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Watching A Woman Engulfed In Flames
Watching A Woman Engulfed In Flames

"I was walking home from school one day when I was 13 years old. I saw smoke in the sky around the corner, and I thought - hey someone's house is on fire (I couldn't see what the smoke was from at this point yet because there was a building in the way). Then, when I actually got past the corner, I saw a lot of people from my school gathering around the footpath and there was some obvious commotion.

When I finally got into a spot where I could see from the people, I saw this lady in her front yard on fire. I am talking about her whole body from head to toe engulfed in flames and she was just standing there screaming. Her husband was standing next to her 'trying' to hose her down. By trying I mean the water coming out of his garden hose was about as much as my pee stream. I remember thinking 'what the heck, turn the water up, and make her roll on the grass.'

Eventually, she fell to the ground and just lay there burning. After a while, I ran home because I was so shocked and terrified. The thing that stuck with me the most was that her 5-year-old son was standing next to her watching her this entire time.

For a long time afterward, when I would walk past that house on my way to and from school, there was a black patch of grass where she fell and burned.

I later found out her husband was cheating on her and mistreating her at home, and she bought some gasoline and poured it over herself and struck a match. It made sense why he didn't really try to save her or seem devastated. He just stood there like he was watering a plant, so calm and so little water. She suffered third-degree burns to 90 percent of her body and died.

About a week after the incident, there was a funeral, but that black patch of grass remained for almost two months."

A Cousin Runs Away And Things Turn Tragic
A Cousin Runs Away And Things Turn Tragic

"When I was around 14 years old, I was hanging out with two of my cousins. They got into a fight. I don't really remember what it was about. My younger cousin says to his older brother, 'I freaking hate you. Don't touch me' and runs off. I remember thinking I should probably chase him but I didn't. Well, days go by no one sees him. His mom starts frantically looking for him. Days turn into a month. Rumors start to fly. People see him random places. Mostly, people thought he just ran away. One day, I'm walking home from school and I see a fire truck and police all over near a creek next to my house. I go in to get a closer look. Turns out, after that fight, my little cousin hung himself by his own belt and he had been hanging over the creek by my house for over a month, The birds had pecked out his eyes and random animals had eaten part of his face. It was the most horrifying thing to see and to know he had been there the whole time. If only I had followed him."

A Mother Abandons Her Daughter

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A Mother Abandons Her Daughter

"When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my babysitter and I walked to the grocery store to get ice cream. we walked into the store with a mother, her toddler son, and her daughter who was about the same age as me.

As we were leaving the store, I witnessed a mother abandon her daughter. The memory of the girl running after her mom's car as her mom drove fast to the exit is burned in my memory. I remember asking, 'What is wrong? Why is the mom driving away?' And I looked to my babysitter, who said, 'Don't look.'

I remember there were shoppers loading their cars and just looked on and didn't do anything to help the girl. I think about it every now and then when I see a missing person's report or at the time look at the milk cartons for missing kids... and wished I was old enough to help the girl all those years back. I felt so helpless being a kid and mad at the world for not stopping the mother and always wondered what happened to that blonde girl."

A Police Officer Does The Unthinkable

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A Police Officer Does The Unthinkable

"When I was young, I saw a UPS truck crash. It was on this little road next to a lake. There was a wall on the other side of the road and he hit it. He flew out of the truck and hit the wall. My mom and I and a few other cars were stuck due to the crash, we had no way to turn around. The man had lost a great portion of the left side of his head but was still alive and conscious.

A cop was the first to show up at the scene. The ambulance was not there and was going to take a while since this was out in the middle of nowhere. The driver was screaming and begging the cop to shoot him; to just end it. This went on for a few minutes. The cop was freaking out and crying and the driver was screaming. My mom was trying to cover my face and ears but I heard and saw enough to still see it. I remember the sound of both of their voices. The echo of the wall and the quiet of the lake made it so much worse.

The cop did it. He shot him. He just fell down on his knees and cried and screamed. It didn't break. It was combined into one unending howl. The whole incident was short but felt like forever. I remember every bit of it. The colors and sounds. I really wish I couldn't."

The Worst Kind Of Accident
The Worst Kind Of Accident

"When I was 7 years old, my best friend was a guy named Casey. We played every day. Some of my best memories were from playing cowboys and Indians with him, exploring parks, and in general, being kids. But he was always more of a daredevil than me. He was the type of kid that would jump off the swingsets, explore the basements, ride his bike down the steepest hill possible. Me, I would just try to keep up, I guess I looked up to him.

So when he found his dad's weapon, I didn't even think twice about it being wrong. He said it was okay and that was that - we'll play cowboys and Indians, you can be the cowboy! Screw it, I should've known then, but at the time I agreed. I just thought it would be fun. He let me hold it, I remember it being heavy and cold. I felt weird having it, so I gave it back. Casey was talking, listing rules, trying to decide if we should play outside or inside. I remember chatting excitedly with him, and suddenly a loud burst and his head jerking back. I remember the sensation of water being sprinkled on my face. I was scared by the sound, and Casey keeled over immediately. Thinking quickly, I snatched the weapon from him, thinking his dad heard and would come. I didn't want him to get in trouble, so I took it. Not even a minute later his dad burst in, looked at me, his son, then to me again, and then he just snapped.

His mom had to pry his dad off of me. I had a broken nose by the time the ordeal was over (my nose is still crooked from it and one nostril is bigger than the other). For years after that, I had to deal with threats and court orders from that family even though I didn't do it. Eventually, we moved away.

The worst part wasn't that I was falsely accused, or that I was beaten by a grown man. It was that I lost my best friend that day. There's not a single night I don't cry myself to sleep about it. It hurts to even write this now. It has been 11 years, but he is always on my mind, every day."

Watching Helplessly As Her Mother Died
Watching Helplessly As Her Mother Died

"My mom was diagnosed with a form of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue when I was in the sixth grade. She was always healthy and never had any vices, so we were caught off guard by the news. She had multiple surgeries and treatments. Eventually, she got a lot better and actually returned to work and everything seemed golden. But then it came back when I was in eighth grade and it was a lot worse. It got to the point where my mom was bedridden and couldn't use her tongue, so she couldn't speak. We ended up giving her a bell to ring if we weren't near her if she needed anything. since she no longer was able to speak clearly.

One day, I came home after school and it was just my mom and me. I was with her for awhile just speaking to her and comforting her because she was in a lot of pain most of the time. I decided to hop on the computer that was downstairs when my mom got tired. I was chatting on AIM when I heard the bell ringing frantically and I knew something was wrong. I ran upstairs to the bedroom and she wasn't in bed, but I saw this trail of blood leading to the bathroom. I ran over and she was propped up against the sink with blood pouring out of her mouth. When I mean this, imagine turning on a faucet full blast, that kind of force.

I panicked and fumbled for the phone to dial 911. When I was on the phone with the operator she collapsed from the lack of blood pressure in front of me and died. I remember coming home from the hospital at almost midnight with my brother and father cleaning the bathroom with a mop and bucket, mopping up all the blood. I couldn't walk into the bathroom after that for a long time.

To this day, I don't know physiologically what happened that made my mother hemorrhage all her blood, but I always hope that she didn't feel any pain and felt comfort in the fact that I was there with her and that she didn't have to die alone."

Losing His Best Friend
Losing His Best Friend

"I'm going to have to say that the sight of my best friend hanging from the ceiling of the garage, dead. His body was so limp and lifeless, I thought he pulled a prank on me. I absolutely did not believe he hanged himself. I kept thinking, 'Where did he find such a life-size doll and how did he make it look so much like him?' As I inched closer, it hit me so hard that the object hanging from the ceiling was indeed my best friend, dead. At that moment, all I could think of was, 'I guess he won't have to worry about his student loans anymore.' I couldn't' speak for a whole day, and didn't feel much for months. I descended into depression in the following a few years without knowing it."

Watching His Father Wither Away

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Watching His Father Wither Away

"My dad died of cancer.

It wasn't how I thought it would be. On TV, you always see cancer patients as people who are bald, maybe a little tired looking, but overall normal. It wasn't like that.

My dad was about six-feet tall and built like a bear. He was over 300 pounds of mostly muscle since he worked construction, but there was definitely some excess weight in there. He was also very smart, witty, and proud, and didn't like help from anyone.

Then he got cancer, and everything changed. He lost control of his bowels and had to have help going to the bathroom. Sometimes he didn't make it. Imagine accidentally stepping in your father's feces. He also lost a lot of his muscles and weight. He ended up weighing less than me, somewhere around 130 pounds. He was like a skeleton. He fell a lot, and sometimes he'd crawl between rooms until he found some way to pick himself up. Sometimes, I'd have to pick my dad up off the floor and put him to bed. Towards the end, his skin was paper thin. If I gave my dad a hug, his flesh would tear off in sheets.

The things it did mentally may be worst. Most days he was still of sound mind and was completely disgusted with what he had become. Some days he'd hallucinate, and my mom and I would have to figure out what had actually happened between claims of being on a ship or soldiers being in the house. Some days, he'd lose it and become childish. I'd have to talk to my dad like he was five and explain things down to him. My mom had a really hard time with that. He'd get irrational, she'd get upset because she couldn't get through to him, and I'd have to figure out how to calm down my dad the way a parent might with a toddler throwing a tantrum. That was the worst feeling - when I felt like I had to raise my dad.

All of that went on for a year. A solid year of wondering if your parent would die, of not being able to go out with friends without wondering if you'd get a phone call saying he was gone. My home was a nightmare. I couldn't talk about it with my friends. I had been planning on moving out of my parent's house and living with some friends. I was in college, and thinking about starting my life. After he got sick, I couldn't leave it all for my mom to handle. I had to stay because I knew she'd lose her mind without me around, and I had no idea how long we'd all have to live like this. I was trapped, I knew he was trapped. It was terrible.

We cried because he was gone and because we missed him, but everyone who saw him that way knew it was overall a good thing."

Three Terrible Stories Of Trauma
Three Terrible Stories Of Trauma

"Three stories:

1) When I was younger (5 or 6 years old), my mom and I used to visit my grandmother at the local hospital, where she was a nurse.

One trip, we happened upon a man being rushed through the doors into the ER. He had tried to commit suicide. He put a weapon under his chin, but only blew off his chin and the skin to his forehead. As they were wheeling him through, he looked right at me.

2) I used to walk home from school (I was in the third grade). Walking home, there was a house fire being extinguished. They ended up dragging out the bodies of a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old. I ended up seeing the charred corpse of the younger child as they zipped him up. To this day I can identify the smell of a house fire and it brings this back.

3) We were driving past an accident where a semi had rear-ended/crawled up on a Volkswagen Beetle. I was able to see the emergency workers trying to extract the female driver - screaming about her kids in the back seat."

Coming Upon An Accident, A Kid Does A Small But Great Deed
Coming Upon An Accident, A Kid Does A Small But Great Deed

"When I was 8 years old, my mother had come to pick me up early from school to take me to the doctor. We were heading down a rural back road that had a notoriously dangerous sharp curve, and as we approached the curve we saw a Jeep Grand Wagoneer badly damaged, having (probably) just wrecked moments before we came on the scene. My mother asked me to stay in the car while she went and checked it out; of course being a curious kid I got out anyway, to go look.

What I saw I'll never forget; there were two people in the car, a small boy in the back seat area around my age and the driver, a male. We found out later the driver was the boy's father. The father was dead and the boy was laying in the back-seat area whimpering and quietly sobbing. My mother was frozen in shock, but when the boy started saying he was 'cold,' she snapped back into reality and told me to go get my blanket from the car (I carried a security blanket with me everywhere till then).

I brought the blanket and my favorite action figure to my mother; a Michelangelo TMNT figure I absolutely loved, to let the boy 'play' with while we got help (of course, I learned later in life that him complaining of being cold was likely from shock). He laid there clutching the toy and telling us his name while my mother tried to talk to him and watch the road for oncoming traffic to signal for help.

I'm not sure how long it took until someone came along and went for help but we sat there for what seemed like an eternity talking to this little boy. EMT's showed and took the boy to the hospital and one of the EMTs asked me if he could keep the toy and he'd try to get it back to me. I told him yes he could keep it.

I never did see the toy again and I assumed that the kid kept it; I was ok with it because it upset me that the boy was smiling with it in his had; I wanted him to keep it. My mom told me years later when I was older the kid died later that day of internal injuries."

A Motorcycle Accident Scares A Man

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A Motorcycle Accident Scares A Man

"I was camping and hiking in the woods just north of McCall, Idaho. I had been hearing this guy bombing around the hills on a dirt bike, we had crossed paths a couple of times. While we were starting to go down this big hill, he comes from behind us and we step to the side, but this time he is riding double with this pretty young woman, with no helmet on either of them. At the bottom of the hill, the guy loses control and dumps it bad. We go running down to see if someone needs help, the girl is sitting next to the guy screaming and crying. When we get around the corner, we see he is bleeding everywhere and she is holding his grey matter and brain, trying to put it back in. We knew he was probably gone on impact. They called in emergency services but they knew that there was nothing they could do. The girl riding on the back was flown out on life-flight for a broken ankle and a dislocated shoulder. This has freaked me out ever since. I never ride my ATV or Bike without a helmet. This guy had seemed like he knew what he was doing as I had seen him tearing it up all day, but all it takes is one mistake."

A Man Witnesses A Terrible Crash
A Man Witnesses A Terrible Crash

"About six years ago while walking home from work, I heard a loud screeching and a large bang, that could only have come from a car crash. I ran to where it came from and saw that an SUV had t-boned a small hatchback. The crash was big, but not huge, but the hatchback was quite old and pretty busted up.

Being a first-responder, I ran over to see if I could help anyone, expecting nothing more than whip-lash, sprained limbs and shock.

Nope!

Every single freaking person in the hatchback was dead! Every last one of them! Apparently, none of them were wearing seatbelts and as a result, a crash that should have been a trip to the hospital ended up killing two men, one woman, and a 6-year-old girl! I just stood there, staring at these corpses sprawled across each other, contorted and mangled, for what felt like years.

That 6-year-old! I mean, wow! She looked so shocked as she lay there motionless. Why wouldn't you belt up your kid, man? She didn't need to go like that!"

A Nurse Cries For A Comatosed Man

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A Nurse Cries For A Comatosed Man

"I was working in a nursing home last December and one of my patients was only 27 years old. His mental and physical state was at almost the lowest level possible. He was completely paralyzed and it was very difficult to tell if he understood you. He appeared to be only responsive to pain stimuli. He was fed through a feeding tube and was completely dependent. About a year before, he was working at a factory and an automatic door closed down on top of his skull and cut off the oxygen from his brain for 10 minutes. That is how he ended up here in the first place. All around the room, you saw pictures of his beautiful wife and his young son.

Even though it is not clear if he regularly understands anything but physical discomfort, it is known that he does understand one thing. His son was 2 years old the only time he was brought to the nursing home to see his dad, and when his dad saw him he (the dad) cried. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen. I can only imagine what he thought about - how much he loved him, missed him, and how much he had planned for him. How he can no longer hug, kiss, or hold him. How he can't even tell him he loves him, even though he's right there in the same room with him. How he can do nothing to provide for him or keep him safe. How he would never even throw a baseball with his boy."

Watching His Grandfather Bleed To Death
Watching His Grandfather Bleed To Death

"When I was about 8 years old I saw my grandpa trip over and crack his head open on the pavement in our backyard. I just remember seeing all the blood pouring out of his ear and screaming as I watched my parents try and help while they called the ambulance. I was meant to be holding his hand but I decided to race to the door instead and literally just as I turned around to see where he was I got to see him fall.

He died a few hours later in hospital."

Watching His Father With Cancer Is Too Much
Watching His Father With Cancer Is Too Much

"When my dad was dying of cancer, he was so weak that we had to get a private ambulance service to take him home from the hospital so he could die there. It was a long drive, and I left before the ambulance did so I could get his room ready. I got him all situated, and I asked him if he needed anything else. He said, 'It doesn't matter Bobby, I'm only here to die' and he started crying. He looked at me and told me he should have listened to his dad about not smoking (he too died from lung/throat cancer) but he didn't. His father died and now he is going to die. 'I am sorry, son, I did this to you.' I started crying as well. I told him it was ok and that I loved him, I held him for a while and saw the fear in his eyes. I stayed next to him until he fell asleep and to this day I still see that face he made when he said he was sorry to me. It will forever be in my mind. To me, my strong father turning into a weak and dying man is the most traumatic thing I have seen. I even work with kids in DCFS and I have seen some horrible things but still, when I think of traumatic, I am selfish and think of my father. I can't help it."

Another Motorcyclists Without A Helmet
Another Motorcyclists Without A Helmet

"My buddy and I were driving down State Street in Salt Lake City around 2 a.m. one night. There are countless bars close to downtown, and as we were passing one, we saw this little blonde girl hop on a motorcycle (with no helmet), cruise out of the parking lot, and start hauling down the street. We were about 20 feet behind her when she was going under an overpass (I-80) and she must not have seen the red light right after the bridge but she T-boned a silver Jeep that was coming off the freeway. The girl on the motorcycle must have been going about 45 mph. She was sent flying over the Jeep and into oncoming traffic on the other side of the road. With me being right behind her, I slammed on my brakes and hopped out of my car to see if I could help. I had dispatch on the line while I was running up to her. Her leg was contorted behind her head with her head bleeding horribly. She died at the scene... I sold my Harley the next day."

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