"When I was a kid, I had asthma pretty bad. So, I'd be up all night coughing constantly. My mom and I lived with her parents. We shared a room, so I slept in her bed often when I was a toddler.
My mom would come home from work and lay down for bed, but I'd keep her awake with my coughing. Sometimes at night, I'd be coughing and she would hug me so tight that I couldn't breathe. It would distress me that I couldn't breathe. I knew my mom loved me so much, and I didn't want to tell her she was literally squeezing me to death because I was afraid of hurting her feelings. I would just tell her that I loved her so much, and she would cry pretty hard after that.
It took me years after having my own kid and treating him gently to figure out that it's actually pretty difficult to squeeze a kid so hard that they couldn't breathe.
My mom is bipolar and has had other incidents of hurting people and abandoning those in her care that need medication and can't take care of themselves.
I finally put it together and figured out my mom would be so agitated with my asthma that she would try to stop me from coughing by squeezing me almost to death. And then she would cry out of guilt when I told her I loved her."
"I had a baby with reproductive goo donated from a man who advertised on Craigslist. If my very religious family found out it wasn't an 'accident' I would be completely shunned and disowned.
I am a female who is ugly. No, that's not the secret. But I am ugly because I was born with a facial deformity. I've never had a long-term partner and only messed around a few times in my life. My biological clock was ticking loudly and I desperately wanted a child - there wasn't going to be enough time to meet someone and my odds were none existent as a middle-aged, ugly female. I own my home and have a career, but I didn't want to lose all my savings to pay to have it done through a clinic and reproductive goo donation. It would have been at least $15,000 per attempt. My chances of adopting were also almost non-existent as any women looking to adopt her baby out isn't going to pick the ugly, middle-aged lady to adopt their baby, plus it's crazy freaking expensive. I wanted the money I had in savings to go towards raising the child.
So I turned to Craigslist and got it for free.
My child is a preschooler now and I've never been happier or more fulfilled! I pinch myself every day because my child is in my life and I feel so freaking lucky. Every day is a dream come true and I savor each and every moment. I try to be the best mom I can be in every way. Parenting really makes you take a long, hard look at yourself and how you show up in the world. I parent from my heart. I regularly send pictures and updates to the generous and selfless man who trusted me on a handshake."
"I was violated by my parents' neighbors. A father and his teenage son. I was 8 years old. They used to put me in this walk-in closet and have 'Show Time.' I never realized what was happening until several years after we had moved from my grandmother's house in Phoenix to Houston.
Fast forward 20 years, and I have a 4-year-old daughter of my own. We decided to visit grandma in Phoenix. We get there and a few days pass and one day my daughter is outside with her older cousins playing. I step outside to check on her, and I'm greeted with that same freaking neighbor's son, who's holding my daughter and giving her raspberries while his dad is playing with the others cousins.
Something clicked. I walked outside, grabbed my daughter, and corralled the kids and made my presence known. That tipping point sent me into an emotional spiral of brooding thoughts. I'm white collar, I make my money off of thinking.
Several months after our visit with Grandma, my wife thought I had another work training when, in fact, I came back to Phoenix.
I burned their home to the ground. Everything was lost except for the master bedroom and walk-in closet. They both survived, unfortunately.
I swear to God, I've hoped I've done enough good in my life to earn at least one wish. That would be to meet those low life maggot creepers in the underworld and be their eternal tormentor. I look at my daughter every day and know she gave me the strength I needed as an adult I didn't have as a child."
"When I was around 7 or 8 years old, my mother dated a guy who would beat her just about every chance he would get. It wasn't anything for her to come grab my sister and me in the middle of the night, and we'd run away for a few days.
Finally, one day, I had enough of it. It started like it always does and he started laying into her. When he did, I jumped on his back and started hitting him as hard as a young kid could hit a grown man. He threw me off him and onto the kitchen table. I tried him again and this time he threw me into the refrigerator, held me by my throat, and I took my mothers beating for her. All I remembered was seeing his fist, then waking up and seeing it again.
Something happened and I when I started to come to I was in the front seat of her car with my sister in the back and we were driving fast. I'm guessing running from him? She lost control of the car and we flipped into the ditch. I dragged myself out. For some reason, my shoulder and arm hurt so bad I could hardly move it. But I managed to pull my sister out and then proceeded to collapse.
I woke up in the hospital. Nobody was there. Nobody visited. I was alone. After about a month, I was moved to a place called Helping Hands where I was reunited with my sister. We stayed there for roughly two months until one day my mother showed up. She was in prison. She took us home after a few weeks of supervised visits.
When I got home, I immediately moved out to my dad's house three states away. I was forced to grow up fast, never had a childhood.
When I moved in with my dad, I remember him crying to my aunts because of me. I hoarded everything I found, wouldn't wear shoes, didn't take being scolded well, slept in my closet, and never really slept until I passed out from lack of it. He stuck with me though and got me on a 'normal' path, and for that I'm grateful.
But I still have problems to this day. Health and mental. A 33-year-old man shouldn't have to sound out words when he reads. I've only told my wife about this, and obviously my dad. I've worked hard and now have a good career with the capital city of my state.
I have two daughters of my own, and I pray they will never see half what I've seen, and that is my main drive in life. I haven't spoken to my mother in quite a while. Looking back, I'm sure I could have gotten her into heaps of trouble. But, it is what it is."
"My whole professional life is built on a lie, and it's about ready to come down.
When I was 22 years old, I was in a bad way -- halfway through my bachelor's degree, but with a budding addition and slew of medical issues.
Summer of that year, I was in a bad car accident. In addition to broken bones throughout my body, my head went through the window and my face received severe lacerations that required hundreds of stitches to close and left me looking very rough. As tough as that was to deal with, I also now know that I sustained a traumatic brain injury that left me very confused, angry and overwhelmed by life in general.
I wanted to keep up appearances, so after taking three months off to recover, I tried to go back to school. Within the first week, I knew I couldn't handle it. Too many questions about what happened, too much anxiety, and I had lost pretty much all my coping skills. When I got overwhelmed (which happened often), I would feel sick and scared and literally forget where I was and what I was doing. It was frightening and embarrassing, especially for someone like me who had always had high expectations placed on my shoulders by those around me.
I had lost pretty much all my friends at this point, and in my mental state, I thought that those who remained would abandon me if they knew how much I was struggling.
So, I told everyone that it was going great. Every day I would I leave the house for six hours and drive. Sometimes I would stop in a parking lot, sometimes I would just keep driving all day. I would find cheap used textbooks at college bookstores so that I could bring them home and 'study.' I created elaborate lies about my classes and my professors in order to have stories to tell when people asked how it was going.
I kept telling myself that I was just doing this until my brain worked again, and that next quarter I would go back for real when I could actually handle it. Problem is, things just kept getting worse, and as time went on I became less able to get back on track.
This went on for a few years until I was supposed to be graduating. So, I lied about that too. I forged transcripts and came up with stories of why I didn't want to work in the field of my degree and hoped to move past it. I got a labor job and slowly found things working themselves out as my brain chemistry improved and steady work kept me from completely destroying myself.
Eventually, I had to move. For the first time in over a decade, I was finally free of my addiction and starting to feel part of the world again, but I was still carrying the lie of my college degree. I volunteered in some places related to that field and they really liked me.
They liked me so much, in fact, that they hired me on an emergency basis (no transcripts required) and I've worked there ever since. Now, three years into my sobriety and seemingly a lifetime removed from the pain of those years, they want to promote me to a career-level job that I would absolutely love.
I'm so good at what I do and it brings me so much joy, but this promotion would come with scrutiny and background checks that I know I can't stand up to.
When I was so depressed, I honestly didn't think I'd even live this long, so while I knew that my lies could create this situation, I never prepared for it. Worse than losing this job would be having everyone around me find out what happened, so I am at a point now where I have to quit what I love because they like me too much.
I plan to go back to school for real and I think I'll do well, but the shame and regret of this situation is something I don't think I'll ever shake."
"I've been in a strictly intimate relationship with a first cousin for the last five years. We only ever saw each other once or twice a year growing up before she moved to the other side of the country, and then never really saw or interacted with each other again until five years ago when she moved back.
What started as us meeting up once in a while has become a regular thing in the last few months. It's escalated to the point where we're now sending dirty pictures to each other. I'm scared to death of what might happen if anyone in our family finds out but I don't want to stop what's happening either.
It all started out very slow before it escalated into full-on fooling around. I was informed by another cousin of ours and asked to help her move since I was free at the time. We started hanging out throughout that summer and then one afternoon we had brunch and then went back to chill at her apartment. It was a super hot day so we thought let's just go indoors and relax and watch some TV or a movie. I can't remember what we were watching but we were chatting the whole time too, just talking about our relatives and what we were looking to do with our lives and careers.
After a while, she kind of just leaned on me and got comfortable and I threw my arm around her (almost instinctively) and were just hanging out like that for a bit. Eventually, she gave me a lingering look that was kind of asking, 'what's happening here?' and we both went in for a kiss. We were both shocked that it happened but we got over it fast and started making out and running our hands all over each other until my hand was up against her skirt and then I realized what we were doing and stopped it from going any further. We both came to our senses and stopped before anything went any further.
We decided to forget it happened and move past it but every time we met up after that we'd make out and push our boundaries until we eventually ended up fooling around. Afterwards, we were meeting up regularly until we both got really busy with work and only met up on occasion. We stopped when each of us had a significant other but would start hooking up again every so often when we are single."
"About a year ago, when I was 16, I was talking to this 14-year-old girl online who lives in the same city as me. Things got heated and we began talking about meeting up to fool around. She sent me basically a whole album of very explicit pictures of herself. These were pretty extreme pictures. Things like her choking herself with the belt of a bathrobe, pleasuring herself with various household items, a lot of stuff that is pretty jacked up for our age. I never sent any photos back but I did tell her the explicit things I wanted us to do. I'm not proud of it. It never leads to anything and one day she blocks me which I don't really understand but I move on
Fast forward a few months, and this detective knocks on my door. He basically tells my mom about the things we were doing and that it's not okay for someone our age to do that. He was there because apparently, I wasn't the only guy she had sent these images to. There were three others, and I was actually the youngest. The rest of the guys lived overseas and were at least 25 years of age, all of which are now doing prison time. They took my phone and said if they found any evidence of me 'pressuring' girls my age for photos, I would also be tried as an adult.
It took them about two weeks to get back to me and that entire period of my life was the scariest of my life. I was also taking college prep exams at the time but I could barely focus on them because of what had happened. I didn't see the point in trying hard if I was about to be sent to prison anyway. My grades suffered a lot because of it. Thankfully, the detective eventually got back to me and let me off with a warning as these were the only pictures I had, and I did not pressure her to send them.
My life hasn't been the same since then. I go into an anxious state whenever I hear sirens and I live in constant fear that I'll someday run into the girl who sent me these photos. I narrowly escaped something that would have ruined my life forever and I don't know what to think. But I'm not the same person anymore. My mother probably hasn't forgotten about it. She might think of me as a disgusting pervert. We don't talk about it. My brother knows as well, he also doesn't mention it. My sister and my dad have no idea it even happened."
"I was horribly shy when I was a kid. I did not make many friends, and so when I met my then best friend it was great. I was probably 11 years old when it happened and was really sheltered. We did everything together, and he was a really good friend but he started changing. He started acting more effeminate, and looking back, he was learning/growing into his who he was attracted to.
We were best friends and there was a trust between the two of us. He started wanting to run around naked and look at me naked, and I was a late bloomer so I had no idea that this was intimately based. I thought it was just guy stuff.
He never did anything to me other than grab my junk and try to touch me while I was flaccid, I was a kid and not gay so I didn't know what was going on. He then started getting really mean and made fun of the size of my man parts all the time and became really toxic to be around. I just wanted my friend back.
I quit hanging out with him and made other friends and blocked out what happened to me but every now and then I remember, and I almost feel like I was violated. I think it did a number on my confidence growing up. The only person I have slept with is my wife because I was always so worried about the size of my junk. I realize now that it was stupid to be so worried about it because if the person you are with is so concerned about something like that then they just aren't meant for you and it is time to move on. I just wish it never happened to me."
"I moved to California when I was fresh out of high school. I was living with my uncle, and I was super bored because I didn't know anyone besides him and some distant family members. I joined a dating website just to meet some guys and go out. I met a guy who seemed nice. He was 27 years old, in the army, and really cute. I texted him for a few days and he wanted to hang out. One day, I told my uncle I was going to the park and we met up there. I didn't want my uncle to see him.
So we meet up in the park and talked for a while. I vented my frustrations of having difficulty finding a job and he said something that ran like a cold wire down my spine. 'If you're with me you, don't have to worry about working, you're gonna be home with our kids. I want two, by the way'
I turned cold and got a controlling abusive vibe from him. He seemed really nice through text. I tried to keep calm for another five minutes then I told him it was time for me to go home. I told him I'm living with a family member and I don't want them to see me with a guy, and he said okay. He walked away and after he got into his car I went back home.
I avoided hit after that day. He started messaging me on the dating site. I deleted the profile. A private number called me a week later, and it was him. He angrily said that if I didn't send him a picture of my chest he was gonna come to my house and beat me. I called his bluff then he said, 'You know I saw you walking into your apartment complex right?' I begged him to stop and asked him why he was doing this to me.
He said because I led him on. He was emotionally unstable. He made it seem like we were dating for years. I asked him to just leave me alone and he said that he wouldn't until I sent the picture. He said, 'Make sure your face is showing so I know you're not lying to me.' I snapped a pic and sent it to him. He told me to send him a full nude body picture next or he was going to post the photo of me on the internet. I was truly mortified. I was gonna send the photo but I said, 'Screw it and do whatever you need, you come here and I will call the police and have you arrested for harassment and possessing child smut because I was really 16 (I was really 18 I just wanted to scare him).'
After I said that he hung up on me.
Things got a little better and I wasn't as paranoid that a nude photo of me was somewhere on the net. Two weeks pass and I haven't heard from the guy until the night I received a text saying, 'How's the movie, you nasty girl?'
My heart dropped because I just started watching a movie. I was really scared and creeped out and seriously considered calling the cops. But I didn't.
A week later, I told my mom and dad that California wasn't working out and asked them if they could send me a ticket to come back home. My uncle thought he did something but I told him it was me and I just wasn't happy out here. Once I came home to New York I never heard from the guy again."
"I stole a bunch of money from my in-laws. In my mind, I feel justified and have tenuous plans to make it right one day. However, if it was found out, my wife would probably kill me and I'd never been able to face my in-laws again.
My father-in-law had made our life and his family's life a living nightmare for many years. He was a man with a drinking problem who would get wasted every day, verbally harass his family, and occasionally beat his wife. My wife lived with him while we were dating and I was glad to have removed her from that situation once we got married and moved into our own place.
However, I soon learned that this would not let us be rid of him. Though we moved to a new house, we were still in the same city as my in-laws. One night, we were surprised by a knock at the door at 1 a.m. to find my father-in-law, stinking wasted, wanting to come in. He had been kicked out of his own house and my wife let him in, out of sympathy, and we had to endure his crazy ramblings for the next few hours until he finally fell asleep.
These late night visits would become a regular occurrence for the next four years. Even after my wife and I had a baby, he would come over late at night and insist on receiving food and an audience for his stupid ramblings, leading to many sleepless nights. Occasionally, I'd refuse him entry, only to face threats from him and consternation from my wife for being so unsympathetic. After all, in her mind, he was suffering from a disease and I should regard him as a victim of illness.
The only respite we would have is when he would go to jail. Sometimes for domestic abuse and sometimes for other charges related to his drinking. I remember being generally ticked off at the time. Much of it aimed at my in-laws, who just decided to lock him out every night, knowing he would eventually wander to my house and become our problem.
I also remember being resentful of my mother-in-law for not calling the police on him more often. The only times the police were called were when circumstances were extreme and one of the kids would call. However, I was most pissed at the judicial system, who continually let this obvious menace out of jail to repeat what he had been doing for years.
This is where the money comes in.
My in-laws don't own cars and don't drive. I would always be the one who'd have to take him to court dates, to lawyers' offices, post bond, and get him from jail. Sometimes, I'd have to take off entire days from work to take care of his legal problems.
One day, we learned that he had almost beat another person to death, and was charged with attempted murder. Bond was set at $10,000. The family spent several weeks getting the funds together from their money, but also from extended family. They were so used to posting bond and losing it that it'd become routine.
Long story short, my father-in-law was convicted and sentenced to several decades, given his long criminal history. I remember breathing a sigh of relief that we wouldn't have to deal with him for the foreseeable future. However, due to some court technicality, the bond was returned.
Since I posted the bond, the check was in my name for $10,000 and interest. The in-laws, who were used to losing their bond payments and quite legally/financially illiterate, would have no idea. So, I decided to pay myself.
I don't feel right about it, and if I can get that much money at one time again, I want to make it right. However, that day is not today."
"I want my sister to die.
Physically, I couldn't kill her; I'm not homicidal. But I wouldn't be upset if she were wiped off the earth under any circumstance. She was horrible to me as a kid, but then she changed when we got older, and we became very close.
I noticed that she always had some kind of 'victim around.' A couple years ago, I found out her daughter had been repeatedly violated by her step-dad, my sister's husband. My sister knew about the abuse and did nothing until my niece found help on her own.
It has destroyed my family. We all hate my sister to some degree but no one as much as me. And I have to pretend to be nice because she has two little girls with her husband, and I need to stay close to them. I have my niece living with me and she needs to have a life with her sisters (she and her mom are no contact).
So I suck it up and deal. But I constantly wish my sister would die and leave us in peace. Cops, court, CPS are all involved, so I'm not worried about her other daughters being assaulted - until my sister picks up some other scumbag butthole after the trial is over and the scumbag is locked away. I want to get my two other nieces away from her. My sister is cruel and abusive and I think she's chosen her middle child as the next 'victim' to bully and gaslight and make the focus of all her problems.
There's intense therapy for all my nieces and even my sister, but she's faking it and everyone can tell. Unfortunately, she's learned enough tricks to keep the rest of her kids.
But I want her dead. Her husband too, but at least he'll be in jail. I feel bad for the little girls, they still love both their parents. They know what happened to a certain degree and it's conflicting for their little minds. I'd rather have them grow up mourning their parents than grow up and figure out how monstrous these people are.
I can't tell anyone how I really feel because the anger and violence and rage I feel are frightening and I can't keep it in check once I start talking. But I wish for her death every day. I'd prefer something painful and violent like a car accident or something awful like cancer, but I'd take anything. She has served her purpose in life. I'm terrified of what her toxicity will do to her other daughters and how her poison has spread through the family.
As much as I would like for my sister to suffer from physical pain, it won't affect her mental state. She is cruel and cold to the bone. Her daughters are beautiful, intelligent, funny, creative, and brave. But they are also becoming reckless. They have started stealing from stores. They lie without compunction and fight each other with a cruelty they learned from their mom. Therapy will help mitigate some their mom's influence but she undermines their therapy all the time.
So there's nothing I can do. I stay in touch with her kids, I pretend to be friendly enough so my sister can use me for 'breaks' where I'm pretty sure she goes on dates with her ex-husband - he's out on bond and even gets supervised visits with his kids. I offer all the love and understanding to her kids. I'm super careful to not say in front of them that would piss their mom off. But I have to sit back and watch as she slowly destroys her two remaining girls with 1,000 cuts. It hurts so bad. Her girls have beds at my house. I'm ready at a moment's notice for them to come live with me. I just want their mom to die and I'm powerless."
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