"I was about 8 or 9 years old, and I had a pet guinea pig. I used to take him outside to the front lawn and let him run around on the grass. We lived in a townhouse complex, with lots of kids and so we knew everyone.
Now, there was the one 'tough guy' (read: jerk extraordinaire) who thought he was so cool, picking on kids half his age.
Anyway, jerk and his friends come over and see me with the guinea pig outside. I was friends with his sister, and I was a trusting kid. He asked me if he could hold my little buddy, and I said sure. He holds him, pets him for a few minutes, and puts him back down on the lawn and leaves. I distinctly remember feeling slightly surprised that he wasn't being his normal jerk-self, and made a comment to his sister about it.
Fast-forward about five minutes, and I realize my little furry buddy isn't moving. I pick him up, and am panicked and upset and realize that that piece of trash kid had squeezed my guinea pig so tight that his eyes had popped out of his head and he had killed him. Look down the row, see him and his friends laughing hysterically, then running away.
I lose it, start bawling uncontrollably, and rush to tell my parents what happened. And then I'm not sure which felt worse - that jerk killing my pet, or the fact that my parents didn't care and brushed it off with 'oh well, it happens.' They didn't even talk to the kid's parents. I will never forget that day."
"I planned a party and invited everyone I knew, which was like 75 people. People RSVP'd, and I was excited. My mom and one friend showed up. I'll never erase the image of me, sitting with my dog and 20 party-sized bags of chips waiting for people who were never going to show up.
My friend and mom tried to cheer me up, and we drank a lot of blackberry-flavored adult beverages, but I took it personally.
I haven't had a party since."
"I have a rare endocrine disease that caused serious metabolic problems. This includes losing most of my hair, problems with my skin and nails, and weight gain. Like, it's really my glands. I'm a firm believer in looking beyond the surface and making the best of the hand you're dealt.
Before I met my husband, a friend set me up with 'a great guy - no seriously, you are perfect for each other' type of blind date. I am an optimist at heart, and went, with an open mind.
When we met up at the coffee shop, he took one look at me and said 'lose a 100 pounds and call me.'
Never mind that I have lost 54 pounds over five years, or that I genuinely cannot control it, or that I have a very carefully planned nutritional plan, exercise five to six days a week, and I have better vitals than most.
It was humiliating."
"My (now ex) wife got pregnant, married me, and decided she didn't love me six months after we were married. Things were pretty rough by that point, so I said fine.
I helped move all of her stuff the next day to her grandma's, and we agreed that my son would stay with me during the week and stay with her on the weekends until she got her own place. This was on a Thursday, so she went ahead and kept him for the weekend.
I went to work the next day and was served papers from a deputy saying that I couldn't contact her or be around my son. She had gone in front of a judge and told them I was abusive and had threatened to kill them both.
By the time we went to court, I had a lawyer that made her look like a fool on the stand, to the point that she admitted I had never threatened her, and that I was a good father to our child. The judge threw out the order. When there is a custody issue in our state whoever has the child until custody is decided in the court, keeps the child.
Our trial was set for one week later. She didn't show up on the trial date, so I won full custody of my son. She wasn't allowed any visitation unless I allowed it. The judge even ordered any officer of the law to help in getting possession of my child.
I immediately left and went with two deputies to retrieve my son. When we got there, her aunt told us that she had left at the beginning of the week and went out of state. She said she didn't know where.
I had no clue where he was for six weeks. Finding help was near impossible since no one seemed to understand a father having full custody. To this day, I can barely remember those weeks. Friends and family have told me that I was a nightmare to be around. I think I went temporarily insane.
Luckily, she called one of my ex-girlfriends who gave me the number she called from. I ended up going to New York, from North Carolina, to get my son. With the help of the court order and the state police there, I have had my son since he was 10 months old. He is now 19 years old and has had almost no contact with his mother. I have given her every opportunity to see him.
This was the worst thing any parent could ever go through."
"There was a girl I dated for a few months my final year of high school. She broke up with me and gave me some reason I thought seemed strange. Something like 'It just didn't work out the way I was expecting it to.' I wasn't too broken up about it, but seeing as she was my first girlfriend, I was pretty sad, but these things happen.
After that, I hear from other people that she just went wild - going to parties, hooking up with random dudes. It made me feel a little sorry for her and also a little jealous, but nothing major.
About a month after we broke up, she texts me and asks if I want to go get dinner. I agree and she tells me how much she misses me. We keep going to dinner and hanging out, and I start thinking that she is done with the party lifestyle and wants to get back together.
She ends up stringing me along for the rest of the year - going to dinner with me, ignoring me for weeks, texting me again, and hanging out. Whenever I would bring up her flakiness or why she would ignore me, she'd just brush it off. I still held on to the hope of her though.
At the end of the semester, I come to find out she's been getting it on with random dudes the entire time she was doing this to me. When I confronted her about it, she casually said 'well, you would always pay for my meals, so whenever I was low on cash I would call you up and put up with you to get some nice food.'
That was the point when I could not believe how cruel she was; how casually she said it. I had been burning the torch for her, hoping against hope she would come back, turning down other dates because I thought I could make this work. It's my fault too. I should have just moved on, but she gave me just enough time to start thinking about moving on before calling me again. That was when I think I really saw cruelty. It's not just being mean it's how casual the person is about it."
"When I was in high school I was always picked on and bullied because everyone thought I was gay. This one group of guys a year ahead of me were always the worst; they'd push me into lockers and call me awful names.
One day I had locked my backpack to the outside of my PE locker due to lack of space. After PE, I come in to change back into my regular clothes. My backpack and the entire contents of my locker were covered in still warm piss. I was beyond upset and looked over to see the guys who bullied me laughing hysterically. I went and told the coach what happened and who I thought had done it. The locker room was kept locked all period, so the only ones who had access were the bullies who asked to be let in to use the bathroom. The coach just told me that 'there was no evidence or proof of who did it and no way to get any.'
I had to wear my PE clothes all day and replace everything that was soaked in piss in my backpack and missed credit on all the assignments I couldn't turn in due to them being covered in urine. The school never followed up or apologized."
"My father suspected me of stealing money, and it caused a rift in our relationship. He let me know I wasn't welcome at his business anymore. There was a family get together and people were watching me like a hawk, so I left. I don't go to any family events anymore. Three months later, he caught the guy who was stealing money from his business. He had the guy arrested. It was during Christmas time around six years ago when he knocked on my door. He tried to hug me, apologized, and asked for my forgiveness. He asked me to be part of the family again and said my mother and siblings missed me. He asked me to come out for Christmas dinner and presents. I said 'is that it' then closed the door in his face before he could respond."
"Moved in with a boyfriend in Arizona (From Texas). No car, little money, knowing no one. He decided to go out for the night and bring a girl back to the apartment, where he then proceeded to break up with me and kick me out at 3 a.m."
"When I was in elementary school, I had neighbors that lived in the house behind mine, and they had two kids that were younger than me but close enough that we could play together. I would do the kid thing where you play in clear view of their house so they would see me and come out too and that went on for over a year.
Eventually, they stopped coming out, and I just assumed they were busy and didn't think much of it. One day I saw the older kid out playing and ran out to see what she was doing. She basically said that she had to beg her parents to let her go outside, and the only reason she was able to was because I wasn't out there.
Their parents would rather they spend the summer inside than spend any time outside with me. I was so heartbroken, I never tried to play with them again and even now 30 years later, I have a hard time getting involved in events where I'm not directly invited. I can't handle the idea of being where I'm not wanted."
"In college, I studied sculpture, particularly glassblowing. It was the greatest passion I've ever felt for something. I spent all my free time focused on this, even worked at the shop for free in exchange for studio time while also working full time and attending school full time. I taught classes, exhibited artwork, and sold tons of work. It looked like I was really set up to be able to make art for a living - which, graduating in the recession, was a miracle. I graduated top of my class and was recommended for ivy league grad school, but I decided to further pursue the path I had laid out in front of me.
I fell in love with a girl along the way. She would join me in the shop and I taught her how to assist me. She picked it up fast and started blowing her own. We moved in together and decided to open a business selling my most popular item, a hanging glass ornament with an opening at the top. Fill it with water, add a plant clipping, and you have a beautiful, handmade, hydroponic planter. I put up the money we needed to get started. We couldn't keep up with the orders. She managed the shipping and payment side while I took care of the rest. I was a working artist! A lifelong dream come true.
Unfortunately, this girl ended up being manipulative and emotionally abusive, which I couldn't see while I was in the relationship. She demanded that I work for free at the shop in exchange for free studio time, so we wouldn't have to increase the price of the product. I was also working a different job full time, then working for free at the studio. She was doing odd jobs in graphic design from home. I paid for everything. I never received a dime.
Our relationship deteriorated, and my entire sense of self-worth went down the drain from her constant abuse. She convinced me that everything was my fault, that I wasn't good enough for the business (or anything), that I'd never be able to make it as an artist, and that no one would be able to love me but her. During the course of our breakup, she destroyed a ton of my personal belongings, including a nightstand my dad had built for me when I was a child. She ripped the legs off of it and hit it with its own legs until everything was splintered. She tried to take my cat to the pound. She called my friends to tell them how terrible I am, and how they shouldn't be friends with me. Most of them took her side. The list goes on.
I moved out, but she stayed in the apartment a few more months while I kept paying the rent. She moved the business across the country, writing me out of its history. Six years later, she is now a successful glassblower still producing my intellectual property. She took my identity, my dreams, and my self-worth. I haven't made art since."
"I met a girl when I was 22 years old. She was beautiful, smart, and funny. She told me that the guy she was seeing before me was abusive. Beat her up and physically and mentally tortured her for years. She was extremely depressed, self-harmed and was semi-suicidal.
But I went and fell in love with her. Took her to therapy and worked with her. It was hard in the beginning because she could be really cold and distant to me and wild mood swings made me consider leaving. But we worked through it. We spent five years together, four of those years living together. We got a dog and raised it together.
It was a long and hard road, but she eventually got over all the stuff from her ex, and we were happy. Or so I thought. At five years, I proposed. She was so happy about it. Amazing. So was I. We set a date for six months later.
Five months go by and I got off work early one day. While I normally get home from work around 6 p.m., I was headed home by 2 p.m.
I walked in on her in bed with another guy. They didn't hear me come in the apartment. I got a full view of her riding this dirty, gross, homeless looking dude.
Instead of murdering both of them right on the spot, once they noticed me, and she started with the 'not what it looking like!' and I just walked out. I went to the store and got the biggest bottle of whatever I could find and drank it all. I spent the next two days at my parents' house trying to process what happened.
By the time I went back, most of my stuff, and all of her stuff in the apartment was gone. The dog, gone. Pretty much everything but my personal stuff, my books and my clothes were gone. She was gone.
I went to her work, she had quit (or so they told me). I called her parents, and they wouldn't talk to me. The one friend of hers I could get a hold of was at least sympathetic and said that she was sorry about what happened and it wasn't fair to me but still wouldn't give me any means of contacting her.
I didn't understand at all and that pretty much broke me. I fell into a spiral of self-hate and tried several times to drink myself to death or overdose on pills until I lost it and tried to hang myself about a year later.
I spent two weeks in the loony bin and two years on antidepressants and pretty much just numbed everything.
I'm still alive, but I have some major trust and self-worth issues of my own. It shattered my idea of relationships and people as a whole. All I ever wanted in life was to have a family of my own. That looks like it will never happen to me.
Wherever you are, Laura, just remember. I hate you. And I will never forgive you. Why did you accept my proposal if you were seeing someone else? Why did you tell me yes and that you wanted to spend your life with me when you didn't? Why did you push me into that dark pit of depression that I had pulled you out of?
Stuff I will never know."
"It was the sixth grade and I was the stereotypical nerd with thick glasses and no style. End of the year, there was a school dance, and to my surprise, one of the 'hot,' popular girls wanted to dance with me! Except it was all a joke, and I was the butt of it. Everyone laughed except for me. "
"My father decided his girlfriend of some months was more important than me and he changed completely. I went from being his favorite daughter, reading and playing together to being a 'spoiled selfish brat,' having to endure his girlfriend's kids, being forced to give them my stuff and lose it if they broke it.
They lasted for six years. They broke up when her madness affected him. It was so bad she called me 'a spoiled brat' in front of my boyfriend because I left home without telling after an argument and after that he wanted me to make peace with her and say sorry.
It reached a point where she almost convinced him to kick me out at 18, he told me bullying was my fault because she told him so, I never was able to read again with him because it annoyed her, I could never hear the music I liked or being alone in my room because she wanted to throw her kids at me, I was forced to study on vacations even when I passed because her kid didn't and I 'wasn't better than him.'
Now I don't even talk with my father, more than polite conversations of 'How are you?' and that's all, she destroyed our relationship and he never gave a care and never understood why it hurt me so much.
I don't even call him dad anymore."
"I was never the favorite child, and I never fit in with my own family. Let me put it this way: My extended family loves religion, events, and sports. My household family loves parties, adult beverages, and video games. I'm even weirder than that. I like books, education, and being quiet and reserved. I knew I wasn't the favorite; I knew I wasn't liked. I would always get left out of everything, even my own birthday party on several occasions. My self-esteem is already pretty low, but that's okay because I have no one I need to keep happy or worry about except myself, and I can entertain myself with a good book snuggled up in a blanket.
I was about 6 or 7 years old at the time, about 15 years ago. I fell asleep in the car ride home one time, but when I woke up, the car was off, nobody was in it, it was parked in the driveway, and the doors were locked. I got out and tried to go inside, and the front door was locked. Naturally, I accepted that I was forgotten about, again. I climbed back into the car (it was easily 10 degrees outside) and fell asleep. The next morning woke me up early because I slept horribly and the sun blinded me awake, and I patiently waited outside the front door. When my dad came outside because he had to go to work, he saw me outside and said to me 'Oh sorry bud, forgot you were in the car last night' like what his normal response would be like when I was forgotten about and left behind. I went inside now that the door was open, and everyone looked up and just casually greeted me as if I had only stepped outside for an hour or so.
This event stuck in my head for a long while. Everyone was actually nice to me when I wasn't around for long long periods of time instead of shooing me away or getting unnecessarily angry at me just because I existed. About a year later, I decided to do a social experiment with my family. I found a good hiding place in the house, grabbed a book and my handheld gaming device of the time, and I hid. I wanted to see how long it would take before anyone asked about my sudden disappearance. The entire day, nobody asked about me. Nobody asked about me the next day as well. It was only on the third day when someone finally says 'I haven't seen (me) in a while.' It took three days for anyone to notice I was gone. My self-esteem was already in the toilet, to begin with, and confirming the fact that not only was I frequently forgotten about, but I wasn't cared about enough for anyone to notice if I disappeared only made my outlook on life even worse. I chose to come out of hiding and my family casually greeted me like I had only been gone for an hour.
My mom is always wondering and complaining about why I can't function in society and why I can't hold a job, why I'm severely depressed to the point of regular daily mental breakdowns, and rejects that any of this is anyone's fault but my own for being who I am today."
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