys all came to the conclusion a raccoon had peed on him. I've never told him. True story.
5. A Bad Deal
Agreeing to a deal with my parents. It led to me going to their choice of my college instead of mine, and it led to me having a ton of debt, and it also led to me working dead-end jobs instead of becoming a teacher.
6. Forbidden Fruit
My biggest regret is breaking my ankle when I was eight. I was trying to climb my grandma’s rose apple tree and shattered my ankle. I’m in my 20s and have had seven operations on it and ended up damaging my other leg while trying to avoid injury on my bad ankle all because I wanted fruit and grandma told me to wait until morning.
My life would have been much easier and less painful if I listened to my gran and now I just wish she was still here telling me that I need to clean my ears and listen more because whenever I didn’t listen to her I ended in stupid situations.
7. Eye For An Eye
It’s not something I often talk about because I still experience shame. I lost my eyesight in my right eye because I was a teenager who thought I knew better and did not wear a paintball mask. It was such a stupid mistake and it has caused me an endless amount of trauma. However, I am grateful that it taught me in the most difficult way that impairments are not always ones you can see.
At this point in my life, I have lived longer without vision in that eye than I did with. Often it is common for me to be completely unaware that anything is abnormal about myself until I am made to realize that something or someone is trying to grab my attention from the right side and then it becomes a stark reminder of that stupid fateful day. Usually, I shrug it off, but sometimes it still stings.
8. For Better, For Worse
I would say my marriage but it brought me my best friends that helped me after it ended. Also, she got me to volunteer with her to help rehabilitate baby songbirds at the university, which is something I never would have thought of doing on my own. I wouldn’t give that up, even though my life sucks post-divorce.
9. The Second Everything Changed
Crossing a road in Melbourne in 1999. I got hit by a car and got permanent brain damage, and from that moment my life changed course forever. If it hadn't happened, I would have had a much different and much less painful life. I was working part-time as a gardener, studying IT, preparing to apply for university to do a journalism course which I had a good chance of getting into.
I was also doing volunteer work with street people, and paneling and presenting a couple of radio shows on a minor AM radio station. I had just done over a year of physical rehabilitation for a bad back, lots of gym and fitness work, physio and I was about the fittest I've ever been. Then I crossed the road, and everything changed forever.
10. Parental Overreaction
Being beaten by my dad for going to a friend's wedding. I had to go because I was the maid of honor, and I already told my parents. When I got home I was accused of not telling my parents about it, coming home too late (7-8 pm), and not attending my uncle's get-together party. I knew what was gonna happen next, so I ran into my room and locked the door.
There was a loud banging on the door and I immediately tried to bar the door with my body, but then my dad broke in with a crowbar to beat me. I ran away after that for a while.
11. An Ear-full
The time I had ear surgery and the anesthesia messed up with my brain and now I can't function as a person.
12. Living For A Sister
It was a month before my 18th birthday when my sister passed on. I miss her every day. I wasn't ready for college after that, but I tried to go anyway. I failed. Now I'm in my 30s with no career and severe depression. I feel constant guilt that she didn't get to be here but I am, and I also feel shame that I'm wasting it.
But I'm back in college now, at 32, and I'm trying. I'm taking it slow, and the financial issues are a constant stressor as well as dealing with the healthcare system. But still, I'm going to make it. For Christine.
13. A Hard Lesson
I wish my easily-manipulated-teenaged brain wasn't talked into going to some out-of-state private school for my degree. I have since transferred to a state school and commute. It's going to take me a little longer to graduate and I'm saving a lot. However, because of that initial decision, I'm over $75,000 in the hole and still racking it up.
14. Losing My Religion
I try not to pity myself too much, as my life hasn't been so terrible necessarily, but many would say I've had a lot of messed up things happen. Realistically, I wish my mom wouldn't have made us become Jehovah’s Witnesses when I was 5. It is a complete doomsday cult. I left earlier this year, basically burning down my life as I knew it. I'm so tired of the existential misery I feel trying to adjust to life without religion.
I hate that the cost of being free was all my friends and family abandoning me, simply because I didn't want to be one.
15. The Stage Is Set...
I was in an improvisation troupe in high school. For my first live show ever I called my boyfriend and asked him to come to watch. He came with all his friends. In one of the skits, I was told to act like a sexy nurse. I don't know if I got confused, or didn't know any better, but I acted like a baby nurse instead... cooing and gaga-ing. I can't imagine what they were all thinking. I still cringe to this day.
16. Impactful Moment
I was the driver when a teenager crossed the road at night wearing black clothes in the rain. I didn’t even hit the brakes—that’s how fast it happened. I stopped and had to run out into the middle of a busy intersection to make sure he wasn’t hit by any other cars. He lived. The images and sounds I have of that night have almost ruined my life, with my brain and mind replaying those constantly.
I’m finally on the way back to who I once was, but I doubt I’ll ever feel whole again.
17. “Felt Worthless”
I just wish I stood up for myself and kicked our varsity coach—what he said to me was truly disturbing. One week after my aunt and uncle passed on just five days apart, I was late for practice. When I finally arrived, he suggested that my own teammates beat me up for it. I will never understand that moment or why it happened, but I felt like nothing, worthless.
18. A Bad Impression
Having the final impressions of my teeth done after getting my braces off when I was 15. The tech thought it would be fun to put both trays in my mouth and watch me struggle to breathe. My dad just sat there and watched it all go down without batting an eyelash. Had my mom been there, it would have gone very differently. As a result, it screwed up my jaw for 17 years. I haven’t trusted dentists since.
19. A Dog’s Life
It was my first day as a dog groomer. I had to help with "expressing" a dog’s rear glands and got a face full of them. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I then puked in front of everyone.
20. Caring For A Loved One
My dad had a stroke two years ago. That in and of itself is pretty terrible but one of the worst nights of my life happened in the hospital. My mom had started having seizures the week before so she couldn't stay with him overnight so my sister and I were taking turns. Neither of us was sleeping very well anyway because of everything going on.
My dad hadn't yet passed the swallow test so he couldn't eat or drink anything. He was only at 60% mental capacity in terms of knowing what was going on. I was already at my wit’s end, sleep-deprived, and feeling helpless. But that wasn’t the worst part. He was cognizant enough to know that he hadn't had anything to eat or drink but not so much so that he could comprehend that he had a feeding tube in giving him what he needed.
Every 30 minutes, he'd wake up and basically beg me to go to the drink machine and get him a Sprite or just give him a drink of water out of the tap. The most I could do was give him two ice chips every hour. I felt selfish for feeling the way that I did because I was frustrated and upset and annoyed and angry and sad but I knew all of that paled to what he was experiencing. It was a bad night.
21. A Big Mistake
When I was 6, we had just gotten a new pool and decided to have an inaugural pool party. My aunt was not the skinniest lady, weighing in at more than 300 pounds. About an hour into the party, she comes out of the house with her bathing suit on and proceeds to climb up onto the diving board and stand on the end. I saw the way the diving board was bending under her weight and emitted an ear-piercing scream.
Everyone including my aunt turned to look at me. I yelled in a screaming wail: "SHE'S TOO FAT. SHE'S GONNA BREAK THE POOL." My aunt went inside crying while my dad laughed. Family reunions are still awkward.
22. Guilt Trip
One day, I got upset with my grandpa, because he was saying how I should not do this and that because it was not ideal for our religion. I became angry and said, "Well sorry if I do that, it's my life and you don't get to decide what I should do with it, I don't like this stupid stuff we have to do, so I won't do it." Then I stormed off. I didn’t talk to him for two weeks.
Then I felt guilty. I knew he was a highly religious man. I shouldn't have tried to question or demoralize his beliefs by saying what I said. So in the feeling of guilt, I tried to get back and apologize to him. He didn’t carry a phone so I couldn't call him. So I thought I would apologize to him the next day at his house—this is my biggest regret.
It turns out while I was having this mental argument with myself, my grandpa had passed on. I had missed nine calls from my mother and when I finally picked up, I found out. I was heartbroken. To this day, I believe my attitude made him heartbroken, which eventually led to his demise. This was three years ago. I'm sorry grandpa, I shouldn't have been so harsh on you. You were just trying to pass down your beliefs to me. I'm sorry.
23. Dad, P.I.
When I was ten, my dad took me along with him when he followed my mom to see who she was having an affair with. We stopped at an underground parking lot and my dad got into an altercation with the guy. I was just a kid and crying in the car while my older brother sat there in silence. I can't help to think why did my dad would put me through that trauma at such a young age.
To this day, I still don't know why and don't want to know why.
24. A Deadly Impact
The day a car swerved and hit my vehicle head-on. It led to so many issues, but the main one was fetal trauma which ultimately led to the loss of my second child the day after he was born. If it weren’t for that, I'd have my second born and he would have turned one in August.
25. Wasted Years
Grad school. College was an amazing, magical time that I would love to have a chance to experience again. However, grad school was the exact opposite: it's turned me off from two fields that I used to love, and I feel like I've completely wasted three years of my life.
26. Haunting Image
I’ll never forget the sight. The thing that haunts me the most is seeing my cousin’s reconstructed face in the casket after a hit and run. I wish that I could remember him smiling and laughing and not eerie and “off.” He looked like a scary doll and I was only maybe 10, so it stuck with me. Sadly, it’s the only way I can remember him.
27. Bursting Your Balloon
When I was 16 we had a group science project. We were doing something on bacteria, and we grew them in a jar or on plates, and so on. Then came the time for the presentation, which included the whole group, as well as most of the teachers. So as a joke, I proposed to the girl I was doing the presentation with that we dress up as bacteria.
What could make a human being look like bacteria? Oh, I know! Balloons! So I ended up dressing up as balloon man with tape and random-colored balloons stuck together. Somehow she got out of doing it. Then I jumped from behind a moveable board, being like "Surprise!" The reaction was truly brutal. The class just sat there in dead silence.
It was already awkward having to explain the experiment in the contraption I had been wearing but to make things worse I hear a girl in the front row saying something along the lines of "I feel so bad for him."
28. Just Zip It
Back when I was 5 or 6, my siblings and I had sleepsuits. These were fleecy all-in-one pajamas, with a zip-up front. Lovely and snuggly for the cold months, as we didn't have central heating until a few years later. One night, my parents were entertaining some friends so I'd tried to get dressed for bed by myself without calling for my mum.
Getting into the sleepsuit was no problem, but zipping it up required more dexterity than I had. I enthusiastically yanked the zip up, stopping when it zipped straight up and gripped my privates with tiny, zippy teeth. It was more shocking at first, but then I realized how much it hurt. Stumbling downstairs, I walked into the living room where my parents were chatting with their friends, pointed at my, now probably quite red, trapped privates and tearfully asked for help.
29. Tossing Your Lunch
In first grade, I was sitting next to a girl I had a crush on. I had just come back in from lunch, and started to not feel so good. I could only eat some applesauce at lunch. I wanted to run out of the room, but I remembered that I was supposed to raise my hand to be excused. After about a minute of struggling to get the teacher to call on and dismiss me, I ended up just throwing up all over the desk.
I distinctly remember it flowing across the desk toward that girl, her screaming, and my teacher rushing me down the hallway to the bathroom—as I was throwing up in the hallway probably every 10 feet.
30. Crushing Blow
I was not the coolest fifth-grader on the planet. That’s an understatement. My Mormon grandma bought all my clothes, I had coke-bottle glasses and a bowl haircut. I'm a girl. I had a humongous kid-crush on a boy in my class and he was the only person who was ever nice to me. One day, one of the kids who was horribly mean to me came up to me and said this boy liked me and wanted me to be his girlfriend.
I thought he was being cruel and went into awkward defense mode and told this kid that I hated them both, I thought the boy was ugly, and to leave me alone. I can’t believe what happened next. The kid walks over to the boy I liked, whispers in his ear, and he looked like he was going to cry. He never talked to me again. On the bright side, I ran into him when I was 18 at a paintball competition and managed an awkward stuttering apology.
He had let it go much sooner than I had and it probably didn't mean much to him but I needed to apologize. It still makes me flinch to remember it.
31. Nature Calls
When I was around 12, I went on a school trip to a forest. No toilets, obviously, so when nature calls, I leave the group and find a secluded spot behind a tree, a pretty standard procedure. Now, this tree had a small hole in it, just around my waist level, so naturally, I go ahead and aim for that hole. A few seconds later, a small, most displeased, featherless chick appears from inside the hole.
Maybe not most embarrassing, but most cringeworthy, at least in my head...
32. Not All Black And White
My kindergarten teacher decided it was a good time to teach five-year-old kids that people have different color skins. Essentially, I was still innocent, black people were still people, I didn't see colors. But then Martin Luther King Jr. Day came along and she's is teaching us about him, and more important to this story, she was telling us about Rosa Parks and the bus boycott.
Fast forward a week and I'm in a car dealership with my parents and I'm playing in the bus in the kids’ area when this couple came in with their two children who were black. Their kids came in and wanted to play with me on the bus and it was then that I announced very loudly that they need to go to the back of the bus, "Alright, all blacks to the back of the bus!"
My mother was mortified and goes white and just stares at me. My dad thought this was hilarious. He has that type of sense of humor. I had no idea I had done anything wrong, but my mom quickly snatched me up and ushered my dad out of the dealership while apologizing profusely to the other couple. My mother was so angry!
My mom couldn't believe my teacher had been teaching us that at an age where we didn’t understand. She was furious with the teacher and made her quite aware of it. At the time I didn't know I was doing anything wrong, but looking back on it now makes me cringe to this day.
It was Valentine's Day. I was 11 years old and was probably the most unpopular child in my school. A few months before, someone new moved to the school. Her name was Katie. She liked me and she asked me out, but when everyone found out they must have talked her out of committing social hara-kiri, because she pretty much immediately withdrew the offer.
On the night before Valentine’s Day, I was with my mom in a store and there was a special on all the old flowers and chocolates. We were fairly poor and my mom kept asking if there was anyone I wanted to give a Valentine's Day gift to, as I suppose she didn't want to miss a good deal. So I thought, "Yeah, this is a great idea."
So the morning after, I'm walking down the hill to school with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates under my arm. All the other kids are staring at me and starting to follow me. Long story short, she didn't want the flowers and she said that she couldn't take them or the chocolates. My teacher kindly took the flowers, to save them from the trash.
I spent the rest of the day crying in the bathroom and eating the chocolates. Nobody dared enter. At the end of the day, Katie came up to me. Somehow, it got even worse. She said that she wouldn't mind being my "secret girlfriend," as long as no one else found out. Needless to say, I declined: I have some shame, after all.
When I was 13, I went to the community pool wearing my only, very heavily worn, board shorts. I swam around for a while getting in and out of the pool multiple times to jump back in and do normal kid things. The girls kept looking at me and giggling, which confused me. After about two hours one of my friends shows up to the pool and says "Yo, dude your shorts are see-through.”
Sure enough, my trunks had become completely transparent when wet due to all the use they got over the years. I kept swimming even after he told me.
35. Mistaken Identity
It was my freshman year of high school. Everyone gets picked up in this circle drive after school. A white SUV that I could have sworn was my mom’s car pulls up and I head toward and get in. I mean this car was identical to my mom’s car. I get in and am so out of it I throw my backpack in the backseat. That's when I hear "Um, I think you’re in the wrong car."
I turn over to see some mother I have never seen before. So I had to grab my backpack and walk back with my head down to where everyone else in my class is waiting and just laughing at me.
36. No Laughing Matter
I was at the dentist and getting was given laughing gas before being put under. I was at the age where I didn't know what every word meant but liked to say them anyway. Right before I lost consciousness I yelled "I'm constipated!" My mom loves telling this story to any boyfriends she meets.
37. Window Of (Missed) Opportunity
I was in grade 9 and a friend and I had decided to skip class. We were walking around outside being super cool when we saw our classroom with its blinds closed. We decided to go up and peek into the classroom to see what they were doing. We go right up to the window and peer through. Once we do, we can see everyone, including our teacher, staring at us.
We didn't realize that they could see out the window perfectly the whole time, we just couldn't see in. Super embarrassing and we got into trouble for skipping. I can still see everyone's faces looking at us through the window.
38. “Nightmares For Life”
I was in my Jeep with the top down and watched two guys argue on the sidewalk. I didn't want to get involved so I just sat there—I wish I hadn’t. One guy pulled out a homemade knife (shank) and plunged it into the other guy’s eye. The sound was horrific. I wish I had beeped my horn or something and tried to get them to move along. The guy was later caught and convicted but I'll never forget the crunching sound when that knife went into his skull. Nightmares for life.
39. Surgery Complications
Last year, when I went in for surgery to fix a broken leg. It was a routine procedure—until something went horribly wrong. I woke up 18 days later with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). When I woke up I couldn't see, move, or speak. I can sort of walk now. I can't see faces or read well, and I slur my words when I speak but I'm largely functional for caring for myself.